WHO IS HEKATE?

Hekate to some, Hecate to others. She is the Witch Mother. She has returned. We have awoken.

 

Hekate is a complex goddess with a long history. She is the Goddess of Witchcraft, a guide along the path, and the universal Keeper of the Keys. Associated with the moon, fire and the underworld, but also with healing and mysticism.

There is much to learn about Hekate from the written records, but for a witch to truly know Hekate, we need to experience her. This is our awakening to what has always been within us.

Her history is that of all unruly women, labeled as witches and otherwise. However, learning this history helps us to reclaim our power and to understand how we are of her. It is a cautionary tale of beauty and power reduced to ashes, yet she rises again. As do her witches. 


Hekate: Goddess of Witches

To her chosen, Hekate is the Witch Mother, our spiritual leader from whom we came. She lights our path, protecting us even when we are unaware. Hekate abides.

If you are newly awakened to her presence, read these tips for answering Hekate’s call.

She is the hidden power within her witches that is now awakening. Her powers are beyond compare. She is the Dark Mother who rules over all the universe. Her mother was the stars and her father the darkness.

Go Deeper: Hekate’s Origin Story


Hekate’s Witchcraft

Associated with ancient medicine, from healing of the mind to inducing madness in those who attempt to abuse her, Hekate herself and her witches have always practiced witchcraft that seeks to bless her chosen and banish those who harm.  She is the fearless guide who resides in the spaces between the world of humans and the world of spirits, offering us a way for spiritual transformation. She resides at the crossroads where we transcend the material to dive into the unseen river that is her realm. For all her otherworldly roles, she is also Enodia, which translates as “The Way,” but symbolically refers to her powers over the civilized world, including roads and perhaps even waste management. Thus, her medicine is that of both the world of spirits and the mundane.


Go Deeper: Hekate: Enter The Cauldron of Rebirth


Hekate’s Garden: The Poison That Heals And The Witch

What is for certain is that Hekate’s Witches have always been associated with magick, medicine and mystery. We are the dangerous sorceresses whose herbals bring healing or poisoning, depending on our needs.

Hekate’s eternal daughters, Medea and Circe, brought forward the practice of pharmakeia, plant spirit medicine. In the early myths, these stories are of healing, while the later ones twist their tales into spiteful vengeance of out-of-control wild women.


Go Deeper: Hekate’s Garden, Botanical Magic and Pharmakeia


Keeper of the Keys

Her archetypal keys represent the opening to the mysterious and her guidance along our earth-bound journeys. She is Anima Mundi, the very soul of all creation. She is the essence, the vibration and the magick. Unknowable, yet as close as our breath. To her witches, she is The Mother. Liberator. The One.

Hekate holds the keys to the unseen worlds. She stands at the juncture of the mundane and mysterious.


Go Deeper: Hekate’s Symbols: Keys – History, Meaning and Uses


Hekate and the Darkness

She is The Star Walker, reigning over the night from above, yet she is also the one who wanders the night to rescue lost souls, while bringing vengeance to those who defile her beloveds. She is the Dark Mother who offers respite to the weary and the banisher of evil.


Go Deeper: Deeper Into The Darkness: Hekate and Soul Retrieval


Hekate and the Dark Moon

The dark moon, the night of the astrological new moon, has been sacred to Hekate’s Witches since ancient times. On this night, sacred rites are performed in her honor.


Go Deeper: Honoring Hekate on the Dark Moon: Suggestions for Rituals, Correspondences and Offerings for The Deipnon


Hekate’s Name

The Dark Mother from whose womb we are born, and to whom we must return. Goddess of Witches. Necromancer. Healer. Terrifying Queen of the Underworld. This is Hekate or Hecate. She cares not how you spell or pronounce her name. She is beyond such things.


Go Deeper: Hekate’s Name: Origins, Meanings, Pronunciations And More

Hekate’s Horde

Her witches are part of her horde. This is our spiritual family of goddesses, gods and other etheric beings. Ancestors of flesh and spirit, the wrongful dead. She is the devourer of flesh, eater of filth and the unconquerable one. Her animal companions are included in the horde.


Go Deeper: Hekate’s Horde: Spirits, The Restless Dead And Witchcraft


Her Witches Are Her Chosen

We return to Hekate for she is the immovable yet always evolving soul of the witch. There is no separation between her and her kin. Certainly not a goddess for everyone. Her witches know whose they are. We know our time has come.


