When love outlasts death and continues to beat on for the one you love… My own twist on the tale of Persephone and Hades.
She was the only child of the union of Demeter (goddess of the bountiful harvest) and Zeus, the mighty king of the Olympians. The Greek goddess Persephone was born when Demeter was Zeus’ consort, long before his marriage to the goddess Hera.
As signs of womanly beauty began to shine along side her childlike innocence, the adolescent goddess Persephone unwittingly attracted the attention of the Greek god Hades, brother of Zeus and ruler of the underworld.
The god Hades, however, did not bother to woo the young Persephone, traditional goddess protocol notwithstanding. After asking for (and receiving) her father’s approval for Persephone’s hand in marriage, Hades simply abducted her one bright sunny day when she stooped to pluck a narcissus from a field of wildflowers near her home. The meadow was suddenly rent open, and Hades simply reached out and snatched Persephone away, taking her to his underworld kingdom and making her his queen. Although the young goddess Persephone grew to love Hades, she remained lonely for her mother and the life she’d known on earth.
Her mother, the goddess Demeter, had heard Persephone’s screams when Hades grabbed her. She began an intensive search for Persephone. After learning how Zeus had betrayed their daughter, and consumed by grief and sorrow, Demeter demonstrated her outrage by withholding her blessing from the earth until Persephone was returned to her. Droughts ensued, and the earth lay barren. Mankind was facing a major famine. Zeus finally relented and sent the god Hermes to bring the young goddess Persephone back to her mother.
Part of Persephone missed her mother horribly, but another part had grown rather fond of the god Hades. And Persephone was rather enjoying her role as Queen, even if it was in the underworld. While preparing to return to the earth with Hermes, Persephone accepted a pomegranate offered to her by Hades. She knew full well that anyone who had eaten while in the underworld would not be allowed to return, even a goddess — Persephone went ahead and ate seven of the seeds. Her choice prevented her from ever being fully restored to Demeter, but did open up the possibility of a compromise.
Hermes was able to negotiate an agreement on her behalf between Hades, a god who was usually rather cold-natured and self-centered, and Demeter. Persephone would be allowed to stay with Hades in the underworld for four months each year (winter) and would return to the earth and her mother the remaining months. The goddess Persephone was soon reunited joyfully with her mother.
Each year as Persephone left to join her husband in the underworld, Greek mythology tells us that the goddess Demeter would begin to grieve, bringing on the cold, barren winters. But a few months later Persephone, the goddess associated with awakening, would return to bring spring and its verdant growth in her wake . . . thus were the seasons established.
There are many more stories out there of Persephone and all the things she did as “Queen of the Underworld”.
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