Book Review – Pagan Portals: Demeter by Robin Corak

Book Review
Pagan Portals: Demeter
by Robin Corak
Published by Moon Books
128 pages
Publication date: October 1, 2022











Pagan Portals: Demeter by Robin Corak is a short, well-researched book offering a modern, magical, and psychological approach to working with the ancient goddess. Corak begins with Demeter’s story as it is relayed in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, along with a few mythological tidbits from other ancient sources to give different perspectives of the goddess. The book moves on to discuss the rites specific to the historic worship of Demeter, to provide a basis for the personal work to follow.

The book then shifts to a more psychological tone in the next chapters, Healing the Mother Wound and Demeter Chthonia: Grief and Loss, as it discusses some of the difficulties that Demeter and Persephone went through, and how we can use their stories to navigate our own challenges of loss and change in our lives. From there, Corak explores some of Demeter’s more positively-charged aspects ? her growth and manifestation powers, and her role as an advocate and fighter for justice. Corak follows this with a ritual to connect to Demeter, and then explores some relevant magical correspondences, spells, and recipes. Finally, she wraps the book up with a short summation of Demeter’s most important aspects, followed by a channeled message for her readers from the goddess herself.

Throughout the book are journal questions and rituals to help the reader go deeper in understanding and working with Demeter; these are fairly to-the-point and basic, but generally not shallow. It isn’t a book of complex arcana or craft, but rather, focuses on down-to-earth healing and growth. There is a lot here about the roles of mothers and daughters and the relationship between Demeter and Persephone ? although in this book, the narrative is focussed especially on Demeter, and not Persephone. Since Robin Corak has already written a Pagan Portals book about Persephone, this feels less like an omission, and more like this book might be seen as a companion to her earlier one.

Overall, I thought this book was a wonderful introduction to Demeter. The narrative and craft trends towards the modern more than the ancient; there is only a small amount discussion of the Eleusinian Mysteries and Demeter’s other festivals, and there’s no ritual in the book that calls for throwing porcine carcasses into a cavern underground. While I enjoy aspects of the ancient approach, I realize it can feel less accessible to newcomers to witchcraft or Hellenism. Since this is a short book, it doesn’t really dig deeply into the academic or more complicated aspects of Demeter, so for those who are already familiar with Demeter’s main stories, there’s not much here that will be new or unfamiliar. I suspect that the target audience for this book is modern witches looking to connect with the goddess in modern ways, and it excels at this goal, making this ancient and powerful goddess accessible, and illuminating both her heart and her humanity.

A practicing Pagan for over 20 years, Robin Corak is the author of the Moon Books Pagan Portals title Persephone: Practicing the Art of Personal Power for which she was nominated for the 2020 Witchies award for New Author of the Year. Robin has presented locally and at national conferences including Paganicon, Pantheacon, the A Year With Our Gods conference series, and the SOA Ninefold Festival. A longtime member of the Sisterhood of Avalon where she currently serves as the Board Secretary, Robin has also had her writing published in multiple anthologies and currently writes a blog for Agora Patheos entitled Phoenix Rising. She has several years of experience with modalities such as Reiki, coaching, and tarot reading and is currently pursuing certification as an End-of-Life Doula. Passionate about helping others achieve their full potential, Robin is also the CEO of a large, non-profit social services organization in Washington state.

You can find Robin’s website at









Pagan Portals: Demeter on Amazon


About the author:

Sarah McMenomy is a visionary artist, author, and witch. Pulling inspiration from trance states, dreams, auras, psychedelia, and the natural world, she weaves together themes of nature and the occult in her artwork and writing. She has created art and written for books, magazines, games, and more, as well as producing digital fine art prints and acrylic paintings. 
She is the creator of The Entanglement Tarot, a hex-shaped occult Tarot deck designed for spell-craft. 
She is co-runner of Pagan Pages, for which she also writes articles and book reviews, and she also publishes art on her Portfolio site and other work on her Tumblr.