Hecate assisted Demeter in her search for Persephone, guiding her through the night with flaming torches. After the mother-daughter reunion, she became Persephone’s minister and companion in the underworld.
Three metamorphosis myths describe the origins of her animal familiars: the black she-dog and the polecat. The dog was the Trojan Queen Hecuba, who leapt into the sea after the fall of Troy and was transformed by the goddess. The polecat was either the witch Gale, turned as punishment for her incontinence, or Galinthias, midwife of Alcmene, who was transformed by the enraged goddess Eileithyia but adopted by the sympathetic Hecate.