November 16, 2009 is “The Night of Hecate”

Posted in Goddesses on November 5, 2009 – 12:34 AM
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November 16, 2009 is “The Night of Hecate”, this year, it is also The New Moon and The Void of Course Moon  (2:14 PM EST)

Posted and edited by Magickal Winds


Days of Hecate are August 13 which She is honored and prayed to in order to not send fierce thunderstorms and ruin and the crops.  November 16 is the Night of Hecate which begins at sunset.  This is the night of the Three -formed Goddess (but not the only night, she is always Three-formed): Hecate is part of the most ancient form of the triple Moon goddess as Crone or Dark Moon. This is also the night of Hecate’s supper at the Crossroads.  People who worshiped Hecate honoured Her  by preforming Sympathetic Magick and holding a supper at what they believed to be the Crossroads; in addition, it is said they sacrificed animals  in honour of Her.   (As a Wiccan, I do not believe in the sacrifice of any living thing and I am sure neither did our Gods and Goddesses.)   November 30 is Hecate-Trivia–the day of the Crossroads.  The 29th of each month is the Moon of Hecate.


Hecate

Posted and edited by Magickal Winds


Hecate:  Short Biography and Offerings

Short Information on Hecate

Attributes: Fertility mother goddess, with double aspect: protectress and destroyer, mighty magical Queen of ghosts and loving and helping corn-mother like Demeter. Triple Aspect of the Goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone. Shares many attributes with Morrigan, Kali and the Inanna.

Representation: Triple-Shape of body and/or face, carries torches and is followed by a pack of hounds. Appears most of the time as a maiden or younger women, only in later images is she the crone or the old woman.

Relations: Hecate is a Titaness, daughter of Perses and Asteria, Helper of Demeter in her search after Persephone, mighty protectress of Medea

Offerings: Sacrifice of dogs, puppies, Food at three-way- crossroads, burned torches and candles.
Sacrifice: Dogs, in Rome: black bulls wearing yewtree leaves.

Food laid down at crossroads, known as “the Supper of Hecate”: One source says eggs and fish; another fish, eggs, or roe; still another, goat cheese and bread.

Candles, Torches, Incense burned to worship her. Honey cakes and chicken, hearts on their door steps, or at crossroads. Sacrifices were regularly offered to Her, including dogs and female lambs.


Hecate’s Role


“The Chtonian” was a -still in roman times- very popular Greek goddess, often accombined with Artemis or Persephone, who’s role -like mentioned before- transformed from a goddess of fertility, childbirth, protectress of mankind and all other earth-aspects from groth to death into a Queen of ghosts, a mighty and scary Goddess of Magic, Nights, the time of the waning moon, where she could could give vision and assist in magical procedures.

She was the Goddess of the three-ways (crossroads), where she protected people from taking the wrong road. And she protected the Gates from any evil spirit to enter. She also guides travellers in general and sailors in particular. She held the keys to three roads: to Hades, to Heaven and to a lucky life on earth.

In later times she became the patroness of witches, magicians and sorcery. The Question is not, that Hecate did not have these aspects in her nature, it is whether these are her only aspects.

Many today-pagans worship either the wonderful, loving and caring, sweet and gentle good Goddess or the lunatic, dark aspects of the Goddess. My opinion and believe is that these aspects can only be seen as a whole and that Hecate combines all these aspects of nature as an incarnation of the Great Goddess.

Her annual festival in Greece was on August 13th/14th was a propitiary one, to avert the harvest-destroying storms which the Moon was apt to send at around that time.

One of her festivals celebrated in the city Stratonicea in Caria was called: Hecatesia.

As a goddess of the Moon she is often set equal to Selene. As a goddess of growth and fertilitiy, she is seen equal to Demeter. As a goddess of the hunt and the wild animals, she is seen equal to Artemis. It is more than obvious that her attributes and her role have some similarities with Lilith and the dark sides of Ishtar and Astarte.


Goddess of witches – the Dark Mother


I have heard much about this great Mother. Both good and bad. I was unsure what to believe until I “heard” and “felt” Her call. Her robes were dark blue, Her hair dark, Her skin was fair, Her eyes were soft and caring. She seemed to speak to me with Her eyes. I could feel Her say, “I am the Great Mother. “She was gone. I have had the chance to speak to several people who follow Hecate. They also shared similar stories of a visitation. Some saw Her as Maiden, some as Mother and some as Crone. She comes to people as the Goddess that they work best with. For me this was the Great Mother.Being the most triple of all Goddesses Hecate can come to all in that one form that we will understand best. I come to Her in the dark moon. This page is dedicated in honor to Her, that perhaps, others may learn.


Hecate’s Signs and Symbols

All wild animals were sacred to Hekate, and she was sometimes shown with three animal heads – the dog, snake, and lion, or alternately the dog, horse, and bear. This aspect refers to her rulership over the ancient tripartite year of spring, summer, and winter. However, her primary animal form and familiar was the dog or wolf. Wolfs, Dogs, Snakes

Torches are Her symbol, for the Dark Mother also holds the light which illuminates the Unconscious and reveals its treasures.

Sacred Plants: Yewtree, the tree of death (greek: taxus),

Hemlock (see f.e. Shakespeare: Macbeth IV, 1.25) Key (to the Underworld), Rope, Dagger.

The Moon, especially the full or the dark moon.

For divination, the Greeks used an instrument called ‘Hecate’s Circle’, a golden sphere with a sapphire hidden inside it.

The hallucinogenic medicinal plant, Aconite, once called, “hecateis”, and produced by the saliva of Cerberus, belonged to Her. This herb reached mankind when Hercules forced Cerberus from Hades, spraying the Earth with the hound’s spittle.

Greek Cross – Before Christianity, the Greek Cross was an emblem of Hecate as the Goddess of Crossroads. Like the infinity sign or the ankh, it also represented union of male and female principles as vertical and horizontal members, respectively. Then it became a plus sign: one-plus-the-other.

Crossroads – Witches were said to hold Sabbats at crossroads, for the reason that in the ancient world crossroads were sacred to the Goddess Hecate, the Lady of the Underworld in pagan belief, the Queen of Witches in Christian belief. Her images and those of Hermes and Diana stood at crossroads throughout the Roman empire, until they were replaced by crosses during the Christian era. The Roman word for crossroads was compita, and the Lares compitales or crossroad spirits were regularly honored at roadside shrines during festivals called Compitalia. Christians continued to honor the chthonian deities at crossroads until they were persecuted for doing so, when the elder (Hecate) deities were newly defined as devils. In the tenth century A.D. it was ordered that any woman must be sentenced to a three-year fast if she was found guilty of dedicating her child at a crossroads to the Earth Mother.

We know the Crossroads are Hecate’s, but here is some amusing information:
The classic Greek herm was a phallic pillar dedicated to the god of magic and of crossroads. Hermes, whose head appeared at the top. Herms were usually plain shafts without projections except for the realistic phallus in front; some, however, had short crossbeams, probably drawn from identification between Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth, his counterpart in the south, whose image was the ankh or Key of Life. Hermes guarded nearly all the important crossroads of Greece and the Roman empire, where they were named for the Roman Hermes, Mercury. Hermes and Hecate were worshiped together as lord and lady of crossroads, which were magical places because they always symbolized choices. Sometimes the herms were called Lares compitales, the crossroad spirits, to whom offerings were made and for whom there were special festivals called Compitalia. In the Christian era, the numerous herms at crossroads throughout Europe were replaced by stone crosses.


A mysterious incident occurred in 415 B.C. – at the height of a very patriarchal period in Athens, where public thoroughfares were protected by hundreds of herms. The night before the Athenians were to launch an expedition against Sicily was what came to be know as the night of the Mutilation or Castration of the Herms. In the morning, almost all the city’s herms were found with their penises knocked off. The culprits were never discovered, but it is believed they were militant Athenian women, using this threatening magical gesture to protest against the war.

