Persephone was a beautiful Goddess Queen of the Underworld, wife of the god Hades. She was also the Goddess of Spring Growth, who was worshiped alongside her mother Demeter.
Once upon a time when she was playing in a flowery meadow with her Nymph companions, she was abducted by Hades and carried off to the underworld as his bride. Her mother Demeter despaired at her disappearance and searched for her the throughout the world accompanied by the goddess Hecate bearing torches. When she learned that Zeus had conspired in her daughter’s abduction she was furious, and refused to let the earth fruit until Persephone was returned. Zeus consented, but because she had tasted of the food of Hades (a handful of pomegranate seeds) she was forced to forever spend a part of the year with her husband in the underworld. Her annual return to the earth in spring was marked by the flowering of the meadows and the sudden growth of the new grain. Her return to the underworld in winter, conversely, saw the dying down of plants and the halting of growth. (x)