The name Hecate in Greek means one who “strikes at ease”, “acts as he pleases”. Hecate has no myth of her own, she is best known for her attributes. Being a goddess descended from the titans is independent of Olympus.
She is a mysterious goddess of witchcraft, who in the pre-Olympic era possessed beneficial attributes as a dispenser of goods and favors, a dispenser of material prosperity, a dispenser of the gift of eloquence in assemblies, victory in battles and games, and the abundance of fish to fishermen. It makes the flock or annihilate it to its pleasure.
However with the advent of patriarchy there was a change in its characteristics, which came to be viewed negatively. Hecate presided over magic and enchantments, witchcraft, knowledge of poisonous herbs and plants, necromancy and witchcraft. Lady of the Crossroads, a place dedicated to witchcraft, was associated with the shadows of the night, being considered a lunar goddess.
Goddess of Witchcraft and Magic
It is usually depicted holding two torches, or a key. Often her statues represent her in the form of a woman with three bodies and three heads. Always appears followed by mares, wolves and bitches
Thus Hecate was associated with mythological figures of witchcraft par excellence: Eetes, Circe and Medea. Being belatedly placed as mother of Circe and aunt of Medea.
Hecate, like Persephone, is a goddess of the dead. But while Persephone presides over the routing of souls to Hades, Hecate presides over the appearance of the ghosts of the dead and their communication.
Chthonic (linked to the underworld) and lunar goddess preside over germination and childbirth, protect navigation, and also grant eloquence and victory. Already its dark side is infernal, presiding over the night horrors, ghosts, specters and terrifying monsters.
As goddess of the crossroads, Hecate symbolizes the choices of paths we must sometimes take in our lives. And this decision can sometimes be infernal and bring ghosts and specters from our unconscious to the surface.
Although Artemis later assumed the crescent moon phase, Hecate with her threefold appearance shows that she represents the three phases of the moon: Crescent, waning and new. The full phase is represented by Selene.
The moon shows the domains of our unconscious, what we cannot see, or what we see distortedly. Its diffused light does not let us see clearly, showing only shadows. That is why monsters, specters and ghosts stir in our unconscious simply because they are unknown to us and bring us a sense of uncertainty.
On the one hand, then, it symbolizes the living hell of the psyche, but on the other a huge reserve of energies that must be ordered through objectivity and patience.
She is the primordial feminine, the chaos and the potentialities all blended, so her triple form also represents the three levels symbolized by heaven, earth and the underworld. Depending on our choice at a crossroads, we take not only a horizontal path but also a vertical path toward one of these levels.
In the search for our own identity it is necessary first to go through the chaos, the dark night of the soul, for in this state the ego learns to wait for new potentialities to manifest. It is a time full of conflict, anxiety and confusion. But it precedes a new birth and shows us that our lives remain eternally fertile and eternally incomplete.