Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hecate Titan Goddess of Crossroads: Queen of the Witches

Queen of the Witches - Goddess of Crossroads
I am Hecate, Queen of The Witches--Sorceress, Psychic, Crone, Hag.
I ride through the night sky, bathing the landscape in supernatural light.
Guardian of the Unconscious; Mistress of the Night; Holder of the Key.
I am Hecate; I command Earth, Sea and Sky;
I control the lunar cycles; I control your menstrual cycles; Goddess of Life and Birth
I am Hecate the ultimate Feminine.

Hecate is a triple Moon Goddess; skilled in the arts of divining and fortune telling. She represents feminine energy and independence from the masculine. Hecate as Queen of the Witches is the protector of women and children, in her role as Mother Goddess. As the Crone she is all wisdom, understanding and protecting the tribe (society). As the Maiden her role is that of fertility, the cycle of life, and rebirth. Hecate is the Goddess of Crossroads, and with three faces can divine past, present and future. As Queen of the Witches, she protects and guides both solitary witches and covens, and can grant great power to them and bestow upon them great gifts. As Goddess of the night and holder of the key, she is able to freely move between the worlds and guide one into or out of the darkness of intuition and self-knowlege.

Hecate is an ancient Goddess from an early, pre-Greek period of myth. It is believed she was a Titan Goddess, and was so powerful and respected by her followers that she maintained control even after the fall of the Titans to the Olympian Gods. She had dominion over sky, earth and the underworld making her the bestower of wealth and the blessings of life. Even Zeus honored Hecate in that he allowed her the ancient power of giving or denying to mortals any desired gift.

As a Triple Moon Goddess Hecate gives humans dreams and visions which, if interpreted wisely, led to greater clarity. Hecate presents the three faces of the Goddess, that of maiden, mother, and crone and she is connected to death and regeneration. Hecate is the holder of the keys to the underworld and allows hope of re-birth and transformation as opposed to Hades, who represented the inevitability of death.

It is believed that Hecate's name derives from the Egyptian midwife-Goddess Heqit, Heket, or Hekat. The hag was the tribal matriarch of per-dynastic Egypt and was known as a wise woman. Heket was connected with the embryonic state when dead grain decomposed and began to germinate. She was also one of the midwives who assisted every morning at the birth of the Sun.

In Greece, Hecate was one of the original trinity who were connected with the moon's three phases and ruled over heaven, earth and the underworld. She was worshipped at places where three roads met and was known as Hecate Trivia, Hecate of the Three ways. It is believed that Hecate's worship was recognized by the pre-Olympian divinities whom Zeus and his cohort had ousted. The newcomers also bowed to her antiquity by granting to Hecate alone a power shared with Zeus that of granting or withholding from humanity anything she wished.

Hesiod in Theogony says that Hecate was the daughter of the Titan Perses and Asteria, a star Goddess, both symbols of shining light. Asteria was a sister of Leto who gave birth to Apollo and Artemis, making Hecate a cousin to Artemis. An even older tradition saw her as a more primal Goddess and made her a daughter of Erebus and Nyx (Night). 

During the middle ages, Hecate became known as Queen of the Witches. Religious authorities during this period said that the people most dangerous to the faith were those whom Hecate patronized - midwives, healers and seers. They also saw the simple peasants practicing folk religion as devil worshippers and Hecate was portrayed as an ugly hag leading covens of witches in these practices.

Hecate of the Amazons was a Moon and underworld deity. Her chariot was often pulled by dragons. She was the oldest Greek form of the triform Goddess, who ruled heaven, the underworld and the Earth. After the matriarch fell, the Greeks worshiped Hecate only as Queen of the Underworld and ruler of three-way crossroads. In Greek Mythology, when the Olympian Gods claimed fame, Zeus did not dare try to take any of Hecate's powers from her, as he knew her powers were just as great as his if not greater.

As Hecate Trivia, Hecate of the Three Ways, Her images stood at the crossroads, where offerings of dogs, honey and black lambs were left on Full Moon nights, Divination and communication with the dead were performed in these places.

She was also know as angelos (angel) and phosphorus (light). In the myth of Kore-Persephone, Hecate does not interfere when the Maiden is dragged down into the underworld. Demeter is outraged and vengeful, but Hecate remains calm, knowing that certain things in life must come to pass and there is little point in becoming hysterical about them. This inner illumination (phosphoros) of consciousness, this learning to roll with the punches and then coming back to better things is the deep wisdom taught by the Dark Mother, the dark angel (angelos) of the collective unconscious. If we do not know this aspect of the Goddess or acknowledge Her wisdom, we cannot have a truly integrated personality.

Other studies from the middle ages show Hecate with three heads and six arms. Hecate was shown holding three torches, a key, a rope, and a dagger. With the key, she unlocks the deep mysteries, the rope is a symbolical umbilical cord, the dagger, which has become the athame of Witchcraft, cuts through illusion to true power. But Hecate was also known as the most lovely one, a name for the Moon. It was said that She wore a shimmering headdress and was second to none in her powers.

Hecate was also called the Silver-Footed Queen of the Night, likely due to her connection with Persephone, who was also called by that title. In Italy at Lake Averno, an extinct volcanic crater, the thick, dark forest surrounding the lake was known as Hecate's sacred grove. Actual temples to this Goddess were rare. During the Middle Ages, Hecate became known as Queen of the Witches.

Hecate is known for her gifts of prophecy, her clear vision, and her knowledge of the magical and occult arts. Because she stands at the crossroads, she can look into the past, present and future, Her Priestesses were many, including Medea and Circe. Medea had Hecate's foresight and wisdom, Circe her gift of the magical arts.

Hecate's worshipers invoked her in ritual and placed food for her as an offering. This was known as Hecate's supper. Rituals were always in the darkest hours of the night. Worshipers gathered to study and learn occult wisdom. 

Hecate is the Dark Mother, in both the positive and the negative sense. She can send demons to torment men's dreams, she can drive them mad, if they are not well integrated enough to cope with her, but to those who dare to welcome her, she brings creative inspiration. 

Hecate is the ultimate advisor, as she sees clearly back into the past through the present and on into the future. She is the Keeper of the Key to the Akashic Records. The final mysteries of life and the universe are hers. She is the gentle Death Priestess who meets us at the end of our lives and guides us into the world of spirit.

Hecate, the Crone blends with the Maiden and Mother as they blend with Her. She is the greatest of Teachers and Initiator, for She leads us downward into the entrance of the labyrinth web. From that point, we have no choice but to face the cycle of life and death. We are shown past lives, the mistakes, the victories, and the talents gained. Only when we can accept and understand, at least in part, does the Crone show us the most sacred of Her Mysteries: that the labyrinth does not end but continues on, back into life, a never-ending cycle of existence.

She stands at the triple crossroads that exists at all levels of our being, manifesting as spirit, soul and body. We should recognize that the terrible, awful hag-like image of Hecate is merely a document of the unconscious fear of the feminine, the mystical, and the underworld. 

We must visit and come to terms with the dark unconscious side of our "inner nature" for, if we avoid this realm, we create polarity and eventually develop a dualistic world view. We have to face up to our inner Hecate, make a relationship with her as guardian of our unconsciousness, our dark side, and, trusting Her stewardship, allow ourselves to grow into an awareness of the rich realm of our personal underworld. Only through this can we become integrated beings.


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