A list of reference material for Hekate research.

Syncretic Egyptian / Graeco-Roman magic from the collection of texts known as the Papyri Graecae Magicae.
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monsnoleedra
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Re: A list of reference material for Hekate research.

Post#21 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:36 am

To Homer
John Keats
Standing aloof in giant ignorance,
Of thee I hear and of the Cyclades,
As one who sits ashore and longs perchance
To visit dolphin-coral in deep seas.
So thou wast blind;--but then the veil was rent,
For Jove uncurtain'd Heaven to let thee live,
And Neptune made for thee a spumy tent,
And Pan made sing for thee his forest-hive;
Aye on the shores of darkness there is light,
And precipices show untrodden green,
There is a budding morrow in midnight,
There is a triple sight in blindness keen;
Such seeing hadst thou, as it once befel
To Dian, Queen of Earth, and Heaven, and Hell.

ON THE SEA
By John Keats

It keeps eternal whisperings around
Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell
Gluts twice ten thousand Caverns, till the spell
Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound.
Often 'tis in such gentle temper found,
That scarcely will the very smallest shell
Be moved for days from where it sometime fell.
When last the winds of Heaven were unbound.
Oh, ye! who have your eyeballs vexed and tired,
Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea;
Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude,
Or fed too much with cloying melody---
Sit ye near some old Cavern's Mouth and brood,
Until ye start, as if the sea nymphs quired!
Can't Never Did Nothing Till It Tried!

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Re: A list of reference material for Hekate research.

Post#22 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:51 pm

talerman wrote:I think the one who ought to write a book about Hekate is you, Monsnoleedra.


Seconded. I'd buy it!

//

This mention of the Scottish play here is pretty amusing given the obvious curse associated with it. Talk of magic enough the whole play gets cursed enough that you can't say the man's name? Yeah, that's certainly a Hekatean level of legit! :D

I don't really have anything new to add from a scholastic perspective here, but it is fascinating to read of these little tie-ins.

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Re: A list of reference material for Hekate research.

Post#23 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:16 pm

This item is not specifically a "Reference" item as much as a curiosity item. I'm presenting it simply to make people aware of it as both an artistic piece and a historical item that deals with Hekate. I have a copy of the card (the one I have attached) but the back is not in great shape. However, I was more interested in the image depicted on the front of the card vice the actual condition of the back of the card to be honest.

In 1898 the William S. Kimball & Company, issued a set of cigarette cards dedicated to GODDESSES of the GREEK and ROMANS (N188). With the purchase of a box of cigarettes one card from the set would be included. A total of 50 cards made up the set.

General Information about the card:

Object Details
Title: Hekate, Goddess of Darkness, from the Goddesses of the Greeks and Romans series (N188) issued by Wm. S. Kimball & Co.

Publisher: Issued by William S. Kimball & Company

Lithographer: Lithography by Ketterlinus Lithography Company (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Date: 1889

Medium: Commercial color lithograph

Dimensions: Sheet: 2 3/4 × 1 1/2 in. (7 × 3.8 cm)

Classifications: Prints, Ephemera

Credit Line: The Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick

[img]
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Re: A list of reference material for Hekate research.

Post#24 » Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:37 pm

Monsnoleedra, (or anyone else who can shed some light)

Have you found anything in your readings that confirm an influence of Vedic teachings, specifically Kali, on Hekate's attributions? Like many goddesses, Hekate certainly grew significantly in her attributions over time. In reading a number of different sources on Kali, a picture is built up of her that mirrors so much that we also see attributed to Hekate.

The indian campaign of Alexander the Great (326 BCE) led to a cross pollenation of many things, including religious thinking, and there are accounts in the greek historical texts of brahmans so it is conceivable that there was cross pollenation of ideas of goddesses at this time. It is hard to pin down definitively, because much of early Vedic teachings were oral, so this side is harder to track, however Kali was worshipped as far back as 1000 BCE, so she was certainly well evolved by this time. I mean, it could have happened at any time given the geography and travellers, but there certainly seems to be a pivotal, documented, cultural interaction at the time of the invasion.

