Garlic is often mentioned among the offerings to leave for Hekate, perhaps due to Her role in curing illness:
“There are suggestions of such thinking in the report that the odor of garlic keeps away serpents and scorpions, and that the ancients used raw garlic to cure madness. It is likely no accident that Hecate, chthonic goddess of sorcery who brought on or cured illness, was offered garlic in the form of a wreath to accompany the suppers provided for her at crossroads, which, as we have seen, were associated with her, and that Hecate was believed to punish with madness anyone who dared eat her suppers. Despite the rise of Christianity, Hecate and crossroads offerings did not disappear. Crossroads offerings persisted as late as the eleventh century, when there were reports of the Church attempting to put an end to them. Hecate herself, moreover, led the well-known witch ride of medieval times.” 38
The author goes on to state that there was a secret Romanian society that would use garlic to help cure those believed to be sickened by fairies. Their sponsor was Doamna Zinelor, who represents an altered Romanian version of Diana 39. He then states “In later Roman religion, Diana was associated with Artemis and the chthonic goddess Hecate”40. In this way, Hecate is again tied to garlic.
38 Simoons, Frederick J. 1998. Plants of Life, Plants of Death. USA: University of Wisconsin Press, pg 143-144.
39 Simoons, Frederick J. 1998. Plants of Life, Plants of Death. USA: University of Wisconsin Press, pg 145.
40 Simoons, Frederick J. 1998. Plants of Life, Plants of Death. USA: University of Wisconsin Press, pg 143-144.
The Symbols of the Goddess Hekate