Who is Hekate?

Who is the Goddess Hekate?

Hekate or Hecate is a multifaceted goddess who has and continues to reveal herself in many different forms to devotees.

From: Circle for Hekate, d’Este – 2017

“The goddess Hekate continues to inspire awe today. She is one of the most ancient Pagan goddesses, closely linked to the worship of the Great Mother Goddess Kybele and the Ephesian Artemis, as well as with the Mysteries of the Grain Goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone. She was worshipped alongside gods such as Zeus, Hermes, Apollo and honoured at the entranceways into cities, temples and homes, as well as crossroads.

In Hesiod’s Theogony, the earliest and most complete surviving literary account of the Greek Gods, Hekate is given the unique position of being honoured by both Zeus and the other immortal gods.

“…Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honoured above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honour also in starry heaven, and is honoured exceedingly by the deathless gods…”[1]

She is described as a benevolent goddess, capable of granting success in many different aspects of life, as well as being a nurse to the young. Hekate is a shapeshifting goddess, manifesting in various forms and faces, single and triple-bodied, and with the heads of maidens as well as those of animals. She wields her torches illuminating the Mysteries, guiding, protecting and defending that which is under her care. She uses her serpents or whips to strike fear in those who are unprepared for her Mysteries, gifting her devotees with the ability to understand the serpent energy and knowledge. With her daggers, she cuts away that which is no longer necessary, whether the umbilical cord at birth or life itself upon death.

Numerous other goddesses were syncretised with Hekate, in different geographic regions and at different times in history. Her worship may have originated in the ancient Minoan or Mycenaean cultures, and was well attested throughout the Greek and Roman periods, spreading to the very corners of those Empires with those who travelled there. Evidence for her ancient worship has been found not only in Greece, but also as far apart as Sicily and Southern Italy, Egypt, Libya, Turkey, Bulgaria and Syria.

[1] The Theogony, circa 8th or 7th century BCE, Hesiod, trans. Evelyn-White, 1914.”