Friday April 28, 2006
Gem Fire Air
Spring v: Pluto/Persephone Relationships
by marty kleva
Spring is in the full bloom stage here in the southwestern high dessert. There is still snowmelt in the higher elevations of the Sangres, and the March winds continue to blow across the llanos. The daytime temperatures are now in the eighties, but the nights are delightfully in the brisk, low forties. I sleep with the window open and snuggle beneath the down comforter. Oh how I love high elevation living!
Here in the city at 7000 feet, the sweet scent of lilacs drifts through the open windows, and at all hours the spring winds whip up a concert of the dozen wind chimes between my garden and the back door of my neighbors, the Montoyas. The multitude of sound tracks the wind with the chaotic music performance of gusts, and the serene touch of a breeze.
This is the final segment in the series of Spring, a series that has been a trip I had not planned on. It began with my intention to write one entry that exploded into a vision of numerous photos, which move from the pre-cursored depths of Spring to its evolution of emergence into beauty.
My first intention became fodder.
This series has taken me deeper into my own process to re-look at the relationship I have with myself as well as with others. Admittedly, I am just on the cusp of emerging out of a five to six year hermitage, that can be termed reclusive, as I healed from the injuries sustained in an auto accident.
Part of me wants to be out there on the front lines in many areas. The healing part requires that I step carefully. I am treading very new ground here, and learning how to renovate many inner systems that have been affected.
In a portion of my book Soul Dancing, that I have yet to post, I tell of my Plutonian experience of PTSD fear and utter terror.
For more than a year after the accident, I knowingly walked around with a dark cloud around me that was so palpable, I called it my Pigpen-Linus Cloud. You know Linus, the Snoopy character who sits hugging his security blanket and sucking his thumb, while Pigpen walks around in a perpetual dust cloud. I felt like a combo of these two characters with the dust cloud around my head.
During that year’s time, Pluto taught me many things about fear, mostly that there are good reasons that we experience fear, contrary to the usual statement that says there is "nothing to be afraid of." Even with a lot of personal emotional work, it took more time than I would have liked to move through that. But Pluto is not rushed by anything. Like a good lover, he takes his time and moves slowly.
By the end, my dark cloud shifted to a shadowy image of a Buddha figure that was forever present to my awareness and would literally “sit” with me, until finally one day, the darkness cleared and I saw that the Buddha figure had my face and my body.
If nothing else, Pluto has taught me my own dark power. Believe me, I do not relish the thought that it took me so long to “get it.” But hey, I worked for it, so I’ll take it!
Now, during the period of writing this series, Pluto has been joined by Demeter, Kore and Persephone.
In the first place, I have never been comfortable with the Demeter/Persephone myth. After all why would I wish to look too closely at myself, mirrored as a wounded, neurotic Demeter? I have always sensed that the Roman Ceres is the more differentiated goddess than Demeter. Time elapses before Ceres appears in the Roman culture. The Romans have a soft, earthy nature compared to the heady and high-strung Greeks.
Writing this series has opened incredible personal insights for me. Having shamanically retrieved my shattered pieces from the accident, and with the help of Pluto’s unwavering insistence, they have healed with the fusion that has tensile strength and therefore greater flexibility.
I have disclosed in the previous segment that I share Demeter’s loss of a child. Mine was the loss of a daughter and numerous pregnancies that are almost too many to count. My grief was locked up behind a mask for many years and it took a long time to feel safe to access it.
As you can read in this segment, I explore Demeter’s grief, and arrive at an additional understanding of it to the one that is usually found, and learned that I can trust that Demeter’s grief will not devour me. Her wounds will not take me over, for I have healed them inside my own Demeter-psyche. And now I stand here as Ceres, the healed and embodied goddess.
Once Persephone regularly began to travel between the two worlds, Demeter/Persephone created a ritual around the Eleusinian Mysteries. Because the secrets of this mystery were so well kept by the initiates, I must wonder if in fact the rituals were about women initiating the male to understand the difference between rape and ravishment.
I know, to some this is a long stretch of the imagination. Admittedly, I am claiming a writer’s prerogative of unbounded exploration in the service of paradigm creation here.
Reportedly, in the Eleusinian mysteries the participants were ecstatic. Granted, it is likely that there was the use of aphrodisiacs — the poppy is well associated with Demeter.
Perhaps the aphrodisiac was used to sublimate the more Martian sex drive of the male, teaching him to master the desire to rape and to help him discover first-hand that prolonged foreplay can produce greater pleasure for him as well as for the female.
Ancient Taoist teachings include the mastery of orgasm without ejaculation for the male, a practice that provides great pleasure and assists in regeneration of the life force for the male.
There are few to none western teachings where you will find such a practice introduced. Could the Eleusinian Mysteries fill in the missing piece that I have been speculating upon during this series?
Some may say that the Eleusinian rituals are not about that at all, and refer to the fact that there is little written about them. While I agree, there is also nothing to say that I may not speculate and explore what the possibilities might be. It is so much more fun to make it up to suit my pleasure, although I must admit that sometimes the innovations seem to come out of nowhere.
Some would even say that Eleusinian Mysteries are in fact practiced today in the patriarchal rituals that go on in secret within those societies that are male-based religions, and with the pagan ceremonies such as those at Bohemian Grove, and within the White Brotherhood.
