How Has the Gorgon Medusa’s Curse Kept So Many Scholars Blind to Athena’s True Identity?

The Curse of the Gorgon Medusa Is Still With Us

When Perseus cut off the Gorgon’s head, he did not look directly at her or he would have turned to stone. He used his polished shield to view her indirectly, negating the power of her gaze. This same technique is needed today to overcome the still-powerful Gorgon’s curse. Thousands of writers and teachers of mythology look directly at Athena. The stare of the Gorgon on her aegis turns their minds figuratively to stone—a kind of mental paralysis sets in. Their thinking becomes calcified and rigid, robbed of the flexibility to see clearly. In this intellectual stupor, they are unable to recognize Athena as the serpent’s Eve. Only when we look at Athena’s image indirectly, as it is clearly and simply reflected in the Book of Genesis, are we able to get a true picture of her identity, and understand her role in Greek religion as a depiction of Eve, the serpent’s Eve.

Black figure vase showing Perseus cutting off Medusa's head while Hermes watches.

Perseus cutting off Medusa’s head as Hermes looks on, Attic black figure vase, ca. 550 BC. After a series of adventures, Perseus presented the head of serpents to Athena, and she wore it on her aegis as a sign of the source of her authority.

Red figure amphora showing the Gorgon's face on Athena's aegis.

Athena depicted on an Attic red figure amphora from ca. 525 BC. Her aegis is positioned over her right shoulder so that the Gorgon head—the head of serpents—is seen in full frontal-face. The look of the Gorgon Medusa had the power to turn men to stone. The glare of Medusa still mesmerizes those who don’t look away to Genesis to discern Athena’s true identity.

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