Persephone Tarot Spread - Connecting with the Greek goddess
Last Updated: October 26, 2022
In Greek mythology, Persephone was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. She was abducted by Hades, who took her to the underworld to be his queen. This sparked a yearly cycle in which Persephone would spend half the year with her mother in the light of the living world, and the other half with her husband in the dark realm of the dead. This story is often seen as a metaphor for the seasons, with Persephone representing winter – a time of dormancy and death.
But Persephone represents more than just a symbol of winter or the seasons. She is the reigning Greek Goddess of the underworld, and can help us gain understanding from the shadows. She chose to find empowerment in a space where she had no choice – “If I’m Queen here, we will do it my way, and I will be heard as an equal. When I come back to the physical Earth realm, we will celebrate life in every day.” In this article, we will explore how to connect energetically with Persephone and what she can teach us about ourselves through tarot.
Who is Persephone?
Described as “The Iron Queen” by Orpheus for her harsh rule, Persephone was originally a maiden daughter of Demeter/Ceres the Goddess of Grain and Harvest. Generally known as a beautiful nymph, Persephone was additionally known as Kore, which means “the maiden”. She was allegedly very interesting and beautiful and caught the eye of Hades (God of the Underworld). Hades fell in love with her. Zeus was Hade’s brother, as well as Persephone’s father, and was ok with this courtship.
This young maiden version of Persephone was written to be abducted by Hades, he essentially kidnapped her and took her to the underworld where she became his wife, and queen. Persephone even ate six pomegranate seeds while she was there, and because she had taken food from the Underworld she was not permitted to leave. Demeter sought help from all the gods, and none were known to help go against Zeus and Hade’s wrath, except for Hekate who was completely neutral with her assistance and guided Demeter to her daughter.
Due to taking in the fruit seeds, however, Zeus had to fairly way in on whether Persephone stayed with Hades or Demeter, and decided to fairly split her time between the two. None of this included asking Persephone what she wanted or giving her the choice.
The Eleusinian mysteries were a set of very popular initiation ceremonies based around the Persephone story, which were held every year in Ancient Greece. They promised to bring participants closer to God and gave them the hope of a better afterlife. The mysteries were only open to initiates, and much of what went on inside remains a mystery – hence the name!
But it is documented that it is much like the descent that Persephone had to take every year into the Underworld, and the search Demeter had for her daughter, as well as using torch lamps like our Hekate would in the search between worlds. It seems to be a way to honour the cycles however and keeps the mythology of the relationship between Hades & Persephone alive.
Nikita Gill describes their relationship as a clear choice to betrothal instead of an abduction. “You are the kindest thing that ever happened to me, even if that is not how our tale is told.” Hades saw Persephone’s strength, and how she fought tooth and nail to be seen as an equal in the relationships that she was a part of. He chose her to be his wife because he admired her fierceness, and they were well-matched in their temperaments.
“Persephone is the patroness of brides who wish to keep their maiden name, for she is the reminder that you do not lose yourself when you love someone, but only become more.”
Why Connect with Persephone?
Persephone as a dark goddess is completely multi-faceted. If you are looking at healing your mother’s wound in an “emotional absence” capacity, Persephone energy can be a resource to help you heal.
If you are wanting to find empowerment within your own Autumn to Spring seasons, within the dark days, when you are away from all that you know, especially if you’ve just moved to somewhere completely new – Persephone’s themes of loss, grief, new beginnings and transformation can be a very powerful support.
As a “queen”, choosing to run their own kingdom or business, Persephone can be a very helpful guide in how to have healthy boundaries with those that you are closest to.
She helps us to remember our playfulness and our connection to the natural world around us. The pomegranate is her sacred fruit, which is full of seeds – each one representing a different promise or hope.
Persephone Asteroid Astrology
There are many ways to work with this type of Goddess and one way to do so is by looking up Persephone in your birth natal chart. This Persephone asteroid (399) can help you free hidden knowledge and understand the dark goddess’s role in your life. Find her when pulling up your natal chart via “Extended Chart Selection” on Astro.com.
Persephone is associated with endings, as her name etymology suggests. This asteroid offers guidance on how you’ll behave in instances of transformation, as well as can indicate power within our relationships (if they are in a giving state or in a receiving state). Overall there are themes of in which way are you not given the power to be yourself, or if it is taken away from you, and how you give your decision-making away to those who you perceive to be more powerful than yourself.
