Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Goddess Returns

I find myself today in a place I didn't think I would be again.   My connection to the magical world had drifted over the past two years. I felt myself falling into a lack of magic. I still honored the phases and tried to be outdoors my I was not aware just how much my regular ritual was missing from my life. 

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

I participated in Rite of her Sacred Fires this past full moon and found myself energized and ready to take on the world. Something I had not felt in a quite a while. I was in a living situation that prevented me from participating in ritual regularly. Now back in my space down by the river, I'm able to express those feelings again. 

I've been working on my health. Focusing more on healing through a holistic approach. Spending time each morning in meditation and opening my mind to connect with the energies of our world. I have started reconnecting with Hecate as I felt our relationship was strained.  She was not gone. She was waiting for me to catch up. I was close to her, close enough to feel the delicate touch of her robes as they feathered around her in the moonlight, but still, far.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

I spent a lot of time thinking about where I wanted to go.  I felt myself moving towards atheism in my belief that we were not created by intelligent design but more so by an ever changing natural environment around us.  The waters of world, too, ebb and flow with the energies that are our goddess.  I took a break from some commitments that I had related to Hecate and I believe that break actually allowed me to reconnect with her.  It became less of a chore and returned to the wonderful connection I had prior.

I've begun work on my dream of an Oracle deck for Hecate, that is 10 years in the making. I'm focused now with a fury that resembles Brimo and a curiosity that call to Hecate as no other. This re-dedication of sorts has opened my eyes to the places in my practices where I allowed others to dictate my process. I have returned to the point where I feel most comfortable and am now able to incorporate my daily practice back with ease and grace.

As the this month moves forward and I continue with this exploration I intend to focus more on my dedication to learn more and share that information far and wide. I plan to add more content on By Her Fires - my blog dedicate specifically to Hecate and her mysteries.

As we move throughout the remainder of this year, I pledge to spend more time focusing on my studies and removing those things that do not bring me joy.  For a long time, I thought it was the work related to the goddess that was causing issues.  I know now, it was not. I look forward to this new approach to magic and witchcraft.  And while some would still call me an atheist as, I do not believe in the literal interpretations of gods and goddesses I do believe in the energy that surrounds them. I do believe in the growing process one takes by adopting a set of life virtues and living in those virtues.  Be them related to a god or a pomegranate.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

When I was a child I attended a southern baptist church and they had an altar at the front with the words, "Do this in remembrance of me". (1 Corinthians 11:23-25) I used to wonder what it meant. I believe I know now. While not following this specific doctrine, I can see how using a reminder that we should be good to each other makes sense. And if it takes some words on an altar, writing on a box, lighting a candle daily, do what is good and what brings you joy in remembrance of the thing that most inspires you. This can be inside or outside a religious context. 

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

The idea here, is to be who you are, while spreading some understanding around the world. I purposely did not say spreading positive vibes.  Looking around at the world, we know that things are just not positive right now. We are struggling in the United States as a nation. We're struggling as a people unable to come together due to racial divides.  Our world is suffering from sea to sea and our mother earth is dying. There is so much negative and I too, want to say "Be Positive!".   Instead, I ask you to be understanding. Be caring. Be compassion.  Be courageous. Be the change you want to see in this world.

I'm starting today.  Can you?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Hecate - The Cosmic World Soul

Hecate -  The Cosmic World Soul
By Renee Sosanna Olson
"For Hekate as the Cosmic World Soul, February 2018 - a CoH devotional project-". 

