Before there was God there was Goddess… There was Eleusinian Mysteries

From The Cauldron of the Feminine, Gregor, 2020, Chapter 12, Women’s Mysteries Rediscovered, p. 171.

When this dream occurred on November 9, 1993, I was still very much a novice dream interpreter! Now, 28 years later, I return to the dream and see so very much more. If you take a moment to find page 171 in Cauldron of the Feminine, you will note that there is a relationship between the dream and the events of the night before. We are a group of women in a hand-washing ritual. As each woman approached the bowl of water, she placed her hands in the water. Each of the other women, in turn, spoke directly to the first woman, saying,

“I appreciate you and … (insert a statement) For example, I appreciate your presence here tonight. Your presence is a comfort to me. Dreams work in deep and mysterious ways. Women, groups of women, ritual, a bowl as a symbol of the womb of the woman. These are the learnings that come with the years. Wisdom grows. 

Notice the small event that brings the dream back to consciousness!! A ceramic apple on the desk of another woman. And, the layers in the dream. Those layers spoke loudly all those years ago.

Since that dream in 1993, I learned  Two Myths of the descent of the feminine. One, the myth of Inanna and the Descent to the Underworld some 3000 years before the Birth of Christ. . Two,  the Myth of Demeter and Persephone still active 396 years after the birth of Christ. The myth of Genesis was recreated sometime prior to the birth of Christ. But the Myth of Inanna and the descent of the Goddess to the underworld to rebirth Herself is coming back into consciousness in the 20 century. dream symbolism is rooted in myth. Enjoy the dream. Enjoy the myth.

November 9, 1993

I have been presenting a series of eight dream study evenings. On the last evening, we close with a hand-washing ritual. That night I dream.

The Feminine

I am in an unknown, misty, far-away place. Someone speaks of Eleusinian mysteries. I reach behind me to lift away three layers of something like cardboard. A banker (?) tells me I cannot lift these layers away, but I do anyway. “You can’t stop me,” I say. Somewhere there is a sense of apples.

I awake from the dream speaking to myself: “I am, for the very first time, pleased I am woman.” I feel connected, warm, filled with a deep peaceful energy. I remember the dream apples later in the morning when I am in Strathcona Academy, in Connie Mycroft’s office—there is a ceramic apple sitting on her desk.

This is an archetypal energy dream for a lifetime and it sends my energy soaring through the roof. Archetypal dreams change your inner world. Much like my very first dream, The Landing, The Feminine propels a major spiralling inward. I savour it still. This is a numinous, relational, deeply connective dream for body, mind, soul and spirit.

I am both pleased and concerned. Last night, we spent at least an hour bringing forth the meaning of the word “darkness.” Why does the dream come after the hand-washing ritual?

Several days later I do a left-hand/right-hand conversation:

  1. What is present in the dream?
  2. Sadness; loss of woman mystery; peace; new knowledge.
  3. What is the gift the dream brings?
  4. New life; new knowledge.
  5. Does the dream present new ideas?
  6. New and ancient.
  7. Who is the male figure?
  8. Collective rulers who hoard energy in locked vaults; archivist holds keys.
  9. What is a banker? What does he look like? Where is he sitting or standing?
  10. There is a table with a drawer on the left side behind me. I am the wholeness in your hidden self.
  11. What is the energy feeling I have in this dream?
  12. l. Connection to self.



Before there was God there was the Goddess.
‘C.G. Jung intuited that modern Western civilization was suffering from a massive epidemic of soul loss. This revealed itself to Jung in the suffering of his patients, but also in the modern materialistic and overly- rational emphasis, with a technological view of life. He saw these trends 100 years ago, as cutting people off from their ancestral traditions, from their natural instincts, from the Earth, from the heart, and imagination, and from their own people. The biggest loss he sensed was of the Sacred/Divine, of a sense of purpose rooted in inspiration and inner guidance. The condition we have today is that too many of our children believe they are worthless, without importance or purpose, and that life is simply dea (cf note left by the Oxford High School shooter). We have a lot of therapist technicians, but few doctors of the soul, and a scarcity of real ‘elders’ (although we have a lot of self-absorbed “olders.”
— C. Mikkal Smith
It is important for women whose religions define them as inferior to men, based on the gender of God, to learn that before there was God, there was the Goddess. In ancient Greece, the original Trinity was the triple goddess as maiden, mother, and crone. Eleusis, just outside of Athens, was the site for the Eleusinian Mysteries, where for more than 2,000 years, until the temple was destroyed in 396 CE, people came and participated in a ritual and mystical experience, possibly with the aid of a hallucinogenic drink, and overcame the fear of death. It was Persephone, the divine daughter, rather than Jesus Christ, the divine son, who returned from the underworld realm of death, but the message, that death was not the end and not to be feared, was essentially the same.
— Jean Shinoda Bolen

Cicero said, “Nothing is higher than these mysteries…they have not only shown us how to live joyfully but they have taught us how to die with a better hope” and the 20th century historian Will Durant states of the mysteries, “In this ecstasy of revelation…they felt the unity of God, and the oneness of God and the soul; they were lifted up out of the delusion of individuality and knew the peace of absorbtion into deity” (Durant, 189). Historian Waverly Fitzgerald sums the experience up clearly writing, “It was said of those who were initiated at Eleusis that they no longer feared death and it seems that this myth confirms the cyclical view of life central to pagan spirituality: that death is part of the cycle of life and is always followed by rebith” (2). Every ancient testimonial reflects this same understanding and each has the same tone of enlightened liberation from the fear of death. (Retrieved December 21, 2021,

The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiations held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at the Panhellenic Sanctuary of Eleusis in ancient Greece. They are the “most famous of the secret religious rites of ancient Greece”. Their basis was an old agrarian cult, and there is some evidence that they were derived from the religious practices of the Mycenean period. The Mysteries represented the myth of the abduction of Persephone from her mother Demeter by the king of the underworld Hades, in a cycle with three phases: the descent, the search, and the ascent, with the main theme being the ascent of Persephone and the reunion with her mother. It was a major festival during the Hellenic era, and later spread to Rome. Similar religious rites appear in the agricultural societies of Near East and in Minoan Crete.

Minoan Crete A Votive Plaque Known As The Ninnion Tablet Depicting Elements Of The Eleusinian Mysteries, Discovered In The Sanctuary At Eleusis (Mid-4th Century BC)


Demeter, enthroned and extending her hand in a benediction toward the kneeling Metaneira, who offers the triune wheat that is a recurring symbol of the mysteries ian_ Retrieved December 9, 2021

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