Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 30

Day 30 - Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about Hekate?




For anyone who Hekate calls or who finds themselves drawn to Her, read all you can find, even the stuff that may seem too rigid; best to know all you can. Work with Her, call upon Her, be respectful. Allow yourself to learn what She expects from you and follow through. Don't make promises to Her that you will not or cannot keep. This will be a devotional practice in itself. You are the best judge of your own experiences, so don't doubt what you truly experience, but be honest and examine what you experience. 

Go to the crossroads, honor Her at Her Deipnon and any other days you feel are Hers.  Just make the time for Hekate, open yourself to Her. She will come.

Blessings nine!

Monday, August 29, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 29

Day 29 - Any unusual or interesting UPG to share?

(Love this, but don't know the artist's name, if anyone does, please let me know.)

Yes, I have had interesting experiences with Hekate. The first time I encountered Her, which I shared previously, was so strong, She stood behind and just to the side of me. There was no doubt that "someone" was there with Her hand on my shoulder, there was no doubt who it was. And I remember longing for that feeling, that experience, again. It was a great ache.

Many times, during rituals or intense magickal workings, during meditative work with others who have a great deal of experience, those with me will see someone/something, a shadow, standing behind me. More recently, a couple of my apprentices have noticed something.

I have received thoughts, insights, wisdom, from Hekate during trance work and ritual. That is where my experiences which I have written about come from. The time that I felt I had lost Her, left me empty. It also validated, for me, those experiences I have had. I knew what I had to do to connect once again with Her... I assume She was letting me know. Although this was a few years ago, I am still more careful about who I share my workings and devotional times with.

Blessings Nine!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 28

Day 28 - Something I Wish I Knew About Hekate But Currently Do Not.

Artist: Victoria Francis

There are a couple of things I would really wish to know about Hekate: Her true origins, the myths untainted by patriarchy. Was She originally, as many goddesses, a great mother goddess Herself? Was She originally as involved in magic and witchcraft as She is thought to be today?

While these things matter to me in some ways, in others they ultimately don't. Hekate is, to each of us, whoever She chooses to be. There is no way I will ever know the answers in my lifetime. Certainly, I think about these questions now and then, but less than I once did. The reason for this is simple; I know who She is to me and that's all that matters.  If that sounds somewhat arrogant, I don't mean it to, it's just how it is. Again I say, to each their own.

It would be wonderful if there was absolute evidence about the goddesses' true origins, all of Them. But would it really matter for women? Personally, yes, universally, no. Patriarchy would still exist, denying the importance of the goddesses, as well as women, in history, in the creation of this world. And really, whatever Hekate's true origins, I am still Hers, I will always be.

Blessings Nine!


Saturday, August 27, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 27

Day 27 - My Thoughts About Who and What Hekate Is To Me.


The original challenge question was listed twice, for the 9th and the 27th,  Misconceptions About Hekate, so while I addressed that previously, I think, for today, I'll address how I see Her from personal experience, just because I have been thinking about it a great deal. Sometimes one just wants to think, analyze, cogitate, even if it doesn't lead anywhere in particular. Those who are very tied to a particular goddess or god will get this feeling too, I think. 

I consider myself to be a Polytheist, as mentioned before, and see the goddesses and gods individually. I can see that, through adoption, some viewed the goddesses and gods by different names, yet They were the same. I don't personally believe this is the case with Hekate, although She does have similar aspects to other goddesses, as discussed on the post for Day 6.  I feel, and again, this is through my personal experience, that Hekate is truly far from the realms of other goddesses. The idea that She is the Cosmic Soul or that the Cosmic Soul emanates from Her, is one that I think a great deal about. Her torches show me She is a guiding light in many ways. She is the Psychopomp, guiding the dead to the afterlife. She is the nurse of souls, bringing them back to a new journey. She is an intermediary between those of us seeking communion with the goddesses and gods and those goddesses and gods. She is the Keeper of Mysteries, holding the key to the realms of Wisdom and Knowledge. 

I think of Hekate as that original Divine Spark that gave birth to everything... the goddesses and gods, the Universe and all the planets, us. I'm obviously not interested in recreating an ancient traditional religion for the goddesses I revere, although I am interested in celebrating old ways of expressing the honor I feel for Them.

So there I am, just about finished with this challenge. I did not post every day due to my schedule, but played catch up - as I am doing today. I feel I received a lot from this challenge and I hope the way I approached it was helpful to someone.

Blessings Nine!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 26

Day 26 -How has my relationship with Hekate changed over time?

