Hecate is the Greek goddess of witchcraft, magic, the crossroads, night or darkness. Hecate is also one of the three moon goddesses the other two are Artemis and Selene. She is the daughter of the goddess Asteria and the titan Perses Hecate was a only child. Zeus honored her above all the others as the goddess of the crossroads, magic, witchcraft, the moon and wilderness.
After the titan war Hecate was honored by Zeus as goddess he also gave keys and torches to the crossroads for helping the gods. Hecate's father Perses was impressed in Tartarus with most of the other titans her mother Asteria felled to the sea and turned into the island Delos birth place of Apollo and Artemis. Being goddess of the crossroads Hecate uses her powers to make three forms of her self. The three also represent three moon phases the full moon, half moon and new moon. When Persephone the daughter of Demeter and Zeus was taken into the underworld to be married to Hades.
Hecate was one of deities that helped look for her. Eventually mother and daughter are reunited Hecate was rewared for her help she gained a place in underworld so she could attend to Demeter's daughter. She accepeted because many people believed that magic was a dark power. Hecate also fought in the giant war that happened because of the titans defeat in the war Hecate killed the giant Clytius by burning him with her torches. After the war the greek giants were imprisoned in their birth place tartarus.
In one story the gods are deceived by a mortal name Galanthis who was supposed to kill Hercules mother before he was born as punishment she turned into a Weasel. Hecate felt sorry for the mortal and made the Weasel one of her sacred animals. Hercules showed gratitude to Galanthis by building a shrine of her.
The first person turned into a Polecat was a mortal witch named Gale as punishment from Hecate for abnormal desires.
Before the Trojan war when Iphigenia was going to be sacrificed but was reduced by Artemis and by her will she brought forth Hecate and the girl was changed into one of the goddess three forms.
There is another story were Hecate takes pity on a mortal named Hecuba. After the Trojan war Queen Hecuba's sons are killed and she was taken as a slave Hecuba blinds King Polydrmestor murders his sons. Hecuba was turned into a black dog and jump off of Odysseus ship to escape Hecate rescued the dog and made it another one of her sacred animals.
In one story Hecate helps the city of Byzantium that was about to be attacked. She used her torches and pack of dogs to wake the city which gave the people time to prepare for the attack.
Like Artemis Hecate has Nymph followers called Lampades underworld Nymphs.
Though Hecate had a few cities that honored her and a few temples she does not care for a life of luxury the goddess prefers loneliness, creepy and darkness more.
When Hecate was offered a place in the underworld to look after Persephone Hera agreed Hecate should go to the underworld and believed it would place punishment for the goddess of magic. Hera wanted to Hecate to pay for stealing some of her beauty and giving it to another woman that Zeus loved. Hecate was not only placed in the underworld to look after Persephone but also as punishment before Hecate heard the cries Demeter's daughter from a never by cave where the goddess of witchcraft was hiding Hecate stayed in the home of a pregnant woman when she was running from Hera and the gods were not allowed to be present during the birth of a child they could help but not actually be there. So after Demeter and Hecate found Persephone the goddess of magic knew she was in trouble because now the other gods found out where she was hiding and in their eyes she must be punished.
Zeus ever thankful for Hecate helping the gods in the war with the titans not only made her a goddess and honored above all the other deities he also treated her like she was a daughter of Zeus.
Hecate was abandoned by her mother Asteria at birth which could be the reason why she sided with the gods. Being abandoned not much is known about her past which leads to many different stories and beliefs of where she is from and who her parents are.
The goddess of darkness uses her torches to light the way through the darkness and shadows of the underworld they are also used to see the crossroads and help her followers at night when she appears to them. But most of the time she chooses to remain in the dark unseen and to pass by invisible. Her torches aren't the only thing she uses to help her keys unlock the doors in the underworld, the doors of the crossroads and the doors in the dark. The keys can unlock the doors that hide the fears and dangers in the dark to people for face or see what would scare a lot of people this can help people become brave and fearless of the darkness, the keys unlock the doors that show those who are lost, lonely and scared in shadows, the keys unlock doors that show the people who are scared and lost away out, the keys also unlock doors that show the dangers in there that people should fear. The keys unlock the doors that show who evil monsters who should be feared in the dark and those who are not, the keys even unlock the doors for those wishing to hide into the dark for those who wish to be invisible. They can unlock the doors to the most horrible dark secrets that Hecate knows because she is the goddess of darkness. Which keys and doors lead to where is a mystery just like the goddess herself so the keys and doors unlock mysteries to. The keys also unlock doors that open ways to magic and witchcraft.
