|Painting by Arna Baartz|
Medusa, what happened to you?
You and your sisters were filled with such grace,
you were all fair of face, with gentle eyes,
you were a priestess of the warrior/wisdom maiden—
what wisdom did you own?
But why did you lie with the sea god
and what did he tell you?
Did you hear only a seducer’s deceiving words,
or did he tell you secrets of sea and land and earthquake?
What did you learn?
Medusa, what is the source of your rage?
Is it betrayal—
did you betray the warrior/wisdom maiden,
or were you betrayed by her?
And what did the hero do to you?
How were you hidden from the sun?
Are you, like all who see you now, threatened
by the vipers that crown you?
Who turned you into embodied anger,
and why do men say you can kill with a single glance?
What mysteries do you—and your writhing snakes—
Did those snakes used to be sparks of goddess
flashing round your head?
What happened to you, Medusa?
An exerpt from the upcoming girl god anthology, Re-visioning Medusa: from Monster to Divine Wisdom.
Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. (www.barbaraardinger.com) is the author of Pagan Every Day, Finding New Goddesses, Practicing the Presence of the Goddess, Goddess Meditations, and two novels, Secret Lives and Quicksilver Moon. Her blogs appear every month on her website and on Feminism andReligion, where she is a regular Pagan contributor. She has been writing for the Llewellyn annuals since 2004, and her work has also been published in devotionals to Isis, Athena, and Brigid. Barbara’s day job is freelance editing for people who have good ideas but don’t want to embarrass themselves in print. To date, she has edited more than 300 books, both fiction and nonfiction, on a wide range of topics. She lives in Long Beach, California, with her two rescued Maine coon cats, Schroedinger and Heisenberg. Her doctorate is in English.