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Hecate Originally one of the giant Titans of Greek mythologies who was subdued by Zeus.

She was the only to remain her powers, to become the triple-headed demon goddess regarded
by the ancient Greeks as the queen of darkness, death, sexual perversity and, most of all,
witchcraft. [Dictionary of the Occult. Page- 112] Hecate is the goddess of the no moon or
darkness [as opposed to Diana, goddess of the full moon].

Hecate, in Greek mythology, is a powerful goddess who became the patron of magic
and witchcraft. Hecate has three aspects: goddess of fertility and plenty; goddess of the
Moon; and queen of the night, ghosts and shades. In her moon-goddess aspect, she is often
part of a trinity with Selene and Diana/Artemis. Hecate possesses infernal power, roaming the
earth at night with a pack of red-eyed hell hounds and a retinue of dead souls. She is visible
only to dogs, and if dogs howl in the night, it means Hecate is about. She is the cause of
nightmares and insanity and is so terrifying that many ancients referred to her only as The
Nameless One. She is the goddess of the dark of the moon, the destroyer of life but also the
restorer of life. In one myth, she turns into a bear or boar and kills her own son, then brings
him back to life. In her dark aspect, she wears a necklace made of testicles; her hair is made
of writhing snakes which petrify, like the Medusa.

Hecate is the goddess of all crossroads, looking in three directions at the same
time. In ancient times, three headed statues of her were set up at many intersections and
secret rites were performed under a full moon to appease her. Statues of Hecate carrying
torches or swords were erected in front of homes to keep evil spirits at bay. Hecate has been
associated with many incantations, sacrifices and rituals throughout history. In ancient times,
people sought to appease her by leaving chicken hearts and honey cakes outside their doors.
On the last day of the month, offerings of honey, onions, fish and eggs were left at crossroads,
along with sacrifices of puppies, infant girls and she-lambs. Sorcerers gathered at crossroads
to pay homage to her and such infernal servants as the Empusa, a hobgoblin; the Cercopsis, a
poltergeist; and the Mormo, a ghoul.

One petition for her patronage was recorded in the 3rd century by Hippolytus in
Philosophumena:

Come, infernal, terrestrial, and heavenly Bombo [Hecate], goddess of the broad roadways,
of the crossroad, thou who goest to and fro at night, torch in hand, enemy of the day. Friend
and lover of darkness, thou who doest rejoice when the bitches are howling and warm blood
is spilled, thou who art walking amid the phantom and in the place of tombs, thou whose
thirst is blood, thou who dost strike chill fear into mortal hearts, Gorgo, Mormo, Moon of a
thousand forms, cast a propitious eye upon our sacrifice.

As the goddess of all forms of magic and witchcraft, Hecate was far more important
in antiquity than the mythical sorceress Circe, who was sometimes said to be her daughter, or
the witch Medea, also sometimes said to be Hecates daughter, who helped Jason steal the
Golden Fleece.
In modern Witchcraft, Hecate is usually associated with the lunar trinity, the Triple
Goddess. She rules over the waning and dark moon, a two-week period that is best for magic
that deals with banishing, releasing, planning and introspection. She is invoked for justice.

[A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth]

Mab, Queen [Mabb] Welsh folkloric figure. In Ireland the great goddess Medb was
diminished over time into a quasi-historical queen of the same name. In Welsh the same
process resulted in this Fairy Queen who offers only a hint of earlier divinity. Queen Mab is
best known from the reference in Shakespeares Romeo Juliet, where she appears as the
fairies midwife, a role traditionally played by a human victim of fairy kidnapping. Queen
Mabs other duty according to Shakespeare, was to bring night-mares once again, a role
rarely ascribed to Medb but common among mischievous fairies; her playfulness has led
some scholars to derive her name from the Welsh term for child, Mab. Which also appears in
the collection of myths called the Mabinogion. Shakespeare borrowed British and Welsh fairy
lore at will; although vivid, his portraits of mythological beings are not necessarily accurate.
[Celtic Mythology and Folklore. Page 300]

She appears in Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet, in Act-I, Scene-IV

Throughout a long period of history, Queen Mab has appeared in a numerous


selection of differing guises, names and manifestations. She has been known as Mab, Mabh,
Medb, [meev] Medhbh, Maeve [maive or mayv] and sometimes linked with the Morrigan,
mainly through Celtic Mythology and Legend. She is also associated with the Tuatha De
Danaan, who were described as being 'a godlike race' that came into Erin from the northern
islands of Greece around 4000 years ago. The Warrior Queen Medb of Connaught appears in
the Ulster Cycles which date from around 2000 years ago, and although these stories may
tend to appear somewhat fanciful, it is also considered by many eminent scholars that the
characters in the legends were in fact, real people.

The Tuatha De Danaan [the people of the god whose mother is Dana] were also
recorded to possess great gifts of magic and druidism and after being defeated by the
Milesians were forced to establish an underground kingdom known as Otherworld or Sidh'e,
meaning Hollow Hills and became known as The Lords of the Sidh'e [pronounced 'Shee'] and
maybe it is from this that the stories of Faerie Folk originated. [Fairy being a derivative of
fey, relating especially to fate] The transcendent intellect of the Sidh'e later became known
amongst Druids as the Web of the Wise or Web of Wyrd.

Mab appears as the Queen of the Fairies, Titania in Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer
Night's Dream' and Titania stems from the Greek pre-Olympian god race of the Titans and is
also associated with Diana the Moon Goddess. She appears differently in Romeo and Juliet.

