The Velvet Chamber
An Anthology of Revisioned Myth and Fairy Tale

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Queen of Ghosts

Hecate or Hekat, originally a goddess of the wilderness and childbirth--- is a liminal woman, defying definition, not part of the original Greek pantheon.  Hesiod says she's another incarnation of a moon goddess. Two versions appear later in Greek mythology: an avenging woman, similar to Nemesis, and "The Queen of Ghosts" because her image was placed in triplicate at three-way crossroads, guarding the borders between the living and the dead.

However, like many women during the Medieval period she developed a very bad reputation among Christians.  She became a witch, a bitch, attended by dogs, bats and the devil.  A woman to be feared, often compared to Lilith and the Whore of Babylon.  Now said to haunt graveyards by the light of a full moon, but once upon a time, she says, I was your mother.


  1. Excellent reference LAS.

    I wonder if folks actually do realize how much religion, especially Christianity, has demonized women the past 2000 yrs, and continues to do so. And in realizing it, do they feel encouraged to stop it from propagating.

  2. Exactly, researched the witch trials of 17th century for a NPR, and Domnican monks created many of the worst stereotypes of women; fickle, sex-starved, weak, unbelievable.