This important book on the mysteries of Eleusis looks at the cult fron several angles , considering it from the perspective of myth, of seasonal cycles, and from the human psychology. Hyungarian Kerenyi (1897-1973) was a trans-European intellectual, a friend of Jung, a researcher in the great tradition of humanistic scholars of antiquity.
Kerenyi considers that the mysteries of Eleusis, and thus the myth of Demeter and Persephone, reflects every woman's quest for completion, and every person's pursuit of identity. This deep, thoughtful book is interested in the psychic experience of those undergoing the initiatory rites, and how they would have affected them. To do so he uses the full range of surviving source material available to him: art, archaeology, textual accounts, language, and comparative mythology studies. The book remains a classic, read by all who are drawn to the spiritual power of the rites of mystery cults.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967. 257 pages, paperback. New.