Good and gracious Tuesday! We move toward Mabon this week and as such we begin to say good bye to Persephone! I do not accept the patriarchal rewriting of Her Story where She is stolen away by Hades, raped and kept captive. No, I accept the original story where Persephone makes the decision to leave the care of Her mother, Demeter, to care for the Underworld for 6 months.
We have a lot to learn from this story and I think it may be why this time of year is always different for me. I was married in the Fall. Both my miscarriages happened in the Fall, I returned to work after the birth of both my children, in the Fall. Then my children went to public school and then college, in the Fall. And I ended my 30 year marriage in the Fall.
Persephone stands for me: Major Transitions.
It is necessary that Persephone leaves Her mother, Demeter. And as we all do, during major transitions, we grieve. Demeter grieved so much that even when Hecate came to minister to Demeter and assured Her that Her daughter was ok; Demeter still was so sad that the Garden rested and went barren.
One of the major gifts of aging is the ability to look back and see how life unfolded and have faith that it will continue to unfold for our highest good! I learn a lot in the Fall. I learn about being quiet, about what harvest looks like in my life and the life of others. I learn about sharing what I have with others and I learn to be a gracious receiver when I am in need of something from someone else.
I am drawn to going within and "licking my wounds", of acknowledging what has died and what I need to let die! Patricia Monaghan says in her book: Seasons of the Witch: "This is the time to decide what will die. Not all of last spring's calves and lambs and ducklings can be fed through the winter. Some will die, and in the dying provide food. It is a season of decisions. And of prophecies: for as other life dies, it foreshadows our own deaths.... As she moves through autumn, a woman.... does not try to nurture everything and everyone, for she knows not all can---should----survive. She becomes selective. There is enough of everything---strength, love, passion, lust---everything but time."
Persephone leaving Her mother, had Demeter realize that. What would it look like if we followed suit.
We know that Persephone will return to Demeter and to us bringing flowers, vegetation, and all that grows to nourish and sustain us. That is Hope. But what about those who have lost that hope? That seem to be my challenge in the Fall and Winter.
The answer is we share from our Harvest! We each have something to bring to the Table. It may not be actual food and water, but it may be compassion, understanding, a sweet and unexpected note, or a message of "I get it and I care."
Mabon will arrive without a fanfare, without fireworks and without front page news, but come She will. She will come in Silence. Soon, Persephone will be deep within the Cave and before we know it, our fires will be lit, the harvest will be over and we will be cuddled up on our chairs with hot cocoa and a good book!
May we all be aware of the Silence, of the need and the want and the deep stirrings in our soul of what it means to be without Persephone for the next 6 months!
Blessed be and So mote it be!