Who Is Hecate?

Who Is Hecate?

At night, particularly at the dark of the moon, this goddess walked the roads of ancient Greece, accompanied by sacred dogs and bearing a blazing torch. Occassionally she stopped to gather offerings left by her devotees where three roads crossed, for this three-fold goddess was best honored where one could look three ways at once. Sometimes, it was even said that Hecate could look three ways because she had three heads: a serpent, a horse, and a dog.
While Hecate walked outdoors, her worshippers gathered inside to eat Hecate suppers in her honor, gatherings at which magical knowledge was shared and the secrets of sorcery whispered. The bitch-goddess, the snake-goddess, ruled these powers and she bestowed them on those who worshipped her honorably. When supper was over, the leftovers were placed outdoors as offerings to Hecate and her hounds. And if the poor of Greece gathered at the doorsteps of wealthier households to snatch the offerings, what matter?

Some scholars say that Hecate was not originally Greek, her worship having traveled south from her original Thracian homeland. Others contend that she was a form of the earth mother Demeter, yet another of whose forms was the maiden Persephone. Legends, they claim, of Persephone’s abduction and later residence in Hades give clear prominence to Hecate, who therefore must represent the old wise woman, the crone, the final stage of woman’s growth- the aged Demeter herself, just as Demeter is the mature Persephone.

In either case, the antiquity of Hecate’s worship was recognized by the Greeks, who called her a Titan, one of those pre-Olympian divinities whom Zeus and his cohort had ousted. The newcomers also bowed to her antiquity by granting to Hecate alone a power shared with Zeus, that of granting or withholding from humanity anything she wished. Hecate’s worship continued into classical times, both in the private form of Hecate suppers and in public sacrifices, celebrated by “great ones” or Caberioi, of honey, black female lambs, and dogs, and sometimes black human slaves.

As queen of the night, Hecate was sometimes said to be the moon-goddess in her dark form, as Artemis was the waxing moon and Selene the full moon. But she may as readily have been the earth-goddess, for she ruled the spirits of the dead, humans who had been returned to the earth. As queen of death she ruled the magical powers of regeneration; in addition, she could hold back her spectral hordes from the living if she chose. And so Greek women evoked Hecate for protection from her hosts whenever they left the house, and they erected her threefold images at their doors, as if to tell wandering spirits that therein lived friends of their queen, who must not be bothered with night noises and spooky apparitions.

The New Book Of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan..

Deity of the Day for June 15 – HELIOS

 

by Micha F. Lindemans

Helios is the young Greek god of the sun. He is the son of

Hyperion and Theia. By the Oceanid Perse he became the father of Aeëtes, Circe, and Pasiphae. His other children are Phaethusa (“radiant”) and Lampetia (“shining”) and Phaeton.

Each morning at dawn he rises from the ocean in the east and rides in his chariot, pulled by four horses – Pyrois, Eos, Aethon and Phlegon — through the sky, to descend at night in the west. Helios once allowed Phaeton to guide his chariot across the sky. The unskilled youth could not control the horses and fell towards his death.

The reverence of the sun as a god came from the east to Greece. Helios was worshipped in various places of the Peloponnesos, but especially on Rhodes, where each year gymnastic games were held in his honor. Rhodos was also where the Colossus of Rhodes (the sixth the seven wonders of the ancient world) was built in his honor. This huge statue, measuring 32 meters (100ft), was built in 280 BCE by Charès of Lindos. In the earthquake of 224-223 BCE the statue broke off at the knees. On other places where he was worshipped, there were herds dedicated to him, such as on the island of Thrinacia (occasionally equated with Sicily). Here the companions of Odysseus helped themselves with the sacred animals. People sacrificed oxen, rams, goats, and white horses to Helios.

He was represented as a youth with a halo, standing in a chariot, occasionally with a billowing robe. A metope from the temple of Athena in the Hellenistic Ilium represents him thus. He is also shown on more recent reliefs, concerning the worship of Mithra, such as in the Mithraeum under the St. Prisca at Rome. In early Christian art, Christ is sometimes represented as Helios, such as in a mosaic in Mausoleum M or in the necropolis beneath the St. Peter in Rome.

His attributes are the whip and the globe, and his sacred animals were the cock and the eagle. Helios sees and knows all, and was called upon by witnesses.

Encyclopedia Mythica

Crystal of the Day for Feb. 7th – Sunstone

Crystal of the Day – Sunstone

 

Colours:

Yellow, Orange, Red-Brown

 

 

Source: Canada, Greece, India, Norway, United States
Availability: Easily obtained from Specialist Shops
Energy: Projective
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire
Chakra: Sacral and Solar Plexus

Spiritual Uses: Clears the chakras and allows the life-force to flow freely throughout the body. Facilitates self-empowerment.
Emotional Uses: Used to rid depression and alleviate stress, anxiety and phobias.
Physical Uses: Harmonises the organs, good for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Can be gridded around the body to relieve general aches and pains.
Folklore: In ancient Greece, Sunstone was used to represent the Sun God, Helios (or Apollo). Ancient Greeks believed Sunstone invigorated and greatly improved the state of the physical body and the spirit, bringing renewed strength and good health to both.
Magickal Properties: Protection, Energy, Health, Sexual Energy, Love, Power, Happiness, Courage

