Hecates Night Wiccahow

The Night of Hecate: Goddess of the Crossroads, Let Her Guide You

The night of the three-form Goddess, I love Hecate and all that she does for us. At sunset, tonight (November 16th) is the night we celebrate and honor in her. There are several days throughout the Wheel of the Year that we associate with Hekate, but this one is the most important, especially for some Wiccan traditions. Tonight Witches, we celebrate with a supper at the crossroads. Let’s perform some magick and honor Goddess Hecate as this is the night that she roams the earth with her hounds. This is also the perfect night for new Witches to become initiated! Let’s embrace the mystery of November, now is a time to celebrate our shadow side and explore all that is dark so that we can deepen our understanding of purpose and the divine. Witches, listen to your intuition, honor the cyclical nature of our lives, go to the crossroads and delve into the underworld, listen to your guides, and celebrate our Goddess of Witchcraft, Hecate.

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WHO IS HECATE THE GODDESS?

Hecate is a goddess of protection, a guardian of the household and everything new born and of course witchcraft. Hecate was once a widely-worshiped goddess, with her main cults being based in the Greek islands of Eleusis and Samothrake. In more recents years though, to much dismay, her reputation was tarnished with negativity and a unfavorable and totally misplaced image of a hag or old witch. Obviously this us not the case, Hecate is truly a Beautiful, influential and revered Goddess. It is a blessing to know of her presence and wisdom.

Hecate, a luminous, beautiful and powerful Goddess is known to also be a lover of solitude and independence. She is the Queen of the Night, and travels with ghost, spirits and other social outcasts. With her ability to see into the underworld and the other-worlds of the dead and sleeping she is keeps the company of those who are shunned by society, the misfits and misunderstood. Because of this Hecate is regarded as the protector of the oppressed and those who live on the edge (Witches …). Hecate has a special type of knowledge and tremendous power, with an interest in all things that mostly get dismissed, she knows of all life’s mysteries and that which we do not. Hecate is also considered an ancient Titan of whom Zeus allowed to retain her authority over earth, sea and sky. She is a goddess who can give or, withhold.

The Origin of Hecate: The origin for Hecate from the ancient world has been lost over time. It is thought that she originate in ancient Thrace and is widely regarded as a Greek Goddess. Maybe ‘The‘ original Crone, a dark Goddess (feared by some but loved by many) is associated with the winter season, all things dark, change and death. Her name is thought to mean ‘The Distant One‘.

The Different Forms of Hecate

We have all come across the different representations of Hecate. The ancient, older form used to depict Hecate was to show her a as a single-formed woman dressed in a long robe, holding burning torches (see image below):


The Hecate I most relate to (and that others closely relate to her too) is usually depicted as a beautiful woman with three human heads or just three beautiful women in the forms of: maiden, mother and crone. This is Hecate in her triple-form; three bodies standing back-to-back so that she can look in all directions at the same time from the crossroads (see image below):

Also to add, you can find representation images of Hecate in the form of a Snake, horse, wolf head (see image below):


What Does Hecate Represent?

Hecate is known to rule the passages of life and transformation, birth and death. She is a Moon Goddess, who shines and roams the night and visits graveyards during the dark phase of the moon. Some legends and believers say that Hecate is invisible and can only be glimpsed as a light. This might stem from the fact that Hecates Mother was the Titan Goddess of the Shining Light, Asteria.

Hecate is a guide for many, always carrying torches with her on her journeys through the worlds. She see all that happens in the shadows. Her ability to see present, past and future simultaneously, she often is a helper of those who are dying. She is their light and their guide, there to help make their passing a smooth one, staying with them if necessary to prepare them for their return in their next life.

What are the Symbols of Hecate?

The symbols of Hecate are incorporated into the worship, rituals and witchcraft associate with Hecate. Typically you will find Hecate depicted with her sacred dogs. Like her, her animals were/are sometimes depicted with three heads so that they too could see in all directions. Hecate is also often accompanied by an owl (which is a symbol of wisdom). Witches and other followers of Hecate often use the her symbols as pieces of jewelry, talismans or as decoration in their homes. These are often selected and handmade to seek the protection and blessing of Hecate.

