Persephone and Aidoneus

Many years ago, when the earth was not so old and the Goddesses and Gods walked among mortals, the maiden Persephone, daughter of Demeter, gathered flowers in a meadow. In the meadow there grew a beautiful narcissus. Because of it's great beauty, Persephone approached the plant. Whe she reached out to pluck the beautiful flower, the earth split asunder and Aidoneus, lord of the underworld, came out and grabbed her.

Persephone cried to her father Zeus and to her mother Demeter... yet to no avail. The mountains echoed her cry and a great pain struck Demeter as she heard her child crying..

Demeter sought out her daughter. She searched and searched, yet no one would tell her what had happened to her daughter. Demeter, struck wiht grief, drank neither ambrosia nor the sweetness of nectar for nine days. This was most unusual, as it is the way ot the Goddesses and Gods to drink ambrosia and nectar. On the tenth day of her wandering Demeter met Hecate, who told her of hearing the screams, but could not tell her who had taken Persephone. Demeter said nothing but immediately searched out Helios, who sees the doings of the Gods and mortals.

In her wandering, Demeter cam to the city of Eleusis and here she found refuge with Wueen Metaneria. While residing there, Demeter came to care greatly for the prince Demophon. Desiring to bestow immortal life upon the child, each night she hid him in the fire and fed him the nectar and ambrosia of the Gods. When the queen found out what was going on she was very much frightened. At that moment, the Goddess Demeter revealed herself in all her glory to the mortals. She commanded that they should build a temple dedicated to her worship and instructed them in the secret rituals for her worship

Demeter stayed in her temple in Eleusis, away from the home of the Goddesses and Gods, for many days as she mourned for her daughter. She caused this time to be the most terrible and oppressive year for humans upon the nourishing earth. Demeter allowed no seed to grow and the fields were plowed in vain. By these deed, she could have destroyed the mortal race and deprived the Goddesses and Gods of the most glorious sacrifices. Zeus, fearing the loss of sacrifices, sent many an ambassador to summon Demeter, yet she refused to return to Olympos. Demeter told the ambassadors that she would not return to Olympos nor allow the seeds of the earth to grow again until she saw her daughter

When Zeus heard this, he sent Hermes to lead Persephone out of the underworld. When Persephone learned that she would be returning to see her mother she was overjoyed. However, before she left, Aidoneus gave her a pomegrante and bade her to eat it. Persephone did so, not knowing that she would be compelled to return to the underworld. In light of this , Zeus decided that Persephone would spend one third of the year with Aidoneus in the darkness of the underworld and the other two thirds with her mother Demeter.

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.

This is a seasonal myth and symbolizes the cycles from winter to spring. Demeter, the mother goddess, sends all life to sleep when her daughter is underground. Persephone represents the fate of the grain which lies in the dark all winter and will sprour and return to the light of day when spring comes. When she reunites with her mother all earth will celebrate with new leaves, flowers, animals, sunshine and nourishment. The myth was celebrated for many centuries in Ancient Greece. The mystic connection between mother and daughter was hel in great reverence by these people, despite the encroachment of masculine symbolism.

To strengthen the Maiden within you

I am whole unto myself
I am the bright maiden
Strong, invincible, and free
I am the dark maiden
Cloaked in veils and mystery
I am the pulse of the Sun
and the pull of the Moon
Flowing from one to the other
In perfect harmony
Where I walk
None can hinder me
I am maiden
Forever young and free

Esbat Invocation

Mother of all
Goddess above
Look down Your children
With goodness and love
Grant to us strength
To heal and to grow
Share Your fertility
With us here below
Show us Your power
To sprout thing from seed
Help us all here
In our time of need
We worship Your symbol, the Moon
And pray to our Mother
To grant us this boon
Be with us, Goddess
Your children below
And give us the knowledge
That we need to grow

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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