Persephone's Pomegranate

The Greek goddess, Persephone, was the child of Demeter, the goddess of earth’s fertility and harvest, and Zeus, the king of all the Olympians. Demeter and her daughter lived in a world where it was always summer.

One day while she was out with her nymph friends, Persephone felt a trembling beneath her feet and the earth suddenly opened up. Out of the deep, Hades God of the underworld emerged.

He desperately wanted her to be his Queen of the Underworld. So, he had approached Zeus asking for permission to take Persephone as his Queen. With little concern for how Demeter would respond to such a request, Zeus agreed and Hades was given consent. He snatched Persephone and took her back into the earth with him.

Demeter searched everywhere, but she could not find her daughter. Her grief was so great that the earth began to grow cold and all the green things died. There was no food, and a terrible hunger came to the people.

In the underworld, meanwhile, Persephone came to see that Hades wasn’t as scary as she first thought. He had been so lonely in the underworld, he told her of his longing to keep her there with him.

Zeus finally told Demeter about Persephone’s marriage to Hades in the Underworld. Demeter demanded Zeus to return Persephone to her care. Hades sadly hitched his horses to his chariot and prepared to take Persephone back. But before they left, he offered Persephone one last thing to eat – a ripe, blood-red pomegranate. This was, however, a cunning move by Hades. All the Olympians knew that if anyone ate or drank anything in the Underworld they would be destined to remain there for eternity, as the Fates had cautioned.  Persephone took six seeds and ate them.

They went back above ground and Persephone was reunited with her mother. The earth again grew rich with flowers and the sun shone once more.

But, because Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds, it was decided that for six months of each year, she must return to the underworld with Hades and winter would come to the world. In spring she would once again return to her mother, allowing the earth to bloom.

Thus, according to Greek mythology, the seasons were created – the autumn and winter months were when Persephone sat on the throne of the Underworld beside Hades, and the spring and summer months were when Persephone was reunited with her dear mother, Demeter.