In Rick Riordan's book The Sea of Monsters, the second in a series of children's novels loosely based on ancient Greek mythology, the magical tree that guards Camp Half-Blood has been poisoned. Perseus (Percy) Jackson, a half-blood son of Poseidon, and Annabeth, half-blood daughter of Athena, have only days to find the Golden Fleece, the one magical item, that will heal the tree before Camp Half-Blood is overrun by monsters.
After the Golden Ram was sacrificed, the Golden Fleece hung on a tree in the middle of the kingdom. Riordan's character Annabeth explains, “The Fleece brought prosperity to the land. Animals stopped getting sick. Plants grew better. Farmers had bumper crops. Plagues never visited. That's why Jason wanted the Fleece. It can revitalize any land where it's placed. It cures sickness, strengthens nature, clean up pollution….”
It's striking that as Psyche continues her journey to really grow up (aka her hero's journey), her second task requires that she gather fleece, fleece that has the power to heal. And yet to obtain the fleece she must wait until sundown when the rams disperse, so as to safely pick strands of fleece off the brambles.
Psyche’s ability to acquire the golden fleece without being crushed is a metaphor for every woman’s task of gaining power without losing her innate sense of connectedness and compassion.
The Fleece thus symbolizes the power to get things done in a way that gives life to and revitalizes others.
In the How Star Women Build Portable Skills post, Stacey P observed that we need to beware the steam-rolling, head-butting approach. Should we go down this path, we are likely to get crushed. Worse yet, in our effort to get the fleece in order to make a difference, we may ultimately get fleeced (aka become corrupted) by what we did to get there.
When we decide we are ready to go on our own hero's journey, are we able to do so without upending relationships (e.g. butting heads) with our loved ones? Is it possible to get something done for ourselves, even as we give life to others, whether children, husband, friends?