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Thread: Hekate's sacred tree?

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Hekate's sacred tree?

    If one does a search for sacred tree's and Hekate on the net you'll tend to end up with three specific results. Those being Yew, Black Popular and Oak, but not always in that order. However, are any of those actually sacred to her?

    The Oak tree is often given in the many cut-n-paste listings of information pertaining to Hekate. I can only speculate as to why and a source for said speculation. Yet it also causes one to wonder at just how deeply the originator of the listing actually checked or researched the source material.

    "Hekate Brimo ... hearing his words from the abyss, came up ... She was garlanded by fearsome snakes that coiled themselves round twigs of oak; the twinkle of a thousand torches lit the scene; and hounds of the underworld barked shrilly all around her." - Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3.1194

    Bolded mine. The above seems to be the most cited reference for the inclusion of oak in the list. However I personally think it due to not reading and placing the associations. Yet just because the snakes were coiled about the twigs of Oak it doesn't imply the Oak itself was sacred to Hekate.

    Which further seems to prove this connection wrong is the fact the Oak is sacred to Zeus himself. Occasionally being equated to both Zeus and Hera and the King and Queen of the Oaks.

    The Black Popular due to the two coloration's of it's leaves and boundary placement is also attributed to Hekate in those listings. Yet again it seems a poor presumption. By that mythology the Black Popular is actually sacred to Persephone. Perhaps suggesting the duel natural of her year. Part being in the dull grey underworld, ie grey underside of the leaf, and the other time in the growing upper world, the green upper side of the leaf.

    I personally think though confusion and poor research rears its head again. Specifically it is the White Poplar that contains leaves with a grey underside and bright green upperside. It is also the tree that is tied to the story of Luece (Luka) the Nymph and the underworld. Is listed as one of the three tree's of resurrection in The White Goddess by Robert Graves.

    It does have to be noted that the White Poplar is sacred to Hades which could also imply the black poplar there for is sacred to Persephone. Homer is said to speak on the Black Poplar in her grove but I do not have that exact passage in my notes.

    Lastly the Yew tree.

    This tree has a connection to Persephone and the Erinyes though specifically sacred to the Erinyes themselves. A secondary connection to Persephone based upon the story that Hades & Persephone are the parents of the Erinyes.

    The Yew tree does have a underworld connection so by presumption and implied association one might conclude Hekate has some connection to it. Yet an association with the tree's purpose in connecting the worlds and fertility / fecundity of earth seems at best an attempt to take part of Persephone's influence and pass it to Hekate. Perhaps suggesting a Persephone- Hekate aspect where Hekate is seen acting or operating in a fashion that is reflective of Persephone and her connection to fertility / fecundity.

    Yet it still doesn't really answer which tree, based upon actual lore can be said to be Hekate's sacred tree?

    Of course this is all my own thoughts and conclusions. As such I am not stating using those associations is wrong or that there may not be source material which suggests they are correct.
    Last edited by monsno_leedra; 08 Jun 2016 at 16:13.
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