Hecate's Dream by Emily Chaison

In the beginning of my relationship with Hekate, I was wary, afraid, unsure how I should honor Her, how often. I was like a child adopted by a stranger, not knowing who this was. I made mistakes and misinterpreted very clear messages. I followed the trends of the times about Her, seeing Her as a Crone, although that never felt right. There was no internet then and so I had difficulty pursuing my studies of Her, let alone connecting with others who were more familiar with Her.

Through the years, I have become settled, confident, and very much Her priestess. I know what is necessary in my devotional practices to Her and what, most of the time, She requires of me. I also have less tendency to fear those times when Hekate feels the need to shake up my world. As rough as it can sometimes be, I flow with it, picking myself up, dusting off, and moving on with my work.

I am comfortable with being Her priestess, Hekate is the most important being in my world; being claimed by Her, my most treasured accolade.

Blessings Nine!

30 Days of Devotion - 25

Day 25 -A time when Hekate has refused to help me.

copyright 2007 E A Kaufman

The time I feel most comfortable sharing regarding Hekate refusing to help me was several years ago when a worldwide group, dedicated to Hekate, came into being. A friend who also was and still is dedicated to Her and I joined this group and were very excited to be part of it. We truly felt that joining with others from around the world, celebrating and honoring together could only result in great things. But... no, definitely no.

Hekate stopped speaking to us, zero interaction, zero communion, just nothing. Dead space in ritual, confusion and mess in divination. This was experienced by both of us. We were bewildered, but finally figured out what was happening, divination confirming it. We left the group and I did a great deal of purification work as well as making many offerings, increased daily devotions, worked very hard to be very sure that Hekate knew we had gotten Her message. For some reason, She had decided we were not to be part of this group. And one night, Hekate let us know all was well. We both had felt that pieces of our hearts had been ripped out, so great was the pain of not having that connection with Her.

I make sure, when becoming involved with other groups - much smaller - that they are acceptable to Her for me. This wasn't the experience for everyone who belonged to the group, just us as far as I know. 

Blessings Nine! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 24

Day 24 -A time when Hekate has helped me.


photograph copyright E A Kaufman 2016.

Where does one start with this? First of all, the times when Hekate assists me, with a few exceptions, are very private. However, I will share that during times of anxiety and fear, She is always there for me, helping me get through. The only time when this may not be the case, is when She is testing me or has decided to rearrange parts of me and let me put myself together. So fear is where Hekate has assisted me most.

Another area where Hekate has helped me is in my healing practice. I was and still am amazed that She always is with me during these works, and most especially during my Reiki healing work. This may seem too new agey to  many devotees, but She is always with me when I give Reiki. Hekate is most especially around with healing work for children and women, but She always answers my call for assistance in this important area of my practice.

  Blessings Nine!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 23

Day 23 - My Own Composition for Hekate



Hekate's Offering

I am the Darkness,
Waiting, silent in stygian stillness.
I am the Silent Stillness,
Waiting, full, ripe with knowing, bliss.
I am the Amorphous Knowing,
Waiting, bringing truth, healing.
 From Beneath, within the rich, redolent Earth,
I wait.
From Beneath, within the crystal, renewing Waters,
I wait.
From Above, within the Winds that Whisper and take,
I wait.
 The Darkness holds and heals.
The Water blesses and heals.
The Wind cleanses and heals
These are My offerings. Will you accept them?
 Here is My torch, I hold it for you,
Opening the Path.
Light within Darkness.
Here from Beyond.
Wisdom from Knowledge.
 As you have offered to Me time and again,
Blood and honeyed wine, herb and egg,
Garlic and almond, fig and date,
Now, I offer to you.
From the Three Realms I come
To the Crossroads where you have called to Me.
Will you join Me there?
Will you journey with Me
To My Caverns of darkness and light, soft and still,
Mother's embrace?
Will you accept My gifts: visions, dreams,
Let your Spirit fill and flow?
 Will you come, O Priestess of Hekate,
Priestess of Mine?
Come, be with Me, I am waiting. 

copyright 2007 E A Kaufman
Published in "Bearing Torches, A Devotional Anthology for Hekate"
Published by Bibliotheca Alexandrina



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Monday, August 22, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 22

Day 22 - A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think Hekate resonates strongly with.



This invocation by Emily Carding is so beautiful, and while I have many invocation and poems that I love and feel Hekate resonates strongly with, this is a favorite.

Invocation to Hekate

Hekate, this name we gift you,
You who are older than names,
We visit you, in your deep places,
Your roots in the stars,
And ruddy feetIn the blood and bones 
of the primal surging Earth and waters,
The brilliance of a star, Veiled in darkness,
And once more robed in light,You are the maiden Mother,
And know our needs and our not-needs,
Which are stripped away
In the craggy rebirth of rock and bloody tears.

