with three heads which guards the gates of Hades, to prevent those who havecrossed the river Styx from ever escaping. Cwn Annwn’s, Garmr, and Cerberus all of whom were in some way guardiansof the underworld. This association seems to be due to the scavenging habits of dogs. It is possible that the black dog is a survival of these beliefs. Black dogs are almost universally regarded as malevolent, and only a few saidthey are directly harmful. The dog Black Dogs are most generally is the most common animal associatedwith Hekate, and She was sometimes addressed as the 'Black she dog'. Black dogs were once sacrificed to Her in purification rituals, and at Colophon inSamothrace Hekate could manifest as a dog. The sound of barking dogs is thefirst sign of Her approach in Greek and Roman literature:
The Earth began to bellow, trees to dance And howling dogs in glimmering light advance Ere Hekate came."
The Aeneid, book VL. Virgil. Ovid writes that Hekate could be conjured up from darkness "
with long howls
."There is evidence of an old belief that the souls of the unburied dead couldappear as dogs. Hekate is sometimes identified with the with three-headed dogKerebos, who guards the entrance to Hades, and there may be connections withthe Egyptian dog-headed god Annubis, who conducted souls to the Underworld. Dogs were also associated with deities like Hekate with who watched over childbirth, probably because of the ease with which the bitch (female dog) gives birth. The black dog is also well known as a guardian of the house, standing at thefont door to stand watch, and this seems to relate to Hekate's role as guardianHekate Propylaia.