Image: Bill Crisafi
“By Hecate, the goddess I worship more than all the others, the one I choose to help me in this work, who lives with me deep inside my home, these people won’t bring pain into my heart and laugh about it.”
There are few deities who seem to have a strong appeal to Witches and Mystics across all paths, one of these deities is Hekate. She is the Greek Goddess of Witchcraft (among other things) and has rule over Heaven, Earth and Sea; a gift she can thank her parents Perses and Asteria for bestowing her with.
The story of Hekate among each path seems to differ slightly; some only consider her to be a Moon Goddess, or part of the Triple Goddess—Persephone and Demeter being the other two but, this is most likely a mistranslation of the myth (in my opinion). Hekate guided Demeter with her torch down into the Underworld to find Persephone; Hekate is, or could be known as a Priestess of Hades, not that she followed his rule or bowed to him, no, no; more like she had domain on his turf.
Talk about girl power.
There are so many layers to this Goddess of the Shadows and folklore surrounding her that it is no surprise she calls out to a wide variety of practitioners.
First let us try to get a basic understanding of who Hekate is.
As mentioned above she is considered by some to be part of the Triple Goddess; Persephone the Maiden, Demeter the Mother and Hekate (Hecate) the Crone.
The most common depiction of Hekate was (obviously) from the Greeks who believed her to be a Goddess of the Three Paths (Triple Roads): Guardian of Hearth and Home, Protector of the newly born, and the Goddess of Witchcraft and Magick.
Other myths go deeper and consider her to be the Goddess of Night, Ghosts, Necromancy, Key Bearer of the World, and Light bringer.
I know a lot of you who are familiar with her energy are probably confused or shocked that she is considered a light bearer when she herself dwells so deep in the shadows but, she carries her torch for a reason.
When we are amid life’s most perilous journey’s this Goddess appears, and helps to guide us through; her tests are not easy, and they are like no other deity I have ever worked with but, her blessings are infinite. She teaches us that with death comes life, and the world we live in is not black and white; it is gray as we are gray, it is neutral as nature is neutral and we are nature.
She teaches us wisdom by forcing us to find the light in the dark; by forcing us to become the light in the dark.
Hekate is known as a Triple Goddess on her own, as well; having the ability to see in all directions always. A trident being one of her symbols, it is clear to see that the number three follows her. So, it is no surprise that she is depicted in art and myth as having ownership of Cerebrus, a three headed Hell Hound.
She has connections to other Goddesses but her Triple figure appears as a three-headed Woman: Dog, Snake (sometimes a Cobra as seen below) and Horse with her famous torch, dagger and skeleton key in hand (again three).
Image: Artemisia Synchroma
While other depictions have Hekate wearing a Snake, Horse and Boar head. Much like Artemis, animals are Sacred to Hekate.
Hekate is a Goddess for everyone and of everything; she is, in fact, an all-encompassing Goddess who knows when to appear to us as the harsh Old Hag lurking in the Shadows forcing us to make a choice, and change, or the guiding light when we are lost in the dark.
Hekate opens new doorways to us, and as a Goddess of death and the underworld she can walk us through the journey as we cast our skin, go deep into the Earth and come out reborn.
She is both Mother, and Crone, both shadow and light.
She was the first Goddess to ever come to me and the lessons I have learned from her along the way cannot be quantified. She has taught me to accept death and with this acceptance I could release my fear. She has taught me that only through darkness can light be found. And, she has taught me that there is always more than one path; no matter how stuck, lost or confused I am, there is always a choice, there is always a crossroad.
Hekate is a Goddess for both the living and dead, she is a Goddess who is unapologetic and forces us to evaluate ourselves; the Crone wisdom of going within.
She is the Goddess of Witches and without her I would not know my own power.
Hail to Hekate, Keyholder of the World!
Resources for further, deeper reading into this Goddess along with a link to the story of Hekate Enodia: