Got your attention, didn’t it? I’ve been thinking about making this post for some time, and by the end, it may begin to seem like it wasn’t entirely my idea. I can’t tell you what your relationship with Hecate is or should be. I can only tell you what mine is like, and how it differs from what you might read online. What your arrangement with her is may differ significantly.
Uh-oh, the Goddess is unhappy. Better toss a virgin into the volcano.
Hecate is very powerful, and holds influence over many things: Queen of the Night, Protectress of Witches, Goddess of the Borderlands and Crossroads, Goddess of the Underworld and Goddess of Magic, and more (see here) There is a suggestion on the internet that if you displease her, the Hounds of Hell will devour you every night in your dreams until you die of sleep deprivation, or some such silliness. The Hecate that I know would laugh at the suggestion. That is not the Hecate that I know.
The Hecate that I know is a guide and teacher. Yes, she expects loyalty and reverence and to be honored daily. That does not mean that I cast the circle, call the quarters and light candles and incense every day. On sabbats, esbats, and new moons, sure I do, and more, but honoring her daily means something different.
She expects what every teacher expects from her students: effort! That means study and practice. One of Hecate’s numbers is thirteen, she adores dogs, she is a goddess of herbs and magic. When I get up in the morning, I think of her and stir my coffee thirteen times clockwise. When the Therapy Dogs arrive at my job, I think of her as I pet and play with them. I ask her to bless my rosemary plants as I water them, and I have planted mugwort and lavender in honor of her. Before I start reading about magic and astrology, I acknowledge her and thank her for her guidance. I don’t have to light a candle to her every day, because I honor her throughout my day by the way that I live.
I used to point out to my daughter that there are people who go to church every Sunday and look down their noses at those who don’t. In my opinion, those who live by the teachings of the Christian God (or any other) during the week are more blessed than some Sunday showboat. So if I don’t honor her one night, it’s no big deal. She has high expectations, but she is not intolerant. She is often depicted as the Crone, but she is the Maiden and Mother as well. She recently reminded me that she is a Goddess of Light as well as Dark. She has taught me things about balance that I might never have discovered on my own, and she wasn’t even the slightest bit mean about it.
On the internet she is described as someone to fear. I do not fear Hecate, because I respect her and that makes fear unnecessary. But if you need someone to devour you in your sleep, I’m sure she can do that, too.