In Classical Greek art , Persephone is invariably portrayed robed, often carrying a sheaf of grain. She may appear as a mystical divinity with a sceptre and a little box, but she was mostly represented in the process of being carried off by Hades. In Roman mythology , she is called Proserpina.
The existence of so many different forms shows how difficult it was for the Greeks to pronounce the word in their own language and suggests that the name may have a Pre-Greek origin. The epithets of Persephone reveal her double function as chthonic underworld and vegetation goddess. The surnames given to her by the poets refer to her character as Queen of the lower world and the dead, or her symbolic meaning of the power that shoots forth and withdraws into the earth.
Her common name as a vegetation goddess is Kore, and in Arcadia she was worshipped under the title Despoina , "the mistress", a very old chthonic divinity. Plutarch writes that Persephone was identified with the spring season  and Cicero calls her the seed of the fruits of the fields.
In the Eleusinian Mysteries , her return from the underworld each spring is a symbol of immortality, and hence she was frequently represented on sarcophagi. In the religions of the Orphics and the Platonists , Kore is described as the all-pervading goddess of nature  who both produces and destroys everything, and she is therefore mentioned along with or identified as other such divinities including Isis , Rhea , Ge , Hestia , Pandora , Artemis , and Hecate. Persephone held an ancient role as the dread queen of the Underworld, within which tradition it was forbidden to speak her name.
In Homer 's epics, she appears as the formidable and venerable queen of the shades, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead, along with her husband Hades. Her central myth served as the context for the secret rites of regeneration at Eleusis ,  which promised immortality to initiates. In a Classical period text ascribed to Empedocles , c. And Nestis, moistening mortal springs with tears. Of the four deities of Empedocles' elements, it is the name of Persephone alone that is taboo —Nestis is a euphemistic cult title [n 3] —for she was also the terrible Queen of the Dead, whose name was not safe to speak aloud, who was euphemistically named simply as Kore or "the Maiden", a vestige of her archaic role as the deity ruling the underworld.
As a goddess of the underworld, Persephone was given euphemistically friendly names.
As a vegetation goddess, she was called:  . Demeter and her daughter Persephone were usually called:  . The story of her abduction by Hades is traditionally referred to as the Rape of Persephone. It is mentioned briefly in Hesiod 's Theogony ,  and told in considerable detail in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Zeus , it is said, permitted Hades, who was in love with the beautiful Persephone, to abduct her as her mother Demeter was not likely to allow her daughter to go down to Hades. Persephone was gathering flowers with the Oceanids along with Artemis and Athena —the Homeric Hymn says—in a field when Hades came to abduct her, bursting through a cleft in the earth.
In most versions she forbids the earth to produce, or she neglects the earth and in the depth of her despair she causes nothing to grow. Helios , the sun, who sees everything, eventually told Demeter what had happened and at length she discovered the place of her abode. Finally, Zeus, pressed by the cries of the hungry people and by the other deities who also heard their anguish, forced Hades to return Persephone.
Hades indeed complied with the request, but first he tricked her, giving her some pomegranate seeds to eat. Persephone was released by Hermes, who had been sent to retrieve her, but because she had tasted food in the underworld, she was obliged to spend a third of each year the winter months there, and the remaining part of the year with the gods above. Various local traditions place Persephone's abduction in a different location. The Sicilians , among whom her worship was probably introduced by the Corinthian and Megarian colonists, believed that Hades found her in the meadows near Enna , and that a well arose on the spot where he descended with her into the lower world.
The Cretans thought that their own island had been the scene of the rape, and the Eleusinians mentioned the Nysian plain in Boeotia, and said that Persephone had descended with Hades into the lower world at the entrance of the western Oceanus. Later accounts place the rape in Attica , near Athens , or near Eleusis.
The Homeric hymn mentions the Nysion or Mysion which was probably a mythical place. The location of this mythical place may simply be a convention to show that a magically distant chthonic land of myth was intended in the remote past. Eubuleus was feeding his pigs at the opening to the underworld when Persephone was abducted by Plouton. His swine were swallowed by the earth along with her, and the myth is an etiology for the relation of pigs with the ancient rites in Thesmophoria ,  and in Eleusis. In the hymn, Persephone returns and she is reunited with her mother near Eleusis.
Demeter as she has been promised established her mysteries orgies when the Eleusinians built for her a temple near the spring of Callichorus. These were awful mysteries which were not allowed to be uttered. The uninitiated would spend a miserable existence in the gloomy space of Hades after death.