From the beginning of time, human beings have set out to answer a single question. Where did we come from?  This hasn’t changed in our modern world. Even with the advent of tracking devices, heart monitors and the ability to see the face of a human before they leave the womb we still ask this question.  People join together in groups circling in on the ideology or ideologies they find most comforting.  While many would say their belief, structure is driven by a combination of faith and historical evidence, we know as each scroll is unfurled that answer is elusive.  That in reality, we as human beings will always look to the stars to find our place in the universe to answer the question, why are we here?
Our relationship to ancient deities helps us make that connection. We want to believe that our presence on this planet isn’t some random accidental event that happened when just the right combination of light, water and temperature met.  We want to believe that we were created intentionally. We were first an idea which was fashioned into existence by the hand of a divine deity.  We were indeed born of the gods.
Religions throughout antiquity have searched for the answer to this question. The devotees of Hekate are no exception.  In Chaldaean Oracles and Theurgy, Hans Lewy repeatedly identifies Hekate with Plato’s Cosmic Soul (Lewy, 1956, p. 6, 47,83, 95, 121, etc.), while in The Chaldean Oracles, Ruth Majercik points out the conflation of Hecate with the World Soul (Majercik, 1989, p. 4, 7).  While one could argue that in this case Hans Lewy was looking for the source of Hekate, and not so much our own creation, I believe we can see that as human beings, if we identify who created us we simultaneously validate our own intelligent design.  Does that mean that Hekate is the Cosmic World Soul and by confirming her place in the creations of everything also define us as a product of the divine?
Even scholars cannot agree, in the chapter ‘Plato’s Timaeus and the Chaldaean Oracles’ in Plato’s Timaeus as Cultural Icon, Luc Brisson objects: “We must abandon the universally admitted idea according to which Hecate is identified with the World Soul... Hecate is too high in the hierarchy to be the World Soul; instead, it is the World Soul that emanates from her" (Reydams-Schils, 2003, p. 119). - Plato's X & Hekate's Crossroads - Astronomical Links to the Mysteries of the Eleusis - George Latura
Here Luc Brisson argues that Hekate can not be the Cosmic World Soul, but instead she is the creator of the soul, making her the supreme creatrix of all life in the cosmos.  We can look back at the reference to the first and second father’s and Hecate being the womb in which the idea of the soul is planted.  This is explained in detail by the Melammu Project below.
From the Cosmic Womb, all began to stretch forth towards the place beneath the wondrous rays, i.e., to the hylic world, where genesis was completed when physical structures were created. Thus, Hekate played the same role as the Cosmic Soul in the Middle Platonic doctrines. The Oracles agree on such a being though never use the word Demiurge, but instead they speak of an artisan of cosmic fire or second mass of fire. In other words, after Hekate had received the Ideas in her womb from the Paternal Intellect (God, the Father), she then transmitted these to the Demiurge, who embodied them in the Sensible world. Because of her role in receiving and then transmitting the seed (Ideas) onward, Hekate/Soul was understood as the “Mother of the World.” – The Melammu Project -
As we learn more about the world around us, we understand that perhaps our ancient ancestors were trying desperately to explain things of which they had no real comprehension.  To them, things we look at as common place today would seem to be magical tools given to us by the gods.
If I said to our ancient ancestors, I have a light emitting oracle that can answer all the questions of mankind. This oracle can open your eyes to worlds you have never seen and allow you to see and hear the voices of your brethren around the planet and even expand out into our galaxies.  Our ancestors, and oddly even some people today would scoff.  However, this exists today in the back pocket of every teen attending middle school today.  The simple internet enabled cellular devices that have become a necessity in our daily lives, provides information from books, movies and yes even the cosmos at our finger tips.
It is my personal belief that humanity creates deities to explain the unexplainable.  We want to have someone to blame when things go wrong. Humans have a long history of not taking personal responsibility for their actions. That goes hand in hand with the goal of most people do become better at what they are doing. Be it acting in a moving, getting a good grade on a test or becoming a master painter. I have watched my friends praise all things above them when they create something wonderful instead of stepping back and saying, look at all the hard work I put into this and just look at it. It is fantastic.  Or the flipside, I worked on this and I failed.  Maybe the gods are crazy!
The number of times I hear someone say they’re sick and someone must have put a spell on them is astronomical. While I think that there is complete legitimacy in thoughts bring forth action and will creates reality, I do not for a second think that we should jump headlong into the magical when the mundane is the more likely the culprit.  While we may not want to believe that the right ecological state created the space for we humans to develop, we have to evaluate the evidence.  We cannot jump from the unknown to “Aliens”.  There may be many explanations in between.  If we did not come from a murky pool of water, it doesn’t mean that we were created by the hand of a deity on a potter’s wheel.
In closing I would like to say that when I began my spiritual journey, my path was littered with the remains of an assortment of belief systems. I traveled each road looking for what everyone hopes to find in this journey. When I stumbled onto the crossroads, I found a powerful female presence that helped me see that not everything is as black and white as we would like them to be. There are many faces to the world and sometimes we need to understand that we will be faced with decisions that are right for today but may change as our energy ebbs and flows with the universe in tomorrow. We can look for that spark of life, the idea in the womb that brings forth the amazing energy that we use in our day to day dealings with others. That spark is there and it may show it self to the Christian as Jesus.  To the Muslim as Allah. Or to the Atheist as curiosity. To each, the message may arrive by a different method but it is the same message. It is upon us to see it, learn it and live it.

Chaldean Oracles
Chaldaean Oracles and Theurgy
Plato's X & Hekate's Crossroads - Astronomical Links to the Mysteries of the Eleusis
Melammu Project
The Gods Must Be Crazy
The Creation of Man from Clay

Note: The spelling of Hecate in this article is used as each source referred and as personal preference.
Reblog from my personal blog - Confessions of a Modern Witch - All rights reserved

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Circle for Hekate - A Review

"With her daggers, she cuts away that which is no longer necessary.... "

Cover Photo - Circle for Hekate
Photos Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Circle for Hekate - Volume 1, History and Mythology will become the go to primer for anyone interested in the mysteries of the Goddess. Sorita has taken her extensive knowledge of Hecate and combined it in one manuscript, being sure to leave detailed references for the reader to take these keys she has given and unlock the door to more discoveries. Always being careful to include the subtle nuances that make Sorita d'Este the authority on the subject.  This book contains detailed descriptions of Hecate's influence in antiquity through the use of stunning visual imagery. Including the Minoan Snake Goddess, one of my particular favorites. I also appreciate the way that the author takes the time to guide the reader into being more accepting of those who may have a different view of Hecate by addressing quite directly the Maiden Mother Crone aspect and the simple spelling of her name that has led to debate and contempt for years.

