In the famous Greek legend, Persephone was the sweet daughter of the god Zeus and Demeter, the goddess of harvest and fertility. Persephone grew into a beautiful maiden and attracted the attention of many gods. But her Mother, obsessed with love for her only daughter, kept all men away. Hades, brother to Zeus and the god of the Underworld was a hard, middle-aged man, who lived in the dark among the shadows of the Dead but the fair Persephone had stolen his heart. Demeter was furious when she learned of Hades proposition for marriage to Persephone. But Hades was determined. He tricked the young girl with the most enchanting narcissus she had ever seen as she was playing and picking flowers with her friends. As she stooped down to pick the incredible flower, the earth opened and through the gap Hades emerged in his chariot drawn by his black horses. He grabbed the lovely Persephone and quickly descended into his underworld kingdom, without notice, as the gap in the earth swiftly closed behind them. Though Demeter screamed and fought and cried continuously, no one knew of her fate, except one witness, Zeus.
A desperate and distraught Demeter wandered the earth looking for her daughter taking a long and indefinite leave from her duties as the goddess of harvest and fertility. The earth began to dry-up, harvests began to fail, plants lost their fruitfulness, people and animals of earth were living in untold misery as Demeter’s wrath threatened all humanity. Zeus knew he had to find a solution to both calm Demeter and please Hades. He promised Demeter the return of Persephone if she was in truth being held against her will by Hades. If not, Persephone would remain with Hades as the Queen of the Underworld. Demeter agreed to the terms.
Zeus knew this fight must end and decided Persephone would spend half of the year with her husband in Hades and half with her mother on Olympus. Though neither Demeter nor Hades was happy with this alternative they nevertheless had no other option. During the six months that Persephone would spend in the Underworld, her mother was sad and not in the mood for harvest, leaving the Earth to decline. According to the ancient Greeks, this period was the months of autumn and winter. When Persephone went to Olympus to live with her mother, Demeter would shine from happiness and the land would become fertile and fruitful again, thus the months of spring and summer.
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