Persephone, also called Kore, The Queen of the Underworld

persephone

By Wolfgang Sauber (Own work) | GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0  | via Wikimedia Commons

Persephone was one of the relationship oriented goddesses. She was entitled Kore (Core) (the Maiden) as the goddess of spring’s bounty. Kore was a slender beautiful young goddess, associated with symbols of fertility. The pomegranate, grain and corn. As well as the narcissus, the flower that lured her.

She was the only daughter of Demeter and Zeus and she was a carefree daughter. But one day when she was playing in a flowery meadow with her Nymph companions, she was seized by Haides and carried off to the underworld as his bride. Her mother Demeter was very upset at her disappearance and searched for her the throughout the world. She was accompanied by the goddess Hecate bearing torches.

When Demeter learned that Zeus had been part of her daughter’s abduction, she was furious. She refused to let the earth fruit until Persephone was returned. Zeus agreed to this, but because Persephone had tasted of the food of Haides —a handful of pomegranate seeds— she was forced to forever spend a part of the year with her husband in the underworld. Persephone eventually came into her own as Queen and Guide of the Underworld. She reigns over dead souls and was the central figure in the Eleusinian Mysteries.

It is said that her annual return to the earth in spring was marked by the flowering of the meadows and the sudden growth of the new grain. Her return to the underworld in winter, conversely, saw the dying down of plants and the halting of growth.

Persephone was usually depicted as a young goddess holding sheafs of grain and a flaming torch.

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About the Author: Carole Langman works behind the scenes at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs as the Business Manager. Her office is always a hive of activity, and with the vast amounts of work Carole has, we never really know how she gets through it all! To unwind, she loves gardening, hikes around Bowerland, travelling and writing.

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