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Goddess Persephone's Sacrifice

Goddess Persephone's first name Kore changed along with her lifestyle. To become a light of hope in the deepest darkness of the human journey.
Text title Persephone

Summary of Contents: Persephone in Mythology | Arrival and Appearance | Abduction of Kore | Persephone's Palace | Family History | Light in the Darkness | Fountain of Youth | Persephone's Gift

Festival Day - 21 May

Persephone in Mythology

Listed in most mythical sources as daughter of Corn mother Goddess Demeter, the story of goddess Kores' (Persephone) abduction by Hades is an ancient narrative that most mythologists claim is a metaphor for the corn cycle.

The story told of how one of Eros' love-magic arrows struck Hades. Passion roused he fired up his chariot, rose to the surface and seized young Kores and carried her down into the Underworld.

When eventually mother Demeter discovered what happened, she stopped work on making things grow. Fearing starvation for humankind Zeus appealed to Hades to return Kores.

Hades agreed on condition she hadn't eaten anything on the menu while below ground. Consuming food of the dead bound everyone thereafter to the Underworld.

Kores ate pomegranate, but a compromise was secured. The goddess accepted split shifts above ground for half the year.

And six months in the Underworld, as Persephone.

Mythological references Persephone

Theoi Persephone

Goddesses, Gods and You

What kind of Heaven do you expect. Soft fluffy paradise of eternity, or oblivion of nothingness? Out-of-body survival expert Margo Williams discovered a surprisingly simple system of management and afterlife recycling.

There are many goddesses and gods in the community. Speaking their name aloud evidently sends a signal; creates a link to wherever they are at any given moment. If it works for you as it worked for Margo, and they respond, be respectful but be yourself. Honesty and thoughtfulness are appreciated.

Sacrifice nothing but your time. Most of them seemed approachable and appreciated being remembered.

The ancient temples that still can be found in some places, although mostly broken, are huge monumental structures; impressive sacred spaces, their scale designed to impress, to be worthy of divine visitation.

However, it is not the size and splendour of any sacred space but the sincerity of the person seeking contact.

Anywhere can be a temple.

Photo image of Margo Williams in Africa
Margo Williams in Africa
"Are the stories of Hades and Kores true?" Nick Hammond asked out-of-body survivalist Margo Williams.

Persephone Arrival and Appearance

"Yes, so it seems.

Hades told me not everything is bad in the Underworld. And that is true. There are comfortable rooms with lush carpet on the floor, and elegant couches. One room decorated in maroon red palette and another in summer sky blue.

I was invited inside, on rare occasion.

We entered the red room. On a low table between couches stood a golden bowl filled with the lushest, juiciest ripest fruit I ever saw. And mouth-wateringly delicious marzipan cakes on triangular plates.

And solid gold goblets of rich fragrant wine.

The Underworld also houses the fabled Fountain of Youth.

"Drink your wine," insisted Hades.

My goblet stood on the onyx table beside the bowl of fruit. We sat on opposite couches.

In the silence between us I thought of the droplets that touched my skin from the fountain, and wondered how it worked.

A scent of heavy perfume wafted into the air. Hades nodded toward the goblet.

"No, thank you," I said. I recognised the scent.

"Show your trust. I shall not keep you here."

I felt a hand light-touch my shoulder. "It is quite safe to drink the wine," said Persephone.

I took a tiny sip. The wine tasted rich and fragrant, like port; delicious. It slipped down my throat.

"Do not be afraid." Persephone gestured me to rise and follow her from the room. "Come."

We exited along an earth-floored corridor lined with ferns, lit by pale green glowing illumination. "I am taking you to a part of the Underworld you have not seen."

She wore a knee-length pale blue gauze-like draped dress.

I tried not to think about what just happened.

The Abduction of Kore

I trusted Persephone. Hadn’t spent so much time in her company as with Hades, but often accompanied her above ground when she responded to our invitation.

Watched as she ran barefoot in grassy meadows, she looked happy out in the sunlight and wide open space. Slender twenty-something; corn-golden hair like her mother, though she wore it loose and long.

"This is part of my life," she told me. Showed me the rare white flower sacred to Hades.

"Mortals have heard of me," she said as we stood in that sunlit field of wild flowers. And then shocked me by sharing personal information.

"Of how I was abducted and taken to the Underworld," she continued. "How my mother grieved for me, and how my Lord Hades has me for part of the year."

Gods and goddesses rarely spoke of family or relationships.

The myths often were misleading and Persephone’s story seemed the most obviously allegorical. Daughter of Demeter, goddess of the earth; her cyclical return to the Underworld represented the cycle of nature.

How seed returned to the ground as the earth cold-set hard barren through winter.

Now, Persephone led me through the Underworld.

Persephone's Palace

We arrived at a Venetian–blind door, it opened. "My palace." She gestured for me to enter.

Blue silver light illuminated a comfortably sumptuous room of blue and white decor. Walls draped with curtain that glistened with a silvered sheen.

