Perseus and the Journey to Slay Medusa:
“How men need to face the Feminine and Masculine in their journey to mature life and love.”
I think there is a significant amount of social re-engineering going on currently in our culture that is deeply problematic and introducing moral and social deconstructive ideas, values and practices. That said, I do think there has to be purposeful, attentive and competent engagement with the matters of the masculine and feminine in all meaningful men’s work.
I turn once again to ancient stories as an example of a former culture exploring those issues in story and mythology. The story of Perseus is a great example that has so many correlations to the experiences of many men today and the need to find a holistic relationship within oneself with the masculine and feminine.
The story has many narrative threads that men can interact with to explore their own relationships, experiences and inner value formations regarding women. The archetypal tale gives men potential handles to process their own stories with mother, sisters, women and wives and if done prayerfully and courageously, can help men mature.
Here’s some examples of those narrative threads:
-Perseus and his mother Danae, her estrangement to abusive men and a good stepfather.
-Perseus being driven out of the home and away from mother by a jealous suitor of Danae which led to his epic adventure and eventual confrontation with the Medusa.
-The fact that Perseus is gifted with shield from Athena and sword from Hermes in order to eventually face his nemesis.
-The journey to the find wisdom to find his way ahead from the Crones and the ‘seeing eye’ and the journey to the ‘maidens of the north’ and the gifts they gave that would eventually give him victory over Medusa and allow him to escape her sisters.
-The fight with Medusa, the beautiful woman intertwined with snakes, who if looked full in the face, would turn you to stone.
-There’s the encounter and battle with Atlas, the man with the world on his shoulders.
-The love story with the captive maiden of the sea, Andromeda and their eventual marriage.
-The retuning to home and the accidental killing of his first step-father who tried to kill Perseus and Danae by putting them into a chest and throwing them in the sea when he was a young man.
You can see there’s a lot of good threads of meaningful maturing work that can take place if we listen for the wisdom of ancient stories and have helpful guides, and fellow brothers to engage them. Becoming a more healthy and whole man involves facing our past in the mirror, maybe not head on, in order to slay what must be killed, to move on to the life and love that we deeply desire. We will need both the masculine and feminine aspects of the Divine life and our own created, Divine image, to live life to it’s fullest.