Blessings of the Autumn Equinox to all of you!
I am ready to fully step in to the crisp weather of Autumn and the embrace of the Dark Mothers. I am also delighted to pick our monthly Goddess Meditation Circles back up for the season. Our Autumn Equinox Free Virtual Ritual Meditation Circle is a journey with the Goddesses Demeter and Persephone and a discussion of the descent of Persephone.
The approximate date of the Eleusinian Mysteries honoring Demeter and Persephone is September 23 so we are in alignment!
Join me at 8pm eastern on Monday, September 23, 2019 for Goddess discussion and meditation. Sign up for free below to access the call information. See you there!
The ancient Eleusinian Mysteries – “the cult of the two Goddesses” – are based around the myth of Greek Goddesses Demeter and Persephone. Many of us recall the myth from early school days; Persephone is the daughter of the Great Mother Demeter who is snatched while picking flowers by the God of the Underworld, Hades. The myth is frequently called “the abduction of Persephone” or “the rape of Persephone” , evoking the terror and the shrill screams of a young girl being grabbed from the bosom of her mother as the ground opens to the dark caverns below and Hades emerges to claim his prize.
Following this telling of the myth, we are further horrified by the information that Persephone’s father, Zeus, made a pact with his brother to take Persephone forcefully as his bride. Demeter falls into a deep grief that brings winter to the world as she almost destroys the world searching endlessly for her daughter. Finally, the agreement is hammered out that Persephone will remain with Hades for half of the year and with Demeter for half of the year – also, sometimes referred to as three months in the Underworld and the rest of the year above.The return of the maiden Kore is the herald of Spring and Demeter shows her delight of having her daughter back through the bounty of the seasons. Whether this myth is viewed as the mythography for the seasons, as containing Divine Feminine mysteries only revealed to initiates, or as a story of mother and daughter, few of us are left without an opinion or even trigger for our own life transitions, relationships with our parents, and coming of age.
What is not taught in school or in relation to the myth of Demeter and Persephone is that the “rape” version of the story only evolved around 7th century bc as a result of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. This addition may indicate the shift from a matriarchal society to the Olympian and patriarchal society.
Charlene Spretnak’s version of the myth, with historical details, is a revisioning that honors the matriarchal roots of Persephone and Demeter. Gone is the rape, the raging mother and we see Persephone stepping into her role as Queen of the Underworld consciously.
During our circle, we will be using the commonly accepted myth for discussion and exploration, but also revisioning the myth and story of Persephone. There is some reclamation to be done on all accounts and by stepping into the realm of Persephone, we are preparing to lay the groundwork for that reclamation not only for Persephone AND Demeter but for own stories as well.
Demeter and Persephone Resources
Queen of Herself: Goddess Persephone Activation Course with Brandi Auset & Kimberly Moore
Long Journey Home: Revisioning the Myth of Demeter and Persephone for Our Time edited by Christine Downing (highly recommended)
Persephone Unveiled: Seeing the Goddess and Freeing Your Soul by Charles Stein
Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths by Charlene Spretnak
Ariadne’s Thread: A Workbook of Goddess Magic by Shekhinah Mountainwater
Mysteries of Demeter : Rebirth of the Pagan Way by Jennifer Reif
Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter by Carl Kerényi