View Full Version : The Greeks and Me ( a long post with woo)

Prickly Pear
21 Jun 2018, 14:13
So I had a kind of epiphany. And it is new. It seems early to post, but if I wait too long I may not post it.

I have always viewed the gods in an archetypal way. And really, maybe the Greek and Roman ones more so than others, because they were an academic topic from youth. So, as I have moved through my life, I've noted fairly heavy Demeter and Persephone themes. I figured this is natural, as I am a daughter and a mother, and a mother of a daughter. So no surprise there. For long periods, there have also been Persephone and Demeter ties to my professional life. So a little extra, maybe. There have been great rewards, and some fairly heavy downsides. I generally notice the connection, and move on to dealing with whatever the issue is in my life. It has been more a way of gaining perspective, and noticing themes in my life. For some time now, the Persephone and Demeter issues have been hammering me. A little better at the moment, but I am bruised and battered, and still a little disoriented.

So recently I have run into a few Hades references. And then the other day, a box of mementos fell off the shelf in storage for no apparent reason. As I was cleaning it up, I found some old photographs of my grandfather who died when I was a child. They were so blurry, I am surprised that I recognized him. My memories are pretty blurry also. But the way he stood, and how he wore his watch immediately struck me powerfully. It was an overwhelming moment of love and grief. And a bit later I realized that he had many of the qualities that I was finding in Hades. I thought this is the kind of thing that a polytheist would consider a tap on the shoulder. So I researched, admittedly with an eye to guidance on how to cope with Demeter and Persephone. And I do feel much calmer about things. He feels like a calm, low drama ally.

And then I thought, "You know who else might be helpful? Hekate." Now I have looked into Hekate before. There are lots of connections with Demeter and Persephone, and really, I think almost anyone who is curious about witchcraft eventually investigates Hekate. I had done research, but mostly in a time when many resources were witchcraft oriented. And I frankly got the impression of a scary old crone, a kind of special dark snowflake vibe, and severe discomfort with the whole sacrificing puppies thing.

This time I thought to keep an open mind, because really, I know better. And then something dawned on me. I don't think Hecate always shows herself as a scary old crone, or emo/goth whatever. I think that she is a young woman. I think she is the young woman who always seems to be with me, especially in some of my more "woo" moments. You know, the kind that seem very real to yourself, but you hesitate to tell others because they are difficult to explain and sound a little crazy and unscientific. And they are also about your most personal, real self. She is not gloomy or scary in this aspect. Powerful, yes. But I am seeing the light bearer, the guide. She is radiant and patient. I imagine she could be terrifying if she wanted. But mostly the message is along the lines of "lighten up and shine". I keep finding confirmation, I just never knew her name. For decades. So many connections. And it feels a little more real than archetypal. So it is shaking me up a little.

I am not hearing voices or having hallucinations. I still believe in science and am approaching with skepticism. Just wondering a bit. And the puppies are safe from me.

21 Jun 2018, 17:02
Not sure it will help but I know a number of recons and others think of Hekate in a MMC form with Demeter / Persephone / Hekate that is different than what most Wiccan's use. In it they (when I use that model I also tend to use this as well) of placing Demeter as the Crone, Persephone as the Mother and Hekate as the Maiden. It is especially defined against Persephone's return from the underworld. To some extent possibly what we think may have been some aspect of the mysteries as involved the return of the initiate into the upper world.

The other thing is people forget that Hekate is not the one who actually leads Persephone back into the upper world, that was done by Hermes. So Hekate is her companion, not the one leading her. That changes both her influence and her position in relationship to where she is to Persephone. Modern Pagan's tend to place her ahead of Persephone yet older texts and such actually place her either behind or just to the side of her. A more logical position if her torches are to be used to actually illuminate her pathway for her to see her way. It's also the position for her to be in to give her the position of her "Strength" and "Support" Behind her doesn't do either though it does raise the torch above her head so it doesn't blind her.

Hekate also tends to have full staff torches vice hand length torches. You see the length of her torches in many examples where she uses them in combat against the Titans and Giants. So her torches also tend to have the benefit of being walking sticks. Another benefit of being next to Persephone vice being behind her. Again the flame is above her head yet still lightning the path way, yet casting a circle of illumination all around them. Further supporting the idea of support to Persephone on her journey out of Hades while Hermes guides them out.

Prickly Pear
21 Jun 2018, 17:57
Yes, I think this corresponds with my experience. Alongside, lighting the way. Sometimes with a dog by her side. Also, shining and bright haired. She also lit up the night sky to help protect a city under siege. She is also possibly the daughter of Asteria, the Starry One.

I'm getting older and wondering how the whole Crone thing might fit in. Maybe it doesn't really, at least not in any way I expect.

21 Jun 2018, 22:03
Just my opinion and perspective but I think the crone is the influence of her chthonic Magical role and the conflating of the early influence of Enodia (Thracian) and the later presence of Trivia (Roman). It ties heavily into the Medea story (Jason and the Argonauts) and the Orestes story. Medea especially as she is from the Black Sea region and is foreign to Greece but brings magic and sorcery with its Thracian influence. It's a dark magic and in many ways vile and evil, even to the point that Medea kills all of the children she has with Jason as she calls upon Hekate for vengeance (Justice) for the wrongs he did to her. But it also ties into the story of Orestes who slays his mother even though he aides his sister Iphigenia (Hekate) in saving the cult statue of Artemis from the Taurians.

