Odd Insights into Hekate

Syncretic Egyptian / Graeco-Roman magic from the collection of texts known as the Papyri Graecae Magicae.
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Pablo
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Re: Odd Insights into Hekate

Post#71 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:20 am

Pleiades wrote:
Pablo wrote:The simple point is that hekate was always an imported deity to the Britsh Iles. Her priesthood left no indication of any work of incorporating any local flora and fauna.

On a different note Iread somewhere that the red mullet is a fish that is sacxred to her and is eaten in her Mediterranean rituals. This fish is now present in British fishmongers in ethnically diverse areas due to the West Indian influence. The red mullet is known as the goatfish in Jamaica

I am not sure how you define 'her Priesthood' but imported or not Hekate is closely associated with both trees and plants.Oak and Yew as well as the poisonous Aconite and Atropa Belladonna are all native to Britain.Monkshood and Nightshade are psychoactives linked to Hekate and to witchcraft of which cult she was deemed a Goddess.
Dogs were her principal sacrifice and depictions of her in the,possibly later,three headed guise included the Cow,Dog,Boar,and Horse.All native to Britain.
In her association with wisdom she is also depicted with an Owl,again a native British bird and along with the Horse and Dog,the Owl is a principal feature found in representations of witchcraft.

Red Mullet was indeed a feature within Hekate rites in ancient times.Always an expensive fish,it is now a common summer visitor to southern Cornish waters specifically the Lizard peninsula.Back in the late 80s early 90s this fish was so prized hostilities erupted among groups of local Cornish fishermen with claims of sabotaging rivals equipment to actual fights being commonly reported.Current UK prices see Red Mullet more expensive than most cuts of Beef.

Perhaps like the Red Mullet,Hekate was self-imported into Britain!


When I mentioned the "priethood" I was referring to those who had adopted her as a tutelary goddess or simply led people to worship her. Rather than her self-importing I would tend to look for a mechanism. I do know that she was mentioned in Macbeth. I do not know of any earlier written history but that does not mean none exists.

Given that the Gulf Stream is detected along the western UK then the fish could have certainly come up from the Caribbean or perhaps warming waters brought the up from the Med where I saw them when diving.
The vulgar is at everyone's command. Eirenaeus Philalethes - The marrow of Alchemy

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monsnoleedra
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Re: Odd Insights into Hekate

Post#72 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:37 am

What's interesting is if she did transition to the British Isle it is more probable that she came as a Sea Faring Goddess more than as a goddess of Magic and Witchcraft initially. In which case there would be little to any indication of a uniform priest / priestess class or even dedicated shrines / temples to her. More than likely you'd see something more akin to the pillars that seamen would make offerings and prayers to at the seaports or upon their actual ships and their shipboard altars / shrines to her.

A lot of that would exist long before you'd see any sort of witchy type arrival or dedicated structure with the Legion's or supporting structure's.

But I think most would not connect the lines between the sea faring goddess who originally arrives and the darker witchy goddess who comes in later. The witchy goddess would move more in the shadows and come in more from travelers and connect to folkish tales and stories. Then the further she moves inland the more she changes and to some extent gets darker.
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Pleiades
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Re: Odd Insights into Hekate

Post#73 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:41 am

Quick reply due to time restrictions my end.
Hekate 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 .Wiki

The authenticity of Hekate's portrayal in Macbeth is contested in comparison to her persona in Thomss Middleton's The Witch

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Pablo
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Re: Odd Insights into Hekate

Post#74 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:49 am

monsnoleedra wrote:What's interesting is if she did transition to the British Isle it is more probable that she came as a Sea Faring Goddess more than as a goddess of Magic and Witchcraft initially. In which case there would be little to any indication of a uniform priest / priestess class or even dedicated shrines / temples to her. More than likely you'd see something more akin to the pillars that seamen would make offerings and prayers to at the seaports or upon their actual ships and their shipboard altars / shrines to her.

A lot of that would exist long before you'd see any sort of witchy type arrival or dedicated structure with the Legion's or supporting structure's.

But I think most would not connect the lines between the sea faring goddess who originally arrives and the darker witchy goddess who comes in later. The witchy goddess would move more in the shadows and come in more from travelers and connect to folkish tales and stories. Then the further she moves inland the more she changes and to some extent gets darker.


OK. That is an interesting idea. But can you please give me two examples of sea Faring Goddesses that moved in land. It is just that I have never heard of that idea and the pillars that sailors made offering to.
The vulgar is at everyone's command. Eirenaeus Philalethes - The marrow of Alchemy

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monsnoleedra
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Re: Odd Insights into Hekate

Post#75 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:19 am

Pablo wrote:
monsnoleedra wrote:What's interesting is if she did transition to the British Isle it is more probable that she came as a Sea Faring Goddess more than as a goddess of Magic and Witchcraft initially. In which case there would be little to any indication of a uniform priest / priestess class or even dedicated shrines / temples to her. More than likely you'd see something more akin to the pillars that seamen would make offerings and prayers to at the seaports or upon their actual ships and their shipboard altars / shrines to her.