You are the many layered apple-seed that dwells within,
And the warm light without, containing too all the darkness,
It needs to grow into the tree of knowledge.
With your torch you guide us,
With your key you give us the power to choose,
To unlock, Or simply bear the symbol
Of a path that is walked towards a gate unopened.
The third hand cuts away, With sharpened knife, All that holds us back.

We are left undone, unmade, unfinished,
With the knowledge of incompleteness,
We are given choice, We are given voice,
And with the voice of choice, We are given power.

Horse hooves lead us on a path of movement true and strong,
Serpentine stealth may teach us ways into hidden places,
And secret knowledge, Dog-Wolf protector is ever loyal and full of instinct,
Not to be betrayed.

You give us choice,
And in the storm-filled darkness, you light the way,
Great Goddess, Dark Mother, shining Hekate!

- Emily Carding - 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 21

Day 21 - Music that Reminds Me of Hekate

There are various pieces of music, at different times, that bring Hekate to mind. Here are a few.

This particular nocturne by Claude Debussy, summons Hekate for me, and I play it during private rituals.



This song, as well as the video, remind me of Hekate for some reason.




I was lucky enough to see Hecate's Wheel in person, and love this simple song.




Saturday, August 20, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 20

Day 20 - Art that Reminds Me of Hekate

 Hekate (1973) by Johfra Bosschart
I think this is my favorite painting of Hekate, painted by Johfra Bosschart. Others that zI really like follow.



I believe this Hekate statue, which I own,  is by Maxine Miller

Hekate byEmily Balivet

Blessings Nine!



Friday, August 19, 2016

30 Days of devotion - 19

Day 19 - What quality or qualities of this goddess do you most admire? And find the most troubling?

Forest Guardian by Alcove


I was initially drawn to Hekate by the inner work She seems to require from me. Although I knew it was time for that work, I wasn't sure I wanted to do it. Somewhere inside, I knew it was going to be the work of my life. She is a hard mistress at times and yet can be nurturing, guiding gently. She can and does, many times, tear one apart and watch how one rebuilds. That rebuilding, difficult as it is, is the main quality that I admire. Hekate has made me what I am and continues guiding/shoving me on along my spiritual and magical path. Even during the most trying of times, I feel that what She does always has good reason and will make me wiser and a better priestess.

The harshness I sometimes experience with Hekate can be troubling, disrupting to my life, generally at an inconvenient time. Of course, I know there are good reasons for this, but it is difficult. As much as I am honored to be guided to that work, it can cause fear, drama, and other difficulties that those in my life, with the exception of a very few,  can understand.

Hekate is my Soteira,  my Phosphoros, my Propolos - Savior, Lightbringer, the One Who Leads me. She is Antaia, bringing those night visions that amaze and terrify. She is Enodia, presenting me with different paths to follow. She is Nykteria and Nyktipolis - She of the Night, Night Wanderer - leading, and sometimes dragging, me along. And so I go, I am Her's, there really is no choice.

Blessings Nine!


Thursday, August 18, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 18

Day 18 - How Does Hekate Stand Regarding Gender and Sexuality?



I believe that Hekate is a goddess of women and children. As I've mentioned previously, it is my very strong belief that She was absorbed into the Greek and Roman pantheons. The myth that Zeus "allowed" Her to keep Her powers and dominion over the heavens, earth, and seas is absurd. The idea is a product of  patriarchal, misogynistic societies that held women down, treating them as property with no rights, other than a few exceptions for priestesses. Even so, priestesses were held to standards that were demeaning.

I know there are plenty of men who consider themselves devoted to Hekate, calling themselves Her priests. They will not agree with most of what I have had to say here. That's fine, everyone's experience is valid for them, do what you will... and I will too!

She is a woman's goddess in my opinion and experience.

Blessings Nine!

   

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 17

Day 17 - How Does Hekate Relate to Other Goddesses?

The Pale Queens by Emily Balivet

Once again, I will answer this from the perspective of my personal experiences. As I have mentioned many times, I am a Polytheist who sees the goddesses and gods as individuals, not archetypes, not aspects of another goddess or god, not some indistinct divine force. At one time I felt it was disrespectful to mix pantheons in any ritual or working, but experience has taught me otherwise. I also lean heavily toward Dianic Feminist witchcraft, therefore, my communion with these goddesses may not resonate for all.

