Medea is in Greek mythology the “Wise One,” a powerful witch who was the niece of the great witch Circe and a priestess of Hecate, the Goddess of witchcraft and Magic. Herodotus called medea the Great Goddess of the Aryan tribes of Parthia. Her magic, according to Pliny, controlled the Sun, moon and stars.

Medea aided Jason, the adventurer who set out to get the Golden Fleece in order to win a kingdom in Greece that was rightfully his but had been taken over by Pelias. The Golden Fleece was possessed by the king of Colchis in Asia minor. medea was his daughter. When Jason and his band of Argonauts appeared, medea fell madly in love with Jason and helped him win the Golden Fleece.

Medea’s father set what he thought was an impossible task for Jason: he could have the fleece if he yoked two bulls with bronze hooves and flaming breath, plowed a field and sowed it with dragon’s teeth. The teeth would spring immediately into an army of fierce warriors, all of whom had to be slain.

Medea prepared a magic oIntment that made Jason and his men invulnerable for a day. The task was accomplished. Then medea bewitched the serpent who guarded the Golden Fleece, and she and Jason stole it and, with the Argonauts, fled to Greece. To delay the pursuit of her father, Medea cut the throat of her brother and scattered pieces of his dismembered corpse after them. Jason promised to marry her.

In Greece, they discovered that Pelias had forced Jason’s father to kill himself, and Jason’s mother had died of grief. Once again, Jason turned to medea for witchcraft so that he could have revenge. medea Demonstrated her magical powers of rejuvenation by cutting up an old ram and boiling it while she recited incantations. A young lamb sprang up out of the CAuldron. medea convinced Pelias’ daughters to cut him up so that she could make him young again. This they did, but she vanished without saying the necessary magic words.

Jason and Medea were forced to go to Corinth in exile, where they had two sons. Then Jason fell in love with the daughter of the king of Corinth and married her. Betrayed and enraged, medea gave the princess a gift of a poisoned robe, and the girl burst into flames as soon as she put it on. medea killed her two sons and escaped in a dragon-drawn chariot. medea was made immortal by Hera, and in Elysium, the afterworld of heroes, she became the wife of Achilles.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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