We have arrived at the mid-term of the year, the Summer Solstice. It is the longest day and shortest night and the height of the Sun’s zenith in the sky. From a zodiac perspective, the Sun enters Cancer on June 21 as well and we may feel our attention being drawn to the home and comforts that make us feel safe and secure (traits of Cancer).
While midsummer is a celebration of light and we revel in this long day of bright beauty, the light casts an inevitable shadow as well. Once the Sun reaches its zenith, it begins to wane and there is a reminder that the darkness of winter always comes again. Cancer as a sign is watery and emotional and it is quite a synchronicity that all three of our Goddesses this week have strong connections to water. I am going to call this week the “feeling zone” and we should pay close attention to our emotional cycles.
Medusa, the most famous of the three Gorgon sisters, stepped forward with a command: “Look at me”. As many are familiar with the Greek myth of Medusa and the fearsome Gorgons, they turn those who look at them to stone. A demand from Medusa to look at Her brings up knee-jerk reactions of fear and revulsion. How difficult is it to look upon those things that make us afraid, ashamed, or revolted? The Gorgon’s face is one of the oldest figures in Greek art and in many cases looks like a death mask with wide eyes, protruding tongue, tusks, and wild matted hair or live serpents surrounding Her head. They are winged creatures although they were born of parents who were monstrous creatures of the ocean.
Interestingly, as we step away from the Greek interpretation of Medusa, a more ancient story unfolds. Medusa was a Priestess and Queen of Libya, an African Queen “married” to the God of Oceans, Poseidon. She was renowned for Her beauty and warrior skills. She led armies and also embodied the wisdom of the Great Goddess. Medusa has been called “Mother of Mountains” and linked to the Great Warrior Goddess Atargatis. It is possible that She did battle Perseus and that battle culminated in Her death. Greek myth also tells us that Medusa was the only Gorgon that was mortal, indicating that She was possibly a real person.
I do believe Medusa is fearsome. She represents power, wisdom, and truth that can overwhelm all of our senses to the point of paralysis. In the face of the Gorgon’s visage, we are confronted by our own fear of powerlessness and nightmare scenarios. But, as happens when we gather our courage and face our fears head on, they are diminished and the truth and wisdom at the source of those fears is revealed. This is also Medusa. By “looking at Her”, we are looking at our deepest fears, those things that have turned us to “stone”, but on the other side of those fears, we see a shining winged Goddess with golden hands and the ability to show us our own power.
As the Sun moves into Cancer, our emotions are highlighted. Plunge into the watery abyss and find Medusa. What are those patterns or emotions that are paralyzing? What causes you to feel fear? Medusa does not have to be approached alone or all at once. Work with Her through dream imagery and journaling. Consult a therapist or spiritual counselor to work through some of these fears and release that which has potentially been turning you to stone. Medusa has valuable information in this shadow work, but it should be done with care.
From the dark depths of the ocean with Medusa, we are pulled to the coastal waters of Alaska and Canada to commune with Lady of the Hanging Hair, the Native American Goddess Gyhldeptis. She is from the Haida and Tlingit tribes and is the living spirit and protectress of the forest. When the people of Her forest and lands were threatened by a huge whirlpool right off the coast that would consume their boats, Gyhldeptis called upon the other spirits of wind, fire, and ice to gather in Her underwater Festival House. Together, they conceived a plan to change the coastal lines and transform the raging whirlpool into a calm and flowing river. Once this was accomplished, abundance and peace returned to the humans and lands that She enlivens.
She is called Lady of the Hanging Hair for the lush, green moss that encases Her forests and drapes from Her trees. Her message for this week is “take a deep breath and redirect your energy”. Gyhldeptis is offering Her calm to you this week to take a step back and create a plan that redirects your energy for a project or situation. Do you need to transform your “landscape” to shift energy in another direction? She calls us to go to the deep green of the forests and commune with Her. Breathe in Her earthy wisdom. Call on Her spirit for assistance in making plans. Gather all of the elements that you need for your plan and execute it. She is the Mistress of Synthesis and can take the confusing whirlpool and transform it into a nourishing river.
