Mira Mira On The Wall

Another Winter slowly comes to an end in Melbourne as the wheel spins towards Imbolc, the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Even though it is still cold, I can feel the Sun slowly coming back to life. The chill days are punctuated with more and more sunny breaks and the nights are not so bitterly cold. I spotted my first lizard a few weeks ago, a sure sign that Spring is on its way.

The return of Spring heralds the return of Persephone, one of my favourite Goddesses. Persephone spends Autumn and Winter in the Underworld with her husband Hades where she rules as the Queen of the Dead. In Spring she returns to Earth where she rules as the Goddess of Spring. In celebration of Persephone’s return, her mother Demeter slowly brings the Earth back to life.

IMG_6231ahades and cerberus 

Normally I’m sad when Winter comes to an end but this year I am celebrating the return of the Sun. Surprisingly it’s due to a weekend I spent in Mira Mira, a bed and breakfast place that specialises in weird and wonderful accommodation. The property in Gippsland has a Zen Retreat, a Treehouse and a Cave. Naturally I chose to stay in the cave in the chill of Winter.

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When I arrived at the accomodation I was greeted by Magog, the doorway through which I was to enter the cave. After stepping through Magog’s mouth, I slowly descended the winding, stones steps. Fire lanterns adoring the walls threw strange shadows on my path. As I made my way into the womb of the cave, I felt like Persephone entering the realm of Hades.

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The cave was everything I hoped it would be. Carved into the hillside, the stone look was cosy and sumptuous. Coloured lights glowed eerily in the rooms and windows revealed surprising but stunning vistas. A log fire completed the scene. As I toasted marshmallows on the fire and snuggled into the lush blankets, I thought of Persephone and Winter.

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I had always thought that if I was Persephone I would resent having to leave the Underworld. But as much as I was enjoying my cave weekend of cold days, chill nights and warm fires, I was surprised to find a craving for the Sun take seed. As I ascended the winding stone steps, saying farewell to the realm of the Underworld cave, I finally understood why Persephone is happy to live in two domains. 

A few days ago I was sitting outside enjoying a sunny day. A sparrow flew into the yard and landed on my ram’s head skeleton. It cleaned its beak on one of the horns and then hopped about on the skull. I couldn’t help thinking “Quoth the Sparrow” – my apologies to Edgar Allan Poe. But as I watched the sparrow happily flit in and out of the skull, I thought it was a perfect symbol for the seasonal cycle of life and death. Persephone is now leaving the land of the dead and returning to the land of the living. And, for the first time in a long time, I am truly looking forward to the warm half of the year.

To celebrate the reunion of Persephone and Demeter I whipped up a classic bulgur wheat tabbouleh salad with the addition of pomegranate seeds. Wheat is sacred to Demeter and pomegranates are sacred to Persephone so I’m hoping the two Goddesses will enjoy this combination.

Pomegranate Tabbouleh

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Ingredients
1/4 cup bulgur wheat
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pomegranate seeds for sprinkling 

Instructions
Soak the bulgur wheat in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain well.
Mix together the bulgur wheat, parsley, mint, oil and lemon juice in a bowl.
Toss the pomegranate seeds through the salad and serve. 

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8 comments

  1. Oh how I enjoyed this blog post. I felt like I was descending into the cave with you, I felt the warmth of the fire and the elation of arriving back up, feeling the warmth of the late winter summer on my skin. Would you be willing to send me the address of this amazing place please. Much love to you and yours, Phoebe

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a unique experience! The cave looks really cozy. I love the descending staircase and your journey in to Hades!! Love your statue too — that is the one you told me about! Glad you are making peace with the sun. I am getting a bit gloomy here, noticing the days getting shorter as we say good bye to the sun 😦

    Pomegranate Tabbouleh looks delicious, and nutritious. Can’t beat pomegranate seeds!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The guy who runs the place is really eccentric – no surprises there 🙂 The reception hall was decorated like a castle with dragons everywhere. There is even a resident cat. I’m hoping to try the other accommodations there too.

      Tabbouleh is so good for you. You can chop and change the herbs and have some fun with it. I sometimes add olives for a salty kick.

      I love my Hades statute. He has a good body on him! That’s why I’m reluctant to leave the Underworld 🙂 Plus a dog with three heads is triple the fun!

      I know your winters are cold but what is Autumn like?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It looks like such a cool place! I think I would like to try the tree house! Can’t go wrong with dragons and a cat 🙂

        I am going to have to try your recipe. I do love olives, that would be delicious as well!

        It is a cool statue, with Cerberus too! Yes, it will be hard to leave them…

        Our Autumn here is really not too bad. Sometimes we get an Indian Summer — warm weather carrying on until October. That is really beautiful, because all the leaves are turning colors and it is nice to have it warm. By the end of November it will be bitterly cold, with the winds coming off the Lake. Ugh! But I still have a few months left 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We’ve been getting Indian Summers for a while here. I do enjoy them as the sun is out but the weather is cooler. Then it just snaps into cold Winter weather and you think WTF!

        Hope you enjoy your tabbouleh and the remaining good weather 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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