Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hecate: Goddess of the Triple Crossroads

Hecate, Goddess of the Triple Crossroads

Seeing the Future in the Dark

Hecate, Wayfarer, Path Finder
Mistress of the Thresholds we all must cross
Goddess of the Triple Crossroads where destiny meets choice
Keeper of wisdom, teacher of the wise
Destroyer of illusion and Guardian of the Gates
Hail, Owl-eye Goddess of Magick and the roads of Mystery!
I Your Priestess ask You:
Lend me Your lantern, to reveal and clarify my options
Lend me Your key, to open doors that I thought were barred
Lend me Your Bitches, to sniff out the best Way
Lend me Your knife, to free me of the choices not claimed
Oh, Owl-Eye Goddess, show me the Path
Made precisely for my soul's feet
Leading to the best possible outcome for me and mine
And in service to the Earth
Blessed Be!

The dark goddess Hecate is ancient, worshiped before the advent of patriarchy 5,000 years ago. What we know of Hecate is that she is either associated with the Egyptian midwife goddess, Heqet, or is the daughter of the star goddess Asteria, a Greek Titan, both foreshadowing Hecate's concern with birth and the Light. Whatever her origins, she has come down to us through the Greeks, who saw Hecate as a Titan who was not banished with the other Titans but instead honored by Zeus and the Olympians with powers over Earth, Sea and the Heavens. They recognized that the Creatrix Goddess holds sway over life, even over the lesser gods. And the best part is, she always lived outside the boundaries of the other Olympians, an independent power that they could not contain or control. 

Katlyn Breene's Hecate

So we know she contained a big power. Hecate was worshiped in ancient Greece and into the 3rd century C.E. as the Great Goddess, the Creatrix and World Soul, the spiritual energy of our interconnectedness with all life and with the Cosmic Laws of Life. She is the Light in Nature, Spirit Incarnate, Earth's Consciousness. One of her powers, even greater than Zeus', was that she could bestow great blessings or withhold them. 
Hecate’s name has several possible meanings. 'She who works Her will', 'the far-off one' or 'far-darting one'. Such names suggest that Her power is far reaching, as it would be if she is the World Soul. As Goddess of the Triple Crossroads, Hecate can see in all directions at once, like the Fates. Another name 'most shining One', relates to both her mother Asteria and with an image from the 4th Century BCE, where we see Hecate as a young goddess of beauty and power, carrying a torch and wearing a headdress of stars. It is also thought 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.

But as patriarchal control deepened in the Middle Ages, out of fear of her power, the Christian church declared her Queen of Witches, hiding the Goddess' light behind the fear of the Devil. Patriarchy has rejected the intelligence of the Earth, ignoring her laws and disrupting her life-giving energies, just as it rejected Hecate's powers of life, death, regeneration and rebirth.

Indeed, Hecate is Queen of Witchcraft because she is also a Moon Goddess, great agent of magic and change, as well as Queen of the Night and of the Dead. Like Hecate, witches consciously weave the creative energies of life and death through their magic, making them agents of change. Hecate embodies feminine independence, another reason she is the Queen of Witches. We all know how feisty and wild witches can be! 

Hecate~Katlyn Breene
Hecate was originally associated with all aspects of the Triple Moon: birth, bounty, life, protection as well as death and rebirth. As cultures changed and patriarchy suppressed and diminished the Divine Feminine, Hecate's powers were limited to the powers of the Dark of the Moon, which because they have been rejected, are so little understood. 
The Dark of the Moon is a time when we face the Unknown, the mysterious Darkness. Patriarchy sees darkness as evil and so we've been taught to fear it. Instead, consider the New Moon as a time of seeding and possibility, when the Moon's face is turned out into the Universe, ready to receive Lightseeds from the many stars and galaxies beyond our Sun. Not so dark and evil, is it? This is a time when we go beyond the boundaries set by Earth and are completely opened to the Universe. That's real magic!

