Medusa Shield
Parade Shield of Charles V in steel, gold and silver -- Filippo Negroli 1541 CARD URL:

Card #152 – Medusa Shield


Cutting off Medusa’s head — direct intervention with inner reptile drives of appetites and aggression. This is a moment of empowerment when you can use your will and intent to transform yourself.

Shield yourself from the Medusa Head — a reptile-brain-dominated psyche.

Our appetites and fight-or-flight reflexes all too easily take us over. According to some evolutionary biologists, marsupials, like kangaroos, are limited in their possible evolution because they lack the corpus callosum, the dense bundle of neurons connecting the two hemispheres vital to superior intra-brain communication. These evolutionary biologists further speculate that Homo sapiens may also have a brain communication problem and that it could lead to our extinction. We have poor communication between our neocortex, our center of higher thinking, and our brain stem, the reptile brain that governs appetites and aggression. Anyone who has tried to break a physical addiction discovers how tough it is to get these parts to work together. Headline news is largely composed of variations on the theme of higher thinking being impotent to restrain territorial aggression and other reptilian drives.

But there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in the philosophy of neurological materialists and fatalistic observers of human history. As William James said, “All that is necessary to disprove the notion that all crows are black is one white crow.” If any human being has ever resolved this problem, then the possibility is open for you not to be ruled by your reptilian aspects. Free will is more rare and more fragile than some presume. But you have a choice: become a white crow. When possible, avoid taking significant actions while in a state of agitation. Do a searching, fearless, compassionate, calm examination of your motives and actions. Hold everything to the standard of what you will remember well on your deathbed.

The Medusa Head derives from the Gorgon of Greek Mythology and is an example of the Devouring Mother Archetype. The devouring mother could take the form of a destructive person, an addiction, as well as many other forces.

The meaning I derive from the Medusa head is one I have assigned — my own interpretation of a head with writhing snakes coming out of it. I interpret the head of writhing snakes as a “dick head,” meaning someone whose higher cognitive functions have been overtaken by lower reptile drives. Related to brain anatomy, this would be the brain stem overcoming the neocortex. I also interpret the mirrored shield Perseus uses to see Medusa (and slay her) without turning to stone as the self-reflective, metacognitive (associated with the neocortex) of an evolved psyche.

Sufficient awareness of our reptilian drives and will can allow us to transcend them. But remember that transcendence includes (rather than permanently separates from) that which is transcended.

Similarly, our neocortex is associated with transcendent cognitive functions of higher thinking such as metacognition

Consider this an auspicious time to polish the shield of metacognition — especially awareness of reptilian drives warping our thinking — and to use the sword of our will to cut off Medusa’s head by keeping ourselves from mindlessly acting out our reptilian drives.

See: I.U.I. Incarnating under the Influence in a Polywater World

See A Guide to the Perplexed Interdimensional Traveler for ways to deal with negative emotions and thought forms.

This could also be a warning about being influenced by “mind parasites.” See “mind parasites” in the category section of this site.

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