Are you tuning in at this Medusa-flavored new moon to receive Wisdom from the depths?
For those with a two-second attention span, at this new moon you’re invited to call Wisdom and heartfulness ‘down to Earth’ to illuminate and guide your way.
For those who still retain some powers of focus and concentration, and who want to delve more deeply and really explore and embody the gifts of this new moon cycle — who are called to help midwife the re-emerging Feminine — read on.
As I write this post, we’re in the potent dark of the moon phase, or the few days just prior to the New Moon which will be ‘exact’ at 12:13 a.m. EDT on May 18th.
And I have to say, this post has been gestating for a bit and also sprouting into different directions, like Medusa‘s wild, snaky hair — and since this new moon has something to do with Medusa, there’s a link there.
Pulling this one together required some story wrangling, guided by Medusa herself.
Let me ‘splain. Walk with me as I weave together a few threads on the theme that’s afoot.
This new moon is in Taurus, an earth-element sign ruled by Venus — a Feminine element, and a Feminine archetype.
For astro geeks, it occurs at 26:56 degrees Taurus, so you can find that in your chart and see just what story it tells you and what clues or wee little guiding lights it gives you.*
(For me, it’s spot-on my Ascendant — which means it’s rising — so I’m paying attention.)
The new moon, then, is conjunct (in the same degree as) the fixed star Algol, at Medusa’s ‘third eye’ (between her brows) in the constellation Perseus.
So we’ve got a new cycle that’s very much tied in with the energy, archetype, and story of Medusa.
And what a story Medusa has — and it’s also one that tells the story of what we now call Western culture, a culture in which many reading this will have been ‘pickled’ from birth, and a culture that’s in the throes of radical transformation because it has become not just unsustainable, but deadly toxic and unwell.
So on a personal level, and on a cultural or collective level, we look to Wisdom to:
No pressure. Really. We’re eyeball deep in it already; it’s ongoing, and it may well be the Great Work of our time.
But in order to see where we are and where we’re going and what gifts and guidance we might have at our disposal, we have to visit a story from the past.
So back to Medusa and the Wisdom and opportunity in this new moon …
In mythic, archetypal, and energetic-psychic terms, this new moon and unfolding cycle is activated by the bright fixed star Algol, at Medusa’s Third Eye (in the constellation of stars named Perseus).
Algol really freaked out the Cranky Paters of the middle ages, and maybe before that, too. Why? Because it seemed to wink at them … now you see it, now you don’t.
So in their agitated state of freaked-outedness at the whole winking thing, they designated Algol as the most evil star in the heavens … a Demon star. It was a seriously bad omen.
And it was associated with Medusa’s head, which freaked them out even more.
But they were mistaken, because they didn’t have the ‘Medusa‘ to give them perspective (keep reading and you’ll see what I mean).
It turns out that this ‘most evil’ fixed ‘Demon’ star Algol is a three-star system — a trinity of stars — and when one of the other stars passes in front of Algol from our perspective, Algol is eclipsed and seems to disappear from sight for a bit. No biggie.
So what else did these particular Paters get wrong, misinterpret through lizard-brain fear, because they just didn’t understand it and they feared what they didn’t understand … or couldn’t control (and really, really wanted to)?
It’s an important question, because we’ve been living with that legacy ever since.
To the Cranky-Paters, Medusa was a She-monster who’d turn men to stone with her very gaze, and other myriad horrors (you know the repertoire; it’s pretty much repeated ad nauseum with Lilith and Pandora and Magdalene and others).
Medusa figures in the myths of Athena — the goddess born out of her father Zeus’s head because Zeus, fearing prophecies, swallowed Athena’s mother, Metis (Medusa), who was pregnant with Athena at the time.
And both Medusa and Athena figure in the story of Perseus, who is ultimately sent — with Masculinized-Daughter Athena’s help — to slay Medusa, chop her head off, and basically turn it into a weapon that serves the new Pater-archy regime and agenda (I’m not making that up; see the history and mythology for yourself!).
Medusa was what we’d now call the dark goddess aspect, with the snakes of renewal and regeneration, and her clear-seeing eyes symbolized the ability of Wisdom to ‘see right through you’ … to cut through the not-you and the not-True.
Kind of like Durga and Kali-Ma — goddesses of ‘no fear’ — and their ability to cut right through the intellectual, ego-centric b.s.
No wonder that wasn’t popular!
The gist, though, is that early on in the Greek mythology, Metis, Medha, Medusa, and the Mother, Feminine Wisdom, were swallowed up and demoted, or disappeared altogether.
