Today’s Deity – Hecate ~ Goddess of the Witches
Hecate is a powerful goddess representing the aspects of the Triple Goddess: goddess of fertility and plenty; goddess of the moon; and goddess of the night and the underworld, which led to her evolving as the patroness of magic and Witchcraft. She mixed fertility with death to be used as earth power. She has been called supreme, both in heaven and hell. It is believed that even Zeus called on her whenever he wished to grant something to someone. Hecate is portrayed as the most powerful – who could give aplenty or destroy totally. She is said to have the power to bestow on or withhold from mortals any gifts she chose. All the secret powers of Nature were at her command. She had control over birth, life, and death. Because of her power in the three areas of nature, heaven and earth she was represented as a triple form.
She is most known as an underworld goddess; the Goddess of the Dark of the Moon, the nights that there is no moon and the world above is as dark as the world below. She was the overseer of the world of the dead. At night she traveled roaming the earth accompanied by her dogs, Hermes, and dead souls. Some say she sent demons from the lower world at night and that she causes nightmares and insanity, and was called “the Nameless One.”
Aspects and Imagery
- She is “The goddess that troubles the reason of men.”
- The Greeks called her “The Hag of the Dead”
- She is also called “the most lovely one” a title of the moon.
- The owl is her messenger, and the willow is her tree.
- Rides a chariot pulled by dragons.
- Depicted wearing a gleaming headdress of stars.
- She was connected to the goddess Artemis, Diana, and Persephone.
- Closely associated with Eleusinian Mysteries.
Festivals and Celebrations
- On the Greek isle of Aegina a festival was held every year in her honor. Mystery rites were held in her behalf.
- On August 13 in Greece at the House of Storms and Fertility. It was held to aid in keeping the harvest storms from destroying the harvest.
- Hallowmas held on October 31 to honor Hecate at a time when the veil between the world was the thinnest.
- In Italy by the lake of Avernus, there was a scared dark grove of Hecate. In private worship to her followers were offered Hecates suppers. The leftovers were placed outdoors as offerings to this goddess and her hounds.
Sacred to Hecate
- Key, torch, cauldron, dogs, owls, wild animals
- Poppy, animals dog, willow, star
- Medea was a priestess of Hecate. In some accounts she is actually Hecate’s daughter.
- The appearance of black howling dogs at night meant that Hecate was near, and their barking announced her approach. “If the dogs are traveling at night, it means Hecate is about.”
- She is only visible to dogs.
- Her name was called at night at the cross-roads of cities.
- She is said to live near the tombs of the victims of murder.
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