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In some versions, Ascalaphus informed the other deities that Persephone had eaten the pomegranate seeds. When Demeter and her daughter were reunited, the Earth flourished with vegetation and color, but for some months each year, when Persephone returned to the underworld, the earth once again became a barren realm.
This is an origin story to explain the seasons. In an earlier version, Hecate rescued Persephone. On an Attic red-figured bell krater of c. The 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedia Suda introduces a goddess of a blessed afterlife assured to Orphic mystery initiates. This Macaria is asserted to be the daughter of Hades, but no mother is mentioned. In the myth Pluto abducts Persephone to be his wife and the queen of his realm this is the myth which explains their marriage. Nilsson believes that the original cult of Ploutos or Pluto in Eleusis was similar with the Minoan cult of the "divine child", who died in order to be reborn.
The child was abandoned by his mother and then it was brought up by the powers of nature. Similar myths appear in the cults of Hyakinthos Amyklai , Erichthonios Athens , and later in the cult of Dionysos. Pluto Ploutos represents the wealth of the grain that was stored in underground silos or ceramic jars pithoi , during summer months.
Similar subterranean pithoi were used in ancient times for burials and Pluto is fused with Hades , the King of the realm of the dead. During summer months, the Greek grain-Maiden Kore is lying in the grain of the underground silos in the realm of Hades, and she is fused with Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld.
At the beginning of the autumn, when the seeds of the old crop are laid on the fields, she ascends and is reunited with her mother Demeter , for at that time the old crop and the new meet each other. For the initiated, this union was the symbol of the eternity of human life that flows from the generations which spring from each other.
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The primitive myths of isolated Arcadia seem to be related to the first Greek-speaking people who came from the north-east during the bronze age. Despoina the mistress , the goddess of the Arcadian mysteries, is the daughter of Demeter and Poseidon Hippios horse , who represents the river spirit of the underworld that appears as a horse as often happens in northern-European folklore.
He pursues the mare-Demeter and from the union she bears the horse Arion and a daughter who originally had the form or the shape of a mare. The two goddesses were not clearly separated and they were closely connected with the springs and the animals. They were related with the god of rivers and springs; Poseidon and especially with Artemis , the Mistress of the Animals who was the first nymph.
They are the two Great Goddesses of the Arcadian cults, and evidently they come from a more primitive religion. Persephone was worshipped along with her mother Demeter and in the same mysteries. Her cults included agrarian magic, dancing, and rituals. The priests used special vessels and holy symbols, and the people participated with rhymes. In Eleusis there is evidence of sacred laws and other inscriptions. The Cult of Demeter and the Maiden is found at Attica , in the main festivals Thesmophoria and Eleusinian mysteries and in a lot of local cults.
These festivals were almost always celebrated at the autumn sowing, and at full-moon according to the Greek tradition. In some local cults the feasts were dedicated to Demeter. The myth of a goddess being abducted and taken to the Underworld is probably Pre-Greek in origin. Samuel Noah Kramer , the renowned scholar of ancient Sumer , has posited that the Greek story of the abduction of Persephone may be derived from an ancient Sumerian story in which Ereshkigal , the ancient Sumerian goddess of the Underworld, is abducted by Kur , the primeval dragon of Sumerian mythology , and forced to become ruler of the Underworld against her own will.
The location of Persephone's abduction is different in each local cult.
TODAY'S WORD from the Pastor
The Homeric Hymn to Demeter mentions the "plain of Nysa". Persephone is an old chthonic deity of the agricultural communities, who received the souls of the dead into the earth, and acquired powers over the fertility of the soil, over which she reigned. The earliest depiction of a goddess who may be identified with Persephone growing out of the ground, is on a plate from the Old-Palace period in Phaistos.
The goddess has a vegetable-like appearance, and she is surrounded by dancing girls between blossoming flowers. In some forms Hades appears with his chthonic horses. The myth of the rape of Kore was derived from the idea that Hades catches the souls of the dead and then carries them with his horses into his kingdom. This idea is vague in Homer , but appears in later Greek depictions, and in Greek folklore. The cults of Persephone and Demeter in the Eleusinian mysteries and in the Thesmophoria were based on old agrarian cults.
At their mother's hest all the light Aetai Winds [Anemoi] took hands, and slid down one long stream of sighing wind to Priamos' Priam's plain, and floated round the dead, and softly, swiftly caught they up, and bare through silver mists Eos' the Dawn's son, with hearts sore aching for their brother's fall, while moaned around them all the air.