It’s encouraging to compare your natal chart placement vs a current asteroid transit, which may highlight challenges and opportunities for growth. An example would be if your Persephone (399) in your natal placement was within the 2nd house, and in transit was currently going through Virgo.
You’d find your reigning power across work, service and values really prominent themes for you as it moves through this transit – encouraging a great time to go for a promotion or move to a secure career that offers alignment with your values.
With this in mind, have a look at where Persephone is in your chart after your reading, to see if it brings any further wisdom.
With correspondences, you can use them as offerings, in spellwork, or even as signs from the deity to connect. As well as the much-discussed pomegranate, here are some additional correspondences for Persephone;
- Pomegranate seeds or juice
- Black roses
- Rose of Jericho
- Vanilla and floral scents
- Sheep and Rams
- Pink Tourmaline
- A Sceptre
Some special days to work with Persephone are:
- The New Moon (a time for new beginnings)
- Winter Solstice (the longest night of the year, when Persephone is at her darkest)
- Samhain/Halloween (when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest)
- Blood Moon/Lunar Eclipse (a time of transformation)
You could also leave offerings of black teddy bears (for her playful side or when utilising inner child work) and a strong red wine (for sharp and direct decisions that need to be made). Poetry, artwork and works created from your soul are also a suggestion for working with this deity or energy.
Persephone Divination Oil
A divination oil is a great way to connect with Persephone and attune yourself to her energies. You can use them to anoint yourself, your deck, your candle, your spellwork, or whatever feels right to you. It can help you connect with them when you are working with your insecurities when you need to empower yourself and help you step into owning “Queen” energy. To make a Persephone divination oil, you will need:
- 3 drops of Vanilla essential oil
- 2 drops of Narcissus essential oil
- 2 drops of Rose essential oil
- 2 drops of Chamomile essential oil
- 2 drops of Pomegranate seed oil
- 10ml of carrier oil as a base to match the measurements above (I always suggest Jojoba or Sweet Almond oil).
Mix together in a clean, sanitised space and store out of direct sunlight – always consult a medical professional before using essential oils.
Persephone-themed drink "Winter Reign"
With potions, elixirs and brews we find a way to connect with the elements and our magick. The heat of the cup, the scent of the ingredients, the flavour and of course the liquid itself that nourishes us. This “Winter Reign” can be drunk hot or cold by simply warming up the fruit juice before combining together with or without the alcohol, and I recommend baking the plums in cinnamon sugar for 10 mins on medium heat in the oven and then placing into the bottom of your cup. It’ll be mushy yet delicious on a cold winter night.
Put this together on a night where you want to connect with Persephone and seek guidance with her themes. You will need;
- 100ml Cranberry juice
- 100ml Grape juice
- 100ml Pomegranate juice
- 25ml Blackberry brandy (optional)
- A handful of blackberries and a sliced black plum
Persephone tarot spread layout & questions to ask
This tarot spread is for supporting you in your choices, for the days you feel insecurity creeping in and the “I can’t do this” moments. The tarot spread here is for celebrating you can be respected as all of the things; a companion, a partner, a parent, a queen, a decision-maker, a judge, a ruler, and an independent soul.
When you feel slightly disassociated from yourself, or that you are losing yourself in a role – this tarot spread can help ground you and bring yourself back into focus, with the guidance from Persephone.
To begin, shuffle your tarot deck and draw a card for each position in the yearly tarot draw as shown in the below layout.
Place a Persephone card in the centre: (Queen of Pentacles or Death).
This is to call in the energy of Persephone as a deity, or the energy from the asteroid, or as a signifier to a situation regarding family life and commitments. Persephone is associated with “Death” in the Major Arcana, and “Queen of Pentacles” in the Minor Arcana.
Finally, take some time to reflect on the questions that each card position represents and what message the tarot cards in that position might be trying to tell you. If you’re just starting to learn tarot, or if you’re still getting to know your deck, you may find my in-depth articles on the meanings of every tarot card helpful.
Tarot card #1: The key thing to know for cycles ending for me
This card placement will share what will be ending in your life for you – not a literal death, but an ending that comes at the right time of your life. This card, no matter the meaning, is compassionate with you and doesn’t mean to cause you harm but an awareness.
Tarot card #2: What to keep from my own maidenhood
Persephone enjoyed her nymph life, and so this position is asking you what you need to take with you from your own maidenhood. This doesn’t mean giving up your wild side, but knowing when times are too mature or too heavy what elements of yourself can bring you “back home” to yourself.
