Myths of Persephone and Hades

Hades was the brother of Zeus and the god of the underworld. Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, the Goddess of nature.

One morning when Demeter descended on Earth with her daughter Persephone , she left her to play with the sea nymphs called Nereids and the Naiads who were the freshwater nymphs of the lakes, springs and rivers. As Persephone engaged in play and with the rest of the group, her attention fell upon the potently fragrant valley nearby and she couldn’t take her eyes of the yellow flower narcissus. The flower Narcissus was planted there by Gaia, who was following the orders of Zeus. The goal was to enchant Persephone and attract her, away from her guides. Persephone danced her way to the garden alone and tried to pluck the narcissus from the bosom of Gaia. It drained her energies as the narcissus only came out after a lot of pulling. But suddenly, to her utter fright, she saw the tiny hole from which she had drawn out the flower shaft, began to rapid grow in size until it started to resemble a mighty enormous chasm.

From this came the vigorous galloping sounds of multiple horses and such sudden happenings only froze the frail beauty to her feet. Hades came out and kidnapped Persephone, taking her to the Underworld.

Demeter went mad and hunted for her daughter everywhere. Finally, she met Hekate, the deity of magic, witchcraft, spirits and crossroads, at the dawn of the 10th day who had pity at her dismal condition and asked her to seek help from the all seeing Helios, the sun god. Helios told Demeter all about how Hades had dragged Persephone into the underworld.

Persephone’s mother, Demeter, begged her brother Hades to allow Persephone to come back to the livings.

Before leaving the underworld, Persephone had been persuaded to eat four seeds of a pomegranate. In ancient mythology, to eat the fruit of one’s captor meant that one would have to return to that captor or country, so Persephone was doomed to return to the underworld for four months of the year. But she was allowed to spend the remaining two-thirds of the year with her Earth Mother, Demeter.

The myth of Hades and Persephone is associated with the coming of Spring and Winter: When Persephone comes to the Earth, it’s springtime. When she descends to Hades, it is winter.

Shreshtha Chakraborty

(All sources from the web)

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