Samantha Lee Lemmerman
April 5, 2011
Hades Effect on the Weather
The Greeks believed that the Gods must have done something to cause everything that happened in their lives. We still see this today when mothers comfort their young ones during thunderstorms telling them, "It's God and the angels bowling," or when it rains, "God's watering the flowers and you, so you can grow tall," or even when the lighting strikes "God's taking photos of the planet." In our Christian society we say that it is one God that does this. The Greeks believed that a few different Gods were involved in making the seasons.
My ultra-magnificent-most-absolutely favorite myth is the myth of Hades and Persephone. So much so that in my senior year of high school, in the competitive speech season, I wrote a speech of Hades and Persephone's life. I remember reading this myth many years ago when my mother used to tell me that God was bowling. Back then, however, it was a little scary thinking that someone could take me through a crack in the ground to Hell. Now when I read the myth, I find it super interesting. But not for the reason that a strange man can take little girls to Hell. I like it because now I understand the whole thing.
Hades could see that Persephone was a beautiful young girl and he wanted to covet her as his own wife. His brother, Zeus, "warned Hades that Demeter would never approve this coupling, for she would not want her daughter spirited off to a sunless world" (Hades Takes A Wife). Still going against his brother's warning, Hades devised a plan that he would steal her away.
One day as Persephone was gardening, this varies from telling to telling, Hades opened up the ground, causing her to fall through the hole and land in the Underworld. While there, she became upset and would not eat for days. Until one day Hades persuaded her to eat a pomegranate, the fruit of the Underworld. Eating the seeds caused her to permanently stay in the Underworld.
Above ground her mother, Demeter Goddess of Vegetation, became increasingly upset. She would travel the world until she found her daughter. The worried mother searched and searched, finding no sign of her daughter she began to forget of the plants and the crops. Soon it became cold on the Earth. Winter. As Zeus saw this he showed Demeter her daughter. He begged Hades to let Persephone visit her mother for half a year, while the other half she would be Hades wife. Hades agreed to this. After six months' time, Persephone traveled back to her mother and the plants grew again. Spring. But as she left her mother after her six months stay, the plants began to wilt and die. Fall. And the cycle repeated itself.
The connection of this myth to everyday life is a simple one to see, if Hades had not coveted Persephone, causing Demeter to suffer from her own version of the empty nest syndrome, there would not be seasons as we know it. So from every religion to Grecian Mythology, even if you don't believe it, it's still fun to think that this is how they rationalized seasons.
Hades Takes a Wife: Persephone. © 2000-2011 Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease, http://www.infoplease.com/cig/mythology/hades-takes-wife-persephone.html. Web. 4 April, 2011