Re: [tied] Re: Demeter and Persephone

From: João Simões Lopes Filho
Message: 4491
Date: 2000-10-23

The tales of Persephone and Eurydice remembers the Japanese IZanagi and
Izanami, and maybe Lilith and Lot's wife. The "good"goddess goes to
Underworld; his husband tries to rescue her; he fails; she became an "evil"
goddess. So, Kore, the Corn-Maid became Persephone, the Underworld Queen;
Lilith, the first Adam's wife, became a succubus. I think this can be an
ancient tale from Eurasia. If this myth is connected or not to the rescue
of the Corn-god(dess) from Underworld to renew the Nature, I don't know.

----- Original Message -----
From: John Croft <jdcroft@...>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, October 23, 2000 6:33 AM
Subject: [tied] Re: Demeter and Persephone

> João wrote:
> > There is similarities although I think this myth was not IE. The
> rescue of a
> > deity from Hell, whose ausence cause a decaying of nature is
> present at
> > Balder myth (Scandinavia), Osiris & Isis (Egypt), Inana, Dumuzi and
> > Ereshkigal (Mesopotamia).
> > Personally I think maybe the primitive form of Demeter and
> Persephone legend
> > was inverted: Demeter had to rescue the "god of grain", Dionysos-
> Plouton,
> > from Underworld Queen, Persephone, like Sumerian tale
> > (Inana-Dumuzi-Ereshkigal).
> > The Greek picked the tale of
> > "goddess-rescuing-lover-boy-from-hellish-goddess" and inverted it,
> to
> > "mother-goddess-rescuing-daughter-from-hellish-husband".
> There is also the tale of Anath rescuing Baal from Mot (Death) in
> Canaan. I suspect we are deeling with a very old mythos here
> concerning the planting of te grain in the ground and covering it
> over, to have it grow as seed. The story of Haiwatha amongst the
> Iroquois has similar parallels, despite no etymological connection.
> The Goddess Swi Dewi in Java (the Rice Goddess who dies, and gets
> reborn out of the Earth through the action of her devotees) is
> another variant of the same motif.
> I suspect that the story came with the original neolithic farmers.
> Certainly it appears central to the Inanna story, and Inanna is pre-
> Sumerian (Proto-Euphratean). Its widespread nature and the tieing in
> of the great festivals that accompanied this myth into the seasonal
> cycles, suggest it was universal elsewhere.
> Of course it in part depended upon on what gender was the "grain".
> If the grain was female (as in the Greek Kore-Demeter cycle) it was
> the daughter of the Earth which needed to be liberated so the earth
> could blossom again after the season of death (Summer in
> Mediterranean climates - winter in Northern Europe). Where the grain
> was perceived as male (eg as in many other cases) then it was the
> male god who died and was resurrected (Attis, Adonis, Tammuz, Damuzi,
> Baldr etc). It is interesting that the Sumerian tale has both a
> female and a male who go to the underworld - first Inanna, then her
> husband, then her husband's sister (Gestinanna = Inanna of the Grape).
> The "setting free from death" motif appears in other contexts too -
> Orpheus and Euridice, and even the Ramayana tale of Rama and Sita
> have elements of the same story. Odin too is a god who died and was
> resurrected. Dare I point to JC himself? In fact it was the
> ubiquitous nature of the story of death and rebirth that was
> exploited by early Christians to their advantage in spreading their
> beliefs widely throughout pagan communities.
> Regards
> John