Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine Within
Each year, the Nautilus Book Awards are given to books that carry a powerful message aimed at making the world a better place. I’m honored to announce that PERSEPHONE RISING has won a gold award in category 27—books for women! Click to see the full list.
Celebrated scholar of depth psychology and archetypes Carol S. Pearson’s modern classic, The Hero Within, has helped hundreds of thousands of people enrich their lives by revealing how to tap the power of the archetypes that exist within each of us. But our era of professional and familial pressures, constant connection, and a renewed debate on “having it all” presents new and unprecedented challenges to contemporary women. In Persephone Rising, Pearson—drawing on her profound understanding of myth’s enduring power to catalyze transformations—brings a fresh vision for meeting those challenges and rising above them, as only she can. Guiding readers on a bold journey of self-discovery, Pearson teaches us how to activate and apply the archetypes of Demeter and Persephone, as well as Zeus and Dionysus, in our own lives—empowering readers to see the unexpected choices and opportunities available to us all. Not since Women Who Run with the Wolves has an author brought together myth, wisdom, and acute psychological insight and applied them to the modern reader’s life with such transformative effect.
Illuminating ancient wisdom for a modern audience, Persephone Rising offers profound and powerful strategies to answer the call to heroism in our own lives: to locate and harness the unique potential within each of us, and ultimately to develop our own innate heroic gifts. Just as Demeter and Persephone discovered, in the midst of great difficulty, their own powers, gifts, and abilities for blazing a better path not only for themselves, but also for the world, Persephone Rising teaches that each one of us has more options than choosing whether to lean in or out—we have the power to change ourselves, and thus our world.
Praise for Persephone Rising:
For many of us women, the story of Demeter and Persephone is the most challenging and illuminating of all myths. Each of us retells it in her own way, a way that reflects what it means to her. Carol Pearson’s rich revisioning focuses on Persephone’s rising, on her return to the upper world as emblematic of the power inherent in all of us to move beyond failure and conflict to lives filled with joy, fearlessness, and abundance. Wisely, she recognizes that the deepest message this myth conveys comes from attending to all the archetypal energies represented in it, not just Persephone but also Demeter, Zeus, and Dionysus.
Pearson writes with an eye toward empowering women, not by disparaging men, but by pointing us in the direction of our lost history…. Her work has always been an exploration of the flowers that bloom through the cracks in the sidewalk. It would appear that those flowers, and Pearson herself, are now positioned for a spectacular moment in the sun.
Persephone Rising spoke to my bone marrow—its truths resonating with clarity and power. A beautiful retelling and updating of these ancient archetypes—so relevant today.
Carol S. Pearson does a remarkable job of weaving together stories from Greek myths with profound metaphors, practical leadership applications, existing literature, and strategies for inner growth and development. In this carefully crafted book, leadership lessons emerge for women in any life circumstance on topics such as resilience, courage, connectedness, caring, joy, finding passions, and taking action. Pearson’s work can help women understand themselves more deeply to find their heroine within!
“There are as many interpretations of any given myth as there are individuals. The most useful interpretation is one that sparks the imagination and teaches us something important. With stories as ‘big’ as that of Demeter and Persephone, or Zeus or Dionysus, one needs a really gifted interpreter. Carol Pearson is one: she uses those four archetypes as a map of human qualities that everyone, man or woman, should develop to live the good life.”
- Readers “run with the wolves” and more as Pearson addresses readers’ inherent heroine potential in this beautifully realized effort to present and analyze the powerful ancient Greek myth of Demeter and her daughter, Persephone, abducted by the underworld god, Hades. Pearson decodes the archetypal basis of the Eleusinian Mysteries, secret annual rituals associated with the myth provide readers with “a virtual initiation” into ancient, sacred, unwritten knowledge that protected the rites from dogma, rules, and censorship. She illuminates anthropologists’ findings at a Cretan initiation site and shares literary and philosophical writings about the era to support her call to revive innate inner strengths and universal connections between women and men in accord with their empowerment. Primal archetypes Demeter, Zeus, Persephone, and Dionysus also provide Pearson with material for integrative lessons meant to encourage life transformation via the power of story. Pearson’s accessible style bridges the scholarly and the mainstream, analysis and practice.Whitney ScottReviewer, www.booklistonline.com