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The Homeric Hymn to Demeter - 01

Identifier

016202

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

The Homeric Hymns are a collection of thirty-three anonymous Ancient Greek hymns celebrating individual gods. The hymns are "Homeric" in the sense that they employ the same epic meter—dactylic hexameter—as the Iliad and Odyssey, use many similar formulas and are couched in the same dialect. They were uncritically attributed to Homer himself in Antiquity—from the earliest written reference to them, Thucydides (iii.104)—and the label has stuck. "The whole collection, as a collection, is Homeric in the only useful sense that can be put upon the word;" A. W. Verrall noted in 1894, "that is to say, it has come down labeled as 'Homer' from the earliest times of Greek book-literature."

The story  of Kore/Persephone, Demeter and Hades in Greek myth is not only an allegory of the seasons, but it is also a symbol of reincarnation and rebirth.  Read at one level it portrays the seasonal cycle, where for three months of the year, the fields lie fallow waiting for spring to arrive and the crops to grow.  But it can also be interpreted as an allegory of reincarnation and the spiritual path – the soul of Persephone is sent to the underworld – the world of humans but is returned to ‘heaven’ paradise after having done her penance there.

Persephone was the daughter produced by the union of Demeter and Zeus.  She was not an Olypian goddess, but lived ‘within Nature’. 

The narcissus in this context aligns with the kundalini experience and the opened crown chakra.  There are also some similarities with this and Genesis with the garden of Eden

A description of the experience

Homeric Hymn to Demeter

Persephone was …. with the daughters of Oceanos,
……………..
She was picking flowers: roses, crocus, and beautiful violets.
Up and down the soft meadow. Iris blossoms too she picked, and hyacinth.
And the narcissus, which was grown as a lure for the flower-faced girl
by Gaia. All according to the plans of Zeus.
………….
The narcissus was a wondrous thing in its splendour. To look at it gave a
sense of holy awe to the immortal gods as well as mortal humans
It had a hundred heads growing from the root up.
Its sweet fragrance spread over the wide skies up above.
And the earth below smiled back in all its radiance. ………..

Persephone was filled with a sense of wonder, and she reached out with both hands
to take hold of the pretty plaything. And the earth, full of roads leading every
way, opened up under her.

…….There it was that the Lord who receives many guests
Hades, made his lunge.
He was riding on a chariot drawn by immortal horses. The son of Kronos. The
one known by many names.
He seized her against her will, put her on his golden chariot,
And drove away as she wept.                        

The source of the experience

Eleusinian Mysteries

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References