DEMETER (Δήμητρα) is the Olympian Goddess of Agriculture, Fertility and the Harvest. She presides over grains, the fertility of the earth, the seasons, motherly love, and the harvest. Her Roman form was the goddess Ceres. Demeter is the middle daughter of the Titans Rhea and Kronos. She's the younger sister of Hestia and Hades, and the elder sister of Hera, Poseidon, and Zeus. With her brother Zeus, she conceived Persephone, and was broken-hearted when she was kidnapped by Hades.
Sow good seeds for a bountiful harvest of good fruits.
–Lailah Gifty Akita
History and Myths
Demeter was swallowed upon her birth by her father along with Hestia, Hades, Poseidon, and Hera, they were later saved by Zeus to help defeat Kronos and the Titans. After the war, Zeus and Poseidon tried to marry her, but Demeter instead devoted herself to her duties as the goddess of the harvest. Though Zeus was married to Hera, Demeter had a relationship with him that resulted in a daughter, Persephone. Though the affair ended, Demeter was very happy as she had a beautiful daughter all to herself. Persephone grew up without want, always staying close to her mother and sharing some of her power over the earth.
Demeter was the goddess of all the earth's fruits, not only grain (though this was by far the most important food-crop). As the goddess of horticulture, the growing of figs, apples, pears and other fruits fell within her dominion (with the exception of olives, the province of Athena, grapes, the province of Dionysos, and pomegranates). She was also the goddess of vegetable crops (with the exception of beans, which for some reason were regarded as impure).
Demeter was the goddess of grain and bread, the staple food of the ancient Greeks. She was also, by contrast, the goddess of starvation and hunger. When the crops failed, hunger would quickly follow. Like most of the Greek gods, she represented a force of nature, which in its dual nature could bring either blessing (a bountiful harvest) or curse (crop failure).
Demeter is most notable for the abduction of Persephone by Hades. Demeter was devastated by her daughter's abduction and swore that she would keep the Earth barren until her brother agreed to return Persephone. Seeing no other choice, Zeus sent Hermes to fetch the young goddess but Persephone had since fallen in love with Hades and having eaten 6 seeds of a pomegranate, she was now bound to reside in the Underworld for six months of each year during which Demeter refuses to allow life to grow on the earth.
Goddess of Agriculture and Fertility Goddess of the Harvest and Sacred Law Goddess of the Earth Goddess of the Seasons, Nourishment and Bread The Mistress of Food Demeter Chrysaoros Demeter Erinys Doso Sito Themosphoros
As an Elder Olympian and the Goddess of Agriculture, Demeter is more powerful than her older sister, Hestia, but less so compared to her younger siblings (Hera and the Big Three). Due to her having divine authority over agriculture and the harvest, she wields tremendous power over the forces of nature, and could weave them to her will: she could command the trees of the forest to grow, vegetation to spring forth from the ground, and even punish those who offend her with famine, hunger, and thirst. Since the seasons also fall under her jurisdiction, she could change the climate and state of the earth as well.
The legendary tale of Hades and Persephone is just one of the numerous instances where Demeter's powers could affect the state of nature itself: when she is with her most beloved daughter, Persephone, the earth is warm and fertile, but when Persephone is away with her husband, Hades, the world is cold, dark, and barren.
Shapeshifting: As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Demeter has the power to transform and reshape the form of her body, though she hardly ever utilizes this ability. She has transformed into an eagle (while escaping from Kronos' palace on Mount Othrys), a bat (while sneaking into Tartarus' maximum-security zone with her siblings), a snake (while trying to escape from Zeus' advances), and a mare (while trying to escape from Poseidon's advances).
Chlorokinesis: As the Goddess of Agriculture, Demeter has divine authority and absolute control over plants and the harvest. She has the same plant-manipulation powers as her demigod children, only to an infinitely greater extent.
Taphokinesis: As the Goddess of Agriculture, Demeter has the ability to make plants rot and decay.
Fertility Manipulation: As the Goddess of Fertility, Demeter has the power to manipulate fertility, the natural capability for living beings to reproduce (in terms of animals) or grow (in terms of plants). She could either grant or enhance the fertility of the earth, turning barren plains into fertile fields, encourage orchards to bear fruit, and flowers to bloom. She could also render things infertile, making them unable to reproduce or grow. As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, she permitted the crops of Eleusis to continue growing even as she rendered the rest of the earth barren and infertile.
Swordsmanship: According to Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Demeter always wore a curved and menacing Imperial Gold sword (forged for her by the Elder Cyclopes) on her belt. While she usually uses it to cut wheat, it was stated that Demeter was also capable of skillfully wielding it in combat against those who anger her, which reveals her to be an expert swordswoman.
Body Length Manipulation: As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Demeter has the power to manipulate the height of her body - when provoked to breaking point by Erysichthon, she grew to a massive height greater than even the trees of her sacred grove. Percy describes her as "Grainzilla" in this state. In her fury Demeter curses the earth turning the world cold, dark, and barren.
Nourishment Manipulation: As the Mistress of All Nourishment, Demeter has absolute control and divine authority over nourishment. An example of an ability she derived from this province is:
Gluttony Inducement: As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Demeter had the power to induce excessive eating or gluttony, rendering one unable to focus on anything else than fulfilling their hunger - she cursed Erysichthon to suffer and eventually die an excruciating death from insatiable hunger and thirst.
Deification: As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Demeter has the power to transform whomever she chooses into immortal deities - had it not been for the untimely interference of Metaneira, she would have successfully made Demophoon an immortal god. Later on, she made Triptolemus her immortal lieutenant as the God of Farming after he helped her find her daughter.
Geokinesis: As the Goddess of the Earth, Demeter has absolute control and divine authority over the earth, presumably more than her siblings (Hera and Hades ), though less so compared to her grandmother, Gaea .
Thermokinesis: As the Goddess of Agriculture, Demeter has divine authority and absolute control over the temperatures of the atmosphere, which is also the basis of her control over the seasons. Examples of other abilities she derived from this province are:
Seasons Alteration/Seasons Control: As the Goddess of the Seasons, Demeter has divine authority and absolute control over the seasons, such as annually transforming spring into winter (when her daughter Persephone is with Hades), and vice versa (when her daughter returns).
After Hestia stepped down from the Olympian Council, Demeter is the oldest Olympian to have a throne in Olympus.
Aphrodite's age is somewhat vague, meaning she might be older. Piper describes her as "the most ancienct Olympian", though Percy Jackson's Greek Gods claims she only arose from the sea foam after the Titans were defeated.
She is the only Olympain female to have blonde hair (Apollo is the only male Olympain with blonde hair)
Out of her and her sisters (Hestia and Hera), she is the only one to have demigod children.
Ceres, a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt (located between Mars and Jupiter), is named after Demeter's Roman aspect.
Demeter is one of the twelve Olympians who doesn't make a major appearance in a book, aside from her minor role in The Last Olympian. However, Demeter does have a much larger role in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.
As shown in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Demeter (who was distraught about her daughter, Persephone), was the only one to touch the food prepared for the Olympians by Tantalus. Hence, Demeter unknowingly ate Pelops' shoulder. However, when Zeus brought him back to life, Hephaestus was able to make a replacement shoulder for Pelops out of ivory.
In The Last Olympian, Demeter kept on telling Persephone to eat more cereal, which is named after her Roman counterpart, Ceres.
She appears to have chosen her lovers for humorous reasons as two of her known children — Miranda Gardiner and Katie Gardner — have names that sound like gardener, for she is goddess of agriculture and farming.
Due to her curved Imperial Gold sword, Demeter is sometimes referred to as Demeter Chrysaoros, or "Demeter of the golden sword".
1108 Demeter, a main belt asteroid 26km in diameter, is named after her.
Hades, her own brother, is also her son-in-law.
Some stories say that her weapon was actually molded from Kronos' scythe to her own choice of a weapon.
Her Norse equivalent would be Sif.
Her name possibly means "Mother-Earth" or "Earth-Mother".
During the Pact of the Big Three, she was the only child of Kronos and Rhea that had demigod children allowed to do so.
Her Roman form Ceres is depicted on the Seal of New Jersey as a symbol of prosperity.