For many reasons, Mabon is one of my favorite holidays. It is a time to give thanks for everything we have received in the year. It marks the beginning of my favorite season. But it also incorporates my two favorite myths, the descents of Persephone and Inanna.
Persephone is not only my patron Goddess, but I have always felt connected to her story. Kore was just a girl with a love of life until she was taken by Hades to the Underworld. No warning, no period of transition, BAM! She is suddenly Queen of the Underworld. She reacts in a relatable way, by resisting the change and wallowing in her fate. It isn’t until she is returned to her mother Demeter that Persephone realizes that she is no longer the same person. She has changed and has a new outlook on life and death. It’s a tale I take comfort in during big, unexpected changes in my life.
The difference between Persephone and Inanna’s tales is the element of choice. Inanna choose to go to the Underworld to see her lover (or sister in some translations). And yet she didn’t realize the toll it would take on herself and the world. As she goes down the seven layers, Inanna gives up everything and remains unsuccessful. It is a tale for those making hard choices.
There are, of course, other myths to explore: Osiris’s murder and restoration (and Isis’s search for him), the births of Dionysus, and the cauldron of Cerridwen. I encourage you to check these out and to think about them as you approach Mabon.
© Ariadne Woods