|from Wiki Commons|
I have many titles, which sometimes confuses humans. Persephone, Kore, Queen of the Dead, Goddess of Spring Flowers…..all these, and more, are my domain.
Daughter of Zeus and Demeter, I dwelt on Mount Olympus, the darling child of all. My adored husband Hades began to give me sidelong glances as I grew, but I did not notice much. I ran joyously through the groves and fields, charged with painting the spring flowers in their brilliant colors.
As I matured, Hades burned to be with me, and I thrilled to his passion. He loves both sides of me. One part of me smiles to see spring flowers and the renewal of Gaia’s creation when the sunny warmth of spring returns to the land. The other side of me smiles to see death coming to all plants and animals when their days pass, and cold winds blow from the north. Hades saw my generative power, a gift from my mother Demeter, but he also loved the dark transmutational might within me, a gift of my father Zeus. Only Hades understood me, from among all the Gods, and only he truly loved both the floral and the fatal sides of me.
Why would Hades shrink from me because I smile to see frost withering flowers, years etching lines on human faces? It is beautiful to witness all that is ordered be overwhelmed by chaos, all beings bowing before my grandfather Kronos’ immutable laws of time? Hades celebrates his father’s cycles of time. Hades smiles to see bards, philosophers, and all honorable humans arrive in his realm, all dead as doornails and happy as clams, ripe for eternal feasting in Paradise.
We knew my mother would never want me to reign in Hell beside my adored Lord, so we made a pact with Father Zeus before Hades and I eloped. I love my mother Demeter, but I want my own domain. I love the spring flowers. I love the cold autumn winds that wither the flowers, their tender stems rotting to enrich the soil with their deaths. I swore to Zeus I would venture forth when the chill winds temper to mild spring breezes, to help my Mother once again with Her people, the plants and the crops, to paint the flowers dancingly as Kore each year.
And then Hades met me in a sacred grove. The cliffside opened to reveal my beloved, standing in the cave, smiling, and beckoning gently to me to come with him at last. We crossed the Styx in Charon’s boat, garlanded with white flowers. Even the saturnine Oarsman smiled to see his Lord’s happiness, smiled to welcome me as his Lady. My love for Hades has never wavered. Our undying passion is legendary. We are each other’s perfect complement.
When we finally began to sate our passion for one another, I ventured forth to be with my mother once again in Gaia’s world. Hades and I made up the story about the pomegranate to tell Demeter. My mother would never understand why I would want to leave her side. We thought it would be kinder, easier for her, this way, and Zeus agreed. She is the kind of mother who would prefer to be angry at her son in law than acknowledge her daughter’s independence. Just as I love and adore my Lord, I also love and adore my mother Demeter. Embracing the loving sunny warmth of my mother Demeter in spring, and kissing the cold lips of my passionate husband Hades in autumn just come naturally to me.
I feel blessed to share this understanding, and I am thankful to both Persephone and Caroline for co-creating it!
What are your thoughts about the Persephone/Hades mythos?