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Author Topic: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions  (Read 14260 times)

Lokabrenna

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"Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions
« on: July 13, 2011, 01:45:59 pm »
I wasn't sure whether to put this in "Alternate and Revisionist History" but this is a companion thread to my "What are some doozies you've heard?" over in that section.

What strange/odd/blatantly untrue things have you heard regarding the gods?

For instance, there's the 'Hecate is a crone goddess,' one that seems to annoy Hellenics everywhere, but one I've seen is that Hecate is a goddess of cats, and the story that is cited is when she (or another goddess) turns a sorceress into a cat as punishment for her wicked ways (a variation is that she took pity on the poor animal and adopted it as her own). I was curious to see if this story had any basis in textual sources, so I looked it up at Theoi.com:

http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/Hekate.html

Now, what is interesting is that the word that is commonly accepted to mean "cat" is here translated as "polecat", which aren't cats, they're weasels! I guess "goddess of weasels" doesn't sound as glamorous or "witchy" as "goddess of cats".

Off the top of my head, I've heard:

"Freyja is a mother goddess/an earth goddess/a sun goddess/a moon goddess."

Everyone, just because a goddess has children doesn't mean that they are automatically a mother goddess type. I can see Freyja being an earth goddess in a sense, but not say, in the way that Gaia is an earth goddess. It is a stretch to think of her as a sun goddess, IMO, since Sunna already fills that role, but I can't for the life of me connect her to the moon (or celestial phenomena in general).

"Inanna/Ishtar is a goddess of peace." This is one that one of my professors told us about as part of a discussion on feminist interpretations of the Goddess/goddesses in general, and even then it seemed...odd. It sounds almost Orwellian: "War is Peace" and such.

I've also heard variations of "Pan isn't a lustful god." Really? So what was he doing chasing all those nymphs around? Let me guess, it was a friendly game of tag, right?

OpenHands

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2011, 02:30:19 pm »
Quote from: Lokabrenna;4562

What strange/odd/blatantly untrue things have you heard regarding the gods?

 
Let's see...

Anat is a goddess of sex and lover of Ba'al.  That was a popular idea 50 years ago, but today it's generally accepted that there's no clear evidence for this.  Anat is portrayed as a virgin goddess who supports Ba'al as his sister.

Mot is just a misunderstood chthonic god.  Uh, nope.  Mot is the personification of death itself.  His mouth is the open grave and he crushes the living in his jaws like lambs.  A child of the gods he may be, but there's no evidence that he was ever worshipped.  

Lilith is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess.  Look, I know there are a lot of modern pagans who worship a goddess called Lilith based on the Talmud and 20th century feminist ideas, but Lilitu was never viewed in the ancient Near East as anything but a type of demon that caused harm to women and children.  

The Sumerian gods were aliens / have connections with Lovecraft stories.  I actually met a guy once who claimed to be a Sumerian pagan and heavily referenced Lovecraft.  He also used his warped ideas about Sumerian religion as an excuse to shamelessly cheat on his wife.  No, no, and no.  Ugh.

OpenHands

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2011, 02:51:30 pm »
Quote from: Lokabrenna;4562
"Inanna/Ishtar is a goddess of peace." This is one that one of my professors told us about as part of a discussion on feminist interpretations of the Goddess/goddesses in general, and even then it seemed...odd. It sounds almost Orwellian: "War is Peace" and such.

 
I wonder if it's a misinterpretation of her characteristics as a goddess of "love and war" and love was mistakenly equated with peace?  (My understanding has always been that her "love" is more about sex than romantic feelings and many of Ishtar's lovers met ill-fated ends.)

Valentine

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 03:03:58 pm »
Quote from: Lokabrenna;4562
I wasn't sure whether to put this in "Alternate and Revisionist History" but this is a companion thread to my "What are some doozies you've heard?" over in that section.

What strange/odd/blatantly untrue things have you heard regarding the gods?

 
The whole making any set of three goddesses anywhere into Maiden Mother Crone drives me buggy.

I always have my mind blown by people who insist that Artemis is a mother goddess.  What part of eternal virgin do you people not understand?  Can you name even one of Her children?
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monsnoleedra

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2011, 03:16:58 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;4571
..I always have my mind blown by people who insist that Artemis is a mother goddess.  What part of eternal virgin do you people not understand?  Can you name even one of Her children?


This is the part that always gets me, Artemis being a virgin goddess.  In antiquity to be a Virgin meant not to be bond to a man not that she did not have sexual relationships.  And all of that mainly applies to Artemis the Olympian Goddess, sister to Apollo not all the persona's of Artemis.

