Monthly Archives: March 2021

Hekate, Witch or Goddess?

The Abduction of Persephone

Tuesday’s March Tale   March 30, 2021

Springtime is hardly known as the season of witches, but if you are a lover of supernatural stories—and like me you are fascinated by the myths, history, and fiction about witchcraft—every month is the season for witches. Also, since my birth date is on Halloween, I have both a fear and an attraction to witches. And while witches (associated with the word wicked) are traditionally thought to possess evil powers who communicate with spirits and underworld realms, acting out their powers of womanhood, I am wondering if there is much more to discover about witches than just their dark arts.

Today we are exploring the Titaness deity known as Hekate, or Hecate (pronounced Heck-ah-teh), an ancient witch-priestess. You may have seen images of this well-known witch, deemed the queen of witchcraft, black magick sorcerer, as a three-headed figure (she sees in all directions), standing at crossroads, holding torches or keys, with a black dog at her feet. She is revered as the goddess of magick of the night and the underworld, the moon, ghosts, and necromancy. Pretty hot babe, wouldn’t you say? She is among other dark goddesses like Kali, Morrigan, Brigid, Hel, Baba Yaga, Aradia, Isis, Persephone. 

In the story for this month’s reading, The Abduction of Persephone, Hekate makes a brief appearance in this tale of Zeus and Demeter (goddess of the earth) who have lost their daughter Persephone. Hades has abducted the girl. Hekate hears her screams from the Underworld. When Persephone eats the food of the dead, Zeus and Demeter must make a deal with Hades to get their daughter back.

This is an enchanting flash fiction (10-minute read), totally enjoyable, which symbolizes our shifting earth seasons, grief and loss, and brings meaning to mother/daughter love relationships. Reading myths can answer timeless questions about the value and insights of life, love, trust, good and evil. In the art of storytelling, these human experiences are everything.

Read the myth at Muses Realm:

http://www.musesrealm.net/stories/abductpersephone.html

Hekate has a much more powerful and impressive role in The Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius (Chapter 47). In this myth, Hekate speaks to us and identifies her qualities. When the narrator Lucius is turned into an ass, it is Hekate who shows him how to return to his human shape.

Read Chapter 47 at Gutenberg.org

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1666/1666-h/1666-h.htm#link2H_4_0061

In my research about Hekate (for a short story I’m writing and my upcoming supernatural novel Draakensky) I found a mix of good and evil in her mythical history. Hekate knows she has powers to both destroy and create and uses that power wisely. Many believe her to be an intuitive goddess, soul-knowing, who holds both darkness and light within her powers. Hekate favors the color black, lavender, and the Yew tree. She is said to be the Dark Mother. I can’t help align her with Mother Nature who brings us fruit, grain, herbs, flowers, the beauty of sunrise and sunset, but also brings us hurricanes, drought, poisonous plants, pestilence and disease.

Other reports of Hekate are less flattering. She is said to be the high witch of the underworld Hades, her rituals and rites associated with death and secrecy, and she can banish or produce a ghost or ghosts infestations. She holds the ultimate skeleton key to unlock the gates to all realms, including Hades. Does she cast spells? Probably. Does she invoke the devil? Some say yes, some say no. There is a clear uncertainty about Hekate. But truth is like the sun, it eventually shines.

If you are in the season of the Crone, on the wise woman’s journey to deeper self-discovery, or curious to experience the cave of feminine power, Hekate is a woman you might like to explore. The archetype of “the witch” is a seeker and bringer of ancient secrets if not deeper knowledge. Witch, goddess, priestess, queen, crone, healer, medicine woman, warrior, shaman, leader, mentor, whatever you call her, feminine power is on the rise in our society.

For more on Hekate, stop by Keeping Her Keys website by Dr. Cyndi Brannen, a psychologist, author, and teacher who writes from the crossroads of psychology, spirituality, and traditional wisdom merging ancient knowledge with modern practices.

https://keepingherkeys.com/

Interested in reading more about the Dark Goddess?

https://thegoddesscircle.net/dark-goddess-magick/

Also, here is a post about Lilith: Ancient Diety: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/lilith-ancient-demon-dark-deity-or-sex-goddess-005908

At this point, I cannot help but wonder where the crossroads meet between wicked witch vs. good goddess and what we might discover there. Is the shadow side of the Crone archetype the wicked witch? Or maybe it’s something else. What is the Dark Mother really about? You can read about The Dark Mother here: https://thenephilimrising.com/2017/06/22/the-dark-mother-lessons-from-lilith/

Do you think the patriarchy is losing power? These days the Divine Feminine is becoming stronger and more visible every day. There are legendary stories inside all of us. What is yours at this challenging time in our world? Is there a warrior woman inside of you?

Please feel free to add your thoughts to this page. I would love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, romance, and mainstream fiction.

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 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

Fangoria.com      Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

Monster Librarian        The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

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Author of the Week, Anaïs Nin, March 15

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK,   March 15

Anaïs Nin

(Diarist, Short Stories, Novels,  Essays)

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”

“We don’t have a language for the senses. Feelings are images, sensations are like musical sounds.”