Go Deeper: Together We Rise


Hekate and Women

The history of Hekate is the history of women, especially those of us who are deemed witches. For some of us, we truly are, but many of the women persecuted were not. They were simply independent, unruly outlaws of their times. Because of the entwinement between how Hekate is portrayed in historical records and the patriarchal disempowerment of women, there is a necessity to step beyond the history to learn from our ancestors and to listen to our souls. However, the history provides rich detail while reminding us that we must always be wary of the powerful.

Go deeper: The Rise of Hekate and Her Witches


Hekate’s strong benevolence towards women extends to their children in her role as Kourotrophis, Guardian of Children. Ancient mothers would adorn their offspring with sacred cords that protected them from harm. In our modern times, Hekate’s power as a protector of the vulnerable extends to all those marginalized by the powerful.

Go deeper: Hekate, Guardian of the Children: Ritual of Blessing, Protection and Rescue

and Hekate: Guardian of the Marginalized

Hekate’s Companions

Women were suspect, and still are. The system sought to rob us of our power. Hekate as an archetype of the powerful woman/witch has endured a great deal at the hands of men, whether through their words or actions. Her eternal witches, such as Circe and Medea, have also been defiled throughout history. They, too, are emerging as mighty forces today. For me, they are my closest spirit guides. They speak to me of the truth about our Witch Mother, which is often in stark contrast to the history. Hekate is deeply connected to several other goddesses such as Artemis (Diana), Persephone, Demeter, and Cybele. She is also linked through modern witches to goddesses such as The Morrigan, Freya and Lilith.


Torch Bearing Goddess of the Underworld

During this time, her image as a goddess of the underworld was also born. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Hekate answers Persephone’s cries when no one else does. She becomes Persephone’s guide between the Underworld and the human one, using her torches to light the way along the journey. Hekate as a torch-bearer or lamp-carrier became one of the dominant themes of her depictions during ancient times.


Hekate’s Wheel: She Is The Weaver of Time On Which We Tread

Hekate’s Wheel, associated with her since ancient days, has also been referred to as the strophalos and is associated with the iynx. This spinning wheel is the symbolic representation of her as the Anima Mundi who creates all, including time and our fates. She has governance over The Fates, who are part of her horde.


Go Deeper: Hekate’s Symbols: Wheel – History, Meaning and Uses

Triformis, Trimorphis: Hekate as The Triple Goddess

Hekate’s role as Keeper of the Keys is vital to understanding her essence as Anima Mundi, the Soul of the World. Other ancient writers used this metaphor to describe her power as the Mediator between humans and the deeper world. Within the Persephone myth cycle, she replicates this archetype. She is the guardian to Persephone when she is deeply troubled, she guides her back and forth, ensuring the seasons change, and she is the keeper of the keys of wisdom and transformation.

Hekate, Persephone and Demeter form one version of the Triple Goddess. The Triple Goddess to the ancient writers represented the power of transformation, the ability to shapeshift and the seasonal progression. In this way, the Triple Goddess is Triformis (Three Formed) and Trimorphis (Three Morphed). The Triple Goddess also represented the three visible phases of the moon. Thus, Hekate as part of the Triple Goddess was often associated with Selene (Luna in Latin) and Artemis (Diana).

Go deeper: Hekate as the Triple Goddess

Hekate and the Moon

Indeed to the ancients the moon was under Hekate’s domain. In addition to her association with the dark moon, she was revered as a Moon Goddess. The moon’s deep association with women and witchcraft and the goddesses of both, further illustrates the complexities of Hekate’s vast powers.

Go Deeper: Hekate and the Moon.


Historical Hekate

The origins of Hekate lie in the mists of the distant past. The most likely beginning of Hekate was in Asia Minor and parts of Eastern Europe. From these regions, her cult spread to Ancient Greece where she was viewed as a Titan. Unlike the rest of her Titanic pantheon, she wasn’t killed by the upstart Olympians. Instead Zeus gave her dominion over land, sea and sky, according to Hesiod’s Theogony (approximately 8th century BCE).

The Ancient Greeks worshiped Hekate in various ways, notably she was seen as a matron watching over households. It is from this role that the common contemporary practice of giving her offerings on the dark moon grew. In ancient Greece, a Hekate’s Supper was left out, usually at a three-way crossroads, to seek her favor over a household for the coming month. Her association with the number three extended to her being viewed as a triple goddess.

Go deeper: Hekate’s Library: 13 Essential Titles

Ancient Hekate’s Many Roles

From the ancient sources, we know that Hekate was seen as a liminal goddess, standing between worlds, particularly at the threshold of life and death. She was given many (over 200) epithets including Mother of All, Queen, Liberator, Mistress of Corpses, and World Soul. The variety of the titles bestowed upon her by the ancients often appears contradictory. We need to keep in mind two things. One is that the ancient writers held vastly divergent views of Hekate. The other is that Hekate has always been a complex goddess with multiple roles and abilities.

