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

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