To Hecate, Goddess of Transitions
Εἰνοδίην Ἑκάτην κλῄιζω, τριοδῖτιν, ἐραννήν,
Hecate of the roadways I call, at triple crossroads, offering a communal feast.
οὐρανίαν χθονίαν τε καὶ εἰναλίαν, κροκόπεπλον,
Hecate of the sky, of the earth, and sea, saffron-robed,
τυμβιδίαν, ψυχαῖς νεκύων μέτα βακχεύουσαν,
Entombing souls of the deceased, medium of Bacchic essence,
Περσείαν, φιλέρημον, ἀγαλλομένην ἐλάφοισι,
Persian-born, loving solitude, glorying in the spirit of the hart,
νυκτερίαν, σκυλακῖτιν, ἀμαιμάκετον βασίλειαν,
Night-dwelling plunderer, irresistible Queen,
θηρόβρομον, ἄζωστον, ἀπρόσμαχον εἶδος ἔχουσαν,
Heralded by the roar of wild beasts, ungirded, unassailable, appearance directing,
ταυροπόλον, παντὸς κόσμου κληιδοῦχον ἄνασσαν,
The bull’s axis of all the cosmos, key-holding Queen,
ἡγεμόνην, νύμφην, κουροτρόφον, οὐρεσιφοῖτιν,
Dominating Nymph, child-nurturer, mountain-roamer,
λισσόμενοις κούρην τελεταῖς ὁσίαισι παρεῖναι
We pray for these children’s completion of holy rites of passage,
βουκόλωι εὐμενέουσαν ἀεὶ κεχαρηότι θυμῶι.
Bull-roarer, kindly power, eternal, charitable spirit.
Hecate (Ἑκάτης) is a Goddess associated with travel, thresholds, crossroads, birth, magic, the moon, and death. Literally, her name means “essence (Ἑ) + core (κά) + stretch/extend (τ) + ης.” Taking the literal interpretation suggests that Hecate is a Goddess who presides over stretching outside of the status quo and entering a new realm, which would be consistent with a Goddess of crossroads, travel, birth, and death.
Hecate’s name is the same as the Greek word for hundred, ekato (ἑκᾰτο). The alphabetical equivalent of the number 100 is the letter Ρ (ro), which literally means “flow.”
One hundred is a number associated with excess in ancient Greek literature. One epithet of Hecate is murinomos (μῡρῐώνῠμος), “of countless names/realms.” Examples of the word “hundred” as connoting excess are:
- hundred-handed giants
- hundred-eyed giant
- hundred Thracian giants
- hundred serpent heads
- hundred-headed dragon
- monsters with a hundred arms
- Indians who live a hundred years
- a flower with a hundred blooms
- Apollo killed the snake Python with a hundred arrows
- hundred gateways
- haunt a place for a hundred years
- hundred suitors.
According to theoi.com:
“Hekate is usually depicted in Greek vase painting as a woman holding twin torches. Sometimes she is dressed in a knee-length maiden's skirt and hunting boots, much like Artemis. In statuary Hekate is often depicted in triple form as a Goddess of crossroads.”
“According to the most genuine traditions, [Hecate] appears to have been an ancient Thracian divinity, and a Titan, who, from the time of the Titans, ruled in heaven, on the earth, and in the sea, who bestowed on mortals wealth, victory, wisdom, good luck to sailors and hunters, and prosperity to youth and to the flocks of cattle; but all these blessings might at the same time be withheld by her, if mortals did not deserve them.”
Psyche (Ψῡχή) is the immortal Goddess of the soul.
Basileia means Queen, ruler.
Hegemony means dominance or authority over others.
Nymphs (Νύμφαι) are beautiful young Goddesses who prevail over a particular location in nature, such as a freshwater spring, grotto, or woodland.