Hekate is associated with many members of the animal kingdom, but perhaps her infamous hounds who patrolled the night with her and guarded the gates of the Under World are her closest four-legged companions. She has also been portrayed as having her own wolfish side more than once. Connecting to the energy of Hekate’s Hounds helps us find courage and to howl in our own unique way.
There are several animals associated with Hekate in the ancient sources, including bulls, cows, dogs, dragons, frogs, goats, horses, lions, pigs, polecats and snakes. Although there are many animal companions of Hekate, the three key ones are dogs, horses and snakes. There are examples of her as Triformis having a dog, horse and serpent head. In the ancient texts she is described by some as possessing either one, two or all three of these animals in her physical form, while in other sources she is associated with them.
Perhaps the dog is the best known of Hekate’s animal companions. In her ancient cults, dogs were associated with her as companions and they were offered to her as sacrifices. Her ‘hell-hounds’ were seen as guarding the gates to the Under World . She is also viewed as having a canine form herself in some of the writings, either as a single dog or even as a triple-headed one. Black dogs in particular were symbolic of Hekate in ancient times, like in this section from “Spell to the Waning Moon” in The Greek Magickal Papyri: “Her fillet, key, wand, iron wheel, black dog.”