Persephone, the lovely goddess of springtime, was the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, and Zeus, the father of all gods. The beauty of Persephone was known far and wide, and many a man and god desired her.
One day Persephone and her mother were wandering over the plains of Enne, and Hades took notice of her from his kingdom in the Underworld. He was so taken with her beauty, that he opened up the ground and took her as Demeter looked the other way.
Hades greatly loved Persephone, and promised that if she would be his wife he would do everything he could to make her happy, but Persephone was heartbroken to be taken from her mother, and refused his advances.
Demeter was also heartbroken at the lost of her daughter. She searched far and wide, and became more miserable with each passing day. After a while, the plants of the earth began to wither as Demeter’s heart withered. Zeus, concerned for Demeter, but more so for the condition of the planet, told Demeter that Persephone was in the Underworld, and he made arrangements for Hades to return her.
Hades, hearing of this news, became very miserable himself, as he was quite in love with the beautiful young goddess. But he did not see how he could go against the wishes of Zeus. But then he had a plan….
He knew that Persephone was refusing to eat, so he had sent to her a beautiful, ripe, pomegranate. Persephone, seeing the beautiful piece of fruit, thought surely he would never notice if she ate only six of the tiny seeds, and she was quite hungry after all.
Hades, meanwhile, sent word to Zeus, that he would comply… however, she had eaten some pomegranate, and he felt that this should bind her to him in the Underworld. Zeus, knowing that she’d only eaten six seeds, deemed that she should spend six months of the year with Hades, and the other six months she would be free to be with her mother.
So, when Persephone is in the Underworld with Hades, Demeter’s sadness spreads upon the earth, and the earth ceases to be fruitful. The winds are cold and harsh, the land dry and dead. But when Persephone returns to Demeter, the land is lush and fruitful. The laughter and joy of the goddesses fills the air, and the land is ripe and filled with plenty.