With every sunny day must come the dark clouds and the rain. The High Priestess, embodied in the Mythic figure of Persephone represents the many facets of this in our lives, such a loss, grief, tragedy, love, spirituality, peace, severity and transformation. Persephone symbolizes for me the dark night of the soul.
I remember sitting in the living room of an elder woman whom I admired greatly. My spiritual mentor and friend Joan was a very faithful and deeply spiritual person, who'd been through so much difficulty and suffering through her life. She reminds me of the High Priestess, in that she was in the state of grace and balance that comes from patience and intuition. My friend always had a joyful, kind, grateful and very compassionate heart.
As we sat talking over cups of tea, I asked her why it seemed that some folks went through so much tragedy and grief, yet others seemed unscathed and dodged all the hurtful bullets of life. She replied yes, this did seem to be true, but pointed out that those who do experience more than their share of heartache, come away with a deeper understanding of life, and are offered, if they accept, the gift of compassion toward others, because they know what it means to not only survive but thrive because of what has happened to them, not simply in spite of what has happened to them.
Within my heart I knew this to be true, but somehow when she verbalized this truth it became even more real to me. Perhaps because she inspired me with her grace, inner strength, courage, faith and gratitude.
When we share with another what we've been through we impart a strength to the other who had walked a similar road and who also come to understand what that dark night of the soul really means.
It's pointless to compare ourselves to others and ask ourselves why them and not me. What's more important is to identify with the feelings of another. Helping each other this way brings great rewards, instead of being resentful and envious of someone who has a seemingly perfect life. We never really know what another is going through and we can't assume or judge, but we can empathize, show compassion and open ourselves to transformation.