But these are nothing like Demeter/Persephone.
Demeter/Persephone is about Earth stewardship, fertility, and natural cycles. She represents generosity and a feminine archetype of the nourisher and preserver of Sacred Law.
She instructed mankind in the knowledge of growing and harvesting the grain, then how to use it for sustenance. We could say she is the source of sustainable living.
Demeter/Persephone was the only Greek/Roman goddess involved in the daily lives of ordinary folk. The other goddesses were out to manipulate the masses for their own gain.
Kore, returned to her mother as Persephone after her initiation by Pluto, inducing Spring to bloom. She is referred to as the “Bringer of Death” and now she can also be named “Restorer of Life.”
Here is the key to this mystery. Kore transformed through her descent with Pluto into the dark depths of the psyche produces Persephone. This is the first indication of Persephone’s roles in relationships. She transcends the personal to include the collective by means of the transpersonal realms.
She is no ordinary goddess as she moves from the UnderWorld to the UpperWorld, and back again. Her powers are involved first with Pluto the most powerful of the gods as an intimate partner, and then as the “Bringer of Life” to the entire world.
She models to us how to transcend death. She has taken that journey to the Darkness and is resurrected every spring!
Does this strike a familiar chord? Is she the female prototype of the Christic mystery of Descending into Hell and then Resurrecting? There is too much synchronicity to deny the association.
Both Persephone and Christ are products of the Patriarchal perception of reality, spun to their advantage. I believe that Christ did come to master his own Feminine and was derailed by the patriarchs in the form of Crucifixion. Then other forces took over to create the Savior projection.
It remains that Christ Jesus was a man. Persephone, representing the Feminine archetype has been hidden behind the words and mystery of secrets. Persephone coming back to her mother is described as the Return to the UpperWorld rather than calling it The Resurrection. She is already a goddess and ascends out of the UnderWorld to her Mother rather than to the Father as it is believed of Christ.
Christ was remarkable in his ability to individuate, and I honor him greatly, as he is such a great teacher and model for all of us. However, I am not convinced that the Crucifixion is what he had in mind and believe that if it really took place, it was through the interference by those who did not want to have their applecart upset by a plan that was going to transform humanity.
Similar to today’s world politics and the New World Order, everything that challenges their reality of the way things should be is spun into the dark side of evildoer, conspiracy theorist, enemy, terrorist, etc. This is not a new tactic, and simply put, it is more the case of humanity not willing to own our own dark side. I suggest that this is the very thing that got spun out for Jesus.
Both Jesus and Persephone did in fact own that dark side. She is the Feminine archetypal symbol for the union of Mary the Mother of Christ, and Mary the Magdalene, consort of Christ.
She is The Bridge Goddess between the Light and the Dark. She has mastered both worlds.
Even Pluto does not have the power to live in the UpperWorld for an extended period of time. His job was to initiate Kore into her shadow self.
Is it any wonder that so many women are intuitively drawn to dark, brooding, sensual men?
Their Kore/Persephone aspect tunes into the possibility that he may be their Pluto-Lover to initiate them to their dark side so that they can own it and become mistress of their inner shadow.
This is the woman standing in the power of her Feminine. To my knowledge, it remains locked in the unconscious of the majority of women within this society.
Is this what men are afraid of? For I do have enough experience with men to have discovered that they are in fact afraid of something that the female represents for them.
I speculate that when Persephone rejoined her mother in the UpperWorld that she may have talked about her abduction as mothers and daughters are likely to do if they have a sacred bond such as Demeter and Persephone, and between them, created the Eleusinian Mystery rituals. Here they introduced men and women of the UpperWorld into the sensual discipline of Tantric Sex.
Furthermore, during this time, Persephone may have enlightened Demeter to the kind of lovemaking possible that she had not previously experienced?
Remember, the stories say that Demeter was raped by the male gods. There is never any mention of her pleasure gained; otherwise I believe that she would not have been so grieved over the loss of Persephone in the first place!
Perhaps her initial grief — if she were a true mother — was that she feared Kore would experience the same violence she herself did at the hands of the sexually unsophisticated male gods.
No pleasure. No divine union for her. Would that not create the kind of grief demonstrated by Demeter?
Does not this type of grief — turned to raging vengeance — speak more about the rage of a mother for an injustice done to her child?
Does this not mirror the rage and vengeance that modern day women hold against the patriarchal system?
Instead, Demeter is covertly stereotyped as the hysterical female who cries for herself — as she revisits the wounds of her former rapes and the violence perpetrated against her with the abduction of Kore.
In typical patriarchal fashion, she is demeaned for vengeance, deplored for her anger with an air of superior condescension as the archetypal scorned woman.
What the patriarchal system proliferates is the story told over and over again, of Demeter grieving for the LOSS of her child.
Perhaps this is a spin on the real story — that primarily she is in grief about the VIOLENCE she believed Kore must experience at the hands of yet another violent god, just as she herself had.
Demeter/Ceres is the Earth Mother, having the capacity for non-conditional love.
To be complete however, this archetype must also have the capacity to experience and dispense dispassionate love — one that cuts through all the bullshit to call to terms those actions we take by our male/female patriarchal selves that do not honor our Self or the other person; namely, those actions that rape rather than ravish.