The ceiling too was draped. Blue and white material hung in folds that mingled in the middle, decoratively crafted into a soft effect. The chamber was furnished with four white couches heaped with cushions, and three small tables.

A bowl of fruit on one and two goblets on another.

Persephone did not offer me any. "Now you see I am very comfortable," she said.

I since have returned to my world, though I consumed something down there. So why not Persephone? Hades urged me to trust him. “I shall not keep you here,” he said.

It may be easy to confine a human in the Underworld but how did he prevent the daughter of a powerful goddess finding the exit?

Persephone opened a door on the far side of the chamber. "Come."

I followed into the next room. Delicious cream coloured walls and windows looking onto landscapes, grass and trees and hills warmly lit by sunlight.

Windows in the Underworld? I stared and realised they were paintings.

Ruched blue silk and silver lamé drapery framed the series of enormous painted pictures of country scenes from the world above.

To one side stood a huge couch-like bed covered in soft white angora, with a half dozen blue cushions. Either side stood two small tables, a silver bowl containing fruit on one. A silver jug with two china goblets of white and blue on the other.

Persephone stood in the centre of the room. Smiled and pointed upward.

I looked up at the ceiling. Constellations of tiny stars twinkled in the evening blue above us, as if open sky.

Family History

Her smile seemed sweet and genuine, as always but sometimes during our time together above ground I noticed a wistfulness in Persephone's expression.

She did not share with me the cause of that unhappiness.

There was always an obvious affection between Hades and Persephone when together and when apart. Hades did not ever confirm to whom he is related, only single mention of his creation. He did not share with me how that took place.

Persephone referred to him as Lord of the Underworld, even personalised their relationship with 'my'. No other god or goddess used the title Lord.

However, Persephone did speak of her family.

Her mother, she confirmed to me, is goddess Demeter. And Demeter does have responsibility for the earth and its fertility, though not exclusively agriculture.

Demeter’s favourite is the rainforest. She is as much responsible for the maintenance of forests as she is for crops and harvesting.

Hades’ realm is the under earth but evidently his work is not exclusively in the great chamber educational facility. He also creates life, new biological species.

Light in the Darkness

I don’t know how gods and goddesses get allocated different work and function.

Hades said he was created before the Underworld and responsible for its creation. He also told me Persephone took no part in sending anyone there or participated in its cruel activities.

But maybe she does have some influence in human redemption. Perhaps like those stars in that ceiling, she is the light in the darkness.

For it is dark in the Underworld. There is every reason for those accommodated within to give up hope. It is a place without secrets and time limit. And where a soul's strength is its weakness.

A darkness wherein the shining power of compassion, sympathy and love is most needed. Persephone may be our safeguard for salvation from Hades' grim facility.

Such a sacrifice for mortals may explain the wistfulness in her smile. But that was only my guess, she didn’t confirm it so.

Or ever explain why a god can abduct a goddess.

Hades offered no comment, nor did Demeter as to why that is permissible for Gods but not for mortals. Maybe it isn’t.

The Fountain of Youth

There were indicators of relationship, here and there. In the Underworld's cavernous garden where moss is lawn and fungi of astonishing colours are flowers, there is a pool still as mirror.

In its centre rises a perfect likeness statue of Persephone.

Close by is a second pool that features a statue of Hades in his non-monstrous form. The way to the fountain is nearby.

Hades had gestured to a narrow opening in a rock wall. The opening formed a dark passage strewn with cobweb. So thick I had to tear and push my way through, into a cave housing a small waterfall.

Like an ante-chamber it opened into an enormous dark cavern lit by a single wide ray of light shining down through a hole in the rock ceiling high above.

Sunlight. Even so distant and so fragile the spotlight warmed like sighting a beloved lost friend. It cut through the dusty darkness to cast a small circle of illumination upon a lawn of grass-like moss.

In the centre stood a white fountain encircled by shrubs smothered in purple clematis-like flowers.

A gleaming white fountain that rose from a plain circular base. Its spout measured twice my height, shaped as a poppy-seed pod after its petals have dropped away.

Hades pushed me forward. "This is the Fountain of Youth."

I don't know if the density of cobweb revealed something.

Persephone's Gift

"I wanted you to see some of my rooms," said Persephone closing the door in the room of giant paintings. "My Lord of the Underworld appears cruel at times. Yet there is always a reason."

She gestured toward me. "And I am sad that some mighty ones show their cruel streak. But you know there is always one of us to soothe you afterwards."

She gently squeezed my hand. "What you do is so worthwhile. I am a great goddess you are a mortal. But a special one, and we are friends."

The gift of friendship was rare indeed.

Thank you for your company on this introduction to the goddess Persephone. If you would like to know more about Margo Williams' experiences and suggestions for how to survive in the hereafter, read this book. Now available from Amazon.

Book cover link to purchase Olympian Goddesses and Gods Consequence
Olympian Goddesses and Gods Consequence. Now available from Amazon.co.uk