Though our knowledge of her in the west is primarily from Greek mythology, her name means ‘influence from afar’ and it is likely that Hecate is a much older goddess that the Greeks borrowed from another culture and made their own. Zeus himself was in such awe of her that he allowed Hecate free rein to grant or deny the requests of all mortals, making her pretty much his equal, this honour wasn’t even offered to the other gods and goddesses of Olympus. To add to the irony, Hecate, according to the Greeks was a Titan, the race that had to be savagely overcome for the Olympians to rule.
Having such free rein in the mortal realm, Hecate naturally became closely involved in the day-to-day life of mankind. She was without question the single most powerful female in the Greek pantheon and because of this, she was both greatly loved by those she championed and greatly feared by those who were foolish enough to go against her or hers.
Of her many titles, the three that capture her essence the most are:
- Queen of the night
- Goddess of Witchcraft
- Queen of the Crossroads
In addition to her request granting power, she has the ability to travel all realities, so she can easily act as an intermediary between the denizens of each.
Once Hecate could be approached in all hours of the day but after Hera’s pursuit forced her to hide in Hades for a time, she became a creature of the night. Any requests or worship of Hecate must be performed at night, with only the allowance of a few candles or torches.