What woman does not secretly wish to be ravished?
How many males misunderstand the difference between rape and ravishment and use the projected anger of their unindividuated negative mother complex and rape the woman, his wife, his partner, his date, or any woman he can overpower with his physical strength?
In truth, what male would not relish the idea of being ravished himself?
Men, do you secretly long for that but are afraid to ask your partner if she would oblige you? Are you willing to explore it with her, meaning discuss it with her?
Or do you expect that she will or will not be willing, based on your own forgone conclusions?
And, have you ravished her yet?
Even more to the point, can you surrender your inner Kore to your partner’s Pluto?
It takes a lot of trust to surrender, and more courage than you might ever imagine.
Another Persephone trait; the trust and courage of the Feminine, different from the defined term in a patriarchal world. It goes way beyond, and it is with good reason that Kore is called Bringer of Death. In the transpersonal context we would call it as the French do, la petit mort.
These questions readily appear for me even though as a woman, I really cannot answer for you men.
If you are a man and reading this, please enlighten me. There is a whole other side to what I present here, and I would be very interested and receptive to hearing your thoughts about this. Write me at email@example.com.
If we are to create a new model for male/female relationships, we had better begin to engage in a much deeper conversation than the one which we are presently in. We as women cannot do this without you men! We need you and your ideas as well as your active participation. Let us take this on as an interactive project, rather than as a competition.
One thing is clear. We cannot continue to call names and point the finger at each other. And I hope no one thinks that is what I am doing here, albeit taken out of context, some statements may seem to do just that.
However, if you follow through you will see that I am really only unraveling Ariadne’s thread of thought patterns that have brought us to the point of where we are in today’s attitudes. I have tried to trace them back to their origins — without blame — yet with an observation of the facts; that this is a version of a map of how we have come to the place we are at with male/female relationships.
In order to go forward, we must know where we came from. Otherwise we walk around in circles.
Now we stand at a new crossroads, where if we turn down the road already traveled, we will continue to experience the violence, pain, grief, anger and seek the vengeance we have known for a long, long time.
But if we dare to venture into new territory and explore the road never taken, perhaps we have a chance to move in the direction that can bring us within the boundaries of a new territory called Union of the Genders, Ecstasy with God, Peace and Love Never Before Known, Perpetual Radiance, and who knows, it may even be The Rapture!
In my own experience with sexual partners, there have been many different version of pleasure; some partners were not capable of being in touch with their own feeling function, and therefore not able to connect with mine.
Some were only interested in their own pleasure, and how I could or could not fulfill their wishes. Needless to say, these relationships did not go anywhere especially as my self-esteem and sense of self-worth grew. When a relationship does not move forward because of sexual incompatibility, despite honest attempts to resolve differences, it may be time to end the relationship.
The thing that rocked me was discovering several men who loved the sexual experience between us, yet they said it was too much for them; that the depth of feelings which our relationship invoked was too intense and that they could not continue or go on like that.
At first this was very difficult for me to understand and I thought there was something “wrong” with me; that I love to engage so deeply. Then I realized that for some others, specifically for these men, the difficulty lies in the threshold of the pleasure/pain axis. Some of us, actually all of us, have a governor on the amount of joy and pleasure, and pain we can accept and deal with. Apparently, mine is just a bit higher than theirs.
This may also lead to one answer about the fear that men have about women. In actuality, the fear may be about the depths of the emotional and feeling content that is innately present in the Feminine. We do come from that dark and watery abode within our mother’s womb, and although we may not have realized it at the time, because again it was only what we knew, but the trip out is enough to convince anybody never to return. The emotions that must be evoked out of the primal instincts of our reptilian brain by that violent event, perhaps the very original trauma for us all, is enough to provoke the cry of rage from a infant’s first breath.
And I can only imagine that this may also be part of the origin of the love/fear relationship that men can have for women; women who are the holders of the womb, that dark, secretive place that men want so desperately to explore!
I believe that it would demand a man to look closely at his collective projections onto the woman/women in his personal life and in particular, his sex life. Certainly, it is an area to investigate!
I was extremely fortunate to have met a male who did have the capacity to connect sexually with me in a manner neither of us had previously experienced with another partner. It was with this lover that I had the opportunity to explore the ecstasy of being ravished, experience the heights of prolonged pleasure at the hands of a Plutonian Lover. We both went into those deep places together. We dared to penetrate each other differently yet in union with each other to rise to the rapture, which previously we had only longed for.
I saw a form of the male that was unlocked to me; that men keep their maiden selves behind a veil too, albeit a different maidenhead that is for we as women to ravish rather than to rape.
At one time, I placed a personal ad, something that previously was unthinkable for me to do. During this period, by talking and meeting with a good number of men, one thing that stood out for me was that I learned how fragile men are — how wounded they are. I was more moved by that than by anything else.
One of Persephone’s lessons is that she has learned how to love and not to be enmeshed in the ownership of her lover-consort. She can leave and return in an ongoing committed relationship.
This is the result of her integration from maiden-Kore to woman-Persephone. This is the bridge that Persephone represents.
Kore has many parts of her psyche that are hidden from her consciousness. So she stays close to her mother’s side thinking that this is heaven and that life can't get any better.
