Book Title and Author: Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow and Messenger of the Godds by Irisanya Moon (part of the Pagan Portals series)
Status? : Finished and Still Reading (explanation below)
My overall rating of the book : 9/10
How does this book relate to my magickal practice?:
When choosing my craft name I chose Iris based on this Goddess so wanted to learn more about my namesake.
My personal thoughts/opinions:
Once again, the reading session came and went like a flash for me so I didn’t actually properly get stuck into this book until a couple of nights ago. It is though only 79 pages long, so I’ve skim read it and will be going back to look at certain parts in more detail as and when the need arises.
There is very little information out there on Iris, which is why the author wrote this book, to gather together what information she could on her patron Deity.
Altogether it seems like Iris is a bit of a force of nature, forging her own path amongst the Gods and Goddesses of the Greek Pantheon. In some places she is described as being the rainbow, in others as travelling upon the rainbow.
Whether she was asked or forced is in contention, but she was appointed her to serve as messenger to travel between the Gods and worlds with messages. The author posits that it was likely a role she was given and not given much of a choice, and that it may have been tiresome at first. She describes how in some circumstances service is a lingering part of patriarchal society and Christian practices, but does feel in the case of Iris that it isn’t blind service. Whilst service can equal subservience, acts of service can also be gratitude for the gift of living. And in serving others, you also need to learn to serve yourself and balance acts of service; you need to honour yourself in the way you serve the Deities and yourself, and balance is vital in achieving this.
There is some good background information on Iris’s involvement in various Greek stories:
- she travelled to the River Styx when the Gods were making promises.
- she spoke to Demeter on behalf of Zeus when Persephone went to the underworld with Hades.
- she served Hera and is described as the most trusted of the Deities as she listens and delivers messages to her.
- during the Trojan War she was called upon several times to carry messages on and off the battlefields, as well as to support the Deities. Several accounts in the Iliad show her as not only a faithful servant but powerful being in her own right.
There is a whole chapter in the book with practices for travelling through the different colours of the rainbow…
- RED - sunlight and rain
- ORANGE - reflection
- YELLOW - refraction
- GREEN - splitting
- BLUE - more reflection
- INDIGO - more refraction
- VIOLET - dispersion
…followed by chapters with rituals to Iris and cultivating a relationship with her, all of which I need to study in more depth.
I already have a tribute to Iris above my altar and I’m planning a dedication ritual to her.
An interesting quote from the book:
In discussing the role Iris played in the story of Persephone and Demeter, there is this interesting quote:
“After Persephone has been taken (or chooses to go to the underworld, depending on your interpretation)…”
I very much like this, as it seems to back up the alternative version of the story of Persephone (another of my Deities) being “taken to the underworld” discussed here: Persephone Dual Deity - #8 by Amethyst I much prefer the idea that she went willing rather than by force. Makes her sound far more bad ass.
All in all, would I recommend this book?: Yes