About a year ago I moved from Bellingham, Washington to Kansas City, Missouri. I wasn’t exactly happy to be exchanging evergreen forests and the Pacific ocean for flat plains and less accessible healthcare, but life sometimes pushes you in unexpected directions. In the last year I’ve built a home for myself, and yet, when I think of home, I think of the Cascades.
Reflecting on my feelings about living here is where I begin to understand the strange nature of Persephone: goddess of springtime, and Queen of the Underworld. And what power is greater than that of Persephone, who holds the might of the seasons in the palm of her delicate hand?
For two thirds of the year, Persephone walks among us, raising the wildflowers as the sun warms her skin. During the final third of the year, she returns to her husband and her kingdom to rule over those who have passed on.
This back-and-forth makes one wonder where Persephone truly feels at home, if ever. Is it in the fields of wildflowers from her youth, or the Elysian plains of the dead? Both, perhaps, or somewhere wandering in between?
We don’t always get to choose our paths. Sometimes, we find ourselves wandering, trying to do our best with what we’ve been given. Though she didn’t choose to be the queen of the dead, Persephone took the hand she was dealt and embraced it.
Her mother, Demeter, was content to have her daughter spend her days in those sunlit fields, plucking flowers. Hades, the lord of the dead, dreamt of Persephone sitting tall on the throne beside him. Torn between the will of her mother and that of her husband, Persephone chose to have it all, and in doing so, she chose herself.
Persephone is not powerless. She never was. In the sparkling pomegranate seeds that tied her forever to the Underworld, we find the quiet strength of a capable woman who was a pawn, but became a queen, and the ever-changing nature of the goddess who decided for herself what she wanted to be.
To those who blossom in the springtime, those who feel most alive when surrounded by ghosts, and all the wanderers in between: you have always had a touch of Persephone’s spirit in you. Wear Persephone in honor of the goddess who is two sides of the same coin, forever wandering.