Persephone Picture

It is a bright and beautiful day. Persephone, daughter of Zeus, Lord of the Sky and Demeter, Goddess of the Earth and growing things, wanders in blissful abandon through the countryside. Being a daughter of gods, she has not a care in the world. Protected by her mother, she knows only innocence.

It is her healthy, natural beauty and her innocence that attracts the dread Hades, reclusive King of the Underworld, Lord of the Dead. Lonely to the point of despair, he resolves that he must possess her.

His lure is a flower, beautiful and unique. He sets it in a field where Persephone is want to come, and when she spies it, she is so delighted that she picks it. In that moment of her innocent desire, the ground opens and the dark god bursts forth in his iron chariot drawn by black steeds. He captures her in his arms and plunges back into the realm named after him, closing the wound in the Earth behind him.

Demeter will scour the Earth seeking for her daughter, neglecting her fertility duties until the crops wither and the gods fear that mankind will perish from starvation. Each in turns entreats her to bestow her blessing, but Demeter is inconsolable. She declares that until her daughter is returned, nothing will grow. The first winter comes to the World.

Far below, Hades beguiles Persepone with orbs of crystal, gowns spun from the silk of spiders, and all the wealth that lies buried in his realm, but she will not succumb to him. She will not love him. Again and again, he offers her food, but she instinctively knows that accepting his hospitality will leave her vulnerable.

At length, humans cry out to the gods for relief and Zeus, who knows that his brother has abducted his daughter, decides he must risk the displeasure of the god of the black throne. He sends Hermes with an edict to Hades - release Persephone.

Hades receives this command grimly, but even he cannot disobey a direct commandment of Father Zeus. He goes to Persephone with a pomegranate and tells her she is to return to her mother. He offers the fruit as a token of his deep apology and begs her to honor him by eating it. Overjoyed that she is to leave, and empathetic to his lonliness, she rips the rind with her teeth and consumes but six seeds.

The joyous celebration of her return is cut short when Hades reveals that Persephone ate the food of the dead, and thus belongs to his realm. Even Zeus cannot deny this ancient law, but he softens it by declaring that the girl shall spend only 6 months with Hades, and the other six months with her mother. Thus Demeter curses the Earth each year with winter, awaiting the return of her daughter.

In this image, Persephone returns to the Underworld. Soon the lush green outside will fall and snow will come thereafter. In her hands, a goblet holding the flower that doomed her, and yet she cannot give up. Crystal orbs in her other hand let her speak with her mother across the vast distances. Her gown and lips encompass the same color as the pomegranates that grow in profusion in her prison.

The lovely model for this piece is Cynthia Leigh, the American Geiko who is an international name in cosplay, modeling and is a net icon. A Renaissance woman who is also an actress, appearing in a number of tv shows and movies. She MADE the costume in the reference photo for this piece.

Check her out at this [link] to learn more about her. Mutual admirers of each other's art - it's been a distinct pleasure bringing Persephone to life through her.

The cave foreground comes from Little Stock - who has a lot of groovy, mystical images in his portfolio. You can find him at this [link]
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