Friday, January 24, 2014

Symbols and Icons of Hecate

This is number three in my thirty day devotional work to the goddess Hecate.  To see a list of all posts with links please click the –Thirty Days of Hecate – on the menu above.



What are the symbols and icons of Hecate?

Hecate has four main symbols.  They are keys, dagger, torches and rope. 

By Medos at de.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Keys – Hecate carries the key to the underworld.  She uses this key to help souls journey to the underworld. 
Dagger – The dagger is a ritual tool and a symbol of judgment and power.  It is said to have been the origins of the Athame used on Wiccan altars.
Torches – Hecate is often depicted carrying torches.  She used them to light the way between the realms.  In Greek mythology Hecate helped Demeter search for Persephone using her torches to light the way.

unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Rope – Said to represent the umbilical cord, the rope is the symbol of birth.
There are other symbols that are associated with the Goddess Hecate.   These are other images associated with her.
Dogs – Hecate is said to be followed by black dogs.  Her presence is said to be announced by the howling or baying of dogs. 

Serpent – Hecate has been presented of having one or more animal heads such as dog, cow, boar, horse and serpent.  She has also been described as having a head surrounded by serpents.

Richard Cosway [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Three way crossroad – Hecate is said to be at the crossroads waiting to help light the way to the destination.  Offerings are often left for her at a three way crossroads. 

Hecate’s Wheel – (Strophalos of Hekate) This symbol is sometimes used for the goddess.  It has also been aligned with other deities.  It is often used as a talisman or as a tool to bring about trances or mediation. 

By Nyo (Image:Hecate's Wheel 2.PNG) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Some who follow Hecate see this particular symbol as not being directly related to her and instead related to a device used as a way to bring back a lost love.


On the web I found a coin that I had turned into a talisman.  Side one shows her in her triple form while the back shows torches, a key and a crescent moon.

Hekate Coin - Side one - Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Hekate Coin - Side Two - Photo Credit - Renee Olson 
Hekate Talisman - Photo Credit - Renee Olson


The coin was created by Scroll of Poppaeus and is available for purchase on the site.  


I've also had a tattoo designed and completed in her honor.  I've incorporated the symbols and imagery.  It is an arm band created by my hubby.  It contains a dog, a snake and an owl and the word Hecate below it. The flowers are Plumeria and are often associated with funerals or the afterlife.

Hecate Tattoo - Elijah Olson - Artist
Photo Credit - Renee Olson


These are only a few of the symbols and icons related to Hecate.