During the Age of Sisyphus, the Eleusinian Mysteries were initiations held every year for Demeter and Persephone. They are the "most famous of the secret religious rites of ancient Greece". The mysteries represented the myth of the abduction of Persephone from her mother Demeter by the king of the underworld Hades, in a cycle with three phases, the "descent" (loss), the "search" and the "ascent", with the main theme the "ascent" of Persephone and the reunion with her mother. It was a major festival during the Hellenic era, and later spread to Rome.
The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret and consistently preserved from antiquity. The citizens initiated believed that they would have a reward in the afterlife. There are many paintings and pieces of pottery that depict various aspects of the Mysteries. Since the Mysteries involved visions and conjuring of an afterlife, some scholars believe that the power and longevity of the Eleusinian Mysteries came from psychedelic drugs.