The classical Greek myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone as told in Homer's Hymn to Demeter has been used most often to explain the cycle of the seasons. However, a closer examination will reveal insights on living and dying, loss and reconciliation, and suffering and healing. This work demostrates the continued importance and relevance of the myth of Demeter and Persephone to today's society. The first three chapters provide a summary of the Homeric story and examine the myth from the perspectives of the mother and daughter. The following chapters discuss the symbolism of critical objects, the role of female mentoring, the role of Hades and the meaning of the underworld, the subject of rape, and the masculinist perspective presented by Zeus and Helios, and derive lessons useful for healing and knowledge. The Hymn to Demeter as translated by Helene Foley is included as an appendix in order to provide a basis for the discussion in the text. Notes and a bibliography also follow the text.
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