The Arrival of Persephone Springtime. New Zealand
Now, o’er the awaking earth, Persephone
Wanders alone with most mysterious power:
Where’er her footsteps touch there springs a flower;
Her song awakes both butterfly and bee.
The budded trees, beneath her magic spell,
Assume a leafy shape of loveliness;
Bold lilies bloom same shaded as her dress,
The colour of her eyes the bluebells tell.
At sight of her sad love-lorn Echo flees
To bid the hills Persephone is here,
And ‘possums play contentedly in trees,
The wild birds wing above each stream and mere.
A tui, silent in his screened domain,
Hears her soft-calling voice and sings again.
— Samuel Hulme Bridgford
The myth surrounding Persephone/Kore and her transformation first caught my attention when I discovered a version of it’s telling in the beautifully written and illustrated D’Aulaires’ book of Greek Myths. I checked it out of the school library every chance I got. There was something about her story that fascinated me. It still does, and I’m certainly not alone in that.
Persephone Shrine– Not mine, but a nice way to honor her everyday.
Myth/Info on Persephone, from THEOI– Her name loosely translates to “Destructive-Slayer”… Hardly a coincidence, no?
Kore as Nymph not Daughter– Essay by Bonnie McLachlan
Persephone Unveiled by Charles Stein- (One of the better books I’ve picked up at Ye Olde Local Witchy shop. Excellent!)
Duality, the seasons, spring, winter, death, transformation, rebirth, duality, darkness, light, creation, destruction, a mother’s love vs. a husband’s love, etc. etc. etc. A la chingada, Holmes! Talk about the Big Picture!
For me, she is quiet during the fall and winter months, bursting into the forefront in the spring time. I’ve said before that the way the gods seem to favor me, they drift in and out. While I consider her to be highly important, I’ve noticed how strongly the connection I have to her waxes and wanes with the seasons. I honor this. I think it’s important for me to give this some attention. I don’t do many rituals… except for during the Full Moon Psychic Battery Recharging Fun Time Jamboree. Which is tomorrow (It’s been really good for me to establish some kind of routine to stick to, although coincidentally The Weirdness peaked right around the time I started). I’m more of an “effort as offering” kind of a girl. I stick to simple, and thus far it’s pleased my gods, or at least most of them. I’ll light incense, rearrange and clean altars, add pretty beads or rocks, light candles, offer a libation, or even just give a little shout out (this works best for Ganesha). I don’t do it all at the same time, but it’s more when I feel the need to, or I am thanking someone or they are trying to get my attention. I don’t pray, persay. Nothing elaborate, unless it’s Big Stuff. I don’t often invoke or evoke the gods for magickal workings, except for Ganesha. Some people do. Some have great results. I don’t want to impose, says the Non-Wiccan Erisian Witch with Monist Philosophy and an Enviable collection of Shoes, Tarot Decks, and Hello Kitty stuff. I am… so… complex! Hail Eris, full of Green… Madly laughing at all things left to be Seen! Oh, Hai, Eris. I see what you just did there. Hijacking my musings on Persephone with your BUCKET O’ CRAZY. C’mon, lady! Wait your turn! It’s not all about you! Bah! Go slap a trout with a halibut, and I’ll get back to you.
So today, I honor her descent. She has no choice, but I’ve always felt as if she doesn’t mind her role. It is her duty, and she accepts it gracefully. She’s grown to love Hades, or perhaps she was not exactly an unwilling party. She was ready to assume her role. It’s transformed her from innocent maiden to powerful woman. It’s a transition we must all make. We can be powerful and fierce, and beautiful and sweet sometimes all within the same hour. She reminds me that we are not simple creatures… We are not just mothers or daughters. We are also Queens. I don’t usually get all feminnutsy Goddesscentric-Earth-Mama with my badself, but… I am woman, hear me roar. I want candy, give me more! Fuck it. I’ll get the damn candy myself.
It is she who walks between the worlds of the Living World and the Underworld, and Knows the answers to the Mysteries.
If you want to Know like I do, she holds the Answers. She is the Gateway.
She creates, and she destroys but is more subtle. She works quietly in the shadows when in the role of Destroyer. She works openly and obviously as a Creator. It’s different than the other goddesses of destruction/creation/transformation/rebirth. She reaches to the core of one’s being without much fanfare, or fireworks. She is neither benevolent nor malevolent. She is merely doing her job. She is frightening when she needs to be, or incredibly beautiful. She assumes these roles as needed.
We all do, sometimes.
Today, I will be focusing on that. I will probably put some kind of ritual together. I will probably read the Homeric hymn to Demeter. Maybe I’ll glean some crumbs and nuggets of wisdom through tarot (Persephone isn’t big on communication with me). As I make my offerings to my ancestors and to the Underworld (I got candy, cigarettes, beer, and pretty rocks for them to take up to the cemetery… Yeah, I’m weird. Let’s just say I’m not the only one in my house or neighborhood that leaves things up there.). We’ll see what she says.
I have other demons to confront (What-up, K-durga? We’ll talk. I’m listening.), but today is not their day.