Pagan Portals – Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow and Messenger of the Godds, by Irisanya Moon
Moon Books, 1789047110, 96 pages, July 2021
When was the last time you saw a rainbow? Seeing one is always such a miraculous gift to me. It feels so spiritual, like a harbinger of blessings. Moments after seeing a rainbow about a month ago, I discovered the book Pagan Portals – Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow and Messenger of the Godds by Irisanya Moon. As Moon describes, “She [Iris] offers magick in the way rainbows form, seemingly from nothing, but truly from the perfect alignment of conditions.”1 With this synchronicity, it was as though the rainbow was calling me to delve into this book.
Moon introduces herself to the reader and gives a bit of background on her experience with Iris, who she connected with to include as part of her magical name. I especially enjoyed reading about her experience with Reclaiming on her path, as all the Reclaiming workshops I’ve attended have been some of the greatest portals to magic!
To start with, Moon provides quite a few stories of Iris to assist the reader with getting acquainted with her mythology. Reading stories of Iris delivering messages for Hera and Zues was interesting, along with realizing she was the messenger sent to Demeter to coax her out of grief at the loss of her daughter Perspehone. I also learned Iris is the consort of Zephyrus, god of the west winds — so cool!
After reading the stories of Iris in mythology and hearing Moon’s thoughts, I really resonated with her view that Iris can teach us about being of service without being in servitude. For any person who feels calls to share their gifts, Iris’s story is a wonderful reminder of the need for personal self-care as well. Moon encourages the practice of self-service alongside serving deities and one’s communities, and relates the story of Iris to the need for this. As she writes, “A tired and burnt out priestess is not a very effective servant, after all.”2
The main bulk of the book is Moon’s magical practice called Traveling the Rainbow. She guides the reader through all the colors of the rainbow, offering exercises to connect with each energy. For instance, doing mirror work with the color orange and water gazing for the color blue. Working the way through the rainbow proved to be quite insightful. I really enjoyed making a collage for yellow and a meditative journey for indigo.
Towards the end, Moon offers ideas on how to do a ritual to honor or petition Iris. There’s an absolutely beautiful devotional poem that Moon has written to Iris that made my heart melt. It is so well written, while also emotionally evoking. She also offers quite a few ways one can create a relationship with Iris through options such as altar building, artwork, journaling, and meditation.
Moon calls readers to be intentional in their work with Iris, and to be honest, gives more background than any book I’ve ever read about the process of choosing to work with a deity and focusing attention on that relationship. She is very honest in her approach to deity work, acknowledging there’s different reasons people choose to work with a particular deity, from being called to building a long-term relationship, while some might just want to create a connection for a specific purpose. It was helpful to read her thoughts, tips, and techniques, and regardless if one plans on connecting with Iris, one would surely benefit from her insight about relationships with deities.
While I have not formally created a relationship with Iris, this book was immensely helpful in learning more about her, her role in mythology, and her special energy. I really enjoyed being immersed in the feeling of rainbows while reading, and within I felt a multitude of colors illuminating my creativity through artwork and time spent in nature. I also did a lot of reflection on the similarities and differences between Iris and Hermes, my patron deity, as they are both messengers that have the ability to move freely through all realms.
I recommend Iris to those hoping to learn more about her mythology, wishing to connect with the goddess of the rainbow, or even establish a relationship with her as a deity. Moon has done a great job of piecing together her story and sharing her method of connection with Iris. As already mentioned, the wisdom of Moon’s work with deity is very insightful and sure to be beneficial to any reading looking to petition or dedicating themselves to a godd. Next time I see a rainbow, I certainly will be wondering what messages Iris is delivering and pause for a moment to give her my praise.
Alanna Kali is an astrologer, numerologist, and pioneer spirit that loves to explore life through the lens of depth psychology. She has a passion for studying the humanities and social trends. Her academic work is centered upon reuniting body, mind, and spirit through eco-psychology. She loves reading, spending time in nature, and travel.