A Goddess to Release and Renew

How to release what is no longer serving you so you can evolve into a queen

Illustration commissioned by the author.

The weather is getting warmer, and the days are getting longer. As the sun shines more brightly, your mood might be getting brighter too. You may have already started to observe buds on trees, crocuses popping from the lawn, and the sounds of birds returning home. There’s a sense the world is emerging from the dark womb of winter and is ready to be born again.

While you prepare to shed your coat, scarf, and gloves, you can also take this time to consider what else can be released. This could be a habit that is no longer serving you, a belief that keeps you playing small, a resentment you continue to harbor, or maybe it’s a relationship that is no longer evolving. We can look to Persephone, the Greek goddess of spring, rebirth, and fertility, to teach us how to let go of the things holding and back so we can grow and evolve.

The Story of Persephone

Persephone was a beautiful maiden, most well-known as the beloved daughter of Demeter, the goddess of grain and the harvest. One day, Persephone was picking flowers in a meadow (I imagine her smiling innocently without a care in the world) when suddenly the earth cracked open. Hades, the god of the Underworld, appeared. He noticed Persephone, and as often happens in Greek mythology, he was immediately lovestruck. He captured the maiden and brought her to the Underworld to be his wife.

Of course, Demeter was utterly distraught — as any mama would be over the loss of her daughter. She looked all over the earth but couldn’t find her anywhere. Forlorn and angry, Demeter neglected her tasks, and the land became infertile. Not only that, she threatened to keep the land barren forever if her daughter wasn’t returned. Famine ensued. Zeus, the god of the sky (who also happened to be Persephone’s absentee father), feared that human life (and all of his worshippers) would cease to exist. He finally intervened. He sent Hermes, the messenger god, to the Underworld to bring back the young goddess.

There is a life/death life cycle inherent in the seasons, and it is present within us too.

However, while Persephone was in the Underworld, she ate some pomegranate seeds offered to her by Hades. This act invoked an underworld rule that would require Persephone to stay with Hades for half of the year but return to her mother for the other half. Some say Persephone ate the seeds on purpose to stay with her lover (this is the version I choose to believe), as most accounts tell of Hades and Persephone sharing a happy and loving union.

When Persephone returns to her mother, Demeter lights up, and the crops and flowers bloom — it is spring. When she goes back to her husband, Demeter becomes depressed and again neglects her tasks as she grieves her daughter’s absence — this is the onset of fall. And that’s the story behind the seasons.

It’s important to note that Persephone is not just the goddess of spring, but she’s also the queen of the Underworld. Unlike many gods and goddesses who remain static in their position, Persephone evolved from a naive maiden into a powerful queen with much authority. We can look to this myth to remind us that though change can be difficult, it begets growth. There is a life/death life cycle inherent in the seasons, and it is present within us too. We can use the seasons as a reminder to release what is no longer serving us and evolve into our highest selves — or, let’s say, the queen.

Persephone can guide us through these transitions to remind us to let go of what’s keeping us from achieving our full potential and optimal health. And while letting go can be challenging (as humans, we often desire to keep things the same), it is necessary for our evolution. If everything stayed the same, Persephone wouldn’t have become a sovereign and empowered queen (she has a pretty sexy partner too).

Release and Renew with a Spring Ritual

To tap into Persephone’s energy to release and renew, you can practice this spring ritual.

First, you’ll need an altar (or something that can be used as an altar), candle, burn-proof dish, journal and pen, and an offering to the goddess Persephone — maybe a pomegranate.

Get in a comfortable seat. Take a few moments to sit silently, coming back into your body. You can do this by focusing your attention on your breath.

Once you feel safe and grounded, consider what is no longer serving you and what needs to be released. Again, this could be a habit, belief, resentment, or attachment. Pick one item that is holding you back.

Write it on a piece of paper. Imagine what your life would be like if this item were released. Close your eyes and consider:

  • What would you do?
  • How would you feel?
  • Where does this feeling show up in the body?

Sit with this feeling for a few minutes. See if you can expand the physical sensation throughout your entire body. When you’re ready, take the piece of paper and burn it in your burn-proof dish. Now that you’ve sowed the soil, you’re ready to plant the seeds of your new intention.

Next, set a new, empowering intention. Consider what you want to achieve, how you want to evolve, or what you’ll give birth to next. Write this down in your journal.

Now, imagine that you have achieved it. Visualize what your life would be like. What would you do? How would you act?

Consider how it feels in your body to have accomplished your goal. Sit with this feeling for several minutes or as long as you like. Focusing on this feeling of growth, achievement, and evolution.

When you’re ready, petition Persephone for any guidance needed as you move forward with this intention in mind. Whatever insights you receive, write them down. Thank the goddess and blow out your candle.

Here are a few other rituals to help you release and renew this spring:

A womb-clearing meditation
As women, we hold on to a lot — that’s what our wombs are designed to do. Though sometimes, we hold on to too much. Take the time to do a womb-clearing meditation and release anything or anyone holding you back from evolving into a queen. Here’s my free womb-clearing meditation.

Spring cleanse
The change in seasons is a great time to do a cleanse. It helps give your body and digestive system a reboot and burn up the dense, heavy winter qualities as you get ready for the warmer months. You could follow a traditional Ayurvedic cleanse, or maybe start by giving up sugar, alcohol, and some heavier foods in favor of seasonal greens, berries, and spicy soups to help stoke your digestive fire and enable your body to cleanse naturally.

Plant seeds
We just talked about planting the seeds of our new intentions. And you can also literally plant some seeds! If you don’t already have one, start a garden. It could even be a small herb garden. When we grow our foods, we become more connected to mama earth. We can’t help but remember the life/death/life cycle constantly at play, both outside and within us.

Move your body
Now is a great time to add a little more power to your movement practice. This will help you burn the sluggishness that might have accumulated over the winter months and increase your digestive fire. Aim to break a light sweat most days.

Persephone Affirmation

I am a queen who continuously evolves by releasing what no longer serves me and renewing my intentions for growth.

I wish you growth, release, and rebirth on your journey.

Want more goddess wisdom? My new book, The Goddess Solution, is a practical spiritual guide to help you connect with your inner goddess.

Join my goddess training at www.facebook.com/groups/goddesswisdom1/ or find me at www.lisamarierankin.com.

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