Demeter greek goddess

Demeter goddess

Demeter was the goddess of Harvest who was said to take care of cultivations, corps and any agricultural activity. Rhea and Cronus were her parents and her brothers were Zeus, Hera, Poseidon and Hades. The name Demeter derives from the ancient greek phrase “mother of the earth” and she had also given her own name to the greek word for cerial which are known as “demetriaka”.

As her main concern was the earth and its products, Demeter was not interested in love affairs. She was not really keen on men yet Zeus desired her, as he used to do with almost any woman. Given that Demeter disregarded him, Zeus invented a new trick in order to decoy her. So, transformed into a bull he managed to make love with her and then Demeter gave birth to Persephone. The goddess had always been connected with her daughter since then and it was very common naming them Mother and Daughter and regarding them as unity. Demeter loved Persephone in such a degree that she treated her as if she was a princess. However, when Hades, the king of the Underworld, fell in love with Persephone, he decided to kidnap her and then he transferred her to his kingdom. This caused a great sadness to her mother who heard her daughter crying loudly once having been brought to the Underwold. Actually, Hades had deceived her by transforming himself to a flower known as narcissus. Persephone, impressed by its beauty picked it up and the Poseidon emerged from the Underworld, riding his chariot.

Demeter could hear the screams of her daughter but she didn’t know where she could find her. Wandering from one place to the other and having searched at any single corner on the earth and in the sea, Demeter was finally hopeless. After ten days, Demeter was informed by the god Helios (Sun) who can see everything that happens on earth, that Persephone had been kidnapped by Hades. Demeter knew that this had happened after Zeus’s approval so, depressed by the king’s behavior and the betray of her brothers, Demeter left Olympus mountain and seized protecting the cultivations. She was moving from one place to the other dressed in black clothes and getting sadder and sadder. Exhausted by her sorrow and her wandering, Demeter resorted to Eleusis town where, pretending to be a woman from Crete, she was hired by Keleos in order to take on the raising of his son, Demophon. Demeter tried to turn Demophon to an immortal man. However, she had to use strange methods in order to achieve such a goal and when the child’s mother, Mataneira, noticed those methods she revealed the purposes of Demeter. The goddess could not anymore make Demophon immortal and then she decided that the child would not become immortal yet he would be glorified by the mortals.

In the meanwhile, as Demeter had neglected the cultivations due to her enormous sorrow the harvest was amazingly poor. Then, Zeus had to intervene in order to prevent people from starving. Iris was sent by him to Demeter in order to ask her return to her duties and then the goddess asked Zeus to compensate her return with her daughter return as well. So, Zeus had no choice but send Hermes to the Underworld in order to transfer Hades the message that Persephone had to come back to her mother. Hades had no choice but to free Persephone who had already been forced to get married to him. So, Hermes was allowed to carry him to the earth yet Hades had provided her secretly with a seed that would not let her stay on the earth endlessly. Consequently, Persephone was made to stay half a year with her mother and the next half of the year with her husband in the Underworld. According to the legend, when Persephone met with Demeter and the period during which they were together started, then the earth was bloomed and fertile, it was the spring time. On the contrary, when Persephone went to Hades, then Demeter’s sorrow turned the earth naked of plants and flowers and it was the winter time.