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Black Dogs, Dogs and Witches

Black Dogs, Dogs and Witches

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Guðríður Margrét Guðmundsdóttir on Feb 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/04/2013

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Black Dogs, Dogs and Witches Many of we Witches have a Black Cat or too… cats are long known familiars of the Black Hat Society. Yet less known is; that we are also extraordinarily andspiritual connected to our canine familiars as well. Long before our felinefriends became a fundamental of our Witchly abode .. the dog was seem as a thespiriting companion to those of magickal and mystical heart, Witches,Goddesses and the Dead. A Black Dog was essentially seen as a nocturnal apparition seen with shadowcreatures and spirits that walk the veils. Sadly Black Dogs have often been saidto be associated with the Devil, and its appearance was regarded as a portent of death. It is generally supposed to be larger than a normal dog, and often haslarge, glowing eyes. Many believe that Black Dogs are associated with electrical storms and alsowith the crossroads, walking with Hekate or guarding for her. Black Dogs areseen at places of death and execution and ancient pathways. The origins of the black dog are difficult to discern. It is impossible to ascertainwhether the creature originated in the Celtic or Germanic elements in Britishculture. Throughout in European mythology Black Dogs have long beenassociated with death. Examples of this are the Cwn Annwa, in Welsh mythology and folklore, CwnAnnwn’s were the spectral hounds of Annwn, in the otherworld. Unfortunatelychristians came to dub these mythical creatures as "The Hounds of Hell" or "Dogs of Hell" and theorized they were therefore owned by Satan. However,the Annwn of medieval Welsh tradition is an otherworldly paradise and not ahell or abode of dead souls. In Norse mythology, Garmr or Garm is a black dog associated with Ragnarok who hold the final destiny of the gods in a series of future events, including agreat battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures. Cerberus, in Greek and Roman mythology is a multi-headed hound. Usually
 
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.

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