This glyph is a symbol of an asteroid named Proserpina, and it was named after the Roman goddess of the same name who is the Queen of the Underworld and the daughter of Ceres. Another asteroid was discovered later which was named Persephone after her Greek counterpart, whose mother is named Demeter in the Greek pantheon.
There are many interpretations of this myth, and one of the most popular is that it describes the changing seasons. When Proserpina returns in the spring, the drought is lifted as Ceres welcomes back her daughter, and all of the crops flourish. But when autumn approaches and Proserpina returns to the Underworld, Ceres grieves once more and the earth is barren through winter.
Witches will often place pomegranates on their altars during the Autumn Equinox to celebrate this time of year and to thank the earth and the spirits for all they have received throughout the year. They also commonly use the Equinox to consider what they need to let go of and perform rituals to release energy that no longer serves them.
Interestingly enough, this story is reflected in the stars themselves. In 2006 Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status, and that same year the asteroid Ceres was promoted to dwarf planet status, mirroring the mythology, and making Pluto and Ceres equals as planets in the solar system, much like in their “custody” of Proserpina in the myth.
The planet Pluto was also named by an 11 year old girl when it was discovered in 1930, and she is still to this day the only young female to name a planet. You could say this is quite a powerful position to hold. And in the mythology, Pluto abducted the young Proserpina and promoted her to Queen of the Underworld, which is also a powerful position to hold. Pluto in astrology represents the giving and taking of power.
In magick, we call this phenomena “synchronicity” which could be thought of as “meaningful coincidence”. Many people interpret these synchronicities as the Universe giving us a little nudge to pay attention and letting us know that there is more than it appears on the surface.
Another synchronicity is that we are in October and quickly approaching Scorpio season in the astrological calendar. Scorpio is ruled by the planet Pluto too, and is the sign associated with death, rebirth and transformational power.
Right now we’re in Libra season symbolised by the scales and balance. The Autumn Equinox also falls in Libra season, and the Equinox is the time when the day and night are of equal duration.
Proserpina used to be called by another name in the Roman pantheon, and that name was Libera which means “free”. Libera was associated with liberty. She represented the irrepressible feminine spirit who would not be controlled or restricted. Some astrologers look to the asteroids Proserpina / Persephone in a person’s natal chart to see where we give our power away, or have it taken from us, so we can use this information to not be so passive and assert ourselves properly so that we are not so easily controlled.
What we could take from Proserpina’s story is to honour the cycles and changing seasons within ourselves. Sometimes we are cast into the Underworld when something bad happens, and we should never spiritually bypass these situations.
We have to feel our pain and darkness to move through it. But when we are ready, we can emerge to cultivate something better for ourselves and let go of the things that don’t serve us.
We should also be mindful of how we assert ourselves. We need to show ourselves love and respect by building healthy boundaries. We need to stand up for ourselves when we are being unfairly treated, and we also need to be mindful of how we do this to others. But we should also take care to know the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness and make sure we achieve a healthy balance so we don’t take away or restrict another’s free will or cause unnecessary harm to others in the process.
We could wear Proserpina’s symbol when we need the strength and courage to embrace the changes in our lives during difficult times.
She reminds us that seasons always change, the dark moments will come to pass, and new beginnings are always on the horizon.
Sammi Walters is a freelance Web & Graphic Designer and Illustrator for the daring and disobedient.