There is so much to be learned from the cycles of life that are all around us and the journeys through which we all pass. Each cycle is an initiation of sorts, and yet the cycle is the same with another layer added. Persephone comes, as all Goddesses do, in their time and when the stories need retold. We are going to meet her, as we have time and again, even when we didn’t know her name as we know our own.
From Kore to Queen
Persephone was not called Persephone until after she claimed her Crown as the Queen of the Underworld. In pre-Hellenic myth, there is a completely different story woven. Demeter is responsible for Earth (which includes the dead) but prefers to be in the fruitfulness with the humans (Spretnak, 1978). Spretnak (1978) goes on to discuss how Persephone sees that the humans are frightened of the spirits that are roaming because Demeter has maybe forgone the fullness of that underworld duty. Persephone ascends the throne of the Underworld of her own volition so that the humans may be without fear and returns once her work is done for a time (Spretnak, 1978).
Not only has archeology supported that there was no ‘stolen daughter’, but that during that time (like those of many Goddesses) the assaults and the wars were metaphors for the destruction of obstacles in the way of the rise of patriarchy.
The Reflection We See
Many of us are the wayward daughters of Mothers who seek to hold on, while we desperately seek to find our own way. However, we don’t want to be displeasing and it would make sense that society would add an assault into the story to reinforce the ‘mother knows best’ and the fear of the masculine. Jean Shinoda Bolen (2014) discusses the stories of the Goddesses and how women may embody them all at various points in their lives, including Kore-Persephone as the people pleaser, one who ascends the throne through experience of the journey (Bolen, 2014).
It is no surprise then that she comes to meet us at the bridge with her torch to light ours, most especially when we are ready to rebel against the life that starves us more than it replenishes us.
Leaving a Beautiful Lie
In her book, The Holy Wild, Danielle Dulsky (2018) does an outstanding job of describing our moments when we are so uncomfortable that we are willing to sacrifice it all just to be wild and free and forge our own way forward. Some would say that it is a “running” from our problems, but I disagree. In our Persephone moments, we find that we are not running from our problems as much as we are rebelling against the things no longer meant for us and the deep search for what is.
Towards Freedom in Our Truth
Deeper still, Barbara Walker (1983) discusses Persephone as ‘destroyer’ aspect of the Triple Goddess, which I found interesting as Dulsky (2018) discusses the rebel archetype through a Jungian lens of destroyer, as one who deconstructs. The etymology of rebel too, is quite astonishing, as it can be broken down to ‘again wage war’. It is a cycle of unbecoming, a journey of releasing all that is no longer us (and possibly never was), to initiate into who we are.
“Rebellion is the first act of discernment because knowing what we don’t want is just as important as knowing what we do want” ~ Danielle Dulsky, The Holy Wild
|Parents||Demeter and Zeus|
|Conflations||Proserpina, Persipnei, Libera (still researching this further though!)|
|Major Themes||Cycles, Death/Rebirth, Freedom, Acceptance, Personal Agency|
|Stone||Garnet (etymologically linked to ‘Pomegranate’)|
|Plants||Grain, Crocus, Clove (have used nutmeg as substitution), Pomegranate, Poppy, Vervain (Use Mugwort as substitution), Willow,|
|World||Middle World, Underworld|
Meeting Persephone at the Bridge
Each of us must traverse the path into the underworld in our way, perhaps we will be able to traverse it together within the community soon. Until then, I will take you to the bridge. To prepare for this journey, make sure you have the sigil and draw it on your hand. It serves many purposes. Have an alcohol wipe or something ready to remove it upon return. We are not going to leave the connection open, but you will now have a faster way back. You have been there before, even if you don’t use this key provided. There are aftercare instructions within the audio.
A Candle & A Key,
Bolen, J.S. (2014). Goddesses in Everywoman. HarperCollins Publishers.
Dulsky, D. (2018). The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman. New World Library.
Kynes, S. (2013). Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences: A Comprehensive & Cross-Referenced Resource for Pagans & Wiccans. Llewellyn Publications.
Spretnak, C. (1978). Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths. Beacon Press Boston.
Walker, B.G. (1983). The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. HarperSanFransisco.
Feature Image Credit: Photo by Bestbe Models via Pexels