As the patriarchy grew in power, and as Christianity spread, Hekate was redacted, defiled and minimized by those in command. Where she was once Hesiod’s all powerful goddess, to whom Zeus succumbed, she became an evil crone.

Go deeper: Hekate: Goddess of Our Time

The Importance of Ancient Hekate

While we will never know for certain the extent of her adoration among the ancient Greeks, there is evidence suggesting that she was an important goddess, particularly with common people. In addition, there are many ancient coins, statues, and other works of art depicting Hekate during this period.

Go deeper: Hekate’s Library: 13 Essential Titles


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Articles about hekate

  

Understanding Hekate

Keeping Her Keys: The Rise Of Hekate And Her Witches

Hail to the keys, the crossroads, the torch, and most of all, the moon. For...

A Witch’s Understanding of Hekate

Hekate is a complex goddess with a long history. She is the Goddess of the...

Hekate: Guardian, Guide and Gatekeeper

Hekate as a Triple Goddess is one of her most iconic images. Usually including either...

Hekate: Goddess of Our Time

There is a different Hekate for everyone, from the Queen of Hell to the Mother...

Hekate: The Mother of All

Reviewing the existing literature about Hekate reveals that her three-formed nature is reflected in her...

Hekate: 10 Things Worth Knowing

Hekate is a complex goddess both in her cultural representations and personal interpretations. I've written...

Hekate’s Name: Origins, Meanings, Pronunciations & More

If there is one type of question about Hekate I get asked more than others...

Hekate’s Origin Story

While her earthly birth place may never be known, Hekate's origin story tells of her...

Hekate: Goddess of Relationships

Hekate's complex history includes a wide variety of relationships, from the epic tale of her...

Hekate’s Many Controversies

As an ancient goddess, Hekate has weathered many different interpretations and practices.  Because of her...

Hekate: Goddess of the Sea

Hekate's association with the sea stretches from the earliest known descriptions to contemporary understanding. As...

Which Hekate Are You?

Time to lighten up a bit, witches. Hekate is a complex, multi-faceted goddess with many...

Hekate’s Horde: Spirits, The Restless Dead And Witchcraft

Hekate's Horde has followed her throughout the centuries, enduring the same sort of vilification that...

Hekate’s Wheel of the Year

A Modern Hekatean Witchcraft Wheel of the Year for 2018

This Modern Hekatean Witchcraft Wheel of the Year combines ancient texts, modern pagan observances and...

Hekate and January: Look Both Ways

January brings a new calendar year, a time of reflection on the past and planning...

February: Honoring Hekate as the World Soul with a Sunrise Ritual

Midwinter is an ideal day to celebrate Hekate as the World Soul. There's the slightest...

Hekate and the Spring Equinox: The Winds of Change and the Balance in All Things

As the Spring Equinox draws nigh, it is this aspect of Hekate that speaks to...

Wonderfully Hekatean Ways To Celebrate Spring

Witches, spring is upon us. While I'll always prefer the glorious darkness of autumn, the...

Beltane, Hekate and Me: Watching Them Burn

I like to think that if Hekate was watching Beltane festivities, she'd be standing off...

May Full Moon: The Power of Hekate’s Fires

Hekate's Wheel of Fire comes full circle on the May Full Moon, when her torches...

Hekate and the Summer Solstice: Suggestions for Themes, Rituals and Correspondences

The Summer Solstice is the time to acknowledge Hekate as the Keeper of the Keys...

Hekate And September: Beginnings, Endings And The In-Between (Suggestions for Correspondences, Rituals and More)

September is the month of the final harvest from the land. Labor Day is connected...

Hekate & October: Hail The Queen of Witches!

The glorious Season of The Witch is here. October is the month when the thinning...

Hekate and Samhain: Suggestions for Witchery, Rituals and More

Hekate and Samhain should go together, but most mainstream practices don't include her. However, three...

Hekate & November: The Underworld, Crossroads, Death Walking & Initiation

November is Hekate's month. There are two nights honoring her, Night of Hekate of the...

The Holy Darkness is Nigh: November & Hekate

November is the month for exploring the dark mysteries of Hekate and ourselves.

Oh, Holy Night! Celebrating Hekate of the Underworld

On November 16, Hekate is celebrated as Queen of the Underworld. In this article, I...

Honoring Hekate of the Underworld and Ourselves: A Death Walking Ritual of Transformation

Night of Hekate of the Underworld is November 16. Celebrate her chthonic side and honor...

