The Greek Goddess Hekate seems to be coming up everywhere for me. I attribute the fact that I’m noticing her more lately to a certain coming of age. I’m at the point in my life when maidenhood is only a memory now and I am into the thick of motherhood. As I grow older, I’m looking down the barrel at Cronehood. Instead of being depressed about maturing, I’m actually excited about how this change will affect me in coming years. Will I be a cool older Crone who makes hilarious comments and can also own any bully with a sharp wit? I’m excited to see how this journey unfolds.
As a witch who has undergone much transformation and growing pains over the last few years, I am coming to appreciate a deeper relationship with my Goddesses. Kali, Hera, The Morrigan, Freya, and of course, my dearest Hekate are all showing me facets of their personalities I wasn’t able to comprehend as a baby witch. That’s okay – perfectly normal for these interactions to develop into more over time when we reach a certain stage in our lives or spiritual path. So Hekate came to mind when I wanted to journal today. Let’s celebrate this Goddess who comes into our lives when we least expect her and who can recast a superficial personality into a novel of the ages.
While many of us might know the Goddess Hekate from ancient Greek literature, however, she probably didn’t originate directly from the Mediterranean. There is evidence, according to Brittanica online, that she may have come from the Carian people who lived somewhere called Anatolia in south Asia minor. The beginning of her worship in Greece is a bit of a mystery. We understand that the earliest form of worship for this Goddess is said to be around 6 century B.C.E. Small terracotta statues of the Goddess seated on a throne have been found by archaeologists to back up this theory.
She is the only daughter of the Titan Perses and the Nymph Asteria according to Theoi. Because of this divine union, Hekate was given dominion over land, sea, and the underworld. She is perhaps one of the most adaptable and versas
Hekate is also known by these names with varied pronunciations:
- Hekate, Hecate, Brimo, Ereshkigal (in Mesopotamia), Marzanna (as a Slavic equivalent), and many others.
Hekate’s children include:
- Medea (perhaps my favorite story, which you can find here.)
Her symbols are:
- Firelight (torches)
- Witches, magick, the five-pointed star (pentacle) in newer traditions
- Keys / Doorways
- The Crossroads
- Dogs (usually black dogs)
- The Triple Goddess (Persephone as Maiden, Demeter as Mother, and Hekate as the Crone are married together due to their close associations in folklore.)
- Caves and other darkened places
- The dark side of the Moon
- Ghosts (for her dominion in the underworld.)
- Polecat (similar to a black-footed ferret)
- Hekate’s wheel is called the stropholos.
- Gold and Silver metal
Her color associations are:
- Black (for the night sky and the dark side of the moon)
- Red (for the symbol of the torch in the cave.)
- White (to represent the higher self when working with the Goddess Hekate.)
- Blue (for the ocean aspect of Hekate.)
- Yellow or gold to represent the saffron dyed fabric worn by royalty at the time.
Her numerology is:
- 3 (the triple Goddess and her dominion over the three realms.)
- 7 (for the seven-rayed crown she wears atop her head. You could liken it to the Statue of Liberty in New York city.)
- 13 (the infamous number associated with witchcraft.)
Hekate is famous for many reasons but perhaps one of my favorite stories about her is how she assisted the frantic Goddess Demeter in her search for her daughter Persephone. Depending on how you interpret the story of Persephone and Hades, it can color your view of the Lord of the Underworld. Some folks think Persephone may have went willingly while others view it as Persephone’s reluctant kidnapping and rape. I’m not here to take a side, just to report what I’ve learned in my research. Either way, it must have been a terrifying experience for all involved.
Imagine losing your child and being overwhelmed with such incredible and indescribable grief. Not knowing if they are alive or dead and being helpless to do anything for them. Hekate calmly guides Demeter through the seemingly endless night by the flames of her torches. Hekate provides a guidepost on what must have been a crossroad in the Goddess of the Harvest’s journey as a mother. She calms the mother and stokes her confidence in finding the child. Hekate is portrayed as a hero and a champion of lost causes in this manner. She is the rock in which the panic and anxiety-ridden person can safely lean on in times of great concern.
