Herbal Magick : Pomegranates and Persephone

Persephone, pomegranate, mint, grain licensed by Pixabay CC.0
Persephone, pomegranate, mint, grain licensed by Pixabay CC.0

“Lost in Hell,-Persephone,
Take her head upon your knee;
Say to her, “My dear, my dear,
It is not so dreadful here.”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay, Collected Poems

There are many herbs and botanicals associated with the abundance of the summer months, but when we look towards the colder half of the year the list dwindles… but one we can still certainly look at is the sensual pomegranate. Many associate pomegranates with the Goddess Persephone and her tale of the underworld. Classical Mythology published by Oxford University Press telling it way more eloquently than I can says :

The lengthy Homeric Hymn to Demeter (2) provides the most important and complete information about DEMETER [de-mee’ter] (CERES) and PERSEPHONE [per-sef’o-nee] (PROSERPINA), daughter of Zeus and Demeter, and is in itself a literary gem.

The Abduction of Persephone. Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, was also called KORE [ko’ree] (“girl” or “maiden”). While she was picking beautiful flowers with the daughters of Ocean, Earth, at the will of Zeus and to please Hades, produced a most wondrous and radiant narcissus. As Persephone reached out to pluck the flower, Earth yawned open, and Hades appeared in his golden chariot and carried her away in tears. Persephone shouted and called out to Zeus, but he did not hear her for it was by his will that HADES [hay’deez] (PLUTO), his brother and her uncle, carried her off to be his wife and queen of the Underworld…..

Persephone Eats of the Pomegranate. Joyous Persephone jumped up quickly. But (according to the poet of the Hymn) Hades secretly gave his wife the fruit of the pomegranate to eat to ensure the fulfillment of his words to her as her husband; she should not remain the whole year above with her mother Demeter but would rule with him below for part of the time.
He then yoked his immortal horses to his golden chariot, which Persephone mounted. Hermes took the reins, and in no time at all they came to a halt in front of the temple where Demeter waited.

Demeter’s Ecstatic Reunion with Her Daughter. At the sight of her daughter, Demeter rushed out of the temple with the passion of a maenad, and Persephone leaped down from the chariot and ran to meet her mother, throwing her arms around her neck. Immediately Demeter sensed some treachery and asked if Persephone had eaten any food in the Underworld. If she had not, she would live with her father Zeus and mother Demeter above, but if she had eaten anything, she would live a third part of the year in the Underworld and the other two thirds in the upper world. With the burgeoning spring she would wondrously rise again from the gloomy region below. Demeter ended by asking by what trick Hades has deceived her.
Persephone said that she would tell the truth. According to her version (contradicting the description of Hades’ secret deception just given), when she jumped up at the news of her return, Hades swiftly put into her mouth the fruit of the pomegranate and compelled her to eat it by force, against her will. Then Persephone painfully described how Hades carried her off, despite her screams….

Magickal Uses of Pomegranate

The herbal magick of the pomegranate is known to bring fertility, prosperity and abundance. It also bestows knowledge and sacred wisdom. Some theorists even suggest that the fruit in the garden of Eden was a pomegranate and not an apple. For myself to has always held the power to provide access to a uniquely feminine mysticism. It is for this reason that I choose to use it as the main ingredient in my recipe for the High Priestess Tarot card. Please take a look at the following video.

I would love to hear about how you use pomegranate in your magick, please post in the comments below. As always if you have enjoyed what you read please remember to share !

 

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