Pomegranates, when left on their trees, open like flowers to release hundreds of seeds. They are harvested in the fall. The maiden Kore, before she became known as Queen of the Underworld, Persephone, ate pomegranate seeds when Hades (AKA Pluto, God of the Underworld) offered them to her.
The act of accepting them signified moving from girlhood to womanhood–from spring to fall, from light to darkness. From this, Kore (which means maiden) became Persephone. She lost the virtue and expansiveness of spring and summer and gained the potency and contemplation of fall and winter. Because of the agreement between Demeter, Hades, and Zeus, as a result of Hades’ abduction of Kore and Demeter’s resulting distress and strike, Persephone annually lives between the upper world and the lower world–mythologically, her course prompts the seasons.
Persephone’s story is about the cycles of life and death, about the transformation from innocence and questioning to sensuality and knowing. Now is the season when Persephone has retreated below the surface with pomegranate seeds in her possession, when she steps into her sovereignty. When she is queen.
For a more in depth discussion of the myth of Persephone and Demeter, listen to our On Sicily podcast episode at https://experiencesicily.com/2020/08/11/on-sicily-demeter-and-persephone-with-rosa-rizza/