The Persephone Myth

There are two listed Asteroids for the Queen of the Underworld. The first main belt asteroid discovered was Roman Proserpina, Asteriod 26 in 1853. Followed by the Greek Persephone, Asteroid 399, discovered in 1895. Because these names were already taken, Eris could not be named Persephone when it was discovered in 2005 despite it being the favourite. I will now look at both the Greek and the Roman version of the Persephone Myth and see if there is a difference between the two.

Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, she is also known as Kore in modern English. As Kore she is the vegetation goddess. In Greek art she is often portrayed as carrying a sheaf of grain just like the Virgin in Constellation Virgo. So you see already that Persephone symbolism can very easily become part of Ceres’s attributes.

The Greek Myth

In the myth, Persephone is abducted by Hades while she is out picking flowers. A great chasm opens up in the ground and she gets pulled into the Underworld. Demeter then held the earth to ransom, mourning for her kidnapped daughter and caused a great drought. Zeus relented and allowed Persephone to spend half the year with her mother.

We get some weird overlappings with the fact that later on Demeter bears another child (by another god) called Ploutos – The Roman version of Pluto. Ploutos means wealth, this is the wealth of the corn that was stored underground. Ploutos is then fused with Hades. The dead, the manure, the fertilizer, which holds the seeds of Kore. Kore is merged with Persephone the Queen of the Underworld and then ascends through the earth as the new plant to reunite with her mother Demeter.

So now things get like an episode of Dynasty. Pluto/Hades is both Demeter’s son-in-law and actual son, this means Pluto/Hades is Persephone’s half-brother. Demeter/Ceres is also Kore meaning Pluto/Hades is bonking both his mother and mother in law…

This inter-breeding and inter-changeability all just emphasize the cyclical nature of life and that everything is related. It shows the rite of passage from innocence/virginity to womanhood/wisdom. It also shows yet another version of the triple moon goddess. Ceres/Kore = Virgin, Persephone/Eris = Mother/Whore, Pluto/Ceres = Crone. At it’s simplest level it merely describes the change of seasons.

The Roman Myth

Proserpina comes from the latin Serpere, and means “to crawl forward”. She was also identified with the Serpent, as shown on Italian witches charms by a half moon with a serpent coiled around it. She is the daughter of Ceres and Jupiter. This myth starts with Venus instructing her son Cupid to strike Pluto with one of his love arrows. Again Proserpina is out flower picking, but this time she is specifically in Sicily when Pluto leaps out of the Volcano Etna on four black horses, rapes her and makes her his Queen.

Pluto is her uncle in this version. Ceres stopped the growth of all fruits and cursed Sicily. Like the Greek version, Pluto also made Proserpina eat six pomegranate seeds, one for each month of the year that she would have to stay with him. In some versions she actually steals the seeds of her own accord, presumably, she actually wanted this dual life.

Artwork of the Roman version seems to emphasise the “rape” element more. This could be because at this time Christianity was starting to take hold and the old pagan, Goddess-worshipping religions were slowly being replaced by monotheism. Myths do tend to reflect the societies from whence they came, so my translation of the “rape” is that it is describing the decimation of the goddess worshipping cultures of northern Europe.

Modern feminists rewriting this myth say the rape did not occur and Proserpina willing went into the underworld to help the dying. I see this supposed “rape” as being used as a ploy so that maidens could empower themselves. In Sicily one way of escaping an overly domineering family, was by eloping with your sweetheart. If you had spent the night with the guy, then you had to marry him as it was assumed that you had been “raped” or had sex. This was a way of preserving the honor of the lady in question. Of course the lady had nothing to do with this, being sweet an innocent as she was…;)

So both versions are more or less the same. They both describe the process of life, death and rebirth. Persephone is one of the few female examples a resurrection deity, as most of them are male. Examples include: Jesus, Krishna, Dionysus, Osiris, Orpheus and Odin. The only other female example is Inanna or Ishtar which brings us to the original Sumerian version of the Persephone myth,  Innana & Ereshkigal.

For now I would like to look at the differences between the Greek and the Roman versions of Persephone by looking at both discovery charts. I do try to keep things simple and I think if you want to see how the Persephone archetype works in your chart you should first examine the relationship between Ceres, Eris and Pluto. Also Pluto with Venus or Mercury. I have a suspicion that Transpluto could describe the process of becoming whole and enlightened which is really what resurrection is all about.


This chart shows a shield aspect pattern which is also being intersected by her mum Ceres. The shield is between Mars, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon. This subject hides behind the shield keeping others at a distance, for Persephone I would say she would be using her mother as a buffer. With this Persephone also tends to accuse and blame others. The outward side of the shield is the Mars/Venus sextile, this is Persephone’s obvious pure beauty and unsoiled sexuality, it also describes her maidenhead. She uses her beauty and perfection as a mask and as protection. Closer to her is Jupiter (her father) and the Moon (her Mother). It is interesting how Ceres (Kore herself) is the apex of both Jupiter and Mars, this to me describes her fertility and abundance.

Persephone’s thinking is obsessive and tends to paranoia. Suspicion is strong with Mercury square Pluto and she finds it hard to trust and surrender. It seems to be describing a kind of frigidness, a girl who does not want to admit to sexual thoughts or own her sexuality. It is far easier to blame the man, say he seduced her, made her do the taboo act. This could also be one who teases and is passive aggressive.

