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 all claimed the honor of being her birthplace, 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.
Ceres was also the central deity of the Plebeian or Aventine Triad, comprising her, Liber and Libera, and the three deities shared a temple which stood atop the Aventine Hill. (Roman tradition relates that the temple was erected in 496 BC and then dedicated three years later). Every year, the Cerealia festival was held in honor of her, from April 12 to 19.
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.
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, which is something Bacchus quickly caught on to.
Ceres is described as being unexpected and temperamental as the seasons.
As an Elder Olympian and the Goddess of Agriculture, Ceres is an extremely powerful goddess in her own right, more so than her older sister, Vesta, but not quite as powerful as her younger sister, Juno, and her brothers. Due to her considerable influence as the Goddess of Agriculture she was a very important goddess to the Roman people.
It is mentioned by Apollo that Demeter is far more powerful then her Roman aspect, which could be due to the Romans having less of a connection to nature then the Greeks, which is the source of Demeter's and Ceres' power.
As the Goddess of Grain and Agriculture, Ceres wields tremendous power over the forces of nature, and could weave them to her will, being able She commands the trees of the forest to grow, and vegetation to spring forth from the ground. Due to her having divine control over agriculture, she could punish those who offend her with famine, hunger or thirst. She could also change the climate and state of the earth, due to her being the Goddess of the Seasons. The legendary tale of Pluto and Proserpina is just one of the numerous instances where Ceres' powers could affect the state of nature itself: when she is with her daughter, the earth is warm and fertile, but when Persephone is away with her husband Hades, the world is cold, dark, and barren.
- Chlorokinesis: As the goddess of the harvest and agriculture, Ceres has divine authority and absolute control over plants, crops, and the harvest. She could either grant or enhance the fertility of the earth, turning barren plains into fertile fields, and encourage orchards to bear fruit and flowers to bloom. 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.
- Geokinesis: As the goddess of the earth, she has absolute control and divine authority over earth presumably more than her brother Pluto though less so then Gaea. Ceres could increase the fertility of soil as well as the output of crops.
- Thermokinesis: As the goddess of agriculture, Ceres has absolute control over how cold or hot the atmosphere is at a given time. This is the basis of her control over the seasons, and is an ability that none of the other gods can reverse.
- Season Control: As the Goddess of the Seasons, Ceres has divine authority and absolute control over the seasons, such as annually transforming spring into winter (when her daughter Persephone is with Pluto), and vice versa (when her daughter returns).
- Atmokinesis (limited): As a Goddess of the Seasons, Ceres could control the weather to a certain extent, such as making it rain, or snow, or cause the temperature to change, however she wished it, though her ability to do so is inferior to that of her brother, Jupiter.
- She can transform things into plants. She can turn multiple things at once.
- Fertility Manipulation: As the Goddess of Fertility, Ceres has the power to manipulate fertility, the natural capability for living beings to reproduce (in terms of animals) or grow (in terms of plants). she can make lands or plants fertile, allowing them to reproduce or grow, or make things infertile, making them unable to reproduce or grow. She could either grant or enhance the fertility of the earth, turning barren plains into fertile fields, and encourage orchards to bear fruit and flowers to bloom.
- The word cereal derives from her name.
- The Cerealia festival was held in honor of Ceres and was 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.
- Ceres is also a dwarf planet between Mars and Jupiter.