… Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honored above all. He gave Her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honor also in starry heaven, and is honored exceedingly by the deathless Gods.
~ Hesiod, The Theogony (circa 750 – 650 BCE)
As you may know, on the last day of each month, it is my practice to give honor to the Goddess Hecate.
Today it also happens we are preparing to cross the threshold of halfway through this year. It is a marker of time’s passage, and an opportunity to review our intentions and promises for this year. How are we doing?
Hecate is a Greek Triple Goddess of magical crossroads and the three realms of Earth, Sea, and Sky. She is a guardian of the household, protector of everything newly born, and the Goddess of Witches. She was one of the oldest and most universally revered chthonic Goddesses of the ancient world.
Walking in the night or visiting cemeteries during the dark phase of the Moon, She has been described as luminous or shining.
Hecate is sometimes accompanied on Her travels by an owl, ancient symbol of wisdom. Although not a Goddess specializing in wisdom along the lines of, say, Minerva, Hecate gives expert counsel to those who find themselves at the various crossroads of life.
Like, for instance, the midpoint of 2013.
In ancient times, on the last day of the month, Hecate’s worshipers would leave a “Hecate’s Supper” outdoors, usually at a Y-crossroads, with specially prepared foods as offerings to Her. These offerings were also gifts to appease the restless ghosts, called apotropaioi by the Greeks.
Frequently, a pole was erected at the intersection and three masks would be hung from it, as homage to Hecate and to request Her wise guidance when making choices.
Three-faced masks and other images of Hecate were also placed at the gates of cities, and domestic doorways.
Many of the men and women currently in service to Her prefer to focus their rites strictly by the lunar month, which is how the ancient Greeks counted time, rather than the modern solar-based calendar, introduced later by the Romans.
But I find She does not mind if we also dedicate this last day of the solar month to Her as well.
Although Her name may mean “The Distant One,” Hecate is always close at hand in our times of need, helping us to release old, unhelpful habits and situations, and find our courage to greet the new beginnings that surely come with the turning of the month, and the doorway of the remaining year.
May Hecate grant us Her wisdom and guidance on this last day of the month, and always.