now She springs to the earth
the song "Quest of Demeter"
Background Painting "Return of
darlings, it's me, Wella, again. Welcome to the Thealagie Cavelet Koreturn in
which we celebrate the coming of Spring and the return of
Persephone/Kore. I love the Spring when our Great Mother
Earth shapeshifts once again and comes to us as Her young and laughing
Daughter-Self. My faery kin come out of their underground caves and
trees and hidden
Since She has gifted me with the ability
to sing up flowers,
I am especially busy
this time of year. :0)
See Below: Musings
KORETURN or Spring Equinox is one of the first of the old Pagan holidays that I awakened to in my Goddess quest. I had always been mysteriously drawn to the myth of Demeter and Persephone/Kore, and was moved to write and sing "The Quest of Demeter," based on the patriarchal version of the myth. Pictured here in the PreRaphaelite painting by Frederick Leighton "Return of Persephone," this ancient tale tells of the separation and reunion of the Earth Mother and Spring Maiden Goddesses. Their story represents women's mysteries and the seasonal turns, beginning and ending with Spring Equinox. Birth is the primary mystery of this time, when new life springs forth after winter's dark.
We can see the parallels between this myth and the Christ cycle of birth, death, and resurrection, but it is far older, and much more focused on things female. True, the most well known version involves Kore's abduction by Hades, and subsequent forced sojourn with him in the Underworld... a phallocentric explanation for the coming of winter. Yet I have become convinced that there must be even older versions of the tale that are not about rape, but honoring of women's life cycles and mysteries. I rewrote the myth during the late 1970s, taking out the rape and all the male gods, making it a story of woman's individuation and wholeness.
And so it feels appropriate to tell the entire year story at this sacred time. I have enacted my Myth of the Kore with sisters at many Spring ceremonies. You can read a descriptive rhapsody about one of them in Ariadne's Thread, Cycle 10. and discussion of the myth in Cycle 7, The Muse. We now have a perennial theme or spiritual doctrine all in female. I hope women will adopt this myth and make it their own.
And She has Grown to
And She has Met with Her Other
And She has Swelled with
And She has Descended into the
Myth of the Kore opens with the time of Spring and Birth. A dancer convulses in the center of the circle, to the beat of rhythmic drumming and poetic utterance. She is Demeter, giving birth to Spring. Her daughter Kore rolls out from between her legs as the circle sisters chant Her name. Mother and Daughter melt into one another and sing rapturous poetry of mutual adoration. Kore grows like a flower, and She and Demeter dance and play joyfully together. (May we all have such birthings and childhoods!)
The drums speak again, a rapid crescendo, as Kore wraps Herself in swirling red chiffon and spins the dance of Her First Bloods. Demeter celebrates, but worries too, as she senses a foreshadowing of the separation to come.
The scene changes and we see Kore dancing in the wild wood, discovering beauty there and hugging trees. Diana appears, powerful Amazon of the Forest. They are mesmerized by the sight of one another, speaking poems of wonder and passion. We chant their names together; Kore-Diana, as they merge...
Now the drums are steady and insistent as the Muse sings of Kore's transformation and descent into the Underworld. She cries out in the dark, feeling lost and alone. Hecate, the Crone awaits Her there, kindling a light in the darkness, speaking words of comfort and reassurance. She lays Kore out upon a beir that She may rest and prepare Herself for the coming initiations.
In the upper world Demeter sits beside the sacred well, mourning the loss of Her Daughter. Winter descends upon the earth. She too cries out, and Hecate comes to remind Her of how they once underwent this same rite of separation. Demeter knows She must let go as all mothers must when their children grow away to become themselves... but she is anxious about "the demons that we all possess," and "Can one so young as She withstand all these?" Together Mother and Grandmother review seven primary demons: Jealousy, Passivity, Competition, Deception, Domination, Condemnation, and Manipulation. Masked dancers portray them, and then unmask to reveal their positive roots: The Need For Love, Receptivity, Self Discipline, Protection,Inner Strength, Temperance, and Self Nurturance respectively...
Hecate then gives Demeter her blessing, as Her daughter wraps herself in swirling black chiffon and dances the dance of her Menopause... Hecate says:
"Now you come into your own
Back in the underworld Persephone awakens and Hecate reappears to bring Her through the three Initiations of Immortality, Manifestation, and Healing. Persephone discovers she is out-of-body and an eternal spirit; then creates a flower, a gemstone, and a child in her womb; finally helping to relieve suffering in the world. The Crone pronounces Her accomplishments and invokes the Triple Goddess by many names for blessing. Persephone is gifted with a magical feather for Immortality, A power stone for Manifestation, and a belt of herbs for Healing. The drums begin again as Persephone ascends , reborn to a new Spring, now the self-actualized Kore, and equal with Her Mother. All the Goddesses unite in joy, and the birthing drum sounds strong. It's Kore's turn to give birth now, and Hecate becomes the next infant Goddess, born from between Her legs, with Demeter as midwife...and so the Great Mystery begins again.
See below for some ritual ideas for spring...
RITUAL SUGGESTIONS FOR KORETURN
Hold your ritual in a woodland glade or
beautiful meadow. Make sure the ground is suitable for dancing and
the center of the circle is clear. Decorate the altar with flowers,
greens, sprouts, buds, painted eggs, umbilical cords, and other emblems of
birth and spring. Place a bowl of flower wine. Create baskets
of flower petals and young leaves. Wear spring colors; pale greens,
rose pinks, yellows, lavenders...Make garlands of flowers for all circle
members to wear. Prepare spring foods for feasting after the
ceremony...salads with edible flowers, crisp greens, sprouts... egg
dishes... crescent cakes, grains and corn ("corn" comes from Kore's name,
and she is called "the fate of the grain".:0) )
May your spring season be blessed with new beginnings, beauty, playfulness and joy... Maiden Goddesses dancing around and within you. Blessed Be!
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THE GODDESS YEAR