Kathy Crabbe, Spring, 2002, acrylic on wood, 6 x 8″.
It’s the New Moon in Aries and it’s a powerhouse Moon with six planets in Aries; firepower indeed to kick off the Spring Equinox; so, set your intentions, bless them, then let them go.
Lately, a good friend (an astrologer) and I have been working with the Persephone archetype in various ways, but it wasn’t until the other day, after setting up my Persephone altar that I was able to connect with Persephone deeply through channeling. Just in time for the first New Moon of Spring, but first I’d like to share with you the Persephone Myth and NOT the well known patriarchal version which you probably already know.
I do not like or resonate with the standard version of the Persephone myth; it’s complicated, negative and depressing. I do resonate with the pre-patriarchal version of Her myth and would like to share it with you. This version was written by ecofeminist philosopher Charlene Spretnak and is based upon the classical scholarship of Jane Ellen Harrison, Louis Farnell, Sir Arthur Evans, and others.
The Myth of Persephone
Demeter and Persephone share the bountiful fields, enjoying the beautiful earth, and watching over the crops together. One day, Persephone asks her mother about the restless spirits of the dead she has seen hovering about their earthly homes. “Is there no one in the underworld to receive the newly dead?” she asks. Demeter explains that she rules over the underworld as well as the upper world, but her more important work is above ground, feeding the living.
Reflecting on the bewilderment and pain she has seen in the ghostly spirits, Persephone replies, “The dead need us, Mother. I will go to them.” After trying to persuade Persephone to stay with her, Demeter relents: “Very well…We cannot give only to ourselves. I understand why you must go. Still, you are my daughter, and for every day you remain in the underworld, I will mourn your absence.”
Persephone gathers three sheaves of wheat and three poppies, favorite flowers of Demeter, takes the torch that Demeter has prepared for her, and begins her descent down into a deep chasm into the underworld. After a long journey, she comes to a place where many spirits are milling about, moaning. She moves among them, and after preparing an altar, she beckons them to her, saying, “If you come to me, I will initiate you into your new world. You have waxed into the fullness of life, and waned into darkness; may you be renewed in peace and wisdom.”
Meanwhile, Demeter has grown sorrowful, her bountiful energies draining from the earth, leaving it barren, with no crops growing to feed the humans. After some months, Persephone decides she will return to the upper world. As she approaches her mother, the flowers of the earth rise up in joyful song, and as Demeter and Persephone run to embrace each other, the birds and animals begin to sing, “Persephone returns, Persephone returns.” And as the mother and daughter dance and dance, new growth springs up in the fields, and the humans join in the rejoicing.
Each time Persephone goes back down into the underworld, the mortals share with Demeter the bleak season of her daughter’s absence; and as she rejoins her mother in the spring, they are renewed by the signs of Persephone’s return.
~ from Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism, edited and with essays by Irene Diamond and Gloria Feman Orenstein.
Channeling Persephone ~ Rebirth
Today, in honour of the New Moon in Aries I created my usual New Moon Circle, and was surprised to find myself a wee bit down (considering all that Aries Firepower in the air), so I called upon Persephone in conjunction with the pulling of a Rune and asked for her help.
Kathy Crabbe, Peace Within Peace Without, 2013, mixed media on paper, 5 x 7”.
As Persephone and I fly above the earth, she says to me, “See, down there, there are scores of people dying as they live, but we can’t help them because they are choosing life in death. And you, are you dying?”
Me: No, I’m not, I want to help!
Persephone: Then let’s go on. “Print this, and you die,” she says with a smile. “You see, dying isn’t anything to fear; let it go…let it all go.”
Me: But losing someone is.
Persephone: Come, let’s continue. What do you see?
Me: I see people living, loving, planting, and dying, really dying.
Persephone: And yes, no cliches from me…I’ll keep my mouth zipped. Let’s fly on.
We stop and rest.
Persephone: What do you see when you see me?
Me: I see a woman, a goddess, of many-changing hues.
Persephone: Look again, what do you see?
Me: I see Me.
Then, all of a sudden I am She and so completely filled with bliss that my eyes fill up with tears.
Me: “How can I serve?” And I answer my own question: I can paint, with joy and abandon and love and passion and anger and rage and fury; the world. I can share my words and visions, and heal and commiserate and burn with Divine Bliss;
The fire, the water, the air, the earth,
And bless all (that is and is not) for I am reborn.
and thank you,
Per seph onee.
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