As promised at the beginning of September, here is the review of Bibliotheca Alexandria’s Potnia, the Devotional for Demeter! I really enjoyed this devotional. It was bigger than I expected, they clearly got a LOT of submissions. I surprised, but delighted, at how many fictional submissions were included. There was a play and a musical, too, which was delightful. I can’t wait to look up the musical and actually see Demeter singing Her aria, instead of just reading the lyrics, as cool as they were.
It took me longer than usual to finish reading this book. Every time I’d read for a while, it really caused a stirring in my soul that made me want to work in my garden. At one point, I worked in my garden breaking sod, clearing overgrowth, and preparing raised beds for next year for about an hour. It was only after working in the garden that I sat in a folding chair, reading the devotional, facing the altar I had just built to Demeter the All-Nourishing. That was really enjoyable.
I only wish there had been some rituals included, or even some recipes. It seems like there would have been some more recipes, considering Demeter is the Goddess of grains. But this devotional really did a good job of displaying different sides of the Goddess, so I can’t really complain at all. One essay that I found particularly interesting, and which I’ll probably end up reading again and picking apart some more is “The Seed and the Fruit” by John Opsopaus. It involves theurgy, or direct communication with the Gods. Opsopaus chronicled two different instances of communication with Demeter, and wrote a long, detailed essay interpreting Her responses. It was very thought-provoking.
Highly recommend this book.