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Pomegranates and Persephone

September 23, 2014 3 Comments

pomegranate

pomegranate

pomegranate

pomegranate

pomegranates

pomegranates

One of the most symbolic of all the foods we harvest in the fall is the pomegranate.  This is the fruit of the dead Hades gave the goddess Persephone before she was retuned to her mother.  The pomegranate seeds she ate in the underworld created a magical bond she could not break.  She was doomed to return to Hades for three months each year.  This complicated story is about birth and death, cycles and seasons, sabotage and fate.  She was kidnapped and raped by her husband Hades who planned to keep her forever.  Persephone’s mother, Demeter, goddess of fertility, went into such a tizzy about her daughter’s kidnapping that Zeus, her husband, finally relented and brought Persephone back to her.  The entire incident could have ended at that, but the pomegranate seeds she ate magically sealed her relationship with Hades and the underworld.  She was, after all, since her kidnapping and rape, the queen of the underworld.  Now we have three months of winter, and during that time Demeter will not produce crops or warmth for the land.  Each spring when Persephone returns from her underground realm life begins anew and Demeter gets busy providing ample food for humans.

The ruby red color and the delicious taste of the pomegranate makes an exotic ingredient in all kinds of dishes and drinks.  Here are a few ways to honor Persephone and enjoy the season:

Pomegranate molasses is available at Middle Eastern grocery stores, and is a wonderful ingredient.  It is very handy at the bar.  This beautiful alcohol free drink is named after the queen of the underworld:

Last but certainly not least I leave you with a recipe for an exotic cocktail with chocolate covered pomegranate seeds:

Enjoy!!!

Hermes and the Underworld

December 24, 2012 3 Comments

Hermes guides souls to the Underworld

Hermes guides souls to the Underworld

Zues has a son able to enter and leave underworld unharmed. His name is Hermes. He carries a staff with two snakes signifying his role in commerce and negotiation. The Caduceus with two snakes and wings is used by the AMA today as a symbol of medicine. It is a very apt symbol for the medical professionals tied to drug company profits. They used to get into the Hippocratic oath by swearing to Aesclepius that they would would first do no harm. Now they borrow the winged staff of Mercury and make a deal with pharmaceutical companies to produce as many ills as there are pills.

What harm could this little mix up do? If they forgot the meaning of the the symbol for medicine and both the healing and the negotiating staffs have snakes, what is the big deal? A snake is a snake, right? When they lurk in the tall grass of Medicare and Medicaid those snakes can and do major damage putting profit before wellness. Maybe we don’t have to be concerned that they no longer understand Latin. We are probably better off seeing only an assistant rather than the Wizard of Oz himself when we go to a doctor’s office. It costs significantly more to be harmed by a real doc, whose harm comes at a premium price. The intent from the get go is warped, so we are diagnosed at warp speed and matched with one or more drugs, faster than you can say Jack’s you’re uncle. They thought “Primum non nocerum. (First do no harm)” meant first push drugs. Hippocrates would plotz. They are an insult to Hermes as well. He protects shepherds, smugglers and thieves with cunning.

Hermes and Appollo's  staff

Hermes negotiates for staff

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