Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Hecate Genealogy (Greek & Latin Sources)

Hecate Geneology asteria perses

  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 ShadowKing

ShadowKing

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 294 posts

Posted 18 April 2015 - 10:56 AM

I originally wrote a post like it but it seems to have fallen into a black hole somewhere. I'm choosing Hecat's Parents to be Perses & Asteria since it makes more sense to me than the other five. I'll outline her parentage to the beginning of the gods. Asteria's parentage has been lost in time.

Paternal great grandparents: Gaia(earth) & Ouranos(sky)

Paternal grand parents: Cirus ( master of the southern pillar) & Eurybia (seas)

Parents: Perses (destruction) & Asteria(Astrology & Oracles of the night sky)

Hecate ( Mistress of Heavens, Earth, Sea and Underworld)

  • 0
"We are quicksilver, a fleeting shadow, a distant sound... our home has no boundaries beyond which we cannot pass. We live in music, in a flash of color... we live on the wind and in the sparkle of a star! " -Endora

#2 Christine

Christine

    Marsh Wiggle

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 449 posts

Posted 05 June 2015 - 03:20 AM

Neat, but why do they make more sense to you? I thought she was Nyx's kid? I'm not looking up any references, I just genuinely thought that, and I am interested in your reasons.

Speaking of Hecate, and origins, do you happen to know how she acquired her lampades? I am stumped.

  • 0
Don't drink from the river, drink from the well.

#3 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

Guest_monsnoleedra_*
  • Guests

Posted 05 June 2015 - 10:12 AM

not Hecataeus but though i'd answer

Her connection to Nyx is much weaker than Hesiod's, THE THEOGONY (ll. 404-452) and other earlier poems that made her the daughter of Asteria and Perses. I vaguely recall Nyx becomes listed as her mother in one fragmented piece by Bacchylides, Fragment 1b. I have seen some debate that from the little bit of the fragment the reference to daughter of the night might be more to her working during the night vice being an actual daughter of Nyx. Similar in comparison to how wolves are often listed as children of the night as that is when they howl to the moon and such, yet not implying they are actual children of the night.

I've never seen any poetic writing from the period that ties Hekate to the Lampades other than a mention at theoi.com that they were underworld nymphs that accompanied her. I have seen implied or academic assumptions that it pertains to either:

The role of initiates in the Eleusinian mysteries and how they are guided back into the light from the underworld during rites. Reflective of Hekate leading Persephone back into the upperworld and returning her to Demeter.

The role of Hecate (Artemis) lampadephoros (light-bearer or bringer).

According to accounts which vary in some of the details, in 340 BCE the Byzantines and their allies the Athenians were under siege by the troops of Philip of Macedon. On a particularly dark and wet night Philip attempted a surprise attack but was thwarted by the appearance of a bright light in the sky. This light is occasionally described by subsequent interpreters as a meteor, sometimes as the moon, and some accounts also mention the barking of dogs. However, the original accounts mention only a light in the sky, without specifying the moon. To commemorate the event the Byzantines erected a statue of Hecate lampadephoros (light-bearer or bringer). This story survived in the works of Hesychius of Miletus, who in all probability lived in the time of Justinian I. His works survive only in fragments preserved in Photius and the tenth century lexicographer Suidas. The tale is also related by Stephanus of Byzantium, and Eustathius.

"In 340 BCE, however, the Byzantines, with the aid of the Athenians, withstood a siege successfully, an occurrence the more remarkable as they were attacked by the greatest general of the age, Philip of Macedon. In the course of this beleaguerment, it is related, on a certain wet and moonless night the enemy attempted a surprise, but were foiled by reason of a bright light which, appearing suddenly in the heavens, startled all the dogs in the town and thus roused the garrison to a sense of their danger. To commemorate this timely phenomenon, which was attributed to Hecate, they erected a public statue to that goddess [...]" William Gordon Holmes, The Age of Justinian and Theodora, 2003 p5-6;


"If any goddess had a connection with the walls in Constantinople, it was Hecate. Hecate had a cult in Byzantium from the time of its founding. Like Byzas in one legend, she had her origins in Thrace. Since Hecate was the guardian of "liminal places," in Byzantium small temples in her honor were placed close to the gates of the city. Hecate's importance to Byzantium was above all as deity of protection. When Philip of Macedon was about to attack the city, according to he legend she alerted the townspeople with her ever-present torches, and with her pack of dogs, which served as her constant companions. Her mythic qualities thenceforth forever entered the fabric of Byzantine history. A statue known as the 'Lampadephoros' was erected on the hill above the Bosphorous to commemorate Hecate's defensive aid." Vasiliki Limberis, Divine Heiress, Routledge, 1994, p126-127

The crescent moon image being found on the coins of the era as well as becoming the symbol of the city itself. Some arguing that even the current Turkish flag with it's crescent moon a remembrance of that salvation.

