From the Witch’s Bedtable


So what do we do with the myth of Persephone?  What do we do with other myths like it?  We have two basic choices:  we can accept that our Deities are stuck in a cultural mindset nearly 3,000 years out of date, one that is anti-woman and pro-rape; or we can decide the our Deities  do not and id not support these facets of Greek culture, despite the lack of primary source text material to prove that.

If we choose to believe that the Deities do not hold identical values to humans living more than two thousand years ago, we must begin to be more judicious about the images we rely on to connect to our Deities, whether they be in pictures or in words.

“Saving Iphigenia:  Escaping Ancient Rape Culture Through Creating Modern Myths” ~ Thomas Pantera, writing in Pagan Consent Culture:  Building Communities of Empathy & Autonomy, edited by Christine Hoff Kraemer & Yvonne Aburrow

Archeological evidence reveals that our earliest human ancestors shared the company of ravens and crows.  Early hunter-gatherers noticed these birds and celebrated them in legends and myths around the world over thousands of years. Ancient spiritual connections are evident on the cave walls of Lascaux, France, where a crow-headed man has been interpreted as the soul of a fallen hunter.  The writings of early Scandinavians celebrated ravens as useful informants.  The First People of the Pacific Northwest placed their deceased shamans on elevated altars adorned with carved ravens, which symbolized the priests’ connection with the creator; there their bodies wold be eaten by ravens, which would free their spirits and allow them to travel.  In Tibet, in a similar tradition, dead loved ones’ bodies were cut up and placed on tower platforms where revered ravens and vultures would eat them.

Gifts of the Crow:  How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans by John Marzluff & Tony Angell

Picture found here.



3 responses to “From the Witch’s Bedtable

  1. To reduce the Tale of Persephone to just her abduction and forced marriage is to ignore a whole hell of a lot of history!

  2. Solar System Wolf

    My group presented a ritual based on the Persephone story a few years ago, and we were really concerned about this point. I researched a number of underworld myths, and found several in which the Persephone figure deliberately chooses to go to the underworld. These were usually older versions of the story, and some didn’t have any men in them at all (Inanna/Erishkigal, for example). Based on that, we chose to portray it more as a coming of age story — differentiating from the parent, connecting to a lover, discovering a life purpose.

  3. Please check out a wonderful story on Huffington Post today — all about women scientists.
    It is titled “To Honor Vera Rubin’s Life – Learn about 14 Groundbreaking Women Scientists” …. thought you might enjoy it!

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