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Posted on:  Mar 17, 2017 @ 12:00 Posted in:  Sabbats
At the portal where the Underworld opens to the sunlit realm, the Goddess Demeter waits for you, just as She has waited for Persephone from time immemorial. She is queenly in bearing and stature, clothed in a flowing gown of warm browns and soft greens, the colors of the good green earth. Her raven-hued tresses, faintly streaked with silver grey, smell fresh and fragrant, like rain-washed wildflowers. Though She smiles warmly in welcome, Her eyes, the blue black of a stormy sea, hold a great sorrow in their depth, and a great love.
One of your feet is still upon the cold, stone stairway that descends into the dark below, and the other touches the downy, green surface of Spring’s first grass. Both places lay claim to you: the Underworld with its mysteries and trials of darkness, sorrow and death, and the sunlit realm with its life-giving energies of light, joy and new growth.
Demeter reaches out a hand and pulls you upward into a mother’s embrace, tight and loving, with no separation between your two beating hearts. Then She takes your face between Her warm palms, gazing deep into your eyes and unearthing what you are made of and how you have changed since the last time She beheld your soul.
“Here, in the sweet-scented land of Spring,” Demeter says, “I have celebrated my daughter Persephone’s return from the depth of the Underworld. And here, I have long waited for this moment when you and your human kin would find your way back to my side and the ways of the Greater Mother.”
“Come, there are mysteries I would share with you so you will know the import of this turning point on your journey of soul, and in this Great Turning in the spiritual unfolding of humankind.”
Demeter leads you away from the biting drafts that reach upward from the belly of the Underworld and draws you deeper into the sunlit meadow, enlivened with bright clusters of spring flowers and the sounds of insects, birds and other wild things. You sit beside each other, with the green earth beneath you, the blue sky above, and the winds blowing fresh and balmy.
“When the world was young, there was no separation between humanity and the Great Mother,” Demeter begins, “Your primal ancestors lived at one with Her life-centered ways, just as Persephone stayed close by my side, and I protected and cared for Her, keeping Her out of harm’s way.
“Yet there comes a time when children must leave the circle of their mother’s love and find their way in the world on their own terms. Persephone left me to descend into the Underworld realm of darkness and death, and your ancestors turned away from the Great Mother and descended into a grievous period of your history. And so a long, cold Winter came to the Earth, where dominion and death overruled the creation and nurturance of life as the bedrock of your human society, and I mourned the loss of my daughter and the immense suffering of the Great Mother’s children.”
As Demeter speaks, you walk beside Her in Her remembrances, witnessing this long winter through Her tear-filled eyes and sorrowful heart. Long She wandered the world searching for Her daughter, and long She beheld the atrocities committed by humanity against each other and the living Earth. And as you walk with Demeter, the restless ancestors gather round you, victim and perpetrator alike, caught in the web of destruction and despair of this old tale, woven of our worst instincts of fear, greed, hatred and will to power.
Without words, you understand that our modern reality is a continuation of our ancestors’ lives, where our shadow overrides our light in a great imbalance between the worst and best of our human nature, and that the pain of your personal story has its roots in this much older tale.
“Yet as the seasons of the Earth turn, so do the seasons of humanity,” Demeter continues, “Many powers are converging, within and without, to wake humanity from its long winter of soul. Spring is in the air; Persephone walks the land above; and here you are, by my side, reaching for the ways of the Great Mother once more.
Posted on:  Mar 19, 2016 @ 12:12 Posted in:  Sabbats
The Spring Equinox marks a time of equal day and night before the cosmic scale tips in favor of light and life. This astrological event has been observed and celebrated by ancient civilizations and modern cultures around the world. Both Easter and Passover coincide with the Spring Equinox, sharing themes of the miracle of rebirth and new beginnings.
In Nature, a new cycle of rebirth and growth begins. Warming temperatures and spring rains rouse the dormant landscape. The plant realm stirs, sending out tender shoots to kiss the strengthening sun. Birds return from migration, animals shed their winter coats, and fresh winds carry the scents of new buds and green-growing things.
In pagan circles, now is the time for the tale of the Goddess Persephone who descends into the Underworld at the Fall Equinox and rejoins her Mother Demeter in the sunlit realm at the Spring Equinox. Persephone begins her descent journey as a maiden and re-emerges as a feminine power in her own right, Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of new growth. Where Persephone walks the land, she leaves a trail of spring flowers in her wake.
On one level, this myth speaks of the turning of the seasons with Fall’s shift toward the darkness and death of Winter, and Spring as a time of returning light and new life. But Persephone has deeper lessons to share, mirrored in the ways of Nature, that can guide you in the mysteries of new beginning and spiritual evolution.