The Greek goddess Demeter, the motherly goddess of harvest and agriculture, had a daughter with her brother Zeus. Her name was Persephone. She was the beautiful goddess of vegetation, spring, and fertility. In Greek mythology, before winter turns to spring, a flower cannot grow without Persephone. She wanted freedom, not marriage. Hades fell in love with her and abducted her while picking flowers. She became the Queen of the Underworld.
Hades, the god of the underworld, was also Persephone’s uncle. Zeus allowed his brother to take his daughter in exchange for his assistance in defeating their father, Cronus. Demeter searched for days and couldn’t find her daughter. Demeter asked Hecate, goddess of witchcraft and sorcery, to help her find Persephone. Hecate told Demeter that Helios, god of the sun, likely would have seen what happened to Persephone. He did, and he informed Demeter that Zeus approved. Demeter was furious as she had been searching everywhere, and Zeus didn’t tell her, although he knew Persephone was in the underworld with Hades.
She threatened Zeus. Humanity would starve without Demeter, but she didn’t care as she wanted her daughter with her. Zeus sent Hermes to talk to Hades and return Persephone to her mother to end the famine. Once they were reunited, Demeter asked her to remain on Olympus, but she couldn’t. She had eaten pomegranate seeds that bound her to the underworld. Zeus compromised, as he knew the crops would die if she weren’t allowed to spend time with Demeter. So he promised that Persephone would spend part of her time with her mother and part of her time with Hades.
The goddess Persephone brings life back to Earth every spring when she returns from the underworld. When she leaves with Hades at harvest time, the plants die off or sleep through winter. The cycle of the seasons continues, as Persephone is the goddess of the underworld and the goddess of vegetation.