All magic is Crossroads Magic.
RJ Stewart, prolific author, musician, expert on the Western Esoteric Mysteries, and my beloved teacher
A brief note to my subscribers: It has come to my attention that those of you who receive my blog posts strictly as email are seeing the featured image at the top as posted, but all subsequent images are horribly distorted and out of focus. I am so sorry for this; it appears that this is a shortcoming of my email service (MailChimp), and there is nothing I can do about it at this time. To see the more coherent images, I invite you to visit my website directly (where there are lots more goodies to explore anyway!). Thanks for your understanding.
As you may know, on the last day of each month, I pay homage to the Goddess Hecate. Sometimes I am public about it; often, I am not. But I always give honor to Her.
Although our ancestors designated Her day as the last day of the lunar calendar, that was then, and this is now. So I believe it is acceptable to honor Her using our modern solar calendar.
What a train wreck we are in the midst of! The American debate last night revealed that my almost 20 weeks of examining the playbook of tyrants coming into power has not been simply an academic exercise. We are witnessing it.
The Occupant made it clear he is not running against Joe Biden — he is running against America’s democracy.
And as the daily news shows us, the selfish agendas of the power elite always have the worst impact on the most vulnerable in our society — people of color, women and children, the elderly, those facing COVID and other illness, refugees and immigrants, and the economically disadvantaged.
Since Hecate is the most formidable ally for these groups, I invite you to join me in calling upon Her this day, for Her divine advocacy, and fierce protection.
Who Is She?
The Encyclopedia Mythica suggests Hecate’s name is pronounced, “hek’-a-tee” and this is probably the most common among English-speaking people. However, another etymology expert suggests, “In its original [Greek] pronunciation, the accent is on the second syllable, [and] the H is almost silent: eh-KAH-tee.”
Well, any way you want to pronounce it, I am sure She will hear you, for Hecate is a Greek Goddess of all 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.
Not A Crone Only
In current times, thanks to modern mythological interpretations such as Frazier’s The Golden Bough, She is often depicted as a symbol of the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess. But this is an image that is rather limited, compared to how our ancestors knew Her.
It is not wrong to see Her as the elder face of the Goddess, especially since at Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, the Goddess transformed from Mother to Crone. But the ancients knew Her as the Maiden and Mother as well, for She was one of the very oldest of the Great Triple Goddesses.
Not only was She associated with guarding the cemeteries and the dead, She was a protectress of children, midwives, and mothers giving birth.
She, like her cousin Artemis, is given to more solitary ways, and like Artemis, is sometimes thought of as a virgin Moon Goddess. (By the way, “virgin” does not mean She is uninitiated into the act of sex, but instead that She is unwilling to sacrifice Her independence to marriage).
Also like Artemis, Hecate is usually depicted with Her sacred dogs. She and Her animals are sometimes said to have three heads and are able to see in all directions.
Although often depicted as a beautiful woman who just happens to have three human heads, some images are more disturbing, with Her three human heads instead being a snake, a boar, and a horse.
Lighting The Way for Us
Walking in the night or visiting cemeteries during the dark phase of the Moon, She has been described as luminous or shining.
But don’t be misled. Unlike many other Moon Goddesses, Hecate is not ethereal or a “will-o-the-wisp.” She is a powerful Earth Goddess, a daughter of Gaia and the only surviving Titan (the pre-Olympian deities).
In fact, Hecate was the only one of those most ancient Titans that Zeus allowed to retain their authority once the Olympians had taken over. Zeus shared with Hecate, and only Her, the awesome power of giving humanity anything She wished (or withholding it if She pleased).
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 at the crossroads.
As Queen of the Night, those who seek Her protection can move safely in the darkness. But She should not be romanticized or feared (unless you are involved in injustice or preying upon the less fortunate)! Hecate also gives voice to the highest wisdom, divination, and dreams.
This farsightedness, and Her ability to see in several directions at once (including the past, present, and future) featured largely in Her most famous myth, the abduction of Persephone.
This is the farsightedness we call upon now, and so urgently need!
Hear our call, Mighty Hecate, and come to our aid!
Hecate’s ability to see into the Otherworlds of the sleeping and the dead makes Her comfortable and tolerant in the company of those most would shun, out of fear or ignorance.
In Her role as ‘Queen of the Night,’ sometimes traveling with a following of ghosts and other social outcasts, She was both honored and feared as the protectress of the oppressed and those whom society marginalizes.
In Rome, many of the priests in Her sacred groves were considered the lowest of the low in society – former slaves who were released to work in Her service. But by Her presence, they were elevated.
Sadly, in the horrific recidivist climate we find ourselves in, the numbers that need Her today are growing.
Fear Not. She Is Here For Us
Her powers are vast and varied. She does not choose to live above mortals on lofty Olympus, but remains firmly on our Earth, involved in the day-to-day activities of humans. She is always here at our own most important crossroads – helping us in childbirth, and escorting the dying to the Underworld.
She also can create or withhold storms. As such, She is especially honored by sailors and shepherds. In light of the horrific storms being endured in many places, many of which are thanks to global climate change, it might be a very good idea to take some time to honor Hecate tonight.
In ancient times, on the last day of the month, Hecate’s devotees 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.
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 for a better path.
On this final day of September, you and I stand at a crossroads.
There can be little doubt that our free and open society is in peril. Intertwined in this catastrophe is the fact that the minimal environmental safeguards so hard won over the years are being destroyed. Whether we want to face it or not, the disastrous results are in our faces.
Those in power are viciously assaulting health services (especially those for women and children), the arts, public education, privacy, and the freedom of the press. To name but a few.
I invite all my Witchen brothers and sisters to join me. I call to all people of Spirit now, today, and let us invoke the Great Goddess, Hecate, to help us walk in safety, during this pivotal time of deepening darkness.
May She intervene on behalf of all in need, including our very nation, home to one of the world’s oldest democracies.
And most especially may She guard well those in our society who are at highest risk of harm — the poor, the homeless, the non-white, underprivileged, and non-mainstream. May She shield and support our LGBTQIA citizens, our undocumented, our children and mothers, our elders, and those who suffer from physical and mental trauma and illness.
From this day forward, let us align with the blessed wisdom of this most ancient, Maiden-Mother-Crone Hecate and stand beside Her on behalf of the forgotten, the overlooked, and the powerless.
By Earth, Sea, and Sky, may mighty Hecate shield and defend the innocent, shelter our people from power-crazed, racist leaders, laws, and practices, and grant us Her wisdom and guidance. With Her help, we shall not only endure these Tower Times, but we shall rise together and build a more just, honorable future.
(Invaluable information for this article was obtained from the well-researched Goddess Gift website. Deep thanks.)