The Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter and Persephone

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A ritual is usually a ceremony that includes a series of actions that are performed according to a certain order. Most of the time rituals originate from myths. In Athens, several people participated in a group of events known as The Eleusinian Mysteries, hoping for a fulfilling and great afterlife. The Eleusinian Mysteries, a cult centered on a myth of Persephone's journey to and from the underworld, were celebrated from the eighth century B.C to the Hellenistic period. To the ancient Greeks, myths had a purpose and that was to basically explain the world around them. The myth and the mysteries itself were a symbol of life, death, and rebirth. The mysteries were created from the story and it was their way of demonstrating their honor and belief of the two goddesses. Events that occurred during the Eleusinian Mysteries symbolized a part of the myth of Demeter and Persephone, which is proof that the rituals practiced are associated with the myth. Anyone except those who could not speak Greek or have committed murder were allowed to participate in these rituals. Although most things that occurred in the Hall of Initiation were meant to be kept secret, some have been revealed. The mysteries were divided into two parts, the Lesser Mysteries and the Greater Mysteries. The Lesser Mysteries, which happened annually, was a preparation for the Greater Mysteries and represented Persephone's first time being in the underworld. Hades, god of the underworld, saw Persephone and wanted to make her his wife. Persephone did not like him so he abducted her and took her to the underworld. Persephone was the main focal point and was honored during these rituals. Before moving on, Rivera 2 participants had to purify themselves to turn away fr... ... middle of paper ... ... participants did not wear crowns or eat pomegranate seeds that had touched the ground because Persephone had been stolen while gathering flowers, and because she had eaten the pomegranate seeds in the underworld (Foley, 72/Taylor 1995). Works Cited "The Ancient Mysteries and Secret Societies." Secret Teachings of All Ages: , Part Three. N.p., 30 June 2007. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. "The Ecole Initiative: The Eleusinian Mysteries." The Ecole Initiative: The Eleusinian Mysteries. N.p., 01 Nov. 2007. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. "The Eleusinian Mysteries." For Your Faith. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013. "The Eleusinian Mysteries and the Cult of Demeter." By Tim Harry. N.p., 24 Oct. 2013. Web. 05 Dec. 2013. Taylor, Kelly B. "Seasons of Death: The Eleusinian Rites of Demeter." Seasons of Death: The Eleusinian Rites of Demeter. N.p., 4 Dec. 1995. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.

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