This Dark Moon aspect of Hecate's power can help us face the darkness of our times and help us choose a path into the future that is life-affirming and light-filled. She is the Wayshower and guardian, the Goddess of in-between states of being, of many dimensions and transformations. Hecate guards doorways and borders. She is the Goddess of passages between worlds and she opens the veils between the worlds at Samhain. So she is intimately connected to the energies of this time of year. She's not afraid of the death process, because she knows the steps of transformation that lead from death to a new birth.

She is Queen of the Dead, but always Death in service to life. What does it mean to be Queen of the Dead? Is she a vampire? Not at all, for vampires refuse to die, and so are great symbols for patriarchy's fear of death. Hecate guards and guides the Dead on their road to rebirth. Her cauldron is sacred, and when we enter into it, we are washed with the Waters of Life. She is a kind and just queen, so our souls are refreshed to begin a new life. 

Our patriarchal culture chooses to see the worst in anything it can't control, and so it has turned this Light-filled Goddess into the stereotypical old Hag, with a long pointy nose and a wart. Just as using the holy name of Isis for a terrorist group is a sacrilege, so too is this caricature of the Halloween witch, downplaying Hecate's power to open the veils and let spirits through. 

In reality, the word Hag is derived from the word for the village wise-women or from a word that meant "woman of prophetic and oracular powers". Now Hecate is most often associated with the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess; Crone, which means 'crown' is the Wisdom aspect of the Moon Goddess. That means, like Ereshkigal in the Sumerian myths, Hecate looks at us with the objective eye of death and calls us to let go of our old ego-desires so we can experience regeneration and a new birth. 
Hecate is the companion of Persephone in the underworld and so knows how to live and deal with the spirit and energies of the dead, regenerating that energy so it can be used again for different goals and different desires. She opens the way to death, to transformation and to new life. The Mid-Wife of Spirit.

Hecate walks the roads of life with her faithful dogs and twin torches. Her dogs accompany her in the underworld and at the crossroads, the physical symbols of her instinctual energy that wants to protect us and be our companion as we cross over the threshold of change. She knows something has to first die before we can be reborn again. In Hecate’s Cauldron, we look at our true self, we see the nature of our motives and the results of our actions. It is only through Her Cauldron that we can truly be reborn, becoming more self-aware than we were before. Only when we look into her dark Cauldron can we see the potential for light. So, throw what is dead into the cauldron to be rendered into a magic brew of healing and transformation.

Hecate is especially revered as the Goddess of the Triple Crossroads, and as such, offers us a chance to leave the past behind, releasing what no longer serves us with a flick of her sacred sickle. As the Goddess of thresholds and gates, boundaries and hedges, she meets us at the Triple Crossroads where life decisions must be made. It is here we surrender old pathways in order to follow our new choices. She stands ready to protect us as we choose our new road, lending us one of her torches to light our way and sending her faithful companion to guide us.

Hecate challenges us to Change, calling us to face our inner Shadows, release their bound up energies and transform them into new awareness. Hecate helps us accept those changes and transitions which nurture our life. Death which serves Life. Here we see Hecate as the source of new beginnings, for unless we release and honor what is dead, we cannot find re-birth. 
Hecate is the Wayshower, who supports and guides us on our way through the Dark to the future. Her crossroads opens us to our fate. She can see where we’ve come from and the choices we have before us. Her relentless, objective vision demands that we look at our lives from our soul’s point of view. Objectivity is important, so we can look at our experiences and know their meaning. 

Hecate ~ Hrana Janto
Her far-seeing vision shows us what lies forgotten or hidden within us—old limiting beliefs that sap our courage and self-confidence as well as neglected gifts and talents—and shows us the Crossroads we stand at. When we turn to her as our guide, she shines her torches in the darkness of our dreams, our meditations and our active imaginations to show us the way forward. These are Hecate's gifts and lessons.

Hecate is our mid-wife. She appears when big changes are needed and helps facilitate them. At this magical crossroads, Hecate waits to light our way with Her torch, enabling us to see where each decision leads, and with her knife, cuts the cords that tie us to the past. Her wise seeing can help us navigate the great Unknown we face so we can find the source of Light within and give birth to it at Winter Solstice.

Blessed Be!

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