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Hekate’s Sacred Animals: Symbolic Meanings of Dogs, Crows, and Snakes

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Hekate’s sacred animals are powerful allies when working with the magic of this ancient goddess. From the crows and dogs who accompanied her in ancient lore, to the serpents and horses who symbolized her attributes, Hekate’s creature kin provide insight into her mystic teachings. By calling upon animal wisdom, modern witches tap into the primal earth energy and liminal realm the goddess inhabits.

Developing relationships with Hekate’s sacred creatures enhances divination, shapeshifting, spirit communication, and between-the-worlds journeying. Canine consciousness connects us to her psychopomp guidance, while corvid intelligence strengthens our own prophetic abilities. Snakes teach us about shadow work and alchemy, and black animals invoke Hekate’s underworld powers.

As both goddess and witch, Hekate grants great power to those who honor her spirit allies. By breeding loyalty with dogs, cultivating wisdom with crows, embracing change through serpents, and communing with all black creatures of the night, we deepen our ties to Hekate’s ancient mysteries. Her sacred animals provide the keys to unlocking her occult knowledge.

As an ancient goddess of witchcraft, necromancy, and the crossroads, Hekate has a deep connection to the animal kingdom. Her triad of sacred creatures – dogs, crows, and snakes – held profound symbolic meaning for her followers in the ancient world. Today, modern witches continue to honor these potent animal allies and their links to Hekate’s magic.

Dogs

Dogs, especially black dogs, were considered sacred servants and companions of Hekate. Their loyalty and protective instincts reflected Hekate’s own qualities as a guardian deity. Images from antiquity often depict dogs at Hekate’s side, representing her position as sentry at the liminal thresholds between worlds.

In Greek mythology, when Queen Hekabe was stoned to death, she was transformed into a black dog and became Hekate’s devoted ally. This mythic tale cemented the affiliation between Hekate and canines. As psychopomps, dogs were believed to guide souls on their journey to the underworld. Thus Hekate’s canine familiars symbolized her dominion over death and the chthonic realm.

Witches today may work with dog familiars to connect with Hekate’s powers. Meditating on canine symbolism also provides insight into her attributes. Dogs teach us about unwavering loyalty, acting on intuition, protection of hearth and home, and fearlessly confronting the unknown. By understanding Hekate’s canine messengers, we gain greater knowledge of the goddess herself.

Magical Correspondences:

  • Element: Earth
  • Zodiac: Taurus
  • Direction: North
  • Number: 9
  • Plants: Yew, cypress, hellebore
  • Incense: Myrrh, storax, mugwort
  • Color: Black

Relationship with Hekate:

  • Sacred familiar and servant
  • Psychopomp guide
  • Guardian of thresholds and crossroads
  • Courage and loyalty
  • Death and underworld gatekeeper
  • Liminal transitions
Crows and snakes for Hekate

Crows & Ravens

Crows and ravens have long been affiliated with divination, magic, and the Otherworld. As such, these black-plumaged birds are strongly linked with Hekate’s oracular powers. Their dark coloration and eerie caws represented the goddess’s ties to the dead and ability to traverse the veil.

In ancient Greek lore, crows were considered messengers of Hekate and harbingers of occult knowledge. Witches worked with these birds to gain esoteric information and communicate with spirits. Crows delivered prophecies from Hekate that guided magical practice and revealed hidden truths.

Modern witches may call upon crow familiars when performing divination and spirit work. Crows teach us to surrender fear, speak our truths, and fly freely between light and darkness. Meditating on crow symbolism gives insight into Hekate’s prophetic wisdom. By working with our raven allies, we strengthen our connection to Hekate and enhance our own psychic abilities.

Magical Correspondences:

  • Element: Air
  • Zodiac: Scorpio
  • Direction: West
  • Number: 33
  • Plants: Aconite, belladonna, datura
  • Incense: Copal, tobacco, wormwood
  • Color: Black, purple

Relationship with Hekate:

  • Messengers and servants
  • Seers of occult knowledge
  • Assist with divination and prophecies
  • Link between living and dead
  • Guardians of liminal spaces
  • Wisdom and second sight
Working With Hekate During The Full Moon

During the full moon, we call upon Hekate to assist us in clearing our past, releasing our fears, and opening ourselves to new possibilities. We ask her to help us gain clarity in our lives, to help us transform our inner worlds, and to allow us to move forward with courage and confidence.

It is said that Hekate helps us to overcome obstacles and challenges that stand in our way, and to achieve our goals. In addition to being a benevolent Goddess, she is also a fierce warrior. When we summon her, we invite her to help us take charge of our lives, to lead us into battle, and to fight for justice.

I am an eclectic witch - I've been practicing since 1974. As a student of the occult, working with astrology, tarot cards, runes, and numerology, I found that this was a very comprehensive and well written text on working with Hekate during the full moon. Highly recommended. - Gail Sager

Great read - a must have for anyone interested in working with the Goddess during the full moon! Highly recommended! - Luis Meyer

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Snakes

Serpents have long been one of Hekate’s primary symbols, representing her ties to fertility, earthly powers, and the cycle of death and rebirth. Statues and imagery link Hekate with snakes – intertwined in her hair, coiled around her body, clasped in her hands. Poisonous vipers symbolized the goddess’s deadly magic, while their transformative shedding of skin signified her dominion over metamorphosis and alchemy.

