This article came from the website: http://hekate.timerift.net/hecate.htm
(I couldn’t locate the author’s name on this website, Adrian was all I could locate)
The above website has further history and information on Hekate, as it seems to be dedicated to her. The more I read about this Goddess the more fascinated I become with her.
Please take a minute and read this brief description below and I’m sure it will also spark your interest to learn more about this mysterious Goddess.
Finding the 'real' Hekate is a complex task: We learn very little about Her from Ancient Greek sources, and their conception of divinity was almost certainly very different from ours. Hekate's particular qualities make the task especially difficult.
Hekate is "intrinsically ambivalent and polymorphous. She straddles conventional boundaries and elides definition." Oxford Classical Dictionary
Sadly, much of what has come down to us through literature and myth has been badly distorted by the interpretations overlaid by those who could not know Her. I hope to reveal something of Hekate as I understand Her; complex and contradictory, powerful and wise.
Hekate was a popular and ubiquitous goddess from at least 700 BCE until late antiquity. In Pre-Classical Ancient Greece She was represented as a young woman clad in a long robe, holding burning torches. Later Hekate appears triple-formed, with three bodies standing back to back, probably so that she could look in all directions at once from the crossroads. There are a selection of representations of Hekate on this site.
The poet Sappho (630 BCE) describes Hekate as a handmaiden of Aphrodite, "shining of gold".
A homoerotic love spell dating from the third century describes Her as
"Mistress Ruler of all mankind, all-dreadful one, bursting out of the Earth"
But today She is most often portrayed as a dark & evil manifestation who wanders in graveyards or haunts dark nights with terrifying hounds of hell. This distorted image comes from the twisted minds of those who fear Her power: Those sad souls who have lost their connection with the chthonic, who shun their own shadow, & fear what they do not understand.
Hekate is a complex Goddess. She is Crone but also Maiden. She brings abundance as well as storms and She has a key role in birth as well as death. But Hekate's darker side has been gradually emphasized since the Fifth Century BCE, so that by Medieval times She was presented as little more than a parody of Her true self.
"O well done! I commend your pains;
And every one shall share i' the gains;
And now about the cauldron sing,
Live elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in. "
Hecate in 'Macbeth'
The Christian Church, & those it serves, fear Her, for She has power they cannot comprehend. Hekate is one of those ancient deities who come to us from a primordial time before the Olympians & the Solar gods of the patriarchs. She is patron to all who stand on the boundary between life & death; midwives, healers & witches.
Hekate is awesome & can be terrifying, for She rules all that is outside our ken: Death, & the dark intuitive wisdom that is beyond the conscious mind. Such wisdom comes through dreams & whispers, mediumship & divination. It is the inspired vision of artists & seers. For some it may be too much & bring the madness of lunacy: Hekate's power can poison as well as heal.
Our culture denies Her realms. Death is a taboo subject, & the old are hidden away. Hekate is the Wise Old Crone who knows death & does not fear it, for death brings renewal through the fertility of decomposition.
But Hekate is much more than Dark Crone
: It is Hekate who guides the Soul and the Seeker; Hekate who blesses a child's birth; and Hekate who brings abundance to those who honour Her. Explore with me and discover the real Hekate!
How did Hekate become transformed from a popular, bright young Goddess into a dark and terrifying hag?
Perhaps we will never know for certain, but there are some fascinating clues.