Re-crafting the Past: The Complex Relationship between Myth and Ritual in the Contemporary Pagan Reshaping of Eleusis

Authors

  • Maria Beatrice Bittarello

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v10i2.230

Keywords:

Neopaganism, Eleusis, myth, ritual,

Abstract

Modern Pagans belonging to different traditions re-craft the Eleusinian mysteries and the myth of Demeter and Persephone on the Web. The author suggests that there may exist, in contemporary Paganism, a close, nuanced, and complex relationship between mythical narrative and rituals— in other words, between symbolic system (myth, gods, symbols), and embodied knowledge (gained through ritual and personal life experience). In the paper, such close relationship is uncovered by exploring how the myth of Demeter and the initiation at Eleusis are presented by the ancient sources, how recent academic and literary studies have reshaped them, and how the myth and the ritual are re-told and talked about on contemporary Pagan websites.

Author Biography

Maria Beatrice Bittarello

Maria Beatrice Bittarello has a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Stirling. She has published articles on Neopagan Goddess pilgrimages in the Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change and on body, religion and technology in popular culture and Neopaganism in the Journal of Contemporary Religion (forthcoming).

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Published

2009-04-20

How to Cite

Bittarello, M. B. (2009). Re-crafting the Past: The Complex Relationship between Myth and Ritual in the Contemporary Pagan Reshaping of Eleusis. Pomegranate, 10(2), 230–255. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v10i2.230

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Articles