Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ABC Wednesday - D is for Demeter


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.

12 comentários:

K(Banterings of a Basketcase) said...

wonderful! and the card is beautiful.

Sylvia K said...

What a lovely and fascinating post for the D Day! And, yes, the card is so lovely! I've always been interested in and fascinated by Greek Mythology and I was fortunate enough to be able to spend ten days in Greece when my kid's Dad and I lived in Europe for three years. Your post brought back lots of memories!! Hope you're enjoying your week!

Sylvia

Naturedigital said...

Too many mysteries related to Demetra and her daughter Persephone.The main symbolism, the life cycle, was the most profane. Most of what was happening in Eleusis still remains a secret, as very few were initiated in the inner circle of the priests and priestesses.
I like your blog and more I like and admire your deep knowledge of Greek Mythology.
There is so much to learn from those ancient stories.
Have a great day Nydia.
Costas (from Greece)

Self Sagacity said...

Brilliant, that is wonderful. I love your D today. Thanks for the history of Demeter as well, I am so into mythology, when I have a chance.

Roger Owen Green said...

Have I mentioned thast this a great series?!


ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Wendy said...

This is my first time visiting your blog and how lovely it looks and I love the first post I read about Demeter and the Mysteries...Look forward to more :)

Zombie Queen said...

What an interesting post!!

Chris in the Emerald City said...

Very nice series! I have an affinity for Demeter...

Peace,
Chris..........

mrsnesbitt said...

Wonderful - such a creative post! Love the whole series as Roger points out!

Denise
ABC Team

Leo said...

i've heard of Demeter of course, glad to know more about her..! :)

Tumblewords: said...

I've always wished she had cut a better deal - 6 months of bleak winter is too much for me. :) Always a delightful story.

Lyn said...

Great post, Nydia and I love your choice of picture. I 'found' the Greek pantheon on a summer holiday to Greece when I was a teenager so they have a special place in my heart.