 

Anaïs Nin (1903 — 1977) was a French-Cuban author and 20th century diarist, based in France and later in the United States.  She began what became her life-long work of art in 1914 at the age of eleven and kept writing until her death 63 years later in 1977. The novelist and short story writer gained international fame with her journals. She is well-known for her relationship with Henry Miller, and his wife, June. Much of her work, including Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published after she died. Nin believed that consciousness is a stream of images and words that flow from us as long as we live, and something to be shared.

 

The Wisdom of Anais Nin: 5 minutes!

Why I Write by Anais Nin (2 minutes):

 

Readers, many of you know that I have as special place in my heart for dead authors. Anais Nin is very dear to me because Nin is a part of my novel Greylock in the character of  Lia Marrs. I spent weeks researching Nin’s life, her art, and her feminine brio that dramatizes the complexity of women.  As a bonus, you can read her short story The Houseboat here at Reading Fiction Blog:

https://paulacappa.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/the-houseboat-anais-nins-phantoms-of-truth/

Visit the Anais Nin Foundation: https://theanaisninfoundation.org/

Visit Nin’s author profile on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AAnais+Nin

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author every week at Reading Fiction Blog! Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors.

Once a month I feature a FREE short story by

contemporary and classic authors.

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Author of the Week, Richard Yates, March 8

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   March 8

 

Richard Yates

(Literary Fiction and Short Story Writer)

 

“I’m only interested in stories that are about the crushing of the human heart.”

“Never say anything that doesn’t improve on silence.”

“If my work has a theme, I suspect it is a simple one: that most human beings are inescapably alone, and therein lies their tragedy.”

Richard Yates  (1926 – 1992) was an American novelist and short story writer.  Yates ruthlessly examines the hopes and disappointments of ordinary people with empathy and humor. He is most famous for his novel Revolutionary Road, a nomination for the National Book Award in 1961. He is also revered as a short story author in his first collection Eleven Kinds of Loneliness, The Collected Stories, and Liars in Love.  Kurt Vonnegut said that Eleven Kinds of Loneliness was ‘the best short-story collection ever written by an American’.  He has been praised by such authors as Michael Chabon, Robert Stone, and Richard Russo, and universally acclaimed in reviews across the country. Macmillian Publishers.

We here at Reading Fiction Blog love short stories. We are discovering and rediscovering authors of short fiction. There is a beauty in finishing a story over a lunch time or reading an entire story in one evening. To say short stories are a great break from novel reading is one thing, but honestly the best thing about shorts stories is that they can motivate you back into daily reading of fiction!

 

In this novel,  Young Hearts Crying, sad and funny, Richard Yates  shows his talents about the American Dream and its casualties.

 

REVIEW: “Soft-spoken in his prose and terrifyingly accurate in his dialogue, Yates renders his characters with such authenticity that you hardly realize what he’s done.” —The Boston Globe.

 

The Making of Revolutionary Road (9 minutes)

 

Read Oprah’s interview at O Magazine:

https://www.oprah.com/omagazine/revolutionary-road-interview-with-richard-yates-daughter/all

 

 

Visit Richard Yates’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Yates/e/B001H6NA62

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author every week at Reading Fiction Blog! Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors.

Once a month I feature a FREE short story by

contemporary and classic authors.

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Author of the Week, Kathryn Craft, March 1

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   March 1, 2021

 

Kathryn Craft

(Author of Psychological and Women’s Literary Fiction)

“Themes of love, death, coming of age, corruption, survival, and heroism were just as riveting to William Shakespeare in the 16th century as they are to today’s novelists. The window dressing may change, but throughout the ages we’ve all been framing the same big ideas.”

For Writers: “Dancers communicate stories all the time without speaking a single word, and the effect can be stunning. Study how they do that.”

“I turned to writing fiction after my first husband’s suicide, sixteen years ago. I had a lingering need to use my writing to form a more hopeful story from the chaos of those events. Penelope Sparrow was my path.”

 

Kathryn Craft writes stories that seek beauty and meaning at the edge of darkness. A native of Syracuse, NY she was a dancer, choreographer, and  dance critic before becoming a writer. Craft is an active member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and leads writing workshops and retreats. She is published by Sourcebooks Landmark.

 

Cathy Lamb interviews Craft:

Author To Author Interview: Kathryn Craft

The Art of Falling is her first novel. “A sensitive study of a woman choreographing her own recovery.”—Kirkus Reviews.

All Penny has ever wanted to do is dance—and when that chance is taken from her, it pushes her to the brink of despair, from which she might never return. 

 

The Far End of Happy was named as the Ten Books You Should Be Reading by the Huffington Post.

Twelve tense hours, three women, and the suicide standoff that turns one family’s little piece of heaven into a scene from hell.

 

“Craft presents her mesmerizing characters with depth, understanding, and ethos.” – Lana Kay Rosenberg, artistic director, Miami University Dance Theatre

 

Visit Kathryn Craft’s Amazon page here: https://www.amazon.com/Kathryn-Craft/e/B00DLI9GE4

Blog and website: http://www.kathryncraft.com/

You can find her blog posts at Writer Unboxed: https://writerunboxed.com/kathryn/

 

Craft is also a contributor in Author in Progress, from the Writer Unboxed Community.

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author every week at Reading Fiction Blog! Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 200 free short stories by over 100 famous authors.

Once a month I feature a FREE short story by

contemporary and classic authors.

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