Thread: Hecate
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Old 05-23-13   #27
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Default Re: Hecate

Since this thread has sort of turned into an all about Hecate / Hekate thread though i'd add a couple of other things that are beyond the op's initial request.


Strophalos of Hecate (Hecate's Wheel)

"Labour about the Hecatick Strophalus" verse 194

From wikipedia

In the so-called "Chaldean Oracles" that were edited in Alexandria, she was also associated with a serpentine maze around a spiral, known as Hecate's wheel (the "Strophalos of Hecate", verse 194 of Isaac Preston Cory's 1836 translation). The symbolism referred to the serpent's power of rebirth, to the labyrinth of knowledge through which Hecate could lead mankind, and to the flame of life itself: "The life-producing bosom of Hecate, that Living Flame which clothes itself in Matter to manifest Existence" (verse 55 of Cory's translation of the ChaldeanOracles).
The most common image for this Strophalos of Hecate is the image commonly referred to as Hecate's wheel. Unfortunately I have never found any physical or historical evidence to support the conclusion the depiction is anything more than a modern creation. In that regard one can not even find proof of origin for the image. see attached image titled wheel

More realistically the Strophalus of Hecate is probably an item referred to as a jinx. A device that may have taken many shapes and was used in a fashion that produced a whirling or bird like sound as it was spun or acted upon by a wind. It may have been created from a paper or thin wood carved procedure or an actual metal block or cube like structure (dodecahedron) used also in conjunction with the Dneiper suppers.

Excerpt from Byzantine Magic by Henry Maquire:

One kind of iynx (also called a strophalos) is a magic wheel used by a theurgist for ritual purposes. Psellos himself explains that the strophalos known as the Hecatic was a golden ball with characters written all over it; it had a sapphire in the middle, was swung by means of a strap made from a bull’s hide, andwas used during invocations.(4) In another type of ritual, again according to information supplied by Psellos,(5) the theurgist used statues of specific deities in order to establish contact with them. The process of making contact involved, among other things, special stones, herbs, animals, and sometimes aromatic substances (aromata), which were placed inside the effigy. Stones and herbs were also used in other rituals to scare away bad demons or to purify the soul. lamblichus tells us that in the art of theurgy certain materials—specific stones, plants, animals, and aromatic substances (aromata)—were regarded as especially suitable for attracting the presence of divinities.(6)
So while the Chaldean verse is referenced as the sourse of the supposed Hecate's Wheel no translation that I have ever found supports the image that is suggested and accepted by many pagan practitioners. One thing appears certain, the image has no historical or mythological foundation to support the suggested meaning of the item. Nor can any one truly identify the source for the wheel like image.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dodecahedron.JPG (28.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg wheel.JPG (25.1 KB, 0 views)

Last edited by MonSno_LeeDra; 05-23-13 at 02:49 PM.
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