Those who have watched the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are aware that Hecate (Hekate) is invoked during a rather emotional scene. However, a post about this for the Revelist declares (rather emphatically) Hekate is not a Triple Goddess but a Crone Goddess alone. This is not accurate. So, as a Hekataen Witch, I have decided to share why Hekate is more than what modern people seem to believe.
Hekate: Who Is She?
She is most recognized as the daughter of the Titans Perses (destruction) and Asteria (“starry one”). Through her parents, Hekate received power over the earth, sea, and heavens. During a war between the Titans and the Olympians, Hekate chose to help Zeus. As a result, Hekate retained Her dominions.
Hekate also helped Demeter whose daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld. Hearing the cries of the maiden goddess, Hekate used her torches to find Persephone and lead her back to Demeter. This led to Hekate becoming a companion of Persephone and a goddess of the underworld. She is a Key Keeper, who unlocks the gates between the underworld of the dead and the middle world of the living. Thus She is a goddess of ghosts and wandering spirits, associated with liminal spaces and the night.
Hekate’s worship has spanned three thousand years as a goddess of crossroads, the moon, doorways, light, darkness, magick, pharmakeia, necromancy, and witchcraft. And that is the shortlist. She remains a shape-shifting protector of the marginalized and children. Hekate is a Queen of Witches.
Hekate: More Than A Dark Crone
In the article which inspired this post, there is a description of the Triple Goddess as Maiden, Mother, Crone. And this is how the television show in question depicted Hekate as well. And okay, I can roll with that I suppose but not with limiting Hekate to the role of Crone only. What is important to understand is that MMC is a modern invention made popular by Robert Graves in The White Goddess. While modern Pagans may have adopted this view of Hekate (and is hard to overcome even among Her devotees), it is an incomplete picture of a complex goddess.
Since ancient days, Hekate has been known as “triformis” or having “three forms.” She is indeed a Triple Goddess, as understood by the ancients. In some images, Hekate’s three faces are pointed in the three directions of the crossroads of which She is a mistress. Sometimes the Triple Goddess indicated a trinity of goddesses such as Demeter, Persephone, and Hekate or Selene, Artemis and Hekate as the Triple Moon.
Hekate was perceived as three young women standing back to back, each holding a representative symbol of the goddess such as keys, dagger, torches, serpents, etc. My point is that Hekate has been known since antiquity as a triple goddess but always as a maiden or mother figure. There were even times when she as a triple form had an animal head for each.
However, descriptions and depictions of Hekate as a “crone” or “hag” are not authentic to the goddess’s ancient history. You might argue Hekate as Crone has become VPG (verified personal gnosis) over time and that’s fine. My quibble is in limiting Hekate to that VPG alone.
Hekate: Yes. She Is Worshipped Today
In Hecate, The New Goddess In ‘Sabrina,’ Is A Real Deity, the author mentions the modern worship of Hekate. Yes! This is true and the author makes note of one of the many ways in which modern devotees honor Hekate.
There has been a revival of interest in Hekate as a goddess of witchcraft. Thanks to the efforts of teachers such as Cyndi Brannen, information about Hekate is more popular than ever. There are excellent books and blogs devoted to raising awareness and understanding of Her.
People approach Hekate in different ways: a reconstruction of practices based on ancient literature or a modern approach. Blending of what is known from the past with UPG. This is how I’ve come to Hekataen witchcraft. Through chanting Her many epithets (or names), performing rituals such as the Deipnon or Noumenia, practicing spellcraft and more, I have learned a great deal about Hekate, what it means to be one of Her Witches.
For me, She is much more than a Crone aspect of the MMC. Hekate is Dark Mother, a Goddess of Witchcraft, Crossroads, Moon and the Underworld. She is a World Soul, an Earth Mother, a Defender and Bringer of Storms. She has taught me the meaning of personal power and sovereignty. There is so much to learn from and about this enigmatic deity. I look forward to the journey. May Her torches always light the way.