Hekate’s association with the stars can be seen from the other goddesses that she is connected with and their qualities. Hekate appears to be Selene (Moon) in Apollius Rodios and Ovid's Metamorphoses. In the hellenistic period Hekate was Selene in the sky, Persephone in the Underworld (Hades), Artemis in the Earth. Nonnus (5th century a.C.) is writing that Selene is Hekate of many names. In the PGM we can find hymns and many magickal spells that associate Hekate with Selene, especially hymns to the moon. The Byzantine scholar and poet Ioannes Tzetzes writes that Hekate, Selene and Artemis are the same.

Selene had more than 70 epithets. In the Orphic Hymns Selene is called -besides others-:

  • faesphoros->light bringer
  • taurokeros->with bull's horns, representing the quarter of the moon
  • dadouchos->holding torches

Those epithets are closely related with Hekate. So, Hekate and Selene in the archaic period were separate Goddesses but later maybe they identified, they were the same or interchangeable. In the orphic hymn to Selene there is a line that says “you, who the stars accompany you” and “queen of the stars”. According to the connection of Hekate and Selene, Hekate is the queen of the stars and the stars accompany her.

Hekate’s mother Asteria was daughter of titans Koios and Phoebe, grandaughter of Ouranus (Sky) and Earth and sister of Leto who gave birth to Artemis (moon) and Apollo (sun).

  • Asteria was responsible for the movement of the stars and their appearance.
  • Koios was responsible for the quality of things. His name in ionic dialect is Koios but in aiolic dialect is Poios which means quality (κοῖος = ποῖος = quality).
  • His wife, Phoebe, had the abilities of clearness and diaphaneity.
  • Leto, had the qualities of night and lethe.

So, quality and diaphaneity gave birth to the night and the stars and night born the sun and the moon.

On the other side Hekate’s father was Perses, son of Kroios and Evryvia. Children of Kroios and Evryvia were also Astraios and Pallas.

  • Perses was responsible for the movement from east to west.
  • Astraios was responsible for the birth of stars.
  • Pallas was responsible for the movement.

From the above information we can see that Hekate’s relatives are all associated with the sky, the movement and the stars.

There are some epithets of Hekate that indicate the connection of hers with the stars. Those epithets are associated with the night, the period which the stars are visible and the moon. These epithets are: nychia (νυχία), ourania (ουρανία), skotia (σκοτία), nyctophania (νυκτοφάνεια), nycterothyteira (νυκτεροδείτηρα), nyctivoe (νυκτιβοη), keroeis (κεροεις), keratopi (κερατωπι).

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