For many years I worked with a particular priestess and witch who was devoted to, for the most part, the Celtic pantheon. As we both worked through life changes, we went our separate ways. However, the rituals and other workings we did together were intense, powerful, and fulfilling, despite working with goddesses of different pantheons; I, always with Hecate, and she, with a few different goddesses. 



Cerridwen and Hekate always joined together for us easily, as did Brighid, Rhiannon, and the Morrigan. Cerridwen has always represented the power of magic to me, fearsome yet beloved and revered, as is Hekate. The cauldron, for me, is a symbol of both goddesses. Their mastery of magic and mystery inspired, and still does, our own workings. Cerridwen is a strong goddess, persevering in accomplishing what She sets out to do, regardless of the obstacles. Hekate takes no weaklings; you do Her work or She will have nothing for you. 



Brighid is a triple goddess, as is Hecate Triformis, albeit in different ways. Brighid is strength, healing, and inspiration. Hekate is strength, Her healing on a different level, but healing nonetheless. Her inspiration is more in the mystery realms, while Brighid's is in the arts. Again, They always came together willingly in our rituals 

  

Rhiannon's Underworld associations melded well with Hekate's for us. She guides souls to the Underworld while riding upon a white horse, assisting the dead to make their way safely. Rhiannon also inspires creativity, movement, and strength, keeping us going on our way. Hekate guides us into and through the Mysteries, unlocking the doors that may keep those Mysteries beyond us.  


The Morrigan is another triple goddess, fierce, strong, a warrior. As with Hekate, the Morrigan too has Her Underworld associations, She feeds upon the dead after battle. To me this is a way to take the dead into the Underworld. As a goddess of life and death, we can find similarities to Hekate's roles as Kourotrophos (child nurse) and guide to the Underworld. The Morrigan is a goddess of rivers and lakes. Water, be it ocean, lake, river, separates this mundane world from the Underworld. To get there, to the Underworld, we must cross that water. Hekate awaits us on the bridge that crosses the water, at the gateway to other realms. The Morrigan feasts and then crosses Her rivers and lakes.

We worked our magic and gave honor and reverence to these goddesses. In turn, They inspired and assisted, accepted our gifts, giving in return all we needed.

Blessings Nine!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 16

Day 16 - How Does Hekate Represent Her Pantheon? My Practice?

At first I thought this was going to be a difficult subject, but I have changed the challenge question a bit to how Hekate represents my practice and that of modern devotees. I explain why below.

Despite the myths of Hekate's inclusion in the ancient Greek pantheon, I don't think She really represents it at all. She has to be included there because, once again, as with many goddesses, She was absorbed into that pantheon from elsewhere, in my opinion; we don't really know Her origins. If you explore Hekate's worshipers, priestesses, priests, and devotees today, you will find that the majority don't practice within the Greek/Hellenismos pantheon. Of course, this is just my opinion based upon my experiences. End of that discussion.

So... how does Hekate represent my practice? For me, She is a guide and guardian,  teacher and taskmaster. She takes me and those of us who are devoted to Her, where we are afraid to go many times, at others, we willingly, eagerly follow. Hers are the Mysteries that we long to know. As She guides me, I follow Her and, at the same time, guide those who ask for assistance in knowing Her, Her Mysteries again, as I know them, and the ways of the witch.

I have read that Hekate was worshipped by Thracian witches. In myths and stories, She is included where there is magic and mysticism. Over all the years those stories have added to who She is, what She is. She has absorbed all of that and made it Her own. So for me, Hekate represents all that has become what I am.

Blessings Nine!


Monday, August 15, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 15

Day 15 - Mundane Practices Associated With Hekate


Here is another prompt that I am not really sure of, but it has gotten me thinking, stewing, and brewing. Do I really associate Hekate with any mundane practices? I feel as if anything I do related to Her is related to the mystical and therefore is sacred.

Hekate holds the keys to the Underworld, hardly mundane, BUT... those keys also open the doors to the Mysteries, therefore, She could be called upon for assistance with learning and anything related to it such as teaching others, teaching oneself without the assistance of a teacher - Hekate giving the guidance. She gives guidance on all levels here.

She is also a goddess who assists with transition, and in my own experience, transformational work, so perhaps She assists with life changes, new job, moving to a new town, marriage or divorce, grief, new beginnings, new endeavors, and endings. In this capacity, I would include creative endeavors as well. She inspires me in my art and needlework, my writing and music.

I would think that anything to do with family life and children, especially as related to women, such as giving birth, adjusting to the new addition to the family, and healing health issues, physical and mental. Cooking and caring for the home keeps everyone health. Certainly calling on Hekate for issues with animals, pets or wild animals, including healing them is something I have done alone and with other practitioners. In my Reiki practice, I always call upon Her, but is that mundane? She stands at the doorway, guarding and protecting.