As on they passed, fell many blood-gouts from those pierced limbs down to the earth, and these were made a sign to generations yet to be. The Gods gathered them up from many lands, and made thereof a far-resounding river, named of all that dwell beneath long Ida's flanks Paphlagoneion. As its waters flow twixt fertile acres, once a year they turn to blood, when comes the woeful day whereon died Memnon.
Thence a sick and choking reek steams : thou wouldst say that from a wound unhealed corrupting humours breathed an evil stench. Ay, so the Gods ordained : but now flew on bearing Eos' mighty son the rushing Aetai Winds skimming earth's face and palled about with night. Nor were his Aithiopian Ethiopian comrades left to wander of their King forlorn : a God [Eos] suddenly winged those eager souls with speed such as should soon be theirs for ever, changed to flying fowl, the children of the air.
Wailing their King in the winds' track they sped. Trojans over all the plain and Danaans marvelled, seeing that great host vanishing with their King. All hearts stood still in dumb amazement. But the tireless Aetai Winds sighing set hero Memnon's giant corpse down by the deep flow of Aisepos' Aesepus' stream, where is a fair grove of the bright-haired Nymphai Nymphs , the which round his long barrow afterward Aisepos' daughters planted, screening it with many and manifold trees: and long and loud wailed those Immortals, chanting his renown, the son of Erigeneia the Dawn-goddess splendour-throned.
Now sank the sun: Eos the Lady of the Morn wailing her dear child from the heavens came down. Twelve maidens [the twelve Horai, Hours] shining-tressed attended her, the warders of the high paths of the sun for ever circling, warders of the night and dawn. These came down from heaven, for Memnon wailing wild and high; and mourned with these the Pleiades [star-nymphs].
Echoed round far-stretching mountains, and Aisepos' stream. Oh, I, now thou art slain, will not endure to light the Immortal Heavenly Ones! No, I will plunge down to the dread depths of the underworld, where thy lone spirit flitteth to and fro, and will to blind night leave earth, sky, and sea, till Khaeos Chaos and formless darkness brood o'er all, that Kronos' Cronus' son [Zeus] may also learn what means anguish of heart. For not less worship-worthy than Nereos' Nereus' Child, by Zeus's ordinance, am I, who look on all things, I, who bring all to their consummation.
Recklessly my light Zeus now despiseth!
Therefore I will pass into the darkness. Let him bring up to Olympos Thetis from the sea to hold for him light forth to Gods and men! My sad soul loveth darkness more than day, lest I pour light upon thy slayer's head. Nyx the Night grieved in her daughter's anguish, and the heaven drew over all his stars a veil of mist and cloud, of love unto Erigeneia the Lady of Light. All night in groans and sighs most pitiful Eos the Dawn-queen lay: a sea of darkness moaned around her.
Of the dayspring nought she recked: she loathed Olympos' spaces. At her side fretted and whinnied still her fleetfoot steeds, trampling the strange earth, gazing at their Queen grief-stricken, yearning for the fiery course. Suddenly crashed the thunder of the wrath of Zeus; rocked round her all the shuddering earth, and on immortal Eos trembling came. Swiftly the dark-skinned Aethiopes Ethiopians from her sight buried their lord lamenting.
As they wailed unceasingly, Erigeneia the Dawn-queen lovely-eyed changed them to birds sweeping through air around the barrow of the mighty dead. But he in Haides' mansions, or perchance amid the Blessed on the Elysian Plain, laugheth. Divine Eos comforteth her heart beholding them : but theirs is toil of strife unending, till the weary victors strike the vanquished dead, or one and all fill up the measure of their doom around his grave. So by command of Erigeneia Lady of Light the swift birds dree their weird. But Eos Dawn divine now heavenward soared with the all-fostering Horai Hours , who drew her to Zeus' threshold, sorely loth, yet conquered by their gentle pleadings, such as salve the bitterest grief of broken hearts.
Nor Eos the Dawn-queen forgat her daily course, but quailed before the unbending threat of Zeus, of whom are all things, even all comprised within the encircling sweep of Okeanos' Oceanus' stream, Earth and the palace-dome of burning stars. Before her went her Pleiades-harbingers, then she herself flung wide the ethereal gates, and, scattering spray of splendour, flashed there-through.
Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 3. Aelian, On Animals 5. Scholfield Greek natural history C2nd A. Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 1. Fairbanks Greek rhetorician C3rd A. When he came to the defence of Troy, [Akhilleus Achilles ] the son of Peleus, they say, slew him, mighty though he was and likely to be no whit inferior to his opponent.