The symbols most closely used to represent Hecate come from the legends that surround her, her personality and her status as goddess of Witchcraft. Other symbols are derived from rituals used by ancient pagans in their rites of worship to Hecate. Lets take a look at some of the symbols and sacred objects most closely associated with Hecate:

  • Three headed statues
  • Dark moon
  • Torches
  • Keys
  • Candles
  • The number 3
  • Crossroads
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Owls
  • Snakes
  • Boars
  • Bats
  • Black sheep
  • Sapphire
  • Moonstone
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Black onyx
  • Smoky quarts
  • Black tourmaline
  • Willow trees
  • Grove trees
  • Saffron
  • Raisins/currents
  • Gourds especially pumpkins
  • Colors of Hecate: Black, orange, red-orange, yellow orange
  • Smells: Honey, lemon verbena, lime, cinnamon, myrrh, Queen of the Night, mugwort

The Abduction of Persephone Myth:

As the myth goes, Hecate, using her divine wisdom and foresight told Demeter that her daughter Persephone had been taken/abducted to the underworld. As Hecate continued to play an important role in Persephone’s life, she filled the role of her confidante when she was in the underworld as well as on earth. Hecate guided young Persephone back to Hades (the God of the Underworld) each year at the start of Winter and supported her through the dark months. Hades was thankful and hospitable towards Hecate for being a prominent guest in the spirit world and so gifted Hecate with necromancy so she could communicate with spirits. This is why Hecate is associated with the power to conjure up phantoms, dreams and prophecies, even black magic.

How Can You Honor Hecate: Hecate’s Supper

Tonight, on November 16th, you can honor Hecate by having a Hecate supper. In Greek it is called Hekate Deipnon (which just means “evening meal” in Greek). Feasts and festivals were held every year in ancient Greece either in a temple or at a meeting at a crossroads for a special Hecate Supper. In ancient times, Hecate’s priestesses would hold large parties in her name and made her favorite foods (honey, eggs, lavender and garlic, red wine and mead). Many of Hecates followers would also leave out food from Hecates Supper on the steps of their homes, which would usually consist of honey and mushrooms and so that Hecate would bless those who live inside.

TIP: Before Hekate’s Supper you can ritually cleanse the yourself and your home and sacred spaces, to be prepared and pure (meaning free of clutter, dirt or anything else that is holding you down) ready for the New Moon.

NOTE: In ancient Greece people used to sacrifice animals to Hecate on this night but if this is not what you’re into you can make a traditional offering of eggs, fish (usually herring) , garlic, honey and cakes.

Other Ways to Honor Hecate

All over the world you can find shrines to Hecate especially at ‘Y’ junctions/intersections, or when ever you come across a three way crossroads. Here are some other ideas that you can incorporate into honoring Hecate:

  1. You can leave food offerings outside your home or on your altar for Hecate on her night (either a specific feast night or a dark moon night)
  2. You can leave offering for Hecate on a dark moon for protection against evil spirits
  3. You can place a 3-faced mask at the entrance of your home to honor Hecate
  4. Why not build a shrine/tiny altar dedicated to honoring Hecate in the doorways of your home so that Hecate (if she chooses so) can use her influence over the spirit world and keep ghosts or bad intent spirits from entering your home
Crossroad – Hecates Supper

What you can do tonight to honor Hecate on November 16th:

Outside option:

Tonight is the night to celebrate your matron goddess Hecate with a supper at the crossroads either on your own or with other Witches. Put together a basket of food & offerings (can include: wine or purified water, homemade bread, fish & fruit) and carrying a lantern to light your way. If you choose to have the supper with others, arrange to meet them there at the crossroads. If you can, choose a crossroads close to a wooded area and/or cemetery. Raise a toast in Hecate’s name, and feast on Hecate’s supper, enjoy the food and the company. Leave the remnants of your supper as an offering at the crossroad. Once left, do not look back.

NOTE: If you hear a dog howl in the distance you can take this as a sign from Hecate that she is affirming her presence.

Inside option:

If you can’t make it to a crossroads then another good option is to have a supper at your home. Make sure the ambiance is dark with low lighting from candles and lanterns (it should have a dark feel to the supper). Incorporate moon and stars. Table cloths, plates, centerpieces etc should be in dark colors (black, red, maroon, purples). Choose dark flowers (for example: dark roses, black holly hacks). Have a statue of Hecate at the head of the table and play some low classical music in the background. Set a place at the table for Hecate and remember to serve Hecate first before the rest of your dinner party and leave offerings after the dinner is finished. The meals/menu can be a combination of all the foods Hecate loves (which are: garlic, fish, honey, eggs, cheese, mushrooms, cake and red wine, mead or purified water). Always pour a glass for Hecate first, then clink your glasses together and make a toast Hecate’s name before partaking! As guests arrive, invoke Hecate’s presence by inviting her to join you for the supper, let her know she is the reason for the supper and read aloud poems and myths and sing songs that honor Hecate.

