I celebrated the “kidnapping”/marriage of Persephone as the first part of my Autumn Equinox ritual (part 2 to be carried out this afternoon with a ritual for the transference between Apollon and Dionysos/Departure of Apollon for Hyperborea). This is one of my favorite rituals of the year just because of the feeling of tranquility that comes with it, there is something appropriately subdued and bittersweet with the ritual as we acknowledge that Persephone has departed from the company of the gods to dwell at the side of her husband. That it is bittersweet is not abnormal, that is the sort of feeling that accompanies any sense of marriage if you think of it…the girl, now a wife, departs from the home of her father and mother to make a home elsewhere of her own. Back in the day, before the advent of internet, this provided the potential that the parents would not see their daughter again, especially if they moved far away. this is almost the opposite of the high festivity with the marriage of Zeus and Hera. It is still a large celebration but the spirit of it is different with the inconsoluable mother, the virgin bride swept away from her home not entirely willing (*cough* arranged marriage *cough*) and the accompanying transformation in life as we see the change of the seasons.
This ritual is something of a big affair in my home. Firstly because there are alot of gods that I pray to in the context of the ritual so that means alot of hymns. Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Zeus, Persephone, Dionysos, Hermes, Poseidon, Artemis and Apollon, Helios, Hekate, and Cthonic Hermes. This is far more than what is typical in most of my rituals. I also broke out my recorder for this ritual as I did for Karneia and played on it, all low sweet notes rather than the higher cheerful ones in memory of Demeter’s pain. All during this ritual I felt a sense of settled within, or a sense of the self seated firmly at the core of my heart. It is difficult to explain in any other words…but this is what contributed to the calming effect of the ritual…just the internalization involved…a strong connection to the true self within. It is just a powerful experience.