“Medusa”, was the most famous of the monster figures known as Gorgons. She was usually represented as a winged female creature having a head of hair consisting of snakes; unlike the Gorgons, she was sometimes represented as very beautiful.
Her name comes from the Ancient Greek word for “guardian” She was one of the three Gorgons, daughters of the sea gods Phorcys and Ceto, and sisters of the Graeae, Echidna, and Ladon. Medusa was a mortal and therefore vulnerable to the perils of the human world.
In the early years, Medusa was known to be a desirable “Young Maiden”. She decided to pledge herself to Athena – the goddess she considered to be the most powerful of all those who resided on Mount Olympus. It was a great compliment for Medusa to pledge her loyalty to Athena because of her great beauty – especially since one of the requirements to be a temple priestess was to remain a virgin.
Soon after Medusa became a priestess for Athena, she caught the eye of Poseidon. This was partially because of her great beauty and partially because she was serving his rival, Athena. Poseidon pursued Medusa as a love interest and asserted his superiority as a more powerful deity.Poseidon ravaged Medusa in Athena’s temple. Medusa becomes pregnant and is both angered and confused. Medusa is devastated. She appeals to Athena and asks that the goddess give her wisdom and advice in how to move forward. Athena is enraged that her temple has been desecrated, especially because it had been defiled by her rival, Poseidon. She doesn’t have any sympathy towards Medusa. She puts all blame for the incident on Medusa and decides to punish her by transforming her into a monster that will be undesirable.
Athena transformed her into the most hideous of all the Gorgons. She was cursed for her “Broken Vow” of celibacy. Medusa is transformed into a terrible beast that has bronze hands and wings. In some variations her face is disfigured with a beard and fangs and finally, her hair is transformed with living venomous snakes in place of hair. She is famed for her snake-like hair and her “Stoney Gaze”, which turns those who look at her to stone.
The character of Medusa changes greatly after Athena punishes her unjustly. Medusa comes to embrace her role and begins to take her vengeance on men as this is one of the only ways that she can attempt to get even with Poseidon. However, she is also reclusive and does not leave her island often.
Now that she has been transformed, there are many men that come to the island, no longer as suitors, but as hunters looking to behead her. As years go by, she becomes more and more vicious and vengeful.
There are many different men that try – and fail – to hunt Medusa, until “Perseus” is contracted to bring back her head to King Polydectes. The King wishes to marry Perseus’ mother, but Perseus won’t allow it. As a trick, Polydectes tells Perseus to bring him the head of Medusa (which is essentially a suicide mission). Perseus complies and goes to the gods to help him on his journey.
The gods give him gifts to help him on his journey. He uses these gifts to help him conqueror Medusa. He receives a mirrored shield from Athena, winged sandals from Hermes, a sword from Hephaestus, and a helm of invisibility from Hades. Using these gifts he travels and gathers information that is vital to his quest. He then sneaks onto the island of Sapharose and beheads Medusa while she sleeps by using Athena’s mirrored shield to guide his movements so that he does not have to look at Medusa directly. He tries to sneak off the island, but Medusa’s body is discovered by her sisters before he can leave. He is able to escape unseen thanks to his helm of invisibility.
Her severed head was used in many ways to defeat others before Perseus returned the head to Athena. While Medusa was wrongfully punished by Athena and forced to live the rest of her life as a terrible monster, she experiences some redemption in death. Because her head was placed on Athena’s shield (the Aegis) and her blood was revealed to hold the power of both life and death, Medusa’s head became a symbol of protection. In fact, her head went on to inspire one of the most powerful talisman of its time, the Gorgoneion.
Available in the following yarn bases. For a listing of all yarn bases click here. Yarn Bases
Care of your hand knit garments
Please hand wash cold or lukewarm water and lay flat to dry. Even though this yarn does contain superwash merino, I do always recommend that you hand wash your knitwear. We use colorfast acid dyes for dying our yarn, and rinse until water runs clear. There may be a chance that some dye may bleed slightly in the first wash of your finished item. This does sometimes happen for speckled yarn and stubborn colors that are prone to bleed. For the first couple of washes, hand wash separately to be sure that no further bleeding.
There are no dye lots. We always try to sell from same dye lots but if not sure, we recommend blending the skeins as you work. Color saturation can differ from different dyelots.