Demeter & Perspehone: What Can the Eleusinian Mysteries Teach Us Today?

The Eleusinian Mysteries was the main religious festival in Greece for 2’000 years before the birth of Christianity.

The city of Eleusis, 15 miles (25 km) west of Athens, hosted the Greater Mysteries of the Eleusinian rites between c. 1600 BCE – 392 CE. During the previous springtime the Lesser Mysteries, were held at Agrae as an enactment of Persephone’s return from Hades. The initiation rite of Eleusis may have originated as an earlier harvest festival possibly originating within a Minoan (Cretan) cult.

It is no coincidence that in September when the rites were enacted the Sun was in the sign of the Earth goddess Virgo who is often depicted holding a sheaf of corn.

The Greater Mysteries took place in September and October of the Greek Attic Calendar and lasted for 10 days; in our present-day Gregorian calendar the festival began on 14th September.

The mythology of Demeter, the Great Mother, and her daughter Kore’s descent to the underworld (Hades) is a tale of death, renewal, and rebirth. When Kore finally ascends from Hades to be reunited with her mother, she is no longer the innocent maiden but has been transformed into Queen of the Underworld.

Persephone’s initiation may be insightful in helping modern women to journey to the underworld (unconscious) in a conscious way, and like a good shamanic journey facilitate connection between the seen and the unseen worlds. The descent, initiation, and ascent of Persephone is a symbolic journey that can help repair the body/mind/spirit connection. It may be viewed as a shamanic journey that has the potential to traverse all three worlds: the lower world- the middle world- and the upper world.

This event is part power-point presentation with plenty of time for discussion; I will also facilitate a short visualization for you to connect with the imagery in your own way.

Please note I am not a scholar of the ancient mysteries nor of ancient Greece, my interest is of a symbolic, imaginal, and shamanic nature though I do research my subjects and any information given in a factual way is derived from within scholarly interpretation… the rest may have wings and that’s the fun part!



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