Goddess Hecate Goddess of the Witches and Magick

Goddess Hecate: The Goddess of Witches, How Can Hecate Help You?

The great Goddess Hecate, a Greek Goddess of witchcraft, the Moon, and all that is dark, mysterious and underworldly. She is a Goddess of great magick from Greek Mythology. It is commonly believed that Hecate was the only child of the Titans, Perses (God of destruction and peace) and Asteria (Goddess of nocturnal oracles and falling stars). She rules over magick and spells, her legend demonstrates her strong role as a protector (especially of those considered to be outcasts or living life on the edge).

Hecate is acknowledged as the Goddess of Witches, magick and spell craft as far back as ancient Greek times and even before. The name Hecate means “worker from afar“.

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Things to know about Goddess Hecate:

Her color is black, her moon phase is the Dark Moon, her time in midnight (12.00 am) and her stones are black stones (such as: onyx, jet etc.). Goddess Hecate has knowledge and power of death, lunar magick, the night, self, magickal arts, witchcraft, wisdom, a protector of the family & entrance-ways. She is the guardian of our subconscious and a lover of solitude. The workings to do with Hecate are on: inner-self, divination, prophecy, protection, banishing and justice.

Hecate has three festival dates: August 13th, November 16th and November 30th which is the feast of the Crossroads.

NOTE: It is common belief that Hecate’s festival falls on August 13th “Lady of the Storms”, for her to protect the harvest and is celebrated for 3 days.

The Role of Goddess Hecate

Hecate has many different roles that she fulfills (Wise-woman, matron, sorcerer are just a few). Hecate is called upon for counsel, decision making, guidance, banishing, protection through illness & childbirth, confronting fears and facing your shadow side. Hecate is the power behind your third eye sight, creative insight, learned wisdom, and divination abilities. She is often depicted as accompanied by packs of black dogs. Her wisdom in the realm of poisonous plants and medicinal herbs runs deep and she is also celebrated for her herbal knowledge.

The Goddess Hecate is also know and referred to by many names:

  • Enodia (on the way, Goddess of the paths)
  • Trodia (frequenter of crossroads)
  • Trivia (referred to by the Romans)
  • Propylaia (of the gates)
  • Hekete (the all powerful)
  • Hekate (Cosmic soul)
  • Antaia (the sender of nocturnal visions)
  • Trioditis (Goddess of three roads)
  • Phosphorus (the light bringer)
  • Zerynthia (of the Earth)
  • Kleidouchos (keeper of the keys)
  • Crataeis (the mighty one)
  • Kurotrophus (protectress of mankind)

In her form as triple-goddess, Hecate is strongly associate with crossroads and can easily cross from the underworld to the physical world. Hecate’s triple from used be portrayed as three separate bodies around a central column. This has now been transformed into a single Goddess with three heads.

NOTE: Some esoteric literature described Hecate as having three heads, one of a dog, one of a snake and one of a horse. Most of the time though she is portrayed as a beautiful woman.

Hecate is also depicted in a singular form wearing at long robe and holding burning torches in her hands (the torch symbolism comes from Hecate being witness to Persephone as she was taken to the underworld, becoming Persephone’s guide in her yearly journey between the realms of the living and the dead). But, Hecate in her triple-formed goddess representation is her most iconic (standing back-to-back looking the direction of each crossroad).

The History of Hecate

Although considered a Greek Goddess many scholars say Hecate is pre ancient Greece as evident in findings that pre date the Greek origin. Zeus gave Hecate power over all realms (the sky, earth, seas and underworld) he also gifted her with Lampades (nymphs of the underworld) and ghosts to travel with Her on her nocturnal travels, for her loyalty to him during the Titanomachy.

NOTE: The Church staged a violent campaign to demonize and destroy the Goddess Hecate and Her followers but they failed and did not defeated Hecate. Hecate exists in the dark mysterious part which resides in all of us.

It is thought that Her festival falls on August 13th in line with “The Festival of Torches” also held on Aug 13th called “Nemoralia” – this is where the women of Rome would walk from the City carrying torches to the sacred lake of Diana.

NOTE: There was often some merging of Diana & Hecate at times, but they did manage to keep their seperate areas of influence.

Hecate & Diana: The goddess Diana worshiped in her triple form is similar to the tri-form figure of Hecate of which we are all so familiar with: the Maidan, Mother and Crone. But a question emerges … why is a Roman Goddess being called by the name of a different Greek Goddess and confusing everyone? CMC Green author, offers us this explanation:

“The identification of Diana with Hecate (a Greek name) has been made un-necessarily complicated. Diana the Huntress was identified with the moon (as Apollo was with the sun). As the moon grows dark once a month it is inevitable that the moon-goddess with have some part of her identity located in the underworld. Hecate is simply the Greek name for that part of her identity”.

Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana of Aricia by CMC Green other reference with similar view point: Horace Odes, Virgils Dido, Isodore of Seville, James Frazer, Robert Graves.

