A constellation of goddesses for July 4th

This 4th of July I’ll be honoring Columbia, and plenty of people will honor Lady Liberty, but some other goddesses have recently caught my attention and I thought this was the perfect day to mention them.

I’m in the midst of trying to get my ordination recognized by the state of Virginia. Selena Fox, a long-time worshiper of Liberty, pointed out that Virginia’s state seal features the goddess Virtus, a personification of virtue. Another priestess who honors the Greek gods also mentioned the three goddesses on the seldom-seen reverse of the seal: Ceres, Libertas herself, and Aeternitas.

I already see Liberty and Columbia as closely related, if not aspects of each other. I’ve also written an essay for a forthcoming anthology from Neos Alexandria about how it’s possible to understand Columbia as a modern-day American re-embodiment of Athena. But the combination of Virtus, Ceres, and Aeternitas along with Libertas/Columbia prompts some interesting reflections on things that are connected with freedom and liberty. I wonder whether the people who designed the seal thought that virtues, abundance, and stability were the precursors to liberty, or the result of liberty, or both. Are these figures Libertas’ companions, her handmaidens, her supporters, her daughters, her aspects, her blessings, or a bit of each? I’m not sure yet myself; I’m hoping to explore these interesting figures as more than simple personifications, especially in terms of their grouping and relationship in this symbol. What do you think? Who else do you work with on the 4th of July or year-round?

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Literata is a Wiccan who studies theaology and enjoys developing poetry and rituals. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Mandragora and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. She also blogs at Forging Futures and writes for her own site, Works of Literata, . When she's not leading Rose Coven, reading Tarot or communing with nature, she works on her Ph.D. dissertation in history and enjoys travel and spending time with her husband and four cats. Please note that everything Literata writes here is solely her own personal opinion. It does not represent the position of any organization with which she is affiliated.
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