Saturday, April 30, 2011
Persephone in the Yard
That display is Persephone returning from Hades, the Lord (and place) of the Underworld, to be reunited with her mother Demeter. It is the return of spring, leading to new growth and eventually harvest, at which time Persephone must return to Hades. It is one myth of the origin of the seasons.
This is only one of the Greek myths involving Persephone/Kore/Proserpine. Like most myths, even from one geographical area, there are differences, adaptations, and blendings of traditions, as one age or religion gives way to another. The artistic license of many singers/poets creates another layer of details.
Add to that all the people, places, cultures, religions, and storytelling traditions from "everywhen" and everywhere, and a simple desire to know which was first and original quickly becomes insurmountable. As I learned more, it all happily became richer, deeper, more complex, and entirely more interesting.
Still, I have my personal favourites, and every spring when that wonderful purple signals Persephone's yearly return from the underworld, I know this is mine for the origin of seasons.