Hecate: The Goddess of Witches in Greek Mythology


     Hecate is, in Greek Mythology, the Triple Goddess of Witches. She is often associated with Nyx (the primordial goddess of the night). Hecate was a goddess much worshiped in Ancient Greece, check it out.

Hecate in Greek Mythology:

     Hecate, in Greek Mythology, is a goddess, naturalized in Mycenaean Greece or Thrace, but from the Carian cities of Anatolia, a region where most of her theophoric names are attested, such as Hecateus and Hecatomno, and where Hecate was seen as the Great Goddess in historical periods, in its unique place of worship in Lagina. Goddess of the wild lands and the Parthians, she was usually depicted holding two torches or a key, and in later periods in her triple form.

     It was associated with crossroads, entrances, fire, light, the moon, magic, witchcraft, the knowledge of poisonous herbs and plants, ghosts, necromancy and sorcery. She had reigned over land, sea and sky, as well as having a universal role of savior and the Soul of the Cosmic World. She was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian homes as a protective goddess and as the one who bestowed daily prosperity and blessing on the family.


     Hecate may originate among the Carians in Anatolia, where variations of his name are used to name children. William Berg observes: "Since children do not bring specter names, it is safe to assume that Carian names involving Hecate are desired as a principal deity freed from the darkness and underworld ties and witchcraft associated with classical Athena Hecate." She also seems to be associated with the Roman goddess Trivia, with whom she was identified in Rome. Hecate is described as "golden hair."


     The Greek Goddess is widely worshiped by Wiccans, who worship her in her triple form, the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Hecate being representative of the molds of the Sacred Feminine, together with the Wiccan Horned God, representative of the molds of the Sacred Masculine.


     The earliest Greek representations show the Goddess with only one face, not the triple form. Farnell points out "the monuments' evidence for Hecate character and significance is almost as complete as that of literature. But it is only at the later period that it begins to express its multiple and mystical nature." The oldest known monument is a small terracotta found in Athens, with a dedication to Hecate, no writing style from the 6th century BC The goddess shown sitting on a throne with a wreath around her head, but without any attribute or character, and the only value of this work, which is of an evidently general type and has a special reference and name merely to the inscription, is that it proves the simple form to be the oldest, and dating its knowledge at Athens to before the Persian invasion.

     Second-century AD traveler Pausanias said that Hecate was first depicted in triplicate by the sculptor Alcâmenes in the late fifth-century BC Classical Greek period in a statue that was placed in front of the goddess Nike Aptera. Greek anthropomorphic conventions resisted its depiction of it with three faces, a third-century BC Attica votive sculpture (right illustration) shows three simple images against a column, around which the Graces dance. Some classic depictions show her as a triplicate of goddesses holding a torch, a key, snakes, daggers and various other items. Representations of both a single and triple-shaped goddess as well as four-headed descriptions continued to surface throughout history.

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