Ceres

THE GODDESS PROJECT: Made in Her Image

Since the 2017 Women’s March, the term “Patriarchy” has been thrown around a lot. “Smash the Patriarchy” t-shirts, bumper stickers and Instagram posts ABOUND but what does that mean, exactly, “Patriarchy”? 

If a patriarch is a father, why is our modern society called a “Father-y”?  Is it because the world predominately views God as a (white) MALE, and what is seen as most high, reigns supreme therefore leaving everyone that is not straight, white and male in second place. 

In Ancient times, there used to be Egalitarian societies, or “MATRIARCHIES” that were Mother-lead, nurturing, balanced and all-accepting.  They knew how a mother nursed the newborn child from her own body, she helped the child grow and thrive just like Mother Earth does this for all of us. Up until a couple of thousand of years ago, no one subscribed to a single, male deity BIRTHING ALL OF CREATION; it just didn’t make sense.

As we find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic, we are starting to understand the DEEP, primal need for essential items and who the essential figures are that help keep these supplies flowing. 

In Texas,last Spring, we also endured an unusually brutal ice storm that left most residents unprepared: without water, food and heat, nervously scavenging for days to weeks. 

We begin to see why ancient people regularly respected, honored and paid homage to the Mother Earth from Whom all of their necessities (especially food) grew from. They depended on the nurturing and cooperation of Mother Nature.

One name the ancient Romans gave to Mother Earth, was Ceres, the Earth Goddess of the Grain.  (YES, CEREAL was named after Her.) Some might not think of grain as that important but if grain and legumes fed ALL of your lifestock AND your children then a year without a healthy harvest was a matter of life and death.

Via Wikipedia

Ceres (“Demeter” to Ancient and modern Greeks) is most famously known for Her Mother-Daughter seasonal cyclical story in which Her Daughter, Persephone, was stolen by Pluto/Hades into a forced marriage into the underworld for half of the year. 

Yearly, in the Spring, Ceres/Demeter and Persephone were happily reunited and the Goddess of the Earth (Ceres’) happiness began to allow vegation to bloom, again. 

In the Fall, however, Persephone would descend again and vegetation would begin to die out, creating the last harvest. The Mother and Daughter Goddesses’ last moments together would be a celebratory harvesting festival called the “Eleusian Mysteries”.

There is evidence of the Harvest Festival in Sicily dating back as early as 3,600 years ago. “In ancient Greece the Eleusian Mysteries celebrated the transformation cycle of the Grain Goddess, which is mirrored in the vegetation cycle of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter” writes Kathy Jones in “The Ancient British Goddess”. “She and Her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a religious tradition that predated the Olympian pantheon.”  The Eleusian Mysteries were the “most famous of the secret religious rites of ancient Greece” both, Wikipedia.

Outsside of Greece and Rome, the Goddess Ceres is important enough to be considered the name of a Dwarf Planet, the largest object, in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.  Ceres is also a nonprofit organization working to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges, ceres.org.

As the Earth is now changing, and drastic and extreme weather is starting to become the norm, we should once again go back to our roots and respect our Mother Earth like our lives depend on it. (They do!) Mother Earth is like the nursing mother, ALL of our nutrition and environment grows from Her dark soil. Maybe trust should go to leaders that understand and respect this more.

Birthed on the first day of Autumn, which is also called “Mabon”, the day ancient Romans celebrated Ceres in festival: our gorgeous and gracious Goddess model, Luz was BORN to portray Ceres. 

In my 20 years of knowing Luz (who, the very first time I ever laid eyes on her, I thought she was the COOLEST person I’d ever seen and still do) I have seen her, most definitely, as the modern Ceres. The very first time I ever heard the expression “HARVEST MOON”, came from Luz.

Like Ceres/Demeter and Persephone, Luz has had to share custody of her OWN daughter.  The power of their joyous, loving reunions, could bloom plants.  Luz too knows great loss, pain, heartache, violence and yet, she perseveres. 

At the time we took this photo. Luz was in the final stages of planning an escape with her 3 young sons from their abusive father. She gracefully and gratefully fed the camera so much beauty and soul, impressing not only us, but her Puerto Rican and European ancestors, as she still stands strong.

And lastly, albeit most importantly, Luz will continue to honor Ceres, as Ceres taught the demigod of agriculture, the secrets of cultivating grain,  Luz plans to go back to school soon to study AGRICULTURE. 

The Ritual Path of Initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries
(c) 2009, Mara Lynn Keller, Ph.D.

More on The Goddess Project: Made in Her Image on freesophia.com or the Free Sophia Facebook page.

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