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Hecate

Hecate.

Hecate is the goddess of magic and witchcraft in Greek mythology. She was often depicted holding two torches or a key. She was the daughter of the Titans Perses and Asteria, and she was honored in the households as a protective goddess who brought prosperity.

She was a chthonic goddess that preceded the Olympians, and it seems that she was highly worshipped in Thrace. She was also closely associated to the spiritual world, ghosts, and the dead. A shrine to Hecate was placed at the entrances of homes or even cities, hoping to protect them from the evil spirits that roamed the world. She also helped goddess Demeter in her search for her daughter Persephone, when the latter was abducted by Hades, god of the underworld; after it was decided that Persephone would spend a third of a year in the underworld and the rest on earth, Hecate became Persephone's companion to and from the underworld each year.

She has been associated with childbirth, nurturing the young, gates and walls, doorways, crossroads, magic, lunar lore, torches and dogs. In Ptolemaic Alexandria and elsewhere during the Hellenistic period, she appears as a three-faced goddess associated with ghosts, witchcraft, and curses. As the 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).

Hecate is said to be the goddess that Zeus honors above all others. This is evident in him giving her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honor also in starry heaven, and is honored exceedingly by the deathless gods. To this day, whenever any witch offers rich sacrifices and prays for favor according to custom, they call upon Hecate. Great honor comes full easily to the witch whose prayers the goddess receives favorably, and she bestows wealth upon them; for the power surely is with her.

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