Copyright © 2001 Nick Anthony Fiorenza, All Rights Reserved
Perseus and Andromeda by Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) Oil on Slate. On display at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Some critics think this work to be cluttered by other people in the water, confusing the theme of the chained princess. I however think it nicely depicts Andromeda's almost fatal entrapment in Cetus--the technobureaucratic monster of collective human consciousness, as indicated by many people flocking around the changed princess in the Piscian waters, unconscious of the danger of becoming devoured. Vasari is known for his bibliographical book, "Lives of the Artists."
In the story of the Royal Family, Queen Cassiopeia, with boastful arrogance, proclaimed to the sea god Poseidon that her daughter, the Princess Andromeda, was of far greater beauty than Poseidon's Nereids, the nymphs of the sea. Poseidon (a greater authoritarian power) responded by sending Cetus the Sea Monster to ravage the shores of Ethiopia, which Queen Cassiopeia and King Cepheus ruled.
King Cepheus was advised to sacrifice Andromena to Cetus to appease Poseidon. In acquiescence, the princess was chained to the rocks by the sea to be devoured by Cetus. Although inheriting this unfortunate sentence, Andromeda has a far greater and fortuitous destiny awaiting her, as articulated by the beautiful Andromeda Galaxy, which emulates the ideal potential for our Galaxy. Perseus eventualy kills Cetus and frees Andromeda.
Perseus was born of immortal Zeus and the mortal princess Danae, whose father, King Acrisius of Argos, locked her in a dungeon in fear of a prophecy that if Danae bore a son, he would kill the King. Zeus enters the dungeon in a golden shower of light impregnating beautiful Danae. When King Acrisius finds Danae with her baby Perseus, he locks them in a wooden chest and puts it out to sea. The chest drifts to the island of Seriphos and is found by Dictys while fishing, the brother of the island's king, Polydectes. Dictys takes them in and raises Perseus to become a strong, honorable and intelligent man.
Polydectes had designs to marry Danae, but she refused and he would have by force if it had not been for Perseus protecting her. Thus, Polydectes devises a plan to get rid of Perseus coercing him on a diversionary mission to slay the Gorgon Medusa and to bring her head back to Polydectes, thinking that Perseus would never return.
During a long and arduous journey, Hermes, the winged-footed herald of the gods (Mercury) and Athena, who were also born of Zeus, visit Perseus. Perseus learns of his divine heritage. He also learns that the Gorgons have snakes for hair and that anyone looking directly at a gorgon would turn to stone. Hermes gives Perseus his winged sandals and explains how to find the Hesperides where he could get weapons designed to slay Medusa. Athena gives him her polished shield so he could use it to look at the reflection of Medusa rather than looking directly at her to avoid turning to stone.
Despite Polydectes’ design to get rid of Perseus, in what becomes an initiatory journey, Perseus instead overcomes his fears and claims his personal power by beheading Medusa. This articulates Perseus slaying his own fear, as it is fear that freezes us in our own tracks.
Pegasus, the magical horse with wings (and Chrysaor) sprang from the neck of Medusa. Perseus befriends Pegasus and learns to fly upon Pegasus, demonstrating his capacity to rise above the tormenting emotional fear-based world confident in his self-mastery.
On his way back to Seriphos, Perseus stops in Ethiopia, the kingdom ruled by King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia where he learns of the Andromeda’s entrapment. In one version he flies over Cetus upon Pegasus, in another using his winged sandals. Either way he has the head of slain Medusa in his hand (Algol at cuspal Taurus), which he reveals to Cetus. Seeing Medusa’s head, Cetus turns to stone and shatters into the sea. He then frees Andromeda, returning her safely to the gracious appreciation of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia. Perseus marries Princess Andromeda.
During his journey, he also accidentally kills his grandfather King Acrisius, fulfilling Acrisius's fate. Perseus also returns to protect his mother Danae from the forced marriage with Polydectes, the Seriphos king, to whom he also shows the head of Medusa. Polydectes turns to stone, and Perseus makes Dictys, now consort of his mother Danae, the new king of Seriphos.
Perseus creates the city and rules a kingdom that bores the Persian world. He and Andromeda bore a family as well, two daughters and seven sons. Hercules was descendent of Perseus and Andromeda through one of their sons. (Robert Graves, et. al.)
The beautiful and nearly perfect shaped Andromeda Spiral Galaxy M31 is our largest nearby neighbor, a mer 2.5 million light yeas away. The disc spans about 260,00 light-years, compared to our own Milky Way Galaxy which spans about 100,000 light years across.
Image Credit: Bill Schoening, Vanessa Harvey/REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF - Kitt Peak National Observatory, southern Arizona
Queen Cassiopeia and King Cepheus, although rulers of the kingdom, are quite human with their own shortcomings, and they are subject to higher governing powers.
Andromeda represents the exquisite beauty destined for human unfoldment, but which is held in bondage by the very judgment of that humanness. She also represents the bondage of the feminine. Andromeda has a destiny on Earth with her true soul partner Perseus, but finds herself desperately entrapped in both the emotional genetic confusions of her incarnate family and in the manipulations of more controling forces behind the scenes.
