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Who we are | About our flower, the Iris

Why we chose the Iris as the EyesOnThePrize.Org flower

Iris -- the symbolThe gynecologic cancer survivors who founded EyesOnThePrize.Org knew that the Iris is one of the earth’s oldest flowers. As a primal blossom the Iris represented the full flower of sexuality - a creative energy that translates itself into all the ways that women give birth to children, projects and energies to transform the world. And we knew from experience that gynecological cancers struck directly at our femininity, fertility and creative energies for living.

What we did not know is that Iris was a Greek goddess who, with her male counterpart Hermes, carried messages between the gods and humans. Her symbol is the rainbow – the bridge between heaven and earth. One of Iris’s duties was to guide dying women to the Elysian Fields. In ancient Greece the graves of women were covered with irises.

The significance of the iris was not lost on American painter Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986). She was fascinated with the iris' resemblance to the female reproductive organs and explored its form in magnified views of its blossoms.

What we chose through intuition proves to be a flower with ancient meanings, none of which are lost on us here at EyesOnThePrize.Org. We are often suspended between heaven and earth while living with gynecologic cancers and we have laid irises at our sisters' graves. On the first anniversary of our founding, Mother's Day 2001, we designate the iris our official flower.

May 2001

Shop the EOTP Store for merchandise bearing our Iris