Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Hecate

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William Blake. Hecate, 1795. Tate Gallery, London

Hecate
Mythic, worshipped in ancient Greece, dates vary, beginning circa 1600 B.C.

Hecate originated in Thrace, an area that today covers parts of Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, as a goddess of wilderness and childbirth, but as a Greek deity she evolved into a goddess of crossroads and the underworld. She is generally depicted with three heads—a dog, a horse, and a snake—as well as two accompanying ghost dogs which do her bidding. Since she was originally an ancient mother goddess and not of the Greek pantheon, she lacks the typical relations of the Greek gods and goddesses, although by some accounts she is the daughter of Zeus, Perses and Asteria, or Demeter and Pheraia.

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