Demeter, Ancient Greek Goddess of Agriculture 

In ancient Greek religion, Demeter is the sister of Zeus, King of the Gods. She is the Goddess of Agriculture, of grain in particular, and is a Mother-Goddess, the “meter” in her name meaning mother. In her legend, Demeter’s daughter Persephone disappears to the underworld, and in her search for her Demeter neglects the harvest and causes a famine. Her daughter’s return coincides with spring and the renewal of the crops. With her lover Iason, Demeter bore a son, Plutus, signifying wealth and abundant produce of the soil. Demeter also had a darker side, tied to the underworld, but also appeared as a goddess of health, birth and marriage.

Numerous agrarian festivals were held in her honour in Ancient Greece. In Greek art she is depicted with a basket filled with grain and fruit, on a throne or riding in a chariot pulled by dragons with her daughter often by her side. The symbols associated with both Demeter and Persephone are a scepter, cornucopia, ears of corn, a sheaf of wheat, a torch, and occasionally, a crown of flowers.


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