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Living the Myth Backward: Healing From Patriarchy Through the Ancient Cycles of Goddess Spirituality

May 2, 2017

 This paper was written for a course in the Eleusinian Mysteries taught by Dr. Mara Keller at CIIS in San Francisco.


“Women who begin in Hades and know no alternative have ingested patriarchal views of women, spirit, body and feminine power.  Their attitudes, histories and even symptomology mirror this world…Even women who have been exposed to feminist thinking and have tried to embrace it may struggle still with personal dynamics that resemble the patriarchal underworld with its predominance of unrelational masculine power-over.  Their mothers may have served such power…their fathers, husbands or lovers may have embodied it, or they may be involved in institutions that still at least covertly support it.” 


- Kathie Carlson, Life’s Daughter/Death’s Bride


Backward:  Awakening in the Underworld


            My myth begins here:  A great chasm opened in the earth swallowing the red house with the blue door, the fresh baked bread, the hours of breastfeeding, notebooks filled with longing, ticking clock days that never seemed to end.  I could be Kore no more, no longer maiden.  I was a wife, a mother, but I had never been above on the rich and fertile Earth. My days were spent living in the subterranean realm of unconscious patriarchy.  Like my mother, like her mother, chaste and supposedly fulfilled in our role as women.  But I was not fulfilled, just filled with anguish—that my beautiful children did not feed my mind, that my love for them was not enough to soothe the urge in me for freedom, that my husband with his provision articulated only imbalance.  I spent years ignoring the light penetrating the crack above my head, pretending, lying. 

          Then I was accepted into an MFA program, and could write nothing until I told the truth.  The crack above me opened, soil sifted through.  I could no longer ignore the warmth, the fragrances, the desire above.  I began to claw my way through dust, dirt and ancient root, climbing.


            Like most women in modern American culture, I was born into the underworld of patriarchy.  There was no idyll of partnership society and matrifocal, matrilineal past in the collective memory of my culture.  These have been systematically wiped from our consciousness, replaced with tales of rape and abduction.  Tales of marriage as our highest role.  We do not begin in the arms of the Mother.  Instead we awake in the arms of Hades.  At birth we are given our father’s names.  And, many of us, often at a very young age, experience the grooming and sexualization of the patriarchal gaze as we are prepared to transition from our father’s names to our husband’s.  I remember being eight years old the first time a man whistled at me on the street.  I remember being fourteen when a gas station attendant hit on me.  The evidence of the underworld, as defined by our modern predisposition to opposition and linearity, was not just in the actions themselves, but in the fact that I believed they were positive.  Affirming.  My sense of self was “dominated, often unconsciously, by men’s ideas of what a woman is or should be.”[1]  

          According to Kathie Carlson, a Jungian scholar who writes extensively about the myth of Demeter and Persephone, women who are born into the underworld of patriarchy must, “live the myth backwards,” dissolving their false identity through, “participation in women’s mysteries, especially death and rebirth.”[2]

          Last night I sat in a circle of women.  Amid brazier smoke and candlelight we journeyed with the myth, the sacred ancient story of Demeter and Kore/Persephone in two ways:  both with the traditional story as recorded in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter from the late seventh or early sixth century BCE, and a modern matristic retelling by Kathie Carlson.  Many women identified with multiple aspects of the myth, most found themselves in some form of death rite, emergence.  Others discovered themselves willfully descending, returning to the underworld to claim their life purpose. 

The mythos offers modern women an ancient form to live into, but first we must acknowledge the crack in the earth above us.  We must realize we are underground.  In this realization, everything must be questioned, including elements that craft the very fabric of the patriarchal illusion, such as proscribed gender roles.

          One necessary interrogation is the notion of time.  In the myth of Demeter and Kore/Persephone time is sacred, nonlinear, cyclic, simultaneous.   In modern American patriarchy time is profane and linear.  We accept this fundamental reality:  life progresses, time segments life, stories have a beginning, a middle and an end.  Because many of us are born in the underworld with no knowledge of an alternative reality, we do not understand that to live in the creative present we must return to the past.  To find alternate realities that give us the strength to resist social oppression, we must turn from the profane linear trajectory to the sacred rhythm of myth.

