You see a witch cast her spell—whether it is in Latin or in rhyme—suddenly your screen explodes with a festival of colors brought to us by the productions the show’s CGI budget. On the other hand, perhaps there is a dramatic presence of wind, which sets the scene into a more haunting atmosphere as candles flicker. You sit there mesmerized, captured, and influenced by the woman manifesting her power. Instantly, she becomes the woman of magic you inspire to be. Inspiringly enough, we all have our favorite witch we love seeing in fiction, from movies to television shows. We have Sandra Bullock as she nailed her role as Sally Owens in Practical Magic to Mary Sibley from the TV show Salem. The witch architype have grown from the haggard, old crone and boiled nose stereotype. (Moreover, they don’t even ride their brooms anymore, though embracing that stereotype has always been my favorite.) Therefore, as much as media television and movies love witches, I am surprised Hecate hasn’t made as much of an appearance. Granted, she appeared here and there as a cynical character and we don’t complain much because even though we see this Great Goddess as more than just that, She prides Herself with Her reputation of being a Dark Goddess. (And we are stilling dealing with Hollywood bringing the term ‘dark’ as something evil, but one problem at a time.) However, finding Hecate in the media of our current television shows is what sprung up the topic in the first place. Elements of the Goddess of Witchcraft have followed our witches in TV shows so closely my heart jumped at the realization, throwing my popcorn at the TV-screen with excitement. Focusing on recent instances, I was able to dissect essential evidence of Hecate in the show Charmed and their Power of Three legacy, the mythical Tribrid witch in the show Legacies, and finally our favorite, the Supreme herself in Ryan Murphy’s AHS. With all the indications stirring in our cauldron of curiosity, makes me wonder if the these television writers are secretly obsessed with the Ancient Goddess or if the Goddess has somehow sneaked her way into stardom, winking at all the real witches who recognizes her.
One of the first evidence of Hecate in television media I have noticed resides in the Power of Three, the legacy of the legendary Charmed Ones. Just recently, last year we had a reboot of the original 90’s show. To those of us who don’t know—and yes they are out there, no judgements—the show centers around three sisters uncovering unique powers of magic and a world-shaking destiny tied to fighting evil. The first thing that always pop up is their Power of Three mantra, which is the name of their power once united to destroy an evil no witch can abolish. According to our basic knowledge of the occult, three is a powerful number associated with Hecate. She is the Triple-fold Goddess after all, with vigilance on both the past, present, and future and also representing the Maiden, Mother, and Crone aspect of womanhood. Additionally, focusing on the recent reboot of the show, and I know I am probably going to get backlash but I am not ashamed to say I gave the show a chance and it grew on me. Nevertheless, nearing the series finale, as the plots thickens to the rival of a great battle; the girls stumbled upon the spirit-hologram of their deceased mother. The mother of the Charmed Ones appeared dressed in flowing white attire. It was because she was an Elder in this style of the show and the hologram created three versions of her, facing her three daughters. The etherealness of this character automatically reminded me of Hecate Soteira, the Goddess’s World Soul aspect. She spoke to her girls and armed them for battle. In addition, Marisol Vera, their mother, was a witch with the Gift of Prophecy, which added more to her Hecate-aspect. A powerful witch who guided her young chosen ones through her ability to see through time sounds like one of the few things I have learned during my journey of researching this Great Goddess. Generally, no powerful witch has an easy life. I recall many inspiring stories from the dozens of witches that reminds me many obstacles the Charmed Ones have faced. From Empath-problems to heartbreak, to understanding our darkest impulses. And you can say vanquishing demons would be a metaphor for conquering the day. Regardless, Marisol aided her daughters through her visions the same way Hecate adds synchronicity to the lives of Her modern-day followers.
Secondly, we have Hope Andrea Michaelson from the show the Legacies. To those who are not die-hard fans, the Legacies is the granddaughter show of the originals series, The Vampire Diaries. It follows the next generation of the original heroes and former villains of the show, which introduces the Tribrid in question. Hope is the daughter of a vampire and a werewolf, and granddaughter to powerful witches on both sides of the family. As supernatural genealogy goes, she inherited all three aspects. (There goes that number three again!) Not only did the show confirm quite casually that Hope is the most powerful witch in the world but her blood has the ability to turn people into vampires and cure werewolf bites. Additionally, that would mean if she were to die she would become immortal. This shows indications to Hecate being the Queen of Witches and Goddess of Death. Furthermore, her werewolf aspect is currently active. This also ties to Hecate’s well-known familiars, the canines and the hellhounds, which also brings us back to the old Greek days where devotees would sacrifice black dogs in the crossroads under nights sacred to Her. To conclude, Hope Michaelson is a Triple Aspect in the body of one powerful vessel the same way Hecate is with her Three-heads as depicted in older illustrations. In addition, Hecate holds three powerful instruments commonly seen in almost all of Her depictions. In one hand, She wields a blade, which correlates a symbol with Hope’s champion skills towards marital arts and combat. The next item is a torch, also known in some writing as the Flames of Witchcraft, which connects with Hope’s powers of sorcery. Lastly, she wields the Keys that opens any doors in the universe. Walking each door changes anyone who is willing to take the opportunity, which ties to the elements of transformation, or in Hope’s case, her ability to shapeshift to a werewolf. This would make Hope a powerful maiden incarnation of the Goddess herself, winking at us from our Netflix screens.
Finally, we have the diva of witches herself. The greatest element of Hecate that appeared in media was through Mr. Murphy’s creation of the Supreme of all witches, introduced in the third season of AHS. According to that universe, every witch and warlock covets one or two abilities. However, once in generation, a girl will rise to the supremacy. Inheriting all the powers of witchcraft and crowned the Queen of witches. It is literally in the name people! The Queen of witches, just like Hecate herself. From the legacies of Supremes we have learned in the show, from Fiona to Cordelia, to even young Mallory in the recent season that ended, Apocalypse, each Supreme held herself with their own attribute of grace and royal power. Meanwhile, wearing a crown that bore the weight and lives of an entire coven of surviving witch descendants. That crown of power sounds vaguely familiar to the spikey crown Hecate wears in old Greek depictions of Her. In addition, diving deeper into the three modern-day Supremes, each of them seem to represent a well-known aspect of the Goddess I have mentioned earlier. We have the diva herself, Fiona Goode as the Crone. Then we have her daughter, Cordelia Goode, who treats her coven sisters like her daughters. This makes her a prominent mother figure. Finally, we have Mallory, the powerful witch with her rare gift of time magic and necromancy, depicted as the maiden. Furthermore, there is the test of the Seven Wonders. It is the test that every potential Supreme has to go through in order confirm suspicion their ascension. I am not going through all of them but two of the tests did involve reversing death and traveling to and back from Hell. This tie to the Dark Goddess reputation to necromancy and being the Queen of Phantoms and an Underworld Goddess. To conclude, the legacy of the Supreme is but the earthly incarnation of the Goddess as well, watching after her witches and keeping the lineages of magic alive.
All and all. It seems that Hecate has always been with us in our television, Netflix, and Hulu screens. One must remember she is the Goddess of a Thousand Names. It seems now she has added further names to our world’s modern-day mythos. We have Marisol Vera, Hope Michaelson, and the mantle of the Supreme. And what they nobly have in common is that the witches in their universes look up to these characters with respect. Marisol was an Elder and the mother of the Charmed Ones and so her daughters look up to her and the wisdom she left behind the same way Goddess-worshippers revere the Divine Feminine that finds home among their altars. Hope Michaelson saved the day constantly during her season one debut, inspiring her classmates to embrace what makes them different among others. This is a remarkable influence, considering this is a school with attending vampires, werewolves, and witches. Lastly, everyone loved Cordelia Good and her rule as Supreme. She continues to expand her academy and recruiting young women coming into their abilities. This gives her the same admiration as Professor Xavier in the X-Men universe. In conclusion, Hecate’s name may be different but her powers, affinities, and guidance towards her witches has not changed. She continues to wink at us as these shows expand to further seasons starring these three powerful women. This brings to my attention that anything involving a witch, Hecate is not that far behind to appear.
Author: Artemis St. Moonchild of Silfren Circle
My path is eclectic. My patroness is Hecate, Mother of Witches, Queen of Angels, and I mostly work with Her in aspects regarding the World Soul (Soteria) and Liminal/Underworld Guardian of Change. However, I also work with other spirits as well, keeping my mind open to other ideologies and the concepts. I was raised in a magical household where my family practices Haitian Vodou, both original Yoruba and Catholic facets. Folks do get curious on how Hecate found me while being raised in a different culture and my only answer to them is to “experience the Crossroads, where anything can find you.” As a result, I ended up being exposed to the Magics and traditions of other cultures. Now everything attracts me. Everything interests me. It’s maddening. And I wouldn’t have any other way.