Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Another week is here and this time the letter is D.
And for me D is for Demeter (Ceres for the Roman).
In Greek mythology Demeter was the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains, the fertility of the earth, the seasons, and the harvest. She presided also over the sanctity of marriage, the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone (who was kidnapped by the god Hades... but this is another story...) were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.
The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Of all the mysteries celebrated in ancient times, these were held to be the ones of greatest importance. These myths and mysteries,probably passed to Greece during the Mycenean period (c.1800-1200 BC and it is believed that they were established in 1500 BC. Some scholars argued that the cult was a continuation of a Minoan goddess worship. The mysteries lasting two thousand years, were a major festival during the Hellenic era, later spreading to Rome. The name of the town, Eleusís, is a variant of the noun έλευσις, éleusis, arrival.
The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret, as initiation was believed to unite the worshipper with the gods and included promises of divine power and rewards in the afterlife. There are many paintings and pieces of pottery that depict various aspects of the Mysteries. Since the Mysteries involved visions and conjuring of an afterlife, some scholars believe that the power and longevity of the Eleusinian Mysteries came from psychedelic agents.
Demeter's symbols are halo, torch and boar.
For more D posts, visit the ABC page, created by Denise Nesbitt, and join the fun!
*The beautiful image above is from the gifted artist Anne Baird's eGoddess cards collection.
*Reasearch source: Wikipedia.
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