Myths are not stories that are untrue; rather they are tales that don t fit neatly into the historical record, which serve as a foundation to a culture.
Across the globe crops wither, and die. Farmers pray for rain, but not a drop falls they plant new seeds, but the infertile earth still yields nothing. The human race is on the brink of extinction, why is this happening? The humans beg the gods for answers, for help, for just a grain of wheat, or a drop of water, but help does not arrive. for even the gods cannot stall the wrath of Demeter, the goddess of the harvest herself has dried up all of the rivers, and sucked the life out of every field, and she cares not for the humans cries, she only cares about one thing finding her lost child and she will not end this suffering until she is with Persephone once more.
from the moment of Persephone’s birth, she was the apple of Demeter’s eye, in fact Demeter loved her daughter so much, she wanted to keep her all to herself in the safety of mount Olympus, but as Persephone grew up she wanted to see the world that she, and her mother made possible i mean how could she be the goddess of vegetation if she d never even seen a vegetable, after much pleading with her protective mama god, she was finally allowed a trip to the human world, but while she played innocently in the light of perpetual summer Hades, god of the underworld, caught a glimpse of her and fell instantly in love but instead of going up to Persephone like a regular god person, and asking if she d like to grab a cup of ambrosia sometime, Hades made the more traditional extreme god move of going straight to Persephone’s father Zeus, ruler of all the gods and asking him permission to marry his own niece.
Anyway, Zeus knew that Demeter would not give her daughter up, so that meant that asking politely was off the table, though if we’re being honest that wasn’t really these guys style anyway, so instead a scheme it was one day Demeter left Persephone to play with the freshwater nymphs, and while splashing around with her friends Persephone noticed a beautiful flower just beyond the riverbank, it seemed to call to her and soon she found herself racing towards it once it lay at her feet she reached her hand forward, and plucked it from the earth for a moment she beamed at her beautiful find, but then she saw a hole in the earth where the flower had been growing bigger, and bigger, and bigger, until it turned into a gaping chasm in the earth and through it emerged the black chariot of Hades, Persephone tried to run, but it was too late the nymphs herder cries but had no power outside their watery habitat, and in the blink of an eye Persephone was gone.
Demeter then returned, but her daughter was nowhere to be found she went to the nymphs, and demanded that she tell them where she went, but they did not know furious and heartbroken Demeter cursed the nymphs who failed to protect her daughter forever they would roam the earth half bird half woman singing songs to cause the death of any man who passed, and thus the sirens were created, but that was just the beginning of Demeter’s wrathful grief, she wailed and wandered the earth for nine straight days asking all after Persephone’s fate she would not eat, or drink, or bathe. Finally, Helius the sun god told Demeter that Persephone had been taken to the underworld by Hades, with the blessing of Zeus.
Demeter was livid at Zeus s betrayal, but now knowing who was to blame she knew exactly how to strike back, because you see it was well known that Zeus had quite a fondness for his humans, so Demeter created a great drought that plagued the entire planet, and with the future of his precious humans in peril he would have no choice, but to reunite her with her daughter in order to save them Zeus noticed this global ruckus pretty quickly and set out to persuade Demeter to bring life back to the earth once more he failed, and then sent the other gods to give it a try. First, iris goddess of the rainbow, Then, Poseidon god of the sea, Athena god of wisdom, Hephaestus god of fire, Hecate goddess of magic, and even Dionysus god of wine. they offered her gifts, they offered her new dominions to rule over, but Demeter was determined only her daughter s return would end her rage, for the thoughts of what Hades could be doing to her daughter entrapped her mind.
as it turned out, he was mostly showering her with gifts trying to buy her happiness, he even made Persephone queen of the underworld, making her his equal, but she really couldn’t get past you know that one time where he kidnapped her, and took her from everyone she loved. Then, one day Hermes the messenger of the gods arrived to the underworld was he there to be the very first person to ask what Persephone wanted in all of this? No. but, he did have orders from Zeus to return her to her mother, because Zeus had given up trying to persuade Demeter, and wanted to end the blight on the earth right quick, Persephone could not wait to be freed from the underworld, but Hades had one more trick up his sleeve, just before she left he gave her some pomegranate seeds to eat. But, he knew that her eating it would force her in time to return to him, then he waved goodbye and waited.
The unsuspecting Persephone joyfully reunited with her mother, they hugged, cried celebrated, and hugged some more. As they did, the drought that had plagued the earth finally lifted, the humans threw feasts, and celebrated this miracle, as they watched their first sunset together since the separation Demeter was suddenly grabbed by a troubling thought. Oh, no! Tell me daughter, you didn’t happen to eat anything while with Hades, did you? Persephone jolted with realization then hung her head in sorrow, even though she only ate the tiny pomegranate seeds, she was now forever bound to the underworld, and would be forced to return as all who eat the food of the dead must. Demeter once again rushed to Zeus to appeal this law, and not wanting another global catastrophe on his hands, he issued a compromise, Persephone would spend half of the year with her mother on earth and Olympus, and the other half in the underworld as Hades queen, Demeter accepted the compromise, and i Persephone did too. And, whenever Persephone goes to the underworld the days on earth become shorter, the harvest season ends, and the air becomes colder while her return brings blooming flowers, warmer days, and bountiful harvests. And so, to this day, it is said that due to Persephone’s journey, between her two homes we now have the four seasons.