Lady Liberty lives in me

I am Lady Liberty.

This year my dear sisters in the O.T.O. gifted me with a medallion featuring the statue of liberty. This was a thank-you to those of us who presented at the 2016 O.T.O. Women’s Symposium Ladies of Force and Fire. They chose “Liberty enlightening the world” as the icon of the event.

The statue in New York Harbor depicts the Roman goddess Libertas. Emma Lazarus’ poem A New Colossus is inscribed in her pedestal:

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.

Last summer we were all riding high on the possibility that we might have our first woman president, Libertas was a well established virtue, and the poem an interesting historical note. Today the white supremacists who have overtaken the White House threaten to shut the doors of the country, blocking Muslims, favoring Christians, turning back refugees fleeing for their lives to face death. Images around the world depict Libertas beheaded, her torch extinguished.

I wore my Liberty medallion when I walked in the Women’s March on January 21. I’m wearing it all the time now. I understand how the Neo-Platonic saint Proklos (Proclus) must have felt when the temple of Athena was closed. Proklos said Athena came to him in a dream to tell him she would live in his house now. I realize that liberty is not a gift given to me by people in power, not the power of goddess to bestow. I have only the freedom that I fight to keep. We give it to each other when we band together to support each other.

Lady Liberty has taken up residence in my heart. It is up to each of us to keep her torch lit.