We love the Magical Aspect of the Shadow WOrk we must reign in with Hecate-Auset-Isis
 so to pay tribute to Hecate we have the following 13 ways to connect with her, along with a Gallery of images of her followed by an extensive Herstorical record of Hecate throughout the Historical Records.

soon we will add a Hecate Colouring page, but until we do we hope you enjoy our Homage to this Magical Goddess,
Queen of the Witches.

Hecate: 13 Ways to Work With the Goddess of Witchcraft

Is the Mother of Witchcraft, the Queen of Sorcery, and the Goddess of magic calling you? Hecate is an ancient Greek goddess and rules over witches far and wide. But if you’re new to her energy, how do you work with Hecate respectfully? Here we discuss who Hecate is and how to work with her in your magical practice.

Who is Hecate?

A favorite among modern and past witches, Hecate is an ancient Greek Goddess of magic, life and death, herbalism, the mysteries, and much more. She is a liminal spirit – she guards the thresholds between the human and spirit world. She’s found at the crossroads, at the doorways of homes, and at the gates of the cemetery. While a chthonic deity who presides over death and the dead, many forget Hecate is also a goddess of childbirth and life. As a triple goddess, her domain is the life/death/rebirth cycle. She is often depicted in a triple goddess form: as three women looking in different directions or as a three-headed canine.

Is Hecate dark? Many say she’s a dark goddess and it seems that reputation precedes her. However, people forget she’s a goddess of childbirth and LIFE, too! She helps heal women in need of reproductive healing and aids in the birthing process. She’s as much LIGHT as she is DARK. She encompasses all of these things – she IS the polarity. Don’t be afraid to work with her because of how others perceive her. I can tell you I’ve only had good, healing experiences with her.

Ways to Work With Hecate

Whether you’ve chosen Hecate as your matron goddess or not, she is a powerful deity to work with in your magical practice. She particularly loves witches, herbalists, diviners, healers, morticians and midwives. So if you’re any of these, you’re in luck! There are many ways to work with the goddess of the crossroads, but here are our favorites:

1. Pronounce Her Name Right

The pronunciation of Hecate’s name has been muddled and changed over the years. But there is a RIGHT way to say her name. Most say “heh-kah-tay” or “heh-kah-tee” with no emphasis on the middle syllable. But in ancient times, her name would have been pronounced with emphasis on the middle syllable like this: heh-KAH-tay or heh-KAH-tee. Practice that a few times out loud. Feel the difference? This is one simple to honor the goddess of witches.

2. Dedicate Altar Space to Hecate

Because Hecate is Queen of the Witches, she adores to have her own altar or altar space in a witch’s home. Things you can add: a representation of her like a statue or a key, a cauldron, a knife, a broom, dog figurines, decor with stars and moons, anything with the colors black or red. Cleanse and consecrate the space and tools in Hecate’s name.

3. Altar Offerings for Hecate

In addition to keeping space for her, giving offerings is another great way to work with her. Nearly every god or goddess we work with in our practice requires some energy exchange via offerings. Hecate is no different. Here are a few offerings she likes: pomegranates, lavender, dishes with garlic, date palms, eggs,
honey, breads and sweets that are crescent-shaped, candleflame and incense.

4. Ritual at the Crossroads

Because Hecate is a ruler of the crossroads, rituals done at the crossroads honor and invoke her energy. If you live in an urban area, it may be hard to find a 3-way crossroads to perform ritual. In this case, mark out a 3-way crossroads on the ground with large branches as a symbolic crossroads of sorts. Otherwise, candle spells, invocations, and offerings at 3-way crossroads are a powerful way to call on her.

5. Canine Care

Hecate’s most sacred and loved animal is the dog. When you take care of our canine friends, do so in Hecate’s name. She will bless you AND your dogs or any dogs you care for. You can also call on Hecate to protect your dog from harm. If you can’t have a dog, donate your time OR old blankets, dog food, etc. to a local animal shelter.
And tell Hecate you’re doing it in her name.

6. Feasts for Hecate

A fun and traditional way to honor the Goddess of Life and Death is to hold a dinner party or feast for her. In ancient times, Hecate’s priestesses held large parties in her name and made her favorite foods. Include lavender, honey, eggs and garlic in your dishes. Red wine and mead are traditional. Set a place at the table for your goddess or set a plate at her altar. To celebrate Hecate with a feast on her sacred day, August 13th, would be even better!

