The Secret Salvation Inside The Abduction Of Persephone
What do we understand about secrets which have arrived at the doorstep of our understanding in books and the mythology of the ancients? Could some of these hold the key to our eternal liberation?
Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, represents the physical intelligence of mankind. The Latin root for the word rapire means to abduct, and the abduction of Persephone is symbolic of Divine Nature being assaulted and defiled by the baseness of animal soul and being dragged downward into the somber darkness of Hades, the material as well as the objective realm of consciousness.
The Greater Eleusinian Rites took 9 days to enact. The first day was that of general gathering, during which those to be initiated were questioned concerning their qualifications. The second day was spent in a procession to the sea to immerse a statue of the presiding Goddess into the waves. On the third day a mullet was sacrificed. The Cista or mystic basket, containing the sacred symbols of Eleusis, was brought on the fourth day. It was accompanied by a number of female devotees carrying smaller baskets. On the evening of the fifth day there a torch race took place and on the sixth a procession took place in which the statue of Iacchus was carried upfront. On the seventh day an athletic contest took place. The repetition of the ceremonial (for the benefit of those who had arrived late) took place on the eighth day and the deepest of philosophical discussions occupied the greater part of the ninth day. During this occasion the symbol of Bacchus (a jar, the container for Spirit) was displayed. The initiation ceremonies took place at midnight. At this hour some of the sleeping spirits who had failed to arouse their higher natures during their lives on earth, floated about between the worlds, creating a darkness of their own, assuming forms and voices with which the aspirant initiates were addressed.
The initiates of the Lesser Mysteries were made to understand that suicide was a profound crime against the mystery of Life and that a great and eternal sorrow came to all those who took their lives. It was stressed to the initiate that folk had to make the best of their opportunities to embrace philosophy and live like perfected men, and that those who failed had to abide in conditions similar to the reproduced and reenacted horrors of Hades in the underground chambers of initiation. The initiates passed through dark and tortuous passageways, undergoing trials and dangers and if graduating successfully through these trials received the title of Mystes, one who had seen through the veil, beyond his clouded vision of mortal man. He had become a perfected man, one who had sought and found within his heart the path of faith in the unseen and veiled.
The Greater Mysteries were sacred to Ceres, wandering mother to the abducted Persephone. Ceres carried two torches, intuition and reason, in order to light the way, and assist her to find her child (soul). She finally found Persephone near Eleusis and out of gratitude for finding her long-lost daughter, taught mankind how to cultivate the soil, corn in specific. In this manner the Mysteries of Eleusis were founded. Ceres appeared before Pluto (God of the Underworld, Lord to the Souls of the Dead) and pleaded with him to allow Persephone to return home with her. Pluto refused to do this. Persephone had eaten of the pomegranate seeds, the fruit of mortality, and could not return permanently to the world of men. Pluto made an agreement with Ceres. He would allow Persephone to live in the upper world with her Mother for half of the year, but she had to return to him for the dark half of the year.
Persephone is the manifestation of solar energy, which during the winter returns to the arms of her Love and Lord, Pluto. In summer she returns to her Mother, the Goddess of fruitfulness and productiveness. Flowers loved Persephone, and in winter, when she left to the dark realms of death, the plant kingdom, withered and perished in grief and mourning for her absence. Those who have eyes to see, take cognizance of the subliminal messages in these allegories and symbols hidden within these mythological parables. Through Initiation the Soul of the Adept knows the felicitous purification from matter and its restrictions and the joys of spiritual liberty in the now and in the hereafter.
In the Lesser Mystery initiations, the nine days represented the nine months of gestation, and the initiation, the birth from the realm of illusion, from the unreal to the real. The Greater Mysteries taught spiritual regeneration, the liberation of one’s higher nature from material ignorance. Like Prometheus who was chained to the summit of Mount Caucasus, the Adepts higher nature was chained to the inadequacies of his ego and personality. Exercises and mental and physical disciplines were given to the Adept (Konx Om Pax)
During sleep the Soul vacates the body and wanders the Upper World of dreamscapes and astral realities. The Soul is then awake and does the work of the aroused Adept. In physical wakefulness, the Soul returns to the realm of the body and ensouls its worldly kingdom. The Teachers at the Mystery Centres presented Pluto allowing Persephone (the initiate’s soul) to ascend from the darkness of his material nature to the spiritual world of the Goddess and the light of understanding and the state of beatific all-connectedness during the hours of sleep. Persephone the soul would remain as the Queen of Pluto’s Kingdom during the waking hours. Through nocturnal practice during sleep, the Adept was eternally liberated when perfection was attained.
After his initiation, the adept would ascend into a chamber containing a gilded statue of Ceres where brilliant light, music and panacea were experienced, allegories of Mount Olympus and all the other heights on which Gods and Goddesses lived. Here the Hierophant (Plato’s Demiurgus) and priests wearing magnificent robes greeted him and hailed him an Epoptes (he who had beheld and seen directly) and instructed him in the highest and secret Mysteries of Eleusis.
In Lucius Apuleius’ The Golden Ass we read: “I approached to the confines of death, and having trod on the threshold of Proserpine I, returned from it, being carried through all the elements. At midnight I saw the sun shining with a splendid light; and I manifestly drew near to, the gods beneath, and the gods above, and proximately adored them.”
The Adepts, the Hierophant and his priests were all Gods incarnate … the secret inside the Abduction and Descent of Persephone … Men, women, children were all admitted to the Mysteries, but only a few were chosen for the Higher Mysteries, those of superior mentality, those displaying comprehensive ability to grasp the philosophical concepts and the tenacity of living them out in their lives, of being capable of being Gods realized in the bodies of men.
Secret Teachings of All Ages: Mysteries and Secret Societies; part 3 ~ Manly P. Hall, 1928