Iris the Rainbow Goddess

Areas of Influence: Iris was the Greek Goddess of the rainbow and female messenger to the Gods. Hermes was her better-known male, messenger counterpart.

Her rainbow joined the human realm to the place of the Gods and restored calm and balance to the forces of nature after a storm. 

She was the handmaiden of Hera and served nectar to the Gods. 

This Goddess was one of the few Olympians who was able to travel to the underworld. Where it was the Iris's job to collect water from the Styx, this was used for swearing solemn oaths.

This Goddess had no specific myths of her own or temples discovered that were dedicated to her.

Origins and Genealogy: Her father was the Titan, Thaumas and her mother was Electra. 

The cruel and fearsome Harpies were her sisters. 

In some myths she is said to be the mother of the God Eros.

Strengths: Faithful, loyal and a shapeshifter.

Weaknesses: Defined by her role in life. As a minor Greek Goddess she is known for her the roles she performed rather than as an individual.

In my research I have not so far discovered any other Rainbow Goddesses in world mythology. I found it surprising that the rainbow, such a stunning, natural phenomenon, does not have more dedicated deities. Instead, the rainbow often represents a bridge between different realms, an example of this is the Bifrost of Nordic Mythology.

Iris's Symbolism

Although Iris's name means rainbow, in ancient artifacts and sculptures of her there are no rainbows. Instead, she is portrayed as a beautiful, winged Goddess, holding a pitcher full of nectar.

The British Museum houses sculptures from the Parthenon, the Western Pediment includes an incomplete sculpture of Iris.

Sacred Plant: The flower the Iris was named after this Goddess. 

Iris's Archetypes

The Servant:

A Servant is paid to look after other people, performing their menial tasks.

This role can be chosen or enforced as circumstances and issues of self-worth prevent the servant from having the same status as the master.

Shadow Servant fails to be of service to herself. She has no sense of her own powers and abilities, becoming a slave to the social system.

The Greek Goddess of the rainbow was a faithful servant to her mistress Hera and the other Olympian Gods.

The Shape shifter

The Shape Shifter has the ability to change her physical appearance. They are also able to adapt easily to different environments by altering their behavior.

Shadow Shape Shifter is fickle, lacking conviction and constantly reinventing themselves, like politicians to appeal to more people.

This Goddess uses her ability to Shape Shift when she delivers messages, turning into the image of the sender.

Please follow this link to the Archetypes page to discover which other Goddess Archetypes may resonate with you.

How To Work with Iris's Archetypes

The Servant:

The Servant Archetype reminds you to look at the masters and petty tyrants you defer to in your life. Do you need to be needed? Do your fear that people will not like you if you stop doing everything for them? 

Learn to let go of people or self-limiting beliefs that no longer serve you. Move away from the codependent relationships that prevent growth.

The Shapeshifter:

The Shape Shifter is a useful Archetype to have if you need to be flexible or perform lots of different roles.

The shadow side asks whether your chameleon like tendencies reflect a deep insecurity and inability to commit to any particular path?

Is your need to blend in rooted in past trauma, a survival mechanism that kept you safe? If it was, now maybe the time to ask whether this response is still necessary.  

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