The timing of Alexanders invasion seems to correlate with the timing of Hekate gathering more of her darker, witchcraft and sorcerous attributions, which for the first 400 years of her existance seemed not to be a focus of her worship.

Hekate certainly came a long way from her first mention in Hesiod's depiction as a Goddess having a share of Earth, Seas and Heavens!
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Re: A list of reference material for Hekate research.

Post#25 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:42 pm

Bumper wrote:Have you found anything in your readings that confirm an influence of Vedic teachings, specifically Kali, on Hekate's attributions?


Theory:

The Golden Fleece is foreign trade, which is why the aristocracy of Europe calls itself the Society of the Golden Fleece. The story of the Argonauts tells of how Jason traveled to India, and of what went wrong with it.

Colchia (Calcutta, the holy city of Kali) is on the "other side of the world," rather than across the Mediterranean. They had a warrior-king Aeetes, who for his own part was well aware of Jason's people because he already had relics of the Theban princes and therefore knew what to expect of the newcomers.

I've seen plenty of ram skulls decorated in precious metals and jewels, marketed as "tantric cult artifacts," and while I'm not precisely familiar with that stuff, I doubt that this practice is new. If they did this kind of thing way back when, it stands to reasons that the Golden Fleece was just such a relic.

As I type this, and for generations prior, the Star of Lanka is guarded by a gigantic cobra whose head is bigger than my own. They get really big! This idea of keeping valuables guarded by a giant dangerous reptile sounds a lot like the Argonauts story to me. Beyond that, there is some suggestion that the "tree" from which the precious relic hung is some kind of Tantric teaching about the ida and pingala, the serpentine forces guarding the tree of illumination.

Along with the Fleece, Jason brought back Medea. At this time, Greece was not exactly high-tech, he was a hick with a boat full of jocks, but Medea was an educated priestess from what was then a highly sophisticated society. Her ideas about how to advance her political career, her ideas about pretty much everything, were a radical departure from anything Jason had ever known. This is what we might expect from introducing a genuine foreigner to the Greek political scene of the time, that she was much more advanced in her ways than they were, which is not what we would find if she was just a cult priestess from some remote island.

At the end of the tale, Medea decides that Jason is a jerk, and kills her own children. What might have been a globe-spanning trade empire became instead this myth that is hard to read to children without cringing. The Greeks ended up knowing that there was a whole world waiting over there, absolutely full of everything desirable, populated by a well-armed multitude, and without much of a way to get there again. Having no concept of those things in their native context, they made them Greek characters and deities, and so we have Hecate instead of Kali.

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Re: A list of reference material for Hekate research.

Post#26 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:49 pm

Chrysophylax wrote:The Greeks ended up knowing that there was a whole world waiting over there, absolutely full of everything desirable, populated by a well-armed multitude, and without much of a way to get there again. Having no concept of those things in their native context, they made them Greek characters and deities, and so we have Hecate instead of Kali.


Trade routes would make sense for intel and curios of all sorts to flow into Greece, and I like your thinking there, although it's impossible to prove unless some indian artifacts of Kali are/were dug up in Greece. It also seems logical to me that if they heard of a new, foreign and powerful goddess such as Kali, they would look to their own pantheon first to see if she was already 'one of their own' in some form. And as by that time Hekate is increasingly a dark goddess by the time trade routes are established, that they would overlay Kali's mythology onto Hekate's growing list of attributions makes sense too.
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Re: A list of reference material for Hekate research.

Post#27 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:45 pm

I think it's there but I think it's hidden. But I also think people focus upon Kali and forget that Kali is paired with Durga so tend to ignore the complexity of that relationship and how it influences things.

Kali couldn't truly be brought back without bringing Durga back to keep the balance that the mythology and belief system holds for both of them. Figure the most told story about Kali is she springs forth from Durga's forehead and strikes down two unbeatable demons. Yet both Durga and Kali are opposite personalities yet both are protector's and destroyers. Both are mother figures and creator's as well. While a second story does suggest Kali having a blood lust and requires Shiva falling to the ground to break it by having her step upon him, it's not referenced as much from what I've read. Not to say it's not portrayed more in statuary though.

