Persephone: A Deep Dive into the Goddess of Spring and The Underworld.

September 14, 2023

Persephone is closely associated with pomegranates from Greek mythology.

Persephone: A Deep Dive into the Goddess of Spring and The Underworld. 

As the seasons start changing again, you may look for ways to honor the earth’s cycle. During this time of year, many look to Persephone to lead us into the dark half of the year. Persephone’s story is one many are familiar with, and in this blog, we will explore ways to incorporate this powerful goddess into your pagan practice.

Persephone in Greek Mythology

Persephone is the daughter of Demeter, the Greek goddess of grain, agriculture, and bread. Demeter is responsible for sustaining the human race through facilitating the earth’s rich bounty. The two Goddesses together represent agriculture and the earth's continuous cycles. 

Persephone’s story begins playing in a meadow with her nymph friends. She gets kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld to be his bride. Demeter, accompanied by Hecate, searches desparingly for her daughter. When she discovers that Zeus was an accomplice in her kidnapping, Demeter refuses to let the earth produce food until her daughter is returned. Zeus concedes and Persephone is brought back to earth and reunited with Demeter. 

However, Persephone had already eaten the fruit of the Underworld, a handful of pomegranate seeds, and therefore was bound to return to the underworld annually for 6 months. This story is where we get Persephone’s connection with the pomegranate, a fruit associated with growth, fertility, and the life and death cycle. 

Many believe that Persephone returns to the underworld on the autumn equinox every year, and Demeter despairs at her absence until they are reunited in the spring. This annual ritual of separation and reconvening is what makes the seasons change.

Worshiping the Goddess of Spring

The ancient Greeks formed an agricultural-based cult dedicated to Demeter and Persephone, and they performed annual rites they called The Greater Mysteries at Eleusis. The rites included a ritual bath in the sea, three days of fasting, and a “central rite” which even to this day is a secret lost in time. Those who undertook the Greater Mysteries were promised a blessed afterlife. 

In ancient art, Persephone is usually depicted next to her mother, while other works show Hades and Persephone enthroned in the Underworld. Today, Persephone represents transitions and change. She also embodies duality as Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld. Her ascension to Earth signals the start of a new life cycle, yet she holds substantial power over the dead. You may feel called to work with Persephone if you are trying to get in touch with your shadow side, or are going through changes in your life. 

In general, working with Persephone is a great way to connect with the Earth as we transition into the colder, barren months. You might try a ritual bath at home, as the ancient Greeks did, or perform an offering to Persephone. Some common offerings would include flowers, especially asphodel, weeping willow, grains, and of course, pomegranates and pomegranate-derived ingredients. 

Planning your ritual with these themes and ingredients in mind will help you form a closer bond with Persephone. Luckily, our shop has all the tools you need to get started. Our handmade Persephone Offering & Spell Kit comes with an herbal blend, magickal oil, incense, a candle, and more suggestions for rituals and spells. You can find this and more tools in our online store, or you can stop by our shop in Asheville and talk to a member of our team for more guidance.