“Daughter of Jove [Zeus], almighty and divine,
come, blessed queen, and to these rites incline:
This hymn is about both the Persephone of the upper world and the Persephone who is Queen of Hades. She, as the Goddess who bridges the worlds, is the one that rewards the initiate of the mysteries in the afterlife. It is interesting that she is called “Mother of Bacchus” as most people do not know that version of the mythology and consider Dionysus as being the son of Semele instead. She is also called the source of the Eumenides (in the Orphic view she may have been their mother), who in other stories are some of the children born from the blood of Ouranos which fell upon Gaia when he was castrated.
Persephone is both the vernal queen and espoused in autumn to the king of the underworld. It is perhaps for this reason that she is asked to allow the original writer to come to her palace “where happy spirits dwell” because it is (at least in the view of this hymn) HER power that determines when it is a person’s time to die. Like others of the Olympians (as she is counted by some) she is asked for health, abundance and peace. This more than anything else marks her as being more important in the lives of the people than merely a goddess of the seasons……