1
Nov

Asteroid Files: Hekate


Helios on Hekate– HOLY FUCKING CHRIST Y’ALL, I HEAR YOU. Fine, i’ll do another witch asteroid if it’ll make you little monsters happy- and this one is the Queen, bitches!

The Astronomy– Hekate is a large main-belt asteroid. It orbits in the same region of space as the Hygiea asteroid family, though it is actually an unrelated interloper. Its albedo of 0.19 is too high, and it is of the wrong spectral class to be part of the dark carbonaceous Hygiea family. It is listed as a member of the Hecuba group of asteroids that orbit near the 2:1 mean-motion resonance with Jupiter. Hekate was the 100th asteroid to be discovered, by J. C. Watson (his fourth discovery) on July 11, 1868. It is named after Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft in Greek mythology, but its name also commemorates it as the hundredth asteroid, as hekaton is Greek for ‘hundred’. A Hekatean occultation of a star was observed on July 14, 2003, from New Zealand.

The Myth– Hecate or Hekate is a goddess in ancient Greek religion and mythology, most often shown holding a pair of torches or a key and in later periods depicted in triple form. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, light, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, ghosts, necromancy, and sorcery. She appears in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and in Hesiod’s Theogony, where she is promoted strongly as a great goddess. Hecate was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family. In the post-Christian writings of the Chaldean Oracles(2nd–3rd century CE) she was regarded with (some) rulership over earth, sea, and sky, as well as a more universal role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul. Regarding the nature of her cult, it has been remarked, “she is more at home on the fringes than in the center of Greek polytheism. Intrinsically ambivalent and polymorphous, she straddles conventional boundaries and eludes definition.

Hecate has been characterized as a pre-Olympian chthonic goddess. The first literature mentioning Hecate is the Theogony by Hesiod:

And she conceived and bore Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honored above all. He gave 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. For to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich sacrifices and prays for favor according to custom, he calls upon Hecate. Great honor comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favorably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power surely is with her. For as many as were born of Earth and Ocean amongst all these she has her due portion. The son of Cronos did her no wrong nor took anything away of all that was her portion among the former Titan gods: but she holds, as the division was at the first from the beginning, privilege both in earth, and in heaven, and in sea.

According to Hesiod, she held sway over many things:

Whom she will she greatly aids and advances: she sits by worshipful kings in judgement, and in the assembly whom she will is distinguished among the people. And when men arm themselves for the battle that destroys men, then the goddess is at hand to give victory and grant glory readily to whom she will. Good is she also when men contend at the games, for there too the goddess is with them and profits them: and he who by might and strength gets the victory wins the rich prize easily with joy, and brings glory to his parents. And she is good to stand by horsemen, whom she will: and to those whose business is in the grey discomfortable sea, and who pray to Hecate and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, easily the glorious goddess gives great catch, and easily she takes it away as soon as seen, if so she will. She is good in the byre with Hermes to increase the stock. The droves of kine and wide herds of goats and flocks of fleecy sheep, if she will, she increases from a few, or makes many to be less. So, then, albeit her mother’s only child, she is honored amongst all the deathless gods. And the son of Cronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Dawn. So from the beginning she is a nurse of the young, and these are her honours.

Hesiod emphasizes that Hecate was an only child, the daughter of Perses and Asteria, the sister of Leto (the mother of Artemis and Apollo). Grandmother of the three cousins was Phoebe the ancient Titaness of Prophecy. Hesiod’s inclusion and praise of Hecate in the Theogony has been troublesome for scholars, in that he seems to hold her in high regard, while the testimony of other writers, and surviving evidence, suggests that this may have been the exception. One theory is that Hesiod’s original village had a substantial Hecate following and that his inclusion of her in the Theogony was a way of adding to her prestige by spreading word of her among his readers. Another theory is that Hekate was mainly a household god and humble household worship could have been more pervasive and yet not mentioned as much as temple worship. In Athens Hecate, along with Zeus, Hermes, Hestia, and Apollo, were very important in daily life as they were the main gods of the household. However, it is clear that the special position given to Hecate by Zeus is upheld throughout her history by depictions found on coins depicting Hecate on the hand of Zeus

In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Hecate is called the “tender-hearted”, a euphemism perhaps intended to emphasize her concern with the disappearance of Persephone, when she assisted Demeter with her search for Persephone following her abduction by Hades, suggesting that Demeter should speak to the god of the sun, Helios. Subsequently, she became Persephone’s companion on her yearly journey to and from the realms of Hades; serving as a psychopomp. Because of this association, Hecate was one of the chief goddesses of the Eleusinian Mysteries, alongside Demeter and Persephone. Variations in interpretations of Hecate’s role or roles can be traced in classical Athens. In two fragments of Aeschylus she appears as a great goddess. In Sophocles and Euripides she is characterized as the mistress of witchcraft and the Keres.

Why She Matters– Now I had to cut a TON out of her explanation, BUT Hekate is super awesome and one of the most important deities in the Greek myths. Most importantly, she’s one that Zeus DIDN’T try to fuck. That alone speaks volumes. Now, she was a Titaness (and a direct descendant of Helios *cough cough*) so that nakes it even more interesting, as Zeus led an entire war against the Titanes, called the Titanomakhia (ask me about that sometime, its my main obsessions with myths, all else is just distractions). So why would a powerful member of the defeated opposition be allowed agency and power in the new administration? Simple- She is stronger than Zeus, by every single marker of strength. He allows her agency because not doing so is death to him and his reign- He rules at her discretion, not the other way around. In the chart, this asteroid is a point of great personal power, if you are willing to work it.

Now, for the witchcraft angle- Yes, Hekate rules witchcraft in general. This does not mean that its placement in your chart does or does not have anything to do with magical power or descension from any long line of witches or any nonsense like that. It may, however, indicate a person with a tendency to look towards those sorts of solutions to problems that they face. For instance, two people with the same trauma (lets say the death of a loved one, and discovering the body, for example) one with a downplayed Hekate would probably turn to coping mechanisms and therapy, whereas someone with an activated Hekate would gather their bones and try to pull off some ill-advised necromancy. So its not necessarily aptitude we’re talking about with her, but the choice to go into the shadows to find solutions outside the norm, whether or not that is advisable.

To find out where she shows up in your chart, go to astro.com, put in your birth details and in the extended options, all the way at the bottom of the next page, there will be a menu of additional objects. Under that is a blank space where you can enter the number 100, for Hekate. Once you have it entered, generate the chart! Where does Hekate affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!

Support us on Patreon so that we can keep delivering content like this! https://www.patreon.com/hereticaloracles

Tags: , , ,

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.