Thursday, March 4, 2010

Persephone Returns

I love pomegranates. Today I found my last one of the season sitting in the back of the refrigerator. I thought I'd eaten my last one last week, but today I was given a gift. The skin is hard, but the fruit inside is perfect. They are only available for a couple of months around December so I buy six or eight or more. They are a winter fruit, but to me, the last one signals spring. Just like Persephone, when the last one is eaten, it's time to come out of the darkness of winter and let the blessings of springtime begin.

In ancient Greek mythology, Persephone, the embodiment of springtime fell in love with the King of the Underworld and left her Earth Mama's side to go with him to his home. That left Demeter, her mother, so bereft and lost that she wandered forlornly and the first winter happened. Persephone loved her mother and even though she loved her new life also, she wanted to come back to Earth to visit her mother. One of the rules in the Underworld was that one could not leave if she has eaten anything. And, Persephone had eaten pomegranate seeds. But, Persephone was so well loved that she was allowed to come back to Earth for half of the year. So when Persephone has eaten the last pomegranate seed, she comes back to her mother and the Earth enjoys spring and summer each year. And, when she leaves in the autumn, according to the legend, we have winter.

In some versions of this story, her husband stole her away and wouldn't let her come back until other Goddesses intervened. I like the previous story better.

As a child while reading mythology, I never understood why the mythology story makers told stories of Gods and Goddesses with not only good sides, but with greed, envy, and many, many more negative human faults. But as an adult I know that we can all see ourselves in these stories. It has been said that mythology is "a story that never happened but is always happening." And, we live it over and over.

Each of us has many sub-personalities layered deep inside us. Have you ever noticed how you can have a different personality according to the situation you are in? Sometimes we are outgoing, sometimes withdrawn. Sometimes assertive, sometimes acquiescing. We can draw on these sides of ourselves whenever we need them. Occasionally I need a good chef to come forward and help me in the kitchen!

I once heard it said that "the more narrow view you have of yourself, the more faults you will see in others." I try to remember that whenever I feel that someone is being or doing something I don't like. I have to stop and realize, well, there is a part of me who can act like that sometimes as well and not react.

And in the meantime, I will eat my last pomegranate, continue to go within to my own Underworld this winter to examine my good aspects as well as my negative ones, and know that spring will come visit again very soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment