Today is the Feast of Persephone, the Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld.
Persephone, a Greek goddess known in her childhood by the name Kore (or Cora, meaning young maiden), was the only child of the union of her overprotective mother Demeter (Goddess of the Bountiful Harvest) and Zeus, the mighty King of the Olympians. The Goddess Persephone was born when Demeter was Zeus's lover, long before his marriage to the Great Goddess Hera. By all accounts Persephone had an idyllic childhood, raised by her nurturing mother and played with her father's other daughters, the Greek goddesses Athena and Aphrodite. Always a cheerful and compliant child, the little goddess Persephone was a parent's dream until she hit puberty and discovered sex. Demeter tried to control her but you know the rest from the story.
Not that the goddess Persephone sloughed off any of her responsibilities as the Queen of the Underworld. Apparently Persephone didn't spend all her time "going home to momma". Having made the decision to consume the seeds of the pomegranate while in the underworld, Persephone managed to somehow always be there when others came visiting, ready to receive them into the underworld and to serve as their hostess and guide.
As the Great Queen of the Underworld, Persephone manages to appear when people (especially heroes) come to the Underworld. Persephone was willing to help Psyche pass Aphrodite's tests so that Psyche could be reunited with her beloved husband. Psyche had been assigned to go to the underworld and return with some of Persephone's world famous beauty ointment (actually it was a sleeping potion and we all know that a good night's sleep can do wonder to our appearance!) While Psyche was in the underworld, she found Persephone to be both a gracious and generous hostess.
The Goddess Persephone also helped Heracles (Hercules), loaning him Cerberus, the ferocious three-headed dog that guarded the entrance of the underworld, so that he could complete the Twelve Labors he'd been assigned to make retribution for the death of his wife. The goddess Persephone was also at home in the underworld when Odysseus (Ulysses) arrived. She rewarded him with a legendary tour of the souls of women of great renown.In another intriguing story, the Greek goddess Persephone agreed to hide Adonis, a mortal youth who was Aphrodite's lover, from Aphrodite's suspicious husband, Hephaestus. But upon seeing the beautiful Adonis, Persephone, friendly goddess that she was, also fell for his charms and refused to give him back to Aphrodite and Hades also fell for his charms too.
The goddesses continued to fight over Adonis. Eventually, Zeus had to step in to settle the argument. He ruled that Adonis should spend a third of the year with each of the goddesses, Persephone and Aphrodite, and be left to his own pursuits the remainder of the year. Unfortunately, Adonis chose to spend his free time hunting with Aphrodite and was killed in a hunting accident a few years later. Now he is Hades's and Persephone's sex toy for awhile.
Here is a gift from Persephone's mother Demeter: