“Holy Maiden of the
Pale Queen of Hades’ realm.”
is the Greek Goddess of the underworld and the daughter of Zeus and Demeter.
Persephone was such a beautiful young woman that everyone loved her, and the God
of the underworld, Hades, wanted her for himself. One day, when she was
collecting flowers on the plain of Enna, the earth suddenly opened and Hades
rose up from the gap and abducted her. None but Zeus, and the all-seeing sun,
Helios, had noticed it.
Broken-hearted, Demeter wandered the
earth, looking for her daughter until Helios revealed what had happened. This
mother Goddess of the harvest was so grieved, she withdrew herself in
loneliness, and the earth ceased to be fertile. Zeus, concerned about the state
of the harvest, bargains with Demeter and the terms are set for her release. She
may return if she has not eaten. Meanwhile, Hades has persuaded her to eat three
pomegranate seeds. Still, She is reunited with Her mother in the Spring, but
must return to Hades in the Fall.
Persephoné was the goddess to whom one prayed for the
release of a critically ill loved one. She was the one who would greet you at
the end of your life’s journey, yet she was respected rather than feared.
Her Necromanteum (“oracle of the dead”),
was where pilgrims went to seek answers from beyond the veil of life. Discovered
in 1958 by Prof. Sotiris Dakaris, this oracle dates from the 14th century BCE.
It was considered to be the actual entrance to the Underworld.
Persephoné’s legend forms the basis of the rites of
the Eleusinian Mysteries. This myth is a symbol of the budding and dying of
nature. In the Eleusinian mysteries, this happening was celebrated in honor of
Demeter and Persephone, known in this cult as Kore.
The Romans called her Proserpine or
Prosperina, daughter of Ceres and Jupiter.
Her names means "she who destroys the light."