Dark Goddess Hecate's celebration day is November 16 (meaning "influence from afar" in Greek) (also known as Hecuba)
The Greek name for this originally Thracian and Anatolian goddess, first mentioned by Hesiod(ca. 700 B.C.E.), makes it obvious that she was regarded - in Greece - as a goddess of magic. Based on this, the moon goddess Hecate has then become connected to death and the netherworld, to ghosts and the hounds of hell. People tried to appease her by blood-sacrifices of lambs and puppies.
Traditionally, Hecate is imagined and depicted as having three heads, that of a horse, a dog and a lion, or sometimes even with three complete bodies. This enables her all-seeing and all-knowing qualities. In her aspect as Hecate Trevia, she is the goddess who rules all crossroads, from where she is believed to look into all directions. She is also regarded as the mother of a vampiric, demonic group of goddesses known as the Empusae. Based on all of these associations, Hecate became one of the major deities concerning all types of enchantment, sorcery and witchcraft.
Originally, before she was demonized by Greek and Christian patriarchs alike, Hecate formed a trinity (often called a triple-goddess) together with the maiden Kore (Persephone) and the matron Demeter. In this trinity she represents the waning moon and the wise old woman or crone.
Greek Queen of the Night, Goddess of Witchcraft and the Underworld. Hecate can change shapes or ages at will and has the power to rejuvinate or kill. The daughter of Perses and Asteria, she represents the oldest Greek form of the Triple Goddess. Her powers extend over heaven and the underworld, the earth and the sea. She is sometimes represented with three heads - one of a horse, one of a dog and one of a bear, or one of a dog, snake and lion. As Hecate of the Three Ways, her images stood at three-way crossroads where offerings of dogs, honey and black ewes were left on full moon nights. In the realm of nature, she is honored as Selene the moon, in Heaven. She is honored as Artemis the huntress, on Earth and as Hecate the destroyer, in the Underworld. She is also the Goddess of prophecy, charms, vengence, wisdom, choices and regeneration and is often accompanied by a pack of black, baying hounds or the three-headed dog, Cerberus.
Hecate, the Dark Goddess. Hecate, the Dark Mother. Hecate, the Triple Goddess. Hecate of the three faces. Hecate Antea, the sender of nocturnal visions. Hecate, protectress of flocks and sailors Hecate, Goddess of the Crossroads. Hecate, Queen of the witches. These are but a few of the names that Hecate is known by. Each of these names has a special significance to every person that calls upon this the most feared of dieties. To begin to understand Hecate the Dark Goddess one must look back to the history of the ancients. Many are of the understanding that Hecate is purely Greek of origin. This however is not so. For She has been from the begining of time, from all ages.
Hecate was a Goddess of pre-Olympian time, Thracian of origin. She was however placed into the Greek and Roman pantheons. This placed Her in the Olympian's war against the Giants. Hecate is the daughter of the Titans Perses and Asteria which are both symbols of shining light. In later times She was said to be the daughter of Zeus and Hera. Hecate has also been said to be one of the lovers of Hermes.
"For behold, I stand at the edge of the lake to lead you home"......... One of the entrances to the land of the Shades was Lake Averna in Campania. This was where a departed soul would be lead by Hecate as they began their next existance. The hills around the lake used to be covered with trees sacred to Hecate. These were the Yew and the Willow or Osier. Hidden in the forests around Lake Averna were the caves through which one summoned the souls of the dead. Witches besoms were traditionally bound with Osier (willow). Without this they were said to be helpless.
Of all the Greek Goddesses Hecate was the most triple. She was seen in all three phases of the moon and especially the dark moon. To the Romans this triple Goddess was called Diana Triformis. This was made up of Diana, Persephone and Hecate. To the Greeks this triple Goddess was made up of Persephone, Demeter and Hecate. Hecate was depicted as a figure with three faces each facing a different direction, or as one with animal heads of a horse, dog and boar. Lethbridge wrote in "Witches, page 26" that these three animal faces may be totem animals from Hecate's primordial past. Dogs were with Hecate perhaps from their habit of howling to the moon and their path finding skills. At times Hecate was portrayed as a whelping bitch. She also shared with Herne of the North the reputation of leading the Wild Hunt of ghostly hounds through the night.
Hecate was to both Greek and Romans the Goddess of the Crossroads, where the traveler would face three choices in their life. At crossroads statues of Hecate would be placed where people could leave offerings to Her. People would take food offerings to these statues in the dead of night on the eve of the full moon. This was known as "Hecate's Supper". Once the food was placed the person would walk away without looking back. For no one dared to confront the Goddess face to face. Hecate's annual festival is on August 13th in Greece, (and that of Diana on the same day in Rome). This annual festival was done in honor of Hecate in hopes of averting the harvest destroying storms which the moon would send around that time of year.
Hecate was also known to haunt graveyards as She would lead the souls of the departed across the lake. She also would haunt the scenes of crimes as a Goddess of explanation and purification. Hecate is the Dark Mother in both the positive and the negative sense. She can send demons to torment men's dreams. She has also been known to drive men mad if they are not well integrated enough to cope with Her. But to those that dare to welcome Her, She brings creative inspiration. To this She is known as Hecate Antea, the sender of nocturnal visions. She also has a son that many do not know of. He is Museos, the Muse-Man. It is also legend that Hecate is the Mother of Marianina, who rose for a time to become Marianina, goddess of the sea. The Greeks would use for divination an instrument called "Hecate's Circle". This was a golden circle with a sapphire hidden inside of it. This was Her "mysterious moon" concealing the bright seed of understanding. Her symbol is the torch. For She, the Dark Mother, holds the light which illuminates the unconscious and reveals its treasures. Thus we are given the statement of...."In the shadows there is great light".... Shakespeare used Hecate in his works. His witches' deity was not Satan as some modern authorities claim, but the Dark Goddess. For She had the power and wisdom to pierce the darkness, bring visions, call back from the past, illuminate the present and give warning or promise of the future. The Goddess of moonlit crossroads, Hecate of the Three Faces.
By: MysticAngel (with permission)