Spending the winter with a grieving goddess is sometimes difficult. Since the part of Demeter at the Spring Mysteries Festival was given to me back in October, I have spent time in daily invocation of Demeter. This has been wonderful and challenging at the same time.
I noticed a change around Samhain. I felt that I was always close to tears. Anything could make me cry, good or bad. I wanted to stay in bed. I didn’t want to see my friends or go to events at the church and to be honest I wasn’t all that productive at work. The other priestesses who had held Demeter before assured me this was a normal part of her grieving process. I was worried that this would be a long, dark winter.
I started to notice a change around Yule. I attended the Yule celebration held by the Mother Church and had a great time. We did a small ritual where we passed around the Yule log and spoke our intention to give up what we no longer needed. We then spoke our intention for the coming year. I promised to take better care of myself. I have a tendency to put much more time and effort into helping others than I do in taking really good care of myself. I felt that Demeter was also ready for this. I thought a lot about how she occupies herself during the winter. I found that doing yoga, taking baths and reading books felt the best. I imagined Demeter going to visit Rhea, reading old stories and eating good food during this time.
As we come to the time of Imbolc, I have noticed another change. I feel excited. There is so much to do. There are seeds to plant with my intentions for the year. There are costumes to make for SMF. I feel Demeter’s excitement to help the mortals in their preparations for spring. I also feel her anticipation for Persephone’s return.
I think that Demeter has shown me a great path to follow when dealing with sadness and loss. First you grieve. Feeling it without shame or self-conciseness. Then move on to self-care when the time is right and the season has changed. Finally moving to acceptance and focus on the future.
I am very happy that I have gotten to spend time with Demeter while she was grieving and then taking care of herself. It has made me feel closer to her.