7. Study Herbs

Hecate is the goddess of witchcraft and was specifically known for her herbal knowledge. Sources say there was a sacred garden dedicated to Hecate at her temple in Colchis (modern day Georgia). This garden would’ve contained her sacred trees, herbs and poisons. Study medicinal and magical herbalism and become one of Hecate’s priestesses. By growing and harvesting your own herbs, you’re recreating Hecate’s garden at Colchis.

8. Dark Moon Rituals

The most powerful time to invoke Hecate in ritual is during a Dark Moon. Healing, banishing, and cleansing rituals in Hecate’s name during a Dark Moon are especially potent. Divination, particularly to speak with Hecate, is amplified during the Dark Moon. If you’re looking for examples of dark moon rituals click here.

9. Spirit Work in the Cemetery

Because she is the goddess of life and death, she is also a protector and gatekeeper of the spirit realm. Her presence is felt in cemeteries, as well as in birthing centers and hospitals. If you’re brave enough AND understand how to protect yourself, spirit work in the cemetery is another way to honor Hecate. But be careful…this isn’t a practice for beginners or for fun.

10. Offerings by the Door

In ancient times, Hecate’s devotees left offerings to her and her hounds outside by their door. You can honor Hecate and her hounds by doing the same. Leave an offering for Hecate and one of her dogs.

11. Locate the Dog Star

This is something fun to do in Hecate’s honor. Locate Sirius, the Dog Star, in the night sky. Use a mobile app like SkyView to locate Sirius, and if you can see it with the naked eye, gaze at it awhile. Feel Hecate’s energy radiating down from the night sky and pulsing through your veins. The star Sirius is her sacred star.

12. Work With Her Allies

By working with and getting to know the witch Queen’s allies, you honor her. Study and invoke any or all of the following: Medea, Circe, Cybele, Artemis, Diana, Persephone, Demeter, and Dionysus.

13. Doings Things in 13’s

The Goddess of Witchcraft’s sacred number is thirteen. If you want to honor her, perform ritual steps in thirteen steps. Offer thirteen flowers to her. Give elaborate offerings or do ritual on the thirteenth of each month in her name. Say your prayers thirteen times. Etc.

A Witch’s Prayer to Hekate


Mighty Hekate, Goddess of the Witches,

Blessed am I,

To call myself one of Your chosen.


Might Hekate, Goddess of the Witches,

You are both the dark and the light,

You are the way,

And You are the light along it.

My Goddess, You hold the keys of all creation.


Mighty Hekate, Goddess of the Witches,

I stand before you in this liminal space,

That you created for us alone.

Here in this place of the in-between,

I feel the energy of the worlds,

I see the vision of the future,

I hold the wisdom of the past.


Mighty Hekate, Goddess of the Witches,

You have bestowed upon me the power of the Witch.

Through the gifts of  Your sacred keys,

I am the walker between the worlds,

The spinner of the web of fate,

The knower of Your secrets,

The student of Your mysteries,

The giver of Your healing.


Mighty Hekate, Goddess of the Witches,

My journey is a blessed one,

Each key you give me unlocks great power,

Grateful I am for all Your keys;

The key of acceptance for that which I cannot change,

The key of courage to overcome adversity,

The key of compassion for myself and others,

They key of pain through which I discover my own strength,

The key of suffering in which I found healing,

The key of peace that brings me contentment,

The key of wisdom so that I may live a live of truth.


Mighty Hekate, Goddess of the Witches,

My witch’s journey is a blessing,

Through the darkness of the underworld,

Up to the heights of the heavens,

And the balance of everyday life.

Through all situations, I honor You.

In all ways, I honor You.

For all of time, Eternal Queen, I honor You.


Hekate Apotropaia!

Through the liminal veil

Under the night skies

I call to thee

Hekate Apotropaia!

Hear me now

See me now

Come now

Unconquerable Queen!

Protectress, Night Wanderer, Serpent Queen!

Come forth from beneath and from within

Entwine your will in time with mine

Take charge and protect my life, and ward around me

Strike doubt into the hearts of those who wish me harm

Let your baying hounds drive fear into those who intrude

Fix your Gorgon Stare upon those set against me in this world or from another

May your presence and protection prevail!

