I am Charlie Brown.
Jessica is Lucy, and she’s always holding the football, coaxing me to believe she will not do what she’s always done.
“Let’s do this project together, Mom. It’ll be fun.”
“Well, I don’t want to get into any weird stuff. I mean, I’m kind of nervous about all this goddess stuff, and, will it freak out my family and friends?”
“No, it will be good for us, Mom.”
So while reading Jessica’s Persephone blog, I’m thinking, “She moved the football, again.”
I’m Charlie Brown, again, whack! I’m flat on my back.
After reading only two paragraphs, I’m like, “Really, Girl?!?! You've embraced pantheism?!?!” And I’m wondering how I can smooth over the shock value and turn it into something humorous and non-scary … and hoping the 2nd half of her blog pretty much says: "just kidding!"
I’ve now read it all. Several times. I still love her, but she really scares me. What have I gotten in to?
I’ll make no comment about baptisms and devotion to goddesses. Yes, she and I “span our own dance of the opposites and [Jess’s] orbit always seems to move into the realms of the forbidden and strange.” Fiddle-dee-dee. Let’s talk about something else.
Persephone’s story of abduction, rape and imprisonment by Hades is extraordinarily similar to Jessica’s journey. In our “dance of opposites,” I am the embodiment of Persephone’s mother, the Goddess Demeter. I am Mother Bear. Demeter (wife of Zeus) dropped everything to search the world for her daughter. Demeter’s story is all about rescuing Persephone. Sadly, while Jessica was in her own hell, I was focused on navigating the family through her fiery eruptions. I knew I’d lost my happy little girl, but didn’t know I was supposed to go search for her. I didn’t know why that shy child had become an angry teenager who hated her mother. Had I known. Had I only known.
Even now, after years of therapy, the scars still occasionally swell and burn a little.
Although Demeter found Persephone and facilitated her rescue, Hades urged Persephone to assuage her hunger before she journeyed out of the Underworld. Persephone had not eaten a single thing since her abduction, so she ate a single pomegranate seed. Sadly, Persephone did not know, “Anyone who tastes the food of Hades must remain in the Underworld.” She is now fated to spend half of each year with Hades and half of each year with Demeter.
Hmm… isn’t there another ancient story where the eating of a fruit results in eternal bondage to the underworld and banishment from the garden, from home, from Parent?
The absence of Persephone myths prior to her abduction story make me wonder if Hades’ despicable act awakened something in her. Perhaps that horrific event and her subsequent rebirth afforded her value, and made her useful for universal myth.
Persephone’s story reminds me that we cannot control the events in our lives. Shit happens. Real bad shit. But in God/Goddess there is redemption and resurrection. The Creator restores, rebirths. There is always death. But there is always new life. Always. Resurrection is real because it is the Divine nature of Goddess. As Jessica’s story unfolds, the Presence of Light, Love and Life is rebuilding her out of the darkness that carried her away so long ago.
Jessica doesn’t think she is strong, but she is.
She is Persephone, Resurrected Queen.
Persephone’s Mandala of the Humble Warrior pose is comprised of four symbols.
At the center are pomegranates, signifying what sealed her fate as Queen of the Underworld.
Next is the symbol of the river, Styx, which represented the boundary between Earth and the Underworld. The river Persephone had to cross twice each year.
The Persephone myth reveals that while she spent her half year with Hades, Demeter would cause plant life to go dormant. Earth grew cold. As Persephone emerged from the Underworld (always in Spring), warmth returned and Earth came to life. The symbol of the vine represents Persephone’s connection with new life and new growth.
Lastly, there is the eternal fire, a universal image of the Underworld, Hell and Hades. Fire also conjures up feelings of strength and power and leadership, traits of Persephone as well.