P is for Perplexed Persephone

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Dual Natures in Folktales Around the World – opposites, contradictions & paradoxes.


From Greek mythology

Persephone was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. She sometimes was known as Kore, which means “maiden.” She is often seen as naïve and distracted by picking flowers before Hades took her away.

In the Greek culture, the pomegranate was a symbol of fertility. This was also a fruit connected with Aphrodite. Yet, Hera is also linked to this fruit for marriage and childbirth. Perhaps it makes a bigger difference of why the eating of these seeds could be what Zeus determines for judgement. Hmmm.

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

While this is a familiar story to so many, I wished to honor this story that explains the change of the seasons. Warmth and cold. Spring and winter. These are dualities that we face personally as well as what we step out into each day. Yet, was the Underworld so terrible? Depending on the version you read, some say that Persephone knew what she was doing when she ate the pomegranate seeds. It was a common law that any food eaten in the Underworld meant you could not leave.

Remember, Demeter was the one who already had refused Hades for her daughter. So Hades had to come up with another way. We do not read that Persephone refused Hades. Could the Mother/Daughter be another duality?

While not of Greek origin, do you know of the Triple Goddess of the Maiden/Mother/Crone? They represent different stages of the female life. They are one and the same. Could Demeter/Persephone be a type of Double Goddess? Could we, ourselves, be both the Mother/Daughter. We can be cautious or adventurous. We can be strict or free. All at the same time.

50-word-or-less summary:

Demeter keeps men away from Persephone. Hades asks to marry her. Demeter says no. Persephone picking flowers. Taken! Demeter panics. Searching! Earth dries up. Harvests fail. Persephone eats pomegranate seeds. Cannot leave Underworld. Zeus! Number of seeds determines how many months away. Becomes winter. Persephone returning to earth brings spring.

Finding the Story: 

Story of Persephone – found here

YouTube video animation of the story from TedEx – found here

Facts about Persephone – found here

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been “dual” in our offerings of our hybrid summit & festival on May 9-12, 2022 – yes, in-person and virtual – and would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; Youth, Educators, Storytellers (YES); City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Clever Octopus; High Desert Brain Trust; and people like you.

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