Just like many of the things that Hecate controls the goddess herself is a mystery, like the shadows, darkness or night no one knows what hides in there, like magic and witchcraft no one knows about turning invisible, changing size, using the elements, shapeshifting, mind reading, summoning etc. it is not easy to understand how magical energy works and the crossroads roads no one knows where they go or what else or who else is using the same path they choose or the one they are taken down.
Hecate's parents Perses her father was the titan of destruction and her mother Asteria is the titan goddess of the stars her mother who became a goddess after the titan war. Like many of the female titans Asteria did fight in the war against the gods and like many of the females she was taken as a prisoner and forced to become a goddess. Zeus lusted for her but she escaped and made it so the god of lighting and many others could not steal her love she had for her husband. Before Asteria turned into a island she was also not only the goddess of the stars but also knew how to read the stars.
When Typhon the father of all monsters attacked Mt. Olympus Hecate fled to Egypt with the other gods. Though she lived in the underworld instead of living on Olympus Zeus gave the word to run not only to the gods of Olympus but the others as well and Hecate was one of them. In egypt Hecate also changed into an animal just like Artemis she took the form of a cat. After the battle and returning to Greece Hecate became associated with cats just like Bastet and Artemis. Hecate decided to not only care for black dogs, owls, snakes, ravens, weasels/polecats, bats, frogs, crows and other animals that were thought as evil she decided to have cats as some of the animals she looks after.
Like Artemis Hecate is one of the few Greek deities who still retained her status as a goddess when Christianity replaced the old greek mythology religion. Hecate is also listed as one of the goddesses that pre-dates greek mythology. In greek mythology where Hecate is honored by Zeus above all the other deities Hecate has a asteroid belt around the planet Jupiter which is also the equivalent version of Zeus in roman mythology. Artemis who is close to the goddess of witchcraft has an asteroid in this belt.
As worship for Hecate still continued in modern times Hecate, Artemis and Selene along with their roman equivalents Trivia, Diana and Luna became associated with the Wild Hunt and triple goddess for the Wiccans. In modern times somethings that are linked to magic, the moon, witchcraft and darkness are named after the goddess just like how things linked to nature, hunting the moon, and animals are named after Artemis and her roman equivalent Diana.
The witch goddess has three forms that she changes into. Ancient art and statues show her three forms standing together but many believe that Hecate has three faces on one head or three heads instead of three forms. It is believed in some stories that Hecate's two other forms fell in love and had many children while her true fom remanded a virgin.
The three forms or three women that Hecate appears as (not the one woman with three heads on one body) a young maiden (the virign), a crone (the witch), and a mother.
In some stories people believe that Hecate is the mother of many monsters but she is virgin just like Artemis, she cares for things that others would fear, dislike, hate or find hideous. To Hecate the things the gods and mortals call monsters are just poor beings that have been cursed and mistreated she cares for them like they are her children.
Because of her dark powers and being a witch many view Hecate as evil so she decides to live alone in the quiet darkness and protect those who are just like her. What happened to her when she was young might be the reason why she cares for those who are lost, abandoned or misunderstood.
Powers & Abilities
Like all deities Hecate has a lot of powers and abilities that allow her to do many things this like travel to different realms, shapeshift, summoning, immortality etc.
But her greatest powers and abilities are magic, witchcraft, necromancy, controlling darkness and understanding monsters because of her being queen of the night. She sees and hears the lonely sacred people in the dark she hears and sees a lot of secrets that are kept hidden in there from the rest of the world.
Her three forms the virign, the crone and the mother help the goddess learn more secrets, they help with the different paths of the crossroads, they unlock different doors with their own keys and the take care of the different things and people who need it. The virign helps the women, the crone helps the witches and other creepy things and finally the mother cares for children and acts as a mother for all the others the vrigin and crone look after. The three forms or bodies of the goddess don't just care different keys and represents some of the phases of the moon.
- Black Dogs
- Polecats or Weasels
- Chariot pulled by dragons
- Crows & Ravens
- Frogs & Toads
- Gale the Polecat/Weasel (original was a human)
- Hecuba the Black Dog (original was a human)
- Galanthis the polecat/Weasel (original was a human)
Folklore, Religions, and Myths