Kore is a Greek goddess associated with spring, new growth, meaning ‘maiden’ she is Persephone in her maiden, virginal aspect before Hades abducted her. Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, and she was abducted by Hades, the god of the underworld. When she was in the underworld, her mother grieved so deeply that the earth became barren and people died of starvation as the crops failed and the animals sickened. As it was only the return of her daughter which would assuage Demeter’s grief and return life to the land it was agreed amongst the gods that Persephone would leave the depths of the Underworld and return to her mother every year, leading to the changing seasons. Persephone’s annual return from the underworld she becomes Kore and brings the return of spring, symbolising rebirth and the renewal of life. So, Kore is essentially one aspect of Persephone, representing her as the youthful maiden associated with the arrival of spring, while Persephone encompasses her full mythological role as both the queen of the underworld and the bringer of seasons.
If you have ever lived in the northern regions of the planet you will very probably understand the feeling of deep relief and excitement it is to see the first spring flowers bloom after a long cold, dead winter. The return of green shoots and swooping swallows, growing days kissed with warm rays of the sun, this is Kore for me.
“Holy, ruler of all, maiden, showering fruits,
Radiant, horned, you alone are longed for by mortals.
You are Spring, delighting in fragrant meadows
Your sacred body appears to us in growing fruits and branches.”
Excerpt from Persephone and Demeter – Wyn Abbot
This painting was commissioned by Wyn Abbot for her book ‘Persephone and Demeter’ which I thoroughly recommend for a deeper more nuanced exploration into the story of these two goddesses, as well as their connection with the divine feminine.
A3, A4, A5 Altar Card, A6 Mediation Card