Torches in Hellenic Mythology

One of the most well-known symbols of Goddess Hekate is the torch. Other goddesses and gods have as symbol the torch. Let's see who they are.

Torches hold a great place as symbol of many Gods and Goddesses in Hellenic mythology. One of the most well-known symbols of Goddess Hekate is the torch. With this work it has been made an attempt concentrate the Gods and Goddesses who held torches so that we can try to connect by making a correlation of Hekate's characteristics with the characteristics of the other torchbearer Gods in an attempt to understand her polymorphic character. Torches symbolize, according to the God that holds them, a specific meaning. They can symbolize:

  • life (the fire of the sun promotes life)
  • knowledge (as the fire lights in the dark and knowledge is light. There is a Hellenic word that describes the phrase “bequeath knowledge” and uses the word “lampada=torch” which is “metalampadevo” (μεταλαμπαδεύω) and it means “I give my knowledge to someone”)
  • fear (as when the torch lights in the dark, things may be seen that were hidden in the dark but when they are faced for the first time and they cause terror)
  • punishment (as the torch may cause fire). This can be noticed in everyday dialogs when someone wants something bad to happen for someone they wish to be burned with the torch (e.g. the works of Aristophanes, “Lysistrate”, “Thesmophoriazoysai”).

Below are presented the Gods and Goddesses by name from the Hellenic mythology who held torches:

  • Artemis
  • Demeter
  • Hekate
  • Persephone
  • Dionysos
  • Selene
  • Nyx
  • Hephestos
  • Errynyes (furies)
  • Thanatos (death)
  • Dichonoia (discord)
  • Komos (laugh)
  • Diavoli (asperation)
  • Thymos (anger)
  • Agape
  • Decemvrios
  • Orthros
  • Hesperos
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Theurgy and Philosophy are two different methods which lead to the union with God.


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