Fire has long since been revered in history as a primordial element, for its power, warmth, domestic mundane uses and its magical uses. However it also has a visionary aspect. In all forms of religion, spirituality and faith, we see the use of fire in the hearth, as a bonfire, a guiding light, candlelight, for cleansing, cooking, brewing, etc. With fire being one of the four most called on elements (five if you count Aether/Spirit), as a symbol it is consistently used in ritual, meditation, visualization, psychic or divination work.
Hekate is (among other deities) known as Phosphoros meaning “light-bringer” or “lightbearer.” Hekate’s affiliation with Helios, Greek God of the Sun can be found in ‘The Homeric Hymn II To Demeter -, the story of Persephone‘ 32. This link would incorporate Hekate’s association with fire for the use of fire for lighting Her Twin Torches as part of her her role as Psychopomp guiding souls to the gates of the Underworld/Hades. With this She can also enter into the Underworld and return out again, withstanding the fiery depths of Hades with its/his ‘fire-flaming’ river the Phlegethon.
In the Chaldean Oracles, fire in relation to Hekate is in the form of lightning, more precisely the Lightning Womb:“The Oracle says that a certain divinity sends forth thunderbolts and also a womb to receive those thunder/lightning bolts; the womb belongs to Hekate” 33. Again in ‘The Epiphany of Hekate‘, fire is distinctly associated with her appearance and the word “lightning” in The Chaldean Oracles and in relation to Hekate, simply means, Heavenly Fire.
32 Evelyn White, H.G. trans. 1914. The Theogony of Hesiod. From: Hare, J.B. 1999. Internet Sacred Text Archive. Available from: http://www.sacred texts.com/cla/hesiod/theogony.htm Accessed: 2 July 2010
33 Johnston, S. I. 1990. Hekate Soteira: A Study of Hekate’s Roles in the Chaldean Oracles and Related Literature. USA: Scholar Press, pg 50.
The Symbols of the Goddess Hekate