One of the more famous churches in Rome is a former temple dedicated to Athena or Minerva, which has been converted to a Catholic church titled “Maria sopra Minerva” or Mary over Minerva, celebrating Our Lady’s victory of the degenerate pagan goddess Athena.
While I had known that Our Lady was presented by early Christians as superior to the various goddesses that were venerated in the Mediterranean world, I was not aware of how great a contrast Our Lady has to the goddess Hecate–especially as read in the tradition of Neoplatonic magic.
Like Artemis-Diana with whom she is linked, Hecate, the goddess of the underworld and witchcraft was linked with the moon. She further had snake hair (a Gnostic symbol) and was adorned by fiery snakes. Finally, and most interestingly, Hecate was an image of the world soul, the “membrane” between the intellectual-spiritual world and the physical world. Thus, there is the connection with magic and witchcraft as those who mediated the power of Hecate could mediate between the spiritual and physical world, summoning demons and powers.
As a result, Hecate is a demonic mediatrix, a diabolical mockery of Our Lady.
Finally, it is weird how common the image of the veil or membrane between the spiritual and physical world is in everything from faerie tales with magic mirrors (remade by Walt Disney); to the Early Modern Chinese novel, The Journey to the West, to the poetry of Percy Shelley; to Stephen Spielberg’s 80s film, Poltergeist.
In fact, Hecate’s function sounds a lot like the screens of electronic devices that mediate the demonic world of the internet into our homes.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us.