Also known as:
Although long-standing, the marriage of Hades and Persephone is not generally considered a love match. Hades apparently wished to marry Persephone in order to strengthen his position as Lord of Death in the same way that his brothers Poseidon and Zeus forced themselves upon their brides, Amphitrite and Hera. It was a strategic alliance. Hades’ heart really belonged to another, the Nymph Menthe.
Hades and Menthe may have been lovers before his marriage. An alternative myth suggests that Persephone’s coldness toward her husband drove him into another’s arms. Either way, when Persephone’s mother Demeter discovered this affair, she was outraged and transformed Menthe into the humble mint plant so that everyone would trample her. (Another version suggests that Persephone herself discovered the lovers and performed the transformation.)
The joke was on the enraged goddess, whether mother or daughter: the transformation did not halt the affair and it only served to increase Menthe’s powers. When mint is trampled underfoot, it releases its signature seductive aroma. Mint remains among the most beloved of all herbs.
Hades and Menthe continued their affair. Menthe was worshipped alongside Hades at some of his shrines, sometimes discreetly, sometimes not. Menthe’s powers are manifest in mint plants. Many species are aphrodisiacs with profound healing powers. They are potent cleansing agents; hence the popularity of mint flavored toothpaste and facial cleansers. Menthe is an erotic goddess who may be invoked for assistance with love, healing, and spiritual cleansing. Mint also has contraceptive properties. Peppermint and spearmint were allegedly the favorite plants of Roman prostitutes. Menthe is a goddess of contraception. She heals digestive ailments.
The other woman
Fresh mint plants evoke Menthe’s presence. She also manifests as a beautiful woman dressed in green.
Menthe and Hades may be venerated together. Keep Menthe far from Demeter and Persephone.
Fresh mint plants, mint scented cosmetics, mint tea, Crème de Menthe liqueur, mint juleps, and peppermint candy
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.