Hecate is the goddess of magic, crossroads, ghosts, the moon, necromancy, and witchcraft. She lived in the Underworld and sometimes a cave when she was on Earth. She was one of the main gods worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family.
Her name comes from the Ancient Greek word for will.
Hecate received powers over heaven, earth, and sea from her parents. During the Titanomachy, she sided with the Olympians and as a result, Zeus allowed her control over all domains and let her become one of the only free Titans. She also has power over magic and witchcraft. She can also summon the dead.
Hecate helped Demeter in her searches for Persephone by holding torches for Demeter at night. After their reunion, Hecate became a close friend of Persephone.
Another myth explains her symbols, the black dog and a polecat. The black dog was once Queen Hecuba, who leap into the sea after the fall of Troy. Hekate turned her into a black dog and made her her familiar. The polecat has two origins. The first being a witch named Gale, who was punished for her incontinence by being turned into a polecat.
The other being that when Alkmene was giving birth to Herakles, Hera told Eilithyia not to release the birth. But Alkmene's nursemaid Galinthais saw Eilithyia and yelled "The baby has arrived!" Eilithyia was shocked and lost her focus allowing the actual births to occur. When Eileithyia realized that she had been tricked she (or Hera) turned the nurse into a polecat or weasel. Hekate however took mercy on Galinthais and made her an attendant.
Hecate was usually wearing a knee length dress with hunting boots like Artemis. She usually had a burning torch in each hand and three heads. Symbolizing that she was the goddess of crossroads.
Hecate, in popular art, was depicted as having three heads, or three separate forms. One of a young maiden, a mother, and a Crone. Thus symbolised the cycle of life, and is still a popular symbol in Wiccan practice. In Egyptian inspired writings and art, she was seen as having three heads: one of a mare, one of a serpent and one of a dog.
Hecate was also seen as a virgin but it is also said that she had affairs with mortal men and because of her three sides only one of them was a virgin.The other two sides or faces were not maiden.
- Black Dog
- Trivia, in Roman Mythology
- her other name is Skylakagetis which means leader of dogs.