          The historian Mircea Eliade says, “One essential difference between these two qualities of (profane and sacred) time strikes us immediately: by its very nature sacred time is reversible in the sense that, properly speaking, it is a primordial mythical time made present.”[3]

          In order to live the myth backwards, to emerge from the underworld of subterranean patriarchal consciousness, we must first understand the nature of time in a spiritual context.  Within the pre-Christian cosmology, time is cyclic, and myth contains a structure for the creation and ritual enactment of divine time, sacred time wherein we may move forward and backward at once.


Backward :  Ascent


            In October of 2006 my husband and I divorced.  In a therapy session the summer before, just after returning from my first MFA residency, I finally told the truth about my life:  that I loved him but was not in love with him. For a year after the divorce I continued to care for our children, ages two and four, during the day while he was at work.  I woke every morning at six and walked from my apartment to his house, our former home, three blocks away.  When he left I made the children breakfast, tidied their rooms, did the laundry just as I had before we separated.  Then the kids and I returned to my apartment and spent the day together until their father picked them up at four after work. 

          Due to a discriminatory fluke in the legal system daytime parenting doesn’t count as parenting time in child support calculations.  Because my former husband had the children at night, I was seen as having very little parenting time.  The child support calculator also assumes that parents are working and earning minimum wage, which I wasn’t.  I lived off my portion of the small split equity from our house for that first year year.  Even though I had been at home with our children for six years, was unemployed and caregiving for ten hours each day, due to the hours of my parenting the child support calculator said I owed my former husband $74 a month.

            In the evenings I worked on my MFA portfolio, and in 2007 graduated with my degree. When I was offered a teaching associate position at Pacific University, two and a half hours away from my economically depressed hometown of Cottage Grove, I had fifty dollars in my bank account.  I decided to take the position.  By then I hadn’t worked outside the home for over seven years.  In August of 2007 I moved to Forest Grove, Oregon.

            My former husband was furious.


            To live the myth backward is to build an identity outside of the patriarchal realm.  Charlene Spretnak writes in the preface to Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, “A woman raised in a patriarchal culture is told she has the wrong type of body-mind to be taken seriously and to share a sexual sameness with God.  Patriarchal socialization tells her that the elemental power of the female is somewhat shameful, dirty, and downright dangerous if unrestrained.”[4]

            In moving unconsciously away from my identity as a wife and mother, I became dangerous.  My former husband sent me angry emails and denied me access to my children by telephone when I was away during the work week.  And even though I knew I was fighting for a life of my own, the depths of psychological entanglement kept me feeling the negative perception of my female power:  I carried a burden of guilt and shame that kept me anchored in the patriarchal depths.

            There may be a mythic simultaneous truth to this socialization concerning the dangerousness of women.  The word dangerous etymologically means difficult, severe. [5] There is a connotation of the power that challenges there.   In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter we see Demeter become dangerous.  It takes her a while. The cycles of her grief journey through several rhythms…she

“went among the cities and fertile fields of men

disguising her beauty for a long time.”[6] 


And next:


“She waited resistant, her lovely eyes cast down…

seated there the goddess drew the veil over her face. 

For a long time she sat voiceless with grief…”[7] 

Demeter reveals her greatness when discovered by Metaneria:

“Thus speaking the goddess changed her size and appearance

thrusting off old age.  Beauty breathed about her and

from her sweet robes a delicious fragrance spread;

light beamed far out from the goddess’s immortal skin,

and her golden hair glowed over her shoulders.

The well-built house flooded with radiance like lightning.”[8]


          Yet. after this awesome display, in which Demeter demands a temple be built in her honor, she retreats again into grief:


“Then golden-haired Demeter

remained sitting apart from all the immortals,

wasting with desire for her deep-girt daughter.

For mortals she ordained a terrible and brutal year

on the deeply fertile earth.  The ground released

no seed, for bright crowned Demeter kept it buried.”[9]


          It is in the depths of her grief that Demeter at last withdraws her gifts from the world, exercising her power.  The nature of her transformation is nonlinear, yet the myth is a rite of passage for the mother as well as the daughter, an indication of the psychic patterns that inform our lives.  Carlson says, “Step by step…the goddess begins to grasp the transformations taking place through her daughter and embodies and undergoes this transformation herself.”[10]

          In ascending from the mythic patriarchal underworld as the child we also, simultaneously and cyclically, experience the transformation of the mother consciousness.  This begins with an awareness of the Goddess, the variations of her powerful emotions, her grief, her rage, her potent symbolic gifts.  In the patriarchal myth, these expressions are necessarily reactive—the mother’s grief is a reaction to an act of violence.  So her reaction becomes a violence, and suffering ensues.

