Ouka


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Japanese

Meaning: “Cherry blossom.”

Pronunciation: (OH-kah)

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Persephone


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Bringer of death; Destoyer.”

Pronunciation: (per-SEF-oh-nee)

Nicknames: Sephy, Seffy, Poppy, Phee, Effy, Posy

Detail: As the story goes, one day in the valley of Enna, where spring reigns eternal, Persephone was innocently picking flowers. Hades, god of the underworld, saw her and it was love at first sight. He came charging in his chariot into the valley and snatched her away.

Demeter finally persuaded Zeus through adamant pleading, to demand for her daughter back from Hades. Hades agreed to return Persephone as long as she had not eaten anything from the underworld. (There is a permanent bond for those who consume food in the Underworld; they are bound to it eternally.) However the sly Hades, who fancied Persephone to pieces, duped her into snacking on a few pomegranate seeds.

This caused some intense arguing, but Zeus, being the crafty old mediator that he was, came up with an agreement by which Persephone could stay with Demeter in the spring and summer to help out with the botany business and then go back down to live with Hades for six months or so, creating a season for nature to take time off, winter break.

Demeter has never been satisfied with this, and that is why winters are so gaunt and cold. So you can thank Hades for when you have Jack Frost nipping at you.

Idunn


Idun by Arthur Rackham

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Norse

Meaning: “Ever young; rejuvenator.”

Pronunciation: (EE-doon) [“oo” short like in “book”]

Detail: In Norse mythology Idunn is the goddess of spring and wife of Bragi. She is the keeper of the apples of the gods. Whoever eats of these apples will be granted eternal life and youth.

Variations:

  • Idonea
  • Idonia
  • Idony (ID-uh-nee)
  • Idun
  • Idunn
  • Ithun (EE-thoon)
  • Ydun