Goddess of the week — Persephone

Published July 9, 2013 by christinenorris

I don’t know why I chose Persephone, except that her name just popped into my head when I came up with the idea for this blog feature. Maybe it’s because I was watching Percy Jackson with my son the other day. Or maybe it’s the ridiculously hot weather we’re having. Anyway, let’s find out about her, shall we?

Goddess of: Springtime and The Underworld (actually, she’s Queen, but we’ll get to that later.

Father: Zeus

Mother: Demeter (goddess of the harvest)

Her story: One day, Persephone was out gathering flowers, minding her OWN business. Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, thought she was beautiful, and he wanted her for himself.  So he kidnapped her. Nice, huh. These Greek gods never got sensitivity training, apparently. Persephone was beside herself — she didn’t want to stay with the creep who was in charge of dead people (don’t blame her), but no one but Helios, god of the sun, had seen what happened. Meanwhile, Demeter, Persephone’s mother, wandered the earth looking for her and not paying attention to her duties making stuff grow. The earth grew cold and all the plants died.

Finally Helios spilled his guts, and Demeter went down to the underworld to get her daughter back. Hades didn’t want to, but his big brother Zeus made him. BUT before the deal was done, Persephone ate some pomegranate seeds that Hades had given her, and so she was bound to the underworld. In a compromise, Hades and Demeter promised to share Persephone — she would spend 1/2 of the year with Hades, and the rest of the time with  Demeter above ground. While Persephone was with Hades, Demeter let everything grow cold and die — which was how the Greeks explained the changing of the seasons from Spring/Summer to Fall/Winter. When things start to bloom, Persephone has come home to Mom.

Makes sense, I guess…except that now we know how things work in the Southern Hemisphere, as far as the seasons go, I think there’s a flaw to that theory.


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