Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chaldean Oracles - 219

The Chaldean Oracles are a group of fragmented texts from the 2nd Century AD and are attributed to Babylonia (Chaldea).  The text refers to Hecate as the female power or Mother of all with two Fathers.  Setting Hecate as the Cosmic World Soul. 

I thought it might be a great project to look at the translated snippets of the references to Hecate in the Oracles to see how they relate to one another, to Hecate in general and our thoughts on Hecate today.


For this I decided to use the translation by Charles Stein.  Mr. Stein is an author and poet and has completed several translation as well as studies on Eleusinian subjects.  His original translation of the Chaldean Oracles can be found at the link below.

Understand that not everyone follows this particular belief in Hecate’s origins.  Some follow the more modern view of Hecate as the Crone aspect of the triple goddess construct.  I invite those with that perspective to follow this line of thought for a moment just to see where it leads. 



Translated by Charles Stein



Says Hekate:

After dawn burst splendor
infinite, full of stars,
I left the unpolluted house of god
and stepped
on life-fost'ring earth
according to your request
persuaded by those ineffable words
by which a mortal person
delights in delighting

the mind of the immortals…                                                      [219]






This passage to me seems to show Hecate's decision to leave the house of the Gods and move into the mortal realm.  She moves to the earth and takes her place as a keeper of the crossroads or in a more figurative reference - the transitional spaces for mortals. It also seems to me that the earth is where life actually is.  Even though the Gods are thought to be the source of life, they do not live.  More so they live only through the mortals.

Thoughts?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Chaldean Oracles - 224

The Chaldean Oracles are a group of fragmented texts from the 2nd Century AD and are attributed to Babylonia (Chaldea).  The text refers to Hecate as the female power or Mother of all with two Fathers.  Setting Hecate as the Cosmic World Soul. 

I thought it might be a great project to look at the translated snippets of the references to Hecate in the Oracles to see how they relate to one another, to Hecate in general and our thoughts on Hecate today.


For this I decided to use the translation by Charles Stein.  Mr. Stein is an author and poet and has completed several translation as well as studies on Eleusinian subjects.  His original translation of the Chaldean Oracles can be found at the link below.

Understand that not everyone follows this particular belief in Hecate’s origins.  Some follow the more modern view of Hecate as the Crone aspect of the triple goddess construct.  I invite those with that perspective to follow this line of thought for a moment just to see where it leads. 



Translated by Charles Stein


Says Hekate:

Complete my animal image
purged as I shall instruct you:

Make a body from field rue;
ornament with delicate small beast forms
       (such as spotted lizards
            that live about the house);

Pound storax, myrrh, and frankincense
with these beasts
into a mixture

and under
a waxing moon
in the clear light of ether

finish the telestics                                                                                   [224]



These entries quote Hecate on how to create her animal image.  When I create my images of Hecate they can either be animal form or human, most often human in shape.  I also generally don't use lizards in making my statues.  I do however like the idea of a "soulstone".   The soulstone is the concept of placing a center stone in the clay figure to give it life, or a soul if you will.  It is a unique opportunity to consecrate a statue to the Goddess as well.  Adding herbs in pouches or another items to add stronger energy to a piece.

I have had several discussions with those who add their own blood to their clay mixtures when creating images of the Goddess.  To me, I don't feel that is necessary.  What are your thoughts?  Should we look at these ancient texts as directions on how we move forward in workings with her?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Chaldean Oracles - 50 & 53

The Chaldean Oracles are a group of fragmented texts from the 2nd Century AD and are attributed to Babylonia (Chaldea).  The text refers to Hecate as the female power or Mother of all with two Fathers.  Setting Hecate as the Cosmic World Soul. 

I thought it might be a great project to look at the translated snippets of the references to Hecate in the Oracles to see how they relate to one another, to Hecate in general and our thoughts on Hecate today.


For this I decided to use the translation by Charles Stein.  Mr. Stein is an author and poet and has completed several translation as well as studies on Eleusinian subjects.  His original translation of the Chaldean Oracles can be found at the link below.

Understand that not everyone follows this particular belief in Hecate’s origins.  Some follow the more modern view of Hecate as the Crone aspect of the triple goddess construct.  I invite those with that perspective to follow this line of thought for a moment just to see where it leads. 




Hekate in the Chaldean Oracles – Translated by Charles Stein


the center of Hekate.                                                                       [50]




Says Hekate:

After the paternal thoughts—
I, the Psyche, dwell
ensouling all things

with my heat.                                                                                     [53]

50 is too limited to make a judgment on.

53 however is quite clear.  This verse has Hecate speaking saying,  I, the Psyche, dwell ensouling all things.  Again pointing to Hecate as the source of the Cosmic World Soul.  


Since we see this document as a poetry, do we take these literally or look at them in the same mind frame as one would looking at other religious texts understanding that generally all religious texts are mythological accounts of deities and were created to teach humanity to be more human to eachother.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chaldean Oracles - 35

The Chaldean Oracles are a group of fragmented texts from the 2nd Century AD and are attributed to Babylonia (Chaldea).  The text refers to Hecate as the female power or Mother of all with two Fathers.  Setting Hecate as the Cosmic World Soul. 