Building a relationship with Hekate
Devotion to the Goddess Hekate is not necessarily an easy road for all. Like many Goddesses associated with the dark and the Underworld, she can appear to be almost too candid. At times, working with Hekate can feel like a heavy weight to carry. I’m speaking mostly from my own experience, and please keep in mind that as a primary devotee to Kali, I’ve never chosen an easy road for myself. Your experiences will be different and this is UPG (unverified personal gnosis.)
If you’re looking for guidance, however, I don’t think you’re going to find a better Goddess than Hekate. She’s a wonderful partner / archetype to work with if you are engaging in shadow work. She’s a fantastic ally to those in crisis, playing much the same strong role for you as she did for the Goddesses Demeter and Persephone. She’s in touch with the seasons of life because she is a triple Goddess and can be a potent colleague when you’re facing the changes which occur over the passage of time.
If you’re looking for a relationship with Hekate, here are some pointers I’ve found to be useful:
- Be honest with yourself and her. Because of the Crone nature of this Goddess, I always advise folks to be truthful about their circumstances. Hekate doesn’t expect you to be perfect and will see right through any deception you create.
- Be ready to open doors to new worlds. She’s known as the Keeper of the Keys. This Goddess is able to do some thrilling crossroads work which will help you in making decisions and avoiding obstacles.
- Speak with her as you would a regular person. I think that some people worry too much about presentation over the quality time spent with a deity. This goes beyond Hekate, however in this measure I advise that when you talk with this Goddess – lay it all down on the table. This will not only provide the Goddess with an accurate picture of your circumstances, it will also provide you with a deeper insight into your psyche. Sometimes getting it out in a journal or working closely with a deity can really help us overcome all these little hidden stumbling blocks.
- Offerings are always appreciated. With Hekate, I usually offer fresh cloves of garlic when in season and chocolate cake. I don’t know why, but it has always seemed like chocolate cake given at the crossroads of a graveyard has worked wonders for me. Again, this is just my experience. You could also offer dry red wine such as merlot, juice, or pieces of silver. If you don’t have these items handy, you can also give her store-bought garlic or perhaps make her a card. You don’t need to be giving gifts which leave you unable to pay rent for them to be sincere. The Goddess Hekate can size a person up and know them better than they know themselves. This Goddess tends to be prudent when it comes to offerings. A word of advice, be realistic in what you are able to give and you may find yourself having a consistently pleasant experience.
Resources for Hekate
If Hekate appears to be an appealing Goddess for you, you’re in great luck! There are many resources available for researching this enigmatic Goddess. Here are some of my favorite books, websites, and videos on the Goddess Hekate.
- Hekate: Goddess of the Witches
- The Goddess Hekate (Studies in ancient pagan and Christian religion & philosophy)
- Keeping Her Keys
- Entering Hekat’s Garden
- Hekate Liminal Rites: A Study of the rituals, magic and symbols of the torch-bearing Triple Goddess of the Crossroads
- Circle for Hekate – Volume I: History & Mythology (1) (Circle for Hekate Project)
- Hekate Her Sacred Fires: A Unique Collection of Essays, Prose and Artwork from around the world exploring the mysteries and sharing visions of the Torchbearing Triple Goddess of the Crossroads.
- The Temple of Hekate: Exploring the Goddess Hekate Through Ritual, Meditation and Divination
- Hekate: Keys to the Crossroads: A collection of personal essays, invocations, rituals, recipes and artwork from modern Witches, Priestesses and … Goddess of Witchcraft, Magick and Sorcery.
- Bearing Torches: A Devotional Anthology for Hekate
- HEKATE – Keeping Her Keys
- The Covenant of Hekate » The Covenant of Hekate (CoH)
- Hekate, Triple Goddess of the Moon, Earth and Underworld
- Hecate – Occult World
- Prayer To Hekate, Goddess Of Witchcraft & Herbalism
- Hecate: Goddess of Witchcraft & Necromancy – (Greek Mythology Explained)
- Goddess Hecate Calling You?? Hekate Witchcraft
- When Hekate Calls: The Awakening of the Goddess Within
This article is just scratching the surface on what you can experience and learn from the Goddess Hekate. I encourage you to do your own research before engaging with Hekate. Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. If you have any questions, comments, or anything to add about Hekate, please feel free to reach out here or on FaceBook. Please also consider following me on Instagram for more related content. Also, if you’d like me to make a basic guide for any particular deity, please let me know!