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Persephone - BC Witchcamp 2008

The Story of Persephone

Let there be Descent!

In the beginning ...

I recommend:
Kerenyi, K. (1991). Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter. Princeton, NJ: Bollingen.
Kerenyi, K. (1980). Gods of the Greeks. London, UK: Thames & Hudson.

About book four in the Oz series, I wrote:

Dorothy enters the Underworld riding on a horse-drawn wagon with her companion Jeb. Like Persephone taken on a chariot drawn by black mares, by Hades. Indeed, on this journey, she is also accompanied by magical pigs, and pigs are a sacred animal of Persephone.

Like Persephone, there is a pattern of descent and return for Dorothy. In this book, there also surfaces patterns around who remains in Oz and why, as if to begin to indicate that Oz is not a place for everyone to remain. This is especially true for the Wizard himself, who was like Dorothy exiled from Oz at the end of book one, but allowed to return as he learns more about himself and the world of magic.

But, also the story of the first book is a descent, and the story of the second is a story of return.

Downing, C. (2001). Long Journey Home: Revisioning the Myth of Demeter and Persephone for our Time. Shambhala

Pierce, M. & Tzanetou, A. (2007). Finding Persephone: Women's Rituals in the Ancient Mediterranean. Indiana University Press.

duBois, P. (1988). Sowing the body: Psychoanalysis and ancient representations of women. Chicago: University of Chicago.

Meullner, L. (1996). The Anger of Achilles: Menis in Greek Epic. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Connelly, J. B. (). Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece.

Maybe: Greer, M. K. (). Women of the Golden Dawn: Rebels and Priestesses.

Edmunds, L. (). Approaches to Greek Myth. John Hopkins.

Foley, H. P. (). Homeric Hymn to Demeter: Translation, Commentary and Interpretive Essays. Princeton University Press


Persephone and the story around her was the Eleusinian mysteries, so more information about that would be great. (Where possible, obviously.) The doubling of Persephone as Kore/Persephone and the relationship between Plouton and Dionysios, can be explored, etc ...

The abstinence of Demeter contrasts the part that Dionysios plays in this story.

Sacred Marriage

Lots of interesting point about the Persephone story, including the divine wrath (menis) of Demeter, that Demeter's refusal to eat sweets or drink wine relate to a sympathetic attempt to help Persephone avoid pregnacy and refusing the gift of Dionysios, the pomegranate seed as impregnation of Persephone with the child Dionysios, similarity between Demeter and Idunna, that for Zeus "the most disturbing aspect of the menis is her [Demeter's] removal to a temple and her refusal to mingle with the gods" because that's a breakdown in the community of the gods (the cosmic order) (Muellner, 1996, p23-25).

Cosmic Order

The cosmic order is disrupted/regained through this story.


The main players in this Mystery include the Empedoclean elements.


Now, I have a really legitimate reason to have done all the research on the Chlamys. So, I will be collecting costume links and instructions here for the various, very easy to construct, costumes that I know of.

One should do a google search on "himation" or "chlamys" or go to this page How to wear the Greek chlamys ... and for the female option check out "chiton" and "peplos" or this page How to Convert a Sheet into a Classical Greek Chiton and this Greek Dress.

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John Griogair Bell - Arlecchino Malbenvolio

“Clown with a Bad Attitude”

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