From the time long lost, the practices of witchcraft, sorcery, and necromancy have been dreaded as the dark ways, the dark arts, a path only a few dared to follow, and even fewer excelled. In the Greek myths, there were 4 figures whose skills and mastery in these arts earned them great reverence, whose vast knowledge and power of the dark ways, caused great fear in the lands.
~ Hecate ~
Queen of the night, the one before the gate, Hecate was the goddess of witchcraft, magic, necromancy, crossroads, creatures of the night, and the moon. A goddess capable of both good and evil, she was the only child of purses - the titan of destruction, and asteria - the titan of the stars, and granddaughter to the elder titans - kolos and phoebe. When invoked for sexual crimes against women, Hecate answered.
When justice failed to come from all other sources, Hecate came forth. She produced healing when all solutions had failed, she banished ghosts or manifested them, she protected dogs and against dogs, she restored the fertility of female children and granted swift and painless death. Hecate was a powerful shapeshifter who could take on any form, from a black dog to a full-grown woman, from a tiny cat to a huge dragon, from an ugly tattered old hag to a beautiful flawless young lady.
As the guardian of crossroads, Hecate is usually represented as having three faces, and carrying a torch, to show her association with the dark nights, or holding a skeleton key that unlocks the gates of all realms. Also strongly associated with hounds, she was always accompanied by them. She was the three-headed goddess of the moon, who could grant any wish, a companion to the furies - spirits of vengeance, and the mother of the impulse, female demons of seduction.
~ Circe ~
Well versed in the arts of herbs, potions, spells, and incantations, Circe was the powerful enchantress daughter of the god - Helios and the nymph - Perse, and the sister to Pasiphae - queen of Crete, and Aeetes - keeper of the golden fleece. Though the beautiful sorceress used her powers for healing and purification, she had one peculiar habit, she enjoyed turning people into animals. She turned Odysseus' men into pigs when they came upon her island and were it not for the molly herb given to Odysseus by Hermes, the king of Ithaca would have equally fallen victim to her spells.
However, he did become her lover, and the two had three children. it is said that circe possessed the power to hide the sun and moon if she willed. She was attended to by nymphs, and when in need of guidance or spiritual assistance, she invoked the presence of “dark” deities like chaos, NYX, and Hecate. The mansion she lived in, was surrounded by lions, tigers, and wolves, but these animals were all harmless. Why? because they were once men, they were victims of her magic.
~ Pasiphae ~
Pasiphae was the queen of Crete, the daughter to helios and perse, the sister to circe and aeetes, the wife to the Cretan king - Minos, and the mother of the minotaur. She was adept at black magic and witchcraft, and like circe, she had great knowledge of magical herbs, spells, and concoctions.
When she discovered that her husband, the king, was unfaithful to her, sleeping with other women, and having other children, Pasiphae cast a powerful spell on him, that if he slept with any other woman aside from her, he would ejaculate snakes, worms and scorpions, instead of semen. And that was it, she then had the king all to herself.
~ Medea ~
Medea was a princess of Colchis and a devoted priestess of Hecate. She was the daughter of king aeetes of Colchis, and the Oceanid - Idyia, the granddaughter of Helios, and the niece to circe and Pasiphae. Being closely related to two powerful witches, sorcery indeed ran in her bloodline, and her skills almost equaled those of her aunts. Medea married Jason, the leader of the argonauts, and greatly aided him in his quest for the golden fleece.
King aeetes was bent on keeping the fleece in Colchis, and so sent Jason on deadly tasks. But in each of these tasks, Medea was there to help her husband and ensure his success. when Jason encountered the great spartoi warriors born from the dragon's teeth sown by Cadmus, it was Medea who showed him how to turn the warriors against each other.
She protected him from the firebreathing bulls of aeetes, and put the Colchian dragon to deep sleep, to make sure he safely retrieved the fleece. She went further to murder her half-brother, aspirates, so the argonauts could sail away. Were it not for her help, the argonauts would never have succeeded.
However, after the quest, when Jason betrayed her for another woman, Medea turned dark and vengeful. She killed her husband's newfound lover, then killed her own children, the children conceived with Jason.