Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
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The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
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Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Pluto in the Offseason
Article Specs |
Article ID: 13074
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,835
Times Read: 2,214
RSS Views: 41,472
Author: Blue Cowboy
Posted: March 1st. 2009
Times Viewed: 2,214
The Persephone myth has been reclaimed in recent years, retold to be about its heroine whose name is restored as Kore, who goes into the underworld out of a sense of adventure, either with Hades or on her own. The myth of Hades seizing Persephone out of his desire has been muted and reworked so that young women can find their own power in it. It ceases to be a story about sexual lust and becomes a story of female exploration and mother love.
It always was a woman’s story anyway, wasn’t it? Women know the Persephone myth before we know it. We hear it before we have ever heard it, in the embrace of our mothers. And we immediately sense upon our first encounter with this story how different it is from the other myths and fairy stories we read: it isn’t only about a girl and a prince (it is that, after all) , but primarily it is a about a girl and her mother. The story is about the way the girl’s mother loves her to distraction, and it is set in a female world of flowers and growth and agriculture.
We feel comfortable in this story, familiar with it, as little girls alternately separating from and missing the women who gave birth to us. We feel reassured that we can leave and reassured that we are loved. And our mothers never hesitate to tell us this particular myth story, not only for the joy of reunion it carries but also the way they can express the depth and intensity of their love for us through it.
The Persephone myth is about mother love and it is also about Spring and the revivification of the visible world. We celebrate Persephone’s coming back to Demeter because when she does it is Spring for us. We have the prejudice of winners in that regard, in this context. We celebrate Persephone’s return because the aesthetics are favorable to our experience and point-of-view.
But all things have a mirror side. For one thing that is gained; another thing is sacrificed. For one thing that is celebrated; another thing is taken. Every mirror has a side that you don’t see, and Demeter’s myth is Hades’ myth as well.
For as much as we may celebrate here, it is they in the Underworld who mourn. When we mourn above, they celebrate below, for when Persephone leaves us to return to the Underworld, Spring reasserts itself there. Spring returns to the heart of Hades who hears his lover coming to him, hears her footsteps in the fall of the leaves whispering to the forest floor that is the roof of his realm, hears her throaty laugh in the warm sounds of animals burrowing into their hibernation. Perhaps he is the one who colors the leaves, sending their brilliance up from their roots, a herald of the joy he feels, or as a signal to call his lover back. And in preparation for her arrival, he polishes the walls of his great underworld caverns to an obsidian sheen, so bright that they reflect the colorful banners he has strung and the feasting of the souls around him, who have been deprived for so long in the darkness, whose hearts cry out for their Queen.
So that is the scene of joy that welcomes her, fanfares and dances in her honor. In our Autumn, Spring comes to those below in the form of joy, a delight so sharp that the souls in the Underworld remember what it was like to be alive. Even those of us on the surface know the feeling of a Spring so ebullient, so lively, that it makes you want to run and jump so much that you can imagine it bringing even the dead to life. Such a Spring is a Persephone Spring, and if we feel it that acutely, imagine how the souls below feel it, they who have not felt the quick in their bones quicken for many a year. When their queen returns to the under realm, the following months which are so dark and cold to us here are made into delight and nourishment to them there, and bliss to him who welcomes back his mate. His realm comes alive as he comes alive, as he feels her traveling down the passages to him. The report of ice booming and cracking as it freezes is the sound of his throbbing heart.
But when Persephone leaves the Underworld to bring our Spring to us, to become on the surface of the earth the presence of Spring, that whole underneath realm returns again to mineral, inorganic darkness. The long global-warming summers are pain to Hades, confusing and stretched-out as our recent warm autumns in Tennessee have set irises blooming, thinking they can sprout again. Hades must hate that: ‘No, it is time for her to come back, ’ and when she does, and time comes for his lover to leave again, Hades wishes on Demeter a new Ice Age so that he can keep his beloved with him for longer, for ever.
Have compassion on Hades. Every time you have ever had to bid farewell to your lover, you have felt what he feels, as vast and empty as the inside of a hollow planet. Every time you have caught sight of your lover, welcomed him or her back to you, you have felt what he feels, all verdure and flowering, filling with sap, everything in you rising to life again. Hades waiting is the archetype of longing and fulfillment on a regular cycle: joy always laced with incipient loss; loss that is relieved by the knowledge of the eventual return of the lover.
As you might feel the cold stillness of the winter hit your heart and the lowering skies get you down, feel reassured that deep in the Earth lovers are joined and are celebrating, Hades holding in his shadowy arms his amphibious Persephone, she who can be of two worlds while he is only ever in one.
And have compassion on Hades, when you celebrate the Spring!
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Bio: Laura Miller is a Witch, Yogini, Kabbalist, animist, and formulist who lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
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