Culture Blogs

Women’s Herbal Conference, Glastonbury Goddess Conference, West Kentucky Hoodoo Rootworker Heritage Festival, and other gatherings.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Find the Pomegranate. Eat It. Remain a Time with the Dark Goddesses.


O, yes, it is nearly Samhain. Oya is crashing north- and westward, Her winds clearing the path, driving the waters ahead of Her. And I am composing an invocation of the Morrighan and have purchased a perfect, fat pomegranate. It is so tempting to tear it open and taste the sweet wild seed-fruits, to quench my thirst as Persephone did and doom myself to a dual-life. 

The lore surrounding Persephone's descent into the underworld has come down to us in some interesting ways. One is the abduction scenario--Hades rises from a great cleft in the Earth and pulls her into his black chariot. She leaves her mother Demeter behind, bereft at the disappearance of her only child. Persephone serves as Queen of the Underworld and in the course of her time below, she eats six seeds from a pomegranate. These doom her to a bi-coastal existence--six months above ground with Mummy, six below with her husband, the Dark King.

This story was re-imaged by feminists into the story of Persephone going to visit her grandmother in the dark of the Earth. It became a story of initiation, of female power heightened by integration of Self and Shadow, of the Three Ages of Woman in tandem at last.

For me, as a priestess of Inanna, this harkens back to Her Descent. What a powerful tale of transformation and love and loyalty it is--and one of the most ancient of all religious stories. From it our culture gets the "Dance of the Seven Veils" (it's not what you think) and the heart-shattering notion that a deity--a Goddess--can give up life in the dark of the Earth and be reborn and returned to Her people.

This time of year is evocative as we think of and dream of our Ancestors, our Beloved Dead. As we approach the dark of winter, we may choose to set down some burdens and to make amends for some wrongs, all in an effort to gain wisdom, to grow in strength, to re-learn ways of female power that have been shrouded for far too long.

As we face a New Year, it is the perfect time to walk through those seven interior gates, to leave burdens behind and approach the center with lightness, with curiosity.

Can you? Will you?

I encourage you to eat some pomegranate seeds and to feel how it is to cross over the thresholds of a deeper spiritual experience. For we are all spiritual nomads as we walk the worlds of spirit and matter and learn the arts of transformation.

Pomegranates--those sweet fat rubies of knowledge. Eat. Eat!

Last modified on
H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at,


Additional information