A lot of that would exist long before you'd see any sort of witchy type arrival or dedicated structure with the Legion's or supporting structure's.

But I think most would not connect the lines between the sea faring goddess who originally arrives and the darker witchy goddess who comes in later. The witchy goddess would move more in the shadows and come in more from travelers and connect to folkish tales and stories. Then the further she moves inland the more she changes and to some extent gets darker.


OK. That is an interesting idea. But can you please give me two examples of sea Faring Goddesses that moved in land. It is just that I have never heard of that idea and the pillars that sailors made offering to.


You got to think about her lore. She was given dominion over land, sea and air.

Lots of trade routes open up via sea routes when it deals with coastal and island nations long before other forms of contact occur. She spread out of the Mid East via both land and sea but you seldom see shrines or temples outside of Greece / Anatolia. Yet we know she was prayed to for bountiful harvest for fishermen and she had shrines or a Herme type pillar in port cities.

That's why I said the connection to her sea goddess aspect is lost as her witchy side spreads into the inner country side. Even modern paganism forgets the Sea and Air influences.

Part of the issue with Hekate is occult wise almost all we hear about her is the Roman history that pushed her witchcraft side. The so called Queen of Witches if you will so her dominion over air and water is all but forgotten basically and nearly all her fertility aspect over earth is forgotten to focus upon her witch side.
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monsnoleedra
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Re: Odd Insights into Hekate

Post#76 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:44 am

Pleiades wrote:Quick reply due to time restrictions my end.
Hekate 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 .Wiki

The authenticity of Hekate's portrayal in Macbeth is contested in comparison to her persona in Thomss Middleton's The Witch


The presence of Oak in those scenes has always intrigued me. In part because I honestly think people get it all wrong. Oak is the sacred tree of Zeus and the lightning tree. Any audience seeing Oak in a play would automatically associated it with Zeus in a play at the time, it would be ingrained in them.

So a play that show's Hekate wearing Oak upon her would not be seen as her wearing Oak as a sacred item of her's but as wearing an item that was something that was of Zeus' authority and bestowing authority in his name upon her. Be like modern day in the church when someone says "In the name of God!" or "God compells you!" The audience would see the reference to Zeus' presence via his sacred tree and probably an endorsement with it draped about her. Add the serpent's to it which suggest and confirms the Chthonic realms and it supports life and rebirth or underworld. Yet it also supports the older mythology of Zeus again giving her dominion over Earth, Air and Water. The presence of Oak reaffirms his authority and ability to grant her authority over it.
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Nashimiron
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Re: Odd Insights into Hekate

Post#77 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:10 am

The oak as Zeus tree could point towards Hekate's epithet Dione which is the female form of the name Zeus. See here:

http://nehetisingsforhekate.tumblr.com/post/171352133591/epithets-dione

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monsnoleedra
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Re: Odd Insights into Hekate

Post#78 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:53 am

Nashimiron wrote:The oak as Zeus tree could point towards Hekate's epithet Dione which is the female form of the name Zeus. See here:

http://nehetisingsforhekate.tumblr.com/post/171352133591/epithets-dione



While possible seems unlikely given the particular passages that were referenced. The Argonautica had nothing to do with Dodona or leaf prophecy when Jason see's her rise from the underworld, or the reason he calls upon her. Seem's equally unlikely as a reference to the lost play, though that is presumption as there is really little to go on.

(ll. 1191-1224) Far away in the west the sun was sailing beneath the dark earth, beyond the furthest hills of the Aethiopians; and Night was laying the yoke upon her steeds; and the heroes were preparing their beds by the hawsers. But Jason, as soon as the stars of Heliee, the bright-gleaming bear, had set, and the air had all grown still under heaven, went to a desert spot, like some stealthy thief, with all that was needful; for beforehand in the daytime had he taken thought for everything; and Argus came bringing a ewe and milk from the flock; and them he took from the ship. But when the hero saw a place which was far away from the tread of men, in a clear meadow beneath the open sky, there first of all he bathed his tender body reverently in the sacred river; and round him he placed a dark robe, which Hypsipyle of Lemnos had given him aforetime, a memorial of many a loving embrace. Then he dug a pit in the ground of a cubit's depth and heaped up billets of wood, and over it he cut the throat of the sheep, and duly placed the carcase above; and he kindled the logs placing fire beneath, and poured over them mingled libations, calling on Hecate Brimo to aid him in the contests. And when he had called on her he drew back; and she heard him, the dread goddess, from the uttermost depths and came to the sacrifice of Aeson's son; and round her horrible serpents twined themselves among the oak boughs; and there was a gleam of countless torches; and sharply howled around her the hounds of hell. All the meadows trembled at her step; and the nymphs that haunt the marsh and the river shrieked, all who dance round that mead of Amarantian Phasis. And fear seized Aeson's son, but not even so did he turn round as his feet bore him forth, till he came back to his comrades; and now early dawn arose and shed her light above snowy Caucasus.


