Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine Within

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Friday 2/5/2016 - Sunday 2/7/2016
7:30 pm - 1:00 pm

Program Leader
Carol S. Pearson


The story of the goddesses Demeter and Persephone was the foundation for the most revered of all the Greek mystery religions—with initiation rites that taught people the secret of how to achieve happiness, prosperity, and freedom from fear. Its sacred story is still well known today, and begins when Demeter, the Earth Mother, finds to her dismay that her beloved adolescent daughter, Kore, is missing. Distraught, Demeter seeks her everywhere, and finally learns that Hades, the god of the Underworld, has abducted her with the permission of Kore’s (absentee) father, Zeus, the chief of the gods, who did not bother even to ask Demeter and Kore if this marriage is what Kore would want. Demeter finally prevails in getting her daughter back by winning a power struggle with Zeus. He discovers the limits of his power when she creates a famine that threatens the survival of mortals, and in turn their sacrifices to the gods, so he reluctantly gives in to her demand. When Kore returns, she has taken the name Persephone and reveals that she has become queen of the Underworld. Once she is reunited with her mother, abundance is restored and the community of the gods is healed. Henceforth, Persephone divides her time between the Underworld, when winter descends on the earth, and the Upperworld, when spring arrives and the crops and flowers begin to grow.

The chief characters in this story enact in symbolic form the journeys that women and men need to take today to gain work/life harmony and access to the full range of our human capacities. Demeter helps us open our hearts to care for others and ourselves; Zeus assists us in developing a healthy enough ego to achieve success without being greedy or arrogant; Persephone connects us with our souls and the power of eros to show us our true path; and Dionysus, Persephone’s son, rewards us with the experience of collective joy through connection with our bodily wisdom and one another. Taken together, these archetypal figures help women and men become centered in their own identities while also feeling connected to others, the earth, and the local and global societal good.

While this workshop is about awakening the heroine within, it is not for women only. The twentieth-century women’s movement necessarily focused on demonstrating that women could compete in domains that previously had been viewed as masculine. While the glass ceiling still holds women back in many spheres, much has changed. At home, at work, and as citizens, a good number of men and women work with one another as true partners. Yet, the activities and ways of thinking that have been identified as feminine throughout the centuries remain undervalued. For society to achieve optimal balance, and for each of us to have access to our full human qualities, feminine contributions need to be valued as much as are masculine ones.

This workshop is designed to help you gain greater happiness, prosperity, and freedom through expanding your capacities and the range of your options for how you think and act—and in this way, become more fulfilled and successful.

Workshop Facilitators:

Workshop Leader: Carol S. Pearson

Dr. Pearson, the former President of Pacifica Graduate Institute, is best known as an author of books such as the best-selling The Hero Within, Awakening the Heroes Within, The Hero and the Outlaw, The Transforming Leader, and Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine Within (released October 2015), on which this workshop is based, as well as the co-designer of the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator. Carol recently relocated back to the Washington, DC area and resumed her affiliation with the University of Maryland.

Workshop Experiential Exercise Facilitator: Gabi Baryshe-Crosbie

Dr. Pearson is assisted by Gabi, who will be leading movement exercises of various kinds at this workshop. Recently returned from a learning sabbatical, she is the former owner of the Blue Agave restaurant in Santa Barbara, a beloved Nia dance teacher, and an expert in a variety of healing and movement modalities.

Saturday Night Special Program: Maureen Murdock

Maureen Murdock, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist in private practice and a faculty member at Pacifica Graduate Institute and Antioch Santa Barbara, as well as the author of The Heroine’s Journey, The Father’s Daughter: Breaking the Ties that Bind, and Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory.

Please review our La Casa Program Cancellation and Refund Policy before registering for this program.

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