In a dream from just the other night, I encountered the Goddess Persephone. She offered me a Pomegranate which she held in her hands and told me. “If you never open the Pomegranate you can not plant the seed and the tree will never grow.” She then took a single seed from the open Pomegranate and planted it from which a beautiful tree grew tall, full and strong like magic. EOD
This dream is rich with meaning and nourishment as is the Pomegranate. In this time of the year as we edge toward the winter solstice and the turning of the wheel from the harvest of Autumn to the cold dark days of Winter, it is the season when Persephone makes her journey into the darkness of the underworld. She will make her ascent and return during the season of spring when all things come to life and begin to grow once again.
During the season of Winter and the descent into the darkness of the underworld, there are opportunities for growth to come from within. This call from Persephone to break open the hard shell which surrounds the deep juicy fruits inside is a kind of death of the protective hard shell and an opening of the heart and soul. The seeds planted will grow to provide more fruits and opportunities for growth, as well as a path to travel in dreams toward the upper realms.
In the Myth of Persephone’s abduction by Hade’s into the underworld her Mother Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest, is devastated by the loss of her maiden daughter. She searches the earth for her daughter and becomes forlorn by her loss and refuses to bring the sun to grow anything upon the earth. Finally, her father Zeus is persuaded to bring his daughter back from the depths of the underworld where she sits as queen alongside Hades over the souls of the dead.
Zeus sends Hermes to go and bring her back but before he is able to do so Persephone eats the seeds of the pomegranate and is destined by the fates to stay in the underworld. Hermes manages to negotiate a time settlement where she is able to serve part of her time on earth but must return for a portion of the time to reign as queen of the underworld alongside Hades. It is agreed, and Hermes returns her to her awaiting mother goddess Demeter, bringing the return of spring and the end of winter.
The Winter Solstice honors the descent into the longest night of the year and celebrates the hope of renewal and the return of the Sun as is portrayed in the myth of Persephone. This year the Winter Solstice will shine under the light of the full moon and also be brought in with a lunar eclipse that will at its apex appear like a giant pomegranate in the sky. In the spirit of Persephone, I honor this time of year with remembering loved ones who have passed into the realm of the underworld where Persephone sits as Queen. I will celebrate the hope of the return of the light, just as Hermes served as guide to Persephone to help her return to bring about the season of planting seeds. Before the return though, the winter season of breaking open is upon us , an opening to bring about change and transformation and growth. May your Winter Solstice be juicy and heartfelt!