Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


(pərsĕf`ənē) or


(prōsûr`pənē), 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. Though Demeter eventually persuaded the gods to let her daughter return to her, Persephone was required to remain in the underworld for four months because Pluto had tricked her into eating a pomegranate (food of the dead) there. When Persephone left the earth, the flowers withered and the grain died, but when she returned, life blossomed anew. This story, which symbolizes the annual vegetation cycle, was celebrated in 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, in which Persephone appeared under the name Kore.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Persephone is one of the names given to the hypothetical planet orbiting the Sun beyond Pluto. Peresephone, asteroid 399 (the 399th asteroid to be discovered, on February 23, 1895), is approximately 55 kilometers in diameter and has an orbital period of 5.3 years. Persephone was named after the daughter of Demeter, who was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld to become his queen. According to Martha Lang-Wescott, Persephone represents “separation anxiety; attitudes toward making transitions (that take one away from familiar people and circumstances); experience of feeling separate from family/others.” This asteroid’s key word is “separation.” J. Lee Lehman notes that the location of Persephone may indicate an area where skills are undeveloped. The less pleasant side of this asteroid is that it may indicate where one is an innocent yet willing victim.


Lang-Wescott, Martha. Asteroids-Mechanics: Ephemerides II. Conway, MA: Treehouse Mountain, 1990.
Lang-Wescott. 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.
The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Kore), in ancient Greek mythology, the goddess of fertility and the underworld. Persephone was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus and the wife of Hades. The myth of the abduction of Persephone by Hades and her annual return to earth from the underworld reflects a primitive conception of the periodic dying and rebirth of the plant world. Persephone was venerated by the Romans under the name of Proserpina.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Persephone (Roman: Proserpine)

goddess of fertility; often associated with crops. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: NCE, 1637]
See: Farming


personification of spring. [Gk. Myth.: Cirlot, 252]
See: Spring


the period of her stay (winter) with Hades. [Gk. Myth.: Espy, 28]
See: Winter
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Relayed as short segments set in a variety of settings and situations, Persephone's Garden is an intimate graphic autobiography of a most unusual kind.
Amber's Persephone is springtime steeped in alcohol, dancing and singing as if taken over by an otherworldly spirit.
As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house--and what really happened the night Persephone died.
While Persephone travels with a friend, a soldier of Hades kidnaps her, drags her through the barrier into Hades, and feeds her a piece of the Fruit of the Damned, which will force her to stay in Hades for the rest of her life.
Persephone said Shankly's footballing values were now firmly part of the current Town set-up under chairman Dean Hoyle and coach David Wagner.
Persephone's story illustrates the transition from youth to adulthood from a specifically feminine point of view.
Like Persephone, whom Cixous describes as being buried under the weight of Sicily, Etna pressing down on her forehead crushing her, filling her ears and throat with lava and ashes, Cixous sees the danger for women, that with the insidious insinuations of deep and seductive uncle narratives women find themselves sinking like Catherine of Sienna into their own abysses, alienated and in spite of themselves.
That's why I was so intrigued to read Carol Pearson's interpretation of the Demeter and Persephone myth in her new book, Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroine Within.
The story is best known as the Greek myth of Persephone, the goddess of spring whose descent into the underworld was one of the most popular mythological motifs in art and literature throughout Carroll's lifetime, indeed the entire Victorian age.
The Pursuit of Persephone collection features floral charms representing an ode to Persephone, harvest goddess and daughter of Zeus.
Spring is here and, even though the weather over the weekend does not really support what we consider spring, all those beautiful pink flowers blooming on almond trees make it clear that Persephone (goddess of fertility -- who reigns over the underworld for most of the year and only comes back to earth to allow the ground to be fertile and bring about the harvest) is very much present.