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Crushing on Hekate: The Goddess of the Witches

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Born in deepest Cornwall, now living in wild Wales, Bev has been practising her personal brand of eclectic witchcraft for years and years.

Photo by Julia Kadel on Unsplash

Photo by Julia Kadel on Unsplash

Who Is Hekate?

Hekate has been on my radar as a bit of a bad-ass Goddess. However, it took a while for me to fall in love with her.

Hekate's origins are unknown. She possibly appeared as Heket, the Goddess of fertility (and frogs) in ancient Egypt. She's also thought to be a native of Thrace, a region in Southeast Europe now split between Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey.

The Greeks claim her for their own, but she was around a long time before the Gods of Olympus. Somehow that sweet talker, Zeus, managed to persuade her to come over to his side to help him defeat the Titans.

"It is also possible that she is the remaining fragment of an indigenous Neolithic or early Bronze Age Goddess given a new name and a bit of a makeover."

The Temple of Hekate: Exploring The Goddess Hekate through Ritual, Meditation And Divination, Sanchez, Tara

It really doesn't matter whence she came because now she belongs to me.

I've never been one to have deities. My kind of witchcraft isn't like that. All that deity worshipping is a little too Wicca for me. However, during the last few months, I've been reading more about her. And I'm crushing big time.

Why Hekate Is Simply the Best

  • She takes no shit from anyone.
  • She really, really likes dogs.
  • She lurks around crossroads at midnight. Maybe it was she who set Robert Johnson on his path?
  • She's not ageist. She represents all ages of women, from young to crone, with special emphasis on our crone phase.
  • She'll hold up a mirror to reflect your darkest aspects: know thyself. Never deny your own inner badass goddess.
  • She's a midwife watching over your labour; she also ushers out the dying.
  • She accompanies souls on their journey to wherever they are headed.
  • She guards your deep unconscious and only allows access when you are prepared.
  • She controls the movement of the moon and its phases. There are other Goddesses associated with the moon, but she is the real moon bitch.

"Then earth began to bellow, trees to dance. And howling dogs in glimmering light advance ere Hekate came." —Virgil, Aeneid, Book VL

Hekate has some sort of multiple personality disorder which she uses to her advantage.

You can call her name three times, and she might materialise in front of you. You'd better have a damn good reason for disturbing her, or she'll turn you into a toad.

Be careful when you get frustrated and yell, 'Heck it! Heck it! Heck it!' You disturb her with your insolence, yet she'll politely correct you, "It's Heca-tay, sweetie". Then she'll turn you into a toad.

She'll Meet You At the Crossroads

If you are the kind of person who enjoys the occasional midnight ramble, approach junctions cautiously. You never know when the Goddess of crossroads might be lurking around. See that fleeting shadow? There she is.

Hear that low growling and snuffling behind you? That's one of her beloved black dogs. I advise you always to carry some offering, maybe a cookie or a few coins to leave under the nearest tree or even in the gutter if you are in a city. Should you meet her, avert your gaze, say 'Goodnight, my Lady', and leave post-haste.

How Hekate Became Queen of the Witches

Turns out it was those dastardly Catholic witch hunters who demonised the Goddess and linked her to witchcraft. They decided she was the female equivalent of the Devil and so had to be responsible for inciting all those easily-led pagan people into evil doings. After all, those people were responsible for the worst crimes against Christianity, namely midwifery, healing and seers. Thus they had to be tortured and eliminated. An estimated nine million were killed across Europe. The majority, of course, were women.

When the purge was over, Hekate was reclaimed, and witches took her for their own, often under various names.

The Triple Aspect of Hekate

The triple Goddess is well known among witches and Hekate embodies the concept perfectly. Her alter-personas are Selene, Goddess of the Moon, Artemis, the huntress, and Hekate the destroyer and inhabitant of the underworld. Her triple aspect is reflected in the three ages of woman: maiden, mother and crone. As well as in the three moon phases: waxing, waning and dark. She's also linked as Hekate--the crone to Persephone (the nymph) and Demeter (the mother).

A statue of Hekate shows her with three heads, six arms. Three of which hold torches, while the other three bear her three sacred emblems: key, rope and dagger.

Those emblems became the symbol of the key to occult mysteries, the cord or cingulum worn by witches to secure their robes and to be used in certain spells. The dagger was adopted and renamed 'athame', a blunt knife used in ritual work.

Hecate, or The Night of Enitharmon's Joy by William Blake (Tate Gallery).