Amulet – A Greek text gives directions for preparing a phylacterion or “amulet of undertaking”. It is to be a lodestone, cut in the shape of a heart and engraved with an image of the Goddess Hecate.

Basket – Basket-making was a female craft, so baskets were often sacred to the Goddess as agriculturist and harvest spirit. Baskets were carried by Moon-goddesses like Diana and Hecate, of whom Porphyry wrote: “The basket which she bears when she has mounted high is the symbol of the cultivation of the crops which she made to grow up according to the increase of her light”

Gate – Hecate was viewed as the guardian of both crossroads and gates – especially the gate of birth, since the Goddess was represented as a divine midwife and frequently invoked for assistance in childbirth and as the Goddess of the underworld “Destroyer” who ruled the gates of death. Much allegorizing was employed (by the Christian church) to conceal the fact that the gate was another emblem of female genitals, the gate through which life emerged at birth, and into which at least a part of a man might pass (to a higher vibration into the mysteries, symbolic death of phallic spirit).

Fairy – Yes, Fairy – read on… The fairy-tale image of the fairy as a tiny female sprite with butterfly wings and antennae seems to have been drawn from the classic Greek Psyche, which means “soul” and also “butterfly”. Like elves, the fairies were originally the souls of the pagan dead, in particular those matriarchal spirits who lived in the pre-Christian realm of the Goddess. Sometimes the fairies were called Goddesses themselves. In several folk ballads the Fairy Queen is addressed as “Queen of Heaven.” Welsh fairies were known as “the Mothers” or “the Mothers’ Blessing.” Breton peasants called the fairies God-mothers, or Good Ladies, or Fates from which comes fay (la fee), from the Latin fata. They claimed that, like Medusa or Circe, a fairy could transform a man into an animal or turn him to stone. Most medieval sources reveal, however, that the fairies were perceived as real women, of ordinary size, with supernatural knowledge and powers. Their Queen was their Goddess, under such names as Titania (Gaea, ancient mother of the Titans), Diana, Venus, Sybil, Abundia (“Abundance”) and Hecate.

Hounds – It seems that women were the first to domesticate the dog, because dogs were companions of the Goddess in may cultures, long before gods or men appeared with canine companions. Dogs accompanied Hecate in Greece. Dogs were accredited for being able to see the dead (ghosts) and other spirits. The ancients were also very impressed with canine keenness of another sense, the sense of smell. Pairs of dogs ere stationed at the gates of death (as on the Tarot card of the Moon) to detect the “odor of sanctity” and decide whether the soul could be admitted to the company of the gods. Three-headed Cerberus guarded the door of Hecate’s underworld.

Frog – Frogs were sacred to the Egyptian midwife of the gods, the Crone-Goddess Hekit, prototype of the Greeks’ Hekate (Hecate). The frog probably represented the human fetus, which it roughly resembles. Because little frogs, appearing with the first signs of the annual Nile Flood, were heralds of life-giving fertility in Egypt, people placed frog amulets on mummies to help them find rebirth. Mother Hekit’s “Amulet of the Frog” bore the words, “I Am the Resurrection.”

Henna – Also known as Egyptian privet or mignonette, henna produces a red dye that was very important to the women of antiquity. Its red color was associated with their own life-giving “magic blood.” They identified themselves with the Goddess by staining their hands and feet with henna. This was a custom of Greek women who worshiped Hecate.

Wolfbane, Aconite – The classic mythological origin of aconite was the saliva of the Three-headed underworld dog Cerberus. The plant sprang up when drops of slaver fell across the fields when Cerberus was dragged up to the earth’s surface by Hercules. Because it was originally sacred to Hecate, the queen of the underworld, the plant used to be called hecateis

Willow – Willow wands are used for divination and casting of the circle. The Greeks virgin form of Hecate was Helice, meaning “Willow”. Helice guarded Mount Helicon, the home of the Muses. Her willow wand was a cosmic symbol connected with the stars. The pole-encircling constellation of Ursa Major was sometimes known as Helice’s Axle..
Excerpts from “The Woman’s Dictionary, Symbols and Sacred Objects” by B. Walker


Sacred to Hecate

Key, torch, cauldron, dogs, owls, wild animals,


Attributes -
Poppy, animals dog, willow, star


I have encountered Hecate many times in my life. Those times when things are going smoothly and all of a sudden they take a turn, and I have been thrown into the throes of chaos. She was there when I closed the doors to my youth, and closed the doors to my past of pain and suffering. When we re renewing our life we have to learn to let go of the old…the past. And like the three fold goddess..we have to look to the past…to the present…and to the future.


I feel she was there sucking the blood slowly from my abusers. She kept me comparably safe, maybe allowing me to go through what I did to learn my lessons on the future…


I truly believe we have to walk the dark, unknown path in our lives before we can enter the light. We have to face the dark side, and make the decisions that will be right for us for renewal. She has been inside me when my intuition was working over time.



Hecate:  Biography & Other Names


Greek Queen of the Night, Goddess of Witchcraft and the Underworld. Hecate is a shape-shifter.


Hecate, the Dark Goddess. Hecate, the Dark Mother. Hecate, the Triple Goddess. Hecate of the three faces. Hecate Antea, the sender of nocturnal visions. Hecate, protectress of flocks and sailors Hecate, Goddess of the Crossroads. Hecate, Queen of the witches. These are but a few of the names that Hecate is known by.


Each of these names has a special significance to every person that calls upon this the most feared of dieties. To begin to understand Hecate the Dark Goddess one must look back to the history of the ancients. Many are of the understanding that Hecate is purely Greek of origin. This however is not so. For She has been from the begining of time, from all ages.

Hecate was a Goddess of pre-Olympian time, Thracian of origin. She was however placed into the Greek and Roman pantheons. This placed Her in the Olympian’s war against the Giants. Hecate is the daughter of the Titans Perses and Asteria which are both symbols of shining light. In later times She was said to be the daughter of Zeus and Hera. Hecate has also been said to be one of the lovers of Hermes. “For behold, I stand at the edge of the lake to lead you home”……… One of the entrances to the land of the Shades was Lake Averna in Campania. This was where a departed soul would be lead by Hecate as they began their next existance. The hills around the lake used to be covered with trees sacred to Hecate. These were the Yew and the Willow or Osier. Hidden in the forests around Lake Averna were the caves through which one summoned the souls of the dead. Witches besoms were traditionally bound with Osier (willow). Without this they were said to be helpless.

Of all the Greek Goddesses Hecate was the most triple. She was seen in all three phases of the moon and especially the dark moon. To the Romans this triple Goddess was called Diana Triformis. This was made up of Diana, Persephone and Hecate. To the Greeks this triple Goddess was made up of Persephone, Demeter and Hecate. Hecate was depicted as a figure with three faces each facing a different direction, or as one with animal heads of a horse, dog and boar. Lethbridge wrote in “Witches, page 26″ that these three animal faces may be totem animals from Hecate’s primordial past. Dogs were with Hecate perhaps from their habit of howling to the moon and their path finding skills. At times Hecate was portrayed as a whelping bitch. She also shared with Herne of the North the reputation of leading the Wild Hunt of ghostly hounds through the night.

Hecate was to both Greek and Romans the Goddess of the Crossroads, where the traveler would face three choices in their life. At crossroads statues of Hecate would be placed where people could leave offerings to Her. People would take food offerings to these statues in the dead of night on the eve of the full moon. This was known as “Hecate’s Supper”. Once the food was placed the person would walk away without looking back. For no one dared to confront the Goddess face to face. Hecate’s annual festival is on August 13th in Greece, (and that of Diana on the same day in Rome). This annual festival was done in honor of Hecate in hopes of averting the harvest destroying storms which the moon would send around that time of year.

