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3- Formed Hekate

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3- Formed Hekate

Post  AgathonZante on Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:05 pm

What did it mean in ancient times when Hekate was depicted in 3 forms? Modern Wiccans interpret it as Maiden, Mother and Crone, but that's not how the ancients saw it, I don't think.

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Re: 3- Formed Hekate

Post  Erodius on Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:15 pm

AgathonZante wrote:What did it mean in ancient times when Hekate was depicted in 3 forms? Modern Wiccans interpret it as Maiden, Mother and Crone, but that's not how the ancients saw it, I don't think.

No, it wasn't. That idea is a contemporary invention (well, 20th century), and a misrepresentation.

First off, she was certainly not always shown in the stereotypical 'three-faced' form. She was often depicted as iconographically identical to Diana/Artemis – holding torches, standing with her dogs, and crowned with the moon. By the Common Era, Diana/Artemis and Hecate were not distinguished from one another in any significant way. To the people by this time, they represented the same deity.

Various symbolisms for the three-faced form were recognized. Probably the most common and literal is that it is associated with her shrines' locations at road forks.

Metaphorically, however, her three faces were usually associated with her role from Platonism as the Soul of the World, in which the faces represent the three spheres of the world - the skies, the surface, and the underworld. For this reason, the 'three Hecatae' were often considered to represent the Moon (Selene/Luna) in the sky, Diana/Artemis on earth, and Proserpine under the earth.

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