Yesterday was the first read through for the Spring Mysteries Festival. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the festival as a whole, and the 10th anniversary of my attendance.
10 years. I can hardly believe it has been that long. I am so excited that I not only have *a* role in this anniversary festival, I have *the* role – the Eleusinian Mysteries are Demeter’s Mysteries, and I am honored to be able to carry Her energy for this event.
I’m also nervous. Demeter is a powerful Goddess. The ancient Greeks believed that if the Mysteries were not celebrated, their civilization would end. To hold this archetype that has been celebrated for so many years – and I’m not talking about the meager 30 years that this festival has been happening in Washington – is a daunting undertaking.
Yet I also feel a very strong connection with The Great Mother. Even back in pre-school (so my parents tell me) I would take new students under my wing, show them around and make sure they were taken care of. In theatre, both in high school and university, I was almost always cast in a mother role, or a care taking role. I’ve known deep in my being for as long as I can remember that I would one day be a mother.
Demeter’s name literally means “the mother”. She is Mother Earth in its aspect of provider, the Goddess of the Grain. And her greatest joy is her daughter, Kore (literally “maiden”). Though she is technically an Olympian, she spends most of her time on the Earth, amongst the mortals. She sees them as her children, and delights in providing for their physical needs. For the blessings she bestowed, she was revered.
Demeter was the only Olympian to truly feel loss, and because of her understanding of grief she was considered approachable, accessible. The Great Mother nourishes, and provides comfort in grief because she understands. She knows what it is to lose that which you love. Her grief and her anger were as great as her love and compassion.
While this journey feels familiar, I know that it will also be challenging. Even in the read-through, Her energy was so strong, almost overwhelming, that others were nervous when She got mad. The journey to Eleusis is one of growth, of learning about the self. I invite you to walk with me as I learn the lessons the Mother has to teach me.