As Artemis Orthia she is a Mistress of Animals and mother goddess.  As Ephesian Artemis she is also seen as a Mistress of Animals and mother goddess.  As Turian Artemis she is seen as a blood goddess and demanded human sacrifice, a practice continued at her sanctuary at Vargauan (sp) and later at Orthia (Sparta).

Heck even the fact of her being Apollo's sister varies depending upon what story one reads.  Then add in the fact she is probably Anatolian in origin based upon her siding with the Trojans in the war and being vanquished by Hera in the battle.

Even as Artemis of Arcadia she is not so much known as a virgin goddess but a mistress of the wilds and associated with nymphs and woodland creatures.  A persona that clearly predates the Olympian persona.

Valentine

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2011, 03:21:33 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;4574
This is the part that always gets me, Artemis being a virgin goddess.  In antiquity to be a Virgin meant not to be bond to a man not that she did not have sexual relationships.  And all of that mainly applies to Artemis the Olympian Goddess, sister to Apollo not all the persona's of Artemis.

As Artemis Orthia she is a Mistress of Animals and mother goddess.  As Ephesian Artemis she is also seen as a Mistress of Animals and mother goddess.  As Turian Artemis she is seen as a blood goddess and demanded human sacrifice, a practice continued at her sanctuary at Vargauan (sp) and later at Orthia (Sparta).

Heck even the fact of her being Apollo's sister varies depending upon what story one reads.  Then add in the fact she is probably Anatolian in origin based upon her siding with the Trojans in the war and being vanquished by Hera in the battle.

Even as Artemis of Arcadia she is not so much known as a virgin goddess but a mistress of the wilds and associated with nymphs and woodland creatures.  A persona that clearly predates the Olympian persona.


I am aware of Artemis' association with nymphs and woodland creatures and that that is a rather more important aspect than maidenhood.  I'm also aware that She was attested in places to have sexual relationships, especially with other women, and the "virgin"-ness is not in the exact same sense we use today.  I am not sure why that means "mother."
 
Fair enough, though, we can see things differently.  Per the above post, my interaction with Lilith isn't all about 20th century feminism, either.  We can agree to disagree.
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monsnoleedra

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2011, 03:33:39 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;4576
..
Fair enough, though, we can see things differently.  Per the above post, my interaction with Lilith isn't all about 20th century feminism, either.  We can agree to disagree.


That's another facet that really gets me with Artemis.  She is hailed by the feminist movement yet if you look to her sanctuary at Brauron in Attica (near Athens) and her Arketia she can't be what feminist claim.  By reference a girl served as a Bear Maiden until she came of age and was of marriagble age.  Usually closely coinciding with the onset of her menstural cycle.  At which time the girl was passed to either Hera as wife or Demeter as mother.  Never to return to Artemis until after old age when they passed the ability to have children.

Given that Brauron was also one of the highly known birthing sanctuaries it came into association with Artemis granting a quick death during labor or easing the pain of birth.  Yet that is a facet she also co-shares with Hekate.

monsnoleedra

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 03:39:33 pm »
Quote from: Lokabrenna;4562
..
For instance, there's the 'Hecate is a crone goddess,' one that seems to annoy Hellenics everywhere, ..


While the association of Hekate (Hecate) as a crone bothers me, especially in the concept of MMC it doesn't even come close to the "Hecate's Wheel" emblem.  The closet thing possibly being the procession of the Key that was held at Lagina but that was specific in the usage of Dice and Keys to and from the temple.

So many people sport it, claim it and push it yet it never appears at any of her sacred sites or her temple at Lagina.  At best a few reference the Chaladian Chronicles where it talks about the Stratapolis and claim that as the wheel.  Yet if you read about it the stratapolis was a device that was spun about the head and was almost cubed shaped.

Lokabrenna

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2011, 03:55:39 pm »
Quote from: OpenHands;4570
I wonder if it's a misinterpretation of her characteristics as a goddess of "love and war" and love was mistakenly equated with peace?  (My understanding has always been that her "love" is more about sex than romantic feelings and many of Ishtar's lovers met ill-fated ends.)


Perhaps, but I definitely agree that Ishtar was very much a "lust goddess" rather than a goddess of romantic love as we would see it. There's a poem called "Ishtar will not tire" which can be found in Benjamin Foster's From Distant Days: Myths, Tales and Poetry from Ancient Mesopotamia in which the goddess...gets to know a lot of men near the city walls, which seems very impersonal to me.

It might also be an attempt to minimize her warrior aspect (some feminist goddess worshipers don't like the idea of their goddesses participating in wars, starting conflicts, that sort of thing).

