Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mix-tape to Demeter & Persephone (and a little bit to Hades)

Today, I'm posting a mix-tape for Demeter, Persephone and Hades. This idea is not mine; it's a combination of a wonderful idea by Sannion and Hellenion's monthly libation schedule. Hellenion is a Hellenic organization from America and I've been using their wonderful calender and the great store of information they have gathered to start my own practice. Every month, Hellenion members pour a libation to a different Hellenic God or Goddess. This month, it's Demeter and Persephone's turn. To make the day more special, I have created a mix-tape of songs which either describe or would speak to Them.

Demeter, Goddess of the harvest, and her daughter Kore (named Persephone after her abduction by Hades) are best known for the myth in which Hades abducts Persephone, and Demeter is left to wander the earth in search of Her, neglecting her duties and thus creating winter. For a slightly longer cliff-note version, go here. Unsurprising, many of these mix-tape songs are inspired by that myth.

Alison Krauss and Union Station - My Love Follows You Where You Go

If you ignore the Jesus mention (or change it to Demeter), it's very easy to envision Hades watching Persephone, both before and after her abduction. I do believe Hades loves Persephone very much and it must hurt Him very much that His wife constantly longs for a way out. Some telling lyrics:

"When you wake up and the world is cruel and cold / My love follows you where you go"
"Seeing you stand there, staring at the unknown / I won't pretend that it's not killing me / Watching you walk away slow"


Brooke Fraser - Scarlet

I love this song. I envision this playing over a movie scene where Demeter finally collapses in fear, exhaustion and grief over her daughter as she has searched fruitlessly for her for many days. Some lyrics:

"Your mind is swollen / From months of thought without release / They've taken their toll on you / And this very moment / Of timid and fragile honesty / Is precious and rare and fleeting"

Boy - July

Envision this song as Persephone is finally let go from the underworld to rejoin her mother. This song can function perfectly as Demeter's lament of her daughter's return.

"And the nightmares and monsters / Your biggest fears / Seem lightyears away / No, they won't find you here"
"I'll hold your head my dear / Make sure no one's gonna wake you / Tomorrow you'll still be here / No matter where your dreams will take you"


Ben Howard - The Fear

Finally on the myth, modern UPG often seems to reveal that Persephone might actually like her marriage to Hades very much... or even that She let Herself be stolen away. Listen to this from the standpoint of Demeter, abandoned, worried and alone.

Lee Ann Womack - I Hope You Dance

I'm ending this mix-tape with Lee Ann's ode to her children. This is the song I have wanted to sing to my children since I was a teen. It's one of the purest songs a mother can sing to a child and it seems like a perfect end for this tape.


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