Demeter and Persephone

Demeter the Grain Mother, gave humans the gift of agriculture and civilization. Her beautiful daughter Persephone, also called Kore the Maiden, helped Her to watch over the growing grain. The girl liked to wander the hills after the grain was growing to be among the wildflowers, especially gathering red poppies.

One day Kore-Persephone told Demeter that She had met the spirits of the dead drifting aimlessly over the Earth, hovering about their old homes and families. "They seemed Lost, " the girl said. "Do they not have anyone to watch over them in the underworld?"

Demeter answered that She was also mistress of the underworld as well as of the growing grain. Her most important function was caring for the crops, and She could not take the time to care for the spirits of the dead.

"Then I will go and care for them," Kore-Persephone said. Demeter tried to dissuade the girl, but She was determined. The girl gathered red popies and sheaves of grain to take with Her in remembrance of Her mother's upper domain. Demeter lead Her to a deep chasm that went far down into the Earth. The Grain Mother handed Her daughter a torch to light Her way, kissed Her, and wept as the girl disappeared into the chilly abyss.

Kore-Persephone walked downward in the cold darkness until She came to an enormous cavern filled with spirits of the dead. There the girl set up the torch near a rocky throne; beside it She placed a dish of pomegrante seeds, food for the dead. She called each spirit to Her, embraced it, and marked its forehead with pomegrante juice. This initiation marked a preparation for rebirth into the upper world.

Meantime, Demeter continued to mourn for Her daughter. The crops stopped growing; everything became dormant, the weather cold. After several month, Demeter noticed a crocus blooming. She knew Kore-Persephone was returning to Her. The Grain Mother waved Her hands in blessing over the land, and the crops flourished. Animals begain to bear young again. Soon Kore-Persephone emerged from the cleft in the Earth and greeted Her mother with joy. But part of each year the young Maiden returns to the underworld to comfort and guide the spirits of the dead. While She is gone, Her mother weeps and awaits Her daughter's return in the spring.

As a result, each year Persephone returns tot he underwold and Demeter mourns for her daughter. All life that is upon the earth retreats and awaits the return of Persephone. Each year we yearn, along with Demeter, for the return of Persephone. As the time approached, we all smell the air, listen for the birds and look for the blooming flowers.

It is obvious in this rendition by Spretnak that the Goddess and Her Maiden daughter are unpolluted by later changes. Demeter is the Mother aspe of the Goddess, the energy of grain and life after it has been planted. But Kore-Persephone is a more complex version of the Goddess; it is also possible that She is an older definition of Demeter, a facet grafted onto a later, more inclusive form. Kore-Persephone is both the virginal Maiden, independent of the Earthly responsibilities of Her mother, yet also an image of the Crone, the death-life Goddess of rebirth.

This version of the Maiden is one of power and control over ones own destiny. She has great strength and it grounded in her feelings. She fears nothing. Everything appears to be a journey or adventure to her and she is a self-starter and enjoys new beginnings. I tend to want to believe this version because of its positive overtones. Persephone is not a victum as she is in the other version. Take time to think about the Maiden within you. The new beginnings, the budding of your life and the nourshiment of your soul. Feel the Goddess wrap her arms around you and enfold you with her LOVE. Spring to life and begin to enjoy who and what you are and relish in where you came from. The Goddess

See how different you feel incorporating the Maiden in your life. Watch the subtle changes and have more fun.

If you are interested in a deep learning experience write you story make yourself the Goddess and create a new reality. It is a great exercise for change.

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