Join (Free!) | Login  

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
   Services MarketPlace (Free to post!)
Where Authors and Readers come together!


Featured Authors:  Lawrance Lux, iDouglas Skopp, iBob Mitchley, iDerek Flower, iPeter Ralph, iCheri Dohnal, iCraig Nagasugi, i

  Home > Cultures > News

Gary R Varner

· Become a Fan
· Contact me
· Sponsor Me!
· Books
· Articles
· News
· Messages
· 137 Titles
· 181 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
Member Since: Mar, 2001


Subscribe to the Gary R Varner Newsletter. Enter your name and email below and click "sign me up!"
Gary R Varner, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

Featured Book
Finding Billy Battles:
by Ronald Yates

Finding Billy Battles is the sweeping story of a man whose deeds and misdeeds propel him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West of the 18..  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Share Save       

New Review of Hecate: The Witches Goddess
Wednesday, July 16, 2008  5:20:00 PM

by Gary R Varner

A new review from POD Book Central of Gary R. Varner''s book on the ancient goddess,Hecate.

Hecate: The Witches' Goddess
by Gary R Varner, spirituality (2008)
OakChylde Books, $9.95, ISBN N/A

Hecate was the Greek goddess of, among many things, magic, witches, crossroads, prophecy, the moon, and the underworld. She was rarely featured in the ever-ongoing soap opera of the Greek gods, maybe because, as the author Gary R Varner suggests, she was actually a foreign deity eventually adopted by the Greeks long after they had already worshiped Zeus and gang, which would explain why so many of her roles overlap with those of established Greek deities such as Hermes and especially Artemis.

Hecate's most well-known of her few dalliances was with Hermes, a fellow deity with similarly strong pastoral links to the earth, from which Circe, everyone's favorite randy sorceress, was conceived. On the whole she was a mysterious and aloof figure in mythology. Nonetheless, she was also easily the most interesting of the gods and goddesses worshiped by the Greeks and Romans of yore, chiefly because of her trinity aspect that allowed her to play simultaneously the roles of the goddesses of life, fertility, and death.

Today, she features heavily in contemporary neo-Pagan literature as the goddess of withcraft and death. I once read a fantasy anthology with a Greek god theme and was amused to realize that Hecate was the most popular deity featured in the anthology compared to more popular deities such as Zeus, Hera, and Apollo. Clearly, despite having little exposure in popular media compared to other Greek gods, Hecate holds great appeal to many people. The black dogs, which are associated with Hecate as she roams the crossroads, live on long after the time of the Greeks has passed as symbols of death.

Gary R Varner, a long-time member of the American Folklore Society and the Foundation of Mythological Studies, attempts to shed some light on this goddess in Hecate: The Witches' Goddess. He believes that Hecate is more than a Greek goddess - she is the prototype of the earth/femininity goddess that is continuously evolving as various cultures throughout the ages adopt her as one of their own deities. Her origin goes all the way to North Africa way before the rise of the Greek civilization, where she was worshiped as "Heqat". She might very well also be the goddess that was known as Isis in ancient Egypt. In Scotland, Hecate was portrayed as a faerie queen while in New South Wales she was depicted as the mother and patron of a bunch of "wild women" that ruled territories from which men are forbidden to step foot in.

Most interesting is how the author points out that Hecate's initial portrayal was that of an earth mother type and that it is only during the time known as the Dark Ages when witches and midwives (those whom Hecate was a patron of) became persecuted that Hecate began to be viewed as a hideous goddess preoccupied with wandering the crossroads with a pack of rabid dogs to tear apart innocent helpless males. Yet, Mr Varner contends that the Church ended up absorbing some of the very tenets represented by Hecate that it condemned and burned thousands of women over.

This short but most informative book is a very interesting read. Of course, it helps that I am always interested in mythology and folklore. I've always been intrigued by Hecate ever since I learned of her existence because she was a complex and multifaceted deity that was nonetheless obscure when compared to her fellow Greek deities. Mr Varner explores the various aspects of the mythology that is Hecate that sees her being worshiped as the goddess of fertility and protector of children as well as the goddess of death and ghosts. Hecate is a contradiction of sorts as she is both a protector as well as destroyer. Unlike her fellow Greek deities, she - or at least, the concept of her - is still worshiped even today due to her intrinsic link to femininity, wilderness, and sorcery.

