Hekate in the Natal Chart: A Little Background + An Example

This is Rossetti’s depiction of Astarte (akin to a comibnation of Venus and Pallas), though the 3 faces and torches suggest Hekate

A long-term client and subscriber, after reading a recent ECLIPSE which touched on the role of Hecate/ Hekate as an indicator of connection to the darkness and ‘thinning of the Veil’ this time of year, wrote to ask what her prominent (conjunct the Ascendant) Hekate may suggest; she has graciously allowed me to do the analysis publicly. We’ll cover a little more about the history and evolution of this Dark Goddess figure, and we’ll look at the picture Hekate paints in my client’s natal chart. (Spelling with either a ‘c’ or a ‘k’ is acceptable, and I tend to go back and forth).

Originating in Asia Minor, Hekate began as a powerful ‘Mother Goddess,’ but she steadily gained a narrower field of responsibility with each culture she entered. In many instances, figures such as Hathor and Demeter/ Ceres took on many of Hekate’s early characteristics (and of course, she was known by other names before the Greeks bestowed the one we call her by today), with Hekate carrying fewer and fewer of the ‘mother and nurture’ traits; if we combine this narrowing of responsibilities with the later influence of Christian elements on the scenarios of the gods and goddesses, we see that Hekate became a figure who carried unflattering and unwanted projections about the dark and ‘dangerous’ qualities of women. In Greek and Roman myth Hekate was demoted to be under Ceres’/ Demeter’s command, and was sent to accompany Persephone/ Proserpina on her journeys back and forth to the Underworld. Eventually Hekate was deemed ruler of witchcraft (in its most negative definitions), sorcery, demonic activity, and the darkness. This was a simple response of the patriarchy to the female connection to life-giving energy and the female alignment with the rhythms and cycles of the Universe: gestation and childbirth, a woman’s receptive sexual energy (which through the years has been portrayed as evil by its ‘seductive’–another word for receptive–nature) and a determination to keep women as powerless within the social set-up as possible, all contributing to the negative ‘stash’ Hekate has been assigned to carry.

Hekate’s true nature is as a way-shower, in all the many guises this can take. She stands at crossroads both literal and figurative, straddles the border between conscious and unconscious, light and dark, life and death, and translates energy between the two. She is said to be present at crime scenes, to guide travelers on their way, and to be present during the Dark of the Moon, with the Dark period association a good example of the narrowing that has occurred over time–originally Hekate was a Moon goddess, not confined to the Dark phase. It also makes sense that her connection to all forms of darkness would make her a conduit for the unconscious, and so her prominence in the chart or in relation to a particular energy or life area can alert us to the presence of unconscious material in that particular expression or venue. She echoes Pallas as well, as both a wise guide and a guardian–specifically of gateways and other points of ingress or egress (and both goddesses share similarity to Moon goddess Artemis/ Diana, the Huntress, in terms of all three having a martial/ guardian quality). And her characterization as a Crone makes sense when we consider that, ideally, with age comes wisdom–and that should tell us that we can learn from Hekate as well as be guided by or protected by her.

Hekate’s wisdom has unfortunately been trivialized, quite literally; she is the goddess of trivia! This comes from the retired Roman soldiers who were stationed about the city and at crossroads, available to answer questions concerning the area and what lay down each road. Hekate as a way-shower naturally came to be seen as the goddess of these question-answerers, and due to the spoke-like pattern of many Roman via connections there were often at least three roads leading from one point, thus tri three, via road or way, came to be associated with being able to answer any question presented. It’s important to see this as simply reminiscent of Hekate’s store of knowledge having a great span, a span that covers light and dark, and that reaches not just the into the profound life and death arenas but that also includes the minutiae of culture, tradition, and occurrences and changes of the past and present.

