As the summer is now over, and we head into fall and winter we begin to utilize all the wonderful foods/grains/herbs that we have either grown ourselves or purchased from road side farm vendors.
Today, let me tell you about the wonderful Goddess Demeter. She is the Goddess of corn, grain and of the harvest so she fits in wonderfully without Rhythms of Magic for December with the holidays just around the corner.
Demeter was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea. It was believed that Demeter made the crops grow every year, thus the first loaf of bread made from the annual harvest was offered to her. She was the Goddess of the Earth, of agriculture, and of fertility in general. Sacred to her are livestock and agricultural products, the poppy, narcissus and the crane.
Demeter was intimately associated with the seasons. She had a daughter, named Persephone who had been abducted by Hades to be his wife in the Underworld. In Demeter's anger at her daughter's loss, she laid a curse on the world that caused plants to wither and die, and the lands to become desolate. Zeus being very alarmed for the barren Earth, sought for Persephone's return. However, since she had eaten while in the Underworld, Hades had a claim upon her. Therefore, it was decreed that Persephone would spend four months each year in the Underworld and the remaining time upon the earth's surface.
During the months that Persephone would be beneath in the Underworld, Demeter would grieve terribly for her daughter for four long months every year, and in doing so would withdraw her gifts from the world, hence creating a cold, barren winter. When Persephone rose once again, her return brought the beautiful Spring that we all love and enjoy.
Demeter and her daughter were also known for founding the Eleusinian Mysteries. These huge festivals were held every five years and were very important events for many centuries. Not too much is known about them as those who were able to attend, were all sworn to secrecy.
I encourage you to research Demeter, make some wonderful bread and enjoy her gifts.
Image - Gods & Goddesses Colouring book by Rachel Patterson