Hecate or Hekate ( /ˈhɛkətiː/; ancient Greek Ἑκάτη, Hekátē; /ˈhɛkət/) is an ancient goddess, frequently depicted in triple form and variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, fire, light, the Moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, necromancy, and sorcery. She has rulership over earth, sea and sky, as well as a more universal role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul.
Hecate may have originated among the Carians of Anatolia, where variants of her name are found as names given to children. William Berg observes, "Since children are not called after spooks, it is safe to assume that Carian theophoric names involving hekat- refer to a major deity free from the dark and unsavoury ties to the underworld and to witchcraft associated with the Hecate of classical Athens." She also closely parallels the Roman goddess Trivia, with whom she was identified in Rome.
Today Hecate is just one of the 'patron' goddesses of many witches, who in some traditions refer to her in the Goddess's aspect of the "Crone". But other traditional witches associate her with the Maiden and/or with the Mother as well, for Hecate has three faces, or phases. Her role as a tripartite goddess, which many modern-day Wiccans associate with the concept of 'the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone', an interpretation clearly from the ancient myths, songs and statuary, was again made popular in modern times by writers such as Robert Graves in The White Goddess, and many others. This association is also noted in the 20th century, with the occult author Aleister Crowley. Historical depictions and descriptions show her facing in three different directions, a clear and precise reference to the tripartite nature of this ancient Goddess. The later Greek Magical Papyri sometimes refer to her as also having the heads of animals, and this can be seen as a reference to her aspect of Motherhood, who is often depicted as a 'Mistress of Animals'.
Other names and epithets:
Apotropaia (that turns away/protects)
Chthonia (of the earth/underworld)
Enodia (on the way)
Klêidouchos (holding the keys)
Kourotrophos (nurse of children)
Phosphoros (bringing or giving light)
Propolos (who serves/attends)
Propulaia/Propylaia (before the gate)
Triodia/Trioditis (who frequents crossroads)
Goddess of the crossroads;
Cult images and altars of Hecate in her triplicate or trimorphic form were placed at three-way crossroads (though they also appeared before private homes and in front of city gates). In this form she came to be known as the goddess Trivia "the three ways" in Roman mythology. In what appears to be a 7th century indication of the survival of cult practices of this general sort, Saint Eligius, in his Sermo warns the sick among his recently converted flock in Flanders against putting "devilish charms at springs or trees or crossroads", and, according to Saint Ouen would urge them "No Christian should make or render any devotion to the deities of the trivium, where three roads meet