Always a pleasure to be here with the COHO community Stephen.
I’ll answer through the lens of Persephone, who brings the seeds of prosperity with her when she returns to the earth as spring. Because out of the aphotic dormancy comes the rebirth.
Working with the myth we understand why she’s obliged to go back to Hades to honour the pomegranate pact, but what the hell – pun intended – is so attractive about returning to this domain? I mean, why once we’ve gotten out of hell, would we even consider going back? It sounds absurd that after we’ve passed a tour of duty in Hades – that practically costs us our very life – that we’d voluntarily venture down again.
And to your question, when we find the upper world now turned into the underworld with the war and disharmony all around us, why would we turn our attention to Hades, to go even deeper into the darkness? But we do. And we must for the regeneration.
It’s a cyclical pilgrimage. Nothing is permanent. We have both the life giving and death making capacities within us. The bountiful harvests of Demeter’s earth, and Hades’s barren underworld, balance the bittersweet qualities of life. [Actually, I prefer the correct word ordering of sweetbitter – the sweetbitter qualities of life!]
The known and unknown, springtime and winter, war and peace, and all the many transitions in between, can coexist in the cosmos. Which brings us back to the universal laws of nature. Growth, regeneration, and abundance are born out of the cold, arid, and desolate land. Without yin, there can be no yang. And similar to feng shui too with the equilibrium of shade and sunlight, damp and dryness, solids and fluids. Diametrically different, but mutually interdependent. Each gives existence to the other.
Balance and harmony imply the tenuous presence of both energies in amounts relative to each other. The wholeness of the universe is represented when we integrate and harmonise the upper and underworlds within ourselves. We often can’t even begin to behold how time spent in the inner, wintry realm is recalibrating the one-sidedness of our surface life. Or how this time of war awakens Eros.
We’re being called to heal our relationship with both lands. It’s the rightful restitution. Persephone, like us, will always be bound to the underworld. But we must make the relationship conscious. We’re so often bound to what we don’t want to be bound to. It’s not about being unconsciously identified with our rhythmless state, but finding a thread back to the human and cosmic heart.
Looking forward to the conversation this week – Kristina.