Monday, April 30, 2012

Greek: Hecate

Hecate or Hekate. Hecate is the transcription from the Latin, whereas Hekate is the transcription from the Greek, both refer to the same goddess.

Hecate is an ancient goddess who is sometimes depicted as being a triple formed goddess. She has rulership over earth, sea and sky, and is variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, fire, light, the Moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, necromancy and sorcery as well as a more universal role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul.

Hecate may have originated among the Carians of Anatolia, where variants of her name is found as a name given to children. William Berg observes, "Since children are not called after spooks, it is safe to assume that Carian theophoric names involving hekat- refer to a major deity free from the dark and unsavoury ties to the underworld and to witchcraft associated with the Hecate of classical Athens."

Today she is claimed as a goddess of witches, who sometimes refer to this maiden goddess as a "crone goddess" as part of a triplicity known as the Maiden Mother and Crone though this view of her conflicts with her characterization as a virgin, and occasion as a Mother in all classical and historical sources. It has been justified by the fact that she is a triple goddess, which some modern-day Wiccans associate with the concept of 'Maiden, Mother, Crone', a modern interpretation of triple goddesses made popular by Robert Graves in The White Goddess, but which has no obvious parallel in the ancient world. This association is rooted in the 20th century with the occult author Aleister Crowley being the first to name her as a Crone.  Her statuary usually shows her facing in three different directions, but always with the same maiden face and body as clearly illustrated in all historical depictions and descriptions of her, with the exception of later descriptions in the Greek Magical Papyri which sometimes refer to her as having the heads of animals. She closely parallels the Roman goddess Trivia, with whom she was identified in Rome

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