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Hecate: Goddess of the Month, October 2019

October 03, 2019 0 Comments

Hecate: Goddess of the Month, October 2019

GODDESS OF THE MONTH

HECATE :  OCTOBER, 2019
Anatolian/Greek Goddess of the Dark and the Moon, of witchcraft, magic, and sorcery. Part of the “goddess of three forms”, along with Artemis and Selene.

 

Correspondences

  • Metals - Silver, Gold
  • Animals - Deer, Dog, Snake
  • Herbs & Plants - Cypress Tree, Bay Laurel, Rose Bush
  • Dates - Samhain
  • Months - October
  • Seasons - Autumn
  • Planets & Stars - Moon, Jupiter, Mercury
  • Colors - Black, White, Red

Attributes

Hecate (or Hekate, and pronounced “he-KAH-tay” or “he-KAH-tee”) has many titles, most notably the Torchbearer, Goddess of the Underworld, and the Keeper of the Keys of the Universe. A relationship with her is one that confronts and engages with the darkness that resides in us all, rather than ignore or reject it. Hecate is present in the Under, Middle, and Upper worlds, so her ability to transition between these realms indicates she is a powerful force for change.

Hecate is an ancient goddess with a modern tradition. Some traditions of witchcraft emphasize her role in modernity, and puts less stress on the particularities of rituals and ceremonies so that practitioners may interpret their relationship in a modern, personal way, so that everyone’s practice is at their strongest.

As far as sobriquets go, the Goddess of the Underworld is about as cool as they come. Along with her connection to the serpent, her power is connotative of what is popularly considered to be evil and nefarious in mainstream religion, but a relationship with Hecate underscores the necessity of dark with light, life with death.

 Hecate Maxmillián Pirner - 1893
Hecate by Maxmillián Pirner, c. 1893

 

 

About Hecate

Hecate is a strong presence in the pantheon of Greek gods, but her origin is by no means strictly bound to it. Most date her roots from the Anatolians, though one variation of her name, ‘Heqet’, suggests ties to ancient Egypt! Her most famous temple can still be visited in what was once Lagia (now Turgut in the southwest of Turkey) where there are still annual festivals hosted in her name. She is also mentioned in the Suda, an encyclopedic lexicon of ancient Mediterranean world first compiled in the 10th Century.

While there are several widely accepted spellings of Hecate, the English-speaking world managed to use one which was, well, kind of just wrong. ‘Hecat’ was used primarily from the 16th to the 19th Centuries because of - and this probably won’t surprise you - a mistranslation! Arthur Golding misspelled the name in his 1567 translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and several plays perpetuated this misspelling, most notably a little piece called Macbeth by William Shakespeare.

 

Significance of Hecate

Hecate endures. Culturally and historically, she persists, and her power is evident in that persistence. One can vary rituals and worship styles, just as her significance carried her, both through and beyond, across many times and cultures. So much about the magical is about interpretation that evolution is mandatory, and she totally embodies this. 

Hecate is often invoked in rituals designed to “release the past”. She is a valuable ally in one’s journey to psychically shed dead weight, or expel the negativity of the past. I can’t think of many things more necessary for, and deserving of, a ritual than that.

 

RITUALISTIC INSPIRATIONS

Free of the Past, Praising Hecate

Altar Decor

  • Three Candles - Black, Red, White
  • Hecate’s Wheel / Strophalos (see image below)
  • Three Keys
  • Two Bay Laurel Leaves
  • Selenite for connecting with Hectate
  • Roses- either dried petals in an offering bowl, or fresh
  • Garlic
  • Art of your choice, this should be 2- dimensional or flat

 

Steps:

It can’t be stressed enough that your worship of Hecate is up to your interpretation, but it is crucial to remember that, typically, Hecate is often invoked for a specific goal or purpose. Something is being asked of her, and one should show that they intend to honor her fully in return, that they understand the gravity of what they are asking, and they should show reverence for her through their blessings of her. In this ritual, we are asking Hecate to aid us in leaving something behind that is no longer needed, such as a relationship, a job, an addiction or mental attachment, etc. This ritual is intended to be done near or at dusk. 

  • Create the Wheel of Hecate. This can be done any number of ways, from printing out a picture to creating one with chalk, sand, or even by the placement of the items below.
  • Take one of the bay laurel leaves and write on it what you desire to release.
  • Place the garlic against a piece of artwork. The art can be of Hecate, the Wheel of Hecate, or simply an image of something that inspires strength if you wish. Sometimes, I even use a favorite book.
  • Place the three keys at the points where there are breaks between the T-shaped pieces of Hecate’s Wheel. This will create a triangle.
  • Using an athame, pin, or other sharp object used only for your magickal practices, carve a snake symbol into the three candles. The snake represents change and release.
  • Place the three candles in accordance with the centers of the three T-shaped points from the center of the wheel. This should create an inverted triangle, equally and inverse to the placement of keys. Light one of the candles with a match, then light the subsequent candles with the first’s flame.
  • Arrange the selenite and rose horizontally across the center of the wheel. If you are using dried rose petals, be sure to put them in an offering bowl near the altar or in her wheel.
  • Light the second bay laurel leaf with the candle’s flame, and sain/ smudge the room (or general area) where you are performing your ritual. Be sure to focus on your intention and wishes while doing this.
  • When the sun has just set, say a prayer to Hecate asking for help in releasing what is not serving you. Be sure to be very specific, as vague wishes can result in awry results. Take the first bay laurel leaf containing your wishes, and burn it over the candle to release your intention. Acknowledge that, for what you ask, you wish to give to her equally.
  • Let the candles burn out on their own. You may chose to charge a piece of selenite under the bay laurel smoke to cary with you and remind you of your wishes.

 

hecates wheel by cocorrina

Hecate's Wheel by Cocorina

hecate

Triple-formed representation of Hecate. Marble, Roman copy after an original of the Hellenistic period.- Wikipedia

 

 

 

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