Moss agate and tree agate would be wonderful stones to activate with the energy of Gyhldeptis and carry with you. Moss agate is a stone that allows for new beginnings and releasing old patterns. It facilitates the creation of a new purpose in life. Tree agate mimics the gorgeous hangings of Gyhldeptis and enhances a sacred connection to the trees and all vegetation. It also brings the ability to adapt to change and accept new things and situations. Take a spirit walk in the forest and collect items (with permission!) to create a Gyhldeptis medicine bag for your new direction!
Leave Crete, Come here, Come to the holy place
Come to the sacred grove.
Your altars are smoking with incense.
Cold water sings through the fruited trees,
Everything is shaded under the bower of roses
And from the shimmering radiance of leaves,
an enchanted sleep drops down.
Here is a meadow of spring flowers where horses graze
and a soft wind gently breaths.
Come Aphrodite, pour your nectar into our golden cups
In grace make the libation, bring your Melissaes to life.
By Sappho, 7th c. BCE poet, composer and Priestess of Aphrodite.
Ahhhh, Mighty Aphrodite. She arrives on the foam of waves to the shores of our worlds and brings with Her everything that makes life worth living. Aphrodite’s presence makes everything brighter, more beautiful, more wondrous, and Her laughter is intoxicating as She says, “Be present NOW!”. Few among the Gods or humans are immune to Her charms and energy, and truly, who would want to be? It is a grave mistake to think of Aphrodite simply as the Goddess of beauty and sexuality. Her reach is far more encompassing and complicated. She is Creatrix, spreading Her golden magic throughout all that gives us life, love, bliss, and union. Her power begins as the source of all reproductive energy in the Universe and manifests in flowers, fruits, passionate love. She is the warmth of life and the bringer of life.
Aphrodite infuses our worlds with Her “charis” – grace. She is the supreme Evocateur and revels in that which is sensual, life-affirming, magickal, and erotic. The shadow side of this Bright Mistress is Her fleeting nature. When we have something that is wonderful and gives breath to our being, we want to keep it, hang onto it at any cost. And that is anathema to Aphrodite. She does not sustain relationships; She is bliss and a moment of union that we treasure until we can experience it again. If all in life was blissful, could we appreciate bliss? When Aphrodite moves through our lives, we experience heights of pleasure, love, joy. As She inevitably moves on, feelings of regret, anger, jealousy, revenge may appear in Her wake. Don’t forget that one of Her favorite consorts is the God of War – Ares.
So, how do we survive Aphrodite? By being present in our lives now. Give gratitude each day. Appreciate the moments that enliven us, make us laugh, make us love. Recognize when a relationship is good for you and when it may be time to release one. Know that She will always come back. One of Her great lessons is self-sufficiency – She lives IN us, not outside of us. Aphrodite is related to Clotho, the Spinning Sister of the Fates. Her golden thread is woven into each of our lives and we will not find it outside of us, we will only find it within. Be present. Now. And laugh with Aphrodite. What makes you feel blissful? What is life-affirming? Recognize the beauty surrounding you. Seek it out. Spend time around things that evoke wonder and joy in you. This does not have to be another person – museums, art work, theater, gardens, wild nature – find your bliss and embrace it, knowing that it is the thread of Aphrodite that is part of your soul.
There is a lot of intense and emotional energy coming up this week. Ride the wave and pick one of these incredible Goddesses to work with so as not to feel overwhelmed.
Bright Blessings of the Summer Solstice to you and yours and I wish you a week filled with Goddess!
Resources for your week
Invoking Aphrodite by Layne Redmond
My Goddess Oracle Box has Goddess Cards from multiple decks and contains over 300 Goddesses. One day as I was playing with the Goddess cards, I had the urge to mix them all together and so the Goddess Oracle Box was born! The cards from this reading came from the following decks:
Medusa – Olympus by Murry Hope (out of print)
Gyhldeptis– The Goddess Oracle Deck & Book Set by Amy Sophia Marashinsky
Aphrodite – Olympus by Murry Hope (out of print)