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Author Topic: Demeter  (Read 676 times)


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« on: August 11, 2015, 10:19:48 pm »
As you may be able to tell by my username, she is an important goddess to me, and I wanted to start a discussion about her.

Strangely, the concept of an "earth mother" doesn't have much appeal for me, though it is a major part of her symbolism. I primarily think of Demeter as "the Mother," not just in the sense of being a patroness of fertility and the nurturing of children (which is important, of course), but also in a cosmological way as being the womb that is the source of all creation in the universe, and not to get graphic, but the "vaginal" threshold between the realm of the dead spirits and realm of living form. The earth is an appropriate symbol of the mysteries of Demeter, as it is the the ground of being that sustains us and the source of all fruitfulness, as well as the place where we bury the dead.

I've read that the dead of Attica were called the people of Demeter, "the Demetreioi", as the dead rest in the earth, and this brings to mind the common womb/tomb association found in many cultures, not to mention part of the symbolism of many goddesses (though in Egypt this goddess whose body is the womb of life and the place of the dead is viewed as the sky rather than the earth, but the theme of death as being a return to the womb remains despite the cultural inversion of earth and sky). Maybe this is reaching, but I often think of the underworld as being the metaphorical womb of Demeter, and it is this realm to which her daughter Persephone descends and re-emerges from each year. In my understanding, this is a poetic way of expressing the mystery of the cycle of life, death, and renewal over which Demeter presides.


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