Goddess of Grain and Fertility, the Pure
Demeter is the nourisher of youth, the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death, and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. She is invoked as the "bringer of seasons" and she was worshipped long before she was made one of the Olympians. Demeter has been dated to about the seventh century BC. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.
The central story of Demeter is her relationship with Persephone, her daughter. In the Olympian pantheon, Persephone became the consort of Hades (Roman Pluto, the underworld god of wealth). Demeter had a large scope of abilities. Besides being the goddess of the harvest, she also controlled the seasons, and because of that she was capable of destroying all life on earth. In fact, her powers were able to influence Zeus into making Hades bring her daughter Persephone up from the underworld. Persephone became the goddess of the underworld when Hades abducted her from the earth and brought her into the underworld. She had been playing with some nymphs, whom Demeter later changed into the Sirens as punishment for having interfered, and the ground split and she was taken in by Hades. Life came to a standstill as the depressed Demeter searched for her lost daughter.
Finally, Zeus could not put up with the dying earth and forced Hades to return Persephone by sending Hermes to retrieve her. But before she was released, Hades tricked her into eating six pomegranate seeds, which forced her to return for six months each year. When Demeter and her daughter were together, the earth flourished with vegetation. But for six months each year, when Persephone returned to the underworld, the earth once again became a barren realm. Summer, autumn, and spring by comparison have heavy rainfall and mild temperatures in which plant life flourishes.
As a mother Demeter was very protective of her daughter. If your children have left home perhaps it is Demeter that you relate to, knowing that your children will always be just that no matter how old they get. We let them go in the physical but not in our hearts. We rejoice those times we spend with them as adults and the bounty they may bring us with grandchildren, so ask Demeter to help fill those gaps left behind, remembering the time we are given now is a gift we can use to nourish ourselves and to try new things.
Demeter's Essential Oils - Gardenia Geranium Palmarosa Violet Leaf Ylang Ylang
Picture by Pamela Mattews from her 'Goddess A Day' deck