Though her story is filled with both highs and lows, Persephone is powerful Grecian Goddess who symbolizes fertility and rules over the Underworld. In Grecian myth, the underworld is held in high regard. It is believed to be where all souls spend eternity after physical death. Persephone spends some of her time holding dominion over this realm alongside her husband and captor, Hades. During the remainder of the year, she sees that the Earth’s seasons, harvests, and crops are all in working order.
Persephone is also credited with the creation of the Earth’s four seasons and remains well-known for her strength in the face of hardship. Though Persephone’s story is not all about her infamous kidnapping, it is important to be familiar with her origins to truly understand her power and reach.
Daughter of Zeus and Demeter, Persephone was well-known for her striking appearance. As the Goddess of Fertility, Persephone embodied beauty and could easily attract anyone she wanted to. She spent much of her time outdoors, fostering the growth of plants, trees, and flowers.
One day, while wondering the fields of the Nysian meadow with her maidens, she became entranced by the fragrance of the narcissus flower. She separated from the group to observe and collect these flowers, but as she kneeled down to harvest them, the ground opened up from underneath her.
Out from the ground came Hades in a golden chariot being pulled by four horses, who then snatched Persephone and brought her to the Underworld to be his wife. When Demeter caught wind of what happened, she became distraught. As the Goddess of Agriculture, Demeter abandoned her post in the midst of her grief, leaving the Earth barren and thousands of people dying from famine.
Zeus observed Demeter’s plight and the impact on the mortals and decided to send his messenger, Hermes, to the Underworld to retrieve Persephone. Hermes was able to recover Persephone and bring her back to Mount Olympus where mother and daughter were reunited once more.
However, during her time in the Underworld, Hades had tricked Persephone into eating a pomegranate seed – dooming her to spend eternity in the Underworld with him. It was not long before she was sent back to the Underworld, where she spends one-third of her year. As a compromise, Zeus and Hades agreed to allow Persephone to spend two-thirds of the year with her mother on Mount Olympus.
The Earth’s Seasons
Persephone is attributed with the origin of the Earth’s seasons as we know them. As Persephone spent one-third of her year in the Underworld, her grief manifested on the Earth as a cold and dark time period. This time of the year would come to be known as Winter.
The remainder of the year, as crops and plants thrive, is when Persephone is said to be back on Mount Olympus adhering to her duties as the Goddess of Fertility. This would make up the Spring, Summer, and early Fall seasons.
Persephone and the Underworld
As Persephone sits on her throne in the Underworld, she maintained a great deal of power. Regardless of the circumstances by which she remained chained to this realm, she had taken control of her new dominion and exercises her rights as Queen.
It has been said that she has full control over the decisions made about mortals and the Underworld. When mortals enter the Underworld, Persephone has sole authority and oversight over what happens to them. If they are requesting her help, looking to resurrect someone, or reunite with a lost soul, Persephone wields the power to make the final decision.
Calling Upon Persephone’s Strength
Persephone’s fortitude and perseverance during a time of great upheaval is something to marvel at. Despite her circumstances, Persephone pressed on and was able to acquire power and influence in the Underworld. All the while, she is also able to carryout her Earthly duties.
This kind of acceptance and persistence can be a powerful catalyst for strength in your own life. If you are experiencing hardships that are outside of your control, call upon Persephone and ask for her strength to help guide you. When others try to manipulate you, Persephone will intervene and expose the truth of their actions. She has a forceful energy that seeks to guide mortals towards their own inner-strength and aptitude for acceptance.
When looking to harness the power of Persephone for your own life, consider incorporating her symbols into your altar or wearing them as jewelry. Her symbols are as follows:
- Pomegranate: Symbolizes the barrier between the Underworld and the Earth; Represents the veil between life and death.
- Grains: As the Goddess of Fertility, she inspires the growth of crops and grains.
- Flowers: Represents Persephone’s closeness to beauty and nature.
- Torch: Symbolizes Persephone’s eternal vigilance after having been taken to the Underworld; Is said to light her path whilst in the Underworld.
Bringing her symbols into your life will spark a connect between your energies. You may feel empowered by Persephone to persevere through challenges and hardships with an endurance you’ve never encountered before. She may also help expose any toxicity in friendships, family, and loved ones close to you. Keep your eyes and ears open!
Persephone the Goddess
While her capture by Hades takes up a great deal of space in her story, it is important to remember that she does not let this misfortune define her power. She reclaimed her agency in the Underworld by making space for her to wield her own rulings and see to important mortal matters. Furthermore, she was the catalyst for Earth’s seasons and saw that the natural rhythm of the world was conducive for plant growth and life to prosper.
If you are facing your own turmoil, especially challenges that are out of your control, consider calling upon Persephone for a boost of strength. Her willingness to create the best situation for herself amidst a less than ideal scenario is admirable and something many of us can afford to learn from.