Hecate, or The Night of Enitharmon's Joy by William Blake (Tate Gallery).

Hekate and the Dark Moon

The dark (new) moon phase is the best time to connect with our multi-faceted Hekate. Work your dark magic, perform your rituals of witch queen worship, invoke the spirit of the Goddess of the Underworld and call upon her when you need help.

Hekate, Hekate, Hekate!

You bestow upon me the dreams

And now I dream of thee

Hekate, approach, I beseech thee.

From the song, 'Hekate' by Faun

The Midnight Goddess and Your Shadow Side

Sit in the dark, become lost in introspection. Absorb the energy of Hekate and begin to know thyself. Meet your dark side and understand that you are magnificent.

Hekate reassures you that your darkness is part of the human psyche and that it's okay to bring it out, play with it, soothe it, and then put it away for a while.

When Hekate Chooses You for Her Own

You keep seeing references to her. You find yourself thinking about her and performing internet searches. That's how she gets you, weaving and twisting your dreams through her long, scrawny fingers. You begin to think that you need her on your team. And you do. Acknowledge her. Create an altar, or a piece of art, or write a eulogy. Learn her complex history and absorb her into your life.

She is yours, and you belong to her for eternity.

Aleister Crowley's “Invocation to Hekate” (partial as it’s quite long and his overuse of exclamation marks hurts my eyes):

Beginning:

"O triple form of darkness! Sombre splendour!
Thou moon unseen of men! Thou huntress dread!
Thou crowned demon of the crownless dead!
O breasts of blood, too bitter and too tender!"

Ending:

"Thee, thee I call! O dire one! O divine!
I, the sole mortal, seek thy deadly shrine,
Pour the dark stream of blood,
A sleepy and reluctant river
Even as thou drawest, with thine eyes on mine,
To me across the sense-bewildering flood
That holds my soul for ever!"

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Bev G

Comments

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on July 26, 2021:

Ha, ha. Thanks Doris xx

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 25, 2021:

Your intro made me curious, so I had to read your article to reacquaint myself with Hekate. My faint memory of her was in a world lit class in college as my prof. droned on about heroes and demons, gods and godesses. That was before my venture into parapsychology, and now I realize that he got most of it wrong. That's probably why I didn't pay much attention to him in class. He did pronounce it "Heck it", not "He ka Te", so that's how I think of her. Hopefully she won't turn me into a toad, but I know just the right protection to turn her spell back on her. LOL

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on July 24, 2021:

Thank you Ishika. And thank you for reading :)

ISHIKA MEHERE from NAGPUR on July 23, 2021:

Not going to lie the title at first made me laugh out loud ha ha cause i did not understand it.But a very interesting article,I thoroughly enjoyed reading it .Hope you have a great day ahead. -theraggededge.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on July 23, 2021:

Thanks, Val :)

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on July 23, 2021:

Yes, indeed, DreamerMeg. Some places were fairly tolerant whereas others would have been terrifying. You didn't even have to be a healer or anything; just an elderly woman on her own.

Val Karas from Canada on July 22, 2021:

Bev -- Truth be told, I had not read this particular article at the time of writing my comment, which was referring to your total writer's opus, most of which I had read. My comment was simply inspired by the impressive picture here on the Feed, reminding me heavily of all that Bev is about in her articles, and what I happen to admire.

Having a sweet obsession, I fancy that I can sense those who have one of their own, and I think you must be really good at what you do.

By the way, I did read the article afterwards. Great stuff -- what else.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on July 22, 2021:

Interesting. That was a terrible time, so many women tortured and killed across Europe, many because they spoke out, knew some healing or just because someone didn't like them! How many others suffered because the midwives and healers were removed?

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on July 22, 2021:

Thank you, Val. I think the human race has forgotten so much of its roots and connection with nature and the magical realms.

It's a bit difficult to leave comments at the moment unless you see the article as soon as it is published, so thanks again for catching this one.

Val Karas from Canada on July 22, 2021:

The Ruggededge -- Whether it's evident from my articles or not, but from ever I have had a great passion for everything mysterious. There was a period in my younger years when I was a charter member of a parapsychological foundation, exploring the "psi" abilities. That interest would then spill over some aspects of shamanism and metaphysics, inasmuch as it studied our spiritual connectedness with those less known laws of nature.

So, I can understand your being in love with that goddess, including all your fascination with witchcraft. You must be good at it, judging by the articles you have written. (Sorry, I don't leave comments, but I do read).

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