The first literature mentioning Hecate is the Theogony (c. 700 BCE) by Hesiod: And [Asteria] conceived and bore Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honored above all. The Greek word for mullet was trigle and later trigla. Esoteric is that which is beyond the ordinary. It was Alkamenes, in my opinion, who first made three images of Hecate attached to one another [in Athens].[88]. [85], The earliest definitive record of Hecate's worship dates to the 6th century BCE, in the form of a small terracotta statue of a seated goddess, identified as Hecate in its inscription. Priests of Sekhmet became known as skilled doctors. One needs refined or higher-order capabilities to understand the esoteric phenomenon. The droves of kine and wide herds of goats and flocks of fleecy sheep, if she will, she increases from a few, or makes many to be less. Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 4. She scorns and insults Artemis, who in retribution eventually brings about the mortal's suicide. Otherwise, they are typically generic, or Artemis-like. As the holder of the keys that can unlock the gates between realms, she can unlock the gates of death, as described in a 3rd-century BCE poem by Theocritus. [6], Her epithets include "Mistress of All the Gods", "Lady of the Stars of Heaven", "Beloved of Ptah", "Great of magic, mistress of the stars", and "Eye of Ra, without her equal". In the Greek pantheon, Apollo was the god of medicine and often brought down plagues to punish mankind. [14] This has been suggested in comparison with the attributes of the goddess Artemis, strongly associated with Apollo and frequently equated with Hecate in the classical world. When Philip of Macedon was about to attack the city, according to the legend she alerted the townspeople with her ever present torches, and with her pack of dogs, which served as her constant companions. The Uraeus is a symbol for the goddess Wadjet. [d] It shows Hecate, with a hound beside her, placing a wreath on the head of a mare. All of that information has been concised so far in this article. "[135] This appears to refer to a variant of the device mentioned by Psellus.[136]. Hecate often carries a torch in her connection with the night. [54] These include aconite (also called hecateis),[55] belladonna, dittany, and mandrake. [84] He adds that such an instrument is called a iunx (hence "jinx"), but as for the significance says only that it is ineffable and that the ritual is sacred to Hecate. As a goddess of sovereignty and power, Danu would grant gifts to rulers and those of noble birth. For as many as were born of Earth and Ocean amongst all these she has her due portion. Hecate was a powerful goddess of uncertain origin. "[c] 4060 in. Marcia Stark & Gynne Stern (1993) The Dark Goddess: Dancing with the Shadow, The Crossing Press. Weird Rituals Laid to Primitive Minds, Los Angeles Examiner, 14 October 1929. [79] Mooney however notes that when it comes to the nymph Perse herself, there's no evidence of her actually being a moon goddess on her own right. However, Sekhmet is forgotten. There are a few that are known as the Triple Goddess and have all three phases, such as Hecate, The Morrigan, Brigid, The Three Fates. [e], As Hecate Phosphorus (the 'star' Venus) she is said to have lit the sky during the Siege of PhilipII in 340BCE, revealing the attack to its inhabitants. The goddess is carved with a Uraeus raising at her forehead, holding a papyrus scepter (the symbol of lower / north Egypt), and an ankh (giver of fertility and life through the annual flooding of the Nile). Hecate was the chief goddess presiding over magic and spells. In other representations, her animal heads include those of a cow and a boar. I worship Hekate but have not worked with her personally. "[49], The goddess is described as wearing oak in fragments of Sophocles' lost play The Root Diggers (or The Root Cutters), and an ancient commentary on Apollonius of Rhodes' Argonautica (3.1214) describes her as having a head surrounded by serpents, twining through branches of oak.[50]. 