We are officially in spring now, so I figured it would be a good time to get to know the Goddess herself. Persephone is the Goddess of Spring, Queen of the Underworld and the heroine of my first novel.
Mythologically speaking, Persephone is a bit of a pawn in the machinations of others. Her original story involves her getting kidnapped by Hades and because she consumes the food of the Underworld she is forced to spend half of her eternity with her captor. She is intimately connected with death and rebirth and was worshiped by cult groups who were trying to understand life and death. She is worshiped around much of the western Mediterranean area in various forms. The most famous cult of Persephone is that of the Eleusinian Mysteries. It is thought that part of the rituals involved in the mysteries was a fast and the consumption of hallucinogenic/psychedelic compounds which would produce visions. This would be similar to the Oracles where they would receive “visions from the Gods” and would be able to understand what their deities wanted and could relay that information to others. People throughout time have been focused on life after death and the myth of Persephone, with her return from the Underworld, must have been particularly fascinating. She is not the only Goddess associated with the Underworld either, there is also Isis and Inanna, among others, that are similar to the myth of Persephone, but I’ll save exploration of those myths for another day.
Some of the myths I cover/rewrite in the novel: the “rape” of Persephone and the origin of Spring, the birth of Zagreus, the Trojan War and many others. I chose to write my novel so that Persephone stops being a pawn in a story she wants no part of. Unpleasant things still occur in her life, but instead of simply going along for the ride she is an active participant and creator of her own story. I won’t write much more on her story just to avoid spoilers. The important thing is that just like Spring is a rebirth of the world, Persephone transforms into a new version of herself, one that is brighter and more full of life than the one before.
Thanks for stopping by!