Our raku pottery vase this week, ‘Elysium‘, tells the tale of the magical realm of the underworld, a place filled with beauty, it’s Queen, a mother’s love, and an abduction that literally took our heroine to hell and back. Over and over again!
And you better think twice before eating those pomegranate seeds!
Persephone was once a carefree goddess of spring bounty. That is, until one day, Hades, god of the underworld decided he needed a new bride, so he kidnapped her as she frolicked with some nymphs in a meadow.
No one was truly happy about this turn of events, not even Hades.
Though the mythology is not clear, it is suspected that Persephone was not a big fan of the underworld. And it wasn’t just that she was kidnapped. As the goddess of spring’s bounty, an endless parade of the dead souls left her uninspired.
And Persephone wasn’t the only one who was unhappy with these turn of events. Her mother Demeter, searched the corners of the Earth for her, but it was a fruitless endeavour. One day she discovered her own husband Zeus had been complicit with Hades in her daughters abduction.
She was furious.
Which may not have mattered, except for the fact that Demeter was pretty much responsible for all the food that people ate, being the goddess of fertility, agriculture and the harvest. So Demeter gave Zeus an ultimatum: “Bring back my daughter – or no grain or fruit for you. Or anyone else.”
Meanwhile in the underworld …
Persephone was unhappy that she was kidnapped by her uncle Hades and forced to be his bride. She was missing her old life, and though the mythology is not clear, I like to think that she pressured Hades into creating Elysium in the underworld – which has been described as a beautiful meadow (after all, it was going to take more than a bouquet to fix such an unhappy start).
Why not a field of them you may ask? Either way – Hades, you’re still a jerk.
With people starving, Zeus had no choice but to give into Demeter’s demands. But Persephone had already eaten the pomegranate – the fruit of the underworld! Still think those seeds are worth it?
And so it was
That each spring Persephone would return to the land of the living, bringing with her the flowering of plants and foods for the year. Then when she would return each winter to the underworld, these plants would die back, bring autumn.
Thankfully, it looks like Persephone has returned this year!
What do you think of today’s story and how do you like this week’s vase Elysium?
What plants are blooming around your part of the world?