Season: 5, Episodes: 3, Faction: DHARMA Initiative
A Looking Glass Technician was a DHARMA Initiative recruit who arrived on the Island in 1977 with the other new recruits. She worked with Rosie in the underwater Looking Glass Station.
5×09 – Namaste
She was first seen standing between Hurley and Erin during the New Recruits photograph. (“Namaste”)
5×10 – He’s Our You
During breakfast in the cafeteria she was seen standing in line between Rosie and Casey when Jack, Kate, and Hurley were discussing Sayid.
Later she was present at “the vote” to determine if Sayid should be executed. She sat next to Radzinsky and voted in favor of the execution. That night a burning DHARMA van crashed into building 15, one of the houses at the Barracks. (“He’s Our You”)
5×11 – Whatever Happened, Happened
The Technician was standing next to Erin during Horace’s speech outside the house after the fire had been put out. (“Whatever Happened, Happened”)
Associated DHARMA Stations
Decoded Season 1 Characters
Decoded Season 3 Characters
Decoded Season 5 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation which shoots forth in spring and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence she is also associated with spring and with the seeds of the fruits of the fields. Persephone as a vegetation goddess (Kore) and her mother Demeter were the central figures of the Eleusinian mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon. In the Linear B (Mycenean Greek) tablets dated 1400-1200 BC found at Pylos, the “two mistresses and the king” are mentioned; John Chadwick identifies these as Demeter, Persephone and Poseidon.
In Classical Greek art, Persephone is invariably portrayed robed; often carrying a sheaf of grain. In Latin, she is called Proserpina.
Persephone’s abduction is first mentioned in Hesiod’s Theogony. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter a great chasm opened up and Hades abducted her daughter. Demeter caused a terrible drought that forced Zeus to bring Persephone back, but she was obliged to spend half of the year in the underworld. Demeter was also united with the hero Iasion in Crete and she bore Ploutos (wealth) who represents the wealth of the corn that was stored in underground silos or ceramic jars (pithoi). Similar subterranean pithoi were used in ancient times for burials and Ploutos is fused with Hades, the King of the realm of the dead. During summer months, the Greek Corn-Maiden (Kore) is lying in the corn of the underground silos, in the realm of Hades and she is fused with Persephone, the Queen of the underworld. At the beginning of the autumn, when the seeds of the old crop are laid on the fields, she ascends and is reunited with her mother Demeter, for at that time the old crop and the new meet each other. For the initiated this union was the symbol of the eternity of human life that flows from the generations which spring from each other.
Hesiod refers to the island of the “happy dead” and it is the Elysion which seems to be counterpart with Eleusis, the city of the Eleusinian mysteries. The Greeks believed that only the beloved of the gods could exist there. In Odyssey Homer carries the old belief to the ideal island for mortals Scheria, the imaginary perfect world that was offered to the future emigrants. This island became the lost dream of the Greek world.
The primitive myths of isolated Arcadia seem to be related with the first Greek-speaking people who came from the north during the bronze age. Despoina (Persephone) is the daughter of Demeter and Poseidon Hippios (horse), who represents the river spirit of the underworld that appears as a horse as often happens in northern-European folklore. He pursues the mare-Demeter and from the union she bears the horse Arion and a daughter who originally had the form or the shape of a mare. The two goddesses were not clearly separated and they were closely connected with the springs and the animals. They were related with the god of rivers and springs; Poseidon and especially with Artemis, the Mistress of the Animals who was the first nymph. According to the Greek tradition a hunt-goddess preceded the harvest goddess.
Queen of the Underworld
There is an archaic role for Persephone as the dread queen of the Underworld, whose very name it was forbidden to speak. As goddess of death she is also called a daughter of Zeus and Styx, the river that formed the boundary between Earth and the underworld. Homer describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic queen of the shades, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead, along with her husband Hades. In the reformulation of Greek mythology expressed in the Orphic Hymns, Dionysus and Melinoe are separately called children of Zeus and Persephone. Groves sacred to her are at the western extremity of the earth on the frontiers of the lower world, which itself is called “house of Persephone”.