I thought it might be a great project to look at the translated snippets of the references to Hecate in the Oracles to see how they relate to one another, to Hecate in general and our thoughts on Hecate today.


For this I decided to use the translation by Charles Stein.  Mr. Stein is an author and poet and has completed several translation as well as studies on Eleusinian subjects.  His original translation of the Chaldean Oracles can be found at the link below.

Understand that not everyone follows this particular belief in Hecate’s origins.  Some follow the more modern view of Hecate as the Crone aspect of the triple goddess construct.  I invite those with that perspective to follow this line of thought for a moment just to see where it leads. 



Translated by Charles Stein


Implacable thunderbolts leap out of him
and the lightning-bolt-receiving
womb of shining rays
of Hekate sired by the Father

and the under-girdling fire-flower

and the strong spirit beyond the fiery poles…                       [35]


To me this points to Hecate as the "Mother" here.  The Father being referred to as the Father of all things, making Hecate the Mother of all souls.

If this is a metaphor what could it be representing if not our beginning what could it mean?


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Chaldean Oracles - 147

The Chaldean Oracles are a group of fragmented texts from the 2nd Century AD and are attributed to Babylonia (Chaldea).  The text refers to Hecate as the female power or Mother of all with two Fathers.  Setting Hecate as the Cosmic World Soul. 

I thought it might be a great project to look at the translated snippets of the references to Hecate in the Oracles to see how they relate to one another, to Hecate in general and our thoughts on Hecate today.


For this I decided to use the translation by Charles Stein.  Mr. Stein is an author and poet and has completed several translation as well as studies on Eleusinian subjects.  His original translation of the Chaldean Oracles can be found at the link below.

Understand that not everyone follows this particular belief in Hecate’s origins.  Some follow the more modern view of Hecate as the Crone aspect of the triple goddess construct.  I invite those with that perspective to follow this line of thought for a moment just to see where it leads. 



Translated by Charles Stein



Says Hekate:

Invoke me often
and you'll see
that everything
                                    is LIONS:

For neither does the arched mass of the sky appear,
nor do the stars shine.
The light of the moon is occluded;
the earth has no fixed place.

All things are seen in lightning flashes.               [147]


Here I go to to the second part as it has the most information.  "The light of the moon occluded" - Occluded is defined as clogged up.  With this definition along with the last line "all things are seen in lightning flashes" leads me to the conclusion that we're talking about a stormy night. 


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Day of Hecate at the Crossroads


Earliest archaeological record of Hecate worship is an altar inscription dated to 6th century BCE in the sanctuary of Apollo Delphinios in Miletos in what is now Turkey.  This archeological evidence seems to point to the fact that Hecate was not simply a Roman Goddess or a Greek Goddess but actually a Goddess that predates both of these civilizations and was adopted into their pantheon well after her cults in Asia Minor worshiped her.  Her temple ruins are open for visits today in Lagina.  (Link)

Hecate's Temple at Lagina


Leo Ruickbie's "Witchcraft out of the Shadows – A History” says that the ancient Greeks observed a feast day on August 13 to appease the Goddess and protect the harvest,  This also references the Deiphon or Hecate’s Supper, leaving offerings to the Goddess at the crossroads.  He goes on to say that the Romans honored the 29th of every month as the Moon of Hecate – using Diane Stein's un-sourced work, “The Goddess Book of Days" as his source.  

Ruickbie also says that a calendar was found the made references to offerings left to Hecate on the first, second and seventh days of every month, sourcing Graf 1985 163, 185.  I am still looking for this source.    

In Queen of the Night : Rediscovering the Celtic Moon Goddess by Sharynee MacLeod NicMhacha page 60 – she also references the Erythia Calendar from the 4th Century.

Since we know that our modern calendar is nothing like the calendar the ancients would have followed I believe it is safe to say that any festival or celebrations that cites a Gregorian calendar month/day is probably not based on any actual historic sources.  We can compare these days to the lunar equivalents again, it would be a guess.  We know that our ancestors followed the seasons and lunar cycles.  I tend to move my offerings to Hecate in that same manner.   

I lean more towards working with her on Samhain, due to the ancestral work or working with the dead. I have recently seen a connection between her and autumn.  While it is probably a “duh” moment for most as she is related to the myth of Persephone, I just “got it” recently.  I’ll be investigating this further in the years to come.  I can’t say that I’ll add anything additional to my normal rituals to her based on this connection but I will investigate it.

I found a couple of links to Greek and Roman calendars which I have included for reference.


List of Greek Festivals – Link
List of Roman Festivals – Link

When I purchased Witchcraft – Out of the Shadows – A History, I originally purchased it to find out finally where the idea that a set day in our modern calendar was dedicated to Hecate.  For that part, the book was less than pleasing. There is one references to the date and a footnote related to it and it seems that everyone on the web, even myself in earlier writings, repeated this day without a thought to where it originated.  For now, I can say that there is no real historical evidence that this day is more or less significant to Hecate or her ancient cults. 


