Persephone: The Goddess of Herbs and Wife of Hades

14/03/2021

     Persephone was, in Greek Mythology, forced wife of Hades and also daughter of Demeter and Goddess of Flowers and Herbs, pure like her mother, the goddess of agriculture.


Persephone in Greek Mythology:

     Persephone, in Greek Mythology, is the goddess of herbs, flowers, fruits and perfumes. She is the daughter of Zeus with her sister Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and the seasons; having been born after her father's marriage to Métis and before her marriage to Hera. Raised on Mount Olympus, home to the divine nobility, Persephone was kidnapped by her uncle Hades, moving to the underworld.

     Helped by her half-brother Hermes, Persephone went to live half of the year in Olympus in the spring and summer seasons, when she was called Cora (Koré) by the other chthonic gods. Herbal teas such as rosemary and sage were consecrated to her; besides bees and honey. Persephone is described as "A with white arms" by Hesiod.

Her children are: Melinoe, Zagreu and Macária.

Persephone, Hades, Demeter and the Abduction:

     Persephone appears in the Iliad simply as queen of the underworld and wife of Hades. The myth of her abduction was first narrated by Hesiod. The gods, Hermes, Ares, Dionysus and Apollo all courted her. Demeter rejected all her gifts and hid her daughter away from the company of the gods.

All who lived on Olympus were bewitched by Persephone, rivals in love for the girl to marry, and Hermes offered his gifts to a bride. And he offered his stick as a gift to decorate his room (as the bride's price for her hand in marriage, but all offers were refused by her mother Demeter).

     When the signs of her great beauty and femininity began to shine, in her adolescence, she caught the attention of the God Hades who asked her to marry him. Zeus warned his brother that Démeter does not want any god to come near his daughter. Hades, impatiently, emerged from the earth and kidnapped her while she collected flowers with the nymphs, among them Leucipe and Aretusa, or according to the Homeric hymns, the goddess was also with her sisters Athena and Artemis. Hades took her to her domain (the underworld), marrying her and making her his queen.

     His mother, becoming inconsolable, ended up neglecting her tasks: the land became sterile and there was a shortage of food, and Demeter refused to eat any food and began to languish. No one wanted to tell her what had happened to her daughter, but Demeter, after much searching, finally discovered through Hecate and Helium that the young goddess had been taken to the world of the dead, and together with Hermes, went to pick her up in the kingdom of Hades (or according to other sources, Zeus ordered Hades to return his daughter).

     However, as Persephone had eaten something (six pomegranate seeds) it was concluded that she had not entirely rejected Hades. Thus, an agreement was reached, she would spend half the year with her parents, when she would be Cora (for the Romans), the eternal teenager, and the rest with Hades, when she would become the dark Persephone (Prosérpina, for the Romans) . This myth justifies the annual harvest cycle.

Relationship between Hades and Persephone:

     Hades and Persephone had a calm and loving relationship. Fights were rare, except when Hades was attracted to a nymph named Minta, and Persephone, taken with jealousy, turned the nymph into a plant, destined to vegetate at the entrances to the caves, or, in another version, at the entrance door. of the realm of the dead. Persephone interfered in Hades' decisions, always interceding in favor of heroes and mortals, and was always willing to receive and assist mortals who visited the realm of the dead in search of help. Despite this, the Greeks feared her and, with some exceptions, on a daily basis avoided speaking her name (Persephone), calling her an infernal Hera.

Representation:

     The queen is represented beside her husband, on an ebony throne, holding a beam with black smoke. The poppy was dedicated to him because it served as a reliever to his mother at the time of his abduction. Narcissus is also dedicated to her, as she was picking this flower when she was surprised and kidnapped by Hades. Serpents were also associated with it.

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