Queen Mab known also in Celtic folklore as 'Queen Wolf; whose name means
mead' is widely considered to relate to the Mother aspect of The Triple Goddess expressing
love, protection, physical sexuality and fertility but also including the more darker sides such
as fierceness, revenge and war against her enemies.
[http://www.mabjohn.supanet.com/index2.html]

[Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummers Night Dream]

Weird Sisters- [Witches] - Group of characters in Macbeth, supernatural beings who


encourage Macbeth in his evil inclinations. In Act-I, Scene-I, three Witches appear in the
thunder and lightning of a storm; they say that they will meet again to encounter Macbeth. In
Act-I, Scene-III, they boast of their evil deeds before they accost Macbeth and Banquo. They
greet the former with titles he does not possess: Thane of Cawdor and 'King hereafter' [Act-I,
Scene-III], though we already know that Macbeth has been named Thane of Cawdor, and
they assure Banquo that he shall not be a king but that his descendants shall. After they make
these puzzling remarks, they disappear. When Macbeth and Lady Macbeth learn that he is in
fact Thane of Cawdor and the Witches' prophecy is corroborated, their ambition is sparked to
murder King Duncan so that Macbeth can rule Scotland. Then, once he is king, Macbeth
worries over the Witches' pronouncement that Banquo's heirs would replace his own, and he
murders him, as well. Thus, the Witches inspire the central action of the play. In Act-III,
Scene-V, we see the three Witches with a more powerful spirit, Hecate, who is accompanied
by several more witches. [However, most scholars believe that this scene was not written by
Shakespeare, and that Macbeth's Witches were originally only three in number.] In Act-IV,
Scene-I, the Witches concoct a magical brew in a cauldron. They are preparing for another
visit from Macbeth, who wishes to learn what he must do to assure his safety now that he is
king. They summon the Apparitions, whose predictions seem to promise safety but actually
foretell his destruction. Finally, in a passage that may be a non-Shakespearean interpolation,
the Witches perform a ritual dance, after which they vanish. Though their appearances are
brief, the Witches have an important function in Macbeth. The play opens with their grim and
stormy meeting, and this contributes greatly to its pervasive tone of mysterious evil.
Moreover, they offer another important theme of the play, the psychology of evil. The
Witches are an enactment of the irrational. The supernatural world is terrifying because it is
beyond human control, and in the play it is therefore symbolic of the unpredictable force of
human motivation. At their first appearance, the Witches state an ambiguity that rules the play
until its close: 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair:' [Act-I, Scene-I]. Their deceptive pictures of the
future, both in their initial predictions of Macbeth's rise, and in the prophecies of the
Apparitions, encourage in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth a false sense of what is desirable or
even possible. The magic of the Witches is thus an image of human moral disruption.
Through their own uncertain nature, they demonstrate, and promote, the disruption in the
world of the play. When Macbeth meets them a second time, he describes their capacity for
disorder: they 'untie the winds, and let them fight / Against the Churches . . . palaces and
pyramids, do slope / their heads to their foundations . . . Even till destruction sicken' [Act-IV,
Scene-I]. They declare that their activity comprises 'A deed without a name' [Act-IV, Scene-
I]. Their world is without definition; similarly, Macbeth's disordered sense of the world
comes to encompass the assumption that 'Life's . . . a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and
fury, / Signifying nothing' [Act-V, Scene-V].Many people in Shakespeare's day believed in
the reality of the supernatural world, but at the same time, a recognition that many folk
beliefs were merely superstitions had arisen as well. Shakespeare's opinion on the subject
cannot be determined, for his handling of the Witches is ambiguous. Banquo asks them, 'Are
ye fantastical, or that indeed which outwardly ye show?' [Act-I,Scene-III]. After they leave,
he wonders if he and Macbeth have 'eaten on the insane root' [Act-I, Scene-III] and have
simply imagined them. Their nature is never clearly stated. Moreover, the extent to which
they have powers other than those of persuasion is also uncertain, which perhaps reflectsor
exploitsthe generally uncertain sense of such things in the playwright's original audiences.
Shakespeare may have shared his audiences' ambivalence as to the supernatural, or he may
simply have played on it to devise a dramatic grouping of characters. Despite a modern
disbelief in the supernatural, we can respond to its dramatic use in Macbeth,and find in it a
symbol of obscure regions of the human psyche. In this light, the Witches can be thought of
as manifestations of Macbeth's ambition and guilt. That Banquo also sees them and Lady
Macbeth accepts their reality does not argue against such an interpretation of Shakespeare's
intentions; it merely points up the ambivalence of 17th-century attitudes towards the
supernatural. It is interesting to note that Shakespeare altered the nature of the Witches
considerably when he took them from his source, Holinshed's Chronicles.There, the beings
who appear to Macbeth are described as 'nymphs or fairies' who could read the future through
magic. A number of references connect them with the three Fates, ancient goddesses who are
figures of dignity and grandeur, quite unlike the hags of British folklore. Nymphs and female
fairies were traditionally beautiful, but the Witches of Macbeth are 'So wither'd and so wild in
their attire, / That [they] look not like th' inhabitants o' th' earth' [Act-I, Scene-III]. Scholars
have surmised that Shakespeare replaced Holinshed's classical spirits with his own, earthier
creatures in light of King James I'S well-known interest in contemporary witchcraft.
However, the traditionally horrifying creatures of folklore are entirely appropriate to the
association in Macbeth of these beings with the potential evil in humankind. [Dictionary of
Shakespeare. Page -715-716]

[Macbeth]