Once upon a time Demeter, the Earth (think surface, soil, season . . . ) Goddess, was having a very challenging month. Her brother, Hades, the God of the Underworld, had taken off with her daughter, Persephone (also called Cora), and her other brother, who also happened to be Persephone’s father, Zeus, would do nothing to help her. She was seriously bummed and more than a little outraged.
So she goes on a Walkabout. Lots of stuff happens, but that’s another story, or, more likely, several other stories . . . In time, you can read about them here. For now, the important part is that she’s sad and angry, particularly with her brother-Gods.
She’s recently been roaming the Earth pretending to look for her daughter. This is classical denial. She knows her brother Hades has Persephone in the underworld, and that this is culturally and legally legit. But neither socially acceptable nor legal makes it right, and she’s walking off the pain of empty nest syndrome and trying to remember who she is when she’s not her daughter’s mother.
At the same time Poseidon, her third brother-God to enter this story, is sitting on his throne, when he starts to wonder what his sister, Demeter, has been up to recently.
But, Poseidon’s curiosity doesn’t stop there. As he contemplates his sister’s profound procreation abilities, he begins to imagine how she might personally use that knowledge. And the Sea God has quite an imagination. Suddenly he thinks it is about time for a little reunion and heads inland.
Demeter, thanks to her super-keen Earth-Goddess senses, smells him coming (the musky scent of Deity testosterone hangs heavy in the air). She rolls her eyes. The last things she needs right now is another brother with erotic issues.
She casts about in her mind for a good hiding place . . . and reels in a nearby equine farm. It will have to do. Transmogrifying into a Clydesdale, Demeter takes off. Soon she’s one mare in a sea of equines. And Poseidon arrives.
Using his own, super-keen Sea-God powers, Poseidon begins to sniff the air. He clearly knows she’s in this mass of giant bodies, so he, too, transmogrifies into a stallion. This makes it easier, because, just as Greek Gods procreate every time they engage in romantic activities, Greek Goddesses—at least those who have agreed to involvement with men—are perpetually ovulating. He need only investigate the few mares who are in heat.
And he gets lucky: in two senses. First, in that there are no other mares in heat, the second, well, goes without more specificity.
Demeter makes her way home, hoping the inevitable offspring will be a girl.
Ten months later, Demeter, enormous and resting her swollen ankles on a bed of lentils, feels it’s time and calls for Hestia who appears immediately, honored to act as her baby-sister’s doula.
The labor is painful and long: that’s why it’s called labor. Eventually the first baby crowns, and Hestia remains remarkably calm as the long face and mane emerge. “Well,” she thinks 'Demeter knew what she was doing with this design. Nose first is really smart.'
“It’s a stallion!” she cries as she hands the squirming foal to his mother. Demeter loves him up, then passes him to Fulla, who stands waiting. Demeter suddenly squats down again and a baby (human) girl emerges, cooing and grasping after her brother.
“Names?,” Hestia asks. “Areion,” after that king, only with a horse spelling. And Despoena, but don’t tell anyone . . . Ever.