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Hail Columbia!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Today the Goddess Columbia got quite a bit of attention.

There are a number of Inaugural altars floating around the internet.  Here are a few:

From Selena Fox:

From Hail Columbia:

Another from Selena:

And here's Chuck Schumer praising the statue of the Goddess Columbia ("a woman!" he says, almost in surprise) which stands atop our Capitol building.

Her official title is "Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace."  Schumer tells a bit of the story of her installation atop the halls of our government.  You can read much more, including the story of how Jefferson Davis, later President of the Confederacy, intervened to change her headdress, in Freedom's Cap: The United States Capitol and the Coming of the Civil War.  ( )

Love the current President or not, and I've got several bones of my own to pick with him, it's a lovely practice to set up altars to Columbia, Libertas, and Justica. You can buy for your own altar very reasonably priced replicas of the statue of Columbia (containing marble from the East Front of the Capitol) from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society:

Who's on your altar today?

Last modified on
HecateDemeter is a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an ecofeminist, a lawyer, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth.


  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard Monday, 21 January 2013

    Freedom as a "woman"--imagine that. Thanks for this inspiring piece, sister. Hail, Columbia!

  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien Monday, 21 January 2013

    I love all the ways we honor such figures as Lady Liberty, but to be clear, they are allegorical figures. At what point, if any, they transmute into goddesses is uncertain.

    That said, I often feature Lady Liberty in particular on my altar. She stood as the only "idol" on my local interfaith council's altar in memory of 9/11. When the wind blew out all other candles, our little Lady Liberty candle just kept burning till it was burned all the way to the end.

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