Destroyer of Light 10 Picture

As goddess of grain and agriculture, Demeter was more concerned with the fertility of the field than of the body. Festivals and rites held in the honour of Demeter and Persephone was to ensure agricultural fertility, but women's cycles of reproduction mirrored those of the fields and when they celebrated and carried out these rites, it was probably to promote their own fertility as well. Men were strictly excluded from these rites (that's why we don't know so much about them).

There is a passage in the Iliad where Phoenix tells Achilles how he was cursed with sterility by his father for sleeping with his young lover. His father then turned to the Underworld powers: ..."and my father when he heard of it straightway called down his curses, and invoked against me the dreaded Erinyes that I might never have any son born of my seed to dandle on my knees; and the divinities, Zeus Khthonios (Hades) and Persephone the honoured goddess, accomplished his curses."
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