Ceres is the goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility, and motherly relationships. She is honored in purification ceremonies, at harvest-time, and during Roman marriages and funeral rites. Ceres protects transitions of women from girlhood to womanhood, from unmarried to married life and motherhood. She also maintains the boundaries between the realms of the living and the dead. Given the appropriate rites, she helps the deceased into the afterlife as an underworld shade (manes), else their spirit might remain to haunt the living, as a wandering, vengeful ghost (lemur).
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