of the Burning Branch Goddess Gallery Presents...
Goddess of the Crossroads
Queen of the Witchesby DragonWolfe
I was first introduced to Hecate, I saw her as no more than a scary old
hag standing guard over the crossroads. Finding myself at a crossroads
in my own life, I decided to investigate her further. Much to my
surprise, she turned out to be much more.
origins date back to Asia Minor, what is now known as South-West
Turkey. Although today we associate Hecate with the Crone,
ancient Greek artists portrayed her as a young and beautiful maiden
holding two torches. In this version she was called the
Maiden as seen in the picture above.
daughter of Titan Gods, Perses and Asteria, we see where some of
Hecate’s attributes come from. Perses, her father had dog
features and was associated with the Underworld and
Whereas, Asteria, her mother, ruled over astrology, visions and oracles.
was the original Holy Trinity for Greek, Egyptian and Celtic
cultures. As such; she held sway over heaven, earth and the
underworld as maiden, matron and crone consecutively. Her
during this time were her torch, the serpent of immortality and the
knife of midwifery.
with all ancient goddesses, Hecate changed forms with the
Her incarnation during the Hellenistic and Roman times was that of
Hecate Trivia. In this triple form she was portrayed with
bodies and sometimes three heads. This was when Hecate first
stood guard over the crossroads and was seen holding various
symbols. Since she had three faces, it gave Hecate the
see in three directions at once; the past, present and future.
common myth during this period was that Demeter learned from Hecate
that her daughter Persephone had been abducted by Hades, Lord of the
Underworld. Hecate talks Hades into allowing Persephone to
home for two thirds of the year. The other third of the year
is to remain in the Underworld as Hades’ Queen. Thereafter,
Hecate accompanies Persephone on her yearly journey. Demeter
devastated by the loss of her daughter during these times and causes
the earth to be barren until Persephone’s return, thus the birth of the
was during the Middle Ages that Hecate became known as the Queen of
Witches. At this point in time, the Catholic authorities,
threatened by the herbal practicing pagans, transformed Hecate into a
ugly old hag, stating that she lead covens of witches in her evil
practices. Hecate’s followers were considered to
power as a result of their knowledge of plants, especially poisonous
ones. It is said that Hecate made wolf-bane from the foam
Kerberus, the three headed dog’s mouth.
when you are filled with indecision and find yourself standing at a
crossroad in your life, desperately looking for the key to your
situation; call on Hecate and let her torch banish the darkness and
light your way.
Some of the
things associated with Hecate are as follows:
torches, keys, the dark moon, crossroads, the knife of midwifery
three-headed animals, dogs, horses, black ewe lambs, owls, bats,
- willow, yew, belladonna, mugwort, honey, currant cakes
black, orange, yellow, red
minerals - gold, moonstone, any stone that is dark and luminous
ritual is to remove the bonds of an oppressive relationship.
Since this is a banishing ritual it should be performed during a waning
or dark moon.
A black candle for Hecate
Candles to represent the four directions
Rosemary and sage
Any type of cord
This is a simple ritual. Feel free to add anything else that
you associate with Hecate to your altar.
Cast your circle.
Sprinkle the loose herbs on your altar
Call in the directions, starting in the East, lighting directional
candles as you do.
Call in Hecate and light the black candle.
Take a few minutes to center yourself and focus on your intent.
Chant the following until you feel the energy build:
Oh Great Mother, I call to thee,
Release the tethers, that binds him to me.
My lessons learned, set my soul free,
Grant me a new life , filled with love for me.
Then take the scissors and cut the cord
To harm no one, my way shall be.
Now as I will it, so mote it be!
Thank Hecate and dismiss her.
Extinguish the black candle.
Dismiss and thank the directions, extinguishing the candles as you do
Open the circle
Hekate Keys to the Crossroads edited by Sorita D’Este
A special thanks to Sister Firefly. She offered me a wealth of
information and inspiration!
This page is the
intellectual and creative property of DragonWolfe