Greek Goddess Hecate

The Goddess Hecate

Goddess Hecate

Often depicted as a  "hag" or old witch stirring the cauldron. Hecate, the Greek goddess of the crossroads has been denigrated in status from goddess to witch in current times. The reasons are explained more fully in the full version of Hecate's story. (see the link at the bottom of this page.

The Greek goddess Hecate was the only one of the Titans who Zeus allowed to retain  authority once the Olympians had defeated them.

She was given the position within the new regime of being the guardian of the households and the protector of all that was newborn. This goddess of witchcraft was once highly revered and had great influence in the pantheon. Only with Hecate was Zeus willing to share the tremendous power of giving mortals anything she wished (or, if she please, the power of withholding it).

Hecate as Triple Goddess

Hecate was one of the three "triple goddesses", sometimes illustrated as Persephone (young maiden), Demeter (the mother), and Hecate ( wise-woman,  old "crone"). The goddess Hecate features in the story of the abduction of Persephone and the wanderings of her mother Demeter.

Hecate, known for her farsightedness, had witnessed the abduction  of Persephone and told Demeter,  the mother what had happened. Later she became a close friend and confidant to the frightened Persephone and helped her adjust to life in the Underworld.  To express his gratitude for her assistance to his young bride, Hades invited Hecate to become a permanent resident in his kingdom and allowed her to come and go as she wished.

Images of Hecate often depict of  this "triple" aspect...showing her with three heads. It was said he could  see in all directions, into the past, present, and even the future. Thus the crossroads were sacred to her, especially those with three roads that converged.  In ancient times such intersections  were often marked with three masks on a pole. and food was often left there to honor her and to feed those who traveled with her at night.

Queen of the Night

The reclusive Hecate (who was called the 'Queen of the Night') often enjoyed nightly jaunts, accompanied by her hounds and sometimes by a following of  "ghosts" and others who were social outcasts. 

The goddess Hecate was known (and also feared) as the protector of those who were oppressed and also those who tended to live a bit "on the edge". Her role in the Underworld, the land of the sleeping and the dead, undoubtedly made her feel more tolerant of those who most would shun out of fear or misunderstanding and more comfortable in their company.

Not surprisingly since Hecate had great influence in the "spirit world", appeals were often made to her for assistance in keeping one safe. She was known as a protector of young children, shepherds, and sailors. In addition,  the goddess could be counted upon to help those who were dying, easing  their transition into the "Otherworld" and helping them prepare for a return in their next life.

The Greek goddess Hecate is a goddess who helps us make transitions and new beginnings, especially ones that were not planned.  As a magical goddess at home in the spirit world, she helps keep us in touch with our spiritual selves.

 

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