Blessed Samhain everyone!
On this Samhain day, I’d like to share with you a re-telling of the Persephone myth that I wrote for our local group’s ritual.
The Story of Persephone
Once upon a time, when the world was still young, the Harvest Goddess had a daughter, Persephone. The young woman was enamored of beautiful flowers and would often wander off to see what she could find. One day, Persephone found a particularly beautiful flower and was enamored by it’s beauty. While she was admiring the flower, a dark chariot rose up out of the ground and it’s rider reached out and grabbed Persephone around the waist. Against her will Persephone was wisked away to the Underworld.
For many months, Persephone stayed with Hades in the Underworld, pining for the Sun and land again. Again and again, Hades offered Persephone food and drink, but she refused, knowing that eating or drinking would trap her in the Underworld. Eventually, she got so hungry that she had to eat. One, single Pomegranate seed was all she ate, but it was enough.
As time passed in the Underworld, Persephone began to realize that not everything was dark and gloomy there. She began to see the beauty in the greys, both within the Underworld and within herself. All the while, Demeter walked the land searching for her daughter. As she searched, Demeter would let no grain or crop to grow.
Zeus, the king of the Gods, saw what was happening to the earth and sent Hermes to convince Hades to release fair Persephone. Hermes spoke softly to Hades and the god of the Underworld agreed.
Because she had eaten fruit in the underworld, Persephone could never fully return to the land. Zeus saw the problem and decreed that Persephone shall live for two thirds of the year with her mother and the land, and one third of the year under the earth with Hades.
On this Samhain night, Persephone returns to the underworld to take her place as it’s Queen.