Myths describe serpents serving Hekate and her priestesses. The uraeus cobra was a symbol of magical protection. Hekate’s serpent familiars connected her to oracular sites like Delphi where prophetic snakes were housed. Today, witches may work with snake energy and symbolism to deepen wisdom, embrace change, and connect with Hekate’s primordial earth magic.

Magical Correspondences:

  • Element: Water
  • Zodiac: Gemini
  • Direction: East
  • Number: 7
  • Plants: Mandrake, cedar, mint
  • Incense: Sandalwood, benzoin, pine
  • Color: Red, orange

Relationship with Hekate:

  • Intertwined together in ancient imagery
  • Represents earthly powers and fertility
  • Transformative energy of change
  • Duality of poison and medicine
  • Psychic wisdom and prophetic sight
  • Liminal spaces and shadow work

Polecats

Polecats were seen as feared nocturnal creatures associated with witchcraft and sorcery. As such, they were connected to Hekate and her domain of night magic. Polecats move swiftly in darkness and their musky odor was linked to alchemy and potion making. For witches, the polecat represents embracing the shadow self, fierce protection of family and land, and transmutation of earthly knowledge into occult wisdom.

Magical Correspondences:

  • Element: Earth
  • Zodiac: Capricorn
  • Direction: North
  • Number: 13
  • Plants: Wolfsbane, hemlock, nightshade
  • Incense: Patchouli, dragon’s blood, leather
  • Color: Brown, grey

Relationship with Hekate:

  • Nocturnal magic
  • Shadow work and trance
  • Alchemy and astrology
  • Fierce protection
  • Cunning and secrecy
Hekate's sacred animals

Cows

The cow symbolized Hekate’s connection to fertility, nourishment, and motherhood. Cows’ placid nature belied their underlying primal power, much like Hekate herself. Milk from the cow provided magical sustenance, as seen in offerings to Hekate and other ancient goddesses. The horns of the cow evoked the crescent moon, another reference to Hekate’s lunar aspects. For witches today, bovines represent tapping into earthly sustenance, gentle strength, caregiving, patience, and following intuition.

Magical Correspondences:

  • Element: Earth
  • Zodiac: Taurus
  • Direction: West
  • Number: 2
  • Plants: Vervain, sandalwood, ferns
  • Incense: Honeysuckle, violet, heliotrope
  • Color: White

Relationship with Hekate:

  • Fertility and nourishment
  • Motherhood
  • Primal earth magic
  • Patience and gentle power
  • Intuition and psychic senses

Boars

The boar represented masculinity, virility, and untamed instinct. At times associated with underworld gods, the boar links Hekate to the chthonic realm. The boar’s fierce nature reflects Hekate’s warrior persona as a protector deity. For witches, the boar teaches us about trusting our primal intuition, connecting with earthly power, facing shadows, and fierce protection of what we hold sacred.

Magical Correspondences:

  • Element: Earth
  • Zodiac: Aries
  • Direction: South
  • Number: 5
  • Plants: Pine, hawthorn, snapdragon
  • Incense: Musk, patchouli, cinnamon
  • Color: Red, orange, gold

Relationship with Hekate:

  • Primal earth magic
  • Shadow work and underworld
  • Warrior energy and protection
  • Power and virility
  • Following instincts and intuition

Horses

The horse was linked to Hekate as a symbol of swiftness, stamina, strength and nobility. As a creature of both wilderness and civilization, the horse bridges liminal realms, much like Hekate herself. The black horse specifically symbolized Hekate’s underworld connections. For modern witches, equine energy represents journeys between worlds, divination, loyalty, swift change, and carrying messages from the spirit realm.

Magical Correspondences:

  • Element: Air
  • Zodiac: Sagittarius
  • Direction: North
  • Number: 11
  • Plants: Clover, oats, jack-in-pulpit
  • Incense: Anise, peppermint, ginseng
  • Color: Black, grey

Relationship with Hekate:

  • Messenger between realms
  • Divination and omens
  • Speed and agility
  • Endurance and strength
  • Guiding souls through darkness
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Black Creatures

Hekate had dominion over all black-colored creatures, especially those associated with night, death, and the underworld. Black dogs, crows, snakes, horses, sheep, and cows were sacred to her. Witches work with black animal familiars to connect with Hekate’s powers of divination, necromancy, shapeshifting, and psychopomp guidance. The darkness of these creatures invokes Hekate’s wisdom and initiatory magic. For those who follow the goddess today, developing relationships with her black spirit allies enhances communion with Hekate.

General Correspondences:

  • Element: Water, Earth, Air
  • Zodiac: Scorpio
  • Direction: West, North
  • Number: 9, 13
  • Plants: Yew, cypress, hellebore, mugwort, datura
  • Incense: Storax, patchouli, wormwood, copal
  • Color: Black

Relationship with Hekate:

Black dogs and crows for Hekate

Conclusion

For modern witches, Hekate’s sacred creatures provide a wealth of esoteric symbolism for working with the goddess today. Her animal allies represent the many facets of Hekate’s magic. By studying canine consciousness, corvid wisdom, and serpent energy, we gain insight into Hekate’s attributes and strengthen our own connection to her ancient mysteries. Honoring her sacred creatures can enhance divination, necromancy, shapeshifting, and between-the-worlds journeying. Hekate grants great power to those who build relationship with her spirit animals.