Pallas Athena/Minerva with her aegis. Roman mosaic (3rd cent. CE), surrounded by a modern (18th century) mosaic depicting celestial bodies and geometrical patterns. Now in the Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican City.
Of all the classical manifestations of the primordial Great Goddess who called Hermes into the world as the prototype of the secret lover, Hecate is the most Hermetic. As a messenger (angelos) she must be winged, just like her purely celestial Doppelgängerin, Iris. Like Hermes, Hecate guides souls; and at crossroads, represented by the Hecataia which were built up on three-cornered pillars, she appears just as out of place in the classical world as do the four-cornered roadside Herms. At every new moon she there received cakes and smoked offerings, as did Hermes. With Hermes she guards the gates and with him, too, brings wealth and good fortune to barns. Karl Kerenyi “Hermes Guide of Souls”
A detail of a 3rd century CE Roman statue of Hecate (or Hekate), goddess of the Moon. As here, she is often depicted having three heads and bodies. (Vatican Museums, Rome).