6. roads, which she carries as she attends her mistress in the sky[68], This speech from the Root Cutters may or may not be an intentional association of Hecate with the Moon. And the son of Cronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Dawn. The Mistress and Lady of the tomb, gracious one, destroyer of rebellion, mighty one of enchantments, 7. A medieval commentator has suggested a link connecting the word "jinx" with Hecate: "The Byzantine polymath Michael Psellus [] speaks of a bullroarer, consisting of a golden sphere, decorated throughout with symbols and whirled on an oxhide thong. Lesko Barbara (n.d) The Great Goddesses of Egypt, University of Oklahoma Press, [1] Marcia Stark & Gynne Stern (1993) The Dark Goddess: Dancing with the Shadow, The Crossing Press. It is possible that the representation of a triple Hecate surrounding a central pillar was originally derived from poles set up at three-way crossroads with masks hung on them, facing in each road direction. [93], Hecate's most important sanctuary was Lagina, a theocratic city-state in which the goddess was served by eunuchs. She was represented as the heat of the mid-day sun (Nesert the flame) and is described as being able to breathe fire, her breath likened to the hot, desert winds. [58], It was probably her role as guardian of entrances that led to Hecate's identification by the mid fifth century with Enodia, a Thessalian goddess. [123], Hesiod's inclusion and praise of Hecate in the Theogony has been troublesome for scholars, in that he seems to hold her in high regard, while the testimony of other writers, and surviving evidence, suggests that this may have been the exception. (1971). Antoninus Liberalis used a myth to explain this association: Aelian told a different story of a woman transformed into a polecat: Athenaeus of Naucratis, drawing on the etymological speculation of Apollodorus of Athens, notes that the red mullet is sacred to Hecate, "on account of the resemblance of their names; for that the goddess is trimorphos, of a triple form". Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. One theory is that Hesiod's original village had a substantial Hecate following and that his inclusion of her in the Theogony was a way of adding to her prestige by spreading word of her among his readers. She is seated on a throne, with a chaplet around her head; the depiction is otherwise relatively generic. Hecate was one of several deities worshipped in ancient Athens as a protector of the oikos (household), alongside Zeus, Hestia, Hermes, and Apollo. 6. [10] A 4thcenturyBCE marble relief from Crannon in Thessaly was dedicated by a race-horse owner. [18], Hecate possibly originated among the Carians of Anatolia,[6] the region where most theophoric names invoking Hecate, such as Hecataeus or Hecatomnus, the father of Mausolus, are attested,[19] and where Hecate remained a Great Goddess into historical times, at her unrivalled[b] While spinning them, they call out unintelligible or beast-like sounds, laughing and flailing at the air. the biblical Asherah) in 1941. [164] Such derivations are today proposed only by a minority[165][166] . Regarding the nature of her cult, it has been remarked, "she is more at home on the fringes than in the centre of Greek polytheism. In Hesiod she is the daughter of the Titan Perses and the nymph Asteria and has power over heaven, earth, and sea; hence, she bestows wealth and all the blessings of daily life. The maiden represents young women, full of potential and life, while the mother symbolizes a fully mature woman. 1 (2002): Bergmann, Bettina, Joseph Farrell, Denis Feeney, James Ker, Damien Nelis, and Celia Schultz. Her breath is said to be the hot desert winds. In that place were also the mysteries of the Korybantes [Kabeiroi] and those of Hekate and the Zerinthian cave, where they sacrificed dogs. Qetesh is also the name used in The Sarah Jane Adventures episode Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith, and confirmed to be the humanoid species (also known as "soul-stealers") of Ruby White (the episode's villain) who feeds off excitement and heightened emotion and have stomachs that live outside their bodies. Sorita d'Este, Avalonia, 2010, "Hecate had a "botanical garden" on the island of Colchis where the following alkaloid plants were kept: Akoniton (. The Deipnon consists of three main parts: 1) the meal that was set out at a crossroads, usually in a shrine outside the entryway to the home[106] 2) an expiation sacrifice,[107] and 3) purification of the household.