I personally think you find that the darker traits of Kali get placed upon Hekate while the traits of Durga get placed upon Persephone / Demeter. Yet all three get tied together via the Rape of Persephone mythos, the Eleusinian Mysteries, The wanderings of Demeter and the withering of the crops / barren earth mythos,

Yet Durga is also conflated in one other place. That is with Artemis. It is with Artemis that Durga is perhaps really placed as the opposite of Hekate. Yet it is not the Olympian Artemis (prepubescent) but closer to the Ephesian or Taurian Artemis who is more of an adult woman and associated with more weapons than just the bow and arrow.

I personally believe you see changes to the mythos of Persephone, Demeter and Artemis about the same general time frames as well.

With regard to the theory presented by Chrysophylax and the Argonautica story it makes sense. If not directly then through indirect contact. Figure the story of Medea alone incorporates Hyperboria where ever that might have been and the Chariot of Helios being brought to her. Whether it was by Apollo or Artemis depending upon storyteller really doesn't matter. It suggests contact with lands far away.
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Re: A list of reference material for Hekate research.

Post#28 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:15 pm

monsnoleedra wrote:I think it's there but I think it's hidden. But I also think people focus upon Kali and forget that Kali is paired with Durga so tend to ignore the complexity of that relationship and how it influences things.

Kali couldn't truly be brought back without bringing Durga back to keep the balance that the mythology and belief system holds for both of them. Figure the most told story about Kali is she springs forth from Durga's forehead and strikes down two unbeatable demons. Yet both Durga and Kali are opposite personalities yet both are protector's and destroyers. Both are mother figures and creator's as well. While a second story does suggest Kali having a blood lust and requires Shiva falling to the ground to break it by having her step upon him, it's not referenced as much from what I've read. Not to say it's not portrayed more in statuary though.

I personally think you find that the darker traits of Kali get placed upon Hekate while the traits of Durga get placed upon Persephone / Demeter. Yet all three get tied together via the Rape of Persephone mythos, the Eleusinian Mysteries, The wanderings of Demeter and the withering of the crops / barren earth mythos,

Yet Durga is also conflated in one other place. That is with Artemis. It is with Artemis that Durga is perhaps really placed as the opposite of Hekate. Yet it is not the Olympian Artemis (prepubescent) but closer to the Ephesian or Taurian Artemis who is more of an adult woman and associated with more weapons than just the bow and arrow.

I personally believe you see changes to the mythos of Persephone, Demeter and Artemis about the same general time frames as well.

With regard to the theory presented by Chrysophylax and the Argonautica story it makes sense. If not directly then through indirect contact. Figure the story of Medea alone incorporates Hyperboria where ever that might have been and the Chariot of Helios being brought to her. Whether it was by Apollo or Artemis depending upon storyteller really doesn't matter. It suggests contact with lands far away.


:goodpost I hadn't considered it reached as far as the Rape of Persephone myth, but now you mention it I can absolutely see it. I will have to go back and read it again in this context.

And I agree, Kali is most definitely a form of Durga, and working with her you find that quite apparent. And a lot of her ferocity in popular imagery is metaphor for a deeper learnings, the necklace of heads being the sanskrit letters, the head she holds being the ego etc and machete the brutally effective force for change she brings, but that is an initial whack. For my UPG, Kali'ka has been her 'force for change' form, which transitioned to Kali Ma in mantra (on her instruction) as that initial desruptive force levelled out. Kali Ma for me has been as close to the essence of Durga as you can get without actually conjuring Durga directly.
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Re: A list of reference material for Hekate research.

Post#29 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:24 pm

Bumper wrote: :goodpost I hadn't considered it reached as far as the Rape of Persephone myth, but now you mention it I can absolutely see it. I will have to go back and read it again in this context.

