This post is part of a blog challenge series, 30 Days of Devotion to Hekate. Day 26 and we’re looking representations of Hekate in popular culture.
This was not part of the original list of topics, but I have merged several of the days together and so fall quite a bit short of 30 (actually it was meant to be 31), so I decided to make a bonus topic for the series. Why not? And I think it is an interesting topic to look into.
She is not often actually in shows and movies, but She is referenced a fair bit – often in ways we might not like. She is in a lot of fiction books, but I haven’t read many of those so will only reference the one that most will know about anyway. And of course I can’t possibly know of every show and movie She has been in or spoken about in, so this is only a small list.
I don’t know if it counts as popular culture, but it is popular so I will include it. I am sure everyone knows of this one, the play begins with three stereotypical hag witches around a cauldron, chanting, including that famous line, “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.”
Hecate enters with, “O well done! I commend your pains;
And every one shall share i’ the gains;
And now about the cauldron sing,
Live elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.”
She also appears later on the play, to tell off the witches and to speak of Macbeths downfall.
We don’t really see a lot of Her in the play, but we see enough of Her and the witches to see how She comes to be viewed as evil, chaotic, and as a hag. It also calls on the Triple Goddess idea, with there being three witches. Despite Her representation in this play contributing to misconceptions about Hekate, it seems to be one that most people don’t mind so much. There is something rather intriguing about Her and the witches in Macbeth.
American Horror Story – Coven
Hecate is called on, as Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul, in a ritual by character Fiona to bankrupt the Delphi Trust.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
In the TV series, Hecate is called on or referenced in three different episodes, and apparently also in the Xbox game. She is invoked by the witches Amy and Willow, as the Queen and Proctectress of Witches. Twice She is called on in a spell to turn people into rats, and once to turn a man into a woman.
Hecate, much like a whole host of other deities from numerous pantheons, appears in the Marvel universe. As a Goddess who apparently was scorned by Hades, in favour of Persephone, She gave magic to humans and was punished for it by Zeus who wiped Her memories.
In a spell to bring a man back from the dead, the witches call on Hecate
“Black as Night, erase Death from our Sight
White as Light, Mighty Hekate make it right.”
You can see a Youtube video of this scene here.
As an upper level demon, Queen of the Underworld, the Charmed sisters encounter Hecate who comes to earth every two centuries to force a man to marry Her. Apparently after being married, She can then have his child and the kid will be pure demon, but look completely human.
She is quite nasty looking as a demon, but interestingly She appears as blonde woman with blue eyes in Her human form. Quite the difference from the usual dark (or silver) haired, dark robed Hekate. But it doesn’t really make up for the whole evil demon thing.
Atlantis (TV Show)
I haven’t watched this yet, but apparently Hecate is referenced in one episode. Jason finds a shrine to Her (all skulls and blood and evil looking) and he steals some cooked meat from it. He is the punished by Hecate who turns him into a werewolf, or something. Elani recaps the episode here, spoilers abound.
In the series of books, Hecate is mentioned several times and makes an appearance a few times as well – as an adversary of Percy Jackson, of course. I haven’t read the books yet – it’s on the list. Nonetheless, from what I can see on the Wikia and what others say, the representation of Her is actually quite well done. None of this, all dark and evil hag Goddess – but She is listed as being the Goddess of the many things history says She is.
The Percy Jackson storyline is of course based in modern times, therefore what happens in them is not so much based on history but on what might happen today, kind of. As such, though some may not like how She is portrayed in the books, it’s not outside the realm of possibility such could happen in the circumstances presented.
No matter, the history of Her in the books is accurate, and we don’t see that often in popular culture. Pagans and Hekateans are divided as to whether they like the portrayal of Her or not.
- Penny Dreadful. TV show. Not actually Hekate, but a character named Hecate.
- Hecate: Queen of the Witches. Animated short.
- Hecate. Short film.
- Hellboy. Comics and Animated series.
- Hercules. Animated series.
- Caprica. TV show.
30 Days of Deity Devotion
5 – Members of the family – genealogical connections
6 – Other related deities and entities associated with this deity
7 – Names and epithets
8 – Variations on this deity (aspects, regional forms, etc.)
9 – Common mistakes and worst misconceptions about this deity
10 – Offerings – historical and UPG
11 – Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity
12 – Places associated with this deity and their worship
13 – What modern cultural issues are closest to this deity’s heart?
14 – Has worship of this deity changed in modern times?
15 – Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?
16 – How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?
17 – How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?
18 – What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire? And find the most troubling?
19 – Art and music that reminds you of this deity
20 – A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with
21 – Your own composition – a piece of writing about or for this deity
22 – A time when this deity has helped you, and refused to help
23 – How has your relationship with this deity changed over time?
24 – Something you wish you knew about this deity but don’t currently
25 – Any interesting or unusual UPG to share?
26 – Bonus: Hekate in popular culture – TV, movies, plays, fiction books
27 – Bonus: Hymns to Hekate
28 – Bonus: Beginners Ritual Outline
29 – Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?
30 – Bonus: Resources and Sources about Hekate