[108]. [8][9], On a stele representing the deity, Qetesh is depicted as a frontal nude (an uncommon motif in Egyptian art, though not exclusively associated with her), wearing a Hathor wig and standing on a lion, between Min and the Canaanite warrior god Resheph. In particular she was thought to give instruction in these closely related arts. 19 K), Apollodorus, Melanthius, Hegesander, Chariclides (iii. [13], R. S. P. Beekes rejected a Greek etymology and suggested a Pre-Greek origin. [3], Due to lack of clear references to Qetesh as a distinct deity in Ugaritic and other Syro-Palestinian sources, she is considered an Egyptian deity influenced by religion and iconography of Canaan by many modern researchers, rather than merely a Canaanite deity adopted by the Egyptians (examples of which include Reshef and Anat). (i. Some of the significant ones are listed below: 1. She became merely an aspect of Mut, Hathor, and Isis. Chapter in the book The Goddess Hekate: Studies in Ancient Pagan and Christian Philosophy edited by Stephen Ronan. 647. "In Byzantium small temples in her honour were placed close to the gates of the city. As a goddess expected to avert harmful or destructive spirits from the house or city over which she stood guard and to protect the individual as she or he passed through dangerous liminal places, Hecate would naturally become known as a goddess who could also refuse to avert the demons, or even drive them on against unfortunate individuals. [95] In Thrace she played a role similar to that of lesser-Hermes, namely a ruler of liminal regions, particularly gates, and the wilderness. He also symbolized death, resurrection, and the cycle of Nile floods that Egypt relied on for agricultural fertility. [17][18] One of the authors relying on the Anat-Ashtart-Athirat trinity theory is Saul M. Olyan (author of Asherah and the Cult of Yahweh in Israel) who calls the Qudshu-Astarte-Anat plaque "a triple-fusion hypostasis", and considers Qudshu to be an epithet of Athirat by a process of elimination, for Astarte and Anat appear after Qudshu in the inscription. "[162] This theory of the Roman origins of many European folk traditions related to Diana or Hecate was explicitly advanced at least as early as 1807[163] and is reflected[dubious discuss] in etymological claims by early modern lexicographers from the 17th to the 19th century, connecting hag, hexe "witch" to the name of Hecate. See Heckenbach, p. 2776 and references. by Patricia Monaghan, which is a very comprehensive encyclopedia of Goddesses; Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses. [155], Strmiska (2005) claimed that Hecate, conflated with the figure of Diana, appears in late antiquity and in the Early Middle Ages as part of an "emerging legend complex" known as "The Society of Diana"[161] associated with gatherings of women, the Moon, and witchcraft that eventually became established "in the area of Northern Italy, southern Germany, and the western Balkans. Aradia in Sardinia: The Archaeology of a Folk Character. According to the myth, Osiris was a king of Egypt who was murdered and dismembered by his brother Seth. The number three has a long history of mythical associations and triple deities are common throughout world mythology. Paired torches, dogs, serpents, keys, daggers, and Hecate's wheel is known as a stropholos. This and other early depictions of Hecate lack distinctive attributes that would later be associated with her, such as a triple form or torches, and can only be identified as Hecate thanks to their inscriptions. Great honor comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favorably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power surely is with her. [27] Farnell states: "The evidence of the monuments as to the character and significance of Hecate is almost as full as that of to express her manifold and mystic nature. There are three different ways you can cite this article. "[30], While Greek anthropomorphic conventions of art generally represented Hecate's triple form as three separate bodies, the iconography of the triple Hecate eventually evolved into representations of the goddess with a single body, but three faces. [3] Her fight with the Giant appears in a number of ancient vase paintings and other artwork. Hecate was greatly worshipped in Byzantium. In the New Kingdom funerary literature, Sekhmet is said to defend Ra from Apophis. The polecat is also associated with Hecate. Good is she also when men contend at the games, for there too the goddess is with them and profits them: and he who by might and strength gets the victory wins the rich prize easily with joy, and brings glory to his parents. In Sophocles and Euripides she is characterized as the mistress of witchcraft and the Keres. [61], Cult images and altars of Hecate in her triplicate or trimorphic form were placed at three-way crossroads (though they also appeared before private homes and in