The Greek gods and goddesses each had different talents, skills, hobbies, and wishes. The Greeks used them to represent changes and phenomenon going on in nature and in society. Demeter, the goddess of grain who’s well being supports a surplus of grain, had a life filled with horror, death, loss, happiness, joy, and love. The origin of her name is unsure some think it comes from Ge Metre, which means earth mother, or deai which is Greek for barley or grain. Demeter is one of the most important Olympians, she was worshiped by the farms people and villagers alike. When your countries state depends on the food you can grow, believing takes on a new meaning.

Demeter is the goddess of agriculture, bread, and grain. Known for the older harvest, which consists more dried grains and products made from them. The mothers and expecting women often prayed to Demeter for a safe and happy family. She was shown as a mature woman, holding a torch and a bundle of grains or wheat. . Usually she held ears of corn, poppies, a torch or even a basket. To please her and to pray for a bountiful harvest the people would offer her pigs, bulls, fruit, cows and honey cakes. ( Demeter).

Demeter is the daughter of Rhea and Cronus, and the sister to Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. They were all swallowed alive by their father, Cronus. They were all saved by their brother Zeus who cut apart Cronus and threw him into the pit of Tartarus. By Zeus, she then became the mother to Persephone and Dionysus. Persephone and her were much alike for Persephone controlled the more flowery and fruitful plants, the nature we associate with spring. And by Poseidon she is the mother of Arion the horse. (The Macmillan Book of Greek Gods and Heroes. p. 5).

Demeter was not only worshiped in Greece, but places all over the world. Beliefs show that they connected the seasons’ change to Demeter and Persephone. The nature stops growing and dies because Persephone was trapped in the underworld because of eating the pomegranate trapping her with Hades. She is the figure based on the Eleusinian mysteries, which are based on the belief that, like the nature after winter, after death we would be reborn. They would hold giant festivals every five years celebrating her. Little is known of the festivals because the attendants were sworn to secrecy. ( Demeter).

Demeter is represented in various different ways in art, mostly represented in statues, vases and sometimes paintings. She resembles Hera, the queen of the gods, but has a kinder expression with her eyes opened wider. She was most likely depicted walking or riding in a chariot pulled by dragons or horses. She always was fully dressed and sometimes wore a head band made from ears of corn or a simple ribbon. Usually she held ears of corn, poppies, a torch or even a basket. The people would offer her pigs, bulls, fruit, cows and honey cakes. ( Demeter).

Demeter had many stories of revenge and hiding, in one of the less known stories she cursed King Erysichtthon, who cut down trees from a forest sacred to Demeter. She made him always hungry and to get money for food he would sell his daughter, Mestia, but she would always return because she was a shape shifter. Also in one of the most well known stories Persephone was taken by Hades into the underworld to live with him. Demeter searched the plant for her daughter, but Persephone had already eaten the pomegranate keeping her in the underworld for half of the year. ( Demeter). ( Demeter).

She was the most mother like of all the gods and goddesses. She must have loved her daughter to search the planet for her. She was one of the most important goddesses for normal everyday life for the Greeks. In ancient civilizations if a city could not provide enough food for itself the city would not last long. She had a strong personality by the way she cursedthose who failed to please her but her gentle love and kindness is something we all want and strive to have.

Sources Cited
Zeus, Her Brother. "DEMETER : Greek Goddess of Agriculture & Grain | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Ceres." THEOI GREEK MYTHOLOGY, Exploring Mythology & the Greek Gods in Classical Literature & Art. Web. 05 Dec. 2011.

Lindemans, Micha F. "Demeter." Encyclopedia Mythica: Mythology, Folklore, and Religion. 3 May 1997. Web. 05 Dec. 2011. <

Low, Alice, Arvis L. Stewart, and Barry R. Katz. The Macmillan Book of Greek Gods and Heroes. New York: Macmillan, 1985. Print.

Leach, Maria. "Demeter." Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. Web. 5 Dec. 2011. <>.

"Demeter." Greek Mythology. Web. 10 Dec. 2011. <>.