Monday, 20 October 2014
Sisters of the Valkyrie? (part I) Goddess Iris
There are Valkyrie-like goddesses and demi goddesses in other belief systems, who resemble the characteristics of the Northern Valkyries. It makes you wonder if they belong to the same species or come from the same root legend. I plan to make several entries about the subject, starting with individuals and then perhaps go onto research different aspects of the Valkyrie.
The first post on this new subject is about the goddess Iris.
She is the goddess of rainbows. Found in Greek mythology, Iris the goddess is a sky goddess who rides the air and travels along the wind currents. She has a pair of golden wings, her hair is pale, silken soft as clouds, and her eyes are very strong and bright. She flies using her wings, or slides across an arc of rainbow. She is one of the messengers, like Hermes, who passes information from one to the other, across land, sea and dimension.
Daughter of Electra, a sky nymph (another individual similar to the Valkyrie), and Thaumas, a sea god. Among Her many siblings are her wicked sisters, the Harpies, who are considered a nightmarish equivalent of the Valkyries. The harpies were monstrous winged women that turn violent and kidnap people. These women are associated with death, because they snatch souls and linger around graves, chewing on corpses. Another sister of Iris is called Celaeno, who is either a harpy, Amazon, Pleiades or princess. Her younger sister is Arke, another light maker of the faded second rainbow compared to vivid Iris.
Beside the many links with harpies and celestial nymphs, Iris is a loving goddess of the colourful rainbow. Iris carries a staff and sometimes a picther of water from the River Styx. She has the ability to send people, and souls, to sleep. She can cure mental illness, even induce them. She can invoke lucid dreams or assist in vision quests. She's also a goddess of the Northern Lights, the aurora borealis, and inner rainbows, the chakras and aura. Iris is like a Valkyrie.
So far I've done seven posts on the Valkyries individually. I hand picked seven of them at random. All of my Valkyrie posts are found here, and can be located in the archives.
1. Valkyrie Eir
2. Valkyrie Mist
3. Valkyrie Brynhildr
4. Valkyrie Gondul
5. Valkyrie Hild
6. Valkyrie Kara
7. Valkyrie Reginleif
Goddess Iris painted by artist Josephine Wall