Mythic Wisdom: A Greek Author’s Perspective

Connecting the past with the present has always been a powerful experience for me, maybe because I live in a land rich in history. In this blog I am going to explore a variety of topics, which I find deeply meaningful: women’s roles, gender and sexuality issues, activism, goddesses and gods, etc. By examining myths, symbols, and archetypal figures, I feel that we gain a fresh perspective on our lives and society. Ancient history, art, and literature can become amazing sources of inspiration. By learning from the wisdom of the past, we can transform ourselves and the world we live in.

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Riding the Rainbow with the Sacred Feminine

It’s been almost 20 years since I first got involved with the Goddess spirituality movement. A lot has changed in my life, yet I always come back to it. Why? Time and again, the Goddess seems to manifest in one form or another—maybe because I live in Greece, a land infused with her presence. My path has led me to experience powerful archetypal energies: Artemis has helped me discover the joy of independence while Aphrodite has guided me in the diverse explorations of my sexuality. Isis connected me to the Mysteries of Egypt, as well as the spirit of the revolution. Athena has become for me a symbol of activism and social justice.

On the surface, my closeness to the Divine Feminine might seem incongruent with some of my other choices. After all, I’ve been active for years in the Greek Left, which is very much in favor of atheism. Yet, with the Goddess I can have my cake and eat it too as no faith in supernatural beings is required. I can feel her presence in myself and in all the women (and people of all genders) who are out there fighting for a better world. Red is her color par excellence: the scarlet color of blood, love, and passion, of “bread and roses,” of flags waving in the air during strikes and demonstrations.

But red is not her only color—the entire spectrum belongs to her. Well, of course! She’s Iris, the Rainbow Goddess. How appropriate that the flags with her colors have become the emblem of the LGBTQI+ movement! In a country dominated by the Greek Orthodox Church and its black-clad priests, marching on the streets with rainbow flags makes a powerful statement. It’s a strong reminder that the bodies, hearts, and minds of women (and people of all genders) refuse to submit to patriarchal stereotypes and destructive social norms.

The rainbow symbol stands for diversity but also for unity. I often feel awe when I see a rainbow connecting the earth with the sky, a magical combination of light, air, and moisture. No doubt, the Goddess stands for connection. She weaves together elements that were painfully separated a long time ago: the terrestrial and the celestial, matter and spirit, feminine and masculine, the self and society, as well as humans and Nature.

Building connections is an important part of the work we need to do these days. So far, it seems to be integral to my own path: bringing together a variety ideas, theories, and ways of thinking; creating bridges between different groups of people; and pointing out what people and movements have in common, in an effort to establish trust, solidarity and shared action.

Yes, the Goddess and I have come a long way. She has always been my companion and inspiration in one form or another. The results? I’ve written five books and visited countless museums and ancient sites. In my personal life, I’ve defied social norms in a number of ways. I also marched endless miles in protest and even risked demonstrating in Tahrir Square while the revolution in Egypt was still alive. Fighting against oppression and discrimination has become a major goal for me.

Would I have been able to do all these things without the presence of the Sacred Feminine? I doubt it. You see, connecting to the Goddess means tapping into an age-old source of power and wisdom. What better way to experience the present and build the future? To change the world, we need all the strength we can find!

Top image: Morpheus and Iris, painting by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, 1811

This article is my contribution to the anthology She Rises: Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality?

Visit the anthology Facebook page: She Rises: Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality?

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Harita Meenee is a Greek independent scholar of classical studies and women’s history. Her graduate studies were in the field of archetypal and women’s psychology. She works as a writer, translator and editor while also being a human rights activist. Harita has presented cultural TV programs and has lectured at universities in Greece and the US. She is the author of five books, as well as of numerous articles and essays published in Hellenic and international anthologies and magazines.

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