Monday, December 24, 2012

Goddesses in the Dust: Eirene, Goddess of Peace and Nonviolence

An archaeologist unearths the Divine Feminine, one archetype at a time...
Irene and Ploutos, copy of 4th century B.C. statue, Antiksammlungen, Munich
The Greek word for peace is eirene, which is also the root of the name Irene. The Goddess Eirene was one of three goddesses of the seasons along with her sisters Eunomia (Order) and Dike (Justice). Her opposite was, understandably, Polemos, or War. Statues such as the one above show the goddess holding an infant named Ploutos, a tender image of mother and child that is symbolic on multiple levels. The name Ploutos means wealth in Greek, and refers to the Underworld god Pluto, symbolizing hidden treasure - not only in the earth but also the creative riches waiting to be birthed from the human psyche and womb.

The image of Eirene holding a baby in her arms is reminiscent of another iconic image which is a central focus for many at this time of the year, that of Mary and the infant Jesus.
Madonna and Child, Pompeo Batoni, Galeria Borghese, Rome
Today is Christmas Eve. In light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut, and all the violent events that have occurred in recent months, many of us are longing for a more peaceful world in 2013 and beyond. May the way we choose to govern ourselves in this country in the coming weeks, months and years do honor and justice to the innocent lives that have been lost to gun violence across this land. And may we work towards a solution that allows for children to be raised without fear of violence in places, such as schools, where none should ever be present. And may Eirene, Mary and all images of mothers with children, remind us that a nation and people who hold peace to be a goal to work towards is a nation and people who are shining lights of what the human race is capable. 

The archetypal image of the mother and child represents the essential love of a parent for their offspring and the continuation of humankind. Our children are our future. They deserve to live in a society that values peace more than war, and a world that is free of violence, free of fear.

I leave you with this gorgeous image of a Rwandan mother and her newborn...
Goddess bless, wishing you much joy in the coming year, and may you all become the love - and peace - you seek.

Photo of Rwandan mother and child by Rebecca Zachariah and Melinda Kerr

13 comments:

  1. These are such beautiful pictures of mother and child over time. As mothers we can all remember the moment our child was born as one of great meaning and truth and peace. Thank you for bringing this back to mind Amanda, and I hope you have the best of holidays!

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  2. Having been present at my son's birth and at my twin daughters birth, even assisting the doctor for the twin's, I can vouch for the great happyness of these moments.
    May the Gods and Godesses accompany you and us all through 2013.
    May the guns be silenced...for all times, but don't hold your breath.

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  3. May we always seek peace and not violence and war. Have a lovely Christmas Amanda.

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  4. amen, and a merry Christmas to you

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  5. Our children are indeed our future. This is truly beautiful. Thank you, Amanda! Love to you and your family :)

    (I now post only on Blogger, not on Wordpress (Ann)

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  6. Shalom, amanda! "Peace on earth" — the proverbial and continuing hope. All the more intense this year, against the current world background which is anything but peaceful (especially in Greece).

    May 2013 be for you a year of joy and of exploration, with Persephone and the other goddesses of your acquaintance.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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  7. I wish you by heart dear Amanda and your lovely family a Happy New Year! May 2013 bring you health, love and happiness in your life!!!

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  8. SInce Ireland is really Eire in Irish and named for the Gaelic goddess, I'm wondering if the two are connected since their names are so similar? x

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    1. very good question sara - i don't know the answer to that but will do a little research...

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  9. this is a lovely post and I can only hope that your wishes come true this year. and oh...that last photo is amazing.

    Happy Merry New Year Amanda - and my 2013 be a wonderful year for you and your family

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  10. Thank you all for your well wishes - hoping you all enjoy a very happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful New Year! xoxo

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  11. i have taken too long to get here, amanda. been sick, thankfully made it through a good christmas before being felled to the couch.

    i keep staring at that photo. how utterly beautiful. the expression of peace on that Mother's face, the strength of her hand; it just about brings me to tears. whatever has happened in our world, our county, is beyond my comprehension. and there are people who disagree with gun control? what?????!

    i wish you and us and our families and friends and visitors and neighbors and coworkers a year of peace.

    and passion....

    love always
    kj

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