Moral of the story – Sources are critical kids!


UPDATE- finally a reference to August 13th for Hecate- Thanks to Sara Croft for sharing this wonderful discovery.  - Andrew Alfoldi, Statius' Silvae mentions the procession of torchbearers in honor of the dies Triviae, of whom for the Romans Hecate was one (on p. 141) 
Alfoldi, Andrew. "Diana Nemorensis," American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 64, No. 2 (Apr. 1960), p. 137-144.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chaldean Oracles - 38

The Chaldean Oracles are a group of fragmented texts from the 2nd Century AD and are attributed to Babylonia (Chaldea).  The text refers to Hecate as the female power or Mother of all with two Fathers.  Setting Hecate as the Cosmic World Soul. 

I thought it might be a great project to look at the translated snippets of the references to Hecate in the Oracles to see how they relate to one another, to Hecate in general and our thoughts on Hecate today.


For this I decided to use the translation by Charles Stein.  Mr. Stein is an author and poet and has completed several translation as well as studies on Eleusinian subjects.  His original translation of the Chaldean Oracles can be found at the link below.

Understand that not everyone follows this particular belief in Hecate’s origins.  Some follow the more modern view of Hecate as the Crone aspect of the triple goddess construct.  I invite those with that perspective to follow this line of thought for a moment just to see where it leads. 



Translated by Charles Stein


Hekate says:

These are the thoughts of the Second Father
after which
                        my fire
                                       spirals.                                     [38]


What does this mean?  What can we conclude by reading these passages?  Anything at all?  How do we know that we are missing very important information?


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TO HEKATE by Yakov Rabinovich from The Rotting Goddess

TO HEKATE
Pre-Christian, pre-Olympian, pre-Titanic Hecate
world-tree planted in Asia Minor
gate-guard of the worlds,
keyholder to the three reams,
gross seated mother, lions at your sides,
fostering nurse of all that’s young,
female heap of big fat attributes,
cruel, non-rational mistress
of slain corn-kings, sacrificed children,
castrated temple-males;
you glide into Greece after Troy’s fall,
Hecate-Enodia riding down from Thessaly,
leading the angry horde of ghosts,
planted yourself at the crossroads;
your torch began to smoke, then flared up,
making night noon –
world-tree Hecate, your roots reach Hell’s
downmost altitude to suck the power
of the buried dead. Eater of filth,
goddess of darkness, grimly silently
munching on corpses, Hecate,
regaled with incense of goat-fat, baboon-shit,
garlic; honored with gutted puppies
and rubbish rites;
Hecate, in your oakleaf crown shaking reptile dreadlocks,
around you hellhounds yowling sharp and shrill,
so meadows tremble, river-nymphs scream,
their waters rush backwards up the stream-bed
and dive affrighted down their own fountains;
with witches I dance around you,
naked, snake necklaced,
hair in the wind, gashing blood from arms:
sex-crazed hags with false teeth and hair,
young girls, gloriously pornographic,
stir the cauldron of ugly oddities,
throw in magic salads gathered in the graveyard–
a brew with power to draw babes screaming
into existence, or hurl them howling hence.
The witches lay hold of you, Hecate, World-tree,
shake, make tremble on your branches
the planets suspended
like rare and fragile fruit.



http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/1998/98.5.11.html
http://www.invisiblebooks.com/Junk12.27.06.pdf
http://www.reference.com/browse/hecate

Friday, November 14, 2014

T is for Triple Goddess


The triple Goddess is a familiar symbol and figure in many pagan and Wiccan traditions.  Alexandrian, Gardnerian, Dianic and solitary followers of Wicca often honor this form.  To me the triple goddess can have two meanings.  For this week’s Pagan Blog Project post, I’d like to explore both.

Triple Goddess Image - Public Domain

First I’d like to look at the modern interpretation of the triple goddess as the Maiden, Mother & Crone. Many well-known pagans such as Robert Graves, Ronald Hutton and of course, Aleister Crowley have written a great deal on the maiden, mother, crone aspects of the goddess.  Crowley actually focused the Crone aspect onto Hecate, calling her “the woman past all hope of motherhood, her soul black with envy and hatred of happier mortals.” And “a thing altogether of hell, barren, hideous and malicious, the queen of death and evil witchcraft” in his novel “Moonchild”.

The basics of the triple goddess from this perspective is that the Goddess forms and the moon forms mirror each other.  In that the waxing moon represents a new beginning and youth which would be evident in the Maiden.  The full moon would be power and ripeness, such as the round full belly of the Mother.  Finally the waning moon would be the dead, darkness and death which would be the final aspect, or the Crone aspect of the Goddess.

We can see this influence throughout much of modern Wicca and paganism through the art of Mickie Mueller for example. The following image reflects the Maiden, Mother & Crone aspect of the Goddess.
Photo Credit - Mickie Mueller
 A few months ago I saw this picture show up on my news feed.  I was very