Myth of Hades and Persephone

The tale of Hades and Persephone is actually the way of the ancient Greeks to explain the change of the seasons, the eternal cycle of the Nature’s death and rebirth. According to Greek Mythology, Persephone, the queen of the underworld, was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, the goddess of harvest and fertility.
      
The myth begins with Aphrodite (Venus) the goddess of love looking down from Olympus. Aphrodite was apparently a wee bit concerned about the mother/daughter relationship of Demeter and Persephone. Among other reasons, Aphrodite was reportedly concerned because there was no man involved in the picture so she sent Eros (The Cupid, love God) to strike the dark powerful god of the underworld, Hades, with an arrow of love and desire for Persephone.
   
Then one day Persephone was picking flowers and saw an incredibly beautiful one she wanted. She went to pick it, and as she did, a crack in the earth opened and Hades came out in his chariot and grabbed her. He put her in the chariot and drove into the Underworld while Persephone called out for her mother and father.
    
Hades and Persephone lived in the underworld while Demeter started searching everywhere. Demeter was extremely distraught by the loss of her daughter, so distraught and angry that she decided to take drastic action. Demeter decided to take away her life-sustaining gifts and command the earth die and mold until someone brought Persephone back or told her where Persephone was. The cries of the people who were suffering reached Olympus and the divine ears of Zeus. The mighty god finally realized that if he wouldn’t do something about Demeter’s wrath, all humanity would disappear. Thus he tried to find another solution to both calm Demeter and please Hades.

However when Persephone was in the underworld with Hades, he gifted her with six pomegranate seeds to eat, and she did. In Greek mythology, it was believed that if one ate food given to them by their captor, they would always return. Zeus decided that Persephone would split her time between her mother and her husband. Since she ate six pomegranate seeds, Persephone would spend half the year with her mother at Olympus and the other half with Hades.

The changing seasons :

Many believe that the Demeter and Persephone story explains the seasons of the year. During the time that Persephone spends away from her mother, Demeter  causes the earth to wither and die. This time of the year became autumn and winter.

Persephone’s arrival to be reunited with her mother signals a renewal of hope causing Summer and Spring. It represents the rebirth of untold splendor and abundance. The earth once again becomes fertile and fruitful.

In many ancient versions of this myth – Persephone was actually quite happy and satisfied to be with Hades. And together they conceived a child.

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