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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in demeter
Persephone and Demeter: A Personal Tale Of Birthright and Motherhood
Art by Susan Seddon-Boulet

"In the best known version of the Greek myth, Persephone is dragged down into the underworld by Hades, whose title is 'Pluto.' But in earlier, pre-patriarchal tales, she descends there under her own power, actively seeking to graduate from her virginal naïveté by exploring the intriguing land of shadows. 'Pluto' is derived from the Greek word plutus, meaning 'wealth.' Psychologist James Hillman says this refers to the psyche-building riches available in Pluto's domain. Hades, he says, is the 'giver of nourishment to the soul.'" - Rob Brezsny

This is the month of my mother’s birthday, and when I recently read this quote, it made the tale of Persephone and Demeter become mine, and I wanted to explore this new perspective in the context of my relationship with my mother.

I was never taken into the underworld, so the archetype as it is commonly known never really resonated with me, but that changes drastically if it is understood as a willing and self-powered journey of nourishing discovery! I'll be wanting to ponder this tale in its new light (thanks, Rob Brezsny!)

But first, let’s focus on Demeter.

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  • Me
    Me says #
    Hello, Lia, Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading this. It still amazes me every time one of the ancient stories communicates
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    Thank you for your words and wishes, Jason. I wish the same for you. Not only did we choose these depths, but we have the capacit
  • JudithAnn
    JudithAnn says #
    I welcome you as a follower of my blog and appreciate the sharing here. My own mother has passed over ( 9 years now) and as I ente
  • JudithAnn
    JudithAnn says #
    Lia, It was so very interesting for me to read your take on the separate but entwined journeys of Demeter and Persephone, from th
  • Lia Hunter
    Lia Hunter says #
    Thanks for sharing your perspective and your own post with me, JudithAnn. Your painting is compelling, and your story is both touc
Bonding or Bondage: The Mother - Daughter Duel

None of the Goddess myths portray the intensely emotional mother daughter relationship more than that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone.

Like every good story, there is a beginning, middle and end. It begins with Persephone as the epitome of innocence and beauty, just as every daughter is to her own mother. In the middle is the metaphorical death of Persephone when she is abducted by Hades and descends to the underworld, followed by Demeter’s inconsolable grief. In the end a new way of life is forged; a compromise that serves both daughter and mother.

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  • JudithAnn
    JudithAnn says #
  • JudithAnn
    JudithAnn says #
    Paola Suarez As a mother, I thank you, for helping me believe tha t what I'm saying makes sense to somebody's daughter, even if no
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    You're welcome JudithAnn! I realized that my comment was missing a word. I meant to write "heartfelt and powerfully positive messa
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    As a daughter, I thank you for this heartfelt and powerful positive. I'm breathing it all in. Thank you for the imagery! Blessings

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A Modern Hellenic Tale of Winter Solstice Eve


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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


As you carve those pumpkins,
as you dress in costume,
as you trick or treating go,
as you seek entertainment,
as you avoid the wild shades,
do not forget to raise a glass
to the departed Persephone.
Tonight at the witching hour,
the gates of the Underworld
clang loudly shut with dread finality.
Closing securely within not only her
but also the restless dead.
Do not forget to raise a glass
to the patiently brooding Hades.
For his love has returned to his arms
after a lengthy, lonely separation.
Do not forget to raise a glass
to Demeter the mourning mother.
May her lament be not too harsh
upon her mortal children.
Do not forget to raise a glass
to your beloved dead.
May they rest peacefully
until their time of return.
Raise a glass and be thankful
that you are not with them
in the dark realm of below.
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Demeter. Persephone. Hades. Three names well-known from Greek mythology. Like Perseus slaying Medusa, or Theseus with his ball of thread, the story of Persephone's descent to the Underworld* is one known even outside Pagan communities. The details might be lost, but most people can recite the broad outlines of the tale: Hades kidnaps Persephone and takes her down to the Underworld and her mother, Demeter, is so upset that she withholds her blessings from the Earth. Winter sets in. Only when her daughter is returned does Demeter  allow the crops to grow again.

Like I said: broad outline. There are many, many different ways to interpret this myth -- coming-of-age tale, the reason for the seasons, origins of a mystery tradition, incorporation of a foreign Deity into the indigenous pantheon, and so forth. There are also different versions of this myth -- ancient, modern, feminist, and even (re)written Christian morality plays.

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  • Sharon Fargo
    Sharon Fargo says #
    After the birth of my daughter three years ago I was filled with so much joy that it was almost painful. Still am. Shadowing that

In the spirit of sharing more about the Hellenic festivals, I'm combining two of the coming ones in this post; three if you count a reference to a past one I hadn't talked about yet. Like I said on Sunday, I really only pay special attention to the festivals that resonate with me. This is not picking-and-choosing--because I try to at least offer libations to the stars of every single festival--but simply a matter of practicality.

I have to accept that I am a solitary Hellenic, which is a bit of an oxymoron. Like being a solitary Wiccan, being a solitary Hellenic is really not possible. Hellenismos is a community religion, like most of the Recon Traditions. Yes, you can focus solely on household worship, but in my view of the religion, you're practicing only half of it if you do that. The festivals made up a huge part of ancient Hellenic worship. With around ten festivals that took place outside of the home every month, it's hard to ignore that they mattered very much.

I feel it's very important to honor the festivals in my own small way, and I have come to realize that the festivals really make me long for a Hellenic community of my own. For a lot of the festivals, the entire city or town--especially in Athens--celebrated. Men, women, children, slaves, free men, everyone. There were special festivals for nearly all of them. Two women-only festivals were the Stenia and the Thesmophoria.

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  • Janneke Brouwers
    Janneke Brouwers says #
    Hallo landgenoot! Ik wist niet dat er Hellinisten waren in onze koude kikkerlandje, en die dan ook nog eens een blog hebben op Wit
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    Hallo Janneke, leuk om een landgenoot te spreken! Ja, er is inderdaad in ieder geval één Helleniste in Nederland. Als Helleniste v

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