Persephone Beeswax Pillar Candle
Beeswax candle handpoured by Damian Han of Solis Illuminatum.
"Death is a Maiden" is dedicated to the dark aspect of the divine feminine, particularly those associated with death and the underworld such as Persephone and Hela. It is intended to honor the Time of Our Lady's Descent, Samhain, seeing or journeying beyond the veil, remembering the departed, as well as mediation work dealing with life and passing.
All pillars are about 1 3/4 inches in diameter.
Tall Pillars - 6 inches
All candles are made from USDA certified organic beeswax. All candles are scented with pomegranate.
Though late Hellenic and continuing versions of the myth frequently depict Persephone's journey to the Underworld as a forced marriage, archaeological evidence points to a different understanding by the ancients. Persephone is also known as Kore (usually considered in the form of Kore to be the Goddess of the Spring, a name so ancient it is also the term for "maiden" much as in Nordic mythology Freyr and Freya literally translate to Lord and Lady respectively.) In ancient and isolated Arcadia the primary myth honor three deities refer to Two Queens and a King, attributed to Demeter, Persephone, and Poseidon (as a god of all bodies of water, including rivers and springs) as interconnected not separated in their functions. The two goddesses were often called Despoinai "the mistresses." Their mysteries would live on with some independence to the Olympians through the Eleusinian mysteries. Persephone pre-Hellenism is no shrinking violet as commemorated in so much of the visual arts, but described even by Homer as the "formidable, venerable majestic princess of the underworld." Though fearsome as one who can carry the curses of the living to the souls of the departed and vice versa, she was also revered as the one a person would appeal to regarding any favor from the Underworld.
Hela (Hel) is the Mistress of Hel the Nordic Underworld which bears her name, (much as Hades is also the name of the Underworld ruled by Hades,) who is described in mythology as having half of her body in the form of a beautiful maiden, and the other half as a decaying corpse. She is the daughter of Loki and the Jotun Angrbooa. Odin gathered all Loki's children with Angrbooa, and while Jormungandr was cast into the deep sea and Fenrir eventually bound until Ragnorak, Hela was given the Underworld to rule. Though she is often described as looking fierce or gloomy, Hela guaranteed that all who died, even those who did not die a warrior's death, would have a hall and lodgings for eternity. Most notably, despite the circumstances of the God Baldr's death, she relents that if all the world loved Baldr as deeply as the Gods claimed she would release him should all the living weep for him. Though a fearsome force, Hela is never shown to be an ungracious hostess or ruler.
The pomegranate is a fruit of many contradictions and mystery. It is a winter fruit which ripens when most other fruits have long been consumed. The many seeds which seem to burst from a ripe pomegranate have been seen as a symbol of fertility and passion, originally said to have sprung from the blood of the dying Adonis, originally a sacrificial fertility god. But the almost astringent taste of the fruit may have contributed to its use in classical times as an abortifacient and or contraceptive. Indeed modern science has shown a natural steroid in the seed can be used to stimulate uterine contractions. In animal testing as a contraceptive results showed decreased fertility by 50% to 100% depending on the species of rats tested. In Hellenic times at the end of the year, people would stomp on pomegranates into the home to usher good luck and success into the new year. The pomegranate is also believed to aid trance and divination but like the mistresses of the dead it should be approached respectfully in this work.
Parsley was both of plant of death and of protection in Southern Europe. Persephone is often shown carrying parsley. It was used to decorate tombs and funerals, and never grown indoors. Romans placed springs of parsley on their plants to protect the food from contamination, the origin of garnishing. It was also used as a protective talisman. Parsley is scared to not only to Persephone but Venus and Aphrodite. Even in Eastern folk witchcraft outside the Mediterranean, it is a plant of safe passage and transitions, easing to those in need of healing, and protective, but also potent for hexing and cursing. In Northern European practices parsley was also a used to aid in speaking to the dead. Parsley seeds are naturally coated in a chemical which makes their germination rate very low (it is recommended therefore to soak parsley seeds several times in new water before planting them). Observing this it was said that the reason parsley took so long to sprout new life was that if must go to Hel and back seven times before rooting itself in this world.