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Ekatē

Post  Camable on Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:11 am

I will either become a forum treasure or a major nuisance with all the questions that I'm asking Laughing .  Evidently Hekate is a deity that is giving me trouble.  I'm trying to understand how she is a household deity.  I get that she's a goddess of liminal places which would mean doorways (I guess, similar to how Ianus is in Roman religion).  I think I also understand her aspect of crossroads goddess, as the driveway and road make a crossroad.  But I've also read she's a goddess of the border of the oikos.  Would that relate back to the liminal deity aspect?  Also, are there any other ways she's related to the household?

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Re: Ekatē

Post  Erodius on Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:45 am

You've answered your own question I think.

However, it depends on what you're discussing as to Ekatē's relevance. For instance, the mundane household cult is really not much of a feature in Mystery cults or in Late Antique religion (the reasons for this are rather involved). The focus there is not so much on the tangible world, at least not as the ultimate truth.

Rather than the material liminal space of the edge of a household, Ekatē personifies the middle point between obscurity and clarity, and between ascent and fall, and is called both friendly-mind or black-mind, as a reference to the fact that such metaphorical liminal space can lead either to progress or to disaster depending on the character of the individual soul. This is why she is equated with the goddess Fortune, as well as the Moon (the overseer of Fortune's providence), whose dictates are either received as blessing or disaster depending on the individual's character of soul.

Ekatē's three faces are the sky, sea and land, and illustrate additionally the three potential destinations of the soul: ascent, stasis, or fall. Such is why, theologically, Ekatē is described as an illustration of the Ψυχή Κόσμου, the greater World Soul. In such a way, she is literally the 'crossroads' of the soul's very existence. The tradition of Orpheus, as with many other related religio-philosophical systems, emphasizes the basic analogy of any ontological level with any other. As such, the literal intersection of roads and property lines are a terrestrial metaphor for the divine crossroads, and such the association.

Such is the underlying significance, as we have taught it.

As far as protective associations, this derives from the tradition understanding that the best defense against ill Fortune is seeking the good favor of the source of the fortune itself. Ekatē as Fortune and Potentiality themselves, is concluded to be splendidly equipped to fend off ill and the phantoms of ill-fortune and corruption, because these things are considered to half-arise from her as the illusory mirages of a soul in a state of turpitude. Now, these ills are illusions, no god is the source of any darkness, but Ekatē is soul, and though soul is divine, it is partially in a state of amnesis and delusion, and is estranged from its own true nature.

This is an abstract idea, but one way to illustrate it is to compare fortune to an illusion on a dark room. Say you see something in a dark room that looks like a snake, you are afraid, and for a moment, your fear is very real. But then you turn on a light to see that it was only a belt lying on the floor. Who can better fend off the imaginary snake than the belt itself, which, though not a snake, was the root of the illusion, and can easily itself overcome it.


Last edited by Erodius on Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:02 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Ekatē

Post  Camable on Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:54 am

I guess I did answer my own question. Thank you for your help.

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