Part One: The Opening of the Ways
[Illustration is one of the fine Enodia marble relief works, from Kozani in what was once Macedonia, and dated to mid-late 2nd-3rd century AD; assumedly a votive offering. ‘Enodia’ can be seen written across the top, next to Her head. Note also the presence of the Horse and Hound thereupon – and, of course, that which is in Her Hands]
Now, many are familiar with their most obvious occurrence – in relation to Hekate, and indeed right there in the theonymic of ‘Trivia’ (‘Tri-Via’ – Three-Roads, and where these become joined). It should seem pretty easy to simply suggest the causation for the association as being ‘where barriers between worlds are thinner’ and leave it at that. It would not be – necessarily – inaccurate to do so. But in light of what I have uncovered, it would be missing a great deal.
This notion of a place where one might ‘cross over’ is quite inherent not only in the ‘traversable’ function of Roads, but also in the connotation of ‘Enodia’ ( Ἐννοδία ) – another theonymic epithet of Hekate, encountered in Her Orphic Hymn (indeed, the rather aptly enumerated first Orphic Hymnal in the corpus), as its very first word. This refers to not only a figure ‘upon the Roads’ (a ‘Wanderer’, perhaps? Between Worlds?), but also rather more specifically to a deific that is ‘at the gate’ (We are cognizant of ‘Hermes Enodia’), ‘of the point of transition’ between two areas along said road. The Gates of a City, for example – or, it occurs to me in light of some of the associations of both Hekate and Artemis (Two of the Diva Triformis ‘Facings’), Death and Birth, respectively. The Road, nevertheless, goes ever onwards.
Yet ‘Roads’ are one thing – the joining, the Crossing of Roads, not entirely the same. And lest we be accused of reading too far into ‘Einodia’ – the next theonymic of Hekate in that aforementioned Hymnal is ‘Trioditis’; which is, of course, the figure of the ‘Three-‘ (‘Tri-‘) ‘-Roads’ (‘-Hodos’ (ὁδός) or ‘-Hodios’ (ὅδῐος) give one a sense as to the term) and their meeting. There is also the rather less frequently encountered hailing for Her of ‘Tetraoditis’ ( τετραοδῖτις ) – which, as one probably expects, is She of the Four Roads[‘ Meeting].
Which is rather handy because the major exemplars for ‘Crossroads’ conceptry that we encounter in the Hindusphere tend to be of the decidedly four pathed variety – Catuspatha being just exactly that. ‘Catur’, familiar to any speaker of a Romance language (and cognate with ‘Quad’, etc.), plus ‘Patha’ ( पथ ) … which, perhaps surprisingly, both means ‘Path’, and is also directly cognate with our modern English ‘Path’. How convenient !
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where we shall, ourselves, ‘cross over’ – into my more familiar ‘native’ terrain of the Hindusphere, in earnest.
Thus concludes the first excerpt from our full-length piece: