Demeter

Greek - Goddess of agriculture, corn and fertility. Daughter of Cronus and Rhea or of Uranus and Gaea. Sister of Hades, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon and Zeus. Wife of Iacchus, some say. Mother of Core (Persephone) and Iacchus by Poseidon or Zeus. Mother of Bootes and Plutus by Iasion. Mother of Dionysus by Zeus, some say. It is said that as Black Demeter or Erinys, she and Poseidon coupled, both in the form of horses, to produce the nymph Despoena and Arion the winged horse. Some say that Core also came of this union or as the result of rape by Zeus. She mated with Iasion in a ploughed field and produced Plutus. Her lover was killed by a thunderbolt hurled by Zeus. In some accounts she produced a son, Acheron, without the help of a male. She punished Erysichthon with everlasting hunger when he cut down a tree in her sacred grove. She changed the boy Stellio into a lizard when he made a joke about the speed at which she ate her food. At the banquet where Tantalus served up his dismembered son Pelops she (or Thetis in some stories) ate the shoulder part and made a new one from ivory, which was built in when the boy was reassembled by the gods. When her daughter Core was abducted by Hades she wandered the land, in the guise of an old woman, looking for her daughter. She was taken in by Celeus, king of Eleusis, and employed as Deo, a wet nurse to his Demeter tried to make the infant immortal by plunging him into the fire but his frightened mother, Metaneira, snatched him away. In some stories the baby was Demophoon, in others he was Triptolemus: some say the baby died, others that it survived the ordeal. Abas, the eldest son of Celeus, made a foolish jest about Demeter's own son, Iacchus, and in a fit of temper she turned him into a lizard. She taught Celeus the Eleusinian mysteries and he became her first priest. She eventually discovered what had happened to Core. In one version she was told by Triptolemus whose brothers had seen the abduction; in another she heard the truth in the burbling of the nymph Arethusa who had been turned into a stream and who had seen Core seated on a throne with Hades as she passed through the underworld en route to Sicily. Others say that Hecate, who had heard Core's cries, took Demeter to see Helios who, as sun god, had seen all that had occurred and told them what had happened to Core. Demeter now caused a blight to descend on the earth and refused to lift it until Zeus intervened to order Hades to release Core, who had been made queen of the underworld, as Persephone. She is sometimes depicted as horse-headed. Her symbol is a sheaf. On occassion, referred to as Demeter, Amphictyonis, Amphictyonis, Da-Meter, Da-Meter, Ge Metre, Damater, Damater, Deo, Deo, Deo, Doso, Doso, Good Goddess, Good Goddess, Bona Dea, Fauna, Grain Mother, Grain Mother, Hermione, Hermione, Harmonia, Persephone, Isis, Isis, Aset, Ast, Aust, Eset, Esu, Lady of the Beginning, Lady of the Emerald, Lady of the Turquoise, Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, sacred birds, Star of the Sea, Unt, Watch Merti, As(e)t, Eenohebis, Great Mother, Lady of Turquoise, Hes(a)t, Iahu, Mother of God, Sakhmet, Thousand Named, Urethekau, Werethekau, Greek Athena, Isia, Io, Stella Maris, Manat, Mut, Ziza, Mangata, Mangata, Parvati, Greek Ceres, Mother Da, Mother Da, Thesmophorus, Thesmophorus, Three Eponae, Three Eponae, Epona, Epona, Achaiva, Achaiva, Black Demeter, Black Demeter, Chloe, Chloe, Da-meter, Da-meter, Erinys, Erinys, Demeter Erinys, Ga Metre, Ga Metre, Ge Metre Gemeter, Ge Metre Gemeter, Mother Earth, Mother Earth, Earth Mother, Nerthus, Pachamama, Earth Mother, Thesmorphorus, Thesmorphorus, White Goddess, White Goddess, Artemis, Artemis Caryatis, Belili, Cybele, Freya, Hag of the Mill, Ino, Leucippe, Marpessa, Olwen, Samothea, Egyptian Isis, Egyptian Isis, Adda-Nari, Athena, Italic Damatar, Italic Damatar, Phrygian Cybele, Phrygian Cybele, Anat, Aphrodite, Astarte, Inanna, Kubaba, Magna Mater, Mater Turrita, Rhea, Roman Ceres, Roman Ceres, Kerres, Dea Dia, Dea Dia or Greek Demeter.

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