By foto feta per J. Ollé el 6 d'agost del 2005. 

Sorita continues to explore the Goddess by taking us on a journey which explains conflation and lore. We learn of her lineage, her place in the company of Zeus and then all the way to the the shores of Ellis Island and how the personification of Libertas is often tied to the mother Goddess of the Chaldean Orcales.  The image from page 139 of the book labeled 59-Hekate Chiaramonte is one of my favorite depictions of the Goddess.

For the beginner and scholar alike, the chapter dedicated to the Symbols will be a quick reference to all things Hecate. From the modius to her sandals Sorita takes us on a head to toe exploration of all the imagery associated with Hecate.  Many immediately know of keys and serpents but how many take the time to explore the others such as lions, poppies or star wheels.

One of many aspects of the goddess is most intriguing to me is her relationship to the dead and necromancy. Sorita delves into this with precision and with of course careful reference to her sources.  References to spells and charms related to the dead is just another section that will challenge the reader to continue to discover more about the goddess.

Finally the chapter related to Hecate and plants is a must have for the devotee. If I had a dollar for every time I saw a request for Aconite to place on someone's altar I would be a millionaire. The table provided in this book is filled with non lethal plants and should be required reading for the budding Hecatean in my opinion.

Overall this book encompasses what we know and adore about the Goddess from a historical perspective but also include modern references by authors and bloggers alike. Sorita d'Este confirms her place as a scholar of Hecate and shares that knowledge with the masses in this well referenced and easy to read book.  I, for one anxiously await Volume II.


I would like to take a moment to personally thank Sorita for my inclusion in this book.  I have worked diligently with the Covenant of Hekate over the years and spent many nights researching the mysteries of Hecate.  Sorita has been a supportive influence in my study and practice.  I was excited to see Sara Neheti Croft referenced in the book as she too, was/is a huge resource on Hecate and I still reach out to her with questions and comments on the Goddess.  You can find information on the Covenant of Hekate on this link and the amazing blog by Sara here.  Be sure to head over and check them out.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Question of Faith

Over the years my believe system has grown and changed.  I went from being a Christian, to being a non-believing Christian to Pagan.  Today I would place myself in an odd space. While I don't necessarily believe in a supreme deity I do believe that there are energies in this universe and those energies can be manipulated.  And lastly, is this questioning mean that I no longer follow Hecate?

I believe that we come into contact with things in our lives because we have something to learn from them.  I have learned a great deal in my interactions with Hecate. I think that those ideals will always be with me.

I may not be actively holding rituals to her but I do feel that the virtues attributed to her will always be with me.

Now let's make some magic!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Hecate Soteira - Jade Sol Luna

Working with this aspect of Hecate, I feel her most as the provider.  She comes through as a mother, a learned elder that provides not the answer, but lights the way for me to discover my own answers.

Shared with permission of the author here is Hecate Trivia by Jade Sol Luna.

Hecate Soteira is most likely the highest form of Hecate, and union with her is the goal of the Hecate disciple.  She is most often formless but will occasionally take on a form with gold skin and gold hair made of serpents.  She is dressed in gold and yer eyes are often red intoxicated with knowledge, power and bliss.  She sits in Sol Caelum.

~Hecate Death, Transtion and Spirital Mastery page 122 - Jade Sol Luna

Invocation/Prayer to Hekate Soteira
Formless distant One,
Clothed in Fire,
Who portions out and ensouls,
Beyond the boundaries
Of Chaos and Order.
You permeate and manifest,
The creative and destructive.
Siren of the deep,
Mistress of the crossroads,
Guide of souls.
Star browed maiden
Red handed you sanguine languish
Waiting at the crossroads with wolf head and lolling tongue
Teeth sharp to lance the wound
Jaws open wide you, ferocious as the alchemical wolf consume,
Transmute the poisons of the profane,
Making all decorous, a holy domain.
Winds blowing, dogs howling,
Torches burning, feel the glow,
Power is rising, theres magic afoot,
Hekate is here, Her time is near!
Honour Her, adore Her, obey Her every sign
For now is Her time
And now is the way,
So come all and let us sway,
Sway with the flames and dance to Her tune,
Let us gather under the moon.
Hail mistress of the celestial Abyss,
You stand at the centre of All,
Whirling creatrix, you draw us beyond the veil,
Into the darkness
Your radiance breaks bonds
Forging the soul anew,
Unveiling Your mysteries,
Guiding us forth.
We emerge Lightbearers!
Dancing within your sacred fires.
Shining Hekate,
Allow your light to guide us,
So that we may move to our most beneficial ends.
Come Soteira, so we are protected and not led astray from our true will.
Lady save us,
Save our children from violence and harm,
Save our communities from hatred and bigotry,
Save our planet from war and destruction.
Lead us with your torches to a land of peace and joy.
[Collaborative work created by Sara Bubastis, Candace LaRue, Doriel Townend, Anna Marie and Maureen Falcon for the CoH, April 2014]