But one day something stirs inside her and she takes off to the meadow with some girlfriends. There she delights in the beautiful iris blooming, never to guess that they represent the death of her maiden self. She picks one and the earth opens up to Pluto rising from the UnderWorld to pluck her out of the meadow and into his arms to be carried back to his UnderWorld home.
Our Pluto has to learn how to be a lover who ravishes, and our Kore must learn how to leave her mother to become an individuated Persephone, the transformed and transpersonal goddess.
During a stage in our psychological development called rapproachment, we learn to gradually leave our mother’s (or primary care-giver’s) side, even if it is only for a moment to toddle over to pick up a toy, and then to scramble back to her and once again cling to her skirts.
This opens the way for us to learn how to deal with our separation anxiety and eventually broaden into a mature, independent person able to carve out a life of our own.
None of us does this successfully as a child. There are wounds suffered and trauma taken on. It remains for us to complete this unfinished work when we are adults.
Women, at least until the last twenty-five or so years, have usually moved directly from their parent’s home to a marriage and home of their own, there to raise their family and be dependent on a husband for their security. This is regardless of her attaining a college degree.
One question raised in the effort to explore a new set of parameters for relationship is, “Does this allow for self-development to fully take place for a woman as she goes from one set of security standards — that of her parents — directly into one of security dependence on her husband?”
Of course there are exceptions to this. However, I also caution that the exception may only be superficial. Behind it are eons of ingrained psychological and emotional patterns, that if not brought to consciousness, will definitely rule from behind the scenes in the form of negative mother/father complexes.
How many of us swore our marriage would be different than our parents’ marriage, only to wake up one day to the reality that we were living inside of it instead?
The one characteristic of Pluto/Persephone is that they may be partners but they do not have a traditional relationship where they are always together. Theirs is one in which they are apart for half the year when Persephone returns to the UpperWorld.
They forge a bond of relationship. They are also independent and can stand-alone. Kore’s attachment to her mother was the mainstay of her life. What levels of psychic development did she need to break through in the separation from her mother’s safety for the maiden to become the woman?
What seeds did she have to swallow for her to not just survive, but to thrive? Were they bitter or sweet? Those pomegranate seeds. Reportedly there were seven, the number of spirituality and transcendence beyond the ordinary.
Was she able to transcend her maiden life Kore “Bringer of Death” to become Persephone, the woman, the “Giver of Life”?
If you read Spring: part iii, you will see how Pluto plays a key role in this process.
Since the sixties and the feminist revolution against the patriarchy with the likes of Betty Freidan, Gloria Steinem and all the rest of the women who ceremonially burned their bras in public, women have expressed the rage of Demeter through their grief of having been raped by the patriarchy of their opportunity to become Persephone; raped by their daddies, grandfathers, uncles and brothers.
That moment of feminist revolution was again told mainly from a patriarchal perspective since that is basically all we had at the time. It said that women were against men. I don’t believe that was the true case.
These feminists were against the stagnant patriarchal system that also happened to be made up in the flesh of white males exclusively. It was a case where it was also convenient for those men to take it personally — which they did.
But many of these male leaders failed to do the part they were called upon to perform. So the feminists held them accountable for their active participation in the exclusively held positions in all forms of power from the bedroom to the boardroom.
Few if any men of power really listened. If they had, they could have seen the opportunity to create a paradigm shift between the genders rather than to react as many of them did in such a way as to take grievous offense and proceed to scapegoat the feminist leaders to be seen as demented hysterical, unreasonable females.
At the same time, there have been many women who to this day believe the patriarchy His-Story that is published in books, and taught in schools.
The feminists also produced a split between women. Many women steeped in unconsciously supporting the patriarchy, derided the movement. Others, gave the movement a bad rap as they used it to strike out against men in general and did it personally by projecting the patriarchy onto all men and only men, without realizing that they as women also perpetuated the patriarchy by their actions. These women could not differentiate the individual man from the collective patriarchy.
Many regulations and laws that came about created hard feelings on both sides.
One in particular that I recall was “Title Nine” which was designed to help make girls' and women’s sports equal to the male counterpart. It allotted for greater sports budgets and availability of sports practice facilities for the females.
Where previously a girl’s varsity field hockey coach would have been paid less than $500 for the season, in comparison her male equal in any of the male sports was being paid upward to $2,500 in contract.
Title Nine now brought her compensation as head coach closer to that of the male coaches, but NOT equal to his for a number of years.
Within five years after Title Nine, most of the head coaching positions for the girls teams were occupied by men, and the rules of the games, be it hockey, lacrosse, or basketball, began to creep ever closer to the same rules that the men played by.
That is not what the feminists were asking for, but that was the kind of retribution cast upon the movement by the same patriarchal system, a system where both men and women used patriarchal patterns of thinking to try to bring about a reform.
So the point here is that things became twisted to mean something different than what the feminists initially protested. This idea of twisted meanings has become an insidious practice in our American culture today.
As unfortunate as it may be for white males in the western world, it is they who have owned the deck of cards, been the dealer, and held the bank. Did they expect it to be forever? Were they making moves to reform the system? Obviously not. So the feminists had to bring their voice to the table and demand to be heard.
Yet even today women are relegated to the submissive position and held to checks that are not the same for their male equivalent. Even while there are some women in positions of political power, the great majority are still men. And I won’t even get into religions here.