Hecate was also known to haunt graveyards as She would lead the souls of the departed across the lake. She also would haunt the scenes of crimes as a Goddess of explanation and purification. Hecate is the Dark Mother in both the positive and the negative sense. She can send demons to torment men’s dreams. She has also been known to drive men mad if they are not well integrated enough to cope with Her. But to those that dare to welcome Her, She brings creative inspiration. To this She is known as Hecate Antea, the sender of nocturnal visions. She also has a son that many do not know of. He is Museos, the Muse-Man. It is also legend that Hecate is the Mother of Marianina, who rose for a time to become Marianina, goddess of the sea. The Greeks would use for divination an instrument called “Hecate’s Circle”. This was a golden circle with a sapphire hidden inside of it. This was Her “mysterious moon” concealing the bright seed of understanding. Her symbol is the torch. For She, the Dark Mother, holds the light which illuminates the unconscious and reveals its treasures. Thus we are given the statement of….”In the shadows there is great light”…. Shakespeare used Hecate in his works. His witches’ deity was not Satan as some modern authorities claim, but the Dark Goddess. For She had the power and wisdom to pierce the darkness, bring visions, call back from the past, illuminate the present and give warning or promise of the future. The Goddess of moonlit crossroads, Hecate of the Three Faces.


Other Names and Titles

Like many goddesses she who’s name means
“The From-a-far-Powerful” had many names and titles.
Chtonian (Earth/Underworldgoddess),
Crataeis (the Mighty One),
Enodia (Goddess of the paths)
Antania (Enemy of mankind),
Kurotrophos (Nurse of the Children and Protectress of mankind),
Artemis of the crossroads
Propylaia (the one before the gate)
Propolos (the attendant who leads)
Phosphoros (the light-bringer)
Soteira (“Saviour”)
Prytania (invincible Queen of the Dead)
Trioditis (gr.) Trivia (latin: Goddess of Three Roads)
Klêidouchos (Keeper of the Keys)
Tricephalus or Triceps (The Three-Headed)


Hecate – High Priestess

Priestesses of Hecate

According to Euripides in “Iphigeneia in Tauris” “Iphigeneia was a priestess of the goddess, worshipped in Tauri.

Circe (Kirke), the mighty hag in the Odyssee (Homer) was believed to have been a priestess of Hecate too.

Medea was also a priestess of Hecate and a mighty witch which is told in the Argonautica-Book. She called upon Hecates name in Colchis and Corinth to guide her:
Medea then going from chamber to chamber in search of her sister, for Hera detained her within that day; but beforetime she was not wont to haunt the palace, but all day long was busied in Hecate’s temple, since she herself was the priestess of the goddess.

Medea as a mighty witch:
“Son of Aeson, thou wilt despise the counsel which I will tell thee, but, though in evil plight, it is not fitting to forbear from the trial. Ere now thou hast heard me tell of a maiden that uses sorcery under the guidance of Hecate, Perses’ daughter. If we could win her aid there will be no dread, methinks, of thy defeat in the contest; but terribly do I fear that my mother will not take this task upon her. Nevertheless I will go back again to entreat her, for a common destruction overhangs us all.” (ll. 475-483)

And again:
“My friends, this indeed is left us at the last. But I deem that there will come to you some timely aid from my mother. Wherefore, eager though ye be, refrain and abide in your ship a little longer as before, for it is better to forbear than recklessly to choose an evil fate. There is a maiden, nurtured in the halls of Aeetes, whom the goddess Hecate taught to handle magic herbs with exceeding skill all that the land and flowing waters produce. (THE ARGONAUTICA BOOK III , here: ll. 523-539)

Medea as priestess of Hecate, worshipping her with sacrifice:
For Medea bade them land and propitiate Hecate with sacrifice. Now all that the maiden prepared for offering the sacrifice may no man know, and may my soul not urge me to sing thereof. Awe restrains my lips, yet from that time the altar which the heroes raised on the beach to the goddess remains till now, a sight to men of a later day (THE ARGONAUTICA BOOK IV(ll. 241-252).