I have read that Hekate was originally revered as a great mother goddess. All of this, the mysteries and the mundane, come under Her dominion. So... I guess that teaches me something.

Blessings Nine!



Sunday, August 14, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 14

Day 14 - Has Worship of This Deity Changed in Modern Times?


Hekate - artist Emily Balivet
https://www.etsy.com/shop/EmilyBalivet?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Although we will never know for sure, I personally believe that the worship of Hekate, and all the gods and goddesses, was different in ancient times. The interpretation of history has been so tainted by patriarchy and various scholars with their own agendas,  that we can never know really.

While in ancients times, it seems to me that the worship was more formal and rigid, today we are open enough (with some exceptions) to accept the various ways of honoring deity, those with and without historical backup. From the reconstructionists to the witches coven, and everything in between, we are able to honor and conduct rites and rituals as we see fit. Yes, of course there are those who would like to turn Polytheism and Paganism into fundamentalist religions, but most of us choose to and do go our own way, many within a basic outline.

Many of us try to remain true to the origins of our spiritual practices, but so many rites were secret and we have no way to know how they were truly practiced. And so we do the best we can. Some of us prefer to study scholarly and ancient spiritual texts, basing what we do on those. Others stay within the modern interpretations, which are very creative and satisfying. That seems to be key... that we receive the satisfaction of ritual and rites well done, something magickal and very spiritual happens, that communion with deity happens. We can feel it, we know it.

I believe it was Andrew Chumbley who wrote about this, and I paraphrase, if one goes outside and  feels the gods, who has the right to say it didn't happen... or something very near that. This comment made a serious adjustment to my own practice, bringing to me the truth that for each of us, as similar as our spiritual paths may be, they are also very individual and our experiences, while similar in some cases, are also very different. All of that is just fine, we each know in our hearts what is best for us. 

Of course our spiritual practices and worship of deities will be different. The times are different, life is different. We evolve and so does spirituality.

Blessings Nine!   

Saturday, August 13, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 13

Day 13 - What Modern Cultural Issues Are Closest to Hekate’s Heart?


Fragment of ancient statue believed to be Hekate

This prompt for the 13th gave me some difficulty, in addition to working on Saturday, exhaustion at the end of the day, and not having a minute to write anything. Apropos to what eventually was given to me, this morning the answer came and I realized it was so simple. In a way it is a cultural issue, but perhaps not really. Whatever, this is what it is.

I feel that, for the most part, devotional practices are skimmed over in all religious practices. This is not a judgment, but a fact. People's live are so vey busy, the world in chaos, so taking time, even a brief few moments for devotional work seems nearly impossible; if not impossible, then the bare minimum is given.

Devotional work is what I feel is closest to Hekate's heart, to all the goddesses' and gods' hearts. We call upon Hekate for all sorts of assistance when we have need, but do we do it just to show honor, reverence, and love? Does every ritual have to be about asking for something? Shouldn't it be about connecting/communing with Her? Can She and any other goddesses and gods be given some of our time without asking for favors? So, in essence, I think Hekate, when petitioned, might very well be asking. "What have you done lately to remember Me? 

This is definitely modern culture, to want, to demand, and yet give nothing in return, or very little, the barest minimum one can get away with.

I also believe that, as a Dianic Feminist witch and priestess, that the treatment of women and children is very close to Her heart. We, the women, generally are the most devoted spiritually, and therefore, the goddesses and gods watch over us and are concerned for us. I am not attributing human qualities to Them, but They need us to remember Them. As the world is a scary place for us, women, the goddesses are concerned. 

None of this may resonate with you, but it is what came to me during my devotions this morning. If it doesn't resonate, that's fine. As I have said before, to each our own practices. I come to this from speaking about devotional work, encouraging it, almost daily with a variety of spiritually-minded people.

Blessings Nine!

Friday, August 12, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 12

Day 12 - Places Associated With Hekate and Her Worship

Lagina, Temple of Hekate David Morgan

There are not many temples for Hekate, but there are many sacred places, places where we can find Her if we know where to look.

In Lagina, part of Caria, was a temple to Hekate. The ruins still stand. I can only imagine the sacred energy I would feel there if I should ever visit it. 

In Argos, the chief city of Argolis, there was a sanctuary for Eilethyia. Pausanias in his Description of Greece says this: "Over against the sanctuary of Eilethyia is a temple of Hekate [the goddess probably here identified with the apotheosed Iphigeneia], and the image is a work of Skopas. This one is of stone, while the bronze images opposite, also of Hekate, were made respectively by Polykleitos and his brother Naukydes."

