"What thus snaky-headed Gorgon-shield
That wise Minerva wore, unconquered virgin,
Wherewith she freezed her foes to congealed stone,
But rigid looks of chaste austerity,
And noble grace that dashed brute violence
With sudden adoration and blank awe!"
Milton

Find Medusa and the Gorgons

The Gorgons are three sisters from Greek mythology. It is said that they live in the far west and are the offspring of sea-gods. Insead of hair, they have live snakes; their necks are covered with scales; they have tusks like a boar's, golden hands and bronze wings. It is said, that the Gorgon, Medusa, was once a beautiful maiden, but because of her boasting that she was even more beautiful than Athena, the goddess of wisdom stripped her of all her beautiful qualities leaving her the hideous monster of infamy. Because of her appearance, Medusa has the power to turn anyone who gazes upon her to stone. Unlike her sisters though, Medusa is mortal, and is killed by Perseus with the aid of Athena and Hermes. Her sisters, the other gorgons, Stheno and Euryale, are immortal. The blood of the Gorgon had special powers. It was a lethal poison, but it also granted Erichthonius the power to reanimate the dead. From the blood of Medusa, it is said that the winged horse Pegasus was created. The decapitated head of Medusa was used by Perseus to kill the sea monster Cetus. He then gave the head to Athena who fixed it in the middle of her Ægis, her shield (or breastplate).

Seek Isis

Isis, though worshipped all over Egypt, was specially venerated in certain cities, and the following are among the most common of her titles: --"The great lady, the God-mother, lady of Re-a-nefer; Isis-Nebuut, lady of Sekhet; lady of Besitet; Isis in Per Pakht, the queen of Mesen; Isis of Ta-at-nehepet; Isis, dweller in Netru; Isis, lady of Hebet; Isis in P-she-Hert; Isis, lady of Khebt; Usert-Isis, giver of life, lady of Abaton, lady of Philae, lady of the countries of the south,"

Isis possessed great skill in the working of magic, and several examples of the manner in which she employed it are well known. Thus when she wished to make Ra reveal to her his greatest and most secret name, she made a venomous reptile out of dust mixed with the spittle of the god, and by uttering over it certain words of power she made it to bite Ra as he passed. When she had succeeded in obtaining from the god his most hidden name, which he only revealed because he was on the point of death, she uttered words which had the effect of driving the poison out of his limbs, and Ra recovered. Now Isis not only used the words of power, but she also had knowledge of the way in which to pronounce them so that the beings or things to which they were addressed would be compelled to listen to them and, having listened, would be obliged to fulfill her bequests. The Egyptians believed that if the best effect was to be produced by words of power they must be uttered in a certain tone of voice, and at a certain rate, and at a certain time of the day or night, with appropriate gestures or ceremonies. In the Hymn to Osiris it is said that Isis was well skilled in the use of words of power, and it was by means of these that she restored her husband to life, and obtained from him an heir. It is not known what the words were which she uttered on this occasion, but she appears to have obtained them from Thoth, the "lord of divine words," and it was to him that she appealed for help to restore Horus to life after he had been stung to death by a scorpion.

from Tour Egypt

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Week 16

Towards the House of the Serpents and Blind Springs

After an exhilarating journey to the Isle of the Ancestors travellers lie in the Duwamish Bay bath-house listening, agog, as experienced travellers and Ferry Women alike, sit around remembering 'that' journey to the 'House of the Serpents and Blind Springs" back in July 2005.

It is said that Enchanteur gathered the first group at the Dumamish Quay and announced that she had some good news and some bad news, depending on how people viewed things.

She explained that the Ferry Women have withdrawn their services after local residents of Duwamish expressed outrage about them doing 'tours' to the Isle of Ancestors with living people and that everyone would have to take the longer route back to the cave of the Sibyl. She said that raven messengers had flown back to Duwamish to say that inclement weather made access to the cave impossible and that the only route wound its way through the Mountains of Myrr which the writer of the Song of Solomon (1V6) said he wanted to retreat to.

It was on this occasion that Enchanteur first gave travellers small bags. Each bag contained spectacles, a candlestick, a tiny anchor, a medallion with the imprint of the Unicorn and a set of wings. However, each bag contains something that had been chosen specifically for the recipient. It also contained a map showing where we will be staying on the first night - the House of Serpents and Blind Springs.

Enchanteur stressed the importance of the bag and said that if anyone was to become separated from the group these things would become essential. She said that travellers could choose to wear the spectacles for they were purported to have fairy like qualities which reveal wonders to those who wear them.

With that she pointed to donkeys who were to lead travellers through the mountains of Myrr.

As the travellers rode out of Duwamish a strange voice seemed to penetrate each ear drum. This is the guided imagery that travellers heard.

You set out from Duwamish on the back of a donkey that insisted you ride upon her. She has a name and talks to you about the coming journey. Within moments the guide leads you into a heavily wooded forest. Gnarled branches spread their long arms across the path, whispering as you pass.

The words of the Enchantress ring in your ears and you touch your bag to make sure it is still with you. Everyone is quiet and contemplative and the hooves of the donkey seem to be beating a tune as you travel on the well worn path.

Suddenly the quiet is shattered. A group of hooded riders surround the party, surround each donkey. Chaos breaks out. The guide has gone. Before you know it you are being whisked away by hooded riders who do not reveal their identity. Riders head out in twelve different directions. The group has been separated and you are alone.

All you know is that somehow you need to reach the Blind Springs and the House of the Serpent.

Record your journey

That First Journey to the House of Serpents

Packed items by Shari Vogt

I seem to have hit my head. Or so my donkey tells me. Or so my donkey tells me? I close my eyes, give my head a gentle shake and open them again. It takes several seconds for my vision to clear. Did I just hear my donkey (why do I have a donkey?) talking to me?

"You might wish to open your pack" said the donkey helpfully. "Pack?" I asked stupidly. "Yes, pack." the donkey replied patiently, as one talking to a very small child. "The enchantress packed each of you a small sack in case we became separated. You should open it and see what's inside."

Where is that bloody donkey by Lois Daley
My Journey to Blind Springs by Karen Roberts
House of Serpents Finally by Karen Roberts
Arrival and Abrupt Departure by Carol Abel
From the Forest of Dreams by Lisa Phoenix
The Unknown Rider by Leonie Bryant
My Spirit Guide - A Donkey
Geraldine by Baraba Banta
To Blind Springs and the House of Serpents by Gail Kavanagh
Journey to House of the Serpents by Gail Kavanagh
Journey to House of the Serpents by Megan Warren
To the House of Serpents by Maxine
Mehitabel and Me by Fran Sbrocchi
So much for arriving early by Heather Blakey
Moonbeam by Vi Jones
On My Way Ashley Shea
The Path from Blind Springs to the House by Ashley Shea
Floating in Darkness by Ashley Shea
Too Many Moons and Another Tale of Woe by Anita Marie Moscoso
Tale of Whoa by Anita Marie Moscoso
Journey to the Cave by Patricia Stewart
House of Serpents Part 11 by Patricia Stewart
Roads Wings and Stairways by Luna Eternally

Travellers Arrive via The Serpentine Road

During 2006 more travellers set out, this time along the Serpentine Road, to the famed House of Serpents. This time the map made things a bit clearer.

map by Lori Gloyd

The journey along the Serpentine Road included many tests and challenges. Travellers took the time to map their hearts and make descansos.

Head out to the House of Serpents

Everything you need for your journey is here. Pack your bags and set out to the House of the Serpents where you will be able to practice deep magic and maybe turn that inner critic in to stone.