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Persephone, daughter of Mother Earth, a Tale of Greek Mythology and the Underworld

Updated on October 22, 2011

Persephone, before her kidnapping

Persephone, who later became the "Queen of the Underworld", is a terrific story in Greek mythology and one of my favorite myths.

Persephone was a young maiden, daughter of Demeter (Mother Earth) and Zeus (King of the Gods). Persephone was beautiful; all the gods wooed her--Hermes, Ares and Apollo, but her mother Demeter, the Goddess of the Earth, hid Persephone away; she lived peacefully on the bosom of her mother, Nature.

Persephone was innocently picking flowers with some nymphs in a field when Hades burst through the center of the Earth, dragging Persephone down through the cleft in the earth, the very crack of doom, down and down and down, to the Underworld, to be Hade's Queen. Hades had abducted Persephone to live with him in the darkness of the Underworld forevermore.

Hades

The nymphs who accompanied Persephone were turned into Sirens, to follow their peculiar doom, for standing by and not trying to help Persephone during the abduction by Hades.

Mother Nature, seeking for her missing daughter, was totally distraught. Life on Earth came to a standstill. Thus winter came, for the very first time: the crops didn't grow, and Mother Nature refused her bounty to the people as she searched everywhere for her lost daughter.

The hungry people cried to the gods, and Helios, God of the Sun, who sees everything, heard them. He told Demeter (Mother Nature) what happened and where Persephone went.

Zeus, pressed by the distraught Mother Nature and the by the other deities who were upset by the constant cries and prayers of the starving people, compelled Hades to return Persephone to Demeter.

But Hades tricked Persephone into eating four pomegranate seeds, and it is a rule of fate that whomever consumes food or drink in the Underworld is condemned to spend an eternity there.

Nymphs turned into Sirens

Persephone and the Pomegranate seeds

A compromise was reached. Persephone spends four months per year in the Underworld as Hade's queen, and her Mother, Nature, mourns her. During that season the Earth is cold, and nothing will grow.

But every spring, Persephone returns to the world and is reunited with her mother, Nature, and the whole world bursts into the blooms of springtime, with the greatest joy.

Demeter and Persephone, reunited

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    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, Leann.

    • profile image

      leann2800 6 years ago

      I love this version of the story. I really enjoy mythology in general. Great job!

    • profile image

      greatdominions 6 years ago

      After a search for Edith Wharton's collection of Greek myths, I came across this page. Unfortunately there are only a few mentions of the collection in the comments. Can anyone aid me in my search? What was the collection called? I cannot find it anywhere. I am wondering if I (and my friend who told me about it) has Wharton confused with Edith Hamilton. Thank you!

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Young wife, thank you for the comment. I just love these stories, too. Timeless!

    • YoungWife profile image

      KyAuna Alonzo 6 years ago from Hayden, Idaho

      I completely agree with you it is one of the greatest myths of all time. I am a HUGE studier of greek mythology and have always enjoyed this one, i am glad to find that someone else keep Greek Mythology just as closely to their heart as I do mine.

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thankyou for that wonderful comment, starvagrant.

    • starvagrant profile image

      starvagrant 7 years ago from Missouri

      I've always enjoyed the Persephone story because its symbolism has so much potential. The violence of turning from a girl to a woman, the rage of a mother whose lost her innocence, and the simple act of planting, in which the pomogrenate is buried (in the underworld) only to emerge as a plant after its confinement.

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Koffee, for your lovely comment. If you're really interested, I just wrote a new hub on Melusina, another mythological woman.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love mythology, it the base of so many stories we have today. I can see "Beauty and the Beast" morphing from this story for the pleasure of all girls and boys.

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the lovely comment. I like your mother already.

    • Anaya M. Baker profile image

      Anaya M. Baker 7 years ago from North Carolina

      I did not know Edith Wharton did mythology! Great hub, Persephone has always been one of my favorite stories.

      I was lucky enough to have a mom who read me Greek mythology along with the traditional fairy tales, so whenever I revisit the old stories its an instant flashback to childhood:)

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      babajichinmaya 7 years ago

      Hari Om!

      Nice story with very nice photos. Stories of Mythologies are one of the way to guide people by giving message of proper living. Basically we human beings are always looking for prosperity and joy. All our actions in this world are to attain the status of Joy. We are looking for that type of Joy, which is permanent and always available.

      Love and Om!

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Fanciful

    • fanciful profile image

      fanciful 7 years ago

      Lovely read on Mythology, well written in an easy and interesting way with nice pics ! Loved it !

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, StarChild!

    • profile image

      StarChild11 7 years ago

      Nice hub, the pictures fit well with the story.

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Faybe, for that info. Very interesting! I love the idea of Persephone being a hidden planet in our solar system. I hope we get to see it on it's next appearance! Since it's due to come back soon.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 7 years ago from Florida

      This is really cool, in Celtic Moon Signs "Persephone" is my ruling planet. It is said to be a hidden planet with an elliptical orbit that keeps it from appearing in our Solar system for two thousand years at a time. It is supposed to be on it's way back, but I haven't checked on that lately.

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks, Pearldiver! I'm thinking about doing more Greek myth hubs, they are really fun.

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 7 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      Greek Mythology is great and Homar did it well too. Nice hub Paradise, excellent images and well told. You can expand your series in all directions here. From the songs of the Sirens to Odesysus. 2xThumbs here Thanks for writing this.

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, Cosette! Both Demeter and Persephone are part of the Godess cult, also.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Yes, thanks for refreshing my memory as well on the story - great pics!

    • profile image

      cosette 7 years ago

      WOW, what a cool story! that Hades sounds bad-a$$ ;)

      i love the images you chose for this hub also, beautiful. thank you for making me smile today. this was lovely. rating way way UP. well done!

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, Mick and kaltopsyd! I'm glad to revive some interest in these topics.

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Greek mythology is awesome! Thank you for reminding me of this story!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      I also read Bulfinch's and Wharton's mythology books when I was young. They were magnificent, and you have told the tale of Persephone very well. I was always fascinated by the mythological stories that explained our world to us. They made good sense and great storytelling.

      Thanks for the retelling. I might have to dig out those old mythology books and have another look at them again.

      Mike

    • Paradise7 profile image
      Author

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comments, Green Lotus and scarytaff. Yes, you know, I read the Bullfinch's Mythology, also Edith Wharton's Mythology, as a child. Riveting!

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 7 years ago from South Wales

      Good hub No.7 There's an explanation to everything isn't there?

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I love mythology and was completely absorbed with the classic "Age of Mythology" by Thomas Bulfinch as a child. This brings it all back Paradise. Thanks and well done! I have to say those Sirens look like they had breast implants by a Hollywood surgeon. LOL. I prefer the final two paintings!

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