Study Guide

Hecate (Trivia) - Trios

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For some weird reason, there have been divine cliques of three for as long as anybody can remember. They come to school together, sit next to each other in class, eat lunch together, and pretty much only hang out with each other. It's really no wonder that these trios are so cliquish: a lot of times they're actually aspects of the exact same deity. Hecate herself is actually a triple goddess, often appearing with three heads and sometimes three bodies all smushed together. Pretty cool, right? Hecate is trio all on her own.

The Erinyes (Furies) 

The Erinyes, commonly known as the Furies, are named Alecto, Tisiphone, and Magaera, and they totally fit this mold. Like many of these threesomes, these furious goddesses only like to play with each other. Well, each other and their prey. It's the Erinyes' job to punish any criminals who try to escape from justice. If a bad guy is on the loose, this fearsome trio flies up from Tartarus to crack their whips and make the villain pay.

The Moirae (the Fates)

This trio of sisters is responsible for the fate of every mortal and immortal in the universe. (So, yeah, they don't get much time off for vacation.) Their names are Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, and they control everybody and everything by spinning, measuring, and cutting their super-powerful fate-threads. Talk about power.

The Gorgons

Medusa and her two sisters, Euryale and Stheno, get the award for ugliest trio in Greek mythology. (This is good for the Fates, because otherwise they'd be stuck with ugly prize.) The snake-haired Gorgon sisters were so horribly revoltingly hideous that they turned anyone who looked at them into stone. For tons more on these three, check out our files on Medusa and Perseus and Medusa.

The Trimurti and Tridevi

The Hindu religion is based on the belief in two divine trios. There's the female tridevi which includes the goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Durga, and then there's the male trimurti made up of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Interestingly, the trimurti directly parallel the Moirae in terms of their duties. Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is in charge of life, and Shiva is responsible for death. Hey, if it works, why not stick with it?

The Matres

This trio of Celtic/Germanic mother goddesses were mad popular back in the day, and tons of different versions of them were worshipped throughout Europe. Their likenesses were often carved into votives and altars, where they were usually shown as three middle-aged women sitting with baskets of fruit and/or animals in their laps.

The Triple Goddess

Thought of as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone, the Triple Goddess is worshipped today by many Neopagans and Wiccans. Like the Holy Trinity of Christianity they are thought of as aspects of the same deity. This trio is a direct continuation of the ancient belief in goddesses that only travel in threes.

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