Circe In Greek mythology, a sorceress renowned for her enchantments, who turned Odysseus' men into swine. Described by Homer as fair-haired, she was some- times said to be the daughter of Hecate, patron Goddess of witchcraft and Magic.

Homer said she controlled fate and the forces of creation and destruction with braids in her hair (see knots). She is seen both as a Moon goddess — because she lived in the west of the isle of Aeaea — and as a goddess of degrading love. Circe was married to the king of Sarmaritans, whom she poisoned. She was exiled to Aeaea, which means “wailing,” built herself a palace and learned magic.

She cast a spell over the entire island so that anyone who came there would be turned into an animal. Odysseus' men were turned into swine, but Odysseus escaped with the help of a magical herb, moly, given to him by Hermes. He forced Circe to restore his men to their human form. Nevertheless, he was so taken with her that he spent a year with her. She was slain by Telemachus, who married her daughter, Cassiphone.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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