The days and nights are beginning to cool. Perhaps a rare day of rain will again come soon. The flowers are drying on their stems, the grasses are beginning to yellow. We are harvesting now, for soon there shall be no more. The daughter is again departing...
We have, just last night, given our goodbyes to the fair maiden Persephone. It is, alas, time for her to leave her mother Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest, to return to her husband, Hades, Ruler of Death, in his underground lair. We lament, for in Persephone's youth, Demeter adored her little daughter. They played together in the fields nearly every day, and as Persephone smiled up at her mother, Demeter's heart swelled with happiness, and the crops grew high and healthy. Flowers tumbled everywhere.
This beautiful, fertile love begat life, yet of course Persephone must leave on this day of Autumnal Equinox in September. There is no other choice. Only corruption comes from eternal infancy. The cycle must continue. Mothers must loosen their tight grips on their beloved daughters, for Persephone's liberation from her mother creates the ground in which the seasons can flourish. Life is, therefore, stimulated and made potent. And, thus, death begets beautiful life which withers again to death only to resprout as life. The joy in life and the hope in death is only possible in this eternal spinning of the wheel which yet manages to take us back into the wilderness.
Let us give these "essential gifts" to Demeter for the Greater Mysteries in spirit of celebration:
- Her sacred plants are wheat and barley as staples.
- Pomegranate fruit will signify sex and death.
- Poppy will bring poor Demeter, and indeed the Earth itself, peaceful sleep.
The tears will soon fall again, and we will watch the last of our gardens and crops wither. There is, of course, always the hope borne in the knowledge that Spring will return; yet the missing and the longing prevail as the cold sets in and winter covers the land and our souls, compassionate in Demeter's great loss. Let us shed our tears, for our particularly parched land needs this mourning to rejuvenate. And let us rest through the winter. Take up the Poppy, and may the slumber be peaceful.
The beautiful daughter is the promising bud, yearning to burst into her glorious flower; and her mother the fertile fruit which begets life. The daughter must go for her bud to fully flower. And so her mother must allow her to go in happiness to return to the fulness of her fertility. Yet, so must the daughter return for the circle, the cycle, this wondrous wheel to remain spinning, and for the seasons to remain unbroken.