Hekate is an ancient Greek goddess whose worship is said to have dated back to Thrace. Although it is hard to pin down her exact origins, she was most definitely worshiped by the Greeks as a liminal, and lunar deity associated with witchcraft, the crossroads and the restless dead..
I was terrified when Hekate came into my life. I had been fed negative and inaccurate information about her and was at a loss for why she would be calling to me. My life was beginning to crumble in front of me my dad had just died, my Ouma was beginning her shift to the otherside, I was about to enter university and my life was radically changing.
Hekate is above all a liminal goddess, a goddess of change and transition, and thus something that scares most of us. Every change is a death and in the Tarot “Death” is representative of great change and transition.
Hekate is a psychopomp, she guides the dead to the underworld. and is said to hold power over infernal beings. Hekate played a significant role in helping Demeter to locate Persephone and may have been integral to the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Hekate has dominion over the Earth, the Sky and the Sea, as she was Daughter to the Titans Perses and Asteria. She was the only one of the titans to keep her high position and was well-respected by Zeus.
She is a goddess of the triple crossroads which are incredibly potent places of the magical power of transition, and it often thought in many different cultures that ghosts prowl the crossroads freely. Hekate is also a goddess of ghosts and ghouls, and we leads the phantom troupe, offerings are laid out at doorways and the crossroads. One must be careful to never look back once the offering is placed, as the Angry Ghosts may claim you as one their own.
Hekate can be called upon for Her power as a goddess of divination and prophecy.
Hekate is probably most well-known as the goddess of witchcraft and magic, for any of us who learnt Macbeth in high school, this is often her most bewitching role. Being a witch, this always intrigued me. Many pagans and witches especially honour her for this reason. Any act of magic can be done in her honour.
Hekate is associated with midwifery as the cutter of the cord. As a Goddess who presides over cutting the cord between mother and babe, as well as between life and Death, Hekate is a powerful ally in helping us to let go. She presides over transition and can teach us the power of decay and rebirth.
Animals associated with Hekate include snakes, dogs, toads and cats. She is said to appear at the crossroads as a large black dog. Hekate appears often as a young maiden facing in three directions. She also is often depicted with three faces including a dog, snake and horse, sometimes a lion or bear.
Hekate is a nocturnal goddess, but may have been seen a solar deity in Her earlier incarnations.
Hekate is a goddess of the moon, and has often been depicted with the horned crescent upon Her brow. The dark moon is a time specifically sacred to her, where Deipnon is celebrated and offerings of honey cakes are left at the doorways and crossroads.
Every day I learn more about her, every moment she reveals herself to me in a new and profound way. Every night sky awes me more, every willow tree I come across I meditate on her, every graveyard I walk through , I walk with her, every crossroads I find I offer my silence and love. She is not a goddess who can be pinned down in a discussion or even a book, she is ever mysterious like the night, she is the starry one, cloaked, but to step across the veil and walk through her roads is rewarding, even though it comes with many challenges and trials, she is always there, ever-present, hidden in the night and our shadows, but a beacon of light and love in our hearts.
Hekate Liminal Rites: A Study of Rituals, Magic and Symbols of the Torch-bearing Triple Goddess of the Crossroads- Sorita d Este
This article originally appeared on realpagan.net. This article is copyright of Nightshade author of thepurplebroom.wordpress.com.
Drawing is copyright of Nightshade the artist of title “Three faced Hekate” drawing 2009
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