I love to explore the Divine Feminine and write about Goddesses. For a list of those, click on the link: Goddesses. In order to become more balanced within ourselves and, through that, to bring greater balance and harmony to the world around us, we must find greater balance between the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves that each one of us possesses, regardless of physical gender or any other ways of self-identification.
Spring & the Underworld
The Ancient Greek Goddess Persephone is the daughter of Zeus, the chief God of the Greek pantheon, and Demeter, the Goddess of corn, grain and harvest. The myth goes that Hades, God of the Underworld, abducted her as his bride with Zeus’ permission and Demeter, in her grief, laid the earth barren. Zeus intervened on her behalf and tried to bring Persephone back to her mother, but because his daughter had eaten the seeds of the pomegranate Hades had given her, she was bound to him.
Thus, it was decreed that Persephone would spend three quarters of the year with her mother Demeter and one quarter in the Underworld with Hades, during which time, her mother was grieving and laying the earth barren. This time corresponded with the Ancient Greek winter months and thus, the myth is the deification story of the seasonal changes in the Greek climate. If you look at cultures all over the world, you will find such myths explaining natural seasonal cycles everywhere the world over.
Persephone is known by other names as well, relating to her role in the myth and thereby in nature and thereby in people’s lives. Her other names are Kore or Cora (the maiden) and Kore Soteira (the saviour maiden); Hagne (the pure); Aristi Cthonia (the best cthonic); and Despoina (the mistress of the house). In mythology, the maiden symbolises purity and innocence, the first phase in a life cycle, the blossoming, blooming life. It also denotes that which is pure and untainted in all of us.
Mistress of Karma
At the same time, Persephone, in her role as Hades’ wife and princess of the Underworld, Homer describes her as a formidable, venerable and majestic Goddess who carried into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead.
This means that she was the one dealing out karma in the Underworld. Karma is the energetic imprint of what we create through our thoughts, beliefs and actions. It can be desirable or not. The labels good or bad are man-made ones, but in physical laws, there is no value judgement, only synchronised and harmonious vibrations or frequencies that repel or attract each other, thus creating experiences in life that may or may not be to your liking.
The Ancient Greeks believed that curses spoken by people could have an effect on others or that you could also create your own and then “pay” for those in the afterlife, or being reborn into a new life, carrying those curses forward to deal with in a new incarnation. Thus, Persephone is known as the goddess who springs to life and destroys, a perfect metaphor for nature’s cyclical seasons and the same kind of seasons in a person’s life cycle. After all, we are part of nature.
Here is a lovely video, suitable for children as well, retelling the myth of Persephone and her husband Hades.