Demeter Goddess Of Grain And The Harvest  

Posted by Stella Clark

Demeter Goddess Of Grain And The Harvest Image
"DEMETER" WAS THE GODDESS OF GRAIN AND THE HARVEST, AND AS SUCH ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DEITIES IN THE GREEK PANTHEON. HER NAME MEANS "BARLEY" OR "GRAIN MOTHER". IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY THE GODDESS SHE WAS ONE OF THE ORIGINAL OLYMPIANS AND A SISTER OF "ZEUS." ACCORDING TO THE TIMELESS MYTH OF CYCLICAL DEATH AND REBIRTH, IT IS BECAUSE "DEMETER" GRIEVES FOR THE LOSS OF HER DAUGHTER "PERSEPHONE" THAT WE HAVE tHE SEASONS OF "AUTUMN" AND "WINTER.

"PERSEPHONE WAS A BEAUTIFUL, HAPPY GIRL WHO "DEMETER" LOVED SO MUCH THAT SHE TOOK HER ALONG WHENEVER SHE TENDED HER GRAIN FIELDS. ONE DAY, WHILE "DEMETER" TENDS HER FIELDS, "PERSEPHONE" WHO HAS BEEN FROLICKING WITH HER FRIENDS, STRAYS FROM THE EVER WATCHFUL EYE OF HER MOTHER. AND, AS SHE STOPS TO PICK A PARTICULARLY LOVELY "NARCISSUS," SHE IS KIDNAPPED BY THE COLD RULER OF THE "UNDERWORLD, HADES."

"Demeter "searched in vain for Her lost daughter and feared that She would never see Her beloved "Persephone" again, and as She mourned, She WITHDREW HER TOUCH FROM THE LAND AND THE WORLD BECAME BARREN AS THE PLANTS WITHERED AND DIED. THEN, IN THE GUISE OF A "CRONE, DEMETER "ARRIVED IN THE CITY OF "ATTICA", IN "ELEUSIS" WHERE SHE WAS WELCOMED BY THE "KING" AND BECAME THE NURSE OF HIS TWO YOUNG SONS. IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE ONE OF THEM IMMORTAL, "DEMETER" BEGAN TO HOLD THE CHILD OVER A SACRED FLAME EACH NIGHT. THE "QUEEN" DISCOVERED HER IN THE ACT, AND, NOT KNOWING THAT SHE WAS A GODDESS, BROKE THE SPELL WITH A CRY OF HORROR. IT WAS THEN THAT "DEMETER "REVEALED HERSELF AND COMMANDED THAT A TEMPLE BE BUILT IN HER HONOR. AND IT WAS IN THE TEMPLE OF "ELEUSIS" THAT "DEMETER" SECLUDED HERSELF FROM THE WORLD.

ON" EARTH", THE PEOPLE WERE DYING FROM LACK OF FOOD AND THE GODS BEGGED DEMETER TO RECONSIDER. FINALLY, "TRIPTOLEMOS", ONE OF THE SONS OF THE KING WENT TO "DEMETER" AND RELATED TO HER A STRANGE THING HE HAD HEARD. IT SEEMS THAT, ON THE DAY OF" PERSEPHONE'S" DISAPPEARANCE, HE HAD BEEN TENDING TO A FLOCK OF SHEEP AND HAD WITNESSED THE GROUND AS IT OPENED UP AND "HADES "HIMSELF HAD APPEARED. THEN HE HEARD A YOUNG GIRL SCREAM, AND "HADES" DISAPPEARED AGAIN, THE GROUND CLOSING UP BEHIND HIM. "DEMETER "IMMEDIATELY KNEW WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO HER DAUGHTER, AND ENRAGED, WENT TO" ZEUS" AND DEMANDED "PERSEPHONE'S "RETURN.

IT WAS THEN THAT "DEMETER "LEARNED THAT "PERSEPHONE" HAD TASTED THE FRUIT OF THE DEAD, THE POMEGRANATE SEED, AND WOULD BE REQUIRED TO REMAIN IN THE "UNDERWORLD. "BUT, RATHER THAN HAVE THE MORTALS SUFFER," ZEUS" CAME UP WITH A COMPROMISE TO THE SITUATION - "PERSEPHONE" WOULD RETURN TO HER DARK PLACE UNDER THE EARTH FOR ONE THIRD OF THE YEAR, AND THE REST OF THE TIME SHE WOULD SPEND WITH "DEMETER."

AND SO IT IS THAT EACH "AUTUMN, "WHEN "PERSEPHONE" RETURNED TO THE "UNDERWORLD", AND "DEMETER" MOURNS HER ABSENCE. BUT, JUST AS A SEED PLANTED IN THE EARTH, "PERSEPHONE "BURSTS FORTH IN THE "SPRING", AND THE WORLD THRIVES ONCE AGAIN.

THE LARGEST CELEBRATION TO HONOR "DEMETER" WAS "THESMOPHORIA," WHCIH WAS HELD EACH "AUTUMN "IN ATHENS AND A FEW OTHER CITIES, JUST BEFORE THE SOWING SEASON. ITS MYSTERIES WERE FORBIDDEN TO MEN AND WAS LARGELY RESTRICTED TO MARRIED CITIZEN WOMEN, AND FOR AS LONG AS THE CELEBRATION LASTED, THE WOMEN HAD TO MAINTAIN SEXUAL ABSTINENCE. FOR THE WOMEN, IT WAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET AWAY FROM THEIR DOMESTIC DUTIES...EVEN IF ONLY FOR JUST A SHORT TIME.

"WISHING YOU AND YOURS BLESSINGS ON THIS SPECIAL DAY."

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This entry was posted on 12 April 2011 at Tuesday, April 12, 2011 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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