The Greek Story of Persephone…

…is much like my own. Not exactly, but figuratively at least.

If you are unfamiliar with Greek mythology, I highly suggest you delve into the voluminous stories the ancient Greeks had about their gods and goddess. Very entertaining stuff. If you are unfamiliar with Persephone’s story, Wiki has a pretty good synopsis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persephone), but you can read my summary below as well.

The Rape of Persephone

Persephone was the beautiful daughter of the harvest queen Demeter and the almighty Zeus. One day while picking flowers, the god of the underworld, Hades, had abducted her for he had fallen in love with the beautiful Persephone. Outraged and in grief for the loss of her daughter, Demeter refused the earth to grow any life at all: plants, fruit, ect. The cries of starving people on earth caused Zeus to command Hades to return Persephone to her mother so that the earth could flourish once more.

However, the rules state that if a person eats and drinks anything from the underworld, that person must stay there forever. Before Persephone was collected by Hermes to return to the living, she was tricked into eating 6 pomegranate seeds by Hades. Because of this, she had to return to the Underworld with Hades periodically.

The tale explains the change of seasons. During the Winter, Persephone is perceived to dwell in the underworld. However, in the Spring, she begins her journey to return to her mother, Demeter. In celebration, life starts a new. Flowers are blooming, trees come alive, crops and fruits are plentiful. The celebration continues into Summer. Then in the Fall, Persephone is readying to leave her mother for the Underworld. Slowly plants start to wither. It is the last harvest season for farmers. And again we are back to the barren Winter where Demeter grieves the loss of her daughter until next Spring.

~~~

I feel very much like Persephone sometimes (probably like many kids who go away from home for college). I like school honestly; it’s actually quite fun & challenging. But it really breaks my heart every time I have to leave my parents. Just like Demeter, they love their children very, very much, and can’t stand the thought of us not being by their side. Their entire world revolves around my sister and I, and we are both very lucky to have them. However, by obligation, I have to go away from the home, family, and friends that are familiar and dear so that I can continue my education. Although unlike the Underworld, I quite like the company I have gained while on campus (and I definitely eat more than 6 measly pomegranate seeds while I am there).

The end of my brief 1 week “summer vacations” and starting of Fall semester always remind me of Persephone’s story and Demeter’s parental love because of the change of seasons.. I thought I would share it with you.

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4 comments on “The Greek Story of Persephone…

  1. love love love this post. I totally agree, it’s an awful feeling leaving home 😦 thankfully our “Underworld” is a bit more joyful and full of more good food! 🙂

  2. improperintegirl says:

    you know i always thought the greek myths were f**ked up because of the incest… to this day, i read your post and my first thoughts “he is her UNCLE, WHY??” the even more ironic thing is how the gods could incest all they wanted but the humans (e.g. edipus) were all doomed for doing so even unwittingly!! at least incest was frowned upon by the norse gods… and only committed by humans, who were frowned upon.

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