I hope this letter finds you happy, healthy, and enjoying the gifts of the season. Autumnal leaves and cool mornings always remind me to quiet my mind, reconnect with nature, and look inward for wisdom. In that vein, I’m writing to you now because I have a fun new campaign that I am calling #IAmPersephone. I hope you will participate in it with me.
What is #IAmPersephone?
When an executive at HarperElixir began talking with other people in the publishing world about my forthcoming book, Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine Within, several spontaneously exclaimed, “I am Persephone!” That led the two of us to wonder how many Persephones are out there.
The #IAmPersephone campaign is designed to bring widespread attention to the book and engage the many people with whom Persephone’s story resonates. One element of the campaign is a short, lighthearted animated video that tells the story of Demeter and Persephone, her abduction by Hades, and her return from the Underworld. Below is a screenshot of the opening of the video. I urge you to share it with your friends and acquaintances.
I wrote Persephone Rising because #IAmPersephone. If you would like to be part of this community, please tweet, post, blog, or reply to my tweets, using the #IAmPersephone hashtag, so that your statement will be united with those of others. I also invite you to comment using the form below the October 5th blog on my website. (More about my blog later.)
However you communicate, don’t hesitate to indicate how you are like Persephone in ways that differ from what I’ve shared, as well as in those that may be similar. Your participation can help us all understand more fully how the Persephone archetype is being expressed in our time and supports her rising in today’s world.
Below are some example tweets:
-I seek personal and professional fulfillment and opportunities to make a difference, learning as I go, so #IAmPersephone
-I have been abducted by love/by pregnancy/by ambition/by compassion, & having grown from the resulting challenges & gifts #IAmPersephone
-My multiple roles are stretching my capacities. I’m setting priorities, saying yes to what most matters to me & no to much else, so #IAmPersephone
I hope that this campaign will be as meaningful to you as it has already been to me, and I look forward to our continuing conversation.
Pre-order and Review Persephone Rising
Its October 13th publication date is rapidly approaching, but you can still pre-order Persephone Rising using one of the links on the book’s page on my website. If you and others do so, it will encourage both online book marketers and bookstores to promote the book more heavily. It also will help if, after reading it, you write a review of the book on Amazon and/or other bookselling sites.
Follow My Blog
My new website allows me to blog regularly, engage guest bloggers, and read your replies in the comment section. In this way, we can be in dialogue, learning from one another. Let me know your responses, your related ideas, and the impact of archetypal and mythic awareness and narrative intelligence on your life and work. You can visit the blog page of the website here. You also will find reply platforms on the Media and Newsletter sections.
Following is an excerpt from my October 5th blog:
Have you ever felt abducted—metaphorically, at least? I know I have. I became interested in the Demeter and Persephone story that is the mythic basis for Persephone Rising when I felt abducted by grief, just as Demeter, in the story, felt when her daughter went missing, and when she later learned that Persephone had been abducted to the Underworld, the realm of the dead.
Like many today, my life has followed this pattern of abduction, growth, and rising, over and over again. I’ve been abducted to the inner Underworld by disappointment, grief, worry, defeat, and recognizing that the story I was living was not working for the situation I was in. I have then been challenged to go inward to find my footing again, so that I could rise like Persephone did.
I’ve also been abducted by love, as Persephone was—by romantic love, by motherly love, by friendship, by various causes and organizational visions, and by the call of spirit. I use the term “abducted” because almost always, I did not completely know what I was getting into. I have been seduced into situations I was not completely prepared for, which in life, for many of us, is an impetus to growth and change. And, the resulting multiple commitments left me struggling and stretching to fulfill my obligations and achieve my ambitions. In this process, I have sometimes felt trapped by either/or choices in which whatever decision I made would feel as if I was cutting off a part of myself. At best, a creative inspiration has guided me to find a way to be true to most aspects of myself while still having a manageable life. For me, as for Persephone, this required not always doing what others wanted from me, and having the fortitude to face any resulting consequences. Understanding the relevance of Persephone’s story to your life today necessitates moving beyond its literal details to its symbolic archetypal meanings:
- The Goddess Persephone seems to be the right archetype not only for me, but also for many women in this exciting and challenging time, with Hades representing all the calls that seduce us into finding our right life and work. She is steadied by a connection to her deeper self, so that she can be adaptable, flexible, and risk-taking without losing her core identity. She carries deep wisdom within her, but she also has a light spirit that helps her easily speak her truth and act on it—hence the lightness of the video and many examples in Persephone Rising.
- The Underworld takes on many meanings—the realm of the dead in the story, or in modern life a soulless organization or marriage; a time of depression or anxiety, pulling us inward; the criminal underworld, where our collective shadow is acted out; the personal shadow we do not want to acknowledge that gets us into situations that require us to see our denied parts; and/or inner journeying in reflection, meditation, analysis, or psychotherapy that leads to transformation.
- Similarly, Zeus can represent any arrogant authority figure who disregards the desires and insights of women; the persistent inner or outer attitudes that undermine women’s options during today’s unfinished gender revolution; or a strong leader and administrator, who respects and learns from others.
- Demeter can be seen as a micromanaging, hovering mother/parent, a loving, courageous mom (or dad) who rescues her daughter, or a force who stands up to power and wins.
- Dionysus, Persephone’s child, can call us into frittering our lives away with meaningless frolic, learning to live life as a joyous dance, and/or experiencing the joy of being deeply connected simultaneously with ourselves and with others around us.
Persephone integrates her father’s confidence, her mother’s care, and her child’s love of life with her own unique qualities. These supporting archetypes also have assisted me with the tasks of leading, being a mother, and relaxing into having a good time, even as Hades has lured me into explorations of my inner life and Persephone has equipped me to be flexible and adaptive, at least when my values are not being violated.
Join Me at an Event
Do you live in Colorado, the New York City area, the Washington, DC area, Baltimore, or Houston? If so, I’d love to have you join me at one of the book events I’ll be doing over the next month to mark the publication of Persephone Rising.
During the week after the October 13th release of Persephone Rising, I’ll be in Colorado, where the life-changing events that inspired me to write it took place, speaking and signing books at bookstores in Littleton, Boulder, and Estes Park. Over the succeeding three weeks, I’ll be appearing in D.C., Manhattan, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Houston (my hometown), and Winchester, VA. Complete information on these and other upcoming appearances is available on the Events page of my website. Additional events may be scheduled, so keep on eye on that page to see if I’ll be appearing somewhere near you.
Also, if you would like to schedule an appearance—a talk, a workshop, or something else—please let me know directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, please feel free to forward this message to others who might be interested. In addition, you are invited to join me on Facebook at Carol S. Pearson, PhD or Twitter @cspearson and let me know what is going on with you. Just click on one of the buttons on the right to connect.
Carol S. Pearson