Medusa’s Coral

Myth has it that coral was created when Perseus laid down the severed head of Medusa beside the shore of the Red Sea and drops of her blood spilled onto seaweed causing them to harden into coral.

With 50% of the world’s coral now bleached and dying, it calls into question if there is a deeper meaning behind the death of coral beyond rising temperatures. Living coral reefs are diverse marine ecosystems hosting over 4,000 species of fish and many other animals. Worldwide, more than 500 million people depend on coral reefs for food, income, coastal protection and more.

Joseph Campbell suggested the myth of Medusa may also refer to an actual event relating to an end of a society or group and the shock of a severed head represented the sociological trauma of that event. He also said the only myth worth talking about in the immediate future is one about the planet. He said that because he was concerned about the health of our planet and its inhabitants. The health of our planet is steadily becoming the current day sociological trauma.

The question is what will it take for us to go into action? Fortunately, Medusa’s head contained both the poison and the cure. It was from her blood that the winged horse Pegasus was born. Horses with wings represent astral vehicles that carry the spiritual practitioner to other worlds associated with a trance or meditational state of consciousness. This is the state of higher consciousness that acts like a snake bite because it causes the body to go numb, like a stone.

Perhaps the message from dying coral has to do with an urgent need for humanity to stare into the eyes of transformation and utilize its resulting insights to find creative and immediate solutions to the failing health of our planet. Maybe the head we need to chop off is the greedy one standing in the way of developing affordable clean energy.

Medusa’s Coral, oil on canvas, 193 x 212 cm, 2021

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