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Monday, 8 December 2014

That's quite a pin you have there, Athena

What can I do today to help keep me on the course that will change my life for the better?

This was a good question the other day, so I think I will ask it daily for a while. Today's answer from Tarot de St Croix (2013) is Queen of Swords. The LWB puts it succinctly: 'Make decisions with clarity and focus.'

The card depicts Athena, goddess of wisdom, with an owl on her shoulder and a brooch of the head of Medusa on her cloak. In mythology, Medusa was killed by Perseus and her head given to Athena to put on her shield, because Medusa's head could turn onlookers to stone and therefore made a handy weapon. The Medusa story is disturbing. In the version by Ovid, Medusa was a beautiful maiden who became a votive in the temple of Athena. Poseidon turns up there and rapes her (the gods do a lot of raping; most of the stories are not very nice at all and in fact I find them quite unfathomable, but then, I'm not an ancient Greek person. Maybe it made more sense to them. Though actually, Ovid was Roman, so this later retelling probably reflects the mores of ancient Rome rather than ancient Greece.) For being raped in her temple, Athena turns Medusa into a monster with snakes for hair. Medusa flees to live in a cave, pregnant by Poseidon. When Perseus chops off her head, Pegasus and Chrysaor spring from her headless body. Nice.

Some feminists have taken on Medusa as a symbol of 'female rage', saying that female characteristics have been 'demonised' in her. Shrug. Don't know. It would make for an interesting evening of Google searching to pursue this line of thought, I bet.

My advice for today is to stay clear and focused. Got it. Do I get to turn people to stone? We'll just have to wait and see. 

Tarot de St Croix, Devera Publishing 2013

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