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Atargatis, Hera, Hekate

January 29, 2011

An interesting quote from Cook’s Zeus had me sit up and take notice.

“Hierapolis in Kyrrhestike…was celebrated for its cult of the Syrian goddess Atargatis or Derketo, whom the Greeks identified with Rhea or Aphrodite or the Assyrian Hera…[pseudo-Lucian states] the statue of Zeus looks like Zeus in every respect, head, clothing, and throne: you could not, even perversely, compare him to another. But Hera, when you come to look at her, will be found to exhibit a variety of forms. The general effect is certainly that of Hera; but she has borrowed particular traits from a variety of goddesses – Athena, Aphrodite, Selene, Rhea, Artemis, Nemesis, and the Moirai. In one hand she holds a sceptre, in the other a spindle; on her head she wears rays and a tower; and < she has too> 1 a decorated band (kestós), with which they adorn none save the goddess of Heaven. Without she is covered with more gold and precious stones of very great value, some of which are white, others watery, many the colour of wine, many the colour of fire. Besides, there are many sardonyxes, jacinths, and emeralds 2, brought by men of Egypt, India, Aithiopia, Media, Armenia, and Babylonia. But a point more worthy of attention is this: on her head she wears a stone called lychnis, which derives its name (the “lamp” – stone) from its nature 3. By night there shines from it a broad beam of light, and beneath it the whole nave is lit up as it were with lamps. By day its radiance is feeble, but it has a very fiery appearance.”

This to me seems like a description of the pre-Greek Hekate.  Personally, I think this agrees with my belief that Hera means mistress or wife and that the “true” name of Zeus’ wife is Hekate.  I have nothing concrete that says that, just little bits here and there that correlate it, in my head any way.  In Lagina, Hekate and Zeus were honored together.  Zeus was known as the Agathos Daimon.  Hekate was the dispenser of fortune.  Tykhe is a name for the divinity of Fortune, sometimes called Agathos Tykhe.  (Both Hekate and Tykhe have been called Leader of the Fates.)  There are reliefs showing Agathos Daimon and Agathos Tykhe together as husband and wife.  Zeus gave Hekate powers over the heavens, the earth and the sea.  He did this with no other divinity…save his wife.  I’m working this all off of memory.  It is late and I am tired but at the moment it makes perfect sense to me.  Which fills me with glee.

The celebration of Theogamia, Zeus and his wife’s wedding anniversary, is coming up over the next couple of days.  I think I’m going to nail it to February 1st (I hate the way the ancient calendar floated!) which also happens to be the anniversary of my first date with Hubby.  The tale in my head talks of a celebration of this even that all the gods attended, even Demeter.  The joy of the occasion causes Demeter, on the following day, to throw off her ropes of mourning for her daughter and start the preparation for her return so that by May 1st, the Queen of May returns to an earth covered in flowers, just for her.

Shaddup.  Makes more sense to me than Ground Hog Day.  I believe there is also some divinities in the Norse pantheon that celebrate their marriage on the 1st.  I’m going to run with it.  I’m sure the gods will let me know if they find this displeasing.  I think I’ll make an apple dessert (Hera was given apples by Gaia as a wedding gift) as an offering first to my Lord and Lady and then for my dear husband who has put up with me for 21 years.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2011 9:29 PM

    It also lines up nicely with the new & dark moons this week!


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