Hecate Research Paper

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Hecate changed in demeanor and purpose throughout her goddess career in ancient Greece. It’s believed she was not originally of the classical Greek pantheon since she appears infrequently in later Greek literature, and not, for example, in Homeric poetry. As with most of the Mediterranean gods at the time of the Christian era, both her persona and functions were blended and interchanged with the dominant goddess figureheads of the time, most notably Artemis and Persephone. As we examine her various aspects it will become evident why these fusions were appropriate. In mythology and worship, Hecate is easily recognized in her role as guardian and attendant to other gods and goddesses. This explains the association she often has with doorways,…show more content…
Like Hermes — “the thrice-great” — threes consistently appear under her aegis. She is the origin of the persona we refer to today as “the triple goddess” — maiden, mother, crone (Mathews). This took several forms in her recognition. In mythology, she was viewed as attendant to Demeter and Persephone, and was sometimes seen as fulfilling the crone role. Her function as protector of crossroads (usually 3 way) referenced “the triple goddess” somewhat differently — pillars at the crossroads were often adorned with three masks, each aligned to the road it faced ("Hecate"). Later statues of Hecate actually render her with three heads or bodies set back to back. The triform goddess persisted long past the Greeks — an image of her may be viewed in the Knights Templar cathedral of Siena (Young). "Clearly the descendants of the old Gnostic belief system saw the value of a guardian female deity that acknowledged the protective aspects of the feminine regenerative force" (Mathews). In her role as guardian and attendant, Hecate is almost always shown carrying at least one and usually three torches. That she would need these to escort patrons in and out of the Underworld is self evident, even thought she often appears in art and pottery with them when light bearing is superfluous. Again, we have to consider the representations of these

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