NOTE: The clinking of glasses is said to scare off the “spirits” and toasting Hecate this way is a traditional custom.

Who Calls Upon Hecate?

Women especially, call upon Hecate to seek her protection for things such as Journey alone and during childbirth as she helps heal women in need of reproductive healing and aids in the birthing process.
Hecate reminds us of the importance of change, releasing the past (especially those things that are hindering your growth). Hecate will take you away from what is familiar, safe and secure so you can travel to the more scary places of your soul and ignite the changes you need for growth. Hecate is a balance of light as she is dark – she is the polarity. You shouldn’t be afraid to work with Hecate because of the perceptions of others. Hecate offers you support on your life journey and will show you the way; she can loan you her farsightedness to see what lies in you that is has been hidden or deeply forgotten. Hecate will help you find your path and in making decisions (Hecate can often shine her torch to guide you when in meditation or even in your dreams.)

Working with Hecate teaches you to be tolerant of those less fortunate and those who are different from you.
Do not misunderstand this statement though, Hecate is not a ‘bleeding heart’ she gives out justice and blessings equally without discrimination. Hecate is always close a hand in times when you may need help to release the old and find your way to a new beginning. She is the keeper of the Keys and carries a torch not just to light the way in the dark but to light the way of your personal journey, to show your shadow side, and guide you through choices at the crossroads you find yourself facing. Even at the darkest of times, Hecate’s light shines bright. She is supporting you in releasing what you no longer want or need to carry. Hecate will open your psyche to your true Self and will show you the part of her that you need the most.

REMEMBER: Working with Hecate can be demanding for some who resist working with their shadow side but working with your shadow side is very important as a Witch so embrace Hecate and remember that she is the light bearer and the guide to your true path and inner wisdom.

Witches Initiation on Hecates Night:

Hecate’s Night is on November 16th, the night she walks the crossroads with her dogs. This is the best night to initiate yourself under Hecate. If you live in an urban area, it might be hard to find a 3-way crossroads to perform your initiation ritual. If this is the case you can mark out a 3-way crossroads on the ground with some large branches to make a symbolic crossroads. Candle spells, invocations, and offerings at 3-way crossroads (or branches) are a powerful way to call on her.

NOTE: Other Hecate Feast Day’s are – Samhain, Jan 31st, August 13th, November 30th & any night of the Dark Moon and there is a new newer festival, a special day for her called The Rite of Her Sacred Fires which happens on the May Full Moon each year. Hecate’s time is that of the Dark Moon, this is the perfect time of release and renew.

Dedicate an Altar Space to Hecate:

Hecate is Queen of the Witches, therefore only fitting for a Witch to have an altar dedicated to her in your home. Things you can add: to your altar to dedicate it to Hecate are: a representation of her like a statue or a key, a cauldron, a knife, a broom, dog statues/figures, decor of stars and moons, the colors black and/or red. You should cleanse and consecrate your space and tools in Hecate’s name. Here are a few offerings that you can include on your altar: pomegranates, lavender, garlic, date palms, eggs, honey, crescent-shaped breads & sweets, candles and incense.

How to Meditation with Hecate

Find a quiet place to meditate, light a black candle to represent Hecate’s torch, have a small offering for Hecate. Relax and breathe deeply to release any tensions in your body, call on your spiritual guides, allies and Hecate to assist you. Start in your sacred space, journey to your otherworld until you find a sacred door, open it and enter a corridor of many doors, look for the lights at the end of the corridor where you will meet Hecate holding her torch. Ask the Goddess for her help, describe to her your situation, receive from her the gift of her key, use your intuition to open a door of wisdom in the corridor. Experience fully what is beyond the door and bring back the wisdom to the corridor of many doors. Ask Hecate if this is complete? (she may have another key for you). If she does, open the next door. If not, thank her for the key and wisdom she has given you. Return to your physical world through the sacred door, enter into your sacred space, know you have the wisdom gifted to you by Hecate and that you are coming back whole, leaving nothing behind.

CONCLUSION:

This is the night that Hecate roams the earth! If you are going to celebrate any of the festivals for Hecate, this is the one, make sure it this night (November 16th) above all other nights! And most of all, enjoy and welcome your connection to the divine goddess. Let her in. She can heal and show you the way. Love Hecate. Blessed be.

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