Hecate

Hecate was the Titan goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy. She was the only child of Perses and Asteria, from whom she received her power over heaven, earth, and sea.

Residence: The Underworld
Symbols: Paired torches, black dog, polecat
Parents: Perses and Asteria
Siblings: Aeetes, Circe, Empusa, Pasiphae and Scylla

Hecate Chiaramonti Inv1922.jpg
The Hecate Chiaramonti, a Roman sculpture of triple Hecate, after a Hellenistic original (Museo Chiaramonti, Vatican Museums).

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.

Hecate | Athenian red-figure bell krater C5th B.C. | Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Hecate, Athenian red-figure bell krater, 5th BC, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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 Ilithyia but adopted by the sympathetic Hecate.