Neopagan Misconceptions about Hekate


  • The Magical Greek Papyri
  • The Goddess Hekate (Stephen Ronan)
  • Hekate Liminal Rites (Sorita d’Este & David Rankine)

Here is a list of misconceptions that I have come across on magic forums that I think should be addressed.

1. Hekate is a crone

In ancient texts, such as the PGM, Hekate is referred to as a maiden and even a virgin. She was never depicted or referred to as a hag. Her threefold aspect has nothing to do with the modern “maiden, matron, crone” archetype.

2. Hekate is originally a Greek goddess

Hekate’s association with dogs suggests that she was a foreign goddess, and her earliest temples / lore / depictions suggest that she originated in Asia Minor (or at least came to the Greeks through that area).

3. Hekate is a moon goddess

Hekate came to be associated with moon over time, probably through conflation with Artemis and Selene. She is thought to have originally been regarded as a solar goddess.

4. Hekate is a dark goddess

Yes, but not exclusively. She is a liminal deity with as much association with the heavens as the underworld. The Chaldean Oracles place her in the Empyrean realms, in charge of archangels, and name her as “the world soul”.

5. Frogs are sacred to Hekate and she will be offended if you hurt one

Seeing as how dogs were sacrificed in her honor and early spells to her included killing and smearing lizards on wood, I find this unlikely.

6. The Stropholos is her symbol

The symbol modern pagans call the stropholos and associate with Hekate today was not actually related to her. I suppose, it is now. Which is fine; it’s just good to know the history behind these things.

Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong!


Great post! I have not researched into this, so I cannot confirm any of this through my own reading, but I really like this style of post. It is good to try and correct misconceptions like these that tend to pop up over time.
Although maybe giving some sources for reference would be appreciated if you have time in the future!

Excellent post. Would be nice to see more like this!


Thank you @Dankquanicus :slight_smile:

By this do you mean where to find the sources I referenced?


Apologies, I completely missed your list of references at the beginning :man_facepalming: I guess I got too absorbed while reading the rest of the post!

But with that, it should not be difficult to find the sources, thanks! The Greek Magical Papyri have been on my reading list for a while now. I also starting going back into the Chaldaen Oracles recently, so it’s interesting you mentioned them. It’s a reminder to continue with them!


Get excited for rituals involving butt-plugging and killing cats, telling a spirit that they are the cat, and that your enemy is the one that butt-plugged and killed them!


For some reason this reminds me of the story in Hrafnkels Saga where a former Varangian guard convinces a mourning father to sneak into his friend’s room while he is sleeping, and grab onto his toe and forcefully pop the blister he got from the long journey, just to give his friend an analogy about how the pain of his popped blister is little compared to the pain the mourning father felt when his son was killed, and why he should help avenge his son.

Jokes aside, I find works like that which you reference still give wonderful inspiration for ritual (Without the violence). After reading a similar work with many wonderful rituals employing herbs, a wonderful method of using plants for magickal purposes (And the magickal application of one particular plant) was revealed to me in a dream. So, there is certainly benefit to be gained from studying them, despite the distastefulness or strangeness of the rituals.


You’ve made me realize I need to own this text. It’s been a sentence and you have me entirely convinced.

I agree completely that it’s convoluted how people try to only refer to her as a Greek deity, sure she was one of theirs goddesses after a certain point, but that doesn’t mean she is exclusively of the Greek pantheon (she doesn’t fit neatly in either like everyone else there does). I had the wonderful honor of taking a myths class at school (university) and she was referred to as being so powerful neither the Titans nor the Olympians could do much about her power or match it in any relevant ways. Her domain was huge and no one tried to fuck with her or take her powers/skills/specialties when they (Olympians) split up domains again.

You make some other really great points as well!


That is fantastic :slight_smile:
Would you be open to sharing?

I agree. The distastefulness and strangeness also give us key insights into ancient mindsets, and thus the evolution of both magical practice and the perceived consciousnesses of the spirits we interact with.


Thanks @Laurel_Spider :slight_smile:
The PGM is a ride, lol. Enjoy!


Apologies for seeming mysterious or closed off, but I am afraid I am not open to sharing it (although I don’t mean to sound arrogant). But, I mean to say through this, that you can certainly find wonderful things through spiritual dreams and by studying these works, so they are worth looking at and being open to.

Very true. It is also doubly important or useful for any traditional magician who holds the Platonist or Hermetic world-view. There is much to be gained from studying these works. These things reveal the quality of spirit within earthly forms and how spirit interacts with spirit (by spirit here I am referring to “energy”).


Ive often wondered if she was actually cool with dogs being sacrificed to her or if that was just what they thought she wanted.

Its just hard for me to think that she was known to be accompanied by dogs yet didnt seem to have a problem with others being sacrificed?

She was also known to take in other animals that were misfits. She was kinda like an original animal shelter.

Im not saying she did or didnt , Ive just wondered about it?

I just know I have two dogs, a guinea pig, a bunny and did have a python (but sadly he passed away) and would total cry if any were sacrificed.


I think that there is Hekate as a whole, and then there is the facet of her consciousness that extends to and interacts with humans. And I think that expression of consciousness is greatly shaped by human behaviour. If the human norm for deity veneration was animal sacrifice, I don’t see why she would have taken offense to it. Pure speculation.


Most of us that do a lot of evocations of many different types of spirits see a lot of facets and it’s generally agreed that they show you the facet you need right now. I’ve seen several aspects of hers.


I guess that makes sense if society as a whole then was sacrificing animals, she probably moved with the current.

Things are always shifting and changing. What was normal then isnt so much now and in so many years it will shift again.


I thought for sure I read that the sacrifice was to ensure the spirit of the hound served Hecate. Can’t remember where I read it, though.


I could see a dove being sacrificed in a vision of a ritual and it didnt seem to bother me. So there could also be the issue of pets vs animals.

Im attached to my pets so of course I would be upset if they were sacrificed we have a strong bond.

But an animal in general maybe its the not having a bond. Seeing the dove didnt bother me. I was more curious about what the ritual was for and why they were doing it.


You could be correct.


You sure? That sounds remarkably like what they said in a documentary on Vikings (they said the Vikings sacrificed humans with their kings and queens so they could serve them in the afterlife). Of course they speculated that with very little proof but hey it was a bbc production after all. It’s been a while since they were actually credible.

Add: in several things I seen by them (like when they air “A Victorian Christmas” or “the Victorian farmer” shows they have a habit of quoting folklore and here say (like “they substituted white lead powder in the flour because it was cheaper in ratios of 50-50” excuse my quote I may have the number off it might not have been 50-50) as if it was 100% factual without backing it up. That’s why I say it’s been a while (literally a dogs age) since they were credible.


Yeah, but without remembering the source, I can’t say how historical it may be.


Bravo! Well written!

Me and Aluriel (from BALG) were reading this and you brought us tears of joy!!