The Enchantress phase occurs after ovulation and before menstruation, in that premenstrual phase known for heightened emotions, irritability and mood swings.
The Enchantress phase is the time when most women desire some solitude and often experience recurrent dissatisfaction about particular aspects of their lives. This phase prepares us for the release and letting go of the (Crone) bleeding phase of our cycles.
There are two goddess archetypes which correspond to the Enchantress Phase and show us different ways of dealing with this highly charged time. They are Hestia and Persephone.
Hestia Goddess of the Hearth
Hestia is an Enchantress archetype because of Her Inner, meditative approach. She is spiritually orientated and cultivates an attitude of calm and serenity so that She can hear what spirit or 'God' is saying to her. Hestia is open to hearing the messages from within and is focused on Her spiritual path and journey.
To successfully negotiate the Enchantress phase in the menstrual cycle, it is helpful to cultivate Hestia behaviours, especially if you suffer during this phase. By maintaining a spiritual centre or 'hearth' within yourself, you can transcend the confusion and drama of the pre - menstrual phase.
By meditating or praying, we can communicate with ourselves and hear the messages we need to hear about the changes we need to make in our lives. Doing tasks mindfully with Hestia consciousness takes us out of ourselves and lessens our psychic pain and confusion at this time.
Developing meaningful rituals and activities for yourself, and remembering to do them when you start feeling unbalanced during the premenstrual phase is another good way of calling Hestia into your life.
PersephoneThe Maiden and Queen of the Underworld.
Persephone is a goddess with two distinct phases to her development and personality. These two phases are Maiden and Queen of the Underworld. The use of the word Maiden in this case is not the same as is used in the Virgin phase. The reason for this is that Persephone is always somewhat ethereal, receptive and impressionable. She does not have the Self focus of the other Virgin goddesses.
At this point it may be useful to tell her mythical story.
Persephone was the daughter of Demeter the Great Earth mother. It is said that one day the young and innocent maiden Persephone, was strolling through the fields smelling the flowers, in particular the Narcissus flower, when the ground opened up and Hades, The King of The Underworld appeared before her. Hades abducted Persephone and took her down to the underworld where he raped her.
Persephone's mother Demeter went into grieving for months and all fertility on the earth stopped. Plants stopped growing, animals died, it was said to be perpetual winter whilst Demeter mourned and searched for her lost daughter. Eventually humankind appealed to Zeus (the King of the Gods) for help and Zeus sent Hermes (Mercury) to intervene. Hermes rescued Persephone from the Underworld.
When Persephone returned to her mother, Demeter asked Persephone if she had eaten anything whilst in the Underworld. Persephone replied that she had eaten six pomegranate seeds. At this point Demeters joy at seeing her daughter turned to despair. Because Persephone had eaten in the underworld she would have to return to the Underworld.
So it happened that Persephone split her time between the real world and the Underworld. Through eating the pomegranate seeds Persephone became the Queen of the Underworld and Hades consort / wife.
So as in the myth, this feminine archetype is split between the innocent, naive and impressionable maiden, and the wiser, initiated, acquainted with 'darkness and death' Queen of the Underworld.
The Underworld in this myth symbolises many different things;
- the unconscious
- the collective consciousness of humanity
- our demons
- the spirit world
- the darker side of life and
- the realm of the psychic, unexplainable phenomena.
Through a tragic or traumatic event, Persephone is transformed from the innocent maiden into the Queen of the Underworld. This often occurs in the lives of women who strongly resonate to the Persephone archetype.
The process of this transformation demands the resolution of the tragedy. The crime against Persephone (that is, her abduction and rape) must be faced, and her role as a victim abandoned.
Persephone must reclaim her power and her responsibility, She must give up Her naivety in order to become the Queen of the Underworld. She has to take responsibility for eating the pomegranate seeds.
It is not good enough for Persephone to remain innocent and ignorant of her errors, or to expect to be rescued repeatedly by others. If She holds onto this attitude, She remains the Maiden and continues to be the victim again and again.
This journey to the Underworld involves diving to the depths of the psyche to confront the emotional scars of abuse and trauma. Persephone must face the depths of mourning, abandonment, depression, anger, madness and other emotions that are generally unacceptable in the light of the ordinary world.
In doing so she reclaims her power and her courage, wisdom and maturity. She becomes the Queen of the Underworld.
The Persephone personality is usually quite sensitive, impressionable and mediumistic. She quite happily changes herself or the persona she shows to the world to suit her surroundings, a chameleon. She often receives psychic information from her surroundings and can be quite vulnerable to these stimuli, not always knowing what is really Hers and what isn't.
It is important for the Persephone archetype to develop boundaries and knowledge of self. Spending time alone, working creatively for self, gaining knowledge of occult or psychic phenomena can often help Her in coming to grips with Her world. She knows that the world is not all that we see in tangible reality, She knows there are many other things under the surface and other realities. Learning to live with this knowledge effectively is her task.
When Persephone learns these skills She becomes the Goddess who is able to travel easily between the world above (tangible reality) and the world below, and can ultimately help others to do the same.
Coping with the pre-menstrual phase for the Persephone woman.
If Persephone features strongly in your psyche, then the pre-menstrual phase can be quite unbearable because things that are normally easier to screen out and ignore become very obvious. Because of your highly sensitive and intuitive nature, things you are able to ignore in all the other phases become very prominent during the pre-menstrual time.
If you have had traumatic experiences and not resolved them, this is the time when they will come to the surface with more ferocity.
Things that will help you cope with the pre-menstrual phase better are:
- Quiet, contemplative time is important at this phase, the time to safely explore your thoughts and feelings whether done privately through drawing or writing, or explored with a therapist or trusted friend.
- Restricting the demands on your time can be helpful as is not seeing people who drain you and steal your energy. Forget about the housework, achieve only the minimum, and allow yourself the time to psychically cleanse. Take the time to dream, meditate and stare into space. Persephone women receive so much unasked for stimuli that they need the extra time to process and digest it all.
- Eating well, and supplementing your diet with appropriate vitamins, minerals and herbs / remedies is useful because it helps solve any hormonal imbalances that are exacerbating your emotional condition. You may need to see a naturopath / homoeopath / acupuncturist or other holistic healer to assist you here.
Written by Nadia MacLeod