Persephone and Hades

Image Source: abigail larson deviantart

Persephone is the daughter of Zeus king of the Gods and Demeter Goddess of the harvest. She is also wife to Hades who rules the Underworld. Her symbols are the pomegranate, which bound her to her husband Hades, grain seeds, torches, flowers and her animal is deer. While no longer a maiden by definition she is still described as a maiden Goddess.

She perpetually young and is the epitome of Spring. This beauty is young and full of life which is a little at odds with her role as Queen of the Underworld and Hades wife who is the God of the Dead. She is mother to Melinoe from her father Zeus who disguised himself as her husband Hades. She is also mother to Zagreus with her husband Hades.

Persephone became Hades wife because her father, Zeus, promised her to his brother without Demeter’s knowledge. I think if Demeter had known she would have put a stop to the shenanigans. However, Zeus promised Persephone to Hades and Hades collected. He took her without Persephone’s permission and brought her to the Underworld. Persephone knew better than to eat anything in the realm of Hades. She starved herself until she could stand it no more. She ate six pomegranate seeds.

Demeter had no idea what had happened to her daughter and was absolutely grief stricken. She was so wrapped up in looking for Persephone that she no longer attended to her duties. The Earth went barren and humans were starving. Zeus decided he must intervene and told Demeter the general area to look. Demeter beseeched the Titan Goddess Hecate to help her find her daughter. Hecate agreed and helped. It was then that it was found out that Persephone was stuck. Zeus struck a bargain with his brother Hades. If Persephone promised to return for half the year to Hades, she would be allowed to be with her mother the other half.

With Persephone’s return to the land of the living came life. Flowers bloomed, trees budded and farms became productive again. Even the animals had been affected by Demeter’s grief. Even with the joy of Persephone’s return came the eventual realization that she must return to Hades to fulfill her duties as wife and queen. As she descends to the Underworld, the Earth turns to Fall and then Winter as continues her stay as Queen.