An alloy of copper and tin (sometimes with additional metals), bronze is a metal of greater durability than even iron, despite the fact that the Iron Age superseded the Bronze Age. Because of its strength and durability, bronze was often used to make the stylus for inscribing defixiones and for the nails used to pierce the lead sheets of defixiones. A bronze stylus was frequently used for engraving on pottery for love spells that called on Hekate for help. A bronze amulet depicting Hekate on one side and King Solomon on the other was discovered at the ancient Roman port of Ostia. 7
Porphyry, in identifying Hekate as the moon, describes Her as the “…goddess of the brazen sandals” 8, the word “brazen” being used in the ancient world in reference to both bronze and brass 9. Porphyry’s description may be the reason behind the use of “bronze sandal” as a spoken sign or password in a spell in the PGM IV.2241-2358, wherein the operator is calling upon the “governess of Tartaros” but is using imagery that is connected to Hekate, such as key, black dog and a reference to Brimo. In his Paean 2, Pindar refers to Hekate as the ‘maiden of the ruddy feet’, which may be a reference to the bronze sandals.
7 d’Este, S. and Rankine, D. 2009. Hekate: Liminal Rites. London: Avalonia, pg 102.
8 Gifford, E. H. trans. 1994-2009. Porphyry: On Images, fragment 8. Available at
9 d’Este, S. and Rankine, D. 2009. Hekate: Liminal Rites. London: Avalonia, pg 103.
The Symbols of the Goddess Hekate
- Black Lamb
- Dark Moon
- Flower of Fire
- Garland (or Wreath)
- Golden Sceptre
- Herald’s Wand
- Lapis Lazuli
- Moon (New Moon)
- Mullet (Fish)
- Sandals (Bronze or Gold)
- Torch & Twin Torches