Hekate’s complex history includes a wide variety of relationships, from the epic tale of her guiding Persephone back and forth to the Under World to her maternal bond with the ancient witch, Medea. In addition, Hekate and her many names can provide us with a source of magickal energy and personal guidance when it comes to our own relationships.
Hekate’s dominion over the Realm of the Liminal is where the energy of relationships can be found – as a co-creation between people but existing in neither person. We can turn to Hekate as a Goddess of Relationships to learn a great deal about how to manage our own interpersonal situations, even when we are lonely. It’s actually during these times of isolation that Hekate spontaneously comes to us, offering comfort and hope.
Historical Hekate and Her Relationships
There is a common image of Hekate as a loner goddess. She is mighty, but she always seems so alone. It’s time to dispel that myth. Hekate has so many associations with other deities, entities and humans that there’s no way that I could list them all in one blog. I’d need a book to do that.
Hekate’s Many Ancient Relationships
From her most famous role as Persephone’s guide to and from the Under World to her maternal bond with the witch Medea, relationships play a central role in Hekatean mythology. As for her being the lonely one wandering the night, while she is often doing this, it’s so she can guide and protect us humans. Sometimes she’s the light through the path of our life, but she’s also the guardian of the unquiet dead.
Then there’s the Hekate that gets evoked in love spells. She’s available for petitioning for bringing forward the object of our desires. Hekate is also a guardian of mothers and children.
When it comes to Hekate’s own relationships, she had a whole variety of them. Because of the often contradictory nature of the ancient writings, she is sometimes married (to Zeus Panamerios, for example), was a mother (of sorts to Medea and perhaps to the very cool sea monster known as Scylla), often partnered (Hermes, Helios, Apollo are a few of her male companions), associated with many other deities both female (Artemis, Diana, Selene are a few) and male (Zeus, Mercury, Janus are some). Hekate as Mother of Angels and Demons has well-documented relationships with these groups of entities. Of course, she has relationships with each of her human devotees.
Our Relationship with Hekate
Our relationship with Hekate can be very different from another one of her followers, just like every other type of one. We can have a connection to her as a mentor or she may be a maternal figure to us. And our relationship can be based on a whole variety of things, from a desire for personal healing to theurgical quest.
The Diversity of Our Relationships
Our everyday relationships can be based on so many different things, from mutual lust to the mother-child bond. There’s healthy ones, dysfunctional ones and ones that could potentially kill you. We can’t really live without them. Some of them we are trying to forget about, others bring us great joy (most of the time) and then there’s those that leave us on our knees. Hekate as a Goddess of Relationships is there to help us with all of this.
Relationships and the Liminal
While Hekate will come to us here in the Middle World whenever we need her guidance and intervention, her home is in the Liminal Realm. This is the land in between the other three realms. Here she resides watching over all creation, acting as a mediator between us and the other realms. From her ancient association with the restless dead to our contemporary understanding of her as a Goddess of Personal Transformation, she lives in the spaces between one thing and the next. Relationships, too, exist in the liminal. They are co-creations between people that exist separately from either individual, although each person will have their own ideas about the partnership. However, the relationship itself becomes an energetic entity all it’s own. When we truly love another person, such as is possible with the love between a parent and child or long-term lovers, the liminal energy from the relationship is an example of what the ancients thought was true love.
True Love: Chaldean Style
In order to understand Hekate as a Goddess of Relationships, we need to appreciate the Chaldean Hekate in all her glory. This is the Hekate that is the Savior and The World Soul. In this all-purpose capacity, she is seen as fueling all of creation, including ourselves and our relationships. As Soteira, she offers the potential for our soul’s ascension through living a virtuous life.
In The Chaldean Oracles, the virtues of Faith, Truth and Love are viewed as flowing out of Hekate’s left hip. While I’m not at all certain how that could actually work if she had a humanoid form, I am sure that trying to live these virtues leads to a better life for me and benefits all of my relationships.
“Faith, Truth and Love, that praise worthy triad.” (Fragment 46)
In the Oracles, a distinction is made between “true love” and “wanton love” (i.e., sexual attraction). The author(s) were solely focused on that sort of perfect love that leads to the betterment of a soul. However, most of us are more concerned with other kinds of love, especially the romantic type.
Hekate is evoked in many different love spells in the ancient texts, including this gem from The Greek Magickal Papyri that is all about attracting a potential mate. I personally like this line the best:
“banish her from every place…and attract her here to me.” (PGM IV, 2490).
So much for wishing the objects of our desire well! The ancients had a different perspective on all things to do with sex, romantic love and love in general.