Persephone holds a different kind of power than Pluto. It is regenerative power. It is the all-encompassing power of discerning love that she embodies.
She has come through her initiation with Pluto and knows how to surrender her female power to Pluto the Lover, the Ravisher, and in so doing sees her own greater Feminine power to entice him to her side as she gets to ravish him in return.
This demonstrates the reciprocity of love.
Ah! Yes, I have finally gotten to that word — love. It is another piece that is missing in today’s relationships. In order to have a transcendent experience and relationship, the heart must be engaged — the ultimate surrender.
I have written some about love in former posts, starting with Love In All the Right Places and Brokeback Mountain: A Rarefied Love Affair.
Many women who came after the Betty Freidans and the Gloria Steinems took note and quietly began to do their own work, not stopping even as they continued to experience the patriarchal-based power plays by men.
There were men who professed to have seen the light and whose lives were transformed by some spiritual guru, and who continued to tune women out as they began the spiritual conference circuits and transformational seminars led almost exclusively again by white men!
When these men were challenged to see and address this inconsistency, they ignored the cries of women from the audience, and with their arrogant attitudes made it seem as if the women were doing their hysterical female act again, and to paraphrase, “Pay no attention. She’ll get over her tantrum if you just ignore her!”
The white males were once again establishing the norm for the Feminine without being in touch with their own Feminine side. Once again they raped the power of the Feminine away from the female.
Collectively, to this day, we still go at claiming the new Feminine, mainly by men who have not taken Pluto’s descent and come to terms with their own denied feminine nature — their negative mother complexes.
If by chance you are reading my assessment here and accusing me of whatever you are for my outspoken frankness, saying that it is sour grapes on my part, and that I am just angry at the male establishment, then I have several things to say about that: namely that there is nothing wrong with anger that is steeped in fact, and it is a positive thing to let it be known that the Feminine has yet to be heard by the patriarchal bias in all of us.
And if you have something to contribute about this subject then write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How are we ever going to move out of the wet dream of the relationship wheel of karma if we don’t realize that we have yet to hear the real cry of the Feminine voice within us all?
And perhaps finally — I don’t know — this topic of Spring that I began to explore weeks ago has continued to grow and bloom much like the effects of the season on exploding spring buds.
But several things cannot escape my attention: one is that there is growing unrest in males with the very prototype of the Hollywood female which is avidly copied by many younger women.
The younger “in crowd” of women have a look and attitude that they must at all cost copy the sculpted and muscular body from the Wall Street driven ads. They put on the look and lifestyle that fits it — namely, “available for sex”, and they openly state that this is all they are interested in a man for. They do not need him for anything else.
They have their own good-enough job to buy a car, own their own house and have a great wardrobe, with enough money to travel to exotic places, meet more men, have more sex, etc. This direct insight came to me as one day I overheard two young women in their mid-twenties saying these very words in the adjoining dressing room of Dillard’s.
This illustrates the cycle coming full circle to where now younger women are replicating perfectly what men have done for ages!
These women feel like they have achieved the success that many women aspire to.
Well not this woman! I had the "perfect career, the perfect marriage, the perfect family, car and house" in the patriarchal sense.
And one day in my thirties I woke up and asked the question, “Is this all there is?”
In the following years, I realized there was a spiritual dimension that was missing. Not the religious spirituality, but a personal one where I had a one to one relationship with my soul, the soul that had chosen my body in this incarnation. That journey has carried me further into an inner Persephone/Pluto exploration than I ever knew possible.
One of the effects younger women replicating the patriarchal model is that younger men have begun to complain about the shallowness of younger women — of how they cannot find what they are looking for in a relationship that includes a deeper personal/sexual experience with a partner. The usual performance-duel with younger women leaves them feeling empty and unfulfilled. This is indicative of a male population that is beginning to open to their feminine side.
Some are reporting that they find what they are looking for in an older woman who is ready to share her deep regard for men, knowledge, and kundalini-awakened passion without the emotionally unindividuated Kore dynamics.
Be advised that before you engage one of them, it would be best if you addressed your own negative mother complex. They will not put up with it. They are not Mrs. Robinsons!
There is an untapped resource of women who have individuated their inner creative masculine, one that does not match the patriarchal prototype, who have quietly proceeded with the work of the soul and have found a new voice of the maiden Kore transformed into the woman Persephone.
They come in all ages, depending on when they began to seriously look into themselves, but mostly over the age of forty.
Regardless of not finding a male partner who is also interested in expanding the vision of male/female dynamics, throughout this time, they have continued to do their own work, many times in groups with other women or alone with a teacher, a therapist, a spiritual practice, or just plain alone as they explored topics that challenged their inner feminine and masculine self.
They have been initiated by Pluto, and now hold the once revered position of the High Priestess, just as Mary Magdalene did with Christ in a relationship that mirrored Persephone and Pluto.
You will find them easily enough — they shine and glow with the radiance of the Divine Inner Union — the Plutonian experience of Awakened Kundalini.
These women have something valuable to pass on for the evolution of the New Feminine Archetype. We cannot think that we should return to the old, for that would be a mistake.
We must carve out new Feminine Archetypes of both the Female and Male gods in all respects. We must start somewhere.
What male will brave the sanctions of a patriarchal society and join with this kind of women to break new ground, to prepare for the new paradigm of relationships and take humanity into the future?