That’s ultimately the story of one culture and ethos overtaking another one, and so it did shift from a mater-respecting (matrifocal) and Wisdom-aware culture to an increasingly one-sided (or left-brained) culture that had demoted or negated the Wisdom and the Feminine, as you’ll see below.
You’ll find more of this Medusa story in a Sophia’s Children archive post, She’s Baaaaack – Sovereign Wisdom and Medusa.
But what did we lose in that whole cultural shift? (Like we have to ask, but humor me…)
What’s in a name? Medusa really means …
Suffice it to say that the origin of the word-name Medusa is sovereign Feminine Wisdom (linked also to the Sanskrit Medhā and the Greek Metis).
When we dig past the smear-layer and unearth the original meanings of the words, we also find clues to the lost history, and the lost Wisdom we’re reclaiming now to bring into these crazy-wild, seemingly Wisdom-free times.
Dig further and not only does Medusa, Medhā, Metis mean sovereign Feminine Wisdom that was appropriated, smeared, hidden, squelched, and so on, but Medusa (Medhā, Metis) also means this:
Wisdom, intellect, but even more than that, intellect that is informed and illuminated by Love.*
Medusa. Medhā. Metis.
Keen intellect that is illuminated by Wisdom, informed by Love, and in service to the wisdom of the Heart.
So when our link to Medusa was severed historically, culturally, and spiritually, what we ended up with over time is intellect divorced from Wisdom, Love, and Heart.
That’s called psychopathy (or one of the other empathy and conscience-free ‘pathys’).
And yes, we can see clear evidence of that just by reading the news, or reading history, or looking around us, or all of the above.
So what we’re reclaiming, remembering, re-embodying, and restoring — what we’re invoking and inviting back into being — is:
Medusa. Medhā. Metis.
Keen intellect that is illuminated by Wisdom, informed by Love, and in service to the wisdom of the Heart.
At this new moon in Taurus, conjunct Algol and Medusa’s clear-seeing ‘third eye’, we can invoke and activate, through ritual or prayer or being receptive to Wisdom, the illumination of Wisdom, the restoration of Love and heartfulness — Heart Wisdom — to come alive once again in our awareness and through us, into our world.
Bringing wisdom, love, heart, back to Earth.
As the saying goes, we take one step and the Divine takes a thousand towards us. And the journey of a thousand steps begins with one step, one prayer, one heart-illuminated moment, one Wisdom-Heart-inspired action, and then another, and another, and another …
Thanks for sticking with me on this one!
If you want to check the locale of Medusa and Metis in your chart, as well as where the 26:56 Taurus new moon falls, use 149 Medusa and 9 Metis (the asteroid numbers) for clues on how this story plays out in, for, and through you.
A blessing on you…
May the eyes and ears of our hearts be illuminated, may we be infused with and guided by Wisdom, and may we, and all we touch, be made well.
May 16, 2015 at 5:29 pm
Beautifully illuminating Jamie, thank you for this post. Mimicking Taurean principles, you patiently and consistently broke down the mythology step by step. Natal Chiron and Uranus square this New Moon for me, so I am praying that all the influences will usher in miracles, healing, and wisdom personally and collectively.
May 16, 2015 at 5:41 pm
Thank you, Linda. I hadn’t thought of that Taurean step by step. It felt like pure story wrangling, but a story that wanted to be written through. So wrangle I did. 😉
And may the blessings of the new moon usher in miracles, healing and wisdom. I second that prayer. 🙂 May it be so.
May 16, 2015 at 9:55 pm
Hi Jamie — As my birthday falls on this new moon, I was particularly intrigued to see how the Medusa story weaves into the day. I don’t believe I have ever known the real story of Medus nor the meaning behind her name. What a beautiful story. Thanks for the wrangling to bring it forth and show Medusa in her true light.
I accept her special gift of “Wisdom and keen intellect that is informed by Love and in service to the wisdom of the Heart.” I couldn’t ask for a greater blessing than this. Much love to you dear sister, Alia
May 18, 2015 at 2:31 pm
A very happy birthday and solar return to you, Alia. May it be a year of rich blessings, joys, and new (and old-favorite) delights … of deep wellbeing! I’m glad that Medusa’s story feels like an inspiration to you as you begin this new year. xoxo Love, Jamie
May 16, 2015 at 10:14 pm
This gave me goosebumps. Your words and posting (and I so appreciate the work that went into this) resonated with my heart and life right now. I feel empowered! Thank you!
