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Mythological figures - Persephone/Kore

Updated on July 22, 2014
Persephone from  "Percy Jackson & the Lightning  Thief"
Persephone from "Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief"

Persephone's story is of rebirth and transformation in all forms; and also of bonds between people.

There are many versions of her story. In general, she is kidnapped by Hades, who fell in love with her after seeing her from his kingdom. In creating the flower narcissus to capture her attention while in a field with her mother Demeter, he came up to Earth and took her to the Underworld. Demeter soon realized the Persephone was missing, and began searching for her. In her sorrow, the Earth became barren, which is how Fall & Winter came to be.

In living in the Underworld, Hades made her his Goddess queen; and she became Kore, essentially becoming the Queen of the Dead. Her calling in her new life, according to one story, was to greet new arrivals and help them adjust to life below. She gained new powers in becoming Kore. She was discovered by Hermes, and in a discussion with Hades they convinced him to let her go back to Earth.

Hades told her before letting her go that he would miss her, and gave her a red pomegranate to eat before she left. She ate some of the seeds; thus making sure she returned to him.

In returning to Earth, Demeter was extremely happy to see her daughter, but soon realized that she had eaten some of the seeds. The seeds represent the fruit of life; and so it began the seasons. Demeter mourns when Persephone/Kore returns to her husband and fall/Winter comes about; when she returns spring and summer arrive.

In regards to the pictures, a few are from “Percy Jackson & the Lightening Thief” in how she’s shown in the Kore aspect, where others are showing her as Persephone.

Hades abducts Persephone by Bernini
Hades abducts Persephone by Bernini

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Pluto and Proserpina, 1621-22


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