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Notice to what huge length he lies on the ground, and how long is the crop of curls. You would not say that Memnon's skin is really black, for the black of it shows a trace of ruddiness. And look! Memnon has been stolen away and is at the edge of the painting. Where is he? In what part of the earth? No tomb of Memnon is anywhere to be seen but in Aithiopia Ethiopia he himself has been transformed into a statue of black marble [i. The attitude is that of a seated person, but he figure is that of Memnon yonder, if I mistake not, and the ray of Helios the Sun falls on the statue.
For Helios the Sun , striking the lips of Memnon as a plectrum strikes the lyre, seems to summon a voice from them, and by this speech-producing artifice consoles Hemera the Day [i. Callistratus, Descriptions 1 trans. Fairbanks Greek rhetorician C4th A. Eos] came was filled with joy by her presence, and overcome by distress when she departed, groaned with grief--the only stone figure that has been moved by the presence of joy and sadness to depart from its natural dumbness, so far overcoming its insensibility as to gain the power of speech.
Callistratus, Descriptions 9 : "On the statue of Memnon. I wish to describe to you the miracle of Memnon also; for the art it displayed was truly incredible and beyond the power of human hand. For at one time it saluted rising Hemera Day [i. Eos], by its voice giving token of its joy and expressing delight at the arrival of its mother; and again, as day declined to night, it uttered piteous and mournful groans in grief at her departure. Nor yet was the marble at a loss for tears, but they too were at hand to serve its will. The statue in question both lulled to rest the sorrows of Hemera Day and caused her to abandon her search for her son, as though the art of the Aithiopes Ethiopians were compensating her by means of the statue for the Memnon who had been snatched away from her by fate.
Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. Slaughtered by Achilles' spear, she, his bright golden mother, saw him dead upon the plain of Troy. The rosy blush that dyes the hour of dawn grew pale and clouds hid the bright heavens. But when his limbs were laid on the last flames, she could not bear to look. But it's not now Aurora's [Eos'] errand nor her care to claim honours well-earned. I come because my son, Memnon, is lost, who for his uncle's [King Priamos Priam of Troy's] sake in vain bore valiant arms and in his first youth so you willed it fell to brave Achilles.
Grant him, I pray, Ruler of Heaven most high, some honour, solace that he had to die, and soothe a wounded mother's misery! Black rolling smoke darkened the daylight, as a stream breathes forth the mist it breeds that lets no sunlight through. Up flew black ashes, and they clustered thick into a single mass, which took a shape and from the fire drew heat and breath of life. Its lightness gave it wings and like a bird at first, and presently a real bird, its great wings whirred and with it sister-birds whirred beyond counting, all from the same source.
Three times they circled round the pyre; three times their cries, united, echoed through the air. One the fourth flight the flock split up; then two fierce legions, so divided, fought each other with claws and beaks in full fury, till their wings and battling breasts were weary; then they fell, death-offerings, on the ash whose kin they were, recalling that brave soul from whom they sprang. Aurora intent on her own grief : now still her loving sorrow she renews and with her tears the whole wide world bedews. Virgil, Aeneid 8.
Day-Lewis Roman epic C1st B. Eos, who requested armour for her son Memnon]. Seneca, Troades ff trans. Miller Roman tragedy C1st A. Tryphiodorus, Taking of Ilias 30 ff trans. Mair Greek poet C5th A. Homer, Iliad 1. Homer, Iliad 2. Homer, Iliad 8. Homer, Odyssey Odyssey 2.
PERSEPHONE - Greek Goddess of Spring, Queen of the Underworld (Roman Proserpina)
This phrase occurs a number of times in the Odyssey. Homer, Odyssey 6. We came came in; we beached our vessel upon the sands and disembarked upon the sea-shore; there we fell fast asleep, awaiting ethereal Dawn. She held back the night to linger long at the horizon, checking Eos of the broidered robe at the edge of Okeanos Oceanus and bidding her not to yoke as yet the rapid horses that bring men light, Lampos Lampus and Phaithon Phaethon , the young steeds of Eos. When it seemed to her [Athene] that Odysseus had has heart's content of both love and sleep, forthwith she roused up Eos Dawn of the broidered robe from Okeanos to bring light to mankind again.
Hesiod, Theogony trans. Homeric Hymn 3 to Hermes ff trans. Mimnermus, Fragment 12 trans. Sappho, Fragment 6 trans. Sappho, Fragment : "Golden-sandaled khrysopedillos Auos Eos. Sappho, Fragment : "Hesperos Hesperus, Evening Star , bringing everything that shining Auos Eos, Dawn scattered, you bring the sheep, you bring the goat, you bring back the child to its mother.