Ouranian, let not the winds break this shelter

Phosphoro, let not the fires destroy

Einalian, let not the waters overcome

Chthonia, let not trembling earth pull us underh

Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Underworld Gods >> Hecate (Hekate)


Greek Name

Ἑκατη Ἑκατα


Hekatê, Hekata

Latin Spelling

Hecate, Hecata


Worker from Afar

Hecate, Athenian red-figure bell krater C5th B.C., Metropolitan Museum of Art

HEKATE (Hecate) was the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy. She was the only child of the Titanes Perses and Asteria from whom she received her power over heaven, earth, and sea.

Hekate assisted Demeter in her search for Persephone, guiding her through the night with flaming torches. After the mother-daughter reunion became she Persephone's minister and companion in Haides.

Three metamorphosis myths describe the origins of her animal familiars: the black she-dog and the polecat (a mustelid house pet kept by the ancients to hunt vermin). The dog was the Trojan Queen Hekabe (Hecuba) who leapt into the sea after the fall of Troy and was transformed by the goddess. The polecat was either the witch Gale, turned as punishment for her incontinence, or Galinthias, midwife of Alkmene (Alcmena), who was transformed by the enraged goddess Eileithyia but adopted by the sympathetic Hekate.

Hekate was usually depicted in Greek vase painting as a woman holding twin torches. Sometimes she was dressed in a knee-length maiden's skirt and hunting boots, much like Artemis. In statuary Hekate was often depicted in triple form as a goddess of crossroads.

Her name means "worker from afar" from the Greek word hekatos. The masculine form of the name, Hekatos, was a common epithet of the god Apollon.

Hekate was identified with a number of other goddesses including ArtemisSelene (the Moon), Despoine, the sea-goddess Krataeis (Crataeis), the goddess of the Taurian Khersonese in Skythia, the Kolkhian (Colchian) nymph Perseis, the heroine Iphigeneia, the Thracian goddesses Bendis and Kotys (Cotys), the Euboian nymph Maira (the Dog-Star), the Eleusinian nymph Daeira and the Boiotian nymph Herkyna (Hercyna).



[1.1] PERSES & ASTERIA (Hesiod Theogony 404, Apollodorus 1.8)
PERSES (Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter 24, Orphic Hymn 1, Lycophron 1174, Apollonius Rhodius 3.1036, Diodorus Siculus 4.45.1, Ovid Metamorphoses 7.74, Seneca Medea 812)
ZEUS & ASTERIA (Schol. on Apoll. Rhod. 3.467 ap Musaeus)
NYX (Bacchylides Frag 1B, Scholiast on Apoll. Rhod. 3.467)
ARISTAIOS (Schol. on Apoll. Rhod. 3.467 ap Pherecydes)
DEMETER (Orphic Frag, Scholiast on Apoll. Rhod. 3.467)


[1.1] NONE (she was a virgin goddess) (Apollonius Rhodius 3.840, Lycophron 1174)
SKYLLA (by Phorkys) (Apollonius Rhodius 4.827)
KIRKE, MEDEA, AIGIALEUS (by Aeetes) (Diodorus Siculus 4.45.1)


HE′CATE (Hekatê), a mysterious divinity, who, according to the most common tradition, was a daughter of Persaeus or Perses and Asteria, whence she is called Perseis. (Apollod. i. 2. § 4; Apollon. Rhod. iii. 478.) Others describe her as a daughter of Zeus and Demeter, and state that she was sent out by her father in search of Persephone (Schol. ad Tleocrit. ii. 12); others again make her a daughter of Zeus either by Pheraea or by Hera (Tzetz. ad Lyc. 1175; Schol. ad Theocrit. ii. 36) ; and others, lastly, say that she was a daughter of Leto or Tartarus. (Procl. in Plat. Cratyl. p. 112 ; Orph. Argon. 975.) Homer does not mention her. According to the most genuine traditions, she appears to have been an ancient Thracian divinity, and a Titan, who, from the time of the Titans, ruled in heaven, on the earth, and in the sea, who bestowed on mortals wealth, victory, wisdom, good luck to sailors and hunters, and prosperity to youth and to the flocks of cattle; but all these blessings might at the same time be withheld by her, if mortals did not deserve them. She was the only one among the Titans who retained this power under the rule of Zeus, and she was honoured by all the immortal gods.