          However, in Kathie Carlson’s feminist, matriarchal retelling of the myth, we begin in the idyll.  It is not an element of the distant past, discernable through symbol. It is the mythic present, a partnership society where there is no winter, where people receive the gift of grain and the knowledge of its tending from Demeter.[11]  In this version of the story Persephone elects to enter the underworld at the prompting of a (literal) spiritual calling, to tend the souls of the dead.  She says, “The dead need us, Mother.  I will go to them.”[12]  Demeter isn’t happy about her daughter’s choice, but gives a blessing.  When Persephone departs, her mourning is not a reaction to an unjust system, but a natural part of acknowledging her daughter’s agency.  The withdrawal of Demeter’s gifts from the earth is not a violence born of violence, but a cyclic progression through mourning natural, essential changes.  The Goddesses are sovereign and autonomous, each clearly engaged in necessary passage tasks during their individuation—the work of the underworld, the mourning of a daughter.

          In living the myth backward the ascent from the underworld becomes for modern women a birth passage, an initiation into the creative potential of Goddess spirituality.  Spretnak writes,

Goddess spirituality activates modes of creativity that draw strength from the profound relatedness of all life, rather than being individualist or collectivist strikes against ones’ context…Engagement with the Goddess in symbol, myth and ritual as participatory fields of relation encourages the expression of ones’ unique gifts while evoking a sense of ones’ larger self, the fullness of our being.  It is an aesthetic path to grace.”[13]

          This is precisely what retelling the myth from a matristic[14] framework allows:  each Goddess expresses a fullness, a wholeness.  By ritually engaging with a whole/holistic mythic form, women may be able to see themselves as emerging whole, fully formed, on the earth once more.

However, the myth is still cyclic.  As are our attitudes, our experiences within it.


Backward:  The Bees


            For six years I lived apart from my children, seeing them only on every other weekend and half of all vacations.  When I moved to Forest Grove we rented a room in a woman’s house.  I taught through the week and drove to my former husband’s house at 4am every Friday so I could see my children, take them to school, talk with their teachers, attend doctor’s appointments.  Their father refused to change our parenting plan, to give me more parenting time.  He insisted I owed him money since he had the kids so much, and thus I paid for their lunches. He refused to provide any transportation, so I drove twice a week most weeks over five hours round trip.  I finally rented a cabin in the woods close to Cottage Grove, in addition to my Forest Grove room, trading orchard work for part of the rent and packing in firewood, laundry, water and groceries.  By then I was teaching full-time, but still at an adjunct wage on a temporary contract. 

            I was in the underground still, allowing my former husband’s ideas about what I owed him, what I should be doing, dictate my behavior. 

Simultaneously, I was completing an ascension, reuniting with the Goddess.

            In 2008 I began teaching workshops with my longtime friend Deva Munay in ritual, ceremony, self-care and creative expression.  We called ourselves the Moon Divas and taught not from a place of expertise, but toward facilitated co-creation, and mutual practice.

            From my journal:

            “I am in Colorado with Deva in the mountains.  She wreaths me in smoke and charcoal and copal.  She cleanses me but I am not clean.  I am leaden with guilt and shame.

            On the mountaintop I raise my hands.  I can feel my heart at my back, wings of love extending Westward toward my children, toward our home that is not yet a home.  I feel my heart open forward to the East, to a lover who has ruled me, cut me, buried me and who I am desperately trying to extract myself from.  All I feel is fear.

            Fear he will leave me.

            Fear he won’t.

            Deva finishes the smudging and is about to close the prayer when we hear the sound, like distant traffic, like twilight.  The sound of a thousand bees.

            The swarm of bees is an orb dark against the blue.  As they come closer I feel their anger.  I deserve anger.  I married a man who I didn’t love right.  I moved to take a job that didn’t allow me to be with my children daily.  Something would sting me, angry, angry, something would make me suffer, something would bring me down.

            But not today.  Today the bees wait at the threshold with me.

            They wait for my discovery.

Here’s how it happens:

            I duck, anticipating pain.

            Deva grabs my hand.  Look, she says, they won’t hurt you.

            The orb is close, an arm’s length, swarming, teeming bodies.

            Seeking, seeking.

