Three views of the goddess Iris…

Iris, goddess of private eyes, watches. Always watches.

Once she was mercurial, a rainbow, mother of love, the bridge between the crude worlds and words of earthly things and the elevated world of spirituality. Now she’s a lone heroine, and goddess of lone heroines and heroes. Now she’s a bridge between the desire to know the truth, and the truth we don’t want to know. Now she watches, unblinking….Iris was the winged goddess of the rainbow and the messenger of the Olympian gods. She was depicted as a young woman with golden wings and a herald’s rod and/or a pitcher in her hand…

In Greek mythology, Iris was the daughter of Thaumas and the Ocean nymph Electra (according to Hesiod), the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. As the rainbow unites Earth and heaven, Iris is the messenger of the gods to men; in this capacity she is mentioned frequently in the Iliad, but never in the Odyssey, where Hermes takes her place. Iris is represented as a youthful virgin, with wings of gold, who hurries with the swiftness of the wind from one end of the world to the other, into the depths of the sea and the underworld. She is especially the messenger of Zeus and Hera, and is associated with Hermes, whose caduceus or staff she often holds. By command of Zeus she carries in an ewer water from the Styx, with which she puts to sleep all who perjure themselves. Her attributes are the caduceus and a vase.