1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/godsandgoddesses/p/DemeterMyths.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Discuss in my forum

Demeter, Dark Mother of the Harvest

By

Demeter, Dark Mother of the Harvest

The pomegranate is the symbol of Demeter and her lost daughter, Persephone.

Image © Maren Caruso/Getty Images 2007

Perhaps the best known of all the harvest mythologies is the story of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter was a goddess of grain and of the harvest in ancient Greece. Her daughter, Persephone, caught the eye of Hades, god of the underworld. When Hades abducted Persephone and took her back to the underworld, Demeter's grief caused the crops on earth to die and go dormant. By the time she finally recovered her daughter, Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds, and so was doomed to spend six months of the year in the underworld. These six months are the time when the earth dies, beginning at the time of the autumn equinox. Each year, Demeter mourns the loss of her daughter for six months. At Ostara, the greening of the earth begins once more and life begins anew.

In some interpretations of the story, Persephone is not held in the underworld against her will. Instead, she chooses to stay there for six months each year so that she can bring a little bit of brightness and light to the souls doomed to spend eternity with Hades.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.