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 Hecate

Triple Moon Goddess; goddess of darkness; goddess of magic.   (influence from afar)
Pluto / Moon / Waning Moon / Earth / Saturn / Earth / Autumn / Capricorn
(European: Greek)

Culture/Origin: Greece (originally Thracian).

Myth: Hecate represented all three aspects of the Goddess as Maiden, Mother and Crone. In her Crone aspect, symbolized by the dark moon, she was the Goddess of the Dead and the Queen of the Night. Hecate was worshiped at the intersections of three roads, where she walked with her spectral hounds, illuminating the night with her blazing torch. Those who worshiped Hecate knew the secrets of magic and sorcery, and dedicated their work to the dark goddess. The Crone aspect of women, represented by Hecate, was honored in many cultures as the wise woman, the guide to the Underworld and the great revealer of the mysteries.

Attributes: Wisdom, magic, prophecy, mystery, regeneration, eternity.

Symbols: Crossroads, blazing torch, hounds.

Feast and Festival Days: January 8, May 3, August 13, October 31, November 16, December 31.

Color: Black.

Hecate's Wisdom: Call upon me to claim your psychic power as a wise woman and the keeper of women's ancient mysteries. Remember the importance of honoring the dark, for only then can we participate fearlessly in the joys and challenges of life.

 

Hecate rules the sky, the earth, the sea, sorcery, death,  magic, darkness, navigation, tombs, the underworld, the dead, crossroads, flocks, crime scenes, dark deeds, the lunar cycle, the dark of the moon, the unconscious, moonless nights, and the terrors of the night. She is the matron of witches and priestesses. Hecate is pronounced heh-ka-tayí, and also spelled Hekate. Other names for Hecate include Hekat, Hecale, Hecalene, and Hecuba.

Her many titles include Invincible Queen, Great Mother, Sovereign Goddess of Many Names, Goddess of the Dark of the Moon, Goddess of Witches, Queen of Witches, Mistress of Magic, Queen of Ghosts, Queen of Crossroads, Queen of the Night, Queen of Death, Lady of the Underworld, Holy One, The Distant One, Goddess of Storms, Goddess of Midnight, Goddess of the Scene of the Crime, She Who Works From Afar, and She Who Has Power Far Off. She was also known as Hecate Agrotera, Hecate Ereshkigal, Hecate Prytania, Hecate Triformis, Dea Triformis, Hecate Brimo (power); Hecate Selene, the Far-Shooting Moon; and Hecate Trivia or Trevia, Hecate of the Three Ways, Goddess of Crossroads.

Dogs are sacred to Hecate, particularly black dogs. The owl is her sacred bird. Plants sacred to Hecate include almonds, angelica, aniseed, Pontic azalea, belladonna, borage, Calla lily, cardamom, chamomile, cyclamen, cudweed, dandelion, datura, fennel, feverfew, garlic, mountain germander, poison hemlock, English ivy, Ladyís mantle, lavender, laurel, maidenhair fern, mandrake, mint, musk rose, common nightshade, deadly nightshade, onion, black poppy seeds, rue, St. Johnís wort, sesame, rough smilax, verbena, and wolfbane. Willow, cypress, yew, date palm, and black poplar are her sacred trees. Three is her sacred number, and her sacred letter is ëLí. January 31, May 7, and August 13 or 14 are Hecate's feast days. She was always celebrated at night, usually by torchlight. A ring, scepter, crown, torches, and the cauldron are her symbols.

Invoke Hecate for magic, witchcraft, enchantment, power, shamanism, rain, business, wealth, healing, purification, expiation, wisdom, hunting, divination, incantations, favor, prophecy, transformation, endings, regeneration, empowerment, victory, reincarnation, lunar magic, money spells, psychic work, dream magic, cauldron spells, crone power, knowledge of magic, good luck for hunters and sailors, help in the final stage of childbirth; blessing, casting spells, making charms, averting evil, finding stolen children, and protection from evil spirits. Hecate is also invoked to protect children, sailors, flocks, roadways, the poor, and the downtrodden. Invoke her as Hecabe for psychic work. Practitioners on left hand paths invoke Hecate for black magic, blasting, cursing, destruction, hexing, vengeance, necromancy, controlling demons, and calling storms that ruin harvests.

Hecate is said to be a lot more likely to give you what you need than what you ask her for, so some witches find it more effective to simply ask her to send them whatever is needed in their lives. Three torches can be used to invoke Hecate. Crossroads, tombs, and crime scenes are powerful places for her invocation. She is best invoked at the Full Moon, while the Moon is waning, and on the dark nights just before the New Moon. Hecate is only invoked after night falls, in moonlight or in torchlight.

To honor Hecate, erect her three-faced image at a crossroads where three roads meet. This is also where offerings to her are left, at Full Moon. Honey, menstrual blood, roast meat, graveyard dirt (ground patchouli leaves, alone or mixed with other dried herbs), and eggs and onions that have been used to absorb negative vibrations in the home, are all suitable offerings to Hecate. Red wine, honey, and willow water, an infusion of willow bark, are appropriate for libations to her.

Hekatombs, a Greek word used to mean any large sacrifice, was originally a sacrifice of one hundred oxen offered to Hecate. Black dogs, black lambs, and even black slaves were also once sacrificed to her, by magicians who sought her help in their workings.

Greeks who worshiped Hecate has a custom of holding Hecate Suppers in her honor, at Full Moon and on her feast days. Roast meat, honey cakes, and seeded breads are among the appropriate foods for such a dinner. It is traditional to save a bit of each of the dishes from a Hecate Supper to leave as an offering to her.

Caution should be used when invoking Hecate. She is an active goddess who is very likely to answer if you call her, but she is not one who can be easily dismissed. Invoking Hecate may be the start of a lifetime in her service, so consider this before you invoke her.

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