At the crossroads of life, death and rebirth stands the Goddess Hekate. Honoured by men, women and gods alike, traces of her ancient provenance reach back through the millennia providing clues about her nature and origins along the way. Depictions of her as three formed facing in three ways, sometimes with the heads of animals such as the horse, dog and snake hint at her liminal nature, as well as the powers she holds over the triple realms of earth, sea and sky.
The sorcery of Medea and Circe, the witchcraft of the women of Thessaly, the writings of philosophers such as Hesiod and Porphyry all provide glimpses into the world of those who honoured her. Her magical powers were considered so great that even King Solomon became associated with her, she was incorporated into Jewish magic, and merged with other goddesses including Artemis, Selene, Bendis and the Egyptian Isis. Whilst for some she was the Witch Goddess, for others she was the ruler of angels and daimons, who made predictions about Jesus and Christianity.
Wherever you look, be it in the texts of Ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantium or the Renaissance, the Greek Magical Papyri or the Chaldean Oracles, you will find Hekate. The magical whir of the strophalos and the barbarous words of the voces magicae carry her message; the defixiones, love spells and charms all provides us with examples of the magic done in her name. She was also associated with the magic of death, including necromancy and reanimation; as well as prophetic dreams, nightmares, healing herbs and poisons. The temples dedicated to her and the important role she played in the mysteries of Eleusis, Samothrace and Aigina all provide us with clues to her majesty. The popular shrines at the doorways of ordinary people, offerings left at the crossroads and guardian statues of her at the entrance ways to cities and temples all attest to her status in the hearts and minds of those who knew her mysteries.
In this book the authors draw from a wide range of sources, bringing together historical research which provides insights into the magical and religious practices associated with this remarkable Goddess. In doing so they provide an indispensable guide for those wishing to explore the mysteries of Hekate today.
Table of Contents Foreword 1. From the Three-Ways Literary Sources 2. In Her Service Hesiod Empedocles Porphy Circe Medea The Witches of Thessaly Lampads Hekate’s Vegetarian Followers 3. Sacred Eleusis 4. Images of Hekate 5. Voces Magicae 6. Charms from the PGM List of Charms in the Greek Magical Papyri Symbols from the PGM Bear Charm Charm of Hekate Ereschigal 7. Charms for Love 8. Defixiones 9. The Armour of Hekate 10. Glimpses of Initiation 11. Herbs & Poisons Aconite Ebony Garlic Mandrake Oak Saffron Yew Unspecified Herbs Herb Gathering 12. Sacred Bronze 13. Iron Nails & Rings 14. Hekate & The Angels 15. Coins 16. From Sleep 17. Oracles of Hekate 18. Offerings 19. Hekate Suppers 20. Invocation 21. Hymns Proclus Hymn to Hekate and Janus Prayer to Selene for any operation 22. Animal Formed Cow-Headed/Bull-Headed Dog-Headed Dragon-Headed Goat-Headed Horse-Headed Serpent-Headed 23. Necromancy & Reanimation 24. Death Magic 25. Underworld 26. Black Dogs 27. Serpents 28. The Strophalos 29. King Solomon 30. Fusions Artemis-Hekate Bendis Bona Dea Brimo Despoina Ereschigal-Hekate Isis-Hekate Physis Selene-Hekate Bibliography Index
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