The Medusa Tattoo
While many know Medusa as the snake-haired figure from Greek mythology whose gaze could turn you to stone, you may not know the meaning behind a tattoo of her.
Medusa is a figure from Greek mythology who was one of three Gorgon sisters alongside Stheno and Euryale. While descriptions of Medusa have varied, from beautiful to grotesque, fair to monstrous, she is best known for having living, venomous snakes on her head in place of hair, and the ability to turn those who looked into her eyes into stone. In the later and widely read retelling by Ovid in Metamorphoses, Poseidon sexually assaulted and impregnated Medusa in Athena’s sacred temple. Seeking revenge, Athena transformed Medusa into a snake-headed monster that turned onlookers to stone.
The Medusa tattoo has become popular among women who have experienced sexual assault. By reclaiming the Medusa identity, they are dispelling the belief that being victimized means they ought to be cursed or punished.
Today, survivors of sexual assault use tattoos of Medusa to fight back against the narrative that victims should be shamed, blamed or punished for their assault. Medusa and her story have been reclaimed as a symbol of strength and power, with her image also being used as a mark of protection against evils.
Port Charlotte artist, Jocelyn Ortega of Moxie Tattoo, created this variation of the Medusa tattoo. https://www.tattoosbymoxie.com