I chose to do my research paper on Hecate and Ra. Hecate is my primary Goddess and Ra is my secondary God.
Hecate (pronounced e-ca-ta) is the most famous of all the Triple Goddesses. As Triple Goddess Hecate represents Maiden, Mother and Crone; mind, body and spirit, birth, life and death. She represents the three stages of the Lunar Cycle; New, Full and Dark. Hecate symbolizes darkness; she is associated with the dark side of the moon, the true dark side of the moon as in the true color of the moon. Hecate’s symbols are the flaming torch and key. The torch holds the light which illuminates the unconscious and reveals its treasures. It also provides light for who seek mystery and seek light to guide them. The key symbolizes the opening and closing of the Gates between Earth and the other realms of the Underworld. Most see Hecate as the third stage of the moon, when in actuality she is a Triple Goddess in her own right.
When in her Maiden form you turn to Hecate to look at something in a new way, new beginnings. When she is in her Mother form you turn to her for nurturing and protection and when she is the Crone you need her for protection, wisdom and magick. Hecate is not a goddess full of tenderness and compassion. She is stern but fair and does not take lightly when anyone hurts someone under her protection. She also believes that femininity should be valued.
She sits before the Veil of the Temple as High Priestess. She is represented by the moon on Tarot cards. She guards from evil doings and guards her homes and temples. She is known as the liberator of women and the keeper of mysteries. Some refer to her as the destroyer, but she is not; for once something is destroyed it is gone forever. This is why the Christian Church put her down and created her as evil. Hecate sees all, but is only impressed by what is in the heart.
Hecate was originally a Thracian Pre-Olympian Goddess. Zeus gave her the powers to keep anything she wanted away from humanity. She was also granted powers over the Heavens, Earth and Underworld. Along with also haunting graveyards and crime scenes, as the Goddess of Explanation and Purification. She is the Queen of all living things, through her all things live and die and she will be with you until the end.
Her gems are Sapphire, Pearl, Moonstone and Crystal. Some of her plants and trees are the Yew, Cyprus, Opium, Poppy, Almond, Mugwort, Hazel, Moonwort, Civet, Black Polar, Blood, Camphor, Garlic, Aloe and all the sweet virginal odors. Her tools are the Cauldron, the Besom, Knives and the Key. Her animals are a horse, dog and black cat. The owl is her messenger, her colors are black and silver and her Chariot is pulled by dragons.
Her religion was Paganism/The Goddess religion. Wicca is a way of life and you need to connect with Hecate on a daily basis. Not only was Hecate a Pagan Goddess of the Moon Cycles, she was wise in the healing arts, midwifery, divination and working herbs and spells. In embracing the Goddess we give balance to the unbalance material, masculine world we live in.
In legend it was speculated before the Roman period that Hecate was not a Moon Goddess. Hecate’s grandmother was Phoebe(the moon) and her father was Peres(old sun god). Where there is sun there is always the moon. One myth was the taking of young girls for sacrifice or having young girls commit suicide to protect others is concerning to Iphigenia and her stepfather Agamemnon who sacrificed his own stepdaughters to Artemis. Artemis in return replaced her with a deer or a bear, taking her far away and transforming her into Hecate. Also Hecate and Apollo are connected through common roots and perhaps paired as guardian deities in the Bronze Age Asia Minor.
Hecate is also the oldest know Kourotrophos or child nurse. It is also suggested Hecate has a role in marriage. Of the three roles when she is found in entrance ways, the evidence best supports that of guardian against outside dangers.
In the second half of the fifth century there is a new and frightening side of Hecate. She is associated with restless spirits and phantasms.
In summary Hecate is the peoples Goddess, most particularly women. Hecate held her place among the Greek world and as a Greek deity.
Ra is one of the God’s I incorporated into my life.
Ra is ancient Egyptian God of the Sun. To the Egyptians the sun represented light, warmth and growth. These are very important qualities not only for a God but also for humanity. What Ra represents made the sun deity very important and the sun was seen as the ruler of all that he created. Ra is identified by the midday sun. The meaning of his name is still uncertain to this day. It is however thought that if not a word for sun it may be linked to radiance and creativity. The sun disk was seen as either the body or the eye of Ra.
All forms of life are considered to be created by Ra, who called out each of them into existence by calling out their secret names. Humans are considered to the created by Ra’s sweat and tears (hence the Egyptians call themselves “the cattle of Ra.”
Ra’s local cult began to grow in the second dynasty establishing Ra as a sun deity. His worship increased astronomically in the fourth and fifth dynasty. In the fourth dynasty the Pharaohs were referred to as “The son’s of Ra” and where believed to have been Ra’s manifestations on Earth. In the fifth dynasty Ra became a state deity and Pharaohs specially aligned pyramids, obelisks and solar temples in his honor.
The chief cult of Ra was Heliopolis, where he was identified with local sun God, Atum. Through Atum or as Atum Ra, he was seen as the first being to originate to Ennead, consisting of Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Oseris, Isis, Set and Nephtys.
Ra was believed to be creator of the parts of the world, the sky, the earth and the underworld when he merged with The God Horus, remaining Ra, Ra-Horakhty in the later dynastic times. It is suggested Ra-Horakhty simply refers to the suns journey from horizon to horizon as Ra or it shows Ra as a symbolic deity of hope and rebirth. It was believed that different aspects of Ra ruled at different times of the day, with Khepri and Khnum taking prescience over all sunrise and sunset.
Akhenaton suppressed the cult of Ra in the Amana Period, because he was in favor of another solar deity. Ra’s cult was restored after the death of Akhenaton.
Ra was thought to have travelled on two solar boats called the Madjet (boat of a million years) or morning boat or Mesket , the evening boat. These boats travelled through the sky and the underworld. The journey of these boats were tried to be stopped every night but Apep. Apep was a giant serpent who tried to stop these boats by eating them or stopping them in their tracks with his hypnotic stare. It is believed that Ra was turned into the form of a ram as Atum. The night boat would carry Ra through the underworld and back to the east. This was done in preparation for the sunrise. The myths of Ra represent the sunrise as rebirth and renewal of Ra.
During the New Kingdom the worship of Ra became more complicated. The walls were extremely detailed and told mark Ra’s journey through the underworld. Ra was said to carry the blessing and prayers of the living souls of the dead on the sun boat.
Many aspects of prayer include hymns, prayers and spells to help Ra overcome Ape.
The worshipping of Ra came to an end with the Roman Empire’s rise of Christianity.
Ra’s special day was celebrated on May 26, it was called “The Receiving of Ra.”