Blood-drinker, murderer. Footnote from Catharine Roth
discusses the term, and its association with Hekate is mentioned on stoa.org
(Sadly, both of these sources are no longer posted online. Annoying!)
The LSJ says that it was an epithet of Hecate, and that it
was also associated with the Moon. The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden likewise
mentions this epithet in their description of a Roman figure of Hecate
The phrase is one that emphasizes Hekate’s association with
the outcast, with the Restless Dead, and the nightmares. I am reminded of what
Rhode has to say about Hekate’s association with the Empusae, which also drink
blood, and are associated with murderers.
The earliest understanding of Hekate was not so
blood-thirsty, but was associated with protecting the home from ill influences,
and was the light in the darkness. But Gods are multi-faceted. And the God who
can heal, can also harm. Withdrawing Her protection means vulnerability to all
those things that creep in the dark.
Connecting with Hekate Aimopotis is not something to do
lightly. It’s dangerous. As a Chthonic God, She historically received blood
libations, along with wine, milk, and honey, in pits in the earth. Her
contemporary followers sometimes offer small drops of their own blood, usually
taken with a diabetic lancet. Such offerings are intense.
Johnston, Sarah Iles. Hekate
Soteira, Scholars, 1990.
Ronan, Stephen. The Goddess Hekate,
Hamilton, William. “Joan of Arc and the Furies,” oil on
canvas in the Vassar College Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, NY, 1790s.