And what we now refer to as Hekate’s Wheel was used to draw a reluctant lover towards the besotted in ancient times when it was called a Iynx.
I find these ancient love spells intriguing because they are often so contradictory to my modern witch’s code of ethics. I wouldn’t want someone to come to me because they had been banished from everywhere else. Those ancient scribes certainly had a different take on magick.
Hekate: The Ultimate Relationship CounsellorWe interpret the ancient stories using our contemporary lens, like when I find the spells of the PGM morally reprehensible. There are other ways my 21st century eyes interpret the ancient tales differently. In modern terms, Hekate of the ancient scripts spends a lot of time acting as a divine relationship counselor – playing the role of mediator when things go wrong in relationships. She’s there guiding the troubled through their difficulties, but she’s not there to change the course of events.
Involving Hekate in Relationship Magick
Perhaps you do want to petition Hekate to intervene in your relationship. You could take your cue from one of the ancient sources, maybe even request her to “come and be at my love spell of attraction.” (PGM IV 2543) or you could write your own spell. I’d caution against evoking Hekate for nasty love magick, like Medea did. She had a whole assortment of rather brutal techniques for manifesting all sorts of love related things, like perhaps killing her own brother to protect her beloved, Jason. But, if you feel that’s necessary, who am I to judge? Here are some less violent ways to involve Hekate in relationship magick:
Healing from Past Relationships
It’s often necessary for us to heal important relationships from the past, especially those from childhood when many witches suffered greatly. It may be time to ask for Hekate’s guidance for mending such relationships, or for you to find personal healing.
Finding a Romantic Partner
I wrote about the risks of love spells recently, so you can read that if you’re keen to find a partner for a one night stand or everlasting love.
There are few times when we want a friendship to progress faster, but we often desire to speed things up when it comes to romance. You can petition her assistance in a variety of spells for helping to find a partner and speeding up the course of events after you’ve already got your eye on someone.
Perhaps your current romantic partnership is in a slump, or that once close friend feels distant. You can cast a spell involving Hekate, asking for her guidance on how you can rejuvenate an existing relationship.
There are times when a relationship is in danger of ending. You may have been betrayed or broken the trust of your partner. Maybe you’ve hurt a dear friend. In any case, you’re worried that the relationship may be damaged beyond repair. Turn to Hekate, asking for her guidance on how you can repair the relationship or even if it’s time to let it go.
Ending a Relationship
If you are certain that a relationship has run it’s natural course, you can petition for Hekate’s guidance on how to gracefully bow out without hurting your partner any more than necessary.
Help for the Broken Hearted
I’ve heard many stories of how Hekate called to someone for the first time when they were at their lowest, especially when they were broken-hearted. If she doesn’t seem to be providing you with spontaneous guidance, then perhaps you need to pay more attention for the messages she sends. You might even need to ask for her to soothe your troubled heart.
Comfort for the Lonely
I think that the lonely are living in a liminal space because they perceive that they aren’t in the place they want to be. They think they’re stuck there, without the desired romantic union or friendships that they seek. Of course you can do a spell asking for Hekate’s guidance and intervention if you’re feeling socially isolated. You can also focus your attention on your devotion. I’ve found that Hekate is always there to comfort me when I am feeling lonely, but I have to reach out to her. A daily devotional practice is a sure fire cure for feeling lonely.
Using Hekate’s Epithets for Relationship Help
I find that using the epithets that pertain to a relationship – whether it’s to hasten a lover or to help me be a better mom – are a great way to petition for Hekate’s assistance as they call upon specific types of energy.
These are a few examples of the different relationship situations where you can seek Hekate’s guidance and intervention. While doing magick to help our relationships along can be a great idea, there’s just as much help to be found from studying writings.
Learning from Hekate
While involving Hekate in our relationship witchcraft can be immensely beneficial, I believe that she’s even more powerful as a source of information on how to conduct ourselves as individuals and in our relationships. Hekate as the “Mother of All who bore love.” (PGM IV 2557) demonstrates the characteristics that are necessary for finding a healthy relationship, maintaining it, dealing with things when the shit hits the fan and recovering after. Personally, I’ve learned so much from studying her epithets and then calling upon the energy of one of her characteristics to help myself. This is yet another way that Hekate is a Goddess of Relationships.
However you chose to work with Hekate regarding your relationships, be cautious that you are approaching her from your truth rather than your shadow self. The shadow can be a potent motivator for conducting witchcraft that is not in our best interests.
Living the virtues of faith, truth and love that flowed to us from Hekate’s flank will help us to tame our shadow self. Aspiring to live the virtuous life helps us as individuals and in our relationships. The power of these virtues is the greatest gift from Hekate, Goddess of Relationships.
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