If there is any flaw to Hecate: The Witches' Goddess, it is a technical one. While it makes sense to discuss the various animals and plants associated to Hecate, for example, Mr Varner often jumps into such discussions abruptly to the point that sometimes it is easy to forget that the subject of this book is Hecate. Some readers may rightfully argue that Mr Varner could have done better to provide an united conceptual representation of Hecate instead of going on and on about her various roles in various civilizations as if there are about a hundred of so different deities with the same name being discussed here. However, I personally feel that it is very hard to do so because Hecate has evolved so much throughout time that there should be more than one "correct" interpretation of what she is.

Hecate: The Witches' Goddess is an easy to read and informative short book on the subject matter. If you have an interest in the subject matter, you may like this one as much as I do. Print and electronic versions can be purchased at the author's storefront at - you will also find details on the author's other non-fiction books on various spiritual and mythological matters there.

 More News about Gary R Varner
Review by author Darrell Pursiful of Creatures in the Mist - 5/21/2014 3:03:00 PM

Folklorist's second book on Ethiopia released - 3/12/2014 2:26:00 PM

New Website - 1/26/2014 6:52:00 AM

New Review of Gargoyles, Grotesques and Green Men - 2/21/2013 1:59:00 PM

Remembrances of the Dead--Graveyard Art & Symbolism released - 1/28/2013 6:52:00 PM

Cemetery Art published in Horror Zine - 12/26/2012 7:19:00 PM

Portals to Other Realms: Cup-Marked Stones and Prehistoric Rock Carvings - 10/31/2012 6:51:00 PM

Architectural Symbolism Explored by Folklorist - 8/10/2012 7:05:00 PM

Faeries and Little People? A folklorist examines all the possibilities - 7/24/2012 6:21:00 PM

Kindle edition of Hecate - The Witches Goddess on Sale for Limited Time - 6/28/2012 1:51:00 PM

New book on Ethiopia now available - 6/15/2012 8:27:00 PM

Folklorist Interviewed on CBS 31 Sacramento - 5/26/2012 5:58:00 PM

Folklorist to Appear on the History Channel - 3/7/2012 8:01:00 PM

Green Man article to be reprinted by award winning newspaper - 4/6/2011 5:33:00 PM

Hecate The Witches Goddess now on Kindle - 12/11/2010 4:45:00 PM

Water from the Sacred Well Now Available - 11/19/2010 6:14:00 PM

Book News from Gary R. Varner - 10/19/2010 5:34:00 PM

New Gargoyles & Grotesques 18 month Calendar from Gary R. Varner - 9/5/2010 3:48:00 PM

Ghosts, Spirits & the Afterlife in Native American Folklore and Religion - 8/7/2010 3:25:00 PM

Gary R. Varner's Second interview with TheoFantastique - 6/7/2010 7:00:00 AM

Gary R. Varner Interviewed by TheoFantastique - 5/18/2010 5:55:00 PM

Patricia Della-Piana, author of Aradia Retold, reviews Charles G. Leland - - 3/30/2010 11:35:00 AM

Folklorist Releases Two New Books - 3/9/2010 12:26:00 PM

The Owens Valley Paiute-A Cultural History now available on Kindle - 12/20/2009 9:37:00 AM

New Book on an Ancient Culture Released - 8/23/2009 2:46:00 PM

Folklorist Gary R. Varner Interviewed on Australia's #1 Alternative Radio - 7/5/2009 11:13:00 AM

Pre-Historic Rock Art of California - 6/15/2009 7:25:00 PM

2nd Review of Charles G. Leland: The Man & the Myth by Ghost Writer Review - 5/4/2009 12:18:00 PM

Sacred Wells to be reissued by Algora Publishing - 1/13/2009 7:57:00 PM

The Ghostwriter Review reviews Charles G. Leland - The Man & the Myth - 11/25/2008 8:17:00 PM

Gods of Man available for advance orders from - 1/7/2008 6:00:00 PM

Mysteries of Native American Myth & Religion Available from - 9/5/2007 3:27:00 PM

Creatures in the Mist Now Available in Hardcover - 4/7/2007 11:13:00 AM

"Creatures in the Mist"--A new look at ancient myths and mythic creatures - 3/29/2007 8:52:00 AM

