“Also she bare Asteria of happy name, whom Perses once
led to his great house to be called his dear wife. And she
conceived and bare Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honoured
above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the
earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honour also in starry
heaven, and is honoured exceedingly by the deathless gods. For
to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich
sacrifices and prays for favour according to custom, he calls
upon Hecate. Great honour comes full easily to him whose prayers
the goddess receives favourably, and she bestows wealth upon him;
for the power surely is with her. For as many as were born of
Earth and Ocean amongst all these she has her due portion. The
son of Cronos did her no wrong nor took anything away of all that
was her portion among the former Titan gods: but she holds, as
the division was at the first from the beginning, privilege both
in earth, and in heaven, and in sea. Also, because she is an
only child, the goddess receives not less honour, but much more
still, for Zeus honours her.”
– by Hesiod, from “Theogony”
Sitting in silence, waiting to heed the call of mastery, the vision becomes clearer. What I thought was a deity is much more than that…She is a walker on the great axis of the Universe. As a psychopomp, Hekate (meaning ‘worker from afar’) has the ability to travel throughout all dimensions, something not most ‘Gods’ can do; there are a few others who can, but ’tis a rare thing even for immortals. In Her earliest beginnings, it is believed Hekate was an imported Mother Goddess from Thessaly, Thrace or Persia, from the root ‘Perses’ alluded to by Herodotus (pg. 25, Rankine). As a child of Titans She played an unusual part in the battle against the Gods, assisting in the overthrow of Cronos by His children. For Her help, and maybe even due to fear as well, She was given access to all spheres of the Worlds, a key-holder able to open any door.
The roads traveled by Hekate are dark, with only Her guiding torches and brazen sandals to light the way. It is at Her feet I can see where She begins…I am humbled by the enormity of them. The bottoms of Her sandals are well-worn, having walked the length of the Universe again and back, guiding souls and sentient beings at Her choosing. Her toes sink into the Earth as roots, seeking out the darkest of places for nourishing stability. To worship and behold the sandal, to even be in the presence of Her eternal footwear is something a true devotee would be in awe over should they ever meet this indomitable force. But oh, the places She can take us to with those omnipresent feet!
At the gates to my journey, as Hekate Propylaia (‘one before the gate’) She stands firmly with Her feet shining. As the ancients held shrines at the entrance to their dwellings, so do I with my hekataion: the guardian and protector of my home. Here is the obsidian I place on either side of my front door, reflecting all ill will; the keys opening the portal within. As She steps into my Temple, I wash Her feet with rose water, welcoming Her with gratitude and grace.
Rankine, David and d’Este, Sorita. Hekate Liminal Rites: A Study of the Rituals, Magic and Symbols of the Torch-bearing Triple Goddess of the Crossroads. London: Avalonia, 2009. Print.