Hecate: 13 Ways to Work With the Goddess of Witchcraft
Is the Mother of Witchcraft, the Queen of Sorcery, and the Goddess of magic calling you? Hecate is an ancient Greek goddess and rules over witches far and wide. But if you’re new to her energy, how do you work with Hecate respectfully? Here we discuss who Hecate is and how to work with her in your magical practice.
Who is Hecate?
A favorite among modern and past witches, Hecate is an ancient Greek Goddess of magic, life and death, herbalism, the mysteries, and much more. She is a liminal spirit – she guards the thresholds between the human and spirit world. She’s found at the crossroads, at the doorways of homes, and at the gates of the cemetery. While a chthonic deity who presides over death and the dead, many forget Hecate is also a goddess of childbirth and life. As a triple goddess, her domain is the life/death/rebirth cycle. She is often depicted in a triple goddess form: as three women looking in different directions or as a three-headed canine.
Is Hecate dark? Many say she’s a dark goddess and it seems that reputation precedes her. However, people forget she’s a goddess of childbirth and LIFE, too! She helps heal women in need of reproductive healing and aids in the birthing process. She’s as much LIGHT as she is DARK. She encompasses all of these things – she IS the polarity. Don’t be afraid to work with her because of how others perceive her. I can tell you I’ve only had good, healing experiences with her.
Ways to Work With Hecate
Whether you’ve chosen Hecate as your matron goddess or not, she is a powerful deity to work with in your magical practice. She particularly loves witches, herbalists, diviners, healers, morticians and midwives. So if you’re any of these, you’re in luck! There are many ways to work with the goddess of the crossroads, but here are our favorites:
1. Pronounce Her Name Right
The pronunciation of Hecate’s name has been muddled and changed over the years. But there is a RIGHT way to say her name. Most say “heh-kah-tay” or “heh-kah-tee” with no emphasis on the middle syllable. But in ancient times, her name would have been pronounced with emphasis on the middle syllable like this: heh-KAH-tay or heh-KAH-tee. Practice that a few times out loud. Feel the difference? This is one simple to honor the goddess of witches.
2. Dedicate Altar Space to Hecate
Because Hecate is Queen of the Witches, she adores to have her own altar or altar space in a witch’s home. Things you can add: a representation of her like a statue or a key, a cauldron, a knife, a broom, dog figurines, decor with stars and moons, anything with the colors black or red. Cleanse and consecrate the space and tools in Hecate’s name.
3. Altar Offerings for Hecate
In addition to keeping space for her, giving offerings is another great way to work with her. Nearly every god or goddess we work with in our practice requires some energy exchange via offerings. Hecate is no different. Here are a few offerings she likes: pomegranates, lavender, dishes with garlic, date palms, eggs, honey, breads and sweets that are crescent-shaped, candleflame and incense.
4. Ritual at the Crossroads
Because Hecate is a ruler of the crossroads, rituals done at the crossroads honor and invoke her energy. If you live in an urban area, it may be hard to find a 3-way crossroads to perform ritual. In this case, mark out a 3-way crossroads on the ground with large branches as a symbolic crossroads of sorts. Otherwise, candle spells, invocations, and offerings at 3-way crossroads are a powerful way to call on her.
5. Canine Care
Hecate’s most sacred and loved animal is the dog. When you take care of our canine friends, do so in Hecate’s name. She will bless you AND your dogs or any dogs you care for. You can also call on Hecate to protect your dog from harm. If you can’t have a dog, donate your time OR old blankets, dog food, etc. to a local animal shelter. And tell Hecate you’re doing it in her name.
6. Feasts for Hecate
A fun and traditional way to honor the Goddess of Life and Death is to hold a dinner party or feast for her. In ancient times, Hecate’s priestesses held large parties in her name and made her favorite foods. Include lavender, honey, eggs and garlic in your dishes. Red wine and mead are traditional. Set a place at the table for your goddess or set a plate at her altar. Celebrate Hecate with a feast on her sacred days: August 13th and/or November 30th. Click here to learn more about hosting Hecate Night.
7. Study Herbs
Hecate is the goddess of witchcraft and was specifically known for her herbal knowledge. Sources say there was a sacred garden dedicated to Hecate at her temple in Colchis (modern day Georgia). This garden would’ve contained her sacred trees, herbs and poisons. Study medicinal and magical herbalism and become one of Hecate’s priestesses. By growing and harvesting your own herbs, you’re recreating Hecate’s garden at Colchis.
8. Dark Moon Rituals
The most powerful time to invoke Hecate in ritual is during a Dark Moon. Healing, banishing, and cleansing rituals in Hecate’s name during a Dark Moon are especially potent. Divination, particularly to speak with Hecate, is amplified during the Dark Moon. If you’re looking for examples of dark moon rituals click here.
9. Spirit Work in the Cemetery
Because she is the goddess of life and death, she is also a protector and gatekeeper of the spirit realm. Her presence is felt in cemeteries, as well as in birthing centers and hospitals. If you’re brave enough AND understand how to protect yourself, spirit work in the cemetery is another way to honor Hecate. But be careful…this isn’t a practice for beginners or for fun.
10. Offerings by the Door
In ancient times, Hecate’s devotees left offerings to her and her hounds outside by their door. You can honor Hecate and her hounds by doing the same. Leave an offering for Hecate and one of her dogs.
11. Locate the Dog Star
This is something fun to do in Hecate’s honor. Locate Sirius, the Dog Star, in the night sky. Use a mobile app like SkyView to locate Sirius, and if you can see it with the naked eye, gaze at it awhile. Feel Hecate’s energy radiating down from the night sky and pulsing through your veins. The star Sirius is her sacred star.
12. Work With Her Allies
By working with and getting to know the witch Queen’s allies, you honor her. Study and invoke any or all of the following: Medea, Circe, Cybele, Artemis, Diana, Persephone, Demeter, and Dionysus.
13. Doings Things in 13’s
The Goddess of Witchcraft’s sacred number is thirteen. If you want to honor her, perform ritual steps in thirteen steps. Offer thirteen flowers to her. Give elaborate offerings or do ritual on the thirteenth of each month in her name. Say your prayers thirteen times. Etc.