I would add, and like I said it always intrigues me, it doesn't say Hekate was wreathed or circled in oak, only that oak is present and the serpents were twined among the oak boughs. Yet people keep placing the oak upon Hekate as she rises up from the earth, or more appropriately from the depression where the offerings were made to her. Figure the boughs mentioned would be the boughs that were brought to make the fire upon which the sacrifices would be burnt upon and through which should would arise. The serpents the sign of the netherworld and part of her symbology and a sign of death and rebirth.
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Pleiades
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Re: Odd Insights into Hekate

Post#79 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:20 pm

monsnoleedra wrote:
Nashimiron wrote:The oak as Zeus tree could point towards Hekate's epithet Dione which is the female form of the name Zeus. See here:

http://nehetisingsforhekate.tumblr.com/post/171352133591/epithets-dione



While possible seems unlikely given the particular passages that were referenced. The Argonautica had nothing to do with Dodona or leaf prophecy when Jason see's her rise from the underworld, or the reason he calls upon her. Seem's equally unlikely as a reference to the lost play, though that is presumption as there is really little to go on.

(ll. 1191-1224) Far away in the west the sun was sailing beneath the dark earth, beyond the furthest hills of the Aethiopians; and Night was laying the yoke upon her steeds; and the heroes were preparing their beds by the hawsers. But Jason, as soon as the stars of Heliee, the bright-gleaming bear, had set, and the air had all grown still under heaven, went to a desert spot, like some stealthy thief, with all that was needful; for beforehand in the daytime had he taken thought for everything; and Argus came bringing a ewe and milk from the flock; and them he took from the ship. But when the hero saw a place which was far away from the tread of men, in a clear meadow beneath the open sky, there first of all he bathed his tender body reverently in the sacred river; and round him he placed a dark robe, which Hypsipyle of Lemnos had given him aforetime, a memorial of many a loving embrace. Then he dug a pit in the ground of a cubit's depth and heaped up billets of wood, and over it he cut the throat of the sheep, and duly placed the carcase above; and he kindled the logs placing fire beneath, and poured over them mingled libations, calling on Hecate Brimo to aid him in the contests. And when he had called on her he drew back; and she heard him, the dread goddess, from the uttermost depths and came to the sacrifice of Aeson's son; and round her horrible serpents twined themselves among the oak boughs; and there was a gleam of countless torches; and sharply howled around her the hounds of hell. All the meadows trembled at her step; and the nymphs that haunt the marsh and the river shrieked, all who dance round that mead of Amarantian Phasis. And fear seized Aeson's son, but not even so did he turn round as his feet bore him forth, till he came back to his comrades; and now early dawn arose and shed her light above snowy Caucasus.


I would add, and like I said it always intrigues me, it doesn't say Hekate was wreathed or circled in oak, only that oak is present and the serpents were twined among the oak boughs. Yet people keep placing the oak upon Hekate as she rises up from the earth, or more appropriately from the depression where the offerings were made to her. Figure the boughs mentioned would be the boughs that were brought to make the fire upon which the sacrifices would be burnt upon and through which should would arise. The serpents the sign of the netherworld and part of her symbology and a sign of death and rebirth.

Is the association with Oak confined to Sophocles' play The Root Diggers?

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monsnoleedra
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Re: Odd Insights into Hekate

Post#80 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:53 pm

Pleiades wrote: Is the association with Oak confined to Sophocles' play The Root Diggers?


All the mentions of Oak Leaves I am aware of come from that short passage from Sophocles' play The Root Cutters. Figure the play was performed in Athens probably between 468 and 406 as a best estimate

Specifically:

O Lord Helios and Sacred Fire
The spear of Hekate of the Crossroads
Which she bears as she travels Olympus
And dwells in the triple ways of the holy land
She who is crowned with oak-leaves
And the coils of wild serpents.

The Root-Cutters, Sophocles, C4th BCE, trans. Z. Yardley

Unfortunately, I haven't found much more to show what surrounded entire passage to put it in perspective. As a fragment we don't know what it is supposed to be suggesting or saying. My google-fu is not to great trying to locate that one and my access to JSTOR and other academic sources has long since fallen down so its been a slow process.

But what is there with the spear, crossroads, tripleway is more suggestive of Enodia & probably Bendis the Thracian goddesses and the influence which will come in from Thrace, the Black Sea area and the North in general. Figure the Cult of Bendis arrives in Athens in the late C5th BCE / early C4 BCE and her weapon is a spear more so than a bow.

So you have lots of the ground story for Hekate as High Priestess in the Story of Jason and the Argonautica with potentially Medea being she who is crowned with oak-leaves and coils of wild serpents. It would fit with the Root-Cutter theme of the story of Medea as a sorceress / enchantress showing up in the C3rd BCE in the Argonautica. Perhaps a precursor type story or earlier Trojan War type story who knows. But a few cross references I have seen to point to either Medea directly or a Medea type character.

But most Hekate sources and references I see simply take the last two lines and omit everything else.
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