She also assisted the gods in their war with the Gigantes, and slew Clytius. (Hes. Theog. 411-452; Apollod. i. 6. § 2.) This extensive power possessed by Hecate was probably the reason that subsequently she was confounded and identified with several other divinities, and at length became a mystic goddess, to whom mysteries were celebrated in Samothrace (Lycoph. 77; Schol. ad Aristoph. Pac. 277) and in Aegina. (Paus. ii. 30. § 2; comp. Plut. de Flum. 5.) For being as it were the queen of all nature, we find her identitied with Demeter, Rhea (Cybele or Brimo); being a huntress and the protector of youth, she is the same as Artemis (Curotrophos); and as a goddess of the moon, she is regarded as the mystic Persephone. (Hom. Hymn. in Cer. 25, with the commentat.; Paus. i. 43, § 1.) She was further connected with the worship of other mystic divinities, such as the Cabeiri and Curetes (Schol. ad Theocrit. ii. 12; Strab. x. p. 472), and also with Apollo and the Muses. (Athen. xiv. p. 645; Strab. x. p. 468.) The ground-work of the above-mentioned confusions and identifications, especially with Demeter and Persephone, is contained in the Homeric hymn to Demeter; for, according to this hymn, she was, besides Helios, the only divinity who, from her cave, observed the abduction of Persephone. With a torch in her hand, she accompanied Demeter in the search after Persephone; and when the latter was found, Hecate remained with her as her attendant and companion. She thus becomes a deity of the lower world; but this notion does not occur till the time of the Greek tragedians, though it is generally current among the later writers. She is described in this capacity as a mighty and formidable divinity, ruling over the souls of the departed ; she is the goddess of purifications and expiations, and is accompanied by Stygian dogs. (Orph. Lith. 48; Schol. ad Theocr l. c. ; Apollon. Rhod. iii. 1211; Lycoph. 1175; Horat. Sat. i. 8. 35; Virg. Aen. vi. 257.) By Phorcos she became the mother of Scylla. (Apollon. Rhod. iv. 829 ; comp. Hom. Od. xii. 124.) There is another very important feature which arose out of the notion of her being an infernal divinity, namely, she was regarded as a spectral being, who at night sent from the lower world all kinds of demons and terrible phantoms, who taught sorcery and witchcraft, who dwelt at places where two roads crossed each other, on tombs, and near the blood of murdered persons. She herself too wanders about with the souls of the dead, and her approach is announced by the whining and howling of dogs. (Apollon. Rhod. iii. 529, 861, iv. 829; Theocrit. l. c. ; Ov. Heroid. xii. 168, Met. xiv. 405; Stat. Theb. iv. 428 ; Virg. Aen. iv. 609; Orph. Lith. 45, 47; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1197, 1887; Diod. iv. 45.) A number of epithets given her by the poets contain allusions to these features of the popular belief, or to her form. She is described as of terrible appearance, either with three bodies or three heads, the one of a horse, the second of a dog, and the third of a lion. (Orph. Argon. 975, &c.; Eustath. ad Hom. pp. 1467, 1714.) In works of art she was some-times represented as a single being, but sometimes also as a three-headed monster. (Paus. ii. 28. § 8. 30. § 2.) Besides Samothrace and Aegina, we find express mention of her worship at Argos (Paus. ii. 30. § 2.) and at Athens, where she had a sanctuary under the name of Epipurgidia, on the acropolis, not far from the temple of Nice. (Paus. ii. 30. § 2.) Small statues or symbolical representations of Hecate (hekataia) were very numerous, especially at Athens, where they stood before or in houses, and on spots where two roads crossed each other; and it would seem that people consulted such Hecataea as oracles. (Aristoph. Vesp. 816, Lysistr. 64; Eurip. Med. 396; Porphyr. de Abstin. ii. 16; Hesych. s. v. Hekataia). At the close of every month dishes with food were set out for her and other averters of evil at the points where two roads crossed each other; and this food was consumed by poor people. (Aristoph. Plot. 596 ; Plut. Synmpos. vii. 6.) The sacrifices offered to her consisted of dogs, honey, and black female lambs. (Plut Quaest. Rom. 49; Schol. ad Theocrit. ii. 12 ; Apollon. Rhod. iii. 1032.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.



Heracles, Cerberus and Hecate, Apulian red-figure volute krater C4th B.C., Staatliche Antikensammlungen


Hesiod, Theogony 404 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"[The Titanis] Asteria (Starry One) of happy name, whom [the Titan] Perses (Destroyer) once led to his great house to be called his dear wife. And she conceived and bare Hekate (Hecate)."

Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter 19 (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th - 4th B.C.) :
"Tender-hearted Hekate (Hecate), bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaios (Persaeus)."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 8 - 9 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"The Titanes had children . . . Perses and Asteria of Hekate."

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 1035 (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"Hekate, Perses' only daughter (mounogenes)."

Lycophron, Alexandra 1174 (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"The maiden daughter of Perseus, Brimo [Hekate] Trimorphos (the three-formed)."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 45. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"We are told that Helios (the Sun) had two sons, Aeetes and Perses, Aeetes being the king of Kolkhis (Colchis) and the other king of the Tauric Chersonese, and that both of them were exceedingly cruel. And Perses had a daughter Hekate (Hecate), who surpassed her father in boldness and lawlessness."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 7. 74 (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Now to the ancient shrine of Perseis [Hekate daughter of Perses] she [Medea] made her way."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 18 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
"If you think Latona [Leto] a goddess, how can you not think that Hecate is one, who is the daughter of Latona's sister Asteria?"

Seneca, Medea 812 (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"I see Trivia's [Hekate's] swift gliding car . . . O Perseis [Perses' daughter]."


Nyx (Night) as the mother of Hekate was probably identified with Asteria ("the Starry One").

Bacchylides, Fragment 1B (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"Torch-bearing Hekate holy daughter of great-bosomed Nyx (Night)."


The Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 467 says that according to the Orphic Hymns, Hekate was a daughter of Deo [Demeter]; that according to Bacchylides, a daughter of Nyx (Night); according to Musaeus, a daughter of Zeus and Asteria; and that according to Pherecydes, she was a daughter of Aristaios (Aristaeus).

N.B. Pherecydes clearly identified Aristaios with the Titan Astraios (the Starry One).
Most poets make Hekate a daughter of night in some form, be that Asteria (Starry), Astraios (Starry) or Nyx (Night).


Hecate and the giant Clytius, Athenian red-figure kylix C5th B.C., Antikensammlung Berlin


Hekate was described as a virgin goddess, similar to Artemis. In art, she was often depicted wearing a maiden's knee-length dress.

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 840 (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"The only-begotten Maiden (Koure mounogenes) [Hekate]."

Lycophron, Alexandra 1174 (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"The maiden daughter of Perseus, Brimo [Hekate] Trimorphos."


Hekate was sometimes identified with Krataeis (Crataeis), the mother of the sea-monster Skylla (Scylla). She was also titled Skylakagetis (Leader of the Dogs), connecting her with the name of the monster.

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 827 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"[Kirke (Circe) addresses her niece Medea :] `Nor let them [the Argonauts] go too near the hateful den of Ausonian Skylla (Scylla), that wicked monster borne to Phorkys (Phorcys) by night-wandering Hekate, whom men call Kratais (Cratais).'"


Diodorus Siculus identified Hekate with the Kolkhian (Colchian) nymphs Perseis and Eidyia (the mother and wife of King Aeetes), and also with the goddess of the neighbouring Tauric Khersonese (Chersonese).

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 45. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"We are told that Helios (the Sun) had two sons, Aeetes and Perses, Aeetes being the king of Kolkhis (Colchis) and the other king of the Tauric Khersonese (Chersonese), . . . Perses had a daughter Hekate . . . she married Aeetes and bore two daughters, Kirke (Circe) and Medea, and a son Aigialeus."


Hekate was one of the Titan-gods who allied themselves with Zeus.

Hesiod, Theogony 404 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"Hekate whom Zeus the son of Kronos (Cronus) honoured above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honour also in starry heaven, and is honoured exceedingly by the deathless gods . . . For as many as were born of Gaia (Gaea, Earth) and Ouranos (Uranus, Heaven) [the Titanes] amongst all these she has her due portion. The son of Kronos [Zeus] did her no wrong nor took anything away of all that was her portion among the former Titan gods: but she holds, as the division was at the first from the beginning, privilege both in earth, and in heaven, and in sea. Also, because she is an only child, the goddess receives not less honour, but much more still, for Zeus honours her."

For MORE information on the Titan-War see THE TITANES


Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 34 - 38 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[When the Gigantes (Giants) made war on the gods of heaven] In the course of the battle . . . Hekate got [the Gigante] Klytios (Clytius) with fire-brands."