Hecate was the daughter of Titans, Perses and Asteria. In later times her parentage was given as Zeus and Hera.. The Greeks called her “The Hag of the Dead” . She was also called “the most lovely one” a title of the moon.

Hecate dwelt in the Underworld, but had power elsewhere. She was a goddess of the Moon, of the Underworld, and of Magick. Also she was considered the protectress of flocks and of sailors.


The owl was her messenger, and the willow was her tree. And she rode a chariot pulled by dragons.


Hecate was also considered the goddess of crossroads. She belonged to the class of torch bearing deities, and was conceived as carrying a burning torch to suit the belief that she was the nocturnal goddess of the moon and a huntress who knew her way into the realm of spirits. She was depicted wearing a gleaming headdress of stars. All the secret powers of Nature were at her command. She had control over birth, life, and death. Because of her power in the three areas of nature, heaven and earth she was represented as a triple form. She was called the triple goddess. The three phased moon. She was depicted as three female figures or as one with three animal heads. Of horse, dog and bear, or sometimes of three dogs. All wild animals were sacred to her.


Her main area of work was goddess in the world of the dead, of night and darkness, mistress of all the witchcraft and black arts. We must remember that before Christianity the underworld was not the evil place it is considered today…then, it was the resting place of the dead.


During the Middle ages, Hecate became known as Queen of the Ghostworld, or Queen of Witches. She was especially diabolized by Catholic authorities who said the people most dangerous to the faith were precisely those whom Hecate patronized: the midwives. Her ancient threefold power was copied, however, by priestly writers who reassigned it to their own deity” The threefold power of Christ, namely in Heaven, in earth, and in Hell.”


Hecate was looked upon as a goddess of fertility, whose torch was carried over freshly sown fields to symbolize the fertilizing power of moonlight. In women’s agricultural mysteries her trinity took form as Kore the green corn, Persephone the ripe ear, and Hecate the harvested corn.


In later times Hecate took on the form of a pillar called Hecterion. One statue shows her with three heads and six arms, bearing three torches and three sacred emblems. A key, rope, and dagger. With the key to the underworld, Hecate unlocks the secrets of the occult mysteries and knowledge of afterlife. The rope symbolizes the umbilical cord of rebirth and renewal. The Dagger or Athame is a symbol of ritual power. Hecate was the protectress of far off places, roads, and byways. At night during the dark moon, Hecate could be seen walking the road of Greece with her howling dogs and torches. Statues of her stood at crossroads where the traveler faced three choices. Food offerings called “Hecate’s Supper” were left there late at night on the eve of the full Moon. The person leaving the food walked away without looking back, for they were afraid to confront the goddess face to face. This was a way of honoring the threefold goddess where on could look three ways at once. Hecate was accompanied by her dogs, Hermes, and her priestesses, Circe and Medea who it is said in some histories were Hecate’s daughters. Her dog, who was her sacred animal had been offered to her as a sacrifice. The appearance of black howling dogs at night meant that Hecate was near, and their barking announced her approach.


Then, earth began to bellow, trees to dance And howling dogs in glimmering light advance Ere Hecate came.
-Aeneid, Book VL (Dryden)

Hecate and her dogs are said to journey over the graves of the dead to search for souls of the departed and they carry them to refuge in the underworld. Hecate also enjoyed the company of the Furies. It is said that the Furies hounded and punished offenders who broke the taboo of insult, disobedience, or violence to a mother.


Festivals


A festival was held every year in the island of Aegina. Mystery rites were held in her behalf. Another festival was held on August 13 in Greece at the House of Storms and Fertility. It was held to aid in keeping the harvest storms from destroying the harvest.


And still another was Hallowmas held on October 31 to honor Hecate at a time when the veil between the world was the thinnest.


