Let’s talk about Persephone.
Let’s talk about a Persephone who takes Hades’ hand and goes with him willingly.
Let’s talk about a Persephone who loves the Underworld, who takes to Cerberus like a duck to water and leaves little flowers trailing behind as she walks, spots of brightness in a dark world.
Let’s talk about a Persephone who learns the twists and bends and eddies of the River Styx until she knows them better than the freckles on her arms and the crinkles in Hades’ brow when he smiles (yes, smiles.)
Let’s talk about a Persephone who takes the pomegranate in both hands and bites into it hungrily, relishes the drip of the cold, sweet juice as it gushes into her mouth and over her chin and down her hands.
Let’s talk about a Persephone who knew what she was doing if she went with Hades, if she ate the pomegranate. Let’s talk about a Persephone who knew all that and did it anyway.
Now, let’s not forget Hera.
Let’s not forget Hera, sister and wife of Zeus, jealous and fiery and never deserving to be called “good” or “benevolent” or “kind”, not really.
Let’s not forget Hera, Queen of the Gods and of Olympus, Hera who told Hercules to murder his family, Hera who cursed Echo to repeat her words for eternity, Hera who made Lamia crazy with grief, Hera who only wanted to be respected by her husband and her brother and her king.
We will not forget loyal Hestia, who tended the hearth like it was her own child.
Nor will we forget beautiful Aphrodite, whose jealousy could rival Hera’s own and whose beauty–Well. We know what her beauty could do.
Let us speak of Demeter, who only wanted to stay with her child.
Let us speak of Athena, who sprung from her father’s head fully formed and was a paragon of intelligence and of war.
Artemis, hunter and twin and really, she would be a raging feminist in 2015, wouldn’t she?
Nike, who brought Ares’ heaven and hell at once (but that is a story for another time).
Metis, who is only remembered as the fly that bore Athena in Zeus’s head.
Hecate, who is only mentioned by pagans and modern witches.
Eris, who loved chaos and strife and jealousy and flourished in the vitriol that lay between the other goddesses.
Let’s talk about the Greek Goddesses, jealous and brave and daring and terrifying and weak and powerful and petty and strong and loyal and unfaithful and quiet and raging and flawed. We will not do them the injustice of calling them perfect.
Let’s talk about the Greek Goddesses and how they were not perfect but broken and beautiful multifaceted walking disasters and how every flaw they carried made them so much more human than goddess in our eyes.
I’m not sure if this is poetry or meta tbh. But a few days ago, I was thinking about Greek mythology and just mythology in general. And I realized that one of the reasons why I loved Greek myths so much was that each god and goddess was inherently flawed, in an absolutely perfect way. Really, they were much more human than god or goddess to begin with, I think. And then somehow I got to thinking about Persephone. But not the Persephone that was stolen away into the Underworld, a Persephone who lept onto Hades’s chariot eagerly, who devoured that pomegranate as quickly as she could–basically twisting canon around. And somehow this happened.
Anyway. What was your favorite Greek goddess? (We’ll do gods some other time). Mine was Athena, I think.