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Hecate’s Wheel, also known as the Stropholos of Hecate, is an ancient Greek symbol used to represent the Moon Goddess Hecate. The emblem is a Wicca symbol, particularly of the Hellenic Recon and Dianic Traditions. Here’s what it symbolized and why it continues to be an important symbol in the modern age.
What is Hecate’s Wheel?
Hecate was an Ancient Greek deity, the ruler of the sky, sea and earth. She is known for her Triple Goddess aspect in that she goes through the three phases of female life: Maiden, Mother, and Crone. She is a protective Goddess who provides blessings and prosperity to the family. Hecate was originally the guardian of the crossroads, but evolved into the goddess of magic and sorcery. This history of Hecate reflects in the uses and symbolism of the wheel symbol.
In the 5th century B.C.E, representations of Hecate in triplicate were found, giving way to her portrayal of the stages of womanhood. However, the earliest images of the Wheel are on curse tablets from 1st century C.E. These depict Hecate with her Wheel. It’s possible that these were images of Aphrodite as there was an overlap in the depiction of the Goddesses.
Today, the symbol is an important one among Neopagan and Wiccan groups as a meaningful pagan symbol.
Hecate’s Wheel Symbol
Hecate’s Wheel is a visual representation of the Triple Goddess, consisting of a visual maze with three distinct whirls that are connected in the center.
The symbol is said to be the depiction of a labyrinthine serpent around a central spiral. The labyrinthine snake is representative of rebirth and renewal and relates to the three faces of Hecate.
As a whole, the symbol represents wheels or whirls, and are emanations of Divine thought. It shows the power of knowledge and life. The labyrinth can also represent a journey and inner discovery as one walks through life.
Typically, Hecate style wheels have a Y in the middle compared to the commonly depicted X. This difference is because she is associated with the intersection of three roads as compared to the typical four road crossroads. However, there are also other symbols depicted at the center, such as stars.
Symbolism and Use of the Hecate’s Wheel
Hecate’s wheel symbol has various meanings and uses, with renewed modern interest. Wearing or using the symbol is said to invite Hecate’s blessings and prosperity into your life. Here are some of the meanings of this symbol.
- Triple Goddess: With the Hecate’s Wheel’s association with the three female phrases, each main arm represents a form, Mother, Maiden and Crone, which symbolize the three stages of a woman’s life. This makes it popular amongst feminist traditions.
- Path to Knowledge: The Wheel represents the journey to knowledge towards center of the wheel. This is viewed as the flame of life and is a reminder that Hecate will help guide you through the path. The symbol shows connections to arcane knowledge, also known as the soul’s journey through life. The three primary flanges of the maze appear as if rotating and drawing the psyche forward.
- Protection: The Hecate’s Wheel is also associated with protection, particularly in magical and spiritual contexts. It is believed to offer a shield against negative energies and to provide a connection to the divine feminine energy represented by Hecate.
- Three Realms: The three arms also represent earth, sea, and sky, which Hecate holds dominion over.
- Cycles and Change: The cyclic nature of the symbol’s design mirrors the cycles of life, death, and rebirth. It represents the ever-changing nature of existence and the interconnectedness of all things.
- Connection to the Moon: Hecate is often associated with the moon, and the circular design of the symbol may reference lunar phases and the moon’s influence on magic and intuition.
When the strophalos is whirled over the heads of devotees, it creates a hum that the causes an altered state of awareness and drives predators away. There is a musical band called Hecate’s Wheel in Florida. They sing about the Goddess, love, femininity, and life.
Hecate’s Wheel is a powerful symbol that depicts Wiccan beliefs, connection to femininity, love, knowledge and more. Regardless of your reason for wearing or using the Hecate’s Wheel, it is a beautiful symbol with a rich history.