And I agree, Kali is most definitely a form of Durga, and working with her you find that quite apparent. And a lot of her ferocity in popular imagery is metaphor for a deeper learnings, the necklace of heads being the sanskrit letters, the head she holds being the ego etc and machete the brutally effective force for change she brings, but that is an initial whack. For my UPG, Kali'ka has been her 'force for change' form, which transitioned to Kali Ma in mantra (on her instruction) as that initial desruptive force levelled out. Kali Ma for me has been as close to the essence of Durga as you can get without actually conjuring Durga directly.


I admit it's not a good fit and you have to play with it a bit and it's strictly opinion. But as I though about it, it sort of feel into place for me.

I though people always say Hekate part in the story never seemed to match and structure wise it had the wrong beat. So I sort of though about it using the Durga / Kali beat and wondered how it fit.

If I used Durga as both Demeter and the earth it seemed to fit somewhat. Durga's mind was the darkness of the cave where Hekate was located and took shape. It was also the entrance from where she (Hekate) would hear Persephone being abducted by Hades but never actually see the abduction. Then like the story Hekate would manifest into the presence of Demeter (Durga) from her cave (brain). Her anger at the abduction being the catalyst for her manifestation into the story as a presence of anger / revenge. She would become the sword of her anger to go before her and enact her justice. Yet also be the avenger who could go where she could not go.

Like in the story of Durga / Kali Hekate both accompanies Demeter in her search leading her to Helios to discover who has taken Persephone but also going into the lands of the demons where Demeter is unable to enter. She becomes the "Female" who slays the creature only a female can slay.

This ties into a number of issues both directly in the story of Persephone but also into the story of the mysteries. Figure part of the story of Persephone is the transition of a girl into a woman within the Hellene cultural system. Hekate being the adult woman who transition's her from girl to woman. Something which only a female can both guide her in and a creature which only a woman can slay. But also guide her back into the presence of her mother, not as a girl but now as a woman in her own right. Hekate bursting forth from the dark folds of the earth "Durga's mind / intelligence(?)" But also the force outside the emotion that resists the forces that still see's the child only vice the child that has become the adult. Sort of Demeter panning away for her daughter at the expense of all things.

One thing that gets me though is that both Durga and Kali are tied to the story of Raktabīja (rakta means blood, bīja means seed). A demon that Durga fought and was unable to defeat and caused the creation of Kali through her anger. Kali beats but her bloodlust sort goes overboard and she basically comes close to leading the world to disaster. Similar to Sekmet. Each time his blood hits the ground he replicates himself. In so many ways that sounds like procreation and fertility. So it sounds like there is a warning about fertility / fecundity wrapped within that would tie in with it that has certain misogynistic overtones. Which would match up with some of the social norms of Hellenic society.
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Re: A list of reference material for Hekate research.

Post#30 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:29 pm

I've got to say, I'm loving this dialogue that's developed from this line of questioning. Great posts and contributions!

I'd not taken the Durga myth out of context to compare it with Persephone, Hekate & Hermes, but its an interesting angle to consider. Especially given the wider context of this occurring with Ishtar/Inanna stories and their relation to Ereshkigal. There comes this point where there's a wider overlap that seems to occur as we dig in further and look for further moments of connection.

This has happened for me in a partially related context that may apply here. Its extraordinarily commonplace for a story around fractured personas to occur. In Tibetan Buddhism, Chenrezig is thought to have been a solitary manifestation that then broke apart to form the manifold deities we now rely on the assistance of. This is paralleled by the earlier Avalokitesvara, and then again by Siva (though it is Kali that stampedes over him). Tara-ma is said to have come forth from a tear which fell during deep samadhi, Athena bursted from Zeus' head as a splitting headache. The world is said to have been created of Ymir's bones, too....There's even a reference to this in Hook: "you see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies."

This, conceptually, suggests that new aspects of Deity break free and come into being as a result of trauma. Like blood hitting the ground, as Monsnoleedra pointed out.

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