February 22, 2012
Some have asked us why we chose to use the acronym, AELLA, to represent our organization. I actually came up with something similar to the word, which was short one letter from its current “AELLA” when I first named the group. I was struck by that acronym and couldn’t figure out why until I realized who Aella was in ancient Greek mythology. After learning what aella actually meant in some Latin languages from a friend, it became very clear that we had found what we were looking for without trying very hard at all. I showed the new acronym to Marla and she loved it for its feel, as well as its meaning.
Its several references, first and foremost, the fact that it roughly translates as “to her” in some languages, spoke to what we are all about. This endeavor is meant for the Earth and the term has an underlying feminine-strength. Aella was also a warrior-Amazon who battled Heracles in ancient Greek mythology. We wanted to generate the feeling of a powerful united mother Earth, ready to battle the Heracles of all negative impacts to the planet, that being, animal agriculture and the exploitation of life in general. These were the main contributing factors for selecting the acronym and it has great meaning to us. In unity, we fight for our mother. Let the Heracles step forward.
Stories about the Amazons in Greek mythology were conflicting. Some saw Amazons as individuals of great wisdom and strength, however, they were also vilified, extremely misunderstood, as well as oppressed (another good reason for choosing the AELLA acronym). The idea of free-thinking, self-sufficient women generally has the ability to cause unrest within the establishment. Original stories about Amazons being a socially advanced, highly intelligent, peaceful society, possessing the ability to defend and govern themselves, degraded over time within Greek mythos into stories of war-like, crazed women-hunters who would murder a man before he had the chance to draw his sword, or even ask questions.
The truth of the matter is that the goddess of the Amazons, Artemis (depicted above in stone), was originally worshiped as the patron of all animals (later, that was corrupted and changed into the patron of hunters). The Amazons’ great strength and health was quite actually, always attributed to vegetarianism and specific usages of licorice.