Orestes will become associated with the Rex Nemorensis at Lake Nemi (Aricia in Italy) which is one of the locals where Hekate is associated with the Roman Goddess Trivia. But Diana becomes conflated in a tri-formed configuration that is composed of Diana-Hekate-Luna but instead of being one body with three head it is three bodies which stand side by side above cedar tree's. The blood sacrifice which occurred at Taurus will continue but it takes place in the form of the Rex being killed by his successor which is what reflects back to Orestes becoming a country less slave after he murdered his mother.

The Roman's will tend to see Hekate more as a crone figure with her magical and chthonic influences from that point onwards. Her Celestial and Watery influences will all but fade away as will most of her fertility / fecundity aspects which would tie into her birthing aspects. What celestial aspects that do remain will move more towards the Chaldean influences which is where you'll see her multi-beastly headed form.

Just my opinion but I truly think many modern pagans just fell into the crone position because of being lazy. It matched the old idea of both the imagery of witches in the psychic mindset of the culture and what people tended to expect. That and there was so much pseudo history and demonizing of things going on that again no one really asked questions, just accepted what was written and copy and pasted it.

Prickly Pear
22 Jun 2018, 10:52
Well, I am agreeing that the Hecate as crone was a later idea. When I was writing that post, I was worrying a little about losing Hecate as a guide or companion or whatever she is to me. After sleeping on it, I am less worried. It feels like a lifetime thing, and she had no problem aiding Demeter as well as Persephone.

I fall more into the Greek aspects of all of these gods, and with Hecate, maybe Thracian. I definitely had a formative experience on the shores of the Black Sea, and at that time also fell head over heels with Istanbul, which is deeply associated with Hecate when it was Byzantium. I wasn't staying in Thrace, though (well, maybe for a short period- I will have to find a map). A bit further south. I wonder a little if that isn't where I met her, or if she led me there.

The Medea story is interesting. Terrifying and sad. I have read versions where he intends to sell the children into slavery, so that her actions are protective as well as vengeful. I have seen enough parents use their children as pawns to think that this story plays out in one fashion or another quite often.

I think maybe she is willing to act in the murky areas and do what she deems is the best, even if others might find it horrifying. I don't know what that would have been in the Medea situation. Loyalty, maybe. Or perhaps there is more to the story. She also fights on the side of the Olympians, even though she appears to be a Titan herself. From a Titan perspective, treachery. She also travels back and forth from the Underworld, which many might consider a polluting activity.

I do think that there is a ridiculous amount of copy and paste business with Hecate. And often the original posts seem dubious. This is really what made me take so long in identifying her.

Despite the Black Sea connection, I don't think I know her watery aspects very well. I will have to think on it. Probably because I have mostly lived in the desert. The fertility and childbirth aspects, though, I know. She is there when it goes well, and she is there when it is less than the perfect, healthy, joyful experience that is demanded but often not realized. The celestial, yes, particularly as a star. To me there is definitely an association with the moon, but I kind of think that she has been conflated with the moon, rather than having it as an aspect.

22 Jun 2018, 12:51
If you look at a map the area of Thrace would roughly cover the part of the area of northern Greece (Macedonia) to Istanbul then partway north into Bulgaria and cover a large part of Bulgaria itself. It never crosses into Asia Minor but ends at the Sea of Maramara and the Bosporus. For the Greeks it was pretty much uncivilized and wild in their view. Yet it does have a sizable coast area with the Black Sea and trade routes from there. Coastal wise it has quite a bit of water line coast with the Aegean Sea, Black Sea and Sea of Maramara. 5291

In her water aspect, just my opinion here, I think she is more associated with shallow coastal waters more than the deep dark waters. So I see her more associated to things fishermen and those who use the water for livelyhood would call upon. Not so much so that say deepwater sailors would specifically would be prone to call upon her for. Something I think they'd be more prone to call upon Poseidon for against storms or things that would be more catastrophic in what normally would be called blue or black waters. Hekate I see more associated with maybe brown or green waters that you see in coastal areas. Maybe brackish where fishing fleets and such would be located. Where you would find shellfish, lobsters, crabs, similar type things people would gather for food, harvest, etc. It would tie into dominion over the success and fertility / fecundity which helped her become conflated with Artemis who also holds similar influences over creature's.

Prickly Pear
22 Jun 2018, 14:39
I think the European side of Byzantium/Istanbul would be in Thrace. So, yep, guess that counts for my purposes. All cities have crossroads, but that one really has some crossroad energy. The Bosporus in particular. Although, I guess technically it is not a road. I just looked up the little village that I stayed in. Wow, it has grown. It is also closer to Istanbul than I thought. I think it is still outside of Thrace, but just barely.

That is interesting about the coastal waters. I think I ran across a reference to dark waters. I know she could affect a fisherman's catch. I could definitely see her in a swamp as well. Probably loving New Orleans. Maybe ports in general, as they are liminal, crossroady places.