            Searching, protecting.

            Until they find their home.

            In moments they are gone.  The air is quiet, the sun an echo of the burning, brightness.  The hope in my heart.”

            I wrote that reflection in October, 2013 at a writer’s conference.  Minutes after writing I received a call from my former husband saying our son had chicken pox.  That day began a series of events that resulted in my children coming to live with me during the school year, a shift in the dynamics of my parenting and perception that continues to this day. 

            Charlene Spretnak speaks to the important fullness of self that comes when women encounter/reunite with the Goddess: 

          Imagine, then, the ontological revolution that occurs within such a woman who immerses       herself in sacred space where the various manifestations of the Goddess bring forth the Earthbody from the spinning void, bestow fertility on field and womb, ease ripe bodies in childbirth, nurture the arts, protect the home, guard ones’ child against the forces of harm, issue guidance for a community, join in ecstatic dance and celebration in sacred groves and set love’s mysteries in play…She will create the ongoing creation of each mythic fragment.  She is in and of the Goddess.  She will embody the myth from her own totemic being…She cannot be negated ever again.  Her roots are too deep—and they are everywhere.[15]

          Bees are important to the living of the myth.  Like Persephone, they are creatures of both realms.  Julie Sanchez-Parodi writes, “Persephone’s nickname among the ancient Greeks was Melitodes or “the honeyed one,” and the priestesses of Persephone and Demeter were known as Melissai or “bees.””[16]  Carlson refers to Persephone as a psychopomp, “able to move back and forth between two worlds.”[17]

          This spanning of duality is important, as are the qualities of the bee:  feminine in power, fertilizing in nature, creators of sweetness, deliverers of sting.  As we live the myth backward it may be tempting, as contemporary women steeped in linearity, to forget the mythic cycle.  When I gather with women, as I did last night, in sacred space to explore our collective transformation, some women found themselves weeping, surprised to discover they were in the underworld again.  There was a presupposition that after a reunion with the Goddess, after a tremendous transformation, a rite of passage, there would be some sort of stability.  Yet the chthonic nature of the earth requires the seeds to be planted again.  Even as we emerge to the sunny fields of wheat, even as the Daughter and Mother embrace, the earth begins to open to receive the Daughter again.

          TS Eliot wrote, “In my beginning is my end.”  And this is the secret of the Mysteries, of mythic living.  It is rhythmic, undulant, cyclic, and holy in every part.  As women living in patriarchy returning to the myth means unspooling thousands of years of patterns in the tapestry.  Living the myth backward is the same as living it forward.  In fact, both happen at once.  We are the bees, the Melissae, the priestesses.  We are the Goddesses, each of our aspects essential.

            Rooted in the mythos of our collective transformation we can never be negated again.


Backward-Forward:  Returning to the Underworld


          Every rite of passage is a moment of completion.  In the sacred symbol of the labris, the double-headed axe, we find a center point, a moment of pause.  Similarly, the figure eight in our culture signifies eternity, and, in fact, the rituals of Eleusis—enacted annually—offered the participants, “a reason to live in joy and die with better hope.”[18]  This is as close to eternity as we can prove.

          The acceptance of a return to the underworld requires a transformation of how the underworld is viewed.  In Christian cosmology the underworld is Hell, a place for the torment of evil souls.  But the etymology of the name Hell comes from a Goddess name, Hel, the northern European Goddess of Death and Regeneration. 

          In an interesting parallel, the story of how Hel came to rule Helheim, the land of the dead, is another mother-child separation story with echoes of the tale of Demeter and Persephone.  Hel’s mother is Angrboda, “anguish-boding,” a “hag” or witch of Giant blood who lives in the Iron Wood.  Angrboda has three children with the trickster god Loki:  Fenris, the Wolf of Chaos, Jormungand, the World Serpent, and Hel who is described in Snorri Sturluson’s Gylfaginning as “half dark blue and half flesh color.”[19]  When the Gods hear of the power of Angrboda’s children they abduct them.  Fenris is bound with dwarf chains, Jormungand is cast into the ocean, and Hel is thrown into Niflheim where she establishes her own realm.  Like Persephone in the Carlson tale, Hel finds her life’s work in the underworld, tending the dead.  She receives all who do not die in battle to her hall.

