In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the time when Persephone begins her descent into the Underworld due to being kidnapped and raped by Hades! King of the Death Cave! Master and Big Man on Campus! In such need of a wife he was, he came out of the Cave and took what was not his: Persephone.
Of course, this sent Mama Demeter into a rage as she did not know where Persephone had gone and with her rage and grief and loss cold and darkness came to the planet. Winter became harsh as Demeter drew more and more into Herself and Persephone was not around to bring Light and Growth to the Planet.
Ahhhh....the story of that we all grew up with; were taught in Latin class; and understood as was the lot of women. We were always at the risk of being kidnapped, raped and married off to whatever man decided he wanted us! And it was ok, cause you see, everyone once in a while, this cruel and powerful man would let us go out to play.
This was not the original story. This was the story that was hijacked and changed when the patriarchal religions came into being and their main agenda was to take that which was not theirs: the Goddess, women, children and all forms of property. They changed the stories to fulfill their agenda.
In the most ancient layer of myth, Persephone's name means "She Who Destroys The Light." She was the powerful Goddess of the Underworld long before anyone knew of Hades. Like the Indian Kali, the Irish Morrigan, and the Sumerian Ereshkegal, she was the Goddess of Death.
Another ancient layer of the myth tells of Persephone hearing the despairing cries of the dead and choosing freely to go into the Underworld to comfort them. Hades does not appear at all, in this version. Here Persephone's descent to hell illustrates inclusiveness for every being, whether in the Underworld or in our present one, and shows that mercy is integral to her nature.
In some older versions of Persephone's story, she was a young woman, not a young girl, and instead of accidentally wandering away, she had gone deliberately adventuring, when she fell, or was lured, or was kidnapped into Hell. Here Persephone's adventurous spirit leads her into difficulty, instead of her being a passive victim of the wickedness of others. Her relationship with her mother gives her the courage to explore her world, and when events take a bad turn, their relationship gives her the strength to survive.
Do you see what happened? Persephone was NOT kidnapped. She took it upon herself, for a variety of reasons to go into the Underworld. She was powerful, compassionate, strong! She could not fit into the Male Take over! Women could be none of that. They were at the beck and call of the Male who was GOD!
So what can we do about this? We can stop telling the story that includes Hades. That is a male religion retelling to brainwash women into thinking they are always subservient to the Male God, they are always at his mercy, and they are always available to be raped and sold off for marriage. That is their place in the patriarchal religions and culture.
There was and is no HADES! He is a figment of the imagination of religions who had a cruel, evil and punishing God!
But not anymore!
Now Demeter is another story for another time, but let it be said, that I am sure she was sad and lonely for her daughter and as such winter comes upon us as she is grieving the loss of her daughter. But for me....it was Persephone, flying out of the nest and making her own choices of where she was to be Goddess!
Just like you and me!