(Essay) Discovering the Divine Feminine Through the Cyclic Life: exploring descent into darkness through the lens of the Demeter and Persephone myth by Yia Alias

YA 1-IMAG4795-1-1The Divine feminine is the creative principle of life where all life is connected within a constantly creating matrix, of which our earth is a tiny part. The ancients  revered divinity in the landscape, within the stones, trees, rivers, mountains and animals, they saw the procreative, fertile, regenerative processes within nature and recognised this sacred function in women’s ability to give birth and nurture.

The archetype of the divine feminine can be seen in the mythological nurturing mother figure of Demeter, the Greek Goddess of abundance. The story of her grief and separation from her daughter Persephone offers an insight into the dark descent of depression. The story tells of the rape of Persephone by Hades, trapping her in the dark underworld for a portion of the year. This is a multi-faceted story which not only speaks of the creation of the seasonal cycle but of the deep regenerating power and mystery of women’s menstrual life and the consequences of violating the sacred.

YA Demeter final b2A reflection of this story can be seen in the alienation experienced in our materialistic, life depleting, commodified world. We are cyclic beings living in synthetic systems. Life’s myriad of distractions has created an anorexia of the soul, starving self, family, relationships and community.  As we burn out, stress, anxiety, illness and depression take hold as our soul parts are scattered in all directions.

Feelings of hopelessness become our background noise as our natural world and her resources are extracted and exploited.

Persephone’s descent away from the routines of everyday life offers a woman the opportunity to access her own instinctual feelings and creativity.

This descent may happen involuntarily (as the Hades abduction) through trauma, loss and marginalisation. Being flung into this dark nadir, women and girls can feel hopeless and lost as the world seems to continue as normal. Medication becomes an easy solution, though needed in many cases to restore equilibrium, our culture is quick to medicate the sometimes necessary dark journeys for maturation, wisdom and growth.

So where do we begin to bring soul sustenance to our lives? What is the antidote that will spark and inspire access to the regenerating energy of the Divine Feminine?

A process of remembering who we truly are needs to be awakened to rediscover our own divinity.

YA 1-Persephone 5-003The menstrual cycle offers, what Alexandra Pope (author of the Wild Genie)  calls a “psychospiritual template”. This rich cyclic framework of menstruation contains a journey towards Ovulation/Summer/Demeter -and descent to Menstruation/Winter/Persephone, this renewing cycle repeats through to menopause. Taking responsibility for her emotional life through activating her seasonal witnessing, is a powerful tool that every women has access to. It gives her the ability to  transmute the shadow aspects and mature into the next phase supporting healthy self nurturing which strengthens the physical, emotional and spiritual life.

In a world which objectifies women and sexualises young girls our hope lies in The Divine Feminine that speaks through  women who have consciously journeyed into descent. Such women can be champions for the young and can be seen in the form of positive role models such as grandmothers, aunts, teachers, guides and mentors. This is personified in the Demeter Persephone story through Hecate, the ancient wise Crone who hears Persephone’s cries from the underworld and alerts Demeter to her whereabouts. These women act as elders witnessing, welcoming, validating and mirroring back to the young their gifts, dreams and aspirations.

We, the co-editors, contributors, and advisers, have started the Mago Web (Cross-cultural Goddess Web) to rekindle old Gynocentric Unity in our time. Now YOU can help us raise this torch high to the Primordial Mountain Home (Our Mother Earth Herself) wherein everyone is embraced in WE. There are many ways to support Return to Mago. Donate $3.00 to $10.00 is one way. For your time and skill, please email Helen Hwang (magoism@gmail.com). Please take an action today and we need that! Thank YOU in Goddesshood of all beings!

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