From the previous article, you already know that Demeter is the goddess of agriculture. Now, you’ll be introduced to her siblings and offspring , one of which is well known. In this article, you will also learn about the significant myth concerning Demeter and her daughter, Persephone.
Cronus and Rhea gave birth to Demeter, who has a rather infamous crop of siblings. Her brothers are Poseidon (god of the seas), Hades (ruler of the Underworld), and Zeus (King of the Gods). Hera (wife to Zeus) and Hestia (goddess of the hearth) are her sisters.
Demeter and Persephone
Out of all her offspring, Demeter had three that are mentioned in a variety of myths: Despoina, Arion, and Persephone. Out of all Demeter’s children, it is Persephone that is the most known. She was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus, and later became the Queen of the Underworld, but she was not always.
Everyone loved Persephone. She was a lovely young woman and all the men wanted her for himself. One day, as she was collecting flowers on the plain of Enna, the earth opened up and Hades came from out of the gap and kidnapped her. The only gods to have seen the act take place was Zeus and Helios , who had all-seeing qualities as the sun. Demeter’s heart was broken when she learned of her missing child and she roamed the earth , looking for her until Helios told her what happened. Demeter was so enraged and lonely, she withdrew herself from the world. Because of this, the earth suffered no fertility.
Zeus took notice of the consequences of abducting Demeter. He sent Hermes to the Underworld in hopes of convincing Hades to release Persephone. Hades agreed, but before she returned, he gave Persephone a pomegranate (or the seeds of a pomegranate). When she ate it, Persephone became bound to the Underworld forever. She had to stay for 1/3 of the year. The remaining months of the year, she could spend with her mother.
When Persephone returned to the Underworld with Hades, Demeter would not let anything grow, which is how we get to the concept of winter. This myth is told to explain how natures is budding one moment and dies the next.
Demeter’s Other Offspring
Despoina was the child that Demeter had with Poseidon , a union that took place without her consent. While Demeter was in search of Persephone, she caught the eye of Poseidon, who wanted her for himself. She tried to trick him by taking the form of a mare, but he transformed into a stallion and forced himself upon her. This is when Depoina was born and Arion , an extremely face immortal horse that some say could speak.
Another Child Connection
Plutus was the personification of wealth While Demeter is often portrayed as the mother of the child, there are some tales that state Plutus was the offspring of Hades and Persephone, as many vases show the child with the king and queen of the Underworld.