Hekate (also spelled Hecate, pronounced heh - KAH - tay) is the Greek goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, the moon, ghosts, crossroads, doorways and necromancy. It is these areas of responsibility that have gained her status as one of the “Dark Goddess”. But she is much much more than that.
Hekate is connected with all three of the stages of life. She is the midwife at every conception and birth. It is often believed that it is Hekate that chooses to open or close the wombs of all living creatures. As the Goddess of gates and doorways she is believed to symbolism the womb. She is the guardian of all women in childbirth and the nurse of all young. Associated with growth and harvests because of her deep ties to the moon phases and her ability to suppress storms, she is also renowned as the Goddess of healing and magic. And, at the end of life she appears as the Queen of Night, Mistress of the way below, Opener of the way to the other world. As the queen of the dead she controls the powers of regeneration, represented by her connection with the serpent.
Hekate alone of all the gods helped Demeter search for her daughter Persephone. When Demeter was forced to stop looking because night had fallen, Hekate led her onward, lighting her path with flaming torches. It is Hekate that is Persephone's comfort and companion during the six months of the year that Persephone has to spend in Hades.
Her name means “Worker from afar”, derived from the Greek word hekatos. This has probably helped to cement her reputation as a somewhat distant Goddess who should be feared, not walked beside. Originally Hekate was depicted clothed in light and bearing a torch to light your path. The one time I met Hekate was in a Samhain circle, she was dancing around the circle as we all chanted, accompanied by two large (VERY large) dogs. She was a younger woman, maybe around 30ish, but with that ageless quality that some have that makes it impossible to tell how old they are. She had the most beautiful smile and radiated a joy and love that it was impossible not to be touched by.
As the Goddess of crossroads, Hekate is the perfect one to call on when you are faced with choices. Simply light a candle, (black, silver, or white – it works for anything) sit quietly and call out to her. If you would like to add another layer of magic to this intention, you can annoint the candle with Zinzeudo's Hekate Oil.
She is not to be treated lightly, she really does embody the old adage “be careful what you ask for, you might just get it”. And while she does not suffer fools gladly, she is gentle and loving with those who honestly seek her. Don't worry that you are 'doing it wrong' if you are truly seeking and not just sight seeing, she will guide you with patience and love.
The colors most sacred to Hekate are black and silver, the colors of the night, and the moon. She is also often represented by keys, symbolic of her role as the Goddess of Doorways. As Moon goddess she is most associated with the time of the new moon, the dark of the moon, the time of new beginnings and cycles ending and starting.
With Crossroads (especially T shaped ones) being sacred to her, one of the most common forms of worship to Hekate is leaving offerings at crossroads during the new moon. Common Offerings are food, keys and small black or silver trinkets.
The best place to start looking for books about Hekate is this list on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/6511.The_Goddess_Hekate . The reviews from those who have gone before you and your own intuition will help guide you to the right books for you. The Goddess herself will help you find the practices that will speak to your soul and hers.