          The story of Angrboda and Hel is a fragment of what must be a much larger tale.  In Barbara Walker’s Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, she quotes Pliny saying the inhabitants of Scandinavia were children of Mother Hel called the Helleviones,[20] and she likens Hel to the Goddess Hecate, who “sometimes wore all three faces of the Triple Goddess.”[21]

          There may be a root of the ancient Hel in the indigenous Saami stories.  The Saami goddess Jaemiehaahka rules the underworld.  The root of her name, Akka, means goddess. [22]

          In all three mythologies, Greek, Norse and Saami, the realm of the dead is not a place to be avoided, but an inevitable and indispensable part of living in myth and cycle.  For the Saami, the realm of Jaemiehaaka was very close, literally beneath the floor of the home.  It is unavoidable, a place of discovery, rest and restoration.  It is the preparation chamber, the womb of rebirth.

My journey of reunion to the Goddess has informed the work of my life.  It is the inspiration for my writing and art, my educational experiences with women, and my desire to complete my PhD in Women’s Spirituality.

           But I have had to return, again and again, to the underworld.  Sometimes my return is seasonal, like Persephone’s.  Sometimes it is the result of violence.  Sometimes it is by my own agency.  Since my reunion with the Goddess, however, the underworld of my psyche is no longer the terrifying one-dimensional hell of Christian stories, or the oppressive patriarchy of my culture.  It is simultaneously those things and a place of respite, reflection and renewal, fertile ground for my imaginings, the push of will in the darkness of creative womb beginnings.  Each time I return with intention the journey becomes not less painful, but more rich.


Forward: The Sacred Creative Myths and Mysteries


            As I was writing this paper my daughter, Rhea, who is in Cottage Grove with her father, texted me a photo of a bee.  My daughter is absolutely mythic, from her conception to her name.  Before I even knew I was pregnant, her brother, who was two at the time, saw Rhea over my shoulder as a baby.  When I asked what kind of baby he said she was a baby girl.  When I asked her name, he said Rhea. 

            Rhea is, of course, the mother of Demeter. Walker says she is the, “Cretan name of the Aegean Universal Mother or Great Goddess who had no consort and ruled supreme before the coming of patriarchal Hellenic invaders.”[23] 

            In Latium prior to Roman culture Rhea was known as Rhea Silvia, “Rhea of the Woodland,” called the first Vestal Virgin, keeper of the sacred fire.[24]  According to Walker her children were cared for by Akka Larentia, mother of the lares, Roman household spirits.  Akka is the Saami name for goddess.  The shortened Roman name of Akka Larentia is my name, Lara.

            Here is the secret of sacred story:  we live it already, even in the underworld.  These ancient forms are present as correspondence, coincidence, moments of serendipity and synchronicity.  When we make our ascent through the crack in the earth, the fissure in collective consciousness, we begin a journey that is already a part of who we are:  human.  Divine.

            Mara Keller writes, “The mythos or sacred story of Demeter and her Daughter is another way of expressing humanity’s intimate relationship with Divinity.”[25]  In a world of secular imagination, religious strife and painful cleaving from natural rhythms and cycles, myth can help us to remember who we are in this world, how we fit, where to participate.  The ritual instruction of the myth of Demeter and Persephone can provide a pathway back to source in a starved culture.

            Spretnak says, “The telling of a myth is a ritual creation of sacred space.  Reading a myth to oneself or hearing it spoken in a ritual setting draws one’s consciousness into a field of relationship that places all participants—the engaged witness, the narrator, the principals of the sacred story—in deep accord with the life processes of the unfolding universe.”[26]

            We may not be able to live the vast ceremonies of the Lesser and Greater Mysteries honoring the myth of Demeter and Persephone in exactly the same ways as our ancestors.  The fragments are not a whole.  But we can deepen our lived experience through understanding myth cycles, the way they live in our bodies and our unconsciousness through symbolic language.  We can heal patriarchal dissonance with the sacred creative simultaneous crafting of new myths from old, re-membering ancient stories in our bodies, our art, our visions.

            Keller says, “…the story of both the Mother and Daughter constellates the center of the Greater Mysteries, serving as chrysalis and catalyst for the initiates’ spiritual illumination and transformation.  In these rites of initiation, initiates participated in a reenactment of the mythos or sacred story of Demeter and Persephone, their unwilling separation and joyful reunion.”[27] 

            By ritualizing the processes of these myths that we are already living, our greater unconscious minds begin to transform to consciousness, we become cyclic, we can live backward into the time before linear time and make mythic time present.  By claiming and creating the variations of female power and imagining that power into all aspects of our lives as wholeness, we return to live in sacred time.