In Italy by the lake of Avernus, there was a scared dark grove of Hecate. In private worship to her followers were offered Hecates suppers. The leftovers were placed outdoors as offerings to this goddess and her hounds.



Hecate Ritual

Taken from “Moon Magick” by D.J. Conway

Your will need a ritual dagger, small cauldron, an apple, a piece of black cloth, and a small bit of salt, in addition to any other ritual items you use. Put the apple in the cauldron and cover the cauldron with the black cloth. Cast your circle. With the wand tap the cauldron five times and say:
Hecate, Wise one, I ask your blessings. Lift the Veil for me that I may greet my spirit helpers,
Long-ago friends from other lives, and those who are new.
Let only those who wish me well enter within this sacred place.
Uncover the cauldron. Take out the apple, raise it in offering, and lay it on the altar.

Hecate, your Magick cauldron is the well of death and rebirth
An experience each of us under goes again and again. Let there be no fear in me, for I know your gentleness, Here is your secret symbol of life in death
Cut the apple crosswise with the dagger. Contemplate the revealed pentagram in the core. Put the two halves of the apple back into the cauldron and cover them again with the black cloth.

Only the initiated may know your hidden Mysteries. Only the true seekers may find the spiral way. Only those who know your many secret faces May find the Light that leads to the Inner Way.

Put a pinch of salt on your tongue:
I am mortal, yet immortal. There is no end to life, only new beginnings. I walk beside the Goddess in her many forms. Therefore, I have nothing to fear. Open my mind and heart and soul To the Deep Mysteries of the Cauldron, O Hecate.

Do a meditation on seeking the Dark Moon goddess. Listen to her messages. Be aware of any new guides and teacher who may come through to help you.



So Mote It Be

Lo, I am with you, moved by your prayers, I who am the mother of the universe, the mistress of all elements, the first offspring of time, the highest of all deities, the queen of the souls, foremost of the heavenly beings, the single form that fuses all gods and goddesses; I who order by my will the starry heights of heaven, the healing-giving breezes of the sea, and the awful silences of those in the underworld: My single godhead is adored by the whole world in varied forms, in differing rites and with many diverse names. Apuleius Metamorphoses Book 11, 5

In my many years of study and growth I have met many great teachers. It has been during this time that I learned of the many paths that we all follow. Each path takes us on a new adventure in becoming one with the Universe. Along the path of Hecate I have found numerous traditions that branch off from Her greatness.


For us to truly find growth and wisdom we must learn to understand and accept each other.


The time is at hand for us all, each coven, circle, grove and solitary to join hands united as one.


May our circle grow ever stronger.


So mote it be



Hecate – In The Greek Pantheon

Relations in the Greek Pantheon

Hecate is a pre-olympian greek earth goddess. It is certain that her origin is Asia Minor (Karia). The greek sources don’t have a similar story of her parents or her relations in the greek pantheon: Sometimes Hecate is a Titaness , daughter of Perses and Asteria, who is a mighty helper and protector of mankind. She is a Titaness who was not banned into the underworldrealms after their defeat through the Olympians, because she was the only Titan that aided Zeus.


It is also told that she is the daughter of Demeter or Pheraia, which appears understandable due to the fact, that Hecate like Demeter was a goddess of the earth and fertility. Or that she may even be a daughter of Zeus.


Like many ancient mother or earth-goddesses she remains unmarried and has no regular consort. On the other side she is the mother of many monsters, f.e. of Scylla.


THE ARGONAUTICA BOOK IV (ll. 783-832):

Ausonian Scylla the deadly, whom night-wandering Hecate, who is called Crataeis, bare to Phoreys, lest swooping upon them with her horrible jaws she destroy the chiefest of the heroes.