front of city gates). Additional possible triads are Artemis, Selene, and Hecate or Persephone, Demeter, and Hekate. In two fragments of Aeschylus she appears as a great goddess. Memphis and Leontopolis were the major centers of the worship of Sekhmet, with Memphis being the principal seat. The monuments to Hecate in Phrygia and Caria are numerous but of late date. Looking at Egypt, Isis is the only deity that one can conceive of as being esoteric because she brought back her husband from the dead. He also performs other secret rites [of Hecate] at four pits, taming the fierceness of the blasts [of the winds], and he is said to chant as well the charms of Medea. Serket (also known as Serqet, Selkis, and Selket) is an Egyptian goddess of protection associated with the scorpion. [citation needed], The spelling Hecat is due to Arthur Golding's 1567 translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses,[24] and this spelling without the final E later appears in plays of the Elizabethan-Jacobean period. Sekhmet is believed to have 4000 names that described her many attributes. These statues are rarely discovered in complete form. Images of her attended by a dog[35] are also found at times when she is shown as in her role as mother goddess with child, and when she is depicted alongside the god Hermes and the goddess Cybele in reliefs. He noted that the cult regularly practiced dog sacrifice and had secretly buried the body of one of its "queens" with seven dogs. [125] Another theory is that Hecate was mainly a household god and humble household worship could have been more pervasive and yet not mentioned as much as temple worship. 394 K), Antiphanes, in Athenaeus, 358 F; Aristophanes, Plutus, 596. Lorna Oakes & Lucia Gahlin (2002) Ancient Egypt, Anness Publishing, 8. Subsequently, Hecate became Persephone's companion on her yearly journey to and from the realms of Hades, serving as a psychopomp. If Hecate's cult spread from Anatolia into Greece, then it possibly presented a conflict, as her role was already filled by other more prominent deities in the Greek pantheon, above all by Artemis and Selene. Dogs, with puppies often mentioned, were offered to Hecate at crossroads, which were sacred to the goddess. Sekhmet was depicted with the body of a woman clothed in red linen, wearing a Uraeus and a sun disc on her lioness head. At this time, the sculptor Alcamenes made the earliest known triple-formed Hecate statue for use at her new temple. [36], Although in later times Hecate's dog came to be thought of as a manifestation of restless souls or daemons who accompanied her, its docile appearance and its accompaniment of a Hecate who looks completely friendly in many pieces of ancient art suggests that its original signification was positive and thus likelier to have arisen from the dog's connection with birth than the dog's underworld associations. According to a New Kingdom story, as 'Lady of the Sycamore', she heals the eye of Horus with milk from a gazelle. The History of Guns, Greek Mythology: Stories, Characters, Gods, and Culture, Aztec Mythology: Important Stories and Characters, Greek Gods and Goddesses: Family Tree and Fun Facts, Roman Gods and Goddesses: The Names and Stories of 29 Ancient Roman Gods, The Dark Goddess: Dancing with the Shadow,,as%20a%20lion%2Dheaded%20woman,, Skadi: The Norse Goddess of Skiing, Hunting, and Pranks, Druids: The Ancient Celtic Class That Did It All, iPhone History: A Timeline of Every Model in Order, US History Timeline: The Dates of Americas Journey, Ancient Civilizations Timeline: The Complete List from Aboriginals to Incans, Why Are Hot Dogs Called Hot Dogs? The Byzantines dedicated a statue to her as the "lamp carrier". [10][11], Early researchers attempted to prove Qetesh was simply a form of a known Canaanite deity, rather than a fully independent goddess. Minor Shrines in Ancient Athens. 8. "Hecate mediated between regimesOlympian and Titanbut also between mortal and divine spheres. By all the operations of the orbs One name was known to Sekhmet and eight associated deities, and; and one name (known only to Sekhmet herself) was the means by which Sekhmet could modify her being or cease to exist. doi:10.2307/1087735. 