As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, as the autumnal sun sets, bathing the earth in a honeyed glow, you begin to make your descent into the Underworld.
Not hell. Not Milton's proverbial nine layers, nor religion's antidote to heaven (it might be the final resting place of vice, but what a relief not to be perfect!). Nor is it Florence's Last Judgement safely nestled in the bosom of its canonical dome and foretelling the dangers of sin. Not hell nor any of these.
The Underworld. That quiet place which is not a place, both a cave below the earth and deep inside yourself. The still place. The silent place that you retreat into when the world gets too loud and you have been too long on its surface. Like Persephone, you make your yearly transition from the spring above to the winter below, feeding upon rich pomegranate seeds and turning away from external revelries to your inward gaze. You are bound to this cycle just as Persephone is to hers; you cannot change it any more than she can. The earth pulls you into its embrace, thick roots easing your passage into your deeper sense of being, sweeping away the debris of surface living.
It is there, there in the quiet and the shadows that you may meditate, contemplate the you that is you after casting off your worldly shell. You will navigate the dark--the shadows of the yet-to-be-revealed, the wisdom courted with your solitude. That secret you waiting to be heard. Like Persephone with those pomegranate seeds, you gobble up this underground knowledge one tiny morsel at a time, feeding the flame nestled within your ribcage. Feeding the you that goes beyond day in and day out, and exists in dreams, in caves, in the Underworld. Always waiting. Always ready to welcome you back to your roots and the rich earth from which you came.
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