The Ineffable Maiden: Persephone
Oil Painted Photography
38" x 33"
“It is as though beauty were a kind of catalyst, transforming raw grief into tranquil sadness.”
Beautiful sweet Persephone was chasing butterflies when the earth opened up and she was abducted by Hades. Hades soon bound her eternal soul to his fiery realm by feeding her the fruit of the underworld, making her his queen for all time. Her mother, the goddess who ruled over the life of the earth, searched for her relentlessly, allowing the world to wither in her sorrow. An infamous deal was struck by the decree of Zeus that she would be allowed to return to her mother's side for half of every year. Thus, every spring when she ascends from her dark and gilded cage to join Demeter, winter fades and the earth once again begins to bloom with the joy of her return.
The myth of Persephone’s descent into the underworld and her seasonal return to earth was honored in the elaborate rituals of the ancient Eleusinian Mysteries. Reflecting the cyclical nature of life, these mysterious rites would transform the participants through elaborate re-enactments, taking them through a visceral experience of their own horrifying death and mystical resurrection. The initiate would emerge from the subterranean chambers radically transformed overnight, their higher natures liberated from the bondage of material ignorance, permanently freed from any fear of what death can bring.
At our core, we are not so different from our ancient ancestors. No matter what era, nation, or skin we live in, we can collectively overcome our deepest fears by walking a conscious sacred road, away from the obsessions of ego or materialism, towards action that activates our highest potential.
“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”