  • 0

#4 Christine

Christine

    Marsh Wiggle

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 449 posts

Posted 05 June 2015 - 08:21 PM

Wow, that is lovely, with references and everything! Now I need even more books... I would have skipped right over the Limberis because of my foolish prejudice. And while I had read about the origin of the crescent in the Turkish flag, the writer only mentioned the moon, leaving out the goddes and the statue.
...but then is there not a retinue of Hecate in the underworld? That doesn't quite seem right.

  • 0
Don't drink from the river, drink from the well.

#5 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

Guest_monsnoleedra_*
  • Guests

Posted 05 June 2015 - 09:05 PM

Just my opinion but I'd be more surprised if she did have a retinue in the underworld. Figure Hekate is free to come and go at will where Persephone is there 6 months of each year. I think where it gets a bit iffy is when you read of her aspect of gathering and running spirits to the underworld. In some ways like the wild hunt except her's is ghost and black dogs according to the stories. Yet I haven't found any place that says she brings them to the river Styx or that Charon meets her as the stories of Hermes suggests. That to me suggests she has another way of entering and that the dead she gathers fall outside the normal dead. In some ways I think falling into the categories of the restless dead who have to be forced or gathered or the sacrificed dead that remain as watchers and protectors of towns, cities, regions, etc that eventually will be called.

Consider the other question, Why would she have them in the underworld and not in the heavens or upon earth? She is the mistress of three realms not just a chthonic goddess. Yet one never hears of a retinue of water semi-divine or of nymphs or such. So does the fact the lampades use torches indicate they are connected to Hekate? Does it indicate they are used as guides and in that capacity appear to mimic the story of Hekate and Persephone and lightning her way from the underworld to the surface? I would think they would be more hand maidens and such to Persephone as her role of Queen of the Underworld than assigned to Hekate, of course just my opinion.

I personally think some confusion arises with Hekate because of her Chaldean persona. Under that she commands the spirits of the dead but also the spirits of daemons and such who reside upon the moon. So she is seen as having a following of sorts and equated to the dead but it's because she can dispatch them with a purpose not that they persay serve her as a mistress. Figure her Chaldean persona really comes about during the Roman period which is the same time her chthonic role with witches and the dead really kicks off as well.

  • 0

#6 Christine

Christine

    Marsh Wiggle

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 449 posts

Posted 06 June 2015 - 12:25 AM

Mhm, and you bring up the sense again of the complications which arise in the study of an ancient deity whose known traditions stretch over a goodly chunk of recorded history. So many variations to encompass, differing traditions of varied communities, that any sort of concretion or attempt at coherence can be overwhelming. Plus there is almost always something newly unearthed to sort out.

My gut answer is that Hecate has a retinue in all three realms, and that it comprises in part the very spirits and daimones you mention. The problem immediately becomes, why is the underworld retinue different in kind to the earthly and celestial retinue? Is passage to the underworld, even in the train of Hecate, too fraught for the lesser beings, or perhaps is it my lexical error to differentiate sharply?

Now I have even more questions... and I still don't understand where the lampades originate. I do think that the torches, or anyhow light-giving-artifacts, they bear indicates a Hecatic connection. But I have only recently begun studying chthonic nymphs. The lampads stand out because they are mysterious. The river Acheron has nymphs, caverns and caves have their own nymphs, but what are the lampads of? Are they properly called nymphs?

As for being attached to the Queen, possibly... Persephone is a very mysterious figure, to me. I haven't turned up any hint of that so far, though.

  • 0
Don't drink from the river, drink from the well.

#7 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

Guest_monsnoleedra_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 June 2015 - 12:55 AM

I used to think the twin torches were a solid connection to Hekate but then I discovered that Demeter also frequently holds twin torches as well. Not only Demeter but also Artemis and even some persona's of Diana are depicted with twin or single torches. That and the earlier versions of the Persephone story never had Hekate as a persona in the story so it begged the question was Hekate added later to support some other purpose. The Eleusinian mysteries made me wonder about the Hekate story as she does not appear in all known cult and mystery spots dedicated to Demeter and Persephone (Kore).

