In Alumni in Action, Events, News & Announcements, Special Topics

Persephone’s Garden: A Tribute to Dr. Christine Downing

Dr. Christine Downing has guided countless students to the sacred groves of the goddess within. For many, it has been a journey of discovery, for others it has been A Long Journey Home, as the title of Dr. Downing’s book suggests.

Every student who enters Pacifica is greeted by Dr. Downing’s vibrant, boundless energy and her famous foot stomping. The first myth she teaches, which is very personal to her, is Persephone, Demeter, and Baubo.

After teaching at Pacifica Graduate Institute for 34 years, Dr. Downing is retiring. As her academic adventure winters over, please join us in invoking Mnemosyne to create a Persephone’s Garden on the Pacifica campus. This project has been pre-approved by the school.

We, her current students, have formed a committee to facilitate the creation of the garden. We invite students, colleagues, readers, admirers, to support us in this undertaking and contribute funds for its’ creation. An Indiegogo Campaign has been created. It will run from August 13th through October 12, 2021. Here is the link: 

In April of 2022, on the Spring Equinox, which is also Dr. Downing’s 91st birthday, we hope to be able to gather together on campus for a ritual in connection with the founding of Persephone’s Garden.



We will be working with Pacifica staff to create an oasis for students to be inspired and nourished by plants and flowers emblematic to the myth.

We are raising funds for:

  • Statues for Persephone, Demeter, and Baubo
  • Memorial Plaque
  • Bulbs, plants, and a pomegranate tree. Ideas include narcissus, hyacinth crocuses, iris, violets, and roses.

If we exceed the stated goal of $2,000, we will enhance the garden and/or donate the remaining funds to the Chris Downing Opus Scholarship Fund.

Any questions, please contact


Thank you,

Your Pacifica Persephone Committee 

  • Heather Taylor, 3rd year Myth Student
  • Maile Kaku, 3rd year Myth Student
  • Michelle Jackson, 2nd year Myth Student
  • Jonah Calinawan, 1st year Myth Student
  • Melody Kia, Dissertation Myth Student



If you contribute via Indiegogo, any transactions on your bank records will be listed as “Persephone”

Note: Indiegogo charges a $25. fee for int’l accounts (those outside of the U.S.), so we would prefer to make other arrangements with you, allowing more money to go toward the actual garden instead of fees. Contact to work out an arrangement.

If you have other ideas and ways to contribute, or would like to make a financial contribution with a check or other methods, please email

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