Why Persephone? Why now?
47 years ago I was adopted. When I was 27 I finally met my birth mother who I am now very close to. In the past year she has been fighting pancreatic cancer and so I feel a deep desire to dive deeply into the well with her by exploring the longest running mother/daughter myth there is; the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone.
I'm interested in the pre-patriarchal version of the myth; the one where Persephone (the daughter) willingly ventures into the Underworld to help lost souls cross over to the Other Side. Her mother (Demeter) agrees to this, but in mourning Persephone, she turns summer into winter and the land becomes barren until Persephone returns in the Spring.
The myth re-enacts the cycle of birth/death/rebirth on a yearly basis; this is a natural part of life, but not one that our society accepts or understands in a conscious way. We are afraid of death and dying and what happens next. I do know that our souls do not die. Part of my work as a Creative Soul Guide is to venture into the Other World; the world below and to communicate with the Ancestors. To me, this is one of the most amazing and wondrous discoveries that I have every made.
I had taken a break from mediumship for a few years, but when my birth mom's battle heated up this past year I felt a strong pull to connect again with the departed; partly to reassure myself that yes, our souls do live on, and because I wanted to offer this service and this reassurance to others who are searching for contact from the beyond. I started re-connecting with my own ancestors each morning during meditation where they lovingly surround me. I have always known that we do not die; it's nothing provable or scientific, just a deep feeling of knowing-ness that is hard to explain.
So, when I ventured back into painting my large 4 x 4 foot acrylics on canvas, I knew things had to change, because I had changed. Persephone had entered my life and I was consciously channeling her every morning in conjunction with pulling a Rune. I started the painting in my usual abstract manner, but I had to stop; I was un-satisfied with the process and so I called upon Persephone for help.
It was time to paint in a way I'd never painted before...not from my own ego-self, but allowing Persephone to channel through me. At each step along the way I would stop, hold the Rune and consult with Her; not forcing things, but allowing Her guidance to come through and help me envision what I must do next.
Here are my notes from that session:
To begin I pulled a Rune and called upon Persephone for help. I was told to envision myself in a cave painting on the walls. What would I paint? I would paint, not to serve myself, but Her and so I listened.
Then I painted white gesso over top of what I'd painted earlier, so that only a faint outline remained of a face and two circles.
Then, while holding the Rune I was guided to draw on the canvas with a big, thick piece of lead pencil WITHOUT LOOKING. When I opened my eyes I felt like filling in this shape with light ultramarine blue, but I didn't have enough so I painted it turquoise pearl instead.
And then Her face appeared and She was blood-red.
Next came the black, jagged tears, like wisps of dark ghosts underground (or spears).
This painting is for all the girls and women who are victims of sexual assault, just as Persephone was in the patriarchal version of Her myth. Victims such as 17 year old Rehtaeh Parsons who recently killed herself after being raped and videotaped by 4 young men in Nova Scotia and the 70 victims of sexual assault stemming from a phone prankster who pretended to be a police officer as depicted in the dark and disturbing 2012 movie, Compliance.
And I ask myself, "What can I do? What can we do, as a culture"?
It's time to be truthful. It's time to face Hard Truths about how the denigration of women and the Goddess directly relates to the rape and destruction of this planet. We need to ask ourselves, "How do I contribute to this madness and how can We stop it and stand up for Our Truth as women and Goddess?"