Demeter By: Haley Duffie
Δημήτηρ (Dēmētēr) Demeter • The goddess of agriculture, horticulture, grain and harvest. Demeter is a daughter of Cronus and Rhea and sister of Zeus, by whom she bore Persephone. She was depicted as a mature woman, often crowned and holding sheafs of wheat and a torch. Her symbols are the Cornucopia (horn of plenty), wheat-ears, the winged serpent and the lotus staff. Her sacred animals are pigs and snakes.
Demeter • According to the Athenian rhetoricianIsocrates, Demeter's greatest gifts to humankind were agriculture, particularly of cereals, and the Mysteries which give the initiate higher hopes in this life and the afterlife. These two gifts were intimately connected in Demeter's myths and mystery cults. In Homer's Odyssey she is the blond-haired goddess who separates the chaff from the grain. In Hesiod, prayers to Zeus-Chthonios (chthonic Zeus) and Demeter help the crops grow full and strong. Demeter's emblem is the poppy, a bright red flower that grows among the barley
Demeter’s Character • Her character as mother-goddess is identified in the second element of her name meter (μήτηρ) derived from Proto-Indo-European *méh₂tēr (mother).In antiquity, different explanations were already proffered for the first element of her name
The mother of earth, Demeter • It is possible that Da (Δᾶ) (which became Attic De (Δῆ)), is the Doric form of Ge (Γῆ), "earth"; the old name of the chthonic earth-goddess and Demeter is "Mother-Earth". This root also appears in the Linear B inscription E-ne-si-da-o-ne, "earth-shaker", as an aspect of the god Poseidon. However, the dā element is not so simply equated with "earth" according to John Chadwick.
Demeter • Demeter's virgin daughter Persephone was abducted to the underworld by Hades. Demeter searched for her ceaselessly, preoccupied with her loss and her grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die
Demeter Story • Demeter was the Greek goddess of grain, the harvest, and possibly the grape and hence wine. Hades, god of the underworld, abducted her daughter Persephone. Demeter asked Zeus, a brother of Hades, to return Persephone. When Zeus refused, Demeter withheld the harvest from man until Zeus relented. He agreed to allow Persephone’s return if she had not eaten while with Hades. However, since Persephone had eaten 6 pomegranate seeds in the underworld, Zeus determined that she would spend 6 months with her mother and 6 months with Hades. This is the mythic origin of the six months of spring and summer when Persephone walks the earth with her mother and the 6 months of fall and winter when Persephone must return to the underworld. The pomegranate is still for many a potent symbol of death and renewal. The Elysian Mysteries were public celebrations of the myth of Demeter and Persephone.