After breaking her vows as a priestess, Medusa was cursed by Athena. As a priestess in the temple of Athena, Medusa swore a lifelong vow of celibacy. In time, she fell in love with the god Poseidon.
Medusa is one of the three daughters of Gaea, the goddess of the earth, and Oceanus, the god of the ocean. Of the three siblings, only Medusa is a mortal. Together, the three daughters are known as the Gorgons. Before being cursed by Athena, Medusa was lovely. The curse renders Medusa horrific in appearance, including venomous snakes in place of her beautiful golden hair.