As Wiccans we believe that Deity is like a diamond: a single stone with many facets. Each facet is another face of Deity. Because the Diamond is too big to understand in its totality, we work with the facets. There are many facets, and each reflects some of the attributes of Deity in a form which is more easily understood and identified with by we humans.
The two principle facets of Deity are Goddess and God, the polar powers of the Universe, Whose loving interaction forms, sustains, and nurtures the Universe. Goddess and God each break down into several aspects, and each of these aspects has many faces. These faces are what we have earlier referred to as "personal Deities." Individual faces of Deity which one can interact with in a highly personal manner.
In the God of the Month section of these lessons, we will explore a number of these individual faces of Deity, this month Iris.
Iris is the beautiful, many-hued Goddess of the rainbow -a single stream of light expressing itself in many colors.
Iris is a Maiden Goddess. The Goddess has three aspects, as you may recall: Maiden Goddess, Mother Goddess, and Crone Goddess. Each of these three archetypes has particular attributes. All faces of the Goddess will fall under one or more of these three aspects. The archetype of the Maiden Goddess deals with creativity, self-expression, personal accomplishments, new life and new growth of all sorts.
In Greek mythology Iris was the messenger of the Goddess Hera, Queen of Heaven. This is to say that Iris represents the communicative aspect of the Goddess, which brings us messages from the Divine, and facilitates our spiritual growth.
Iris is the builder of bridges. Just as the rainbow bridges Earth and Sky, so too Iris bridges the worlds of matter and spirit. Iris controls the door to the inner self, the spirit world, the Divine essence. As such Iris is patron of spiritual energy work and the system of Chakras, which reflect the rainbow's colors.
Iris was also looked to as a psychopompos -a guide Who eased the crossing between life and death, or the world of spirit. Iris brings us the messages of the spirit world through divination, meditation, mediumship, and omens, and carries our own messages back to spirit.
In Alchemical thought Iris rules the stage of The Great Work known as "the Peacock's Tail". In alchemy the opposites are combined and dissolved through the application of spiritual heat in the
Athanor, or alchemical furnace. The opposites decay, becoming a thick black residue called the Nigredo. Only from this putrefied state can new growth arise. Out of the Nigredo comes the Peacock's Tail, a series of glorious colors which occur as new life is fertilized and begins to grow. What this means -among other things- is that preconceived forms must first be broken down before true growth can occur. Only then can we ascend the rainbow bridge to the Divine.
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