Quote from: Valentine
..I always have my mind blown by people who insist that Artemis is a mother goddess. What part of eternal virgin do you people not understand? Can you name even one of Her children?


What actually bothers me about Artemis is when some groups depict her as being a woman-only goddess who never had anything to do with men. Perhaps it's true in myth, but by the time she's known as Goddess of the Hunt, that's no longer true. Hunting was, after all, largely something that was done by males. It's silly to think that no men were ever involved in her cult, yet that's exactly the sort of picture that certain groups like to paint.

Valentine

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 04:18:05 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;4578
That's another facet that really gets me with Artemis.  She is hailed by the feminist movement yet if you look to her sanctuary at Brauron in Attica (near Athens) and her Arketia she can't be what feminist claim.  By reference a girl served as a Bear Maiden until she came of age and was of marriagble age.  Usually closely coinciding with the onset of her menstural cycle.  At which time the girl was passed to either Hera as wife or Demeter as mother.  Never to return to Artemis until after old age when they passed the ability to have children.

Given that Brauron was also one of the highly known birthing sanctuaries it came into association with Artemis granting a quick death during labor or easing the pain of birth.  Yet that is a facet she also co-shares with Hekate.

 
...I'm sorry, but what does that have to do with feminism or incompatibility with feminism?  What is it that "feminists claim"?
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monsnoleedra

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2011, 05:16:31 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;4585
...I'm sorry, but what does that have to do with feminism or incompatibility with feminism?  What is it that "feminists claim"?


I admit the more correct term is probably Pagan Feminist.  The whole deal you see with Artemis and Diana with regards to eternal virgin, beholden to no man as women's lib, the anti-male facet of so much of it.

The strong part that is incompatible with feminism is that Artemis drops them after they reach the age of marriage and start to bleed.  They are then passed to Hera or Demeter and sacrifice thier dressings and things of childhood to Artemis.  The point where the Arketia would cease being Bear Maidens and leave the services of Artemis, usually somewhere between 13 - 15 from what I have seen.

Valentine

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 05:51:04 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;4595
I admit the more correct term is probably Pagan Feminist.  The whole deal you see with Artemis and Diana with regards to eternal virgin, beholden to no man as women's lib, the anti-male facet of so much of it.

The strong part that is incompatible with feminism is that Artemis drops them after they reach the age of marriage and start to bleed.  They are then passed to Hera or Demeter and sacrifice thier dressings and things of childhood to Artemis.  The point where the Arketia would cease being Bear Maidens and leave the services of Artemis, usually somewhere between 13 - 15 from what I have seen.


a: are you saying feminism is anti-male?
b: I still don't understand what part of what you're describing is incompatible with feminism.  That they leave the service post-puberty?  That they marry?  I really don't understand what you're saying here/what you're saying feminism is.
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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2011, 05:58:11 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;4608
a: are you saying feminism is anti-male?

Certain Pagan feminists certain were anti-male -- at least in the 1960 and 1970s.
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Valentine

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2011, 06:01:27 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;4611
Certain Pagan feminists certain were anti-male -- at least in the 1960 and 1970s.


Believe me, after the last couple of Dianism-and-trans-issues blowups on the old board, I'm well aware.  Monsnoleedra seems to be making more general statements than "certain Pagan feminists" in a given time period, though, and I'm asking for clarification.
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monsnoleedra

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Re: "Hecate is a Crone Goddess" and Other 'Myth'conceptions...
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2011, 06:18:22 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;4612
Believe me, after the last couple of Dianism-and-trans-issues blowups on the old board, I'm well aware.  Monsnoleedra seems to be making more general statements than "certain Pagan feminists" in a given time period, though, and I'm asking for clarification.


Not trying to make it a general statement.  It's just when I see feminist I think back to what I was seeing and interacting with from the 70's to the mid 90's.  In that regard I suppose I do have a prevailing mindset of what "Pagan Feminist" are and see them against that mold.  Admititly lumping all of them into the same pool in that regard.

It was the notion that Artemis, Diana and even Hekate to a degree where these anti-male goddesses.  The so called eternal virgin where virginity was sexual not a choice to remain non commited to a man or god.  Where as a male it was unthinkable that I would be called and chosen by a goddess such as Artemis especially.  Diana was even worse in that capacity as being extremely anti-male and her history was "selected" to show the anti-male facets at the expense of her greater history.

Now days I am very aprehensive when I start to speak to someone on Artemis or Diana.  Especially if they leed in with the eternal virgin and the romping in the woods with nymphs as Artemis Agrotera though they do not know that name most times.

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