Her central myth was the context of the secret rites of regeneration at Eleusis, which promised immortality to initiates.
The story of her abduction is traditionally referred to as the Rape of Persephone. The myth is absent in Homer and first appears in Hesiod’s Theogony: “Also he [Zeus] came to the bed of all-nourishing Demeter, and she bore white-armed Persephone whom Aidoneus (Hades) carried off from her mother; but wise Zeus gave her to him.” Unlike every other offspring of an Olympian pairing of deities, Persephone has no stable position at Olympus. Persephone used to live far away from the other deities, a goddess within Nature herself before the days of planting seeds and nurturing plants. In the Olympian telling, the gods Hermes, Ares, Apollo, and Hephaestus had all wooed Persephone; but Demeter rejected all their gifts and hid her daughter away from the company of the Olympian deities.
Thus, beautiful Persephone lived a peaceful life until Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, fell in love with her. It is said that Zeus advised him to carry her off, as her mother Demeter was not likely to allow. She was innocently picking flowers with some nymphs—Athena, and Artemis, the Homeric hymn says—or Leucippe, or Oceanids—in a field when Hades came to abduct her, bursting through a cleft in the earth. The place where Persephone was said to have been carried off is different in the various local traditions. The Sicilians believed that Hades found her in the meadows near Enna. The Eleusinians mentioned the Nysaean plane in Boeotia and said that Persephone had descended with Hades into the lower world at the entrance of the western Oceanus. Later accounts place the rape near Attica or at Erineus near Eleusis. The Cretans thought that their own island was the scene of the rape. Demeter searched desperately with torches for her lost daughter all over the world. In some versions she forbids the earth to produce, or she neglects the earth and in the depth of her despair she causes nothing to grow. Helios, the sun, who sees everything, eventually told Demeter what had happened and at length she discovered the place of her abode.
Finally, Zeus, pressed by the cries of the hungry people and by the other deities who also heard their anguish, forced Hades to return Persephone. However, it was a rule of the Fates that whoever consumed food or drink in the Underworld was doomed to spend eternity there. Before Persephone was released to Hermes, who had been sent to retrieve her, Hades tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds, (four or six according to the telling) which forced her to return to the underworld for a period each year. The seeds correspond to the dry summer months in Greece, usually one third of the year (four months) when Persephone (Kore) is absent. In some versions, Ascalaphus informed the other deities that Persephone had eaten the pomegranate seeds. When Demeter and her daughter were reunited, the Earth flourished with vegetation and color, but for some months each year, when Persephone returned to the underworld, the earth once again became a barren realm. This is an origin story to explain the seasons.
In an earlier version, Hecate rescued Persephone. On an Attic red-figured bell krater of ca 440 BC in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Persephone is rising as if up stairs from a cleft in the earth, while Hermes stands aside; Hecate, holding two torches, looks back as she leads her to the enthroned Demeter.
The tenth-century Byzantine encyclopedia Suda introduces a goddess of a blessed afterlife assured to Orphic mystery initiates. This Macaria is asserted to be the daughter of Hades, but no mother is mentioned.
Titles and functions
The epithets of Persephone reveal her double function as chthonic and vegetation goddess. The surnames given to her by the poets refer to her character as Queen of the lower world and the dead, or her symbolic meaning of the power that shoots forth and withdraws into the earth. Her common name as a vegetation goddess is Kore and in Arcadia she was worshipped under the title Despoina “the mistress”, a very old chthonic divinity. Plutarch identifies her with spring and Cicero calls her the seed of the fruits of the fields. In the Eleusinian mysteries her return is the symbol of immortality and hence she was frequently represented on sarcophagi.
In the mystical theories of the Orphics and the Platonists, Kore is described as the all-pervading goddess of nature who both produces and destroys everything and she is therefore mentioned along or identified with other mystic divinities such as Isis, Rhea, Ge, Hestia, Pandora, Artemis, and Hecate. The mystic Persephone is further said to have become by Zeus the mother of Dionysos, Iacchus, or Zagreus.
Demeter and Persephone were often referred to as “the two goddesses” or “the mistresses”.