Deeper Into The Darkness: Hekate and Soul Retrieval

The shattered pieces of ourselves find refuge deep in Hekate's cave. Call upon the Mistress...

Oh, Night Divine! Honoring Hekate of the Crossroads

November 30 is the night to honor Hekate for all the crossroads She's seen you...

Hekate & December: Witchcraft for the Darkest Month & The Promise of Rebirth

Our Lady and Savior: Hekate and December

As the wheel of the year nears the winter solstice, my thoughts turn to the...

The Winter Solstice: Day of Hekate Soteira

This new story offers a Modern Hekatean Witchcraft interpretation of the winter solstice. On this...

Deliver Us from Darkness: Hekate and the Winter Solstice

The winter solstice offers the opportunity to honor Hekate as Queen of the Underworld, Middle...

Hekate’s Moon

Hekate and the Moon

Hekate has been strongly associated with the moon for millennia.  From her role as an...

Honoring Hekate on the Dark Moon: Suggestions for Rituals, Correspondences and Offerings

The Dark Moon, occurring on the astrological new moon, is a time that many followers...

Hekate and the New Moon

The New Moon is an ideal time for seeking Hekate's support for new projects, renewal...

Drawing Down Hekate’s Moon

Drawing down Hekate's Moon is an evocation suitable for any lunar witchery, whether a ritual...

Hekate And The Harvest Moon

While the Autumn Equinox can be acknowledged with the sun's fiery energy, I prefer to...

Deeper into the Deipnon: Honoring Hekate on the Dark Moon

Coming at the end of the lunar cycle, the Deipnon is observed as a time...

Hekate’s Symbols

Hekate’s Symbols: Fire – History, Meaning and Uses

Hekate's five different types of fire can be merged with the pentacle to create a...

Hekate’s Symbols: Keys – History, Meaning and Uses

Hekate holds the keys to the universe in her hands. Fortunately, She's willing to share...

Hekate’s Symbols: Wheel – History, Meaning and Uses

The strophalos, or Hekate's Wheel, is one of the most powerful symbols available for honoring...

Hekate’s Animal Horde

Hekate’s Animals: Ancient Creatures, Modern Menagerie, and Ways to Include Them in Witchery

Hekate's animal horde is vast and diverse, from her beloved hounds to the witch's cat....

Hekate’s Hounds

Hekate is associated with many members of the animal kingdom, but perhaps her infamous hounds...

Hekate and Her Companions

Great Goddesses of Magick & Mystery: Ritual for Unleashing Your Inner Witch

Turn to the Great Goddesses of Magick and Mystery to unleash your inner witch on...

Hekate and Her Four Sovereign Goddesses: Artemis, Medea, Persephone and Kirke (includes a ritual)

Calling upon Artemis, Medea, Persephone, Kirke and Hekate will help you stand fully in your...

Persephone, Emotional Warrior Queen: Her Story, Themes, Correspondences and More

Persephone is often seen only as the maiden taken to the Under World against her...

Re-Imagining Persephone and the Complexities of Women’s Choices

Was Persephone the unwitting victim, trapped in a hellish relationship? Perhaps was a self-appointed therapist...

Life Lessons from Persephone, Queen of Pain

Contemporary society says, "Pain is bad. Run from it." However, closing our eyes to our...

Artemis, Wild Goddess: Her Story, Themes, Correspondences and More

Artemis the solitary hunter, stalking her prey and yielding to no man has always been...

Medea: Her Story, Themes, Correspondences, Rituals, Spells and More

Medea represents the eternal witch. She is a figure of both tragedy and triumph, much...

Kirke (Circe) Is A Goddess We Need Right Now: Her Story, Themes, Correspondences and More

Witches everywhere are feeling drawn to the Original Witch like never before. We are Kirke...

Demeter: Fertility, Fury and The Fall

Demeter reigns over the life cycle, from the fallow of winter to the bounty of...

Rituals And More

A New Year’s Prayer to Hekate

Between the year that was and the year ahead there is a liminal space. This...

A Witch’s Prayer to Hekate

Mighty Hekate, Queen of the Witches, Blessed am I, To call myself one of your...

Hekate’s Nine Keys Ritual

The powerful symbolism of Hekate as the Keeper of the Keys offers many magical uses....

Healing with Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft: Concepts, Practices, Techniques, Spells and Correspondences

Healing is a complex process, with the original trauma interacting with our personalities and subsequent...

Oh, What a Night: Prayer of Devotion and Petition to Hekate

I've used this petition to evoke Hekate for over a decade during solitary rituals and...

The Workers’ Petition to Hekate: A Ritual For Improving Your Employment Situation

Since ancient times Hekate's attention has been sought for all matters relating to paid work....

