As a Goddess-centric Witch, I am always looking for new ways to connect with the myriad of global goddesses. Even though I know that I can have powerful relationships with different goddesses from the comfort of my home, I’ve also got a bit of a travel bug, so when I am wandering in new places, I try to hold myself open to spiritual experience and divine intervention. Sometimes, though, I only realize how magical the experience was after the fact. I'll be exploring these different experiences and goddesses on this blog.
The sky is dappled with constellations, and the pillars holding it up could be marble. My first look inside the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s famous Globe Theater in London took my breath away, but my second look made me laugh. Just like the illusion he created in his plays, the Bard’s theater is a cleverly crafted visual game. The bejeweled sky is the brightly decorated roof over the stage, and the pillars of marble are actually painted wood.
I’ve been obsessed with Shakespeare ever since I read my first of his plays, THE TEMPEST, with my mom when I was young. The stories of romance, betrayal, and magic captivated me, but one in particular springs to mind on this crisp Halloween night.
I still remember the chill that raced down my spine the first time I read the witches’ opening lines in MACBETH. Although there’s some debate about their presence in the play (a few scholars argue that the witches, and Hecate, are later additions, added after Shakespeare’s time), their origin doesn’t matter. Reading MACBETH was my first encounter with the dark goddess Hecate, and I wish I could have seen her manifest in the Globe.
The theater is open to the elements, although the wooden seats are protected under a roof of thatch, a close approximation to what it must have looked like in Shakespeare’s time. Even in the watery winter sunlight, it’s an imposing structure, and it’s easy to feel the brush of history there. How many ghosts, fairies, and gods haunt those boards?
Shakespeare’s Hecate is a shadow figure; the goddess of witches doesn’t appear very much in the play, but she eggs the three witches on, ultimately spinning the web of Macbeth’s destruction. The goddess’s origins are murky, at best, and the witchy version Shakespeare presented in his famous Scottish play has become one of the most known guises of this triple goddess, but it is not the only one.
As I mention in my forthcoming book, GODDESS SPELLS FOR BUSY GIRLS, Hecate is the lady of the crossroads, a liminal goddess of thresholds, journeys, and changes. In Greco-Roman myth, she is the only deity willing to defy Zeus to help Demeter in her search for her daughter, and it is Hecate who then accompanies Persephone to and fro the Underworld each year. Although she helps Macbeth destroy himself, under the right circumstances, this goddess can be a powerful force for protection.
Personally, I think Hecate must enjoy the way the Bard penned her; she isn’t a warm and fuzzy goddess, and she’s certainly still powerful, especially at this time of year when the nights are long and the veil is thin. Perhaps she even watched as the fake sky shook with the thunder machine on the night of the first performance of Macbeth, perched atop the thatched roof.
To learn more about the history of the Globe, visit this site: http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/about-us/history-of-the-globe/rebuilding-the-globe
Please login first in order for you to submit comments