But most sources agree that she is a goddess, who was never part of the Olymp or the olympian family, but still powerful and worshipped. She aided Demeter with news about her robbed daughter Persephone:
But when the tenth enlightening dawn had come, Hecate, with a torch in her hands, met her, and spoke to her and told her news: (ll. 54-58) `Queenly Demeter, bringer of seasons and giver of good gifts, what god of heaven or what mortal man has rapt away Persephone and pierced with sorrow your dear heart? For I heard her voice, yet saw not with my eyes who it was. But I tell you truly and shortly all I know.’ (ll. 59-73) So, then, said Hecate. And the daughter of rich-haired Rhea answered her not, but sped swiftly with her, holding flaming torches in her hands. (Homeric Hymns).

Leads Persephone back from Hades to Her mother, Demeter and gets reward:
Then bright-coiffed Hecate came near to them, and often did she embrace the daughter of holy Demeter: and from that time the lady Hecate was minister and companion to Persephone (Homeric Hymns, ll. 438-440) .

The close connection between Hekate, Persephone and Demeter is interesting in that one could suspect that the threesome is probably the earliest example of a triple-goddess involving Hecate.

She is also a mother-goddess who wears the lunar disk and carries a torch, referring to her role as lightbringer.


Hecate is the Triple Death Goddess, who lives on an island guarded by Willow trees. In the ancient calendar Her day is the one before the Winter Solstice. She holds the keys to safe passage through the Underworld.


As Hecate She is the darkness before the New Moon appears. She is the Moon Goddess of the Witches and Queen of all Hags. Statues of the Triple Goddess have three heads of a dog, a serpent and a horse. She has six arms carrying Her sacred symbols – three Torches to illuminate the Way in the Underworld, Her Athame of Ritual, Her Key to the secret passageways, and the Scourge with which She whips souls into Her Underworld realm. When souls arrive at the triple cross-roads of the Underworld it is Hecate who decides which realm they are fit for – the Asphodel Meadows of the Grey Annwn, the dark waters of the Black Annwn or the Apple orchards of the Middle Light. As an archetype She is vital to the understanding of our unconscious natures.

The Crone is also Mary Magdalena in Her role as the Death Goddess. It is She who anoints the Chosen One with oil, signifying the Sacrifice to be made. In paintings and sculptures the Magdalena often appears with a skull at Her feet. For many She is the main incarnation of the Black Goddess, the Sophia or wisdom of the Gnostics.


This painting of Mary Magdalene on the front of the altar in the Church dedicated to Her at Rennes-le-Chateau in France, shows Her with a skull at Her feet, symbol of the Death Goddess.

Posted and edited by Magickal Winds


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November 16, 2009 is "The Night of Hecate", 10.0 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
 
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3 Comments

  1. RheannonDawn posted on December 14, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Permalink

    This article has been a wonderful pleasure to read. Such an incomparable collection of obscure and enlightening information, which has been largely elusive thus far in my quest for factual resources regarding my beloved Goddess.
    It is obvious the dedication and effort that went in to compiling this comprehensive study, and I am sincerely grateful to have stumbled upon it in my own search today.
    Lovely work, well done, and thank you!

    Blessings, RheannonDawn )o(

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  2. Vito posted on November 2, 2011 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Fine information! I have been previously hunting for something similar to this for quite a while now. Thanks for the tips!

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  3. Medea posted on November 16, 2013 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    ”(As a Wiccan, I do not believe in the sacrifice of any living thing and I am sure neither did our Gods and Goddesses.)”

    As a Hellenist and also a Greek witch, I want to thank you for posting the above!!! No where in any ancient Greek scriptures, nor ancient artifacts was there such a thing as sacrificing animals to the deities. Most likely Christian writers twisted some facts to suit their own purpose upon translating perhaps…..Also, even if some ancient Greeks sacrificed animals to EKATH(her name in Greek) propably did not acknowledge that the Gods do NOT need animal sacrifices. Wine, water, goat milk, honey,incense, herbs, fruits and seeds were the most appropriate offerings for deities and that’s what the great and wise Pythagoras did! Last but not least, let’s not forget that the myths and stories written by the ancient writers were symbolic and had hidden meanings..:))

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