Tarot card #3: How to move forward with Queen energy
Persephone may not have been given the choice to be Hade’s wife, but she chose how she ruled the Underworld. No matter our circumstances, we can choose to wallow in the low blows we repeatedly face, or we can bare our teeth back and show the world just exactly how powerful we are.
Queenlike energy doesn’t always have to be warm and nurturing; can be strategic, succinct and blunt – this will show up in the type of energy from the cards, also. A swords suit coming up, specifically, would indicate thinking carefully regarding your next step and where you want to be mentally vs physical gains or a focus on relationships.
Tarot card #4: What to embrace to invigorate my soul's purpose
This card placement will communicate with the areas in your life and your personal abilities that you need to embrace in order to invigorate your soul’s purpose. This is an important card as it will hold the key for how you can move forward from the ending that was shown in position one.
The additional two cards not necessary if you're short on time, but either side of two and four can be for:
Optional card #5: Shadows and fears as I create my own kingdom
this highlights your own insecurities despite having power and authority in your life. Being made aware of our triggers and fears can be beneficial as we can work with them, rather than let them control us.
Optional card #6: How to maintain confidence in my own choices, even when it feels like I have no choice
A card here would bring to light how you need to approach a situation or how you need to be in order for the confidence to come through. This can also be an area of your life that is lacking confidence, and some self-work with this card would be beneficial.
Try this 4-card Persephone tarot reading below
What to do after this Persephone tarot reading
After you’ve finished a tarot reading, there are a few things you can do in order to reflect on the experience and integrate the insights you gained. Here are some suggestions:
Use a tarot journal to record your findings
Jotting down your thoughts in a tarot journal after reading can be helpful in a few ways. First, it can help you remember the details of your reading later on, such as how you felt at the moment and perhaps your first impressions of what a card meant. Second, it can provide a space for you to process the information you’ve received and explore what it means for you. Third, it can be a way to keep track of your progress over time as you revisit your journal entries and reflect on your journey.
Take a picture of the cards
If you want to remember the position of the cards and what they meant in relation to your questions, take a picture of the spread. This will help you look back on the reading later and review the insights you received. Sometimes, clarity is better acquired after you’ve stepped back from the situation for a little while and had some time to process it.
Some people create Instagram accounts or Pinterest accounts specifically for this, and if you use any of our spreads please tag us @backyardbanshee if you feel comfortable!
Take some time to meditate and reflect
Immediately after a tarot reading, it’s important to take some time to sit with the insights you’ve received. This can be done through proper meditation, visualisation, or simply taking some time to reflect on the reading. It can be helpful to think about what the messages from the cards mean for your life and how you can apply the advice that was given to you. That time can also be used to replenish your energy level and cleanse your tarot deck.
Get a second opinion from a close friend
If you have close friends who also happen to be tarot practitioners, it can be helpful to get their take on your reading. They may be able to offer additional insights or perspectives that you hadn’t considered before. This is also a good way to get feedback on your own interpretation of the cards.
Ensure to ask permission before just blindly sending your cards across in a message and saying “what does this mean to you?” as your friends may not have the energy or have a boundary with this sort of thing – manners cost nothing, and this is especially to note if they are a professional tarot reader who normally gets paid to interpret readings.
Layer your reading with more divination
Why not try adding astrology dice or a pendulum reading to your tarot session? Your intuition will guide you on how to best use these tools, but they can be helpful in providing more clarity around the messages from your tarot reading. We have lots of methods for you to utilise here on the website.
Do the same reading a month later
This is a great way to check in on your progress and see how far you’ve come. It can also be helpful in understanding the cyclical nature of our lives and how our current situation is likely to change over time. This can be especially useful if you’re struggling with a decision or trying to figure out which path to take as to offer suggestions, provide perspective and encourage your confidence to move forward.
At the end of the day, tarot readings are meant to be a helpful tool, not a replacement for your own intuition. The best way to use tarot is to combine the insights you receive with your own understanding of the situation. Trust your gut and follow your heart—the answers you’re looking for will come.
So there you have it – a special tarot spread and offerings dedicated to the dark goddess Persephone. I hope you enjoy connecting with her energy, and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below. Thank you for reading! Until next time xox
I have been passionate about reading divination for more than 15 years. This gives me a unique perspective when it comes to creating fun, supportive and creative tarot spreads. I hope they help you find the clarity and insight you are looking for.
In this article, I’ll share different tarot cards that are often associated with various deities from throughout mythology.