Greek Gods


Persephone was the Queen of the Underworld and the Daughter of Demeter and Zeus. She had Great immprtal power. Persephone was known as "The Terrible Queen of the Dead". Her name was not safe to speak. The Greeks refered to her as "The Maiden"

The Abduction Myth

In the Olympian pantheon, Persephone is given a father: according to Hesiod's Theogony, Persephone was the daughter produced by the union of Zeus and Demeter. "And he [Zeus] came to the bed of bountiful Demeter, who bore white-armed Persephone, stolen by Hades from her mother's side".

Unlike every other offspring of an Olympian pairing, however, Persephone has no stable position at Olympus. Persephone used to live far away from the other gods, a goddess within Nature before the days of planting seeds and nurturing plants. In the Olympian telling Citation needed, the gods Hermes, Ares, Apollon and Hephaistos, had all wooed Persephone, but Demeter rejected all their gifts and hid her daughter away from the company of the gods.

Thus, Persephone lived a peaceful life before she became the goddess of the underworld, which, according to Olympian mythographers, did not occur until Hades abducted her and brought her into the underworld.

She was innocently picking flowers with some nymphs - and Athena and Artemis, the Homeric hymn says, or Leucippe, or Oceanids - in a field in Enna when he came, bursting up through a cleft in the earth; the nymphs were changed by Demeter into the Sirens for not having interfered. Life came to a standstill as the depressed Demeter (goddess of the Earth) searched for her lost daughter. Helios, the sun, who sees everything, eventually told her what had happened.

Finally, Zeus could not put up with the dying earth and forced Hades to return Persephone. But before she was released to Hermes, who had been sent to retrieve her, Hades tricked her into eating six pomegranate seeds, which forced her to return six months out of each year. (A month for each seed she had eaten.)

In some versions, Ascalaphus informed the other gods that Persephone had eaten the pomegranate seeds. When Demeter and her daughter were together, the Earth flourished with vegetation, but for six months each year, when Persephone returned to the underworld, the earth once again became a barren realm.

In an alternate version, Hecate rescued Persephone. In the earliest version the dread goddess Persephone was herself Queen of the Underworld. This myth can also be interpreted as an allegory of ancient Greek marriage rituals. The Greeks felt that marriage was a sort of abduction of the bride by the groom from the bride's family, and this myth may have explained the origins of the marriage ritual. The more popular etiological explanation of the seasons may have been a later interpretation.

Persephone, as Queen of Hades, only showed mercy once, because the music of Orpheus was so hauntingly sad. She allowed Orpheus to bring his wife Eurydice back to the land of the living as long as she walked behind him and he never tried to look at her face until they reached the surface. Orpheus agreed but failed, looking back at the very end to make sure his wife was following, and lost Eurydice forever.

Persephone also figures in the story of Adonis, the Syrian consort of Aphrodite. When Adonis was born, Aphrodite took him under her wing, seducing him with the help of Helene, her friend, and was entranced by his unearthly beauty. She gave him to Persephone to watch over, but Persephone was also amazed at his beauty and refused to give him back. The argument between the two goddesses was settled either by Zeus or Calliope, with Adonis spending four months with Aphrodite, four months with Persephone and four months of the years with whomever he chose. He always chose Aphrodite because Persephone was the cold, unfeeling goddess of the underworld.

When Hades pursued a nymph named Mintho, Persephone turned her into a mint plant.Persephone was the object of Pirithous' affections. Pirithous and Theseus, his friend, pledged to marry daughters of Zeus. Theseus chose Helen and together they kidnapped her and decided to hold onto her until she was old enough to marry. Pirithous chose Persephone. They left Helen with Theseus' mother, Aethra, and travelled to the underworld, domain of Persephone and her husband, Hades. Hades pretended to offer them hospitality and set a feast; as soon as the pair sat down, snakes coiled around their feet and held them there.

Persephone's Symbols

General Symbols: Spring, Wreath of flowers worn in hair, Torch, Reeds, Waterfalls, Rivers and Springs

Animal Symbols: Bat, Ram, Parrots and all talking Birds, and Monkys

Plant Symbols: Pomegranate, Narcissus, Willow Tree, Lily, Ivy, Lilly of the Valley, Oriental Lily, Maidenhair Fern, Daisy, and Lavender

Perfumes and Scents: Narcissus, Hyacinth, Almond, Vinilla, and Bergamont

Gems and Metals: Crystal, Quartz, Agate, Black Onyx, Pink Tourmaline, Sapphire, Obsidian, Mercury, Coral, Agate, and Jasper

Colors: Green, Black, Light Blue, Purple, Magenta, Yellow, and Indigo