Yet the mysteries indicate the torch procession was fairly important, almost as if the devotee entered the underworld blinded and the torch procession leads them back out and says they were 'Changed". As to what changed means that's a different story though i've seen a few reports that suggest it was about going into the depths as a maiden and coming back out as a woman, even though some men did participate in the mysteries. While not widely liked i've seen a number of articles, usually academic in nature, that have argued the rape of Persephone is not about rape in the modern sense as much as it is about a girl being taken and forced to become a woman within the confines of the social order. Taken because of the mother's refusal to allow her to grow into her womanhood and become part of the social order. People forget that Zeus granted Hades the right to abduct Persephone though it's debated if it was to marry or to condition her to return to the upper world as a woman vice a maiden.

The underworld gets difficult for chthonic realms in Greek beliefs is not only land of the dead but the domain of anything that grows from the earth. Thus Demeter is truly as much an underworld deity being an earth mother as Persephone is, especially when one add's that Kore which is how she is identified is also a title. Don't quote me on that as I'm doing this off the top of my head so it might be Persephone is the title and simply means "Maiden" . Gets confusing, especially when trying to place Hekate in the mix which doesn't fit the earlier persona and history she has in Caria (Karia) at Lagina and her implied Thracian origins which ties her to the area of modern Bulgaria and even Northern Turkey.

I think one of the things that cause issues in the Hellenic underworld is that it's supposed to hold everything that the earthly world holds only as a shadow or shade of itself. So the nymph's and such of the earthly world will have a counterpart in the chthonic world.

Other than the ghost running I've never seen Hekate associated with any sort of group that supports her or runs with her. She is always the lone goddess in nearly any archaic piece of lore i've read.

I've posted this elsewhere on the site but here's a few vase drawings of the underworld and who all is supposedly living there.




  • 0

#8 bewitchingredhead

bewitchingredhead

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 693 posts

Posted 06 June 2015 - 07:56 AM

Posted Image
  • 0
I see you're getting your degree in art of the obvious~myself
Without music life would be a mistake~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time~ H.L. Mencken
When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves~ Galileo

#9 RoseRed

RoseRed

    . . . Not a big believer in . . . cowinkydink ;)

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,460 posts

Posted 06 June 2015 - 04:05 PM

Could part of the widespread and geographical differences over the course of time be something as simple as the gods have just as many, if not more, facets to them than people do?
  • 0
When my wings get tired I grab my broom.

#10 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

Guest_monsnoleedra_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 June 2015 - 05:27 PM

Could part of the widespread and geographical differences over the course of time be something as simple as the gods have just as many, if not more, facets to them than people do?



Probable though one can not rule out manipulation of stories to add or remove divine figures to support some agenda. Seem's it was rather common for the mystery cults to "Modify" mythology to fill things in or make them answer questions. The later the cult the more manipulation of mythology to make the party line fit. Not even considering how many cults were founded upon local mythology that was modified as the exact story was not know in every part of the Med region.

  • 0

#11 Christine

Christine

    Marsh Wiggle

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 449 posts

Posted 06 June 2015 - 06:46 PM

RoseRed, I agree with your assessment. Few, vanishingly few, of us will ever know the entirety of any divinity. Poor Semele! And while trying to pick out the original bones of a myth system is enjoyable and immensely rewarding on at the very least an intellectual level, I doubt that I could ever feel completely certain of any conclusions drawn.

MonSnoLeeDra, yes the term rape does seem to have had broader use in the past, not only in reference to harvesting some crops but also in that some marriage practices are said to have included "raping away" the bride, although presumably rape in the modern legal sense was not specifically meant. In older usage it reads more like a kind of abduction. It isn't always easy to wade through the crossing currents of ancient, Victorian, and modern sensibilities and winkle out the intended implications.

Hecate alone? What about Hecate at the crossroads (such a busy crowded spot), Hecate in the Underworld court, Hecate with her dogs... Hecate as a singular personage, but alone all by herself? Whenever does she find the time?

Oh-- but let me not neglect to praise the lovely images, for they are pretty indeed. It's a bit too hectic just now for me to really look at them, but I may have some time tomorrow night.

Edited by Christine, 06 June 2015 - 06:47 PM.

  • 0
Don't drink from the river, drink from the well.

