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Goddess in the Spotlight
by Fiana Sidhe
Imbolc 2003, Vol 2-2
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drawing of Hecate at the crossroads, with the head of a bear, a dog, and a horse
Hecate Triformis
Copyright © 2003, Terry L. H. Brumley
Hecate

She sits at the crossroads, waiting for the lost and confused. When they come to her with acceptance and an open mind, she grants them inspiration and a clear understanding of the paths laid out before them. To those who cower from her or disrespect her wisdom, she haunts their dreams, insisting that they must face the transitions in their lives.

She is Hecate, the goddess of moonlit crossroads, of magic and spells, of guidance, and of unseen wisdom. She is the patron of witches, healers and midwives. She is Hecate Antea, the bringer of dreams and visions.

She waits for us where three paths cross, in the triple form of the goddess, or as three female figures standing back to back, one with the head of a horse, another with the head of a bear, and the third with a head of a dog. In these triple forms she is able to see down each path.

She is also often depicted as an old crone, the goddess of the dark moon, death and the underworld, but in some early myths she was seen as a beautiful young maiden wearing a headdress of stars. She was said to once have been the handmaiden of Aphrodite and in some versions of Persephone’s myth, it was Hecate who witnessed the kidnaping and told Demeter, then went along on the great search for the maiden Persephone. In Greek mythology Persephone, Demeter, and Hecate are often seen as the holy trinity, the maiden, mother and the crone. In some versions of the myth, it is said that Persephone becomes Hecate when she returns to Hades and her duties in the underworld. Hecate may also have some connection to the Egyptian frog-headed goddess, Heqit. In Egypt, the matriarch of the village was called the Heq.

Hecate resides on the line between life and death. From there, she can draw visions, and reveal the past and future. Because of this ability, she is often called to aid in divination. She is often seen holding a torch, which she uses to illuminate the unconscious and reveal true treasures of wisdom and creativity. She is called the mistress of the night sky, and was said to lead a wild hunt of dogs through the night. As a goddess of death, she was said to lead the souls of the deceased across Lake Averna to the afterworld.

Sacred to Hecate are the yew and the willow, torches, all crossroads, ravens, horses, and dogs. Dogs are the most common symbol of Hecate, perhaps because of their love for the moon and their ability to sniff out paths.

Graphic Credits
+ Hecate Triformis, Copyright © 2003, Terry L. H. Brumley. All rights reserved.

Contributors retain the copyright to their work; please do not take art or words without permission. All other graphics and reference materials are used and attributed as per the Fair Use Provision of The Copyright Act and individual terms of use.
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