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Have you heard of the Greek mythological story of Hades and Persephone? I’m sure you have at some point in your life as it’s one of the well known Greek myths. Hades was the brother of Zeus and the god of the underworld. Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, the Goddess of nature.
Persephone Taken To The Underworld
Hades was love stricken by Persephone and kidnapped her, he traveled above ground to pursue her, while she was gathering flowers in a field. Hades confided his secret to his brother Zeus, asking for help; the two of them concocted a plan to trap her. As Persephone played with her companions, both Gods caused the ground to split underneath her. Persephone fell beneath the Earth and Hades stole her to the Underworld where he made her his wife. Persephone was very unhappy, but after some time, she came to love the cold-blooded Hades and lived happily with him.
Demeter Searches For Persephone
Demeter hurried back to where she had left her daughter, horrified to find her missing, she asked all as to the whereabouts of her beloved daughter. No one could tell her anything at all and the furious Goddess said that they couldn’t protect her child. Demeter cursed all the nymphs into becoming women with plumed bodies and scaly feet, called the sirens. The river Cyane was the only one who helped Diameter by washing over the belt of Persephone, indicating that something very suspicious had happened. Demeter went absolutely mad and hunted for her daughter everywhere. The Goddess even disguised herself as an old lady with a lighted torch in her hands roaming the Earth for nine long days and nine long nights. Finally, she met Hekate, the deity of magic, witchcraft, spirits and crossroads, at the dawn of the 10th day who had sorrow at her dismal condition and asked her to seek help from the all seeing Helios, the sun god. Helios told Demeter how Hades had dragged her daughter, Persephone, into the underworld.
Persephone In The Underworld
Demeter, Persephone’s mother, begged her brother Hades to let Persephone back to live above the underworld, denoting that the young Persephone was not supposed to live in the underworld. Hades conversed with Zeus and they both decided to allow Persephone to live on earth for six months each year and the other half of her time would be in the Underworld.
Before Persephone left the underworld, she was persuaded to eat four seeds of a pomegranate. Ancient mythology says, to eat the fruit of one’s captor meant that one would have to return to that captor or country, so Persephone was doomed to return to the underworld for four months of the year. But she was allowed to spend the remaining two-thirds of the year with her Earth Mother, Demeter.
The myth of Hades and Persephone is associated with the arriving of Spring and Winter, when Persephone comes to the earth, it’s springtime and when she descends to Hades, it is winter. This symbolises the changing of the seasons and cyclical everlasting time.
The disappearance and the return of the goddess Persephone were the occasions of grand festivals in ancient Greece, among them the Elefsinian rites, whose secrets were very closely guarded and little is known about them today. Some experts in this field believe the rites or mysteries gave birth to the idea of a more perfect life after death, and thus helped lay the foundation for the coming of Christianity, which upholds the idea of everlasting life.
The basic tenet of this story is that energy never dies, even when we pass on, we are always forevermore. We are eternal beings.
Let us know your take on this mythological tale below.