#12 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

Guest_monsnoleedra_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 June 2015 - 08:29 PM

I think at times we mess ourselves up though. Consider Hekate at the Crossroads, does it mean she will be at every crossroads at every second or that she might appear at any crossroad so one should act at each as if that is the crossroad she will appear at while your there? Does the presence of herms at every crossroads mean Herme's will be found there? It's the same question. Same could be applied to Hekate running the ghost hunt with her dogs, is the baying of hounds to mean Hekate is running her dogs or does it simply suggest to be aware that it could be Hekate running her dogs? Lots of times it seem's the lore is read for references of what happens but far to often the when or how often is ignored or omitted in favor of the general idea. Consider the cake offerings to Artemis / Hekate for example, the cake is referenced but the fact it only was observed every six years if often omitted. Yet every book says those special cakes are an offering to her, makes them pretty stale if she only picks them up every six years.

Sort of like Charlie Brown's Linus sitting in the pumpkin garden each Halloween hoping that it will be his pumpkin garden that the Great Pumpkin chooses to rise from while he is sitting there. Odds are against it yet all it takes is for one time his garden to be the chosen garden to make his belief work. Yet he continues to recognize that maybe, just maybe, his garden will be the one visited that night. So each Halloween he sits there in the hopes his belief and commitment to it will result in fruition of his dream and desire. Yet even when the Great Pumpkin doesn't arrive it doesn't make him believe his truth any less.

It seems to me anyway that modern pagans try to create such a personal relationship with their gods / goddesses that they raise themselves to be the most important. Yet like the CEO of some super business he / she may eventually hear of your desire or even grace you with their presence once yet it doesn't mean you are special in that regard. Yet if a lower supervisor, foreman, etc should notice you it doesn't mean they truly represent the CEO though positional authority says they speak in their name.

I tend to think the idea of followers for Hekate gets conflated with her role of being one who sends them, restless dead or daemons, to punish or inspire as directed or prayed for. SO in that regard they do as she desires but it doesn't mean they are her possee or she holds strict control over them. Figure any of the gods / goddess of myth could also send said restless dead or daemon's to do their services or bidding. Which begs the question I suppose of does having the ability to dispatch or direct a force mean she has absolute control over them? The mythology would suggest otherwise I think.

I can't think of a single story from mythology that really says she works with a group of supporters. Yes an event may gain her attention and she takes action's upon that, but it's still as an individual. Though that individual sense may also derive from going against another goddess / god as she does in the story of Galanthis who is turned into a polecat (weasel) by another goddess. Yet she doesn't come to the aid of other's who are equally punished by some divine figure by being turned into a polecat by other gods / goddesses or even Hekate herself as in the story of Gale.
Won't even get into the notion of time and perception of its passage as a possible influence.

Myself I don't have issue's with it as I do not see divinity in a Christian sense of having a one on one relationship like many modern pagans imply. SO to me a crossroads does not mean Hekate will be there at each one only that it is an identified place where there is the possibility she might appear or her energy is associated with. So if I do something at the crossroads it's more from belief than the expectation that she will be there at that moment in time. Yet acknowledge that it is always possible that she just might be there though odds are probably against it. So the offerings I leave are designed to act as both the object for the wandering spirits or as a battery charger for her energy collection sites.

  • 0

#13 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

Guest_monsnoleedra_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 June 2015 - 08:41 PM

..

MonSnoLeeDra, yes the term rape does seem to have had broader use in the past, not only in reference to harvesting some crops but also in that some marriage practices are said to have included "raping away" the bride, although presumably rape in the modern legal sense was not specifically meant. In older usage it reads more like a kind of abduction. It isn't always easy to wade through the crossing currents of ancient, Victorian, and modern sensibilities and winkle out the intended implications.
..



The idea of rape as well as being bound to a man has many definitions when we look across time. Consider at times Hekate and Artemis are defined as virgin goddesses yet that doesn't say they were virgin in the sense of no sexual unions but in that they were bound and beholden to no man. So sexual union was both implied in many tales and stories giving them the choice to choose and leave without the say of a man or male presence. Rape sort of falls into that same definition bias when you try to look to cultural norms of any given period of time. Then you could also factor in that goddess such as Hera where beholden to man but by bathing in a special bath their virginity was returned to them again each day. So it has to imply more than just sexual abstinence. The fact so many words had multiple meanings and could be used to suggest any number of things makes it more difficult to determine I think.

While I can't speak for other's I know I am hindered in that I can not read archaic Hellene so have to rely upon translations of others. Translations that many times are rather different between translators so multiple translations have to be read to see which is used the most. Then try to filter through the various layerings that occur over time and the conflating of mythologies and cult stories.

