Friday, July 4, 2014

Hail, Columbia!


To all my fellow Americans, Happy Independence Day! Hail Columbia!

But wait...who's Columbia!

The term "Columbia" (obviously a reference to Christopher Columbus) as a poetic term for the what would later become the United States had been used since 1738. But she wasn't personified until the Revolutionary War. Columbia as a quasi-mythical figure was imagined by the African American poet Phillis Wheatley. Ever since then, Columbia has been America's goddess-like figure. Sadly this female personification of America has fallen out of favor with conventional society, but many modern Pagan American have adopted her as the patron goddess of America and religious freedom.

Celestial choir! enthron’d in realms of light,
Columbia’s scenes of glorious toils I write.
While freedom’s cause her anxious breast alarms,
She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms.
See mother earth her offspring’s fate bemoan,
And nations gaze at scenes before unknown!
See the bright beams of heaven’s revolving light
Involved in sorrows and veil of night!
 
The goddess comes, she moves divinely fair,
Olive and laurel bind her golden hair:
Wherever shines this native of the skies,
Unnumber’d charms and recent graces rise.
 
--from "To His Excellency, General Washington" by Phillis Wheatley

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful 4th of July. Here are some American names to celebrate the holiday! I'm off to find some fireworks...

Columbia

Columbus

July

Julian

Jules

Freedom

Liberty

America

Americus

Eagle

State names that could be used (and have been used) for people:

Nevada

Washington

Oregon

Florida

Montana

Dakoda

Vermont

(New) York

Carolina

Georgia

Missouri

Colorado

Iowa

Virginia

Alaska

Alabama

California

Delaware

Indiana

Louisiana

Tennessee

Rhode (Island)

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