Dr. Helen Johnson
22 Mar 2014
Persephone is the goddess of the dead and the underworld, the realm of the mystical and of the departed...
Persephone is the goddess of the dead and the underworld, the realm of the mystical and of the departed. She is very inward looking and has an unassuming manner. She possesses a mysterious charm and intensity and has an ethereal quality; there is even perhaps an air of vulnerability about her.
In fact, Persephone is concealing her ability to cross over into the unknown. She has a deep awareness of things that are not consciously understood and this may cause her to seem disconnected from the real world of scientific materialism. This can leave Persephone feeling isolated and misunderstood, particularly when branded strange by those who do not understand her. She may be secretive and reclusive. Her heightened sensory capacity and her connectedness to the energy of the world surrounding her can make her very sensitive, which leads to an even greater need to retreat. In addition, her knowledge of the underworld and her relationship to it can mean that she suffers by experiencing the hurt and pain associated with. She can become overwhelmed. However, if she combines this vision and sensitivity to her environment with a stronger disposition then she can be an invaluable member of a community, possessing wisdom and heightened knowledge.
Persephone was kidnapped by the ‘Lord of Death’ and forced to become his wife. This part of her story represents a loss of innocence; a violent encounter with the feared underworld. Persephone’s story is bound up with her mother’s, Demeter, who suffered at the fate of her daughter and whose comforting presence was lost to Persephone when she was taken from her.
However, Persephone eventually became the Queen of the Underworld and with her knowledge of this dark place was able to guide others through its darkness, through the unknown, and through the aspects of living that people most fear. Persephone is present wherever there is grief, loss, fear, or any difficult emotion or experience.
In earlier encounters with the underworld, Persephone presents as her younger self and her vulnerability and bewilderment will emerge. However, once Persephone has had the time and space to learn, grow and mature then she will become a torch that illuminates a pathway through the underworld, through the aspects of life that others fear, ignore, and avoid.