Perseus represents the initiatory process itself--the way, the challenges to overcome and milestones to achieve in the human world to evolve into our destined unity.
Cetus the Sea Monster is the techno-bureaucratic monster of collective human consciousness; the human genetic condition spiraled downward into a raging, fear instilling, consuming beast--diverting us from our evolutionary path to Light.
Perseus first slays Medusa, the Gorgon with seven snakes for hair. Medusa is the embodiment of fear, as it is fear that turns us to stone, freezing us in our tracks. Conquering Medusa is Perseus confronting and slaying his own fear, claiming his personal power.
Perseus then claims the magical Pegasus, and learns to fly upon this magical horse. Pegasus represents the evolved genetic vehicle, the mental emotional and physical body purified and refined to become able to rise above human genetic patterns of weaknesses. Pegasus gives Perseus the ability to fly over the Kraken (Cetus). Pegasus represents grounding Soul Essence fully into the physical body--activating one's body of light / soul awareness. Only then does one's resonance transcend the fear based mortal world. Only then can one rise above the psychic emotional manipulations and the diversions of the mortal world.
The Dual Core of the Andromeda Galaxy
Credit: NASA, ESA and T. Lauer (NOAO/AURA/NSF)
For Perseus to fly over the Kraken and to free Andromeda, he not only completes his initiatory rite, refines his being, and integrates his Soul Essence, he also sets his vision on Triangulum, also called the Holy Trinity of stars. Triangulum's message is "let thine eye become single"--seeing the oneness through duality; surrendering all judgment of opposing forces. It is non-judgment that keeps Perseus from falling into the psycho-emotional entrapment of the Kraken, from being consumed in the fear-based Human drama. Demonstrating his self-mastery, Perseus frees Andromeda and they unite forever in their Divine Love.
This divinely intended union is one occurring on the inner and is one expressing in the outer world as well. On the inner, this is the unification of the conflicts of duality found within ourselves, the integration of the masculine and feminine principles within ourselves. In its highest sense, this is the illumination of the double helix of the Human DNA, the Urn of the Soul, into one radiant spiral of light. This inner illumination allows us to shift from living in the bio-logical mode of mentally comparing opposites (judgment) to unified awareness of wholeness (Love), where we realize Truth beyond the apparent paradoxes of life. This awareness creates an inner peace and magnificence that radiates outward into our experiential world as true compassion. In the outer world, this union expresses as divinely intended soul partnerships--radiant beings unified in Divine Light and Love--relationships of beauty, harmony, and fulfillment. From here, a creative journey beyond all human comprehension awaits--a journey for unified souls through galaxies of light, and beyond.
The Andromeda Galaxy, M31, was first viewed as a nebulous cloud in the heavens, but with the advent of powerful telescopes, the galactic beauty became visible as our nearest galactic neighbor. This marked the time for humanity to see its own greater galactic potential, to realize we can become much more than what in the past was merely an obscure nebulous notion.
Even more recently, we find that the beautiful Andromeda Galaxy, composed of hundreds of billions of stars, has two nuclei (centers of force) forming the heart of the galaxy, articulating the exquisite expression of life from the unified (Divine) spiraling Twin Flame masculine and feminine principles. Spiral type galaxies in general articulate the flow of spiritual and physical forces spiraling in evolutionary unfoldment. The Andromeda Galaxy exemplifies the ideal for humanity, the masculine and feminine polarities of life expressing in their full majesty and glory, spiraling together in beauty and perfection. Here lies our inspiration to visibly express and demonstrate our unification in its greatest potential and form.
Perseus and Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini
stands in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence.
Bronze, 18 feet high 1545-54.
Photo Credit: © 1999 Mary Ann Sullivan
Perseus was born of immortal Zeus and the mortal princess Danae whose father, King Acrisius of Argos, locked her in dungeon in fear of a prophecy that if Danae bore a son, he would kill the King. Zeus enters the dungeon as a golden shower impregnating Danae. When King Acrisius finds Danae with Perseus, he locks them in a wooden chest and puts it out to sea. The chest drifts to the island of Seriphos and is found by the brother of the island's king, Polydectes. Polydectes takes them in and raises Perseus.
Perseus is later led off on his mission to slay Medusa by Polydectes who had designs to force Danae to marry him, but during his initiatory journey, Perseus slays Medusa, claims his personal power, and fulfills his destiny to save and marry princess Andromeda. He then accidentally kills his grandfather King Acrisius, fulfilling Acrisius's fate. Perseus returns to protect his mother Danae from the forced marriage with Polydectes, the Seriphos king. He creates the city and rules a kingdom that bores the Persian world. He and Andromeda also bore a family. Hercules was descendent of Perseus and Andromeda through their son Electryon. (Robert Graves, et. al.)
Copyright © 2001 Nick Anthony Fiorenza, All Rights Reserved