Who is Hecate

Hecate is a pre Greco-Roman Goddess.  She is said to be the key bearer to the underworld.  Granted dominion over the heavens, the earth and the seas; she is associated with fire, light, moon, magic and witchcraft.  She is considered a goddess to the midwife and with the magic of necromancy.  Sometimes called the Goddess of the Witches, Hecate is often depicted as a triple form goddess.  Though tagged as the Crone by Aleister Crowley, Hecate is certainly represented by each stage of the Goddess including maiden and mother. 

In Mythology, Hecate, a Titan was favored by Zeus before all others and granted dominion over the Earth, Heavens and seas.  Hesiod referred to her as the only daughter of Perses and Asteria.  One of the more popular and my favorite Myth involving Hecate is the abduction of Persephone. 

The story goes; Persephone was abducted by the God of the Underworld – Hades, while she was out collecting flowers.  Demeter searched to find her daughter.   While she looked her sadness caused the world to fall into state where nothing could grow.   Hecate assisted Demeter by telling her that Helios, the Sun God sees everything and he should know what happened to Persephone.  It wasn't until after Persephone was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds that she was found.  It was the rule of the Fates that if someone consumed food or drink in the Underworld, they had to stay there for all eternity.  A deal was made with the distraught Demeter that allowed Persephone to spend four months in the Underworld with Hades, and the rest of the time with her mother.  This is where the winter season comes from.  In her sadness for her missing daughter, Demeter mourns and nothing can grow on the Earth until she returns in the spring.

Hecate is the Goddess of the Crossroads.  It is thought that offerings made to her should be placed at a three way intersection.  Garlic, honey, mushrooms and eggs are placed with a flame.  The plate is left and it is said that one should walk away without looking back.  Hecate will decide who gets what is left for her and at times, it was thought that she fed the homeless and needy with her offerings.  The torch, the dog, the key and the dagger are often found in her representations.
The willow and the yew tree are sacred to Hecate.  Black dogs are also associated with Hecate.  Being the Goddess of Witchcraft and necromancy, Hecate is often called upon to assist those traveling from the land of the living to the Underworld.  Many see her as the guardian to the Underworld and the holder of the key to the gates there.  Because of this association many call upon Hecate in their workings with the dead. 

Typically held on the dark moon of each month, Hecate’s supper is a ritual where eggs, fish, garlic, mushrooms and honey are left at a cross roads in her honor.  Modern festivals include an event held on the full moon in May called the Rite of her Sacred Fires, where Hecateans around the world participate in a ritual to honor the Goddess.

For many years I considered myself Wiccan and had no particular deity.  After working with Christian Day’s “The Witch’s Book of the Dead”, I began to research Hecate and found a connection with her.  I completed my dedication in January 2012 and now work my circles and rituals in her honor.

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