The Wiccan Book of Days for Feb. 6th – Lady of Love and Magick

Lady of Love and Magick

So compelling was the cult of Isis, the greatest of the Ancient Egyptian Goddesses, that her worship spread to Greece, and thence to Rome, and indeed, she continue to be venerated today. “Isis of Ten Thousand Names” is often invoked on this day in her incarnation as the Green Goddess, a young and beautiful Goddess of nature who broadly corresponds with the Greek Aphrodite, is especially associated with love and sex, and has the blessing of fertility within her gift. In this aspect, Isis’s primary symbol is the tyet, a red talisman worn by her followers that is thought to represent her knotted girdle and menstrual blood.

 

“Tarot Teachings”

On this day, meditate on the fifth major-arcana Tarot card, the Pope, or Hierophant (V), representing spiritual authority. Revisit or explore the tenets and teachings of traditional religions to see if they could add a rewarding dimension to your life and beliefs.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for July 2nd is 21: Cutting Through

21: Cutting Through

Hexagram 21

General Meaning: The situation calls for confronting a knotty conflict and cutting through it. Somehow, the way to harmony and unity is blocked or frustrated — perhaps by a tangle of misunderstandings or outright deceit. Like Alexander the Great cutting the Gordian knot, assert yourself now and you will meet with good fortune. Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. The ability to take corrective measures when they are needed is an essential trait of true leadership.

But those who bring discipline to bear must, above all, be honest — with others, and with themselves. Honesty is the hallmark of the strong and self-confident. The successful person masters the art of honesty much as a swordsman masters fencing. When lies, delusions and game playing are getting in the way of teamwork, a swift sword of honest action, perhaps even correction, must be wielded to protect one’s integrity and values. Decisiveness with integrity brings good fortune.

Though your actions be vigorous, they must not be hasty, severe or arbitrary. Be sure to carefully consider all the circumstances. In the case of a serious disruption of relations, you must forgive, but not forget to give a person a chance to make reparations for his mistakes. If some penalty or punishment is necessary, make certain that it fits the crime. When boundaries have become slack and useless, only through the institution of clear and swift correction can their effectiveness be restored.

In situations where serious issues of justice are at stake, keep careful records and do not hesitate to go public with the truth.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for April 29 is 21:Cutting Through

ay’s I Ching Hexagram for Everyone:

21: Cutting Through

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Hexagram 21

General Meaning: The situation calls for confronting a knotty conflict and cutting through it. Somehow, the way to harmony and unity is blocked or frustrated — perhaps by a tangle of misunderstandings or outright deceit. Like Alexander the Great cutting the Gordian knot, assert yourself now and you will meet with good fortune. Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. The ability to take corrective measures when they are needed is an essential trait of true leadership.

But those who bring discipline to bear must, above all, be honest — with others, and with themselves. Honesty is the hallmark of the strong and self-confident. The successful person masters the art of honesty much as a swordsman masters fencing. When lies, delusions and game playing are getting in the way of teamwork, a swift sword of honest action, perhaps even correction, must be wielded to protect one’s integrity and values. Decisiveness with integrity brings good fortune.

Though your actions be vigorous, they must not be hasty, severe or arbitrary. Be sure to carefully consider all the circumstances. In the case of a serious disruption of relations, you must forgive, but not forget to give a person a chance to make reparations for his mistakes. If some penalty or punishment is necessary, make certain that it fits the crime. When boundaries have become slack and useless, only through the institution of clear and swift correction can their effectiveness be restored.

In situations where serious issues of justice are at stake, keep careful records and do not hesitate to go public with the truth.

Goddess Of The Day: HERA

Goddess Of The Day:  HERA
Daedala (Greece)
 
Themes: Love; Romance; Forgiveness; Humor
Symbols: Oak; Myrrh; Poppy
 
About Hera: Hera rules the earth, its people, and the hearts of those people. Using passion and creativity, Hera nudges star-crossed lovers together, chaperones trysts, and helps struggling marriages with a case of spring twitterpation!
 
Legend tells us that Hera refused to return to Zeus’s bed because of a quarrel. Zeus, however, had a plan. He humorously dressed up a wooden figure to look like a bride and declared he was going to marry. When Hera tore off the dummy’s clothes and discovered the ruse, she was so amused and impressed by Zeus’s ingenuity that she forgave him.
 
To Do Today: Ancient Greeks honored Hera and Zeus’s reconciliation today, often in the company of old oak trees. Small pieces of fallen wood are collected to symbolize the divinities, then burned on the ritual fire to keep love warm. To mirror this custom, find a fallen branch and burn a small part of it as an offering to Hera. Keep the rest to use as a goddess image year-round, burning a few slivers whenever love needs encouragement.
 
Present someone you love or admire with a poppy today to symbolically bestow Hera’s blessings on your relationship. If you have a loved one away from home, burn some myrrh incense in front of their picture so Hera can watch over them and keep that connection strong.
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By Patricia Telesco ~ From “365 Goddess”  (FMP) and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast