Meet Hecate, Goddess of Magic, Mediumship & the Moon

Students at The College of Psychic Studies would do well to have the goddess Hecate on their side. As well as nurturing our clairvoyant abilities, she can support our connection with the spirit realms...

By: The College of Psychic Studies.   Posted

If, like many of us, you were captivated by Classics scholar Madeline Miller's novel Circe (2018), you will have appreciated its descriptions of magical practice and herbalism in Ancient Greece. Circe is a seductive island sorceress, a powerful apothecary of herb magic and healing. However, a glaring omission from Miller's otherwise brilliant retelling is the Goddess of Magic and Mediumship herself (and, many argue, Circe's mother), Hecate.

Triple moon with Hecate

Who is Hecate?

Hecate is a formidable goddess who has assumed numerous incarnations since her early beginnings in Ancient Greece.  Although tales of her ancestry differ according to myth, she is popularly thought to be the daughter of the Titan god of destruction, Perses, and the Titan goddess of falling stars and the night, Asteria. With such a power couple behind her, it is no surprise that Hecate is considered one of Ancient Greece's most powerful deities. 

To the poet Sappho, Hecate is Queen of the Night. To Hesiod, she is 'Supreme, both in Heaven and in the Underworld'. To Shakespeare, she is the mistress of the three witches in Macbeth. Hecate presides over spirits and magic. She can be found at the crossroads - both physical and metaphoric. She stands at the doorways and portals to other realms - including the spirit realm. And as such, she is a very good deity for College students to have on side.

Persephone, Demeter & Hecate

Many will know Hecate from the Persephone-Demeter-Hecate myth. When Hades, lord of the Underworld, saw the beautiful maiden Persephone, he fell instantly in love. Persephone was not only beautiful, she also had a fine pedigree, being the daughter of the great god Zeus and Demeter, goddess of nature. Hades planned to capture her and make her his queen. One day, Persephone was out gathering flowers. Hades seized his chance and kidnapped her. No one heard Persephone's scream… except the goddess Hecate.

Hecate took pity on Persephone, and on her mother, Demeter, who was wrought with worry for her missing daughter. Armed with a pair of blazing torches, she ventured into the Underworld to find Persephone and guide her back. Mother and daughter were reunited, but Persephone was doomed to return to Hades for a portion of the year. During these dark months, Persephone would assume her throne as Queen of the Underworld, with Hecate, her trusted companion and guardian, by her side.

Stone relief of Hecate in the Underworld and drawing of Hecate the Triple Goddess

The Triple Goddess

Classics scholar Károly Kerényi famously wrote that the Greek myths and their deities are archetypal blueprints of the human soul. The Persephone-Demeter-Hecate myth is the Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone. It embodies all aspects of the goddess, and the three phases of the moon - Waxing, Full and Waning. Robert Graves describes this relationship beautifully in The Golden Fleece (1944): 'Maiden, Nymph and Mother are the eternal royal Trinity... and the Goddess, who is worshipped in each of these aspects as New Moon, Full Moon and Old Moon, is the Sovereign Deity.'

The Crone or waning moon aspect is Hecate. Another representation of Hecate, according to Barbara Walker in The I Ching of the Goddess (1986), is the Hindu goddess Kali. Hecate is associated with old age, death, winter, and, ultimately, rebirth. Her appearance heralds a call to transformation and healing, the end of a life phase leading to the inevitable start of a new one. 

As the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess, Hecate is the wise woman. She assists in times of difficulty as the midwife to the psyche, bringing us through metamorphosis. Just as Hecate guided Persephone from the Underworld, she guides us through the dark night of the soul. Standing at the crossroads of our life, facing all directions with her flaming torches, Hecate can see into the past, present and future. She is the clairvoyant way-shower, lighting our path forward when we don't know where to turn.

Calling on the goddess Hecate

Any aspiring medium, intuitive and magic-maker would do well to call on the goddess Hecate for support and guidance. Hecate is as comfortable in the spirit world as she is in this one. She can assist us in strengthening our connection to spirit and support us in opening up and developing our clairs and psychic abilities. Hecate can also guide us on our path, showing us the next step in our self-development. 

As with any deity, our relationship with Hecate is unique to each of us. However, there are various traditional ways to honour her. One is to be kind to dogs. Hecate's familiar is a black dog, so when you treat your canines with kindness, Hecate will look kindly on you. Another is to celebrate Hecate's traditional feast day on 13th August. Whether you place a dog figurine on your altar, or practice a monthly dark moon ritual to celebrate her, you will find a powerful ally in the goddess Hecate.

Cultivate your relationship with Hecate in our online workshop:

Working with Goddess Hecate