As we move into the springtime, the leaves turn green, the weather turns warmer and life is breathed back into Nature. People’s attitudes shift into happiness, playfulness and they spend more time outside, enjoying nature. If you’ve ever wondered if the Goddess influenced this, wonder no more.
Persephone and Demeter, mother and daughter, speak to the change in the seasons. Grief turns someone cold, as represented by Demeter turning the earth cold because of missing her daughter.
Persephone is the Greek Goddess of the Underworld. She is the daughter of Demeter and Zeus and the wife of Hades. She was also known as “Kore”. In some myths, the name Persephone could not be uttered – she was referred to as “The Iron Queen” because she was known to be cruel as the ruler of the Underworld.
Demeter is the Main Greek Goddess of the Harvest. She ensures that nature and the harvest are plentiful. However, there are times she grieves when Persephone is away, which is known as our winter.
In their story, Persephone was wooed by many of the gods such as Hermes, Apollo and Ares. However, Demeter turned them down and sent them away. She felt they were not good enough for Persephone and wanted to keep Persephone with her.
One day, Persephone was picking flowers in the forest with some nymphs when Hades burst through a break in the earth and abducted her. Demeter turned the nymphs into sirens for not stopping Hades. Because of her grief, she neglected her duties on earth, making the harvest die.
Zeus negotiated Persephone’s release from Hades when people on earth started to cry out from starvation and lack of life in the harvest and agriculture. Zeus found Persephone and tried to bring her back from Hades. Before he could do that, Hades fed Persephone pomegranate seeds, which are the foods of the deceased spirits. By doing this, it tied Persephone to Hades. Zeus then negotiated a truce – Persephone would spend part of the year with Hades and part of the year with Demeter. When Persephone is with Demeter, Demeter is happy and it’s wonderful weather – Spring, Summer, Fall. When Persephone leaves, Demeter turns sad and winter comes to chill out happy feelings.
There are a few different ways to look at this story. Demeter could be the overprotective mother because Persephone may have wanted to spend time with Hades. Or, Persephone could be the victim of a kidnapping and fell in love with her kidnapper.
However, this story says how people deal with grief and situations that have no control over. How do you handle situations that turn your world upside down? Demeter got very sad and retreated, so much so that she created a very cold world. Does your world get cold when things aren’t going well?
Demeter and Persephone teach us that there are ways that you can handle what life throws at you. Life must go on, it may not be quite the same, but you are meant to make the best of what you have. If you are going through a tough time, ask Demeter and Persephone to help you deal with grief and sadness. Wear brighter colors, speak in positive tones, spend time with people who can uplift your spirits. By doing this, Spring will come back to your life soon.