Polytheist

31 Days of Devotion: Hekate Variations

Hekate rules over heavens, hells, land and sea. She reigns over witchcraft, crossroads, boundaries and gateways. She is a Goddess of beasts, domestic dogs and sacrificial animals as well as serpents and toads.

“And she [Asteria] conceived and bare Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honoured above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea.[…]
For as many as were born of Earth and Ocean amongst all these she has her due portion. The son of Cronos did her no wrong nor took anything away of all that was her portion among the former Titan gods: but she holds, as the division was at the first from the beginning, privilege both in earth, and in heaven, and in sea. Also, because she is an only child, the goddess receives not less honour, but much more still, for Zeus honours her.[…]
[…]and to those whose business is in the grey discomfortable sea, and who pray to Hecate and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, easily the glorious goddess gives great catch, and easily she takes it away as soon as seen, if so she will.”
~Theogony

After the defeat of the Titans, Zeus is said to either give Hekate reign over 3 realms or to allow Her to continue Her reign over those regions. Heavens and earth or underworld makes for an interesting combination as they effect how She is approached. Olympian orOuranic deities are honors on raised altars and in temples with burned offerings. Cthonic deities are honored with altars on the earth with pits dug for offerings to go into the earth and be buried. Hekate is honored both ways.

In the Heavens, Hekate is a lunar goddess with sway over the Night and all things that occure during the dark hours. She is closely associated with Apollo as well as Helios in that She also sheds Her rays of light on the earth and notices those things even the other gods miss (like the abduction of Kore).

As a Cthonic deity, Hekate is the psychopomp, a guide to Persephone, guardian of gates and crossroads, and leader of the horde of the wandering dead.

Hekate of the Oceans is not an aspect of Her that I connect with the strongest (yet) as water is where my shadow lies the strongest and where I have my most uncomfortable work. In the Orphic hymn to Hekate She is named Einalian, which means ‘of the sea’. She is sometimes paired with Poiseidon here.  In this aspect She is the Mother of Scylla, the sea monster.

 

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