21 Oct Demeter & Persephone – Myth for Modern Times
Many people these days are saying they feel like there are massive internal and external shifts going on in and around them. It appears to be a time of collective transformation and awakening. The Demeter and Persephone myth from ancient Greek mythology is an informative myth to examine during these times.
In the Demeter and Persephone myth, we find the young maiden, Persephone, wandering innocently about in the garden. As she reaches down to pluck a narcissus flower, the ground opens up, and she is abducted by Hades, God of the Underworld. Her mother, Demeter, Goddess of Grain and Growth, falls into such despair that the world begins to go barren.
This part of the myth is describing the passages we all must go through during the many, “dark nights of the soul.” Those times in which we are initiated out of our innocence by some cataclysmic event, such as a life-threatening illness, the loss of a loved one, a betrayal by a lover. During such times, we are thrown into the underworld, the darkness, and life feels barren and meaningless.
Meanwhile, above the surface, Demeter is engaged in her own journey. Moving from despair to rage, she eventually sends Hermes down to the underworld to retrieve Persephone. What he finds is that the maiden has transformed, in the darkness, from a maiden to a Queen, having betrothed herself to Hades. Pressing pomegranates to her lips, Hermes promises Persephone that she can return to her mother, but each year during the harvest, she will return to Hades in the darkness.
Persephone’s return to Demeter each Spring, and then return to Hades each Fall, is speaking to the cyclical nature of transformation and awakening. There are times for each of us when we must venture into the underworld…cocoon ourselves in the darkness, and even despair, when life falls fallow. And yet, we do eventually emerge matured, initiated, and reborn. These passages into and out of Hades, just like Persephone, are the maturational path of awakening so beautiful described in this myth.
Here’s a long statement pair of earrings from “Symposium ” collection, inspired from ancient greek Mythology.