Persephone was a girl abducted and raped into marriage as part of an agreement between her father and Hades. She was held captive in his lonely underworld realm until her mother was able to negotiate her release for annual home visits. Her story about betrayal, abduction, and rape has been re-told in poems, novels, and the lives of women since first told by the blind poet, Homer, 3,000 years ago
Persephone’s Journeyenters thedeeper, emotional experiences of sexual violenceand the underworld journey through the stories of individual Persephone women. Told against a backdrop of 2,500 years of Western history. From the iron fist of military control extending from piratical Greece, through Rome and the rise of Christianity, to European monarchies, and the post-modern world of twenty-first century America, this book shows how the patriarchal West gave rise to an underworld of violence and oppression of all women and most men.
Persephone’s myth began with a traumatic descent, but the underworld is not the end of her journey. In some ways it is the beginning. From the nightmare of her descent, something new and vital can emerge like pumpkins growing in a compost pile. Renewal begins with the courage to make peace with the past, and to face the future with hope. This is where Persephone’s mature power lies.
Persephone’s spirit speaks with the voices of generations of women who were not permitted to learn to read or write and women who have lived in the dark heart of cruelty, slavery and abuse. She is a psychological presence everywhere in women today in memories of our mothers, their mothers, and all our grandmothers. Her story creates a sacred common ground for women’s lives. She is an archetype that is emerging from the shadows of Western civilization’s legacies of racism and misogyny.