(Image Credit & Following Quote: The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky)
“If I ask the question that provokes
will you stretch to find the answer
Will you take up the gauntlet flung
and defiantly answer the call
Will you meet my challenge
with tingling in your blood
with your hair blowing electric in the wind
with all your being
knowing that every challenge
is an opportunity
presents a gift
is there to serve you
It’s your choice”
The Sphinx may have started out as male, and is still perceived as such today, in Egypt, built as the Guardian of the Horizons, and held the keys to wisdom’s gates.
While both the Egyptian Sphinx and the Greek Sphinx both challenged those who would pass through their gates, it is important to distinguish that they are completely different.
Somewhere along the line, the Sphinx, in Greek mythology, became female, having a woman’s head and breasts, a dog’s body, the paws of a lion, wings of an eagle and the tail of a serpent.
(Image Credit: greekboston.com)
While it can be difficult to follow the origins and threads of mythology, She may have started out as a Maenad, a female follower of Dionysus, whose worship became wild and she turned monstrous. She is also said to have been the daughter of Typhon and Echidna, making her siblings with the Nemean Lion, the Chimera and the Hydra. She was believed to be living somewhere in Africa and was summoned either by the Goddess Hera, or the War God Ares to bring about the destruction of the Greek Thebes, most likely for some half-remembered offense.
Once She came to Thebes, She became the guardian at the gates. She would pose a riddle to each traveler and when they were unable to successfully answer Her, she would kill them by various means, usually by strangling and eating them. Could she have been related to underworld guardian Goddesses? We don’t know, but the possibility is intriguing.
In the story of Oedipus, he was traveling and came upon the Sphinx. She posed her riddle to him, “What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening?” Oedipus answered her riddle correctly, whereupon she destroyed herself as her reason for existence was no longer viable. Oedipus, of course, resumed his travels, fulfilling prophecy by killing his father and marrying his mother, but that’s another story.
(Image Credit: greekmythology.com)
However, you choose to see Her, She bids us to rise to the challenge that She offers. We can look into our deepest selves and see the question she poses for us, or we can refuse. She challenges us to look at our Shadow and respond to Her challenge, to learn more about ourselves, to use this energy to be our more authentic, sovereign selves.
About the Author:
Susan Morgaine is a Priestess, Healer, Witch, Writer, and Teacher.
She is entering her 21st year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute.
She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through Imagine A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing local Red Tents.
She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, part of the “My Name is ” series of children’s book. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines.
She is a a Reiki Master and a proud member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at MysticalShores.com