Hecate, Artemis, Diana: The first two Goddesses where very much characterized in the same ways, both portrayed wearing hunting boots, carrying torches, accompanied by dogs and because of this they were often conflated to make a dual goddess. Diana is the moon goddess, moon rulership over three realms, as the queen of the mysterious beyond underworld she is Hecate.

NOTE: Diana is a universal goddess and it is therefore understood that she goes by many names.

Hymns for Hecate: Prayers and Blessings You Can Use

Hecate has what is called an Orphic Hymn dedicated to her, this hymn reveals a lot about Hecate ‘s influence perceived by the Orphics:

I call Hecate of the Crossroads, worshipped at the meeting of three paths, oh lovely one.

In the sky, earth, and sea, you are venerated in your saffron-colored robes.

Funereal Daimôn, celebrating among the souls of those who have passed.

Persian, fond of deserted places, you delight in deer.

Goddess of night, protectress of dogs, invincible Queen.

Drawn by a yoke of bulls, you are the queen who holds the keys to all the Kózmos.

Commander, Nýmphi, nurturer of children, you who haunt the mountains.

Pray, Maiden, attend our hallowed rituals;

Be forever gracious to your mystic herdsman and rejoice in our gifts of incense.

How to build a connection with Hecate

Witches have called on Hecate to empower their magickal works for centuries. For you to really learn form Hecate, it takes spiritual sacrifice. To be able to harness our true inner powers we need to become one and integrate within ourselves, both the light and the darkness (as is Hecate). We need to know and appreciate the hidden darker side of our nature in order to be complete. But how do we do this? We can do this by facing the dark goddess within us all and build a relationship with her. Sometimes, Hecate will ask you to let go of what is familiar, safe and secure in order for you to travel to the dark, often frightening places of your soul.

To gain the knowledge that Hecate can give you, you must first give up all negative habits and thought process you may have and open your mind and heart to new ways of thinking and understanding. Calling on Hecate, and her power, within your own workings enables you to see the magick as an affirmation of the goddess that lives within us all. It is the practicing of magick that strengthens your connection with Hecate.

Hecate can assist us in fulfilling our goals when doing rituals and spell-work. A relationship with the Goddess Hecate is based on respect and trust. When this is established, everything is possible and we are only bound by the limitations we impose on ourselves. Her advice is often cryptic and she does not hold back with her words but, Hecate is always honest and will help you see the way clearly.

NOTE: The energized feeling that remains with with you after magickal is the physical evidence of Hecates presence and the flow of magick through you.

REMEMBER: Hecate will always light the way for you, she doesn’t make decisions for you or force you in any way, decisions are always yours.

The forms of worship associated with Hecate are: cronings, Hecate suppers, any rituals/actions honoring the dead and all forms of divination (especially mirror scrying!). Working with Hecate is a way for you to access your intuitive side/power. Meditation is a great way to achieve this.

The Symbols of Hecate

There are many symbols used for Goddess Hecate, among the symbols used are: black dogs, black horse, torches, crossroads, snakes, mirrors, the dark moon & waning moon, keys and Hecate’s Wheels. Essential oils associate with Hecate are: Sandalwood, cypress, spearmint, peppermint, myrrh, patchouli.

What is Hecate’s Wheel?

Hecate’s wheel called the “strophalos of Hecate“, is symbol that has numerous meanings and uses amongst modern paganism and wiccans. The Wheel is often used by practitioners of Dianic Traditions of Wicca and Hellenic Recon. One meaning is that the three arms represent the earth, sea and sky, which Hecate holds command over. Hecate’s wheel is used a devotional wheel and divinatory tool (like a pendulum). When the strophalos is whirled over a practitioners head, it is thought to create a hum that the causes an altered state of awareness.

The design of Hecate’s Wheel’s is to show the association with the three female phases, each main arm represents the Mother, Maiden and Crone. These are thought to symbolize the three stages of a woman’s life making it very popular amongst Witches especially those in more feminist traditions.

Many believe that by wearing or using this symbol of Hecate’s wheel, they invite Goddess Hecate’s blessings and prosperity into their lives. Another meaning of the Hecate’s wheel is to show our connection to mysterious and hidden knowledge also thought as our soul’s journey through life, our quest to figure out our life path and discover who we are and what we need to do along the way. The Wheel represents the journey to knowledge towards the center of the wheel and can be viewed as the flame of life, a kind of reminder that Hecate will help guide you through your path. Another meaning behind the wheel that is sometimes referred to as an iynx, when referred to by this name, the person using it is trying to attract potential lovers.

CONCLUSION

To really learn the wisdom from Hecate you need to be prepared to face the parts of you that you might not want to see or perhaps might even scare you. No-one is all light or all dark, we are both. By doing this and trusting in Her you can really build a connection with Hecate and in return, Hecate can assist you in fulfilling your potential, and reaching your goals when doing your rituals and spell-work along side Her.

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