Dark Goddesses, Not So Dark: Understanding Hecate
Author: Hecates Moon0013
There are many Goddesses who are considered “Dark Gods/Goddesses and who tend to be misunderstood or seen as “evil.” A few examples are Hecate, the Morrigan, Anubis, Poseidon and quite a few more, I’d wager as well. In my case, the “Dark Goddess” is my Patroness, Hecate. She has indeed a long history, and has been known in Her many different aspects, such as the three-faced crone, Goddess of Magic, Queen of the Night, Goddess of the Crossroads, and more. One culture supposedly offered dogs as a sacrifice to her out of honor and respect. (Although I personally don’t find that necessary to ever do myself!) In others, they offered feasts and left offerings at the crossroads.
The goddess Hecate is indeed widely known as a Dark Goddess and is associated with the darkness… But what exactly makes many people consider darkness as ‘evil’? Honestly, I see Her more as a mother figure. She looks after those who work with her.
Is She associated with the dark? Answer: Yes! However, She is not the darkness, but rather the light that guides people through the darkness. She watches over us all, and, in fact, helps nurture us. She is also not afraid to act. She, Hecate, Protects those that follow her like any other Goddess. Furthermore if you ask for her help, she will help and then ask simply “What’s next?” She finds ways to help Her adherents to grow both inside and out.
At this point, I would like to clear up a few misconceptions. First of all She, Hecate, is often portrayed as a Goddess Who is not fond of males, but favors female. This however is not true. As I know from personal experience, She will work with both.
Also it is thought that She is against love and marriage. However there is documentation that is not the case. She actually is all right with marriage, though She is strict on how it happens. She will not condone any form of sexual contact unless it is mutually acceptable between the two partners. She considers marriage and dating as normal things; marriage and childbirth, she considers “sacred things.”
One of the symbols that represent Her, in my opinion, is the Torch. Hecate, as I have said before, leads us through the hard times… through our anguish, through our grief, and She is there to comfort us, to warm us, and to guide us with Her light. Hecate herself is ‘The Torch’. She is the light within the eternal Darkness. One thing for sure, Hecate has seen me through many dark times, and has also helped me to learn more about myself… by helping me through those rough times she has shown me that, though sometimes life in itself can be scary, if we acknowledge it and learn to embrace ourselves for what might come, and learn to look through it, we will find ourselves at last in peace. We are able to walk through the fires, so to speak, of life and still be standing tall as we overcome the negative situations that we face.
When my first struggle with faith happened, Hecate was there. When I grieved over the loss of good friends and family, Hecate was there… When I felt lost, alone, and questioned Wicca, and religion itself, She was there. Hecate, at all of my crossroads, has brought people to help me in my time of need, and I have been brought in turn to help others in their times of need. If anything, Hecate has taught me that everyone is afraid, but we have to move on. Hecate also has taught me time and time again, that when you act with compassion, things in general are better for everyone.
I once struggled with Wicca. I had gotten myself to the point where I felt abandoned, and that I would never be able to feel energy or work with the Craft again. It was so bad, I questioned my sanity, wondering, is this even real?” Am I not supposed to be a part of this religion? Have the Gods and Goddesses abandoned me in my time of need? Why else could this possibly be happening? I prayed to Hecate to please watch over me and to help me overcome.
I eventually came across a group of people who helped me with my problem. I was looking for a group to work with and learn from in hopes I could find some clarity. I ended up finding a group, and though things did not work out for me with the group, I made some amazing friends. The people in it taught me a lot about myself, and other things as well. To this day, my ability to feel energy is not the same as it used to be, nor is my level of energy, but it is better. Not only that, but I have gained more confidence in myself.
I owe Hecate a lot. As odd as it might sound to some of you, I feel, to an extent, that I owe Hecate my life. She also taught me a valuable lesson: just because people are helpful does not mean that mistakes are not made. I learned to expect both good and bad from people and that we are all capable of both. No matter how good we are, or how bad we are, we are still capable of both. Because of this insight, I tend to look for the good in a negative situation. For there is always something, good and/or positive that can come out of any situation. The real trick is to find it in things and in people.
Now, most people are wondering, “Aren’t Dark Goddesses vengeful?” I feel the best answer for this is: What God or Goddess can’t be vengeful? In truth, they all can be. Hecate is literally a Mother Goddess. She is the ‘Okay. Done. What’s next?’ sort of Goddess. She is only vengeful to those who would harm Her charges, or rather those that She works with if someone would Harm them.
Hecate is able to give us so much knowledge, and teach us so much, that condemning Her without even getting to truly know Her I feel is a sad thing indeed. Furthermore, she teaches us that if we learn to accept the bad things in life, we become better… for Hecate carries the key to unlock that which we keep hidden. and once we discover ourselves, and accept things as they really are, we feel relieved. She helps us not only to see, but helps us to understand things in the ‘rawness of it all’.
I write this near the time of Samhain. For me, this holiday represents Hecate very well as she is also associated with the dead. One of my favorite characteristics of Hecate is that She teaches us to respect those who have come before us. As a Goddess of the crossroads, She makes the holiday even more meaningful. Samhain is the time when we are supposed to remember those who have helped pave our way. As the Goddess of the crossroads, Hecate compels us to reflect not only over what we have done or should have done, but also to remember that while we have gone through so much, it could have been worse. We are more blessed than we realize.
Hecate is more than just a simple Goddess. Hecate is my Mother, who protects me and nurtures me as I go through life. Hecate is my Patroness whom I am grateful to. I know that She is always there willing to help me, if ever I ask. Hecate is so misunderstood that, honestly, it saddens me a bit. If anything working with Hecate has truly been a blessing. I don’t think I would have been able to do, let alone get through, a lot of the things I have if not for her help, and for that I will always be eternally grateful.
Knowing that, as the sun sets, She is all around me at night is a comfort in so many ways. At night time, She is all around me, protecting me, and watching over me…and I know that when I am at the next crossroad, at some future turning point in my life, She will be there waiting for me, always more than willing to help me through the next hurdle. And so, I will continue to worship and work with Her, for She is not ‘the darkness that is evil’, but is, in fact, a guiding Light and a help for those who feel lost. And if you call to Her, Hecate will be there to help guide you through the rough times as well.
May Hecate bless you, and watch over you always!
Understanding the Warrior Goddess by the author: Stephanie Woodfield