  • 0

#14 RoseRed

RoseRed

    . . . Not a big believer in . . . cowinkydink ;)

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,460 posts

Posted 06 June 2015 - 09:22 PM

I can't think of a single story from mythology that really says she works with a group of supporters. Yes an event may gain her attention and she takes action's upon that, but it's still as an individual.


Didn't she have temples full of priestesses and the devoted that went to the temples and festivals?

  • 0
When my wings get tired I grab my broom.

#15 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

Guest_monsnoleedra_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 June 2015 - 09:41 PM

Didn't she have temples full of priestesses and the devoted that went to the temples and festivals?


There are shrines to her that usually sit outside the entrance to other temples or even upon the doorsteps of individual homes. Yet as far as a dedicated temple the only firm one is at Lagina in Caria (Karia) with a dedicated priests and priestess and recorded festivals. Yet none of the mythology or stories speak of those people doing things for her as much as reading signs and keeping track of when festivals and rituals were to be done. Consider at Laginia the Procession of the Key festival occurred twice a year with the High Priestess leading it from Lagina to Stratonikeia and then back. So the priestess keep her name in the public eye and she is seen as watching the area. Deciding if the goddess is happy or unhappy with the people based upon crops, weather, disasters, etc and what needs to be done to change it.

Yet does that then imply the notion of daemons, restless dead, spirits, etc are supporters? They do her bidding and have some aspect of divine power but there is nothing that implies they get something for doing so. Yet the priestesses gain something by overseeing burial rituals and rites, life rituals to marks stages of life, reading signs and guiding the people yet most are aligned towards proper practice and though thus right way of doing things not right way of feeling about things.

That's what I mean by supporters who carry out her task. Whether in the underworld, physical world or water world she has those who she can command and dispatch but they do not exist simply to be used by her or solely for her.

  • 0

#16 bewitchingredhead

bewitchingredhead

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 693 posts

Posted 07 June 2015 - 02:58 AM

I wasn't trying to be trivial w/my post in any way Monsno- I posted that smiley in a jest of humor that meant, "this time I'm leaving it to you", lol :wink:


​I am actually enjoying reading through this. As a matter of fact, today I just bought some reference books at about mythology to have in the house so we can brush up on our ancient mythology, especially the early creation stories from around the world.

  • 0
I see you're getting your degree in art of the obvious~myself
Without music life would be a mistake~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time~ H.L. Mencken
When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves~ Galileo

#17 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

Guest_monsnoleedra_*
  • Guests

Posted 07 June 2015 - 11:42 AM

I wasn't trying to be trivial w/my post in any way Monsno- I posted that smiley in a jest of humor that meant, "this time I'm leaving it to you", lol :wink:


​I am actually enjoying reading through this. As a matter of fact, today I just bought some reference books at about mythology to have in the house so we can brush up on our ancient mythology, especially the early creation stories from around the world.



Ok i'm lost as I didn't take it as anything nor did I reply to it. So not sure how I could have did anything to project I took it as trivial or a jest?

  • 0

#18 Michele

Michele

    The Exiled Goddess

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7,033 posts

Posted 07 June 2015 - 12:17 PM

Could part of the widespread and geographical differences over the course of time be something as simple as the gods have just as many, if not more, facets to them than people do?


Not specifically the divinity of this thread, but i think as peoples migrated to different areas and trade routes they probably took their gods with them, an as the local people heard of and some adopted their gods, the associations of the local areas got incorporated into the nature of the divinity. Not to mention the changes that different religions or beliefs slowly layered on to the original natures of a divinity...

M

  • 0

#19 RoseRed

RoseRed

    . . . Not a big believer in . . . cowinkydink ;)

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,460 posts

Posted 07 June 2015 - 12:42 PM

All excellent points, M.

Why are the shrines on the doorsteps to people's homes?

Yet does that then imply the notion of daemons, restless dead, spirits, etc are supporters? They do her bidding and have some aspect of divine power but there is nothing that implies they get something for doing so. That's what I mean by supporters who carry out her task. Whether in the underworld, physical world or water world she has those who she can command and dispatch but they do not exist simply to be used by her or solely for her.


What I've found/come to currently believe is that She chooses/uses those that are already suited to the tasks at hand and uses those natural strengths to best advantage. So, to answer your question - yes, I think She does. The simple fact that they do implies something - certainly not payment in the monetary sense - but something.

