Last Updated on December 18, 2017 by Coven of the Goddess
Some say she was an eastern Goddess and Her name may have originated from the Egyptian Goddess Heket, whose name meant “All Powerful”, “Magical” or “Incantation and Sorcery”. Others say she is strictly a Greek goddess, that was later brought into worship by the Roman people.
Contrary to popular modern Pagan beliefs, Goddess Hecate is not the Crone in ancient myths. In days of old the Amazon women painted their hands and feet with henna in honor of their young Goddess Hecate. The henna represented their blood cycles as Goddess Hecate rode in a chariot, pulled by dragons, across the night sky. In Pre-Classical Greece She is represented as a young woman, maiden, almost always holding torches. As Goddess Heket in the Egyptian pantheon, She is a Mother Goddess and a mid wife to childbirth.
It was much later that She was seen as the Crone or the Triple Goddess, with three bodies standing back to back. Of all Grecian Goddesses she is the most markedly triple, She alone was seen to be the three-phased Moon. In Greek respects she was with Persephone and Demeter. In Roman mythology, she is paired with Diana and Prosperina. In the moon trinity of Artemis, Selene, and Hecate, she is the Waning Moon sharing the chase with her hounds.. Only after the rise of the Solar Gods was Goddess Hecate “reduced” to Crone and increasingly demonized.
All wild animals are sacred to Goddess Hecate. Hounds, for their path finding abilities, are her companions. Dark animals; raven, owls, crows, frogs and dragons – Her messengers. It is said when the dogs howl at night they sing to Goddess Hecate.
The trees most sacred to Her are the Yew and Willow. Belladonna, Monkshood, Wolfs Bane, Black Poppy and Mandragora – her sacred herbs. Also useful in Her spells are Almond, Garlic, Lavender, Mugwort, Myrrh, Cardamon Seed, Dandelion Root, Mint, and Mandrake.
Goddess Hecate protects those that society shuns; thieves, prostitutes, beggars and of course witches. Keeping Her torches lit for the lost and confused, She watches over the feared, hated and outcast. As Queen and Crone of the Witches, Goddess Hecate’s power is incomparable. It is also believed that the only way for a Witch to bind a Witch so she can not cast, is to bind her with a yew branch from Goddess Hecate’s sacred tree. One must always remember however to use wisdom when summoning the judgment of Goddess Hecate as Her judgment befalls all involved.
As Goddess of the Crossroads of birth, life and death, Hecate is a Goddess of empowerment. Her sacred symbols, the torch, keys, rope and dagger are tools we use as Witches to enrich our lives and leave behind what hinders us.
The torches She holds symbolize a lighting of the way and the subconscious. As Witches, Her torches light the shadows of self-doubt removing our fear of the unknown. She shed true light upon our path, allowing us free will of all before us.
With her keys to the underworld, She unlocks the secrets of the occult mysteries and the afterlife. As Witches, Her goddess Hecate hold the knowledge and truth of our Magick. One has only to seek and the answers will be told.
Her rope, which is also a scourge or cord, symbolizes the umbilical cord of rebirth and renewal. As Witches, Her rope is the life-line of renewal when situations become stagnant. Rebirth is Her gift of our ever-changing self.
Her dagger is the knife that cuts away delusion and is a symbol of power and judgment. As Witches, Her dagger is our empowerment of trusting our judgment. Through Hecate we put our selves first and honor the Goddess within.
In witchcraft, Goddess Hecate’s domain includes deliberate attempts to reclaim taboo areas of the psyche, inner development and psychic awareness. After decades of programming and being taught to doubt ourselves, not listen to our natural instincts, our gift of intuition – this does not come easy. To those who lack the emotional courage to face Her, She can seem frightening, but as women we all bear the aspects of Goddess Hecate. She lives and breathes within each and every one of us. One only has to seek with in one’s self to be empowered by the wisdom, knowledge and strengths of Goddess Hecate.
To be awake to what you do and to do it without denial, is to honor the interwoven dance of life and death, the certainty of change, your right to choose, and a clear awareness based on the principles of your priesthood, of how you approach, act, and resolve each and every event and issue.