As I look at all the recent attempts to bring awareness to the public forum of the differences between men and women, it would be easy to repeat all that here.
But this series is not about repeating what others have suggested. Rather, it is a challenge to think differently about something that remains a complex puzzle to us, and to ask the question, “How do we transform a rapidly disintegrating model of the nuclear marriage that is based in a patriarchal mind-set?”
We live in precarious times. We cannot continue to shore up a deteriorating, outdated bridge with supports, when it is a new bridge that we need to build!
To my mind, Pluto/Persephone perfectly illustrates it all. Both have their psychological wounds. Yet little is truly known about the relationship they forged together. That has remained in the dark. No wonder that we too are in the dark about male/female relationships!
So I am not going to present a long list of things to do here. Nor am I going to make a great statement about how the Transformed Relationship of the Future SHOULD look.
For some of us, the Future has arrived. For others, the future is still to come.
What I believe I can say is this: It would be beneficial for both males and females if Pluto learns how to ravish his partner and if Kore realizes that she must leave her mother’s skirts to become the fully integrated woman Persephone.
Now, take that male-Pluto/female-Kore statement and transpose it upon the other.
Internally and psychologically take it into your male/female self.
Men, see your Persephone possibility, women find your own Plutonian lover, and relate with it toward the opposite gender.
As to the transformative Plutonian agent: Instead of seeing the opposite gender as the other of who we are NOT, see the other as also who we ARE!
I am you and you are me. Let us relate that way and see what happens.
We are not simply a female seeing the male as the power holder, the cock owner, the man to be feared, or conversely, as a male seeing the female as the mother who was never there, who abandoned us emotionally, or as the “pussy” into which we lose our seed; that life which we as men also have to give.
See all of us, you and me, as our Pluto/Persephone self, that when joined forms a transcendent relationship that creates the Orgasm of the Divine; the Creatrix of All That is Living.
There is so much more to talk about here, and I am sure that I have neglected to say some things I could have, and may have said others in such a way as to be either misconstrued or not clearly enough to be understood. This is where there is great room for expansion. I trust that you, the reader will call me on those points and forward this conversation so that together we can continue to learn.
I look forward to hearing from all of you. email@example.com.
Until then, with sabbah,
con multo amore,
Friday April 14, 2006
Gem Fire Air
Spring iv: Pluto, The Demonic Lover
by marty kleva
It seems as if this story of Pluto/Persephone will not go away. The more I try to understand it, the more powerfully it seems to be reflected back to me. Although I have utilized some research around this material, I have also tried to not repeat what is already believed to be so about the relationships between Demeter, Persephone, and Pluto without going too far astray.
Instead, I have tried to see between the spaces, gone where there is little information known and written about. This has caused me to not casually accept the usual story that Persephone was brutally raped by Pluto, that on closer observation say “kidnapped” or “abducted” into the UnderWorld "to be raped by Pluto."
There are very scant accounts, and none I could find from Persephone herself that say she was raped. This is not to say that Pluto did not rape Persephone, but rather to explore what else may have happened in addition to that.
Pluto is indisputably a powerful god and archetype, perhaps even more powerful than Jupiter. We have already established that few gods have the capability and freedom to move in both the UpperWorld and the UnderWorld. Pluto does have this potential and travels to the UpperWorld secretly by virtue of the "Helmet of Invisibility" said to be given to him by the Cyclopes.
Others like Jungian author James Hillman in "The Dream and the Underworld" suggests that this helmet of invisibility or secrecy rightly belonged to the Greek messenger-god Hermes (Roman god Mercury).
The conflict in versions continues to point out the ever-shifting perceptions of the complexity of the gods as their stories were told down through history.
Along interesting lines of affirming suggestions to the Helmet of Invisibility, we find that the name Hades which is associated with Pluto, means "The Invisible", and would suggest that it is the reason we call the regions of the UnderWorld, Hades.
The rich stores of precious metals and stones buried deep in the earth are considered to be within Pluto’s kingdom, which earns him the title God of Wealth in addition to God of Death.
These metals include plutonium, and since the early 1900’s, plutocratic advocates of a plutonium economy foresaw an era of cheap energy that could result from its development. What they had not planned on was dealing with its hidden and invisible dangers — one danger being that a mere microgram (millionth of a gram) when lodged in the lungs is fatal.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, all plutonium isotopes are radioactive. The most important is plutonium-239 because it is fissionable, has a relatively long half-life (24,360 years), the time it takes for half the plutonium to break down into lighter elements, such as lead. (Imagine, lead is a lighter element on the periodic chart. Now equate that with danger to the human body.) Plutonium is the most important transuranium element because of its use as fuel in certain types of nuclear reactors and as an ingredient in nuclear weapons.
This factor of a half-life is significant in the characteristics of Pluto’s effects on time. Beneath the power of Pluto, time changes significantly, and how time was previously viewed becomes an element for transformative change.
Looking at Persephone, her relationship with Pluto changed the entire mandala of time in the UpperWorld into seasons that previously were non-existent.
The idea of half-life can add credence to those who propose that Persephone spent six months with Demeter and six months with her husband Pluto in the UnderWorld, as opposed to those who believe it to be nine months with Demeter and three months with her consort Pluto as Queen of the UnderWorld.
