Who is the goddess of witchcraft in the play Macbeth?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hecate is the goddess of witchcraft. She is found in Act 3, Scene 5 of Macbeth. In this scene, Hecate appears before the three witches. She demands to know why she has been excluded from their meetings with Macbeth:

How dare you
Trade and traffic with Macbeth
In riddles and affairs of death;
And I, the mistress of your charms,
The secret contriver of all harms,
Was never called to offer my part,
Or show the glory of our art?

Hecate adds that Macbeth will be back to know what his destiny is. She proclaims that Macbeth will see apparitions that will lead him to the conclusion that he will be safe. She plays an important role in this scene in that she declares lines that reveal Macbeth's belief that he will be untouchable. Of course, this ultimately results in his downfall:

He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes above wisdom, grace, and fear.
And you all know, security
Is the major enemy of humans.