New Book on Witchcraft and The Continuing Witch Hunts Published - 2/19/2007 6:55:00 PM

Strangely Wrought Creatures of Life & Death Released  - 11/9/2006 3:37:00 PM

New Painter of Mythic Art Opens Shop - 10/28/2006 4:22:00 PM

The Mythic Forest, the Green Man and the Spirit of Nature Now in Hardcover - 6/12/2006 10:33:00 AM

Creatures in the Mist” by Gary R. Varner signed with Algora Publishing - 4/22/2006 2:07:00 PM

Gary R. Varner's Interview on What a World Radio Postponed - 12/30/2005 9:18:00 PM

The Druid Network Review of "Menhirs, Dolmen and Circles of Stone" - 7/21/2005 7:56:00 PM

Circle Magazine Publishes Article by Gary R. Varner - 5/25/2005 8:44:00 PM

New Contract Signed for Green Man Book by Gary R. Varner - 5/11/2005 5:05:00 PM

Folklorist/writer Gary R. Varner to Appear at the 2005 Wordstock Book Fair - 3/24/2005 9:45:00 AM

New Book on the Folklore of Sacred Waters to be Released January 1, 2005 - 11/14/2004 10:43:00 AM

New Book on Folklore Featured at the 2004 Frankfurt Book Fair - 10/10/2004 8:53:00 PM

Newest Book by Gary R. Varner on the Folklore of Sacred Stones to be Released Oct. 1, 2004 - 9/21/2004 1:27:00 PM

Gary R. Varner on New Age Journal Chat Once Again! - 3/9/2004 8:02:00 AM

Join Gary R. Varner in the Rescheduled Authors Chat on February 25th, 2004 - 2/13/2004 8:28:00 PM

Contracts signed for two new books by Gary R. Varner - 2/9/2004 8:09:00 AM

Join Gary R. Varner in a Chat at - 1/15/2004 3:30:00 PM

Sign up for an advance notice for Water of Life--Water of Death by Gary R. Varner - 8/13/2003 2:42:00 PM

Sacred Wells Reviewed by the Druid Network - 7/7/2003 10:28:00 AM

Sacred Wells" Now Available in Ebook Form from Publish America - 5/22/2003 3:10:00 PM

Essays in Contemporary Paganism Reviewed by the Book Review Cafe - 5/18/2003 8:11:00 PM

Essays in Contemporary Paganism Reviewed by the Pagan Review of Books - 12/30/2002 8:04:00 AM

Pagan Writer Gary R. Varner Chosen for Inclusion in the 2003 Who's Who In America - 9/12/2002 11:02:00 AM

Sacred Wells Now Available - 7/23/2002 9:41:00 AM

Pagan Writer Awarded Outstanding Author Award - 6/14/2002 8:43:00 PM

Pagan Writer Nominated for Inclusion in the 2003 Who's Who in America - 3/25/2002 9:10:00 AM

Do You Dream About the Archetypes? - 2/25/2002 9:58:00 AM

New Cover Coming For Essays in Contemporary Paganism - 1/17/2002 5:33:00 PM

Contract Signed for Publication of SACRED WELLS - 1/17/2002 5:20:00 PM

The Face of Cernunnos Published by Circle Magazine - 10/26/2001 12:09:00 PM

Books by
Gary R Varner

Creatures in the Mist: Little People, Wild Men and Spirit Beings

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

The Ancient Religion and Beliefs of Ethiopia

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

Ghosts, Spirits & the Afterlife in Native American Folklore and Religion

Buy Options
Amazon, more..

Gargoyles, Grotesques & Green Men: Ancient Symbolism in European...

Buy Options
Amazon, more..

Portals to Other Realms: Cup-Marked Stones and Prehistoric Rock Carvings

Buy Options
Kindle, more..

Remembrances of the Dead - Graveyard Art & Symbolism

Buy Options
Amazon, more..

Magic, Witchcraft, Pagans & Christians

Buy Options
Kindle, Amazon, more..

Featured Book
Principles of the Kingdom (God's Success Principles)
by James Becher

16 Biblically Based principles for successful living with quotable quotes...  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Featured Book
Think Outside the Square: Writing Publishable (Short) Storie
by Cheryl Wright

If you want to write short stories - and make money from them - this number one best selling ebook is for you...  
BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.