Who is Hecate?
Images of Hecate
Symbols and Associations
Chants and Invocations to
Rituals for Hecate
Spells for Hecate
Dark Moon Rituals
Hecate has many symbols. Some of the most
common are the following: Crossroads, Keys, Torches, Entrence ways, Gate ways, Black Dogs
or Hounds, Black ewe lambs, Cauldron, Snakes, All phases of the Moon, the Sea and
Graveyards. There are many more.
Some of the Herbs associated with Hecate are:
Aconite, Belladonna, Root of the Dandilion, Yew, Willow. Also Hemlock, Cyclamen, Garlic,
Mandrake, Mint, Palm Date, Oak and Cypress. There are more which I could add, but you will
find many more from Hecate herself if you spend any amount of time with Her.
Moonstone, black tourmaline, hematite, smoky quartz, (dark stones)
The following are excerpts from
The Woman's Dictionary, Symbols and Sacred Objects by B. Walker
Greek Cross - Before
Christianity, the Greek Cross was an emblem of Hecate as the Goddess of Crossroads. Like
the infinity sign or the ankh, it also represented union of male and female principles as
vertical and horizontal members, respectively. Then it became a plus sign:
Crossroads - Witches were said to hold Sabbats at crossroads, for the
reason that in the ancient world crossroads were sacred to the Goddess Hecate, the Lady of
the Underworld in pagan belief, the Queen of Witches in Christian belief. Her images and
those of Hermes and Diana stood at crossroads throughout the Roman empire, until they were
replaced by crosses during the Christian era. The Roman word for crossroads was compita,
and the Lares compitales or crossroad spirits were regularly honored at roadside shrines
during festivals called Compitalia.
Christians continued to honor the chthonian deities at crossroads until they were
persecuted for doing so, when the elder (Hecate) deities were newly defined as devils. In
the tenth century A.D. it was ordered that any woman must be sentenced to a three-year
fast if she was found guilty of dedicating her child at a crossroads to the Earth Mother.
We know the Crossroads are Hecate's, but here is some amusing information:
The classic Greek herm was a phallic pillar dedicated to the god of magic and of
crossroads, Hermes, whose head appeared at the top. Herms were usually plain shafts
without projections except for the realistic phallus in front; some, however, had short
crossbeams, probably drawn from identification between Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth,
his counterpart in the south, whose image was the ankh or Key of Life.
Herms guarded nearly all the important crossroads of Greece and the Roman empire, where
they were named for the Roman Hermes, Mercury. Hermes and Hecate were worshiped together
as lord and lady of crossroads, which were magical places because they always symbolized
choices. Sometimes the herms were called Lares compitales, the crossroad spirits, to whom
offerings were made and for whom there were special festivals called Compitalia. In the
Christian era, the numerous herms at crossroads throughout Europe were replaced by stone
A mysterious incident occurred in 415 B.C. - at the height of a very patriarchal period in
Athens, where public thoroughfares were protected by hundreds of herms. The night before
the Athenians were to launch an expedition against Sicily was what came to be know as the
night of the Mutilation or Castration of the Herms. In the morning, almost all the city's
herms were found with their penises knocked off. The culprits were never discovered, but
it is believed they were militant Athenian women, using this threatening magical gesture
to protest against the war.
Amulet - A Greek text gives directions for preparing a phylacterion or
"amulet of undertaking". It is to be a lodestone, cut in the shape of a heart
and engraved with an image of the Goddess Hecate.
Basket - Basket-making was a female craft, so baskets were often sacred
to the Goddess as agriculturist and harvest spirit. Baskets were carried by Moon-goddesses
like Diana and Hecate, of whom Porphyry wrote: "The basket which she bears when she
has mounted high is the symbol of the cultivation of the crops which she made to grow up
according to the increase of her light".
Gate - Hecate was viewed as the guardian of both crossroads and gates -
especially the gate of birth, since the Goddess was represented as a divine midwife and
frequently invoked for assistance in childbirth and as the Goddess of the underworld
"Destroyer" who ruled the gates of death. Much allegorizing was employed (by the
Christian church) to conceal the fact that the gate was another emblem of female genitals,
the gate through which life emerged at birth, and into which at least a part of a man
might pass (to a higher vibration into the mysteries, symbolic death of phallic spirit).
Fairy - The fairy-tale image of the fairy as a tiny female sprite with
butterfly wings and antennae seems to have been drawn from the classic Greek Psyche, which
means "soul" and also "butterfly". Like elves, the fairies were
originally the souls of the pagan dead, in particular those matriarchal spirits who lived
in the pre-Christian realm of the Goddess. Sometimes the fairies were called Goddesses
themselves. In several folk ballads the Fairy Queen is addressed as "Queen of
Heaven." Welsh fairies were known as "the Mothers" or "the Mothers'
Blessing." Breton peasants called the fairies God-mothers, or Good Ladies, or Fates
from which comes fay (la fee), from the Latin fata. They claimed that, like Medusa or
Circe, a fairy could transform a man into an animal or turn him to stone.
Most medieval sources reveal, however, that the fairies were perceived as real women, of
ordinary size, with supernatural knowledge and powers. Their Queen was their Goddess,
under such names as Titania (Gaea, ancient mother of the Titans), Diana, Venus, Sybil,
Abundia ("Abundance") and Hecate.
Hounds - It seems that women were the first to domesticate the dog,
because dogs were companions of the Goddess in may cultures, long before gods or men
appeared with canine companions. Dogs accompanied Hecate in Greece. Dogs were accredited
for being able to see the dead (ghosts) and other spirits. The ancients were also very
impressed with canine keenness of another sense, the sense of smell. Pairs of dogs ere
stationed at the gates of death (as on the Tarot card of the Moon) to detect the
"odor of sanctity" and decide whether the soul could be admitted to the company
of the gods. Three-headed Cerberus guarded the door of Hecate's underworld.
Frog - Frogs were sacred to the Egyptian midwife of the gods, the
Crone-Goddess Hekit, prototype of the Greeks' Hekate (Hecate). The frog probably
represented the human fetus, which it roughly resembles. Because little frogs, appearing
with the first signs of the annual Nile Flood, were heralds of life-giving fertility in
Egypt, people placed frog amulets on mummies to help them find rebirth. Mother Hekit's
"Amulet of the Frog" bore the words, "I Am the Resurrection."
Henna - Also known as Egyptian privet or mignonette, henna produces a red
dye that was very important to the women of antiquity. Its red color was associated with
their own life-giving "magic blood." They identified themselves with the Goddess
by staining their hands and feet with henna. This was a custom of Greek women who
Wolfbane, Aconite - The classic mythological origin of aconite was the
saliva of the Three-headed underworld dog Cerberus. The plant sprang up when drops of
slaver fell across the fields when Cerberus was dragged up to the earth's surface by
Hercules. Because it was originally sacred to Hecate, the queen of the underworld, the
plant used to be called hecateis.
Willow - Willow wands are used for divination and casting of the circle.
The Greeks virgin form of Hecate was Helice, meaning "Willow". Helice guarded
Mount Helicon, the home of the Muses. Her willow wand was a cosmic symbol connected with
the stars. The pole-encircling constellation of Ursa Major was sometimes known as Helice's
Dark Moon Hour,
Fire to Banish and
Magick to flow.