Hekate was frequently described and depicted either wearing or in the presence of serpents. Among these is Sophocles’ description in his play The Root Cutters 93: “She who is crowned with oak-leaves and the coils of wild serpents.”  As she appeared to Jason in the Argonautica, there are serpents in her presence:  “…round her horrible serpents twined themselves among the oak boughs” 94. The Chaldean Oracles also describe Hekate as “the snake-girdled and the three-headed” and “the She-serpent, and the snake-girdled” 95.

The association of serpents with Hekate refers to her chthonian powers as well as highlighting the fearsome nature of her manifestations.


93 d’Este, S. and Rankine, D. 2009. Hekate: Liminal Rites. London: Avalonia.

94 Seaton, R.C. trans. 1912. Apollonius Rhodius Argonautica. Loeb Classical Library Volume 1,        London: William Heinemann Ltd. Available from:

95 Ronan, S. 1992. The Goddess Hekate. London: Chthonios Press.


The Symbols of the Goddess Hekate
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