Hekate is revered as the Witch Mother from which all witches descend. However, there is historical and experiential evidence indicating that she is often perceived as a Mother Goddess beyond her association with witches.
Reviewing the existing literature about Hekate reveals that her three-formed nature is reflected in her maternal roles. In addition, many have experiences of her as a maternal figure. She can be considered Mother of the Gods, Mother of All Things and a mother to individuals. In addition, her long history portrays her as the Mother of Witches. Contemporary Hekate is often seen as The Dark Mother and the Mother of Witchcraft. Hekate is a complex goddess that presents herself in different forms throughout the ages and to those seeking her, as reflected in her various maternal roles.
This article explores historical sources and experiential reports discussing Hekate as a Mother Goddess beyond her role as Witch Mother.
Hekate’s Maternal Sides
Hekate’s maternal sides can be grouped into three distinct, but sometimes overlapping categories. First, she has been interpreted as The Mother of the Gods by various ancient writers. Second, she bears the title “Mother of All Things” from various ancient sources referring to her dominion over the material world. Third, Hekate has had various offspring of her own in various ancient stories. All these depictions combine together to reveal a fascinating portrait of Hekate as The Great Mother.
Hekate as The Mother of the Gods
I am going to preface this discussion by saying (once again) that I am neither an academic classicist or a reconstructionist Hellenist. Some authors posit that the ancient texts do indeed bestow the title “Mother of the Gods” upon her, while others claim the title belongs to Rhea (or even someone else). This dichotomy in opinions arises from the confusing content in some of the ancient texts that discuss Hekate as a Great Mother.