The Anacreontea, Fragment 35 trans. TBA trans. Greek Lyric II B. Alcman, Fragment 1 trans. Corinna, Fragment trans. Ibycus, Fragment trans. Bacchylides, Fragment 5 trans. Bacchylides, Fragment 13 : "On a dark-blossoming sea Boreas the North Wind rends men's hearts with the billows, coming face to face with them as night rises up, but ceases on the arrival of Aos Eos, Dawn who gives light to mortals and a gentle breeze levels the sea, and they belly out their sail before Notos' Notus the South Wind's breath.
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1. Viewers of Captain Planet were told to protect the earth and fight exploitation using Gaia Power. Notice the seductive blend of environmental wisdom, cultural bias, and pagan spiritism in Episode One:. She chooses five children from around the world, empowers them with magic rings that control earth , water, wind, and fire, then sends them out to battle evil Greedly.
In the final glow of victory, the valiant superhero invites his viewers to join the crusade on behalf of the earth. The power is whose? But can they? Those who try eventually discover that the occult force controls them — with devastating consequences. Do we join his crusade but reject his power source? Or do we simply turn our backs to the whole green movement? We will look at the answer to that question in following chapters. Know and discuss Key truths about God, the Creator. Basic facts and warnings about the environmental movement.
Blending Christian and pagan beliefs. Separating helpful information from spiritual deception. He is the sovereign Lord of the universe, Fountain of life and Provider for all His creatures. He is the only true source of wisdom and strength. He is our loving Father who embodies all the wise, nurturing characteristics which His opponents link to a mythical spiritual Mother Earth. The Bible shows us the consequences of worshiping the earth rather than its Maker:. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised Romans God wants his wonder-filled creation to remind us of His majesty, wisdom, and love.
It will, when we want to know Him. I remember how He showed Himself to me in Norway long ago. Charting our way through the wilderness with a compass, we sensed the marvelous order of His universe. Standing on a barren, windswept mountaintop, we reveled in the splendor of breathtaking scenery. We felt His power in the storms that blew in from the Atlantic. We knew that only a great God could make such a magnificent world. But how did we know? Years later, after immigrating to America, I found a clue.
A chain of effects and their causes must eventually trace back to an essentially infinite First Cause. The First Cause of limitless space must be infinite. The First Cause of endless time must be eternal. The First Cause of boundless energy must be omnipotent. The First Cause of infinite love must be loving. The First Cause of infinite life must be living. It made sense.
The First Cause of the universe, the Creator, is our infinite, eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, personal, holy, loving Father and King! We see His ordered and unquenchable life in a world throbbing with tenacious regeneration — even in scorched places like Yellowstone Park after the fiery summer of And boundless energy holds everything together.
With the responsibility, He also gave us the capacity to know His heart and be led by His Spirit. He wanted us to view the world through His eyes and care for it with His sensitive wisdom. But we have hoarded His gifts, wasted many of His resources, and forgotten to thank our Giver. Today we are the losers, just as Israel was a millennia ago. No small order! It calls its members Greens in appreciation for a thriving, green outdoors. Some lists even include red Greens, supposedly marxist Greens or lukewarm politicians who merely claim to be Green.
Most groups fit loosely into three categories. This includes long-standing organizations like The Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Wildlife Federation, which traditionally have emphasized land preservation rather than political action. Social Greens are politically active organizations such as Greenpeace and Earth First!
Rooted in the counterculture movement of the s, they lean toward the political left. Their agenda usually reaches far beyond ecology to rights for women and gays, nuclear disarmament, and economic redistribution based on socialist philosophies. Deep Ecology views Gaia as the divine center and source of all life. It has added a spiritual dimension to the Gaia hypothesis developed by British scientist Dr.
James Lovelock , who views the earth as a wise, self-guiding, self-sustaining organism.
But we can help her by becoming conscious of the oneness and sacredness of all of her parts. Key spokespeople are Thomas Berry, controversial Dominican priest Matthew Fox, and physicist Fritjof Capra, author of the Tao of Physics, who makes even Eastern mysticism sound scientific. The distinctions between the above categories are fading. Many Conservationists and Social Greens have recognized the motivating force of religious convictions and are embracing Deep Ecology.
Deep Ecologists and Conservationists see the need for political power to enforce their objectives. Monotheism one God separated humans from their ancient connection to the earth. The diversity of species enriches the earth. Heavenly minded Christians care little for a temporary earth. By resisting the return of earth-centered religions, Christians block the global movement toward the one-world religion needed to unify people and save the earth.