In actuality, except for his part in the story of Kore/Persephone, there is little written about Pluto. He is associated with death, which links him with Demeter’s grief over the loss of Kore.
Since Pluto’s realm, which was not originally connected with Hell but with the “Unseen” realm, death can take on a meaning beyond that of mortality. It can also refer to the loss of identity, as in ego-identity located inside of the conscious sphere.
Pluto’s realm is of the unconscious, that place where little is understood and where it could be said, chaos reigns. Pluto captures us, abducts our identity and escapes with it into the Unseen realm that seems like Darkness personified. We are raped of our identity, our maiden-like self, and our naïveté.
There are things in this Unseen realm that are unfamiliar to us, and because they are unknown to our conscious self, we may see them as threatening demons. This is merely a figment of our repressed unconscious complexes. So we become fearful and angry, and do not want to have anything to do with them.
The demons represent our shadow, the denied parts that we do not like, and have an aversion to. As long as we repress and deny these parts, we will act them out in life by projecting our shadow upon others in the world.
If this is so, just think what kind of a world we might have were we each to identify our shadow(s) and personally work with them instead of denying that they exist. It is comparable to the pink elephant in the middle of the room, or can be likened to the emperor without clothes where everyone knows it but no one will admit it or talk about it. Instead all the life force is taken up by ignoring the fact that either one exists — a lot of valuable misguided energy.
I do believe it can be said within Jungian thought, that this projection of our collective shadow is what produces the scapegoat in the family and society, the unidentified patient within family dynamics, the criminal element as the person(s) who act out our dark secret scripts— the ones we are not willing or able to own ourselves.
In this arena lies our anger, rage, vengeance, jealousy, and our ability to act like a dictator, or as is commonly used in comparison, we cannot see the Hitler within us. We do not believe that we are capable of those atrocities we accuse others of. We are the good, God-fearing, righteous people, and they are evil.
As I compiled my notes on stress, I noted that prior to World War II, the word stress was almost exclusively used by physicists and engineers to speak about the mechanical use of force and was expressed in pounds per inch, or by linguists to indicate where the phonetic emphasis was to be placed in the pronunciation of a word.
Although Walter Cannon, who termed the phrase “fight or flight”, began his research into the biological effects of stress on the human body around 1914, it was not until 1932 that he published his findings in "The Wisdom of The Body".
It was also in 1932 that artificial transmutation of the radioactive elements began, and then in 1942 atomic energy was unleashed.
In my estimation, the fact that the planet Pluto was discovered in 1930 is no coincidence.
When I was researching my master’s thesis on the subject of stress, I already had some understanding of astrology. Now, having had a major transit of Pluto, as astrologers call it, coincide with the very date of my automobile accident in 2000, there is no doubt in my mind that Pluto is associated with stress.
The archetype Pluto, referred to as the Transformer, takes one thing and turns it into another, like the alchemical process of turning lead into gold. In the world of astrology, Pluto is known to take what is present and literally strip it bare of all recognition, for as I can attest to it, this is rather similar to splitting the atom.
Pluto takes one’s life to the edge of what we thought we knew and shows us that there is more. Pluto simply rips away the maidenhead and forces us to look into his obsidian eyes and see our self mirrored there as a lover would, except that who we see we do not recognize as the person we think or thought our self to be.
This then is Persephone, by all accounts being swiftly abducted into the UnderWorld by Pluto, the Master of Transformation.
Did my Plutonian encounter with the accident feel like rape? Yes, certainly it did, as long as it took me to adjust to the invasive strangeness I was not used to, just as long as it took Kore to surrender to the first sexual penetration by Pluto.
Pluto is also associated with kundalini energy and sexuality. Did I experience Pluto the Lover? It took a few months for me to do so as I relate in the book Soul Dancing. When my resistance began to subside, I was treated to the ecstatic kundalini experience of the Divine Lover, and eventually with an exquisite male lover in the flesh.
For the maiden Kore, who is by all standards a virgin and uninitiated to the experience of ecstatic sexual orgasm, she must be introduced to it, taught it. It must be primed out of the depths of her possibility. She must be engaged by her lover to participate in something that can be painful, especially for the first time.
The very act of being tested to be part of something that is unknown is reminiscent of being pulled into uncharted waters of the deep, dark UnderWorld where she is challenged to dive within herself to find access to something she has never before experienced, not to mention knew existed.
Why would any maiden give up what they have known as safe and nurturing, namely Demeter/Ceres the epitome of Mother, for something that does not provide at least the same safe and nurturing environment? How could that maiden understand that there may be a point beyond the safety and nurturing Mother, which gives forth to the possibility for her to experience something greater?
This is the process of initiation in its highest form. It is not a one-night act. The process can go on for a lifetime.
Along with kundalini, the archetype of Pluto is about sex, about the kind of sex we dare not think about. Conditioned by our prudish ideals and fostered by the Puritanized-Judeo-Christian indoctrinations, as a culture we deny the sexuality of the Feminine Principle.
It is the Plutonic version of sex that will bring us to union with the Godhead in the orgasmic act that experiences the Divine. If a religion were to teach this version of relatedness, in their minds, it would wrest away the very power they wield over their “flock.”
