Demeter’s Grief: Reflections on Our Evolution

No wonder she was tempted!

Demeter’s Grief: Reflections on Our Evolution

Yes, she was a great Goddess, that Medium of a tone of consciousness, and boy, was she pissed! Her daughter Persephone had been abducted by Pluto into Hades and the Underworld. In her fury, Demeter stopped everything from growing until she got Persephone back.

It was one of those incidents that changed everything! It turns out that Persephone had already eaten forbidden food in Hades, pomegranate seeds, that fruit just ripening now in autumn, and so she could not go back to her innocent state. She could be with her mother part of the year, but she was bound to Hades and Pluto the rest. In this way, the cycle of the seasons began.

We are in the baby beginnings of a renaissance of our relationship to Earth, and not a moment too soon! We can not longer go back to the innocence of the way our ancestors farmed, as what we have done in the last couple of centuries has disturbed the balance too much. Much touted “scientific practices” using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and GMO’s, have sickened us and Earth, and now there is a great need for healing the imbalance caused by these practices.

However, through disciplines such as Biodynamic farming, we are remembering some of the intuitive and instinctual practices of our farming ancestors and marrying them some of the best of scientific rigor. The result is Earth-friendly, one in which we do not behave as dominators of the natural world, as well as of each other, but as collaborators.

Over fifty years ago Carl Jung made his famous quote: The world hangs on a thin thread and that thread is the psyche of man. Environmentalist Aldo Leopold’s version of this was his belief that we cannot heal our relationship to the earth without healing our relationships with each other, and we cannot heal our relationships with each other until we heal our relationship to the earth.

The plight of our earth is intimately connected to our own development. It has taken us a long time to come to this truth. Farming is evolving, and our relationship to the earth with it. Rudolf Steiner, father of Biodynamic agriculture, considered the farmer (or gardner) the quintessential, that fifth element,  pure essence, and consciousness. We can no longer afford an innocent relationship to Earth, considering Her only a resource for our own use. She will have her say!

What did Demeter grieve? Yes, her daughter, seemingly lost to hell. But was it also Innocence? It is critical that we abandon our childish, self-centered relationship to Earth and mature into receptive, caring participants, learning Her language, something that involves, paradoxically, at least to our dualist attitude about spirit and matter, spiritual development. Does Her rage in these times of Great Earth Changes herald a maturing, an evolution, and a new cycle?