Persephone Unveiled

Persephone Unveiled


Demeter & Persephone © Mary B Kelly

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.

Homeric Hymn to Demeter

The Eleusinian Mysteries

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?

Persephone @ Paleothea.com

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.

She Knows.

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.

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4 thoughts on “Persephone Unveiled

  1. So you know Persephone features in my lineup, albeit as a maybe-backup singer at this time. Last night I thought I saw her in a “guides” reading; she appeared as a message from my “guardian angels”. I was using the Spiral – 8 of Cups. Didn’t know at the time that that card IS Persphone.

    Then I slept with the Hermit under my pillow and dreamt of Ceres (among others… more later) and woke up smelling freshly baked bread. Not Demeter – CERES. Pick a pantheon!

    What to make of THAT, I ask you?!

    And I’ve read (somewhere. Same old story.) that she did know Hades was coming and went willingly. I like that the Greeks were so shit scared of her underworld aspect that Kore became the preferred moniker for She-who-must-not-be-named!

  2. In Soviet Russia… You don’t pick pantheon… Pantheon picks you! Bwaahaahahaahaaa!!!

    Persephone is quite perplexing… Honestly, of all of them is the most enigmatic, although I’m peeling away layers. She’s headlining for now, but like always will fade back into the ether.

    Ceres… also known as “Bringer of Bright Gifts”. The Hermit has a lamp, and that thing is bright so… Maybe they have a gift or some insight to share with you. A single bright red poppy growing in a field of barley is one of her emblems. It’s a lovely image. If you keep running into poppies, maybe she’s trying to get your attention.

    I just hope it was gluten-free bread. Anything else would be cruel.

  3. Was not familiar with the “Bringer of Bright Gifts” moniker – thanks! Now, who do we know who has a “thing” for poppies… hmmm… I got the Hermit in response to a “WHAT??” question and got some answers. Remember a few.

    The gluten connection is a delicious piece of divine irony. I might have LOLed in my dream/vision.

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