The stars on Ceres are revealing in this respect. Acumen is the sting in the Scorpion and Sinistra the right hand of the snake charmer in Ophiuchus. The constellation as a whole givesa passionate, blindly good-hearted, wasteful and easily seduced nature, unseen dangers, enmity and slander.” [1]  Well that fits!

Persephone Discovery ChartThe Moon is square Uranus which describes nervousness and volatile emotions. Persephone can feel smothered and restricted by her mother and longs to break free, but at the same time she struggles with true independence. The square like this will provoke shocking external events that will jolt Persephone into enlightenment, hence the abduction from Pluto.

The Moon star further emphasizes going from one extreme (or one world) to another, Deneb Algedi in Capricorn “It is said to cause beneficence and destructiveness, sorrow and happiness, and life and death” [2].

Even her Sun conjunct Mercury could be showing a split personality. I do like her Sun on Deneb Adige in the Swan, pure white feathers atop a jet black skin. The wise and seasoned Queen of the Underworld lurking beneath her apparent innocence and naivety. In fact shield people can take the life’s hardest knocks and are actually far more resilient than they appear. Interesting that Roman Proserpina in this chart is tightly conjunct Pluto. Showing her where she could be if she let her guard down.


This chart immediately feels far more together than Persephone’s. There is a stronger blue presence and none of the squares. The main aspect pattern is the megaphone, John Lennon had one of these. This pattern makes her very dynamic and as fast as lightning. This person can extract a lot of different types of information and spin it into a yarn that will captivate its audience.

Proserpina Discovery ChartThey are creative and artistic thinkers, spin doctors and manipulators.  This apparently innocent maiden knows just what she is doing and is very focused indeed with a goal in mind. That would be, to become Underworld Queen whatever it takes. It all stems from her father Jupiter and interestingly, again we get Jupiter and Mars featured, the tightest aspects in both charts. So they are Warrior Queens underneath it all.

Proserpina seems much more at home with her sexuality and beauty. Her Sun is conjunct Venus, making her charismatic and the perfect lover and they both sextile Neptune. In Sun sextile Neptune I said they are excitable romantics with a tendency to worship their lover”. Well Pluto would dig that! No wonder she is one of the most popular goddesses as this is a spellbinding, dreamy combo indeed.

Venus on Menkar the Sea monster could be dangerous though, wow, this is good, Menkar on Venus gives “Strong and uncontrolled passions, jealousy, domestic disharmony and temporary separation” [3]  Her Moon conjunct Mercury goes very nicely with the megaphone aspect, a imaginative conversationalist, charm and a sparkling wit. She can talk about her emotions easily. She can be moody, but she is not half as suspicious as her Greek sister.

I think the chart is describing the actual “rape”, I mean it’s just so phallic-looking, with that point to Jupiter. Even more symbolic is the fact Jupiter is on Aculeus, the stinger of the Scorpion! How’s about that as a description of Pluto’s manhood?

Mars the planet of sex is on Al Pherg in Pisces, these fishes are actually saviors since they rescued Venus and her son Cupid from drowning while trying to escape the sea monster Typhon. This is a courageous Mars. Robson says this star “gives preparedness, steadiness, determination and final success.” [4]

Ceres is opposite Uranus, so this girl has rebelled against her mother. Pluto is opposite Asteroid Proserpina in this chart as opposed to being conjunct her in Persephone’s chart. While Asteroid Persephone is also opposed the Sun. So this is a far more confrontational chart. Roman Prosperina seems much feistier than the simpering, frigid and nervy Greek Persephone


I’m not saying the Roman version of the myth is better than the Greek, but I do personally prefer Proserpina just from reading the charts. What it seems to be showing here is Asteroid Persephone represents herself before she lost her virginity and Asteroid Prosephina shows her as a fully fledged woman.

This also fits with the Lilith story; where Persephone is Eve before she took the bite of the apple and Prosephina is Eve afterwards. The serpent symbolism associated with Proserpina could also be about releasing the Kundalini, the serpent bringing about sexual enlightenment and Lilith wisdom.

I found no significant connections in the charts using Mean Lilith, but using True Lilith, the wilder, untamed Lilith, I found her conjunct Proserpina’s Sun which gives her Lilith’s sexual maturity. Lilith conjunct Sun I wrote “seems to play out as the ego feeling exiled from the dominant patriarchal system. Sometimes this is as a result of actual abuse from male authority figures.” That would be Pluto then. With Persephone, however, True Lilith is trine Neptune, showing the forbidden fruit she is about to bite and the promise of enlightenment through sex. I found Lilith/Neptune to be tantric.

1,2,3 & 4. Fixed Stars & Constellations in Astrology. Robson p. 54, p.159, p.176, p.134.

Dark Moon > The Persephone Myth

One thought on “The Persephone Myth

  1. Wow! Thank you sooooo much for this piece! This provoked a major healing shift and perceptual shift in myself regarding my chart. I have Persephone conjunct sun in Aquarius. Sun is square Scorpio moon. Hades is in Taurus square sun, opposite moon. Venus in 8th pisces opposite Pluto, in 2nd. Mars in Aries opposite Lilith in libra. Talk about embodying the Persephone myth. I am just now starting to uncover during this Venus retro the full story of my life emulating this myth. My mother and father always trying to shelter and control me, being abducted by a narcissist into the underworld, so that I can better understand my psyche, my shadow and break free – being granted new life, to grow up, mature and take responsibility for myself and embrace the life force/kundalini to create my very own life – away from parental influences. This is hands down the best article and description of this myth I have ever read! Layers and layers of truth. Thank you again!

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