Lapis Lazuli

Hecate is the primary feminine figure in the Chaldean Oracles, where she is associated in fragment 194 with a strophalos (usually translated as a spinning top, or wheel, used in magic): “Labour thou around the Strophalos of Hecate.” This appears to refer to a  variant of the device mentioned by Psellus:

“A top of Hekate is a golden sphere enclosing a lapis lazuli in its middle that is twisted through a cow-hide leather thong and having engraved letters all over it. [Diviners] spin this sphere and make invocations. Such things they call charms, whether it is the matter of a spherical object, or a triangular one, or some other shape. While spinning them, they call out unintelligible or beast-like sounds, laughing and flailing at the air. [Hekate] teaches the taketes to operate, that is the movement of the top, as if it had an ineffable power. It is called the top of Hekate because it is dedicated to her. In her right hand she held the source of the virtues. But it is all nonsense.” 68


68 Trombley, F. R. 1993. Hellenic Religion and Christianization circa. 370-529. Leiden: Brill Publishing, pg 319.

The Symbols of the Goddess Hekate
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