In mythic time, made present.[28]





[1] Kathie Carlson, Life’s Daughter/Death’s Bride:  Inner Transformations Through the Goddess Demeter/Persephone (Boston:  Shambhala, 1997), 157.


[2] Ibid.


[3] Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane:  The Nature of Religion (1959: CourseWorks Columbia University), chap. II, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/religion/f2001/edit/docs/Eliade1.html.


[4] Charlene Spretnak, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece:  A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths (Boston:  Beacon Press, 1992), xiii.


[5] Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper, accessed July 26th, 2016, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=dangerous.


[6] Helen P. Foley, ed., The Homeric Hymn to Demeter (New Jersey:  Princeton University Press , 1993), 6.


[7] Ibid., 12.


[8] Ibid., 16.


[9] Foley, Homeric Hymn, 17-18.


[10] Carlson, Life’s Daughter/Death’s Bride, 27.


[11] Kathie Carlson, “From The Myth of Demeter and Persephone,” ed. Charlene Spretnak (Boston: Beacon Press, 1992), 110.


[12] Ibid., 113.


[13] Spretnak, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, xii.


[14] Mara Lynn Keller,  “Part 1: Goddess Rituals of Renewal Thesmophora,” (class reading, San Francisco, CA 2016), 1.


[15] Spretnak, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, xiv.


[16] Julie Sanchez-Parodi, “The Eleusinian Mysteries and the Bee,” Rosicrucian Digest 90, no. 2 (2009): 245.


[17] Carlson, Life’s Daughter/Death’s Bride, 102.


[18] Sanchez-Parodi, The Eleusinian Mysteries and the Bee, 47.


[19] John Lindlow, Norse Mythology:  A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals and Beliefs (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2002), 172.


[20] Barbara Walker, The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (New York:  Harper Collins, 1983), 382.


[21] Ibid.


[22] Noel D. Broadbent, Lapps and Labyrinths:  Saami Prehistory, Colonization and Cultural Resilience (Washington DC:  Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2014), 174.


[23] Walker, TheWomen’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, 856.


[24] Ibid., 857.


[25] Mara Lynn Keller, “Introduction: Mother-Daughter Mysteries and Greek Goddess Spirituality” (class reading, San Francisco, 2016), 2.


[26] Spretnak, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, xiii.


[27] Mara Lynn Keller, “The Ritual Path of Initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries,” 28 Rosicrucian Digest 90, no. 2 (2009): 28.


[28] Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/religion/f2001/edit/docs/Eliade1.html.




Broadbent, Noel D.  Lapps and Labyrinths:  Saami Prehistory, Colonization and Cultural Resilience. Washington DC:  Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2014.


Carlson, Kathie. “From The Myth of Demeter and Persephone.” Edited by Charlene Spretnak.  Boston: Beacon Press, 1992.


Carlson, Kathie. Life’s Daughter/Death’s Bride:  Inner Transformations Through the Goddess Demeter/Persephone. Boston:  Shambhala, 1997.


Eliade, Mircea.  The Sacred and the Profane:  The Nature of Religion. 1959. CourseWorks Columbia University, 2016.



Foley, Helen P., ed. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter. New Jersey: Princeton University Press , 1993.


Keller, Mara Lynn. “Introduction: Mother-Daughter Mysteries and Greek Goddess Spirituality.” Class reading distributed by the author, San Francisco, 2016.


Keller, Mara Lynn.  “Part 1: Goddess Rituals of Renewal Thesmophora.” Class reading distributed by the author, San Francisco, 2016.


Keller, Mara Lynn. “The Ritual Path of Initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries.” Rosicrucian Digest 90, no. 2 (2009): 28-42.


Lindlow, John. Norse Mythology:  A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals and Beliefs.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2002.


Online Etymology Dictionary.  Douglas Harper.  Accessed July 26th, 2016. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=dangerous.


Sanchez-Parodi, Julie.“The Eleusinian Mysteries and the Bee,” Rosicrucian Digest 90, no. 2 (2009): 43-48.


Spretnak, Charlene. Lost Goddesses of Early Greece:  A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992.


Walker, Barbara. The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets.  New York:  Harper Collins, 1983.

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