Demeter

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Demeter

(dĭmē`tər), in Greek religion and mythology, goddess of harvest and fertility; daughter of Kronos and Rhea. She was the mother of PersephonePersephone
or Proserpine
, in Greek and Roman religion and mythology, goddess of fertility and queen of the underworld. She was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. When she was still a beautiful maiden, Pluto seized her and held her captive in his underworld.
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 by Zeus. When Pluto abducted Persephone, Demeter grieved so inconsolably that the earth became barren through her neglect. Searching for her daughter, she wandered to Eleusis, where the Eleusinian MysteriesEleusinian Mysteries
, principal religious mysteries of ancient Greece. The mysteries may have originated as part of an early agrarian festival peculiar to certain families in Eleusis. The Athenians later (c.600 B.C.) took over the ceremonies.
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 were inaugurated in her honor. She revealed to Triptolemus, an Eleusinian, the art of growing and using corn. The Thesmophoria, a fertility festival held in her honor at Athens, was attended only by women. The Romans identified her with CeresCeres
, in Roman religion and mythology, goddess of grain; daughter of Saturn and Ops. She was identified by the Romans with the Greek Demeter. Her worship was connected with that of the earth goddess and involved not only fertility rites but also rites for the dead.
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.

Demeter

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Greek earth goddess (Roman: Ceres). She brings forth the fruits of the earth and is especially associated with grain. She is the fertile and cultivated soil. Daughter of Kronos and Rhea, she is the sister of Zeus, and through him she became mother of Persephone.

Demeter is especially associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries. These were founded upon the myth of the abduction of Persephone by Hades and Demeter's wandering in search of her daughter. During Demeter's search, the earth produced no grain. When the goddess rested a while with the king and queen of Eleusis, the queen's son, Triptolemos, set out to teach people the art of agriculture.

Zeus finally ordered Hades to return Persephone to her mother so that the earth would once again produce. But since Persephone had eaten a pomegranate that Hades had given her, she was obliged to return to him annually for one third of the year.

Demeter's temples, called Megara, were often found in forests; her cult was frequently accompanied by orgies. The usual symbols for Demeter are the torch (which she carried while searching) and the fruits of the earth. One of her great festivals was the Thesmophoria, celebrated in Attica in the month of October. The return of Persephone was celebrated in February. The Great Eleusinia took place in Athens and Eleusis every five years, in September, and was a festival honoring Demeter, having no connection with the Persephone story. People of all walks of life were initiated into the Mysteries at Eleusis.

In modern-day Witchcraft, many traditions embrace the story of Demeter and her search for Persephone, reenacting the myth as part of their celebrations of the seasons.

Demeter

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Demeter, asteroid 1,108 (the 1,108th asteroid to be discovered, on May 31, 1929), is approximately 21 kilometers in diameter and has an orbital period of 3.8 years. Demeter, whom the Romans equated with Ceres, was one of the 12 great Olympian deities of the Greek pantheon. She was the goddess of agriculture and the guardian of the institution of marriage. Jacob Schwartz gives the astrological significance of this asteroid as “fertility, mother-child relationships and agriculture.” According to Martha Lang-Wescott, Demeter represents nurturance, which can manifest as nurturance of others or of self. This asteroid’s keywords are “mother and child.” J. Lee Lehman believes Demeter has an influence similar to that of the asteroid Ceres but is less practical and more spiritual than her Roman parallel. Demeter, in other words, represents more of a spiritual nurturance. Also, to take an example proffered by Lehman, Ceres represents vocational work, whereas Demeter represents more avocational work.

Sources:

Lang-Wescott, Martha. Asteroids-Mechanics: Ephemerides II. Conway, MA: Treehouse Mountain, 1990.
Lang-Wescott, Martha. Mechanics of the Future: Asteroids. Rev. ed. Conway, MA: Treehouse Mountain, 1991.
Lehman, J. Lee. The Ultimate Asteroid Book. West Chester, PA: Whitford Press, 1988.
Schwartz, Jacob. Asteroid Name Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.

Demeter

 

in ancient Greek mythology, the goddess of fertility and protectress of agriculture; daughter of Cronus and Rhea and sister of Zeus.

The myth of Demeter, which evolved in the ancient center of her cult, the Attic settlement of Eleusis, reflected the primitive concept of the periodic death and rebirth of vegetation. Demeter’s daughter Persephone (Kore) was abducted by Hades, god of the underworld, and the enraged Demeter deprived the earth of its fertility. Therefore Zeus ordered Persephone to spend two-thirds of the year with her mother on the surface of the earth. But between the time of the summer harvest of the winter crops and the appearance in autumn of the first shoots of the new crop Persephone had to return to the kingdom of the dead. The Demeter cult, which became widespread throughout many localities in Greece, merged in ancient Rome with the cult of the Italian goddess of vegetation, Ceres.

Demeter

goddess of corn and agriculture. [Gk. Myth.: Jobes, 429–430]
See: Farming

Demeter

goddess of fecundity. [Gk. Myth.: Jobes, 429–430]

Demeter

Greek myth the goddess of agricultural fertility and protector of marriage and women

Demeter

A CASE tool developed mainly by Karl Lieberherr.

["Contributions to Teaching Object-Oriented Design and Programming" Aug/Sep 1988 issue of JOOP, OOPSLA '89 Proceedings].