Hecate was a complex, ancient goddess known to the Greeks but originally worshiped by people of Asia Minor*. She held several different roles, including earth goddess, queen of the underworld, and goddess of magic and witchcraft.
According to the Greek writer Hesiod*, Hecate was the daughter of the Titan* Perses and the nymph Asteria. Hesiod claimed that Hecate was a favorite of Zeus*, who made her goddess of the earth, sea, and sky. As a triple goddess, she was also identified with the three aspects of the moon and was represented by women of three different ages. In the sky, she took the form of the old woman Selene, the moon. On earth, she was linked to Artemis (Diana), goddess of the hunt. In the underworld, she was connected with the maiden Persephone, wife of Hades.
underworld land of the dead
nymph minor goddess of nature, usually represented as young and beautiful
Because of her association with the moon, Hecate was seen as a goddess of the night, magic, and spells. Magic was often practiced where roads met, and the Greeks established shrines to her at crossroads, especially where three roads came together. In her role as goddess of magic, Hecate is shown as a three-headed figure who keeps watch over the crossroads where her rites were performed. To her worshipers, she could bring good fortune and success, but she could also be a powerfully negative force. Later Christian tradition emphasized this side of her nature, portraying Hecate as an evil figure who was queen of the witches.
rite ceremony or formal procedure