(meaning "influence from afar" in Greek)
(also known as Hecuba)
The Greek name for this originally Thracian and Anatolian goddess, first mentioned by Hesiod (ca. 700 B.C.E.), makes it obvious that she was regarded - in Greece - as a goddess of magic. Based on this, the moon goddess Hecate has then become connected to death and the netherworld, to ghosts and the hounds of hell. People tried to appease her by blood-sacrifices of lambs and puppies.
Traditionally, Hecate is imagined and depicted as having three heads, that of a horse, a dog and a lion, or sometimes even with three complete bodies. This enables her all-seeing and all-knowing qualities. In her aspect as Hecate Trevia, she is the goddess who rules all crossroads, from where she is believed to look into all directions. She is also regarded as the mother of a vampiric, demonic group of goddesses known as the Empusae. Based on all of these associations, Hecate became one of the major deities concerning all types of enchantment, sorcery and witchcraft.
Originally, before she was demonized by Greek and Christian patriarchs alike, Hecate formed a trinity (often called a triple-goddess) together with the maiden Kore (Persephone) and the matron Demeter. In this trinity she represents the waning moon and the wise old woman or crone.
An interesting theory, put forward by Barbara Gordon Walker, sees Hecate as being derived from the Egyptian goddess Heqit and from the pre-dynastic Egyptian term heq, "tribal matriarch". Unfortunately, Mrs. Walker does not supply us with evidence for her claim.
see also Kali, Lilith, Ereshkigal, Medusa
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