The White Moon Gallery Presents





Goddess of the Rainbow


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Created by



As her Level I Final Project for

The Sacred Three Goddess School


(All original material in this site is under copyright protection and

is the intellectual property of S. Y. Hildreth. Ó2008)


lundAlthough little is known about Iris, there are fragments of stories which can be assembled to create a well-rounded biography.  She is the Greek goddess of the rainbow and messenger to the gods; her role in Greek mythology is evident in the roots of her name:  iris (meaning rainbow) and eiris (meaning messenger).  Her mother is Elektra, a cloud-nymph, and her father is Thaumas, a sea god; thus, Iris came into being through the unity of sky and water, refilling the clouds with water when they are depleted.





grimshawIris is the solitary messenger of the Gods found in the epic poem Iliad, written by Homer about the final years and battles of the Trojan War; in Book 24, it was Iris’ responsibility to encourage Priam (King of Troy), in order for his son to be liberated, to offer gifts to Achilles.  [It is interesting to note that in the Odyssey, Hermes was accountable for delivering messages.] 




Iris is also important in the Story of Ceyx and Alcyone, as she was able to bring the dream message to Somnus (the God of sleep) so that Alcyone would know the truth about Ceyx’s sea voyage.






In addition to her swiftness and expedience, Iris also served as a protector in Argonautica, the quest for the Golden Fleece as told by Appollonius of Rhodes.  In Book II, the warning spoken to Phineas about the danger of the Harpies is performed by Iris; she is able to narrowly escape to Olympus while the Harpies are left in Minoan Crete.  In Book 4, Iris is sent to help the Argonauts by bringing Thetis, the silver-footed sea nymph.  [A version of this story also appears in the Virgil’s Aeneid.]





The rainbow is a symbol for many cultures and peoples; Iris has a counterpart in Zulu mythology, who is known as Mbaba Mwana Maresa, and Ix Chel in Mayan tradition.  Iris is often pictured with a staff known as a kerykeion (similar to a caduceus) or an oinochoe (water pitcher).  The flower iris grows in a variety of colors with a variety of unique aromas; each color of the rainbow has a specific meaning, and together their meanings are magnified:





Creative Energy




Life, Balance, Nature






Spiritual Mastery



[How wondrous that the word rainbow is composed of seven letters, much like Iris’ colors!]  In dreams, the rainbow represents the calm after a storm and reminder for staying connected to Earth.  As an aid for protection, the Jasper stone is recommended; the Rainbow Jasper stone is additionally known for inviting repose and reducing stress.




To Request Iris’ Service to Deliver a Message


Items Needed:

µ an iris in a vase

µ a stick of Mystic Forest Incense

µ a white votive candle

µ a Hierophant (Major Arcana V) tarot card

µ a small piece of paper

µ a pen


Place your tarot card at the center of your altar or on the wall in front of you.  Write your message on a small piece of paper, and set it close to your left hand.  First, light the incense (placed at the left side of your altar), then the votive (on the right side of your altar).  While lighting your incendiaries, chant: “Hail, to you, Mother Iris, I am in need of Your Service.”  While carrying your incense throughout your room in a clockwise fashion, you may continue the chant silently or aloud.


Once you return to your altar, you may place the incense back on the left side and sit or kneel (whichever is more relaxing).  Place your right hand at a comfortable distance above the candle and feel the warmth of Iris’ swiftness; chant: “May the Good of Iris enter from the right.”  Place your left hand on your message, and chant: “May Iris swiftly move through me to deliver this message.”  Keeping your right hand over the candle, use your left hand to place the message in the vase.  You may either meditate on the message in the vase or by focusing on Hierophant.


While you meditate, stay in the present by smelling the incense and keeping your breath regulated.  When you feel that your message has been sent, remove your right hand from the candle but allow the incense to burn as long as possible.  Bow to your altar for a moment of silence, and then chant: “Iris, I have put my message in Your Hands.  Hail!”



To Invite Iris’ Influence for Protection


Items Needed:

µ an iris in a vase

µ a stick of Cleansing & Protection Incense

µ a bowl of water (you may add a drop of lemongrass essential oil if you like)

µ a salt dish


Fill a small bowl with water, and place it on the left side of your altar.  Have a few grains of salt on a small dish close by.  You can place your tarot card at the center of your altar, or on the wall in front of you.  Light the incense placed on the right side of your altar, and sit or kneel comfortably at your altar.  Begin with a moment of silence to quiet your mind.  Sprinkle the salt into the water when you are ready.


Dip your left hand middle finger into the water and place it on your 3rd eye; this is the same finger you will use for the water every time.  Chant: “Eye of spirit, where wisdom enters, let me see My Guardian.”  Dip your finger in the water again, then place both hands over your heart chakra; chant: “Mother Iris, You dwell within.  I beseech of You to dwell around me.”  Beginning with your root, anoint each chakra with the seal of pentacle after moistening your finger.


You may chant aloud or silently while tending to each chakra point; “Bless me, Iris, with peace, love, safety and beauty.”  Remember to breathe evenly and slowly; after anointing your crown chakra, partake in a moment of silence.  When you are ready, stand at your altar and vision being wrapped inside a swirl of colors.  Inhale the scent of the incense, and chant: “Dear Iris, hold me in Your Keep.  I thank You for Your Gentle Protection; may Your Light flow through me and around me.  Blessed Be.”


(I suggest seated meditation focused on the flower on your altar while your incense continues to burn.  I also like to save my water from this ritual for other rituals; it strengthens my intentions.  Ultimately, you will choose whatever is best for you.)





Hamilton, Edith.  Mythology.  New York, Little, Brown and Company, 1969.



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