The Myth of Pegasus is one that is recognized almost universally. More than a just story, there are many symbols within that make the Pegasus story one of inspiration, with the winged horse Pegasus spreading inspiration wherever he went.
According to the Myth of Pegasus, the winged horse was born of the blood of Medusa who was once a beautiful woman but suffered the jealous wrath of the goddess Athena – Goddess of war - not someone who's wrath you would want to incure. As such, a bit of insight into the Medusa myth is necessary to see the bigger picture.
The Sea God, Poseidon, desperately desired the beautiful Medusa and in state of wild ecstasy ravaged her in one of Athena’s temples (it was at this point in the Pegasus story that he was conceived).
This made matters worse for Medusa as she further incurred the wrath of Athena. As punishment Athena transformed Medusa into a hideous creature with dragon wings, scaled skin and most notably, writhing serpents as her hair (as most of us know her). Medusa was so hideous in fact that anyone making eye contact with her would be petrified and turned into stone!
The Myth of Pegasus tells how Medusa became extremely bitter and vengeful as a result of this. Enter the hero Perseus, the son of Zeus and Danae.
When Danae was born to King Acrisius he consulted an oracle who foretold a bleak future for king, prophesizing that the King himself would be slain by Danae’s son, his grandson. Consumed by fear the king kept his daughter locked away in a brass tower away from the eyes of mortal men. Rumors of Danae’s beauty spread far and wide. So wide in fact that it got the attention of Almighty Zeus, who paid fair Danae a visit one night in a shower of gold. In that moment the hero Perseus was conceived.
Danae was unsuccessful in her attempts to explain to dear old King Acrisius that Perseus was the son of Zeus. Both were cast to sea in a box which later washed ashore on the island of Seriphos ruled by the King of Polydectes. Many years passed and the king fell in love with Danae begging her to marry him. Perseus however would have none of it knowing that the king was a cruel man. One day Perseus was tricked into promising the king the head of Medusa – the only mortal Gorgon (Medusa had 2 sisters, the three of them were know as the Gorgons and all of them suffered the wrath of Athena). Thus getting him out of the picture and out of the Kings plans to marry Danae.
Zeus on the other foot was proud of his son’s accomplishments. The hero Perseus had grown up to be a fine man with exceptional hunting, fishing and sword skills. Zeus called a meeting with the other Immortals of Olympus and commanded that they assist the hero Perseus in his quest to behead Medusa.
Hermes – the Messenger God – presented Perseus with wings for his sandals allowing him to move swiftly through space as well as the sickle of Cronus (Saturn) the only blade sharp enough to sever Medusa’s head. Athena lent Perseus her shield and advised the hero to use its polished surface as a mirror so as to avoid direct eye contact with Medusa.
So Perseus set off on his quest to behead Medusa. After a few stops along the way Perseus, with his winged sandals, sped off to the Medusa’s island. The land around the cavern was strewn with stone statues of unfortunate souls who had beheld the hideous visage of Medusa.
The hero Perseus caught the Gorgon off guard, having a nap under a tree with her two sisters. He snuck up on Medusa and was just about to strike when Medusa awoke. Fortunately for Perseus, Medusa caught a glimpse of her own reflection and was stunned for a second, giving Perseus just enough time to sever her head.
Even though her head was severed it still possessed its supernatural abilities and as such Perseus swiftly placed the head in a special wallet given to him by the Hesperides sisters residing on Mount Atlas (one of his stops!). He had to make a quick escape to avoid being avenged by Medusa’s two sisters. Over oceans and continents he sped to get away from the dreadful Gorgons. As Perseus was speeding over the ocean, some of Medusa’s blood seeped through the wallet and as it hit the waters, Medusa’s two children were born – Pegasus, the winged horse of inspiration, and Chrysaor – He of the Golden Sword.
And so the Myth of Pegasus was born.