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[[File: hecate two.jpg|200px|thumb|left| Hecate from a Greek plate]]__NOTOC__
The Greek and Romans myths have influenced the modern world. One of the more curious ways they have influenced us is
in the way that we conceive of witches, magic, and the supernatural. Hecate was an ancient goddess associated with the underworld and she evolved to become the deity of magic and witchcraft. She was a very important figure in Greek mythology and ancient religion.
Magic was ubiquitous in the Classical era and Hecate was
, as a result, a popular Goddess, but also feared. Understanding the myths of Hecate can provide insights into the role of magic and witchcraft in the ancient world and how they influenced the development of ideas about the occult in later ages.
[[File: hecate One.jpg|200px|thumb|left| A statue of Hecate in her triple form]]
==The story of Hecate==
The origin of Hecate is much disputed. Her cult possibly originated in Thessaly in Greece or more likely in Caria
which is now in modern Turkey. Hecate may have been a chthonic goddess and was associated with the underworld and she may have pre-dated the Mycenean period. Hesiod in his didactic poem Works and Days calls her a great goddess who was honored by Greece. In some myths, she was the daughter of two Titans. She remained neutral in the war between the Olympian Gods and the Titans and was looked on favorably by Zeus.
There were several
major shrines to the Goddess in the Greek World <ref>Stratton, Kimberly B., and Dayna S. Kalleres, eds. Daughters of Hecate (Oxford, Oxford University Press, USA, 2014), p. 113</ref>. In Archaic Greece, she was seen as a benign figure. She gradually came to be seen as a sinister Goddess and dark things, but this is a process that took centuries. According to the Greek Diodorus Siculus, who wrote in Hellenistic she was like her father lawless and that she would often kill or poison humans<ref> Diodorus Siculus, Library of Greek Myths (London, Pelican, 1988), p 67</ref>.
==The evolution of Hecate==
==The meaning of Hecate==
Hecate was important in how the Graeco-Roman World. For many, she was the embodiment of ambiguity and uncertainty. This is seen in her associations with crossroads. She was seen as a protector during times of uncertainty and this was why she was often seen as a benign figure at least in the Archaic period, but also later. Hecate was one of the protectors of the Oikos or household in Greece. Hecate is a good example of how myths evolve. She began as a chthonic goddess and became a protector and later the
goddess of magic, sorcery, and necromancy<ref>Marquardt, Patricia A. "A portrait of Hecate." The American Journal of Philology 102, no. 3 (1981): 243-260</ref>. This goddess at least in her later incarnations became the embodiment of occult and supernatural forces. She was the personification of forces that a pre-scientific society could not understand.
Cults were dedicated to her to help worshippers to secure her support. While Hecate may have been seen as a somewhat sinister figure by the elite, she was popular among the poor. This was because she offered them an opportunity to control or influence their fate in a society where they were oppressed and marginalized. Graeco-Roman society was one where slavery was common and women oppressed. The figure of Hecate was popular with them as she offered them the opportunity to win supernatural support, to defend their interests, or to secure some goal or dream<ref>Marquardt, p 120</ref>.