Hekate's worshipers, and therefore I assume there were shrines of some sort, were also found in Thessalia (Pherai - honoring Her as Brimo Trimorphos), Zerinthyia Mountain and Cave of Samothrake, among others.

But what if we get away from Greece and Thrace? What do we find in our own time, in our own places? 

Hekate is know as a Goddess of Liminal Spaces, those places where time and energy shifts. Doorways, gateways, caves. Even places like my hedge where I can feel the change as I walk through the opening in the hedge... I am not in the same place... I can feel Her there. I can feel Her at the waters edge at the lake behind my home. I can feel Her at the opening of my hearth. All of these are liminal spaces where Hekate has repeatedly been called, honored, and therefore, they are Her sacred places. 

Just as the  "Athenians . . . in their own houses . . . constructed in the porch . . . altars of Hecate . . . before every door." (Aristophanes, Wasps 799 ff (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.), and at temples as well,  so too do I. Her statue and other items for Her are kept at my front door for protection, yes, but also so She knows that, in my home, She is honored before all others.

Blessings Nine!





Thursday, August 11, 2016

30 Days of Devotions - 11

Day 11 - Festivals, Days, and Times Sacred to Hekate



Festivals:

Hecatesia (celebrated on different dates - August 13 or 16 - likely related to the Nemoralia and not historical , November 16 - another likely modern celebration)
Dark/New Moon - last day of the lunar month
Hekate's Night - November 16th - likely a modern celebration
Day of Hekate at the Crossroads (October 31 or November 30)
Deipnon - The last day of the calendar month

December 31 - Roman, however, once again, no historical proof can be found.

I have collected the above dates over the years, but have not found that these, with the exception of the last day of the lunar month, Hekate's Deipnon, have any historical basis. That being said, we can celebrate our goddesses whenever we choose, for the most part. 

For myself, I celebrate the monthly Deipnon on the Dark of the Moon, which you will find marked as the New Moon on your calendar. Again, for myself, the New Moon is when I can see the first crescent in the sky. I leave food at a crossroad after my ritual.

I have also celebrated Hekate on the 13th of August, but now celebrate the Nemoralia which honors the goddess Diana. I do include Hekate in my celebrations because it is also known as the Festival of Torches, dogs were honored, sacrifices were made of small sculptures of mothers and children, and women as well as slaves were freed from their duties for this festival. It makes sense that this evolved into a celebration of Hekate in our modern times.

Hekate's Night on November 16th is another time I celebrate Hekate, in addition to honoring Her on Hallows, October 31st. Over many years these dates have become an important part of my devotional practices for Her.

Celebrate as you feel drawn to.

Blessings Nine!




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 10

Day 10 - Offerings

General Offerings/Sacrifices:

yew, cypress, hazel, black poplar, willow, black dogs, black, bulls, black lambs, myrrh, civet, camphor, aloe, menstrual blood, red, mullet, bread, eggs, cheese, honey, garlic, apples, figs, pomegranate.

Offerings and Libations That I Make:

I bake barley cakes that contain a mixture of honey, egg, fruits such as apples, dried figs or fresh when in season, pomegranate seeds, oregano and saffron. Sometimes I make a more savory cake with garlic, cheese, pork or lamb, oregano, and bay. In addition to these cakes, I will give cloves of garlic, sprinklings of barley, slices of pork, lamb, or fish (occasionally gefilte fish because I generally have it,) blackberries, red berries from a hedge outside my home, and either raw or boiled egg.

Although live animals were sacrificed as offerings in ancient times, I do not do this. Any meat that I offer is cooked and organic, if I can get it. I do the best I can with the best intention.

The various berries are fruits I just felt were right and they have proven acceptable. Oregano also would fall under the UPG heading, it is something that I always include although I have never found any historical proof that it was included in offerings to Hekate. Another UPG offering is chocolate coins, generally Godiva, but other brands have proven acceptable as well.

Most food offerings are left beneath a hedge near my home that is a sacred place for me. Other times I will burn them to a crisp and sprinkle the ashes at a crossroad, in a cemetery, or at my hedge, depending upon the working I am performing.    

I make various incense mixtures of herbs such as saffron, oregano, bay, resins of frankincense, myrrh, and storax, blended with oils of pomegranate, blackberry, or amber. I burn these outside on a charcoal as an additional offering.