Hekate appears in a number of ancient vase paintings battling a giant with her twin torches.

For MORE information on the Giant-War see THE GIGANTES


Persephone, Hermes, Hecate and Demeter, Athenian red-figure bell krater C5th B.C., Metropolitan Museum of Art

Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter 19 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th - 4th B.C.) :
"Then she [Persephone] cried out shrilly [as she was seized by the god Haides] with her voice, calling upon her father, the Son of Kronos (Cronus) [Zeus], who is most high and excellent. But no one, either of the deathless gods or mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tender-hearted Hekate (Hecate), bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaios (Persaeus), heard the girl from her cave, and the lord Helios (the Sun) . . .
Then for nine days queenly Deo [Demeter] wandered over the earth with flaming torches in her hands, so grieved that she never tasted ambrosia and the sweet draught of nectar (nektaros), nor sprinkled her body with water. But when the tenth enlightening dawn had come, Hekate, with a torch in her hands, met her, and spoke to her and told her news: ‘Queenly Demeter, bringer of seasons and giver of good gifts, what god of heaven or what mortal man has rapt away Persephone and pierced with sorrow your dear heart? For I heard her voice, yet saw not with my eyes who it was. But I tell you truly and shortly all I know.’
So, then, said Hekate. And the daughter of rich-haired Rheia answered her not, but sped swiftly with her, holding flaming torches in her hands. So they came to Helios (the Sun), who is watchman of both gods and men, and stood in front of his horses: and the bright goddess enquired of him."

Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter 436 ff :
"[After Persephone was returned from the underworld to Demeter :] Then bright-coiffed Hekate came near to them, and often did she embrace the daughter of holy Demeter: and from that time the lady Hekate was minister and companion to Persephone."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 39. 2 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
[In the following passage, Herkyna (Hercyna), the Warding Dog (eruô, kunos), may be Hekate:]
"[The city Lebadeia in Boiotia] is separated from the grove of [the chthonian oracular daimon] Trophonios by the river Herkyna (Hercyna). They say that here Herkyna, when playing with Kore (Core) [Persephone], the daughter of Demeter, held a goose (khên) which against her will she let loose. The bird flew into a hollow cave and hid under a stone; Kore entered and took the bird as it lay under the stone. The water flowed, they say, from the place where Kore took up the stone, and hence the river received the name Herkyna. On the bank of the river there is a temple of Herkyna, in which is a maiden holding a goose in her arms. In the cave are the sources of the river and images standing, and serpents are coiled around their sceptres. One might conjecture the images be of Asklepios (Asclepius) and Hygeia, but they might be Trophonios and Herkyna, because they think that serpents are just as much sacred to Trophonios as Asklepios."

For MORE information on Persephone's abduction see RAPE OF PERSEPHONE


Hekate was probably described as the consort of Khthonian (Underworld) Hermes in the cults of Thessalian Pherai (Pherae) and Eleusis. Both gods were leaders of the ghosts of the dead, and were associated with the spring-time return of Persephone.

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 38. 7 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The hero Eleusis, after whom the city [of Eleusis] is named, some assert to be a son of Hermes and of Daeira [Hekate?], daughter of Okeanos (Oceanus)."

Propertius, Elegies 2. 29c (trans. Goold) (Roman elegy C1st B.C.) :
"Brimo [Hekate], who as legend tells, by the waters of Boebeis [lake in Thessaly] laid her virgin body at Mercurius' [Hermes'] side."


Hecate and the giant Clytius, Athenian red-figure amphora C4th B.C., Musée du Louvre

Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 29 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"At Thebes Proitos (Proetus) had a daughter Galinthias. This maiden was playmate and companion of Alkmene (Alcmena), daughter of Elektryon (Electryon). As the birth throes for Herakles were pressing on Alkmene, the Moirai (Fates) and Eileithyia (Birth-Goddess), as a favour to Hera, kept Alkmene in continuous birth pangs. They remained seated, each keeping their arms crossed. Galinthias, fearing that the pains of her labour would drive Alkmene mad, ran to the Moirai and Eleithyia and announced that by desire of Zeus a boy had been born to Alkmene and that their prerogatives had been abolished.
At all this, consternation of course overcame the Moirai and they immediately let go their arms. Alkmene's pangs ceased at once and Herakles (Heracles) was born. The Moirai were aggrieved at this and took away the womanly parts of Galinthias since, being but a mortal, she had deceived the gods. They turned her into a deceitful weasel (or polecat), making her live in crannies and gave her a grotesque way of mating. She is mounted through the ears and gives birth by bringing forth her young through the throat. Hekate felt sorry for this transformation of her appearance and appointed her a sacred servant of herself."

