Did she go willingly? No one will know
Into the deep where mortals daren’t go
Into the dark where no sun shines
Into the depths these diamond mines.
Trapped for what felt like eternity
She saw things her eyes couldn’t see
In Hell’s realm she couldn’t hide
She was confronted by the shadow side
Scary and messy lost under ground
Screaming is pointless there is no sound
Facing the demon holding his hand
Resigned acceptance in this foreign land
Accepting Hade’s mysterious embrace
Realizing this is a magical place
Magic happens in the dead of night
Divine conception with euphoric fight
New life appears after gestation
Trusting and knowing without hesitation
Even with no light things start to grow
Patience is a necessity though
For appearances are deceiving in the dark
There’s much activity under what appears stark
Coals under extreme excruciating pressure
Are forever transformed into real treasure
And in the spring she breaths fresh air
Born a new with a knowing stare
Out of the chaos was it really that vile?
She is re-born with a secret smile
This is the story of Persephone
Hers is the story of you and me
For when we find ourselves in Hade’s dark realm
We loose control no longer the helm
The world, as we know it is being re-arranged
Know, for the better we will be ever changed.
The renowned Swiss psychologist Carl Jung recognized the human minds’ relationship with color, shape and archetype, promulgating these understandings to the Western world. These insights were expounded upon by the likes of Joseph Campbell and Alan Watts which have subsequently filtered into many physiological practices. They understood that colour and shape converse directly with the subconscious, bypassing the cognitive linear left brain. And whilst there are cultural interpretations, they are nuances of the same root meanings. Modern science has even shown that the frequency of color affects the brain regardless of sight.
Many readers will already know Persephone’s story of abduction into the Hell realms and her mother Demeter’s desperate search for her. Varying interpretations translate in different ways and this is my interpretation and painting based upon a specific set of archetypal shapes and colours according to a Jung/Campbell based psychological art therapy discipline in which I qualified.
We will all experience the Persephone archetype of renewal at some point during our lives and most certainly during our death and rebirth. Typically we are blindsided by her arrival. Sometimes our abduction by Hades is so subtle we don’t even realize it’s happened until the pressure nearly breaks us, like frogs in water over a flame. Sometimes it can be so fast it’s like an elevator’s cables snapping at the top floor of a skyrise. Quite likely we’ll feel like a paddle boat caught in a perfect storm.
The predominant colour of this painting is that of a big emotional wound but with a glint of ethereal green healing in her eyes and of new growth underfoot on the path from out the cave. She is joined by ascending bats, symbolically a creature of rebirth, intuition but hardcore inner spiritual work.
Hades is our very own, very personal Pluto, our journey into the farthest unknown, where we lose all our bearings, lose all that feels familiar and plunged into the deepest despair of the underworld. However this is also where the most profound transformations tend to occur.
This decent happens in many ways. A slow inexplicable slump into a dark place or a devastating bolt from the blue. A broken heart, a relationship ends, a vocation concludes, the loss of home. Death.
Life as we know it is thrown into uncontrollable turmoil and chaos seems to reign. We have no choice but to surrender to this frightening Bardo state.
It is at the moment of surrender during this seemingly unrelenting period that the metamorphosis starts. This is when the fear starts to dissipate. This is when we start to embrace this journey, even with all it’s pain. This is when we learn to gentle the heart. This is when Hades becomes a lover and guide instead of a demon and captor and the cave becomes a womb not a tomb. This is when we discover our secret smile. This is when we are reborn from coal into diamond.Featured image is a painting on ahimsa silk by Ti Campbell-Allen
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