Persephone Rises

The Return of Persephone (1891), by Frederic Leighton (1830–1896)
The Return of Persephone (1891), by Frederic Leighton (1830–1896)

The vernal equinox of 2008 occurs at 05:48 UTC on March 20, or 01:48/1:48am my time, after midnight tonight. And a blogging neighbor wishes everyone a Happy New Year 1387.

I used the same image above for last year's Vernal Equinox post. Not that I want to just phone it in. I think the painting is gorgeous. And I like the story of Demeter and Persephone. In comments on last year's post, Blackswamp Girl (Kim of A Study in Contrasts) expressed discomfort with the story. I responded:
The way I keep the story in my mind, Winter doesn't occur because Hades is evil/dark/etc. Persephone was not the keeper of the earth. The earth didn't miss her, Demeter did. Demeter grieved for her loss, and neglected her gardening duties, and that's why Winter occurs. Demeter rejoices at the return of Persephone, which restores her interest in the world, and that's when we get Spring.

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Happy Vernal Equinox, 2007




Anonymous said...

In Greek mythology, Hades isn't necessarily a bad place. In the stories, it consists of four areas -- Tartarus, the Fields of Asphodel, the Elysian Fields, and the Isles of the Blessed. Only Tartarus is for evildoers. The ancient Greeks had a very interesting view of the afterlife. For example, the Fields of Asphodel were for people who were neither very good nor very evil. As a god, I would say that Hades was, at worst, indifferent and/or callous about what happened to the "shades" of dead Greeks.

Happy Equinox, by the way!

Rob K said...

Beautiful painting indeed!

Digital Flower Pictures said...

I am glad you posted the painting again this year because I missed it last time. A wonderful image to start the day and season with.

Sorry to hear about your Cat.

Unknown said...

Ha! I had missed your return comment about abduction, hostage-taking, etc. *GRIN*

Alright, I'm coming around to the story now... but for the record, I've always liked the painting. :)