Hekate’s Nine Keys Ritual

The powerful symbolism of Hekate as the Keeper of the Keys offers many magical uses....

Healing from Trauma with The Three Keys Ritual

Hekate can help us overcome trauma if we seek Her assistance. The Three Keys Ritual...

Prayer to Hekate, The World Soul

Hekate as The World Soul is the source of all creation, including the virtues of...

Prayer to Hekate for the Dead

Death is but another phase of life, though it is one that can cause us...

 An Evocation of Hekate Suitable for Any Rite

"I honor You as the Key Holder, And pray that You’ll open the doors to...

Hekate’s Garden

Hekate’s Garden: Dandelion

While Hekate's connection with dandelion is entirely contemporary, it can be added to her garden...

Hekate’s Garden: Bay Laurel

Hekate's Garden contains a wide variety of plants that can be used for magickal purposes....

Hekate’s Tarot

Hekate and Daily Tarot Work

The Hekate Enodia Tarot spread provides insight about things we should approach and those to...

Hekate and The Shadow Self Tarot Spread

A Tarot spread that calls upon the wisdom of Hekate to help tame your shadow...

Hekate and Personal Development 

Exploring Balance Using Modern Hekatean Witchcraft: Dark and Light

Last week I embarked on a nine week journey exploring balance using Modern Hekatean Witchcraft....

Exploring Balance Using Modern Hekatean Witchcraft

Using Modern Hekatean Witchcraft, I'm embarking on a journey exploring balance that will end on...

The Charming Serpent of the Past: Hekate, Snakes, and Letting Go

Snakes are a potent symbol for Hekate, especially for personal transformation. On a recent walk...

Lead Me Not into Temptation: Hekate, Spellcraft and the Virtuous Life

I like to think of Hekate as the Collector of Shadows. By giving them up...

The Crossroads and the Key: Hekate and Beginnings

For me, fall will always be a time of new beginnings. A few weeks ago,...

Lean into it, Witch: A Squid, Hekate Einalian and Magick

There are times when the point of my witchery is to accept things as they...

Stuck in the Liminal with Her: Hekate and the Unwanted In-Between

Beyond any other location, Hekate is associated with in-between places, like a crossroads or the...

‘Brimo’ it on! Hekate and the Storms of Life

Hekate as Brimo is Her most terrifying aspect. As the Queen of Rage She is...

Oh, What a Night: Prayer of Devotion and Petition to Hekate

I've used this petition to evoke Hekate for over a decade during solitary rituals and...

The Temple of Hekate: A Book Review and Dreams of the Real One

I can't think about the title of this book without dreaming about visiting the ancient...

She’s Called Nova Scotia:  Hekate and The Magic of the Place I Call Home

For all my cheeky ways, I have an equally strong sentimental streak, especially about some...

Hekate and Social Justice

Hekate: Guardian of the Marginalized

Hekate's torches shine bright over those of us who live on the fringe of society,...

Hekate Wants YOU!

The world seems to be spiraling downwards into an abyss of hate and intolerance. As...

Hekate, Guardian of the Children: Ritual of Blessing, Protection and Rescue

Hekate as Kourotrophos is Guardian of the Children. I'm sharing this ritual that I've done...

Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft

Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft: A Short Introduction

Hekate's Modern Witchcraft is an approach that focuses on better living through practices, techniques and...

Introducing Modern Hekatean Witchcraft 

Modern Hekatean Witchcraft is an emerging tradition of devotion and witchcraft from a modern perspective....

Using Hekate’s Many Epithets

Hekate's many epithets are rich sources for devotion, witchery and personal development work. In this...

Altars and Shrines in Modern Hekatean Witchcraft

If you're new to Modern Hekatean Witchcraft, you might be curious about what to put...

Creating Sacred Space for Hekate

Sacred space is a necessary part of witchcraft and devotion to Hekate. I use sacred...

Making Hekate’s Magick on a Budget

Witchery involving Hekate doesn't have to cost a bundle. Here's a bunch of things that...

When Hekate Calls: A Practical Guide for Answering

Sometimes, people are afraid of Hekate’s calling. They’ve heard a bit about Her – maybe..

Finding Hekate: Suggestions for Seekers

If you are sincere in wanting to find Her, then you must be able to...

When Hekate Doesn’t Call…or Answer…or Seems Angry: What’s Going On and Ways to Fix It

There are times when we are looking for that blissful Hekatean connection and it is...

Getting Hekate’s Attention

Calling upon Hekate is a vital part of devotion and witchcraft. There are several considerations...

Should We Fear Hekate?

The August night air was thick enough to cut with a dagger. The clouds were...


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