What power would they have left to mold us into their system of control? Frankly, as I see it, there is power of a different kind available, but not the type of power to wield over others; rather it would be a self-empowering tool. A tool that gives access to the very thing that religions profess to teach, that being the way to experience the Union with God.
Instead, the woman is subtly promoted to be the pure virgin (Kore) at all times, even after her maidenhead has been breached by her husband in a sanctioned marriage. As an example here I will use just one Patriarchal institution of the many we still have operating successfully in our modern world.
For decades, within the practices of the Catholic Church, when a woman failed to keep her hymen intact, and gave birth to a child by her husband, she was declared “unclean” and not allowed into the sacraments of the Church again until she was “churched” or blessed by the male priest. There was not a similar practice for the husband.
This practice imprinted qualities of shame upon her by the very institution that claimed to have husbandry of her soul.
The established, male-dominated and ruled patriarchal Church decided she should give her virginity only to the male who the Church sanctioned by virtue of marriage. Then, once given the opportunity to sacrifice her maidenhood in that sanctioned marriage, and after having done her duty, she was declared “unclean” by the very establishment who gave permission for her to have sex, become pregnant and birth a child.
That very establishment declared it within its power to return her to cleanliness, to give back to her something that they took away. Something which they never had the power to do in the first place, but which they said they did, and by which all involved, including the maiden, believed was true.
This is the basis for the Hegelian Principle, where our sovereign rights as a child of God are usurped from under our very collective noses, and then the Patriarchal Authority says they have the right to return it back to us, under their rules and within the parameters of their fee schedule.
No one can have husbandry over anyone’s soul except for the person him/herself, for to do so, nay; even to say so, creates a hierarchy of power of a mundane nature in a Sacred realm. It is not possible! Yet, we human beings have been told this and believe it to be so.
I do not preach against religion per se, but do challenge the principle of the above within the context of any belief system. For the proof comes out of those very belief systems when it comes to teaching about what happens at the moment we call death, a moment which puts into motion a process that eventually brings us to some type of accounting. Christians call it Judgment Day.
After death, we stand alone, although there may be familiar others present no longer of the physical realms who have gone before us, we must travel a certain distance without the doctrines or the physical presence of the hierarchy of the religions with us. In that period of time, we are like Inanna within Ereshkigal’s accounting, stripped bare to the soul.
If there is such a thing as judgment before God, or Pluto in the archetypal sense, I don’t believe that God will accept my excuse that I did not speak out against an unjust war because the head leader of my country, Congress, or the Church said war was necessary. God will hold me and only me accountable for how wisely I have shepherded the soul that was entrusted to this physical form.
Sex with Pluto prepares us to die the ultimate and final death in union with the Divine Light. Pluto must entice Persephone within us to experience her first death, away from her mother, the death of leaving Demeter/Ceres.
Pluto must help her to engage with him in a real and focused sexual reality so that they then create a union, which together produces something that either of them cannot produce alone, something that is greater than the two of them.
There are many masturbation techniques that a single person can practice in preparation for this sexual union with a partner. It is my belief at this time, that a single union with the Godhead is different from that union with a partner. The single union mimics the dynamics of a dyad, rather than when achieved with a partner it creates a triad and holds the possibility to replicate the union of the Divine Trinity.
Demeter/Persephone is a dyad. Pluto ravishing Persephone to a place she has never gone before, to experience the ecstasy of orgasm, le petit morte, creates the Trinity, the introduction of a Numinous, Transcendent element. Together, they create a place that is an expression closest to their Divine natures.
Where are we taught to revere and honor the presence of this possibility in others? Where are we taught to realize that this possible creation of a third, transcendent element with another can be uniquely created during the act of sex?
This knowledge is kept from us and is classified under social and religious taboos — not talked about, treated like a secret that we are never old enough to be told — we must stumble upon it, bumble through it and muck it up!
And once we have mucked it up within our first sexual experiences, including many a honeymoon night gone sour, we don’t speak of it, or admit to it, even to our partner. Instead, we continue to replicate the same inept act until one of the parties speaks up to say, “Wait a minute. Isn’t there something more to this?”, and if lucky enough, engages the partner to explore the possibilities together.
If not so lucky, the partner(s) continue on as they have begun and eventually the commitment leaves the marriage and/or partnership. This is reflected by waning interest in sex of the partner who is not being fulfilled. Arguments, bad feelings, and resentments ensue, and this is the portrait of a marriage/partnership preparing to end.
Why would we deny ourselves the opportunity to create the experience of union with the Divine Self over and over again? Why would we continue to follow the admonishment of the religious and governmental authority figures to deny or restrain our self from the very act that may produce our moving closer to the Divine Creation of Self?
When will we begin to realize that we, you and I, have as much capacity to be in touch with God as any religiously declared minister? We are all ministers of God to each other.
So back to Pluto. I have struggled to come to an understanding of Pluto’s role for the man. For if I am placing a great responsibility upon Pluto to know how to ravish rather than to rape my Persephone, then where is he going to have learned this? Obviously, even the gods did not know!
I have a theory about this that I will explore in the next segment, “Pluto/Persephone: Relationship of the Future?”
What woman does not secretly yearn to be ravished by her lover?
In truth, is there a man who does not also relish the thought of being ravished by his partner?
I would like to hear what you have to say about all of this. Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time — with ‘ishq’, the love that entwines two people together,