I began preparation for the Eleusinian Mysteries and my portrayal of Demeter by meditating the question: What is worthy in her to be worshipped?
I thought I would begin my preparation by researching the ancient stories and modern tributes of her. However, another Priestess Of Eleusis and one of my most trusted confidants suggested that the place to start was with this question. I now agree.
I knew the story of the Eleusinian Mysteries. I had participated in them. I had walked the paths and spoken with the gods. I had a good basis to start with but I could not immediately answer the question. I knew the story of Demeter but I had not placed myself fully in her shoes.
After a short time in her presence I realized what is most worthy of worship in Demeter is that she is able to grow and change, and she allows and encourages this in others. She is a very different goddess at the end of the mysteries. I would argue that she is as much changed as Persephone by the conclusion of the story.
Demeter turns out to be the mother we all desire. Not only does she love her daughter beyond all reason, she raises a women who is also worthy to be worshiped. She encourages the same for those who study and worship her today. Demeter is ever mindful of the needs of her children but allows them to grow into fully formed beings that can change the world.