Those of my readers who have read my NaNo 2003 excerpt know that my novel poses the question, “What would you do if a goddess from classical antiquity showed up in your living room?”
The particular goddess in question is Hekate; or, if you prefer the Latinized version of her name, Hecate. (Yes, it’s a hard ‘k’ sound; the Greeks, like the Celts, didn’t have a soft ‘c’ sound. Which means that when I have discussions about Circe, and I pronounce it ‘Kir-kay’ no one knows who I’m talking about, and I have to swallow a sigh and politely say ‘Sir-say’, which makes my spine crawl.)
Anywhats. Revenons a nos moutons.
Those in the know are also aware that through an aural misunderstanding at a pre-November coffee meeting, the idea of the Psychic Ferret arose for as a gag challenge for Montreal NaNo participants. The ferret belongs to a family of mammals which includes otters, badgers, weasels, and so forth.
So when I ran across this little tidbit tonight, I just had to share. It’s too perfect.
HEKATE & THE WITCH GALE
I have heard that the land-marten was once a human being. It has also reached my hearing that Gale was her name then; that she was a dealer in spells and a sorceress (Pharmakis); that she was extremely incontinent, and that she was afflicted with abnormal sexual desires. Nor has it escaped my notice that the anger of the goddess Hekate transformed it into this evil creature. May the goddess be gracious to me: fables and their telling I leave to others. – Aelian On Animals 15.11
[Also told as:]
HEKATE & HER COMPANION WEASEL
The Moirai were aggrieved […] and took away the womanly parts of Galinthias since, being but a mortal, she had deceived the gods [by tricking them into allowing the birth of Herakles which they were preventing]. They turned her into a deceitful weasel, making her live in crannies and gave her a grotesque way of mating. She is mounted through the ears and gives birth by bringing forth her young through the throat.
Hekate felt sorry for this transformation of her appearance and appointed her a sacred servant of herself. – Antoninus Liberalis 29
So Hekate had a weasel as a servant. Or a servant who became a weasel.
Coincidence, or a Divine someone-is-trying-to-tell-me-something? You decide!