Happy Spring, to those of you in the Northern Hemisphere!
Here are just a few (among many) goddesses that are connected to this beautiful and powerful time of year...
Eostre is a Germanic goddess of fertility and spring, whom the words Ostara, Easter and Estrogen come from.
She is often depicted with rabbits, eggs and flowers, which are symbols of fertility and abundance.
She reminds us to continue ever onwards toward growth...
I am the movement toward becoming
the impulse deep within all being
all that is possible
-Amy Sophia Marashinsky
Diana/Artemis is the goddess of women, childbirth, the moon, the hunt and nature.
She is a wild, virgin goddess.
To be a virgin does not indicate never having had sexual intercourse. It indicates that one is whole unto themselves.
It is well-known that Diana/Artemis has an independent streak. She did not desire to marry. She only desired to be in the wild, with her animals, hunting.
Spring is a time paralleled to the Maiden aspect of the Goddess. And like the maiden archetype, Diana is wild and untouched by the socialisation of culture and society.
Diana/Artemis can help us to return to our wild, primal selves; the part of us that is instinctive, and in touch with our power of intuition.
Uzume is the Shinto goddess of the dawn and mirth.
When the Sun goddess Amaterasu was in distress and retreated to a cave, Uzume was the one who lured her back out.
She performed a mock-shamanic strip dance, and the raucous show brought on laughter and cheers from the other gods and goddesses.
This in turn stirred the Sun goddess’s curiosity, and when she emerged, light and life was brought back to the world.
Like the Maiden archetype that loves to laugh and play, Uzume reminds us that the lightness of laughter and play infuses us with life.
Laughter heals, and is an integral part of life.
Persephone is a bright goddess of the Spring… and yet also a Queen of the Underworld. She is also known as Proserpina (Roman), and Kore/Cora which means “maiden”.
Many of us know the story in Greek mythology of Persephone’s abduction by Hades/Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld, and how he took her to be his wife.
And many of us know how eventually a deal was struck so that her mother Demeter, whom she was so close to, could be with her for part of the year. And her husband Hades could be with her for the other part- thus influencing the seasons here on Earth.
Pluto is known to be a figure of transformation, and this story is one of initiation. Usually when there is a mythological story about going into the Underworld, such themes are taking place. I like to think that her “abduction” is just a bad rumour, and that she willingly went with Hades!
Through her time with him in the Underworld, she grew from a Maiden to a Queen. And when she returned to the surface of the Earth, she was transformed.
In ancient Greece, the Eleusinian mysteries were initiations held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone. It is believed that initiations included the use of psychedelic drugs, and that rituals were involved that represented the rites of death and rebirth. It was believed that the initiated would gain a favourable afterlife. All were welcome to partake, but were sworn to secrecy of the events.
So, the story of Persephone is steeped in esotericism and initiation. Persephone invites us to undergo our own development, explorations and transformations, as we go through our own cycles of death and rebirth.