Name and Origin
– The origin of the name Hecate and the original country of her worship are unknown.
– The name Hecate may derive from a Greek root, but the exact source words are uncertain.
– One suggestion is that the name Hecate comes from the Greek word ἑκών, meaning ‘willing’ or ‘she who works her will.’
– Another possibility is that the name is related to the Greek word Ἑκατός, an epithet of Apollo meaning ‘the far reaching one’ or ‘the far-darter.’
– Some scholars argue that Hecate was originally considered an aspect of Artemis before being worshipped separately.
– Some scholars believe that Hecate’s worship originated in Greece.
– The Greek word ἑκών, meaning ‘willing,’ has been suggested as a potential source for the name Hecate.
– However, there is no evidence to support the idea that willingness was a major attribute of Hecate.
– Another Greek word proposed as the origin of the name is Ἑκατός, an epithet of Apollo.
– This theory suggests that Hecate was initially associated with Artemis, but later worshipped separately.
– There is a theory that Hecate’s name may have originated from the Egyptian goddess Heqet.
– Heqet, like Hecate, was associated with fertility and childbirth.
– The Egyptian word heka, meaning magic, is also the name of the god of magic and medicine, Heka.
– This theory suggests a possible foreign origin for Hecate’s name.
– Hecate may have originated among the Carians of Anatolia.
– Many theophoric names invoking Hecate are found in Anatolia, suggesting her presence in the region.
– Hecate had an important cult site in Lagina, which was unrivaled in its worship of her.
– Some researchers argue that Hecate may have derived from local sun goddesses in Anatolia.
– There is evidence of Hecate’s worship in Phrygia and Caria, but these monuments are of a later date.

– Hecate was often depicted as three-formed or triple-bodied.
– The earliest known images of Hecate are singular, such as a small terracotta statue found in Athens.
– In later depictions, Hecate is shown seated on a throne with a chaplet around her head.
– A 6th-century pottery fragment from Boetia depicts Hecate in a maternal or fertility mode, offering a blessing to two maidens.
– Lions are often associated with Hecate in artwork, as seen in the Chaldean Oracles, coinage, and reliefs from Asia Minor.
– Hecate was first depicted in triplicate by the sculptor Alcamenes in the late 5th century BCE.
– The original statue by Alcamenes is lost, but hundreds of copies exist.
– The general motif of a triple Hecate situated around a central pole or column, known as a hekataion, was used at crossroads shrines and entrances to temples and homes.
– Hecate is typically depicted holding torches, keys, serpents, and daggers.
– Some hekataia include dancing figures identified as the Charites circling the triple Hecate and her central column.
– Hecate’s triplicity is depicted in the frieze of the Pergamon Altar, where she is shown with three bodies in the battle with the Titans.
– In the Argolid, there is a temple of Hecate opposite the sanctuary of Eileithyia, with images made by Scopas, Polycleitus, and Naucydes.
– Greek esoteric writings and magical papyri describe Hecate as having three heads: dog, serpent, and horse.
– In some representations, her animal heads also include a cow and a boar.
– The east frieze of a temple in Lagina shows Hecate protecting the newborn Zeus from Cronus, indicating her involvement in his birth myth.

Sacred Animals Associated with Hecate
– Dogs were closely associated with Hecate in the Classical world.
– Hecate is often represented as dog-shaped or accompanied by a dog.
– The howling of a dog heralded Hecate’s approach.
– Dogs were sacrificial animals for Hecate and were eaten in solemn sacrament.
– Hecate’s association with dogs is connected to birth goddesses and her role as a mother goddess.
– The polecat is also associated with Hecate, according to myth and folklore.
– Galinthias, a companion of Alcmene, was transformed into a polecat by Hecate.
– The red mullet fish is sacred to Hecate due to the resemblance of their names.
– The red mullet symbolizes the negative characteristics of creatures of the deep and is associated with Greek concepts of pollution.
– A statue of Hecate Triglathena, to whom the red mullet was offered in sacrifice, stood in Athens.
– Wealthy Romans developed a fascination with the red mullet fish during the late Republic and early Empire.
– Roman writers such as Cicero, Horace, and Pliny documented the red mullet fever among the wealthy.
– The symptoms of red mullet fever included a preoccupation with size, high prices for large specimens, keeping red mullet in captivity, and enjoying the aesthetic experience of watching the fish change color.
– Hecate’s association with the red mullet fish is mentioned in Roman literature.
– Hecate is often depicted with animal heads, including cow, dog, boar, serpent, and horse, in her three-headed representations.

– Hecate associated with borders, city walls, and doorways.
– Mediated between Olympian and Titan realms.
– Known as a liminal goddess.
– Cult titlesSources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hecate