Persephone's Pomegranate

Photo by  Ben Dearnley

Photo by Ben Dearnley

Persephone, Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld, was known to the Romans as Proserpina. They held an annual flower festival for her in Sicily, which they called Anthesphoria. Her name was derived from the Greek works for "flower" and "I carry". This was in reference to when Persephone was stolen away by Pluto (to the Romans)/ Hades (to the Greeks) when she was gathering flowers in the fields.

Persephone's tale is also a powerful inquiry of her mother, Demeter. The two of them are connected in rhythm—Demeter is associated with the mature plants and fall harvest, while Persephone is associated with innocence, new growth, and spring. In Roman myths, Demeter is akin to Ceres. These goddesses are mystical and divine. They are the maiden and the matron. Rising and setting.

The story of the abduction of Persephone was likely adapted from an ancient Sumerian story of Ereshkigal, the ancient Sumerian goddess of the Underworld. She was abducted by Kur, the primeval dragon of Sumerian mythology, and forced to become ruler of the Underworld against her own will. We see this figure through today, to Little Red Riding Hood—taken by the Big Bad Wolf, Hades. In the oldest stories of Little Red, it was "seeing the wolf" that got her, and in 17th Century France, that phrase was slang for losing your virginity. So you see, this is not a very large metaphorical gap to jump.

Info from: Wikipedia, Feast and Phrase, and