• the word “core,” meaning essential, vital, or enduring
• the Greek myth of the goddess Kore (also known as Persephone)
Kore is at the heart of an ancient story about the journey toward mature, embodied wisdom. As the naïve maiden Kore was delighting in springtime, gathering flowers and frolicking with her friends, Hades, god of the underworld, saw and was overwhelmed with desire for her. Just as she reached for a marvelous, radiant narcissus, the ground began to shake, and up charged Hades from deep within the earth. He seized Kore and dragged her, kicking and screaming, down into the deathly realms of the underworld.
Kore’s mother, Demeter, goddess of abundant harvest, was distraught. Bearing flaming torches, she searched for her beloved daughter everywhere until finally, in grief and fury, she gave up and forbade seeds from sprouting, so that the earth grew barren and famine spread.
Ultimately, at the behest of the god Zeus, Hermes was sent to rescue Kore from the grips of the underworld. Before she made her escape however, she ate six seeds of a pomegranate. Full of seeds the color of blood, the pomegranate is a symbol of the union of life and death. Because she had ingested food in the dark world below, Kore was fated to spend half the year reigning as Queen of the Underworld. During the other half, she joined Demeter and lived among mortals, where her newfound wisdom brought unprecedented fertility to the land.
The story of Kore presents an archetypal journey toward psychological wholeness, one that requires us to embrace all aspects of ourselves—the aboveground and the underground, the heavenly and the hellish, the dark and the light. Sometimes what pulls us down into the chaos of exploration is an uninvited external event, such as Hades’ sudden seizure of Kore. At other times, something within us calls us to inquire deeply into our authentic nature. Whatever the source of your calling, we invite you to join us at Kore Evolution, where we guide and support leaders who want to contribute to the world from the full spectrum of their being.