On Persephone, Our #1 Liminal Gal
April 13, 2021
We gotta talk about Persephone. Goddess of spring and queen of the underworld, she is perpetually betwixt and between, sweetness with an edge, a goth girl in a flower crown. Of all the gods and goddesses (and we’re quite familiar with many of them!), Persephone holds a special place in both of our hearts.
Frankly, she’s a huge inspiration for us. For example, Brittany just got her hair done (for the first time in over a year!), and our friend Erin immediately dubbed it “goth unicorn hair,” which is perfect and also exceptionally Persephone-like.
But if you’re a fan of our outfits and jewelry, you’ll already know that we love dressing up and that that includes white lace, frilly dresses, and floral patterns AND black leather, red lipstick, and owl talons. We like to think Persephone would absolutely be down for shopping with us.
This tweet sums things up nicely –
But it’s more than this too. Most of you know that we love the concept of liminality around here, and Persephone really is the embodiment of that idea. Always on the threshold, never quite one thing or the other, but also, somehow, always both at the same time.
As we move into Spring, always one of the two truly liminal seasons, we recognize that this year, perhaps more than any other year we have ever experienced, we are in liminal space. The flowers are in bloom, but the wind still blows cold air. More and more people are getting vaccinated, but the pandemic isn’t over yet. We are caught between hope and lingering anxiety.
We’re probably thinking about all this because last week we did a whole Profs & Pints lecture on Persephone (if you came, thank you so much for being there! If you missed it, you can check out the recorded version by clicking here!)
We talked about everything from the chthonic deities, to the Homeric “Hymn to Demeter,” to the Eleusinian Mysteries, but it is her ability to exist across boundaries, to revel in the in-between, that we keep coming back to.
Cicero calls Persephone “the seed” in his philosophical dialogue De Natura Deorum. Like a plant, Persephone only grows when forced underground, when submerged in darkness. She thrives when she embraces her liminal nature.
We think we all do.