Ceres is Demeter's Roman counterpart. As Ceres, she becomes more disciplined, militaristic, and warlike. While Greeks envisioned Demeter as the one who gave mankind the gift of agriculture, Romans believed that the laws and rites of Ceres protected all the activities of the agricultural cycle. She has a demigod daughter named Leila and perhaps may have other children or descendants at Camp Jupiter near San Francisco.
Ceres was the daughter of Saturn and Ops. Sicily, Attica, Crete, and Egypt, claim the honor of her birth, each country producing the ground of its claims, though general suffrage favors the first. In her youth, being extremely beautiful, Jupiter fell in love with her, and by him she had Proserpina. For some time she took up her residence in Corcyra, so called in later times, from a daughter of Asōpus, there buried, but anciently Drepănum, from the sickle used by the goddess in reaping, which had been presented to her by Vulcan. Then she moved to Sicily, where the violence of Pluto deprived her of her daughter, Proserpina. Disconsolate at her loss, she importuned Jupiter for the return of her daughter, but obtaining little satisfaction, she lit torches at the volcano of Mount Etna, and mounting her car, drawn by winged dragons, set out in search of her beloved daughter. This transaction the Sicilians annually commemorated by running about in the night with lighted torches and loud exclamations.
It must be owned that Ceres was not undeserving the highest titles bestowed upon her, being considered as the deity who had blessed men with the art of cultivating the earth, having not only taught them to plow and sow, but also to reap, harvest, and thresh out their grain; to make flour and bread, and fix limits or boundaries to ascertain their possessions. The garlands used in her sacrifices were of myrtle, or rape-weed; but flowers were prohibited; Proserpine being carried off as she gathered them. The poppy alone was sacred to her, not only because it grows among corn, but because, in her distress, Jupiter gave it her to eat, that she might sleep and forget her troubles. Cicero mentions an ancient temple dedicated to her at Catania, in Sicily in which the offices were performed by matrons and virgins only, no men were admitted.
Ceres was usually represented with a tall majestic stature, fair complexion, languishing eyes, and yellow or flaxen hair; her head crowned with a garland of poppies, or ears of corn; holding in her right hand a bunch of the same materials with her garland, and in her left a lighted torch. When in a car or chariot, she is drawn by lions, or winged dragons.
Ceres is supposed to meet Bacchus in a wheat field in Topeka, Kansas to discuss how Gaea has been affecting the agriculture. However, she never showed up as she sensed it was a trap, something Bacchus quickly caught on to.
- She has the standard powers of a goddess.
- Chlorokinesis: As the goddess of agriculture and harvest, she has divine authority and absolute control over plants. She can also grant fertility to the earth, allowing plants to grow where they could not grow before. Also, she aids plants in growing simply by being near them.
- Seasons: She can control the seasons by transforming winter into spring.
- She can transform things into plants. She can turn multiple things at once.
- The word cereal derives from her name Ceres.
- The Cerealia festival was celebrated on April 12th in honor of Ceres and connected with the growth of corn.
- Ceres is depicted on the Seal of New Jersey as a symbol of prosperity.
- An asteroid is named after Ceres.
- Ceres was also a character in Shakespeare's play The Tempest, along with Juno and Iris.
- It is mentioned by Bacchus that she is not ever tardy for anything.