Sunday, July 11, 2010

Two views - Columbia - Patron Goddess of USA

Over at the Pagan Newswire Collective they have a section titled  Pagan + Politics, and there I found the following interesting article titled - Columbia, Patron Goddess of the United States

"...From the beginning, when Columbia was first revealed as the Goddess of this land, She was seen as a guardian of freedom and a generous granter of plenty. In early depictions of Columbia, she wears the cap of freedom and holds a cornucopia. The eagle and the rattlesnake are sacred to Her.

Today I honor Her with offerings and pray that She blesses us with Her gifts. I ask Her to guide us – our country seems to be at a crossroads and is facing difficult times. Our nation’s identity and ethics are muddled. How I wish Her statue was still behind the Speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives – having Columbia Liberty as a guide for our elected officials..."  ...(Cont.)...

Now we have another view from the Blog - Meadowsweet & Myrrh:

"...Columbia, a goddess created (or, as [some] say, “revealed”) in the 18th century, was named after Christopher Columbus, the first European known to have enslaved anyone in the New World. Columbus arrived in the Caribbean with the explicit and open intent of capturing slaves and stealing gold, not to mention spreading Catholicism around the world, so it is extremely ironic that the goddess named after him would come to be associated with freedom and plenty. Freedom and plenty for whom?

Phyllis Wheatley, writing in 1776, was the first known person to speak of Columbia as a goddess [...]. Born in Senegal and enslaved at age eight, she was named “Phyllis” after the ship that brought her to America. She was purchased by the rich Wheatley family of Boston, and adopted as their daughter. They gave her an education, and her poetry was read in England and throughout America. She married John Peters, a free black man, in 1778, but he was put in debtor’s prison shortly thereafter, leaving her alone with a sickly infant daughter. In the land of freedom and plenty, she inherited no money from the Wheatleys and, indeed, was legally unable to own property; so she had to set aside her poetry and work as a scullery maid at a boarding house. She died at age 31.

Again, ironic; but I for one am not surprised at how Columbia rewarded her prophet." ...(Cont.)...