Aelian, On Animals 12. 5 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd A.D.) :
"The inhabitants of Thebes, although Greeks, worship a marten [Galanthis], so I hear, and allege that it was the nurse of Herakles, or if it was not the nurse, yet when Alkmene (Alcmena) was in labour and unable to bring her child to birth, the marten ran by her and loosed the bonds of her womb, so that Herakles was delivered and at once began to crawl."


Aelian, On Animals 15. 11 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd A.D.) :
"I have heard that the land-marten (or polecat) was once a human being. It has also reached my hearing that Gale was her name then; that she was a dealer in spells and a sorceress (pharmakis); that she was extremely incontinent, and that she was afflicted with abnormal sexual desires. Nor has it escaped my notice that the anger of the goddess Hekate transformed it into this evil creature. May the goddess be gracious to me : fables and their telling I leave to others."


Odysseus received Queen Hekabe (Hecuba) as his captive following the fall of Troy. During the voyage back to Greece she murdered a Thracian king and was stoned by the locals. The gods then transformed her into a black dog, and she became the animal familiar of the goddess Hekate. In this myth the queen was clearly identified with Bendis, the Thrakian Hekate, who was offered dogs in sacrifice.

Lycophron, Alexandra 1174 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"The maiden daughter of Perseus, Brimo [Hekate] Trimorphos (Three-formed), shall make thee [Queen Hekabe (Hecuba) of Troy] her attendant [after her transformed into a dog], terrifying with thy baying in the night all mortals who worship not with torches the images of Zerynthia [Hekate] queen of Strymon [in Thrake], appeasing the goddess of Pherai with sacrifice. And the island spur of Pakhynos (Pachynus) [in Sicily] shall hold thine [Hekabe's] awful cenotaph, piled by the hands of thy master [Odysseus], prompted by dreams when thou hast gotten the rites of death in front of the streams of Heloros. He [Odysseus] shall pour on the shore offerings for thee, unhappy one, fearing the anger of the three-necked goddess [Hekate], for that he shall hurl the first stone at thy [Hekabe's] stoning and begin the dark sacrifice to Haides."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 111 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"When Ulysses [Odysseus] was taking into servitude Hecuba, Priam's wife . . . she threw herself into the Hellespont, and is said to have been changed into a dog. the place is called Cyneus (of the Dog) from this."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 14. 430 & 561 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Troy fell and Priam too. His ill-starred wife [Hekabe (Hecuba)] lost, after all besides her human shape; her weird new barking terrified the breeze on foreign shores where the long Hellespont contracts in narrows . . . There lie across the strait from Phrygia, where Ilium was, the provinces of Thrace, where Polymestor had his wealthy palace. To him in secret Praim gave in charge his young son Polydorus to be reared . . . When Troy;s fair fortune fell, that wicked king took his sharp sword and slit his charge's throat . . .
Upon the beach cast up she [Hekabe] saw her Polydorus' corpse and the huge wounds the Thracian knives had made . . . Hecuba, rage linked with grief, oblviious of her years . . . made her way to Polymestor, author of that foul murder, and sought an audience . . . She attacked the king and dug her fingers in his eyes, his treacherous eyes, and gouged his eyeballs out . . . Incensed to see their king's calamity, the Thracians started to attack the queen with sticks and stones, but she snaped at the stones, snarling, and when her lips were set to grame words and she tried to speak, she barked. The place remains today, named from what happened there [Kynossema (Cynossema) or Dog's Barrow]. Then still remembering her ancient ills, she howled in sorrow through the land of Thrace. That fate of hers stirred pity in the hearts of friend and foe, Trojans and Greeks alike, and all the gods as well--all: Juno [Hera] too, Jove's wife and sister, did herself declare the tragic end of Hecuba unfair."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 7.362 ff :
"Past the tomb of Paris [in the Troad] buried in the shallow sand; the meadowlands that Maera terrified with monstrous barks [N.B. Ovid connects Hekabe (Hecuba) or Hekate with the dog-star Seirios (Sirius) or Maira]."

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