9. The Greek Magical Papyri describe Hecate as the holder of the keys to Tartaros. Berg, William, "Hecate: Greek or "Anatolian"? The lion-headed goddess Sekhmet is the most represented deity in most Egyptian collections worldwide. Apollonius of Rhodes, in the Argonautica mentions that Medea was taught by Hecate, "I have mentioned to you before a certain young girl whom Hecate, daughter of Perses, has taught to work in drugs. Later poets and historians looked to Diana's identity as a triple goddess to merge her with triads heavenly, earthly, and underworld (cthonic) goddesses. "[105] A secondary purpose was to purify the household and to atone for bad deeds a household member may have committed that offended Hecate, causing her to withhold her favour from them. While this sculpture has not survived to the present day, numerous later copies are extant. [140], In the earliest written source mentioning Hecate, Hesiod emphasized that she was an only child, the daughter of Perses and Asteria, the sister of Leto (the mother of Artemis and Apollo). So, then, albeit her mother's only child, she is honored amongst all the deathless gods. Lady of Pestilence / Red Lady: Alignment with the desert, sends plagues to those who angered her. Horus was an ancient Egyptian God of the sky, and he is typically depicted as a falcon. Myths change upon who is writing them, where, and when. Adopted by the pharaohs as a symbol of their own unvanquishable heroism in battle, she breathes fire against the kings enemies. [63], Thanks to her association with boundaries and the liminal spaces between worlds, Hecate is also recognized as a chthonic (underworld) goddess. For understanding of the Triple Goddess, the Moon Goddess, and other common themes . [citation needed], During the Gigantomachy, Hecate fought by the side of the Olympian gods, and slew the giant Clytius using her torches. In the course of this beleaguerment, it is related, on a certain wet and moonless night the enemy attempted a surprise, but were foiled by reason of a bright light which, appearing suddenly in the heavens, startled all the dogs in the town and thus roused the garrison to a sense of their danger. by Michael Jordan, which is also a comprehensive encyclopedia of Goddesses. A triple deity is a deity with three apparent forms that function as a singular whole. Worship An annual festival was celebrated in honor of Sekhmet. 2. This can be compared to Pausanias' report that in the Ionian city of Colophon in Asia Minor a sacrifice of a black female puppy was made to Hecate as "the wayside goddess", and Plutarch's observation that in Boeotia dogs were killed in purificatory rites. Sekhmet is a powerful and unique therianthropic (part-animal, part human-like) mother goddess from ancient Egypt. According to Memphite theology, Sekhmet was the first-born daughter of Ra. Ishtar Astarte Aphrodite, The Myth of Asherah: Lion Lady and Serpent Goddess, KTU 1.107: A miscellany of incantations against snakebite, A Reassessment of Asherah: With Further Considerations of the Goddess, A Reassessment of Tikva Frymer-Kensky's Asherah,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles having different image on Wikidata and Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, Lion, snake, a bouquet of papyrus or Egyptian lotus, Hathor wig, This page was last edited on 4 March 2023, at 20:11. Well, then it is time to take a look at Sekhmet the Egyptian goddess of fire, hunting, wild animals, death, war, violence, retribution, justice, magic, heaven and hell, plague, chaos, the desert/mid-day sun, and medicine and healing Egypts most peculiar goddess. She was also the divine mother of every pharaoh of Egypt, and ultimately of Egypt itself. There she was worshipped with her consort Ptah. Lady of bright red linen: Red is the color of lower Egypt, the blood-soaked garments of her enemies. It was called Psamite, because Hecate was honoured with a cake, which was called psamiton (). [15] Though often considered the most likely Greek origin of the name, the theory does not account for her worship in Asia Minor, where her association with Artemis seems to have been a late development, and the competing theories that the attribution of darker aspects and magic to Hecate were themselves not originally part of her cult. [78] Fowler also noted that the pairing (i. e. Helios and Perse) made sense given Hecates association with the Moon. Circle for Hekate: volume 1. [16] The concept of Athirat, Anat and Ashtart as a trinity and the only prominent goddesses in the entire region (popularized by authors like Tikva Frymer-Kensky) is modern and ignores the large role of other female deities, for example Shapash, in known texts, as well as the fact El appears to be the deity most closely linked to Athirat in primary sources. During the New Kingdom (18th and 19th dynasty), when Memphis was the capital of the Egyptian empire; Ra, Sekhmet, and Nefertum were known as the Memphite Triad. Fragmentary Egyptian literary sources spread across thousands of years make reconstructing a unitary, comprehensive narrative difficult. From the abundant number of amulets and sculptures of Sekhmet discovered at various archaeological sites, it is evident that the goddess was popular and highly important. Lucius Apuleius in The Golden Ass (2nd century) equates Juno, Bellona, Hecate and Isis: Some call me Juno, others Bellona of the Battles, and still others Hecate. In common Neopagan usage, the Triple Goddess is viewed as a triunity of three distinct aspects or figures united in one being. [2],as%20a%20lion%2Dheaded%20woman. She has three faces for her role as the goddess of boundaries and the guardian of . The center of her cult was in Per-Wadjet, later called Buto by the Greeks. The tale is preserved in the Suda. There was also a shrine to Hecate in Aigina, where she was very popular: Of the gods, the Aiginetans worship most Hecate, in whose honour every year they celebrate mystic rites which, they say, Orpheus the Thrakian established among them. Fairbanks, Arthur. "In art and in literature Hecate is constantly represented as dog-shaped or as accompanied by a dog. 264 f., and notes, 275277, ii. No, right? From the tomb of Kenamun quoted from Alix Wilkinson The Garden In Ancient Egypt Hathor is the tree goddess of Memphis and is often known as 'Lady of the sycamore'. [71] In Italy, the triple unity of the lunar goddesses Diana (the huntress), Luna (the Moon) and Hecate (the underworld) became a ubiquitous feature in depictions of sacred groves, where Hecate/Trivia marked intersections and crossroads along with other liminal deities. "[60] This suggests that Hecate's close association with dogs derived in part from the use of watchdogs, who, particularly at night, raised an alarm when intruders approached. [12], The arguments presenting Qetesh and Asherah as the same goddess rely on the erroneous notion that Asherah, Astarte and Anat were the only three prominent goddesses in the religion of ancient Levant, and formed a trinity. [125], In the Argonautica, a 3rd-century BCE Alexandrian epic based on early material,[129] Jason placates Hecate in a ritual prescribed by Medea, her priestess: bathed at midnight in a stream of flowing water, and dressed in dark robes, Jason is to dig a round pit and over it cut the throat of a ewe, sacrificing it and then burning it whole on a pyre next to the pit as a holocaust. It has been claimed that her association with dogs is "suggestive of her connection with birth, for the dog was sacred to Eileithyia, Genetyllis, and other birth goddesses. According to Hesiod, she held sway over many things: Whom she will she greatly aids and advances: she sits by worshipful kings in judgement, and in the assembly whom she will is distinguished among the people. Shakespeare mentions Hecate also in King Lear. [3] Marcia Stark & Gynne Stern (1993) The Dark Goddess: Dancing with the Shadow, The Crossing Press, [4] Marcia Stark & Gynne Stern (1993) The Dark Goddess: Dancing with the Shadow, The Crossing Press. Moreover is Qadesh, also called Qwynn, a character in Holly Roberds' fantasy novel "Bitten by Death", published in 2021. 39 K), and 358 F; Melanthius, in Athenaeus, 325 B. Plato, Com. Hecate's importance to Byzantium was above all as a deity of protection. How old is the United States of America? [7] In the post-Christian writings of the Chaldean Oracles (2nd3rd century CE) she was also regarded with (some) rulership over earth, sea, and sky, as well as a more universal role as Savior (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul. Hecate was seen as a triple deity, identified with the goddesses Luna (Moon) in the sky and Diana (hunting) on the earth, while she represents the Underworld. This line of reasoning lies behind the widely accepted hypothesis that she was a foreign deity who was incorporated into the Greek pantheon. She is good in the byre with Hermes to increase the stock. The oldest known direct evidence of Hecate's cult comes from Selinunte (near modern-day Trapani in Sicily), where she had a temple in the 6th5th centuries BCE. Egyptian Triple Goddess Viewed as the Egyptian triple goddess, Isis is considered a steadfast symbol of fertility, magic, and motherhood. A round stone altar dedicated to the goddess was found in the Delphinion (a temple dedicated to Apollo) at Miletus.