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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Goddess Demeter

Wednesday, July 2, 2008
As we begin the journey into the Dark Half of the year, the story of Demeter and Persephone is an appropriate story to tell. But first, who is Demeter? Demeter was the Greek Goddess of the Harvest. She represents the grain and fertility and is the preserver of marriage.

Myth of Demeter and Persephone

Persephone was the daughter of the goddess Demeter. One day Persephone was dancing with her friends in a sunny meadow, having a good time.
Suddenly Persephone's spooky uncle Hades burst out of the ground and grabbed her and pulled her into his chariot! He took Persephone under the ground to his kingdom, the land of the dead, and told her that he wanted her to be the Queen of the Underworld and marry him.
Persephone was very sad there under the ground. She wanted to go up into the sunshine again. But Hades would not let her. Persephone was so sad that she would not eat nor drink.

Meanwhile, back up in the land of the living, Persephone's mother Demeter was looking everywhere for her and could not find her. She cried and cried and winter came for the first time. Finally she went to her brother Zeus, who was also Persephone's father, and asked him to help find Persephone. Zeus, sitting way up there on top of Mount Olympus, was able to see where Persephone was. He told Hades to give her back.

But Hades said he would only give Persephone back if she had really not eaten or drunk anything from the land of the dead. Persephone had not eaten much, but it turned out she had eaten six pomegranate seeds. So they agreed that Persephone could spend six months a year above ground with her mother, but she would have to spend the other six months in the land of the dead with her uncle/husband. And that is how it has been since then, according to the story. And that is why we have winter.

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