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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Truth about Persephone

RELIGION - In Greek mythology Persephone is the goddess of fertility, death and rebirth. Its a bizarre set of ethos for a goddess to have.

Persephone is the daugher of Zeus (God of Space and Time) and Demeter (Goddess of Agriculture / Plants). Persephone is also the lover of Hades (God of the Underworld and her uncle...?) and often associated with seeds and spring.

The central story of Persephone is that she was abducted by Hades who had become smitten with her and carried her off to the Underworld via a chasm in the earth. Demeter chased after them and shouted to Persephone to warn her not to eat any food while in the Underworld.

While in the Underworld however Persephone became so hungry she ate a pomegranate seed (note: pomegranate juice looks like blood, another fertility symbol). Following this event Demeter caused a great drought to convince Zeus to bring back Persephone. Demeter and Hades then had an argument and it was eventually agreed that Persephone would spend half the year with her mother and the other half of the year with Hades.

Thus the seasons were created, wherein Persephone spends time with her mother during Spring and Summer and everything dies during the Autumn and Winter.

Amongst the Romans she was known as Proserpina. There are a number of artistic and literary references to Persephone.

As a goddess Persephone isn't much of a feminist symbol. She is more of a victim than anything else. The true heroine of the story is Demeter, who causes a big fuss and eventually convinces Zeus (King of the Gods) to go to the Underworld and release Persephone.

Now causing a big fuss may seem annoying to some people, but it is an effective tactic of persuasion when it comes to all forms of activism. How can someone be a true activist unless they cause a big fuss and are truly annoying about it?

So the lesson learned my fellow feminists is to get out there and bang those drums, become an amateur publicist, send out news releases, network with other feminists... that is how you get stuff done!




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