Witchy Women: Hecate

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Hecate is a goddess—a Titan who allied herself with Zeus. She is especially associated with witchcraft, magic, and necromancy. Some sources say that she is the daughter of Perses and Asteria, while others refer to her as a daughter of Zeus and Demeter or Zeus and Hera.

In classical images and sculptures, Hecate is often depicted as a woman holding a torch in each handย orย as a trinity. Hecate held a special place in the pantheon as the only god allowed to keep her authority over humans after the Olympian takeover. Her trinity form emphasizes both her position as a goddess of crossroads and her triple kingdoms–sky, sea, and earth. Hecate’s far-sightedness plays a part in the largest of the myths in which she figures, the abduction and return of Persephone from the Underworld.

Though Hecate later became associated with darker sides of witchcraft (perhaps due to her place as intermediary for Hades and her annual trips with Persephone to the Underworld), she was at one time worshiped as a protective goddess, and small shrines could be found in households and at city entrances as well as at crossroads.

Hecate is also closely associated with dogs. She is sometimes represented in a dog-form, Witchyand she is also accompanied by dogs. In some myths, one of her dogs is the Trojan Queen Hekabe, who Hecate transformed into a dog after she tried to drown herself during the fall of Troy.

Hecate is a powerful figure in neopagan rituals and Wiccan pantheons. She is often depicted as a crone, though this does not necessarily line up with her classical depictions. Perhaps her place as a goddess of the crossroads, as well as her close association with the Underworld, have led to her association with darker aspects of magic and necromancy.

*This post is a part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
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14 Comments

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  1. I always get her name wrong. Reading the Percy Jackson series to my son I misread it as Hectate and I couldn’t stop saying that when I saw it.
    I love learning more about these versatile chicks!
    Heather

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  2. Hecate is what the triple goddess pagan symbol stands for as well, representing the maiden (young women), mother (childbearing age women), & crone (the elders) ๐Ÿ™‚ fun facts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting, because there are so many aspects of Hecate, and she’s changed so much in significance over the centuries–but at least since the Hellenistic period she has been represented in triform.

      Liked by 1 person

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