One Example

We’ll call my client ‘Miss K’–she has a 21 Virgo Ascendant with Hekate just inside the 1st at 23 Virgo. Right away we realize that Hekate may be a big part of the persona, even an Archetypal mask that K dons at will–or, if Hekate’s unconscious connection in this chart is strong, this may be something others see upon meeting K, and K may not be aware of this. So, we should look at what might be held in the repository of the unconscious–and for that we go to the 12th. Here we find a Leo cusp, linking unconscious content strongly to identity and purpose (the Sun), and we see Earth in Leo, and h.Zeus and Pluto in Virgo, and all three conjunct. This suggests that Hekate may project for K an earthy, purposeful, intense, ambitious, and powerful image, a much larger and more dynamic image than K might realize–it could be something quite formidable, which might scare lesser beings away! And it’s true that Miss K has been looking for love; this might say that it could be difficult for her to find someone who can handle, and appreciate, her natural intensity. I know Miss K through our work together as a lovely, gracious, and sensitive woman, so her strong Hekate could be held largely unconsciously–or more likely, Miss K could recognize the strength of her own character, but not know the extent to which she gives a Hekate-sized impression to others!

Ruler of Hekate, Mercury, sits in Pisces in the 6th, and rules 1st and 10th, meaning Hekate is an everyday available energy that touches the Collective (most likely by being sensitive to it) and is very visible in K to those who see her in person. In this regard we might add that, with Juno, indicator of her own empowerment and her willingness to partner and what she might seek within a relationship in Libra in the 2nd, Miss K undoubtedly seeks a co-operative partnership in life–it is part of her Self-image fulfillment–but, with Juno conjunct Pallas, and these opposed by Sedna in Aries, the message might be that, even if Miss K finds the appropriate man (who would exhibit Aries traits, since the sign opposing a woman’s Juno describes what kind of man she is likely to want to partner with) she will be unable to recognize him (the obscuring quality of Sedna)–a tough situation indeed.

Miss K’s Hekate also enjoys a sextile to Ceres, only reinforcing the strength of the placement and adding a natural authority, and a possibly intimidating ‘command’ of nature, as part of the package; a semi-square to Neptune, ruler of the 7th, suggesting another facet to that obscuring effect in recognizing a partner–and also suggesting that the Hekate qualities, with some difficulty, can be hidden or cloaked in other personality garb–which is good for attracting that partner who might be overwhelmed, but then, indications are ‘good’ ones might not be recognized anyway! So when to apply that Neptunian obscuring? There’s a puzzle.

Hekate is also opposed Venus in Pisces in the 7th, perhaps implying a sense within Miss K that there is some conflict between acting as her ideal Self as a woman and acting as a powerful goddess in her own right–and this internal conflict could be acted out, maybe even with Miss K feeling that she can’t be womanly and still be powerful in a relationship, with her perhaps assigning that attitude toward the partner–this would allow her to somewhat reconcile the two urges, if she could say, ‘He finds my strength manly (or unwomanly)!’ and of course, in the modern age, that’s an unacceptable attitude in a man. There could be a strong belief, perhaps a cultural one, that to be a real woman one must be in relationship–and as we know, being your ideal Self as a woman in reality can be done in or out of a relationship, that having a mate does not put the final stamp on being a woman–but it’s not uncommon to harbor any number of beliefs about life that can hang us up on one idea or another. And that brings us to Hekate’s square to Miss K’s Gemini Moon in the 10th, just inside the Midheaven. The Moon rules the 11th of what Miss K possesses that she will give to the world–and fittingly, what she has learned emotionally, as well as development of her intuitive abilities, all slated to be communicated (Gemini) via a public role (10th House placement), could be a big part of Miss K’s Hekate ‘package’ (and all this could easily hark back to the Venus/ Hekate quandry, and all that may be learned through that experience)

There are two quincunxes of Hekate, one to Sedna and one to Chiron. With Hekate as the apex of the Finger of God, Miss K may find a true role of way-shower and powerful goddess manifesting with healing of the Chirotic wound and discovery and use of the Chirotic skill, and yet these must happen without any guiding feedback or conscious application! This may be a recipe where a kind of faith, a determination to accept the wound as healed no matter what you may think of its state and to employ the Chirotic gift whether you are sure of what it is, or whether it’s adequately developed or not, could be the key to a substantial and impressive role as Hekate in some form. This could be a big goal in life development for Miss K; as a woman who has already shown herself to be informed, warm, and wise, I would not be surprised if she carries Hekate as an Archetype in later life, becoming a guide and adviser to others.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out Julie Demboski’s Astrology