I also always pour a libation with the offerings. The base is usually an herbal tea mixture and the ingredients vary, but always include saffron and oregano. I sweeten this with the best honey we have and add a splash of Strega Liqueur or blackberry brandy which I make myself.

Something else I offer that has no historical reference is my needlework and its  accoutrements. I may stitch a small item with a symbol of Hekate, or three or nine rows of three or nine different types of stitches. I use the very finest linen and threads, then burn or bury the item. Other times I may simply offer a piece of a very favorite linen, or stands of my favorite threads. I also bury clay disks made with herbs, spices, resins, and/or other items incorporated into the clay, and carve symbols into them.  

I have never felt a rejection of any of these offerings. I believe the reason is because they come from the heart. I have no fluffy illusions about the goddesses and gods, however, They seem, at least to me, to be grateful and accepting of my efforts.

Blessings nine!






Tuesday, August 9, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 9

Day 9 - Common Mistakes and Worst Misconceptions 



Let's start with the worst misconception about Hekate: She is a evil. Even in Greco-Roman mythology, Hekate has gotten a bad rap. Her association with witchcraft, the Underworld, the waning and dark moons, the dark hounds, darkness in general, has lead to this negative view.

From Hesiod: Hesiod describes the wide-ranging divine powers of the goddess Hekate in the following passage. Hekate was usually regarded as the goddess of witchcraft, though it is unclear whether Hesiod is describing her benefits as being derived from the use of magical incantations or merely general prayers to her divinity. The poet clearly understood that she was a night-time goddess of witchcraft through the naming of her parents. The name of her father Perses (the destroyer) was connected with both Persephone, goddess of the underworld, and Perseis, the mother of the witches Aeetes and Kirke; and her mother Asteria (the starry one) was a goddess of the night.

From the Orphic Hymns:  "Hekate Einodia, Trioditis [Trivia], lovely dame, of earthly, watery, and celestial frame, sepulchral, in a saffron veil arrayed, pleased with dark ghosts that wander through the shade...

"Hekate ... pleased with dark ghosts that wander through the shade ... nightly seen." - Orphic Hymn 1 to Hecate

And yet, She is Kourotrophos, nurse of children. Hekate lead Persephone from the Underworld back to her grieving mother. She lights our way through this spiritual path.  Most of this "goodness" is lost in the pure enjoyment of those who perpetuate and prefer to believe that anything not of Judeo-Christian belief is evil.

In addition to the torches, which give Her an association with "light", there is this fragment:
"[Hekate] the golden-shining attendant of Aphrodite." - Greek Lyric I Sappho or Alcaeus, Frag 23

Here, Hekate offers assistance to those who honor Her:  For to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich sacrifices and prays for favour according to custom, he calls upon Hekate. Great honour comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favourably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power surely is with her. - Hesiod, Theogony

Sorita d'Este describes her thus: "Hekate’s magic was that of death, the underworld, love, oracles, herbs, poisons, protection and guidance", which, in my own experience is a valid and accurate description. Some of these seem negative, but if you consider this statement closely, all of this is a more positive than the fictitious evil goddess.




Another, and probably the most common misconception, about Hekate is that She is a Crone goddess. I wrote about this on the first day of this challenge, how my own introduction to Her was as a crone. I have also written many times that the goddesses and gods present Themselves to us in whatever way They see fit, however we can connect with Them. This, however, does not justify disregarding the myths. When stating that you believe or encounter Hekate as a crone goddess, you should also state that this is not based on historical evidence. Hekate, in Greek mythology, is a maiden. She is clearly described as such in the many depictions and descriptions. 

Ultimately, I never tell anyone how they should see a goddess or god, unless it is so far off the mark. But that mark is really none of my business. And although I know there are plenty of people out there who relish correcting others when that person has a different view of a goddess or god, who is to say what another encounters? Those are the Mysteries.

Blessings Nine!


Monday, August 8, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 8

Day 8 - Choose an Aspect of the Deity and How You Honor That Aspect

Hekate Kourotrophos
artist unknown, if anyone knows, please comment.

Today was supposed to have been "Variations on this deity (aspects, regional forms, etc.)," however I felt this was repeating Day 6 so I have changed my post. 

I am a woman who chose, with my husband, not to have children. I am not gushy about children, but babies are very sweet and cute, I love to hold and talk to them until they become fussy, then I hand them back to their mamas, LOL. That being said, when a child needs healing, protection, whatever, I am right there to assist in whatever capacity is needed. 

One of Hekate's epithets is Kourotrophos, Child-Nurse, Guardian of Children. I have been calling on this aspect over the past year more often than usual due to some little ones who were sick, a friend's new little girl for whom we did a Mother Blessing, and another friend who's granddaughter was born 5 weeks early. 

