Jig of Life Aug 13, 2008 1:10:23 GMT
Post by tannis on Aug 13, 2008 1:10:23 GMT
And what a coincidence that August thirteenth is tomorrow... around where I live we've been getting SO many thunderstorms, maybe I should do some honoring. ;D
^ Yes, Rosa, Hecate is an awesome torch-bearing Goddess. And it is a wonderful coincidence that August thirteenth is tomorrow! So here's another piece to help you honor away those thunderstorms! ... ;D
Hold up your torch,
Dark Goddess of the Underworld,
that your Light may shine the way
to my rebirth...
Hekate, goddess of the Underworld, holds dominion over death and rebirth, both literal and metaphorical. The Dark of the Moon is her time, since it is a time of endings and new beginnings. Hekate guards the limenoskopos (the doorstep), as goddess of liminality, transition, crossing boundaries. Life and death, nature and civilization, waking and sleep, sanity and madness, the conscious and the subconscious. Any transition can be said to be her domain. She is goddess of the crossroads, where the paths of one's life fork and a person must choose which future to embark upon. Hekate is also the goddess of psychological transformation. Her Underworld is the dark recesses of the human subconscious as well at that of the Cosmos. Many have accused her of sending demons to haunt the thoughts of individuals. What they fail to understand is that the demons are not hers, but their own. By the light of her twin torches Hekate only reveals what is already there. These are things which the person needs to see in order to heal and renew. However, if they are not prepared for the experience of confronting their Shadow then it can truly feel like they are being tormented. Hekate is not motivated by cruelty, nor is she seeking to harm. But her love can be tough love. She will prompt a person to face the things that they must, whether they like it or not.
While some Greeks describe her as a virgin goddess, it bears noting that to the Ancient Greeks the word virgin did not always mean a girl uninitiated into sexual intercourse, but could also mean a woman not beholden to any man. In this sense, Hekate is indeed a virgin goddess. While in the more common sense of the word she certainly is not, for she is held to be the mother of several children, such as the god Museus and the Witches Medeia and Kirke (Circe).
Hecate was equated with Artemis from the fifth century onwards. In the iconography she is generally pictured as the same lithe virgin with short chiton, except that instead of the bow she carries torches. Hekate is known as "The Torch-Bearer". She carries these because of her role as a guide through the transition of the Underworld. One torch shows a person where it is they currently stand, the other where they might go. In this manner she reveals the mysteries of transformation to those who enter her realm of darkness. Hekate is also shown carrying a key, for she is the opener and closer of the door to the Underworld. In modern interpretations she is the guardian of and guide through the individual's Unconscious mind as well. So again, she is the key to the deeper mysteries. She also has a scourge (whip) which is the umbilical of rebirth and renewal. Her dagger (which later became the athame of Wicca) cuts delusion and is a symbol of ritual power.
Her primary animal form and familiar is the dog, and she was at one time considered to be "The Dog of the Moon". The black she-dog was originally the Trojan Queen Hekabe, who leapt into the sea after the fall of Troy and was transformed by the goddess into her familiar. Hekate is associated with the three-headed dog Kerberos who guards the gates of the Underworld. The Dog Star Sirius, whose rising foretold the annual flooding of the Nile, is also considered sacred to her. According to legend Hekate can be seen walking the roads and graveyards at night, particularly during the dark moon, accompanied by her howling dogs - which are usually black in color. Furthermore, it was said that when she chose to walk the earth invisible to the eyes of humans, dogs could still see her, as it was believed they could see all disembodied spirits. So if they started baying at night it meant Hekate or some other ghost or apparition was near, and a dog howling at the moon was considered to be a harbinger of death. As Virgil writes: "Then earth began to bellow, trees to dance and howling dogs in glimmering light advance ere Hekate came."
Hekate is also associated with a curious wheel shaped design, known as Hekate's Wheel, or the "Strophalos of Hekate". It is a circle which encloses a serpentine maze with three main flanges. The three arms of the maze correspond with her being a triple goddess, as well as goddess of the three ways, and that she has dominion over the earth, sea, and sky.
Hekate: Moving Through Darkness
Hymn of Hecate
Traditional Hymn to Hecate in Hellenism