Hecate

Kit Perriman

Hecate

How did the Greek goddess who once blessed Athenian homes change from being the protective “Mother of Angels”  into Shakespeare’s grand witch, the medieval “Queen of Ghosts”?

Hecate was a pre-Olympian earth spirit and the counterpart of the Roman Goddess Trivia.  Her name suggests “The Distant One”  because she was a liminal deity who stood at the threshold of other worlds.  For this reason she is often depicted at the crossroads, holding torches (to light the way), keys (to open doors), with daggers and serpents (to protect the entrance).  Legends claims that Hecate embraced solitude.  And like the moon she came and went through the nighttime, appearing and disappearing at will.

According to Hesiod, Hecate was the only child of Perses and Asteria.  She was a virgin who remained unmarried and was kept safe under the protection of Zeus.  Aeschylus described her as a great goddess who ruled over the earth, sea, and sky.  She was responsible…

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