myth: ceres & persephone. notes: ceres & persephone characters: ceres – persephone – pluto –...

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Myth: Ceres & Persephone

Myth: Ceres & PersephoneNotes: Ceres & PersephoneCharacters:Ceres Persephone Pluto Helios - Jupiter Mercury

Ceres, goddess of the harvest, spent much of her time on earth, happily tending its fields and plants. She was often accompanied by her daughter, Persephone, who was as pretty as a rosebud and as gentile as a violet

One day while they were visiting earth, Persephone wandered off to pick some flowers for her mother. Suddenly the ground split open near her feet. Out came a chariot pulled by snorting black horses and driven by Pluto, god of the underworld and ruler of the dead. He snatched the terrified girl and carried her down through the earth to his lonely kingdom

Let me go! cried Persephone angrily. Return me to my mother!Never, replied Pluto. You will be my queen and bring cheer to my gloomy palace.

Up on earth, Ceres had heard her daughters desperate cries. She searched frantically for Persephone everywhere. But the ground had closed up, and no sign of the girl remained. Overcome with worry, Ceres called out to the god of the sun. You see everything, Helios. Tell me what has become of my daughter.

She was stolen by Pluto to become queen of the underworld, answered Helios.

When she heard this, Ceres heart filled with grief. She lost all interest in earths fields and plants. Crops withered, trees dropped their leaves, and seeds no longer sprouted. In time, there was little to eat and people began to starve. Jupiter, the powerful king of the gods, begged Ceres to get back to her duties. I will do nothing until my daughter is returned to me, the goddess declared.

Jupiter realized that he had to take action. I will send my son Mercury. Hell bring Persephone back to you, but only if she has eaten no foods of the underworld.

Persephone danced about joyously when she learned why Mercury had come to Plutos dark palace. Pluto, on the other hand, was very upset. Hoping to prevent his pretty queen form leaving, he placed some juicy red pomegranate seeds in the palm of her hand. Youve been too sad to eat anything, he said. Before you go, you must try this delicious fruit. Eager to go and ever so hungry, Persephone quickly ate a few of the sweet seeds

Mercury wondered what he should do. He called upon Jupiter to decide whether the girl had to remain in the underworld. Persephone may return to her mother, Jupiter ruled. But each year she must spend time in Plutos palace one month for each seed that she ate.And that is why the earth becomes cold and barren every winter. Persephone is with Pluto, and Ceres longs for her daughter. But every spring, when Persephone returns to her, Ceres is thankful. The earth becomes green and blossoms once again with flowers.