As an example - she's commonly shown with a pack of hounds. When she releases them - she just lets them do what a pack of dogs do.


Yet the priestesses gain something by overseeing burial rituals and rites, life rituals to marks stages of life, reading signs and guiding the people yet most are aligned towards proper practice and though thus right way of doing things not right way of feeling about things.

What do they gain?

Is there an instruction manual for proper practice somewhere?

  • 0
When my wings get tired I grab my broom.

#20 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

Guest_monsnoleedra_*
  • Guests

Posted 07 June 2015 - 01:34 PM

All excellent points, M.

Why are the shrines on the doorsteps to people's homes?


What I've found/come to currently believe is that She chooses/uses those that are already suited to the tasks at hand and uses those natural strengths to best advantage. So, to answer your question - yes, I think She does. The simple fact that they do implies something - certainly not payment in the monetary sense - but something.

As an example - she's commonly shown with a pack of hounds. When she releases them - she just lets them do what a pack of dogs do.



What do they gain?

Is there an instruction manual for proper practice somewhere?



It is my understanding that the shrines with the statuary pieces were to keep the dead and or roving spirits at bay and prevent unwanted entities from entering the home. Remember the doorway is a liminal spot as it is neither without the house nor within the house. So it becomes a boundary and place of protection. In that regard it served the same purpose as her shrines are supposed to have served at temples, shrines and sanctuaries in that it prevented entrance of things. Again it was not within the temple, shrine, sanctuary nor was it without. In some capacities I believe it served a similar purpose to the pediments that had gorgons engraved upon it to scare away harmful entities.

While i've only found limited references to it I think the meal that is left was not only left at crossroads but also left upon the doorway entrance. In what I suppose would be equatable to the notion of there is nothing beyond the doorway and the meal stops them from going any further in. Granted that is my own surmising of its purpose.

Followers get really iffy I think. Consider I can use the same set of skilled laborers every time as they hold the skills I need, have the experience I desire and have the establish relationship with my firm. Yet does it make them my followers? We know she has some capacity to dispatch, command and control various groups yet the lore never shows her as having a procession or following with the exception of the dogs or hounds that run the dead with her. Yet again are they the spirits of the hounds sacrificed to her or are they simply a aspect of an office she holds? If an office then it would suggest that they go with whomever is functioning in that capacity at a given instance. Consider Herme's also gathers the dead yet do we rule out hounds being present because it's not normally a part of his lore yet they are equated to the dead in Hellene lore in general? Why can't they be under the control of Persephone as Queen of Hell and used by Hekate when she is tasked to gather the restless dead who've been missed by Hermes? Consider also that wolves in general were a threat to ancient Europe as a whole so hearing the bay of the wolves in the night sure indicated death was roaming.

So I do think she uses the resources at hand but I do not specifically think that those resources are a retinue or followers dedicated to her.

I think when trying to say what a high-priestess, priestess, priest or acolyte in general gets from serving her depends. Consider what Medea got for serving her in the Argonautica story. A knowledge of plants, herbs, potions, influence over life and death according to some accounts. Yet she also go betrayal, murder of her own offspring by her own hand, banishment and cursed in society, both within the Greek social order since she was a barbarian and within her own culture as she betrayed family and cult.

In some ways they get immortality in that more than a few are historically known. Statuary, dedications, housing and prestige, implied power and authority both civic and political due to the office. I think of all things dealing with the spiritual and religious components of being a priestess or priest the reward is probably the one thing that changed the most. Historically the role and rewards of a 2nd century AD priestess at Lagina was far different than what was present for the earlier temple complex. Yet so to were the demands and expectations placed upon them, either implied or directly stated.

All of which are certainly different from what we as modern pagans receive by dedicating ourselves to her and claiming a priest or priestess commitment. Consider there is no temple, shrine or sanctuary system today so the public perception is not there nor is there a cultural and / or social perception or prestige associated with it. Heck how many claim to be a priestess to her yet hide the very fact of their worship and practice from all eyes.

I truly wish there was some manual that tells how to be a priestess or priest to her. To define the boundaries of accountability, responsibility and culpability as implied and expressed via presumption of the position. The only place we have to look to is the lore and legend yet often do so at the expense of the greater social and cultural dynamics in which it existed. I suppose it is our own Holy Grail we seek and perhaps the revelation is that in seeking do we come to understand it but fail to realize it for we still seek it out thinking there must be more to it.

  • 0