GREEK GODDESS DEMETER
Posted by Eloise Graham-Kyriakou on October 15, 2014
Demeter is the Greek Goddess of the Harvest. Since it is the month of October, we believe it is only right to celebrate her and the bounty which is harvested. Demeter is the goddess of the harvest and the fertility of the Earth. She also presided over the Sacred law and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter, Persephone, were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Demeter's greatest gifts to humankind were that of agriculture, especially, grains and cereals and the mysteries which give the higher hopes of a life after death. In Homer's Odyssey, she is the blonde-haired goddess who separates the chaff from the grain. In Hesiod, prayers to Zeus and Demeter help the crops grow full and strong. Her emblem is the poppy. A bright red flower that grows among the barley.
There is a myth that Demeter's virgin daughter Persephone was abducted to the underworld by Hades. Demeter searched for her ceaselessly, preoccupied by her loss and her grief. The seasons halted, all living things ceased their growth and eventually, began to die. Faced with the extinction of all living things on Earth, Zeus sent his messenger, Hermes, to the underworld to bring Persephone back. Hades agreed to release but gave her a pomegranate as a parting gift. When she ate the juicy red seeds of the pomegranate, she was bound to him for one/third of the year. Either the dry Mediterranean summer, when plant life is threatened by drought or the autumn and winter. Persephone's time in the underworld corresponds with the fruitless seasons of the year, her return to the upper world brings about spring, a time for planting and cultivating crops. A time when fruit trees blossom and green returns to the flora of the world. It is thought that Demeter's daughter Persephone is the younger version of Demeter. Although she is her daughter, she is blessed with the same powers as her mother and the two, when written about, are often found together.
Demeter had another daughter named Despoina. Despoina's father was Poseidon, the god of the rivers of the the underworld.
Demeter as mare-goddess was pursued by Poseidon, and hid from him among the horses of King Demeter as mare-goddess was pursued by Poseidon, and hid from him among the horses of King Onkios, but could not conceal her divinity. In the form of a stallion, Poseidon caught and covered her. Demeter was furious (erinys) at Poseidon's assault; in this furious form, she is known as Demeter Erinys. But she washed away her anger in the River Ladon, becoming Demeter Lousia, the "bathed Demeter". "In her alliance with Poseidon, she was Earth, who bears plants and beasts, and could therefore assume the shape of an ear of grain or a mare." She bore a daughter Despoina and a horse named Arion, with a black mane and tail. -karl kereyni, one of the founders of the Modern Studies of Greek Mythology.
This clay pot depicts Demeter with Persephone. Take a little time this month to witness the awesomeness of the harvest and the blessings that are given to us each day. The farmers, working hard day in and day out, with Meraki. Caring for the harvest for all to enjoy. What is your favorite part of the fall and October? What is your favorite food that gets harvested in the fall?