May 18, 2015 at 2:33 pm
I’m so glad that’s the case, Kimberly, that Medusa’s story and (re)emerging Wisdom resonated with you as it did (goosebumps are usually a ‘high sign’ for me that Spirit is present and nudging!). Feeling empowered is good. 🙂 May that sense of empowerment continue to grow. Thanks for visiting! xoxo Love, Jamie
May 16, 2015 at 10:55 pm
You rocked this one, Jamie, no pun intended. Awesome post. I can feel your molten fire on this one, churning like the lava stirring so much within our Mother planet. I pray humanity develops receptors for these words and ideas, for the flaming Love and Wisdom, so that She can simmer the lava down because humanity will have received the healing message. May it be so. The Paters say, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” yet they fear and demonize even the Love and the intended gifts.
I’ve spent this afternoon in this same energetic space, wondering how, how, how to create receptors for the healing, rejuvenation and thriving on offer when no receptors even exist for just scooting by?! It is a mystery with a small m that our culture is so deeply resistant to and unable to receive gifts and much needed succor from the Mystery with the big M. Thanks for adding your voice (repeatedly) to the birthing chant. Blessed Be!
May 18, 2015 at 2:43 pm
Thank you, Laura. I appreciate that.
And so right you are about “wondering how, how, how to create receptors for the healing, rejuvenation and thriving on offer when no receptors.”
Living into the question, or the Mystery, as Rilke wisely advised. I think the saying in emerging neuroscience is “the neurons that fire together, wire together,” so practice, practice, practice.
And it’s my sense that for everyone who *is* answering the call to this work (aka Great Work of re-embodying, midwifing, re-memembering, sharing the word, etc.) is like a receiving and transmitting tower (Magdala?) rippling it out into the shared sphere or energy field (or consciousness field). Energy medicine of a sort?
And thanks to you as well, sister midwife, for adding your voice and presence. Blessed be. 🙂
May 18, 2015 at 10:04 am
we have a personal astro-link here since my MC/north node is 28 Taurus conjunct your Ascendant…thank you for retrieving the true meaning of the Medusa myth here. I am really struck by the relevance of what you say for me in relation to this Taurus New Moon/my 9th House/MC today. I have spent a great deal of time over the last couple of days writing and sharing a post which seeks support for our local community in North Kelvin, Glasgow, Scotland, whose very well and imaginatively used patch of wild local land is under threat of being sold to developers who will build houses on it. This strikes me as very relevant to Medusa v Patriarchy!
I am writing this on my IPad which is very fickle on cut and paste – it has already thwarted my attempt to Share this post of yours on my 12th House Page – but you and your readers will find the top post on http://www.anne-whitaker.com describing our campaign, which includes a short film showing very powerfully what we are doing to get children outside in Nature. Any help with sharing and publicity would be great.
Off now to try again to Share this great post. Have a productive Taurus New Moon, everyone!
May 18, 2015 at 2:47 pm
Anne, thanks for visiting and for reblogging the post. I so appreciate that! And we’ve both got axis points on the Medusa Eye … my Ascendant and your MC. Well, well, well. 🙂
Thank you for your efforts there in North Kelvin, Glasgow to save the patch of ‘wild local land’ as a resource for all, including children, rather than having it ‘developed’ (such a ridiculous, hubris-filled word for it, really, but that’s another conversation!).
I’ll head to your site and find the info so that I can share it with my circles (twitter, the Wisdom’s Lantern page on Facebook, etc.).
Happy new moon to you as well, Anne.
May 18, 2015 at 10:08 am
Ps success this time, Jamie! I’ve Shared your post on my Twelfth House Page.
May 20, 2015 at 6:29 am
I have been incubating my thoughts lately as well as doing a lot of reading. I love how your posts always synch up in my life. I just read about the severing of the relationship between woman and her deep inner wisdom by pater-archy through the eve and snake myth. The Medusa myth brings this severing to a whole new level. Now I need to do some more incubating. I also need a better grasp on my chart, but there are only so many hours in a day.
May 21, 2015 at 4:16 pm
Incubating is a great word, and part of the cycle, for sure. I’m glad the posts seem to sync with what’s up for you! It’s in the air. Perhaps you’ll write about your gestating insights about Eve and the Snake myth, if you haven’t already (or maybe, even if you have, something new is brewing in the depths). And true enough … there are always things remaining on the to-do and wish lists. 🙂 xoxo Jamie
May 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm
Definitely will write about it. Most is content for my novel, but some should spill over into the blog. I am also painting a series on the darkness defining light that I see as a mirror for the masculine/feminine dichotomy.
May 22, 2015 at 8:57 pm
Beautiful! Keep us posted on upcoming blog updates (I follow your blog, so I’ll see them) and the painting series … sounds amazing. xoxo Jamie