Hekate

October 31st, 2007 by sabrina

Happy Hallowe’en!  Or, if you follow the Old Ways, Samhain Blessings!  For those who don’t know, Hallowe’en is the Christianized version of Samhain (pronounced SAW-when), which starts at sunset tonight and runs until sunset tomorrow.  It is the end of the Celtic year, when all the harvests have been taken in and the God dies, to be reborn again at Yule.  It is also the night when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, and the spirits walk with us.  I always feel like there is an extra hum in the air on this night, to be respected but not feared.  It reminds me that sometimes we have to let go of the old in order to welcome in the new.

Hekate (pronounced HEK-ah-tee) is the Greek Goddess of the crossroads and doorways. Hekate is cousin to Zeus, lord of the Greek Gods, and is greatly respected by him. She holds power over all three regions of the world: land, sky, and sea. Many aspects of Hekate are seen in triplicate–she is often depicted as a pillar with three heads and six arms. One of each set of arms hold a torch, and the others hold a key, a rope, and a dagger. The key is the key to the underworld, with which Hekate unlocks secrets and knowledge. The rope symbolizes the cord of rebirth and renewal. The dagger she uses to cut through delusions.

Statues of Hekate were often placed at the gates to a city and at doorways to houses, and were seen as protecting the inhabitants. Eventually, this role in keeping out evil spirits led to the perception that Hekate could also allow the evil spirits to enter if she chose. She thus became acknowledged as the guardian of the veil between the worlds, between the material and the spiritual. This also came from her role as mistress of crossroads, where she protected travelers from taking the wrong path.

Hekate’s name means “powerful from afar”, and is also seen as Hecate and Hekat. Epithets and titles for her include:
Dea Triformis (three-formed Goddess)
Goddess of Crossroads
Goddess of Midnight
Goddess of Storms
Goddess of the Dark of the Moon
Goddess of the Scene of the Crime
Goddess of Witches
Great Mother
Hekate Adonaea
(lady of the underworld)
Hekate Agrotera (huntress)
Hekate Antania (enemy of mankind)
Hekate Atalos (tender)
Hekate Brimo (angry one)
Hekate Despoina (mistress)
Hekate Enodia (of the paths)
Hekate Epipurgidia (on the tower)
Hekate Khthonia (of the underworld)
Hekate Kleidophoros (key bearer)
Hekate Kleidoukhos (keeper of the keys)
Hekate Krataiis (strong one)
Hekate Krokopeplos (saffron-cloaked)
Hekate Kurotrophos (nurse of the children and protectress of mankind)
Hekate Liparokredmnos (with bright headband)
Hekate Monogenes (only child)
Hekate Nyktipolos (night-wandering)
Hekate Perseis (daughter of Perses)
Hekate Phosphoros (the light-bringer)
Hekate Propolos (the attendant who leads)
Hekate Propylaia (the one before the gate)
Hekate Prytania (invincible Queen of the dead)
Hekate Selene (the far-shooting moon)
Hekate Skylakagetis (leader of the dogs)
Hekate Soteira (savior)
Hekate Trikephalos (three-headed)
Hekate Trimorphis (three-formed)
Hekate Trioditis (of three roads)
Hekate Trivia (of the three ways)
Holy One
Invincible Queen
Lady of the Underworld
Mistress of Magic
Mistress of the Lower Way
Opener of the Way to Death
Queen of Crossroads
Queen of Death
Queen of Ghosts
Queen of the Night
Queen of Witches
She Who Has Power Far Off
She Who Works From Afar
Sovereign Goddess of Many Names
The Distant One

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 at 4:55 pm and is filed under Greek. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 response about “Hekate”

  1. MaryAnn said:

    Thanks so much,
    I know some things about her, but wasn’t sure on to much, I’m doing a Greek Mythology report on her and I need info, unfortuantly alot of websites are telling me that she an old hag, and I know that not to be true.
    If there is anything else you know about her, can you tell me any info would help.
    Thanks, MaryAnn

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