Persephone: Queen of the Underworld and goddess of the seasons

Welcome to this article on Persephone, a complex and fascinating Greek mythological figure. In Greek mythology, Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, goddess of agriculture and harvest. She is best known as the Queen of the Underworld since her abduction by Hades, god of the Underworld. But Persephone is much more than that: she is also the goddess of the seasons and plays a crucial role in the cycle of life.

The abduction of Persephone

According to Greek mythology, one day while Persephone was picking flowers with her friends, Hades abducted her to make her his Queen of the Underworld. Demeter, mad with grief on hearing the news, did everything in her power to find her daughter. She wandered the earth, devastating everything in her path, until Zeus finally revealed Persephone's whereabouts.

However, having tasted the food of the Underworld, Persephone is condemned to spend part of the year there, i.e. autumn and winter, when the earth becomes barren. This separation causes sadness for Demeter, who mourns her daughter's absence and kills all vegetation in her path . On the other hand, when Persephone returns to earth, it's springtime and summer returns, with nature reborn and in full bloom.

Persephone's role in the cycle of life

Persephone plays a central role in the cycle of life, as her abduction metaphorically explains the seasons: when she is abducted by Hades, the earth withers and dies in winter, only to rise again on her return in spring. Persephone is thus both Queen of the Underworld and goddess of the seasons, making her a doubly fascinating figure.

Furthermore, the myth of Persephone's dormancy is a symbol of death and resurrection, illustrating the belief in reincarnation and immortality. Thus, Persephone represents not only death, but also the life that flourishes after death.

Persephone's symbols

Several symbols are associated with Persephone, such as:

The colchicum and the pomegranate

The colchicum and the pomegranate are the two symbols most often associated with Persephone. The colchicum is a purple flower that grows at in autumn, in connection with the moment when Persephone is abducted. As for the pomegranate, a fruit symbolizing fertility, it is associated with the destiny of Persephone, as she is said to have eaten a seed during her stay with Hades.

The horn of plenty

The horn of plenty is also associated with Persephone, as it represents the riches and harvests linked to her role as goddess of agriculture.

The cypress tree

The cypress, a tree symbolizing death, is another symbol associated with Persephone as Queen of the Underworld.

Persephone in art

Persephone has inspired numerous works of art, including literature, painting and sculpture. In painting, she is often depicted with a stern face and melancholy expression, while in sculpture, she is often depicted with a softer, more serene expression. In various works of literature, Persephone is described as a beautiful black-haired woman.


Persephone is a fascinating Greek mythological figure, both queen of the Underworld and goddess of the seasons. Her abduction by Hades is an allegory of the seasons, but also of the cycle of life and death. A symbol of fertility and abundance, Persephone is also represented through various symbols such as the colchicum, the pomegranate, the cornucopia and the cypress. Finally, her image has inspired many artists throughout history and continues to captivate our imagination today.