One of the Greek gods of the underworld (the Cthonian gods), Hecate was associated with witchcraft, ghosts and the moon. Her animal familiars are the black she-dog and the polecat. She is also said to be a protector of the firstborn and is associated with childbirth. It was Hecate who led Demeter to the underworld to recover her daughter Persephone.
In vase paintings, Hecate is usually shown in maiden skirt and hunting boots, holding two torches. In statues, she is usually shown in triple form as a goddess of crossroads, a trend that Pausinias says was begun by the sculptor Alkamenes in the fourth century BC.
Hecate also appears in Macbeth, where she commands the three witches. She is also frequently mentioned in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.