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288 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1997
"In the myth of Medusa, anyone who looked directly into her eyes would quickly turn to stone. Such is the case with trauma. If we attempt to confront trauma head on, it will continue to do what it it has already done - immobilize us in fear. Before Perseus set out to conquer Medusa, he was warned by Athena not to look directly at the Gorgon. Heeding the goddess's wisdom, he used his shield the reflect Medusa's image: by doing so, he was able to cut off her head. Likewise, the solution to vanquishing trauma comes not confronting it directly, but by working with its reflection, mirrored in our instinctual responses."(p. 65)
"In dreams, mythical stories, and lore, one universal symbol for the human body and its instinctual nature is the horse. ... When Medusa was slain two things emerged from the body: Pegasus, the winged horse, and Chrysaor, a warrior with a golden sword. ... The sword symbolizes absolute truth, the mythic heroes ultimate weapon of defense. It conveys a sense of clarity and triumph, of rising to meet extraordinary challenges, and of ultimate resourcefulness. The horse signifies instinctual grounding, while wings create ... an image for rising above earthbound existence." (p. 66)