I sent Reiki to mamas and babies a few times a week. In addition, for the baby girls, I would light three small candles, a white, a pale pink, and a pale lavender, then place the candles before one of my Hekate statues. I took myself into trance and journeyed to the ocean and requested Hekate's presence. She always came to me, standing at the waters edge, the gentle waves moving over Her feet. I asked for a healthy and gentle entrance into our earthly realm, and healing for mama. I them returned from trance, made my prayers of gratitude, then took offerings and a libation to my hedge.

One little girl made her entrance just when she should, healthy, and is thriving. The other little gal decided she wanted to make her entrance 5 weeks early. Her weight was normal, but there were a few little issues which are resolving and she will be going home very soon. All is well, but then I expected nothing less from the ultimate nurse and protectress. Hail Hekate Kourotrophos!

Blessings Nine!


Sunday, August 7, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 7

Day 7 - Names and Epithets

Portrait of Hekate by Carolina Gonzalez



The various epithets which Hekate bears :

The Distant One 
The Far Darter 
Queen of Night 
Night Mother 
Queen of the Ghosts 
Queen of the Witches
Mother of Witches 
Mistress of Magic 
Most Lovely One 

Adonaea - Lady of the Underworld
Agrotera - Huntress
Anassa - QueenAntania - Enemy of mankind
Anassa eneroi - Queen of Those Below
Antaia - The one in front
Antaia - Sender of Nocturnal Visions
Atalos - Tender One
Brimo - Angry One,  “Angry" or "Terrifying", also meaning the crackling of a fire (as in Hekate's torches)
"Despoina - Mistress, Lady
Drakaina - She-snake
Dadophoros - Torch Bearer
Einalia - of the sea
Enodia - Of the Paths
Epephanestate Thea - Most Manifest Goddess
Kleidophoros - Key bearer (Also a title used by High Priestesses)
Kleidoukhos - Keeper of the Keys
Koure Mounogene - Only Begotten Maiden
Krataiis - Strong One or Crataris - The Mighty One
Khthonia - Of the Underworld, Of the Earth
Krokopeplos - Robed in Saffron (Red)
Kurotrophos - Nurse of children, Child-Nurse
Lampadephoros - Lamp-bearer, Torchbearer, Who warns of Night Attack
Liparokredmnos - with bright headband, Bright Coffed
Monogenes - Only child
Nykteria - She of the Night (nocturnal)
Nyktipolos - Night wandering
Nyktipolis Khthonie "Night-Wanderer Of The Underworld"
Perseis - Daughter of Peses
Phileremos - lover of solitude
Phosphoros - the Light Bearer, Light-Bringer
Propolos - She who attends or leads (Guide)
Propylaia - One before the Gate (Guarding)
Prytania - Invincible Queen of the dead
Skylakagetis - Leader of Hounds/Mistress of the Hell Hounds
Soteira - Savior
Trikephalos - Triple headed
Trimorphis  - Three-formed
Trioditis  - of three roads
Trivia - of the three ways
Tymbidia - Sepulchral

Blessings Nine!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

30 Days of Devotion - 6

Day 6 What are some other related deities and entities associated with this deity.



It's busy weekend celebrating my 60th birthday; out with the apprentices last night, dinner with friends tonight, and tomorrow the big day. I'm a little late posting this.

Artemis - Hekate and Artemis have a number of similarities. In August, we celebrate the Festival Of Hekate-Artemis or.... one or the other. Both are considered moon goddesses, both are maiden goddesses, although some identify Hekate with the Crone. Hekate and Artemis are guardians of women and children, both bearing the epithet Kourotrophos - Child Nurse. Hekate also bears the epithet, Agrotera - Huntress. Artemis is also called Huntress. Both goddesses have hounds (or dogs) with Them often in myth.

Persephone - Hekate and Persephone are both Underworld goddesses, and sometimes seen as one and the same. They both are guardians of the dead, but also have Their roles here in our world. Hekate rules over sky, sea, and land; Persephone returns to our world each spring to inspire Her mother, Demeter to bring forth all that is fruitful. Persephone is considered Queen of the Underworld. I see Her as Mother of the dead. Hekate guides the dead on their way to the Underworld. Her epithet, 
Prytania names Her as Invincible Queen of the Dead.

Bendis - a Thracian moon goddess who carried two lances or lights, depending upon the myth. She had duties toward both the heavens and earth.  She is also identified with both Persephone and Artemis, as well as Hekate.

Blessings Nine!