This is an essay I originally published on Livejournal in 2006.
Persephone chose me, not the other way around. My relationship with her started long before I identified as a pagan. Her imagery and her stories were always in my life, except it wasn't until I understood the concept of polytheism that I really noticed her.
Over the years, Persephone has showed me her many faces. When I was 18, she wore the face of the Maiden. She was the wronged child who was dragged away from her mother and imprisoned in a hell dimension. When I was young too, I followed her into the strawberry fields and plucked blooms to make into crowns and laughed until we had tears in our eyes. We were both innocent in the springtime of my life.
As I matured, I came to the realization that Kore had to return to her husband. She would, as she does every year, journey back to the underworld and take up her mantle as Queen. It was at this point that I knew she wasn't just an innocent victim; Persephone was the very master of her own destiny. And as I entered another phase of my own life, I found myself on the journey with her, delving into the deepest darkest parts of myself and learning my own path through the underworld. I was able to make my own choices. Persephone was only an innocent maiden once. From the moment she entered the underworld that first time she became a powerful and thoughtful woman who knew her goals, her choices and her future. She was in control. Every year she returns to her mother she does so now as a peer, a queen and a Goddess of her own.
I have come a long way as a woman, as a pagan, and as a lover. I have made choices - some have been good ones, some have been not so good - but they have all been mine. Persephone has always been there with me. Sometimes I think the only thing that keeps me identified as a pagan is the turning of the seasons. I experience such indescribable joy each time the wheel of the year turns. I have a strange sense of wonder when each day brings us closer to yet another change of season, and that it keeps happening from year to year. It is almost as though I expect that one day it will stop and we'll be stuck in one season or another for all of eternity. But it doesn't stop. The earth keeps turning. Maybe it isn't the changing of the seasons that keeps me Pagan. Maybe it is Persephone's journey itself. Maybe I am afraid at some turning point of the year she will forget to come back for me. But she never does forget about me.
I have made a lot of decisions in my life, and Persephone is the constant - my conscious, maybe. Maybe not. What would Persephone do? Spiritually I have gone from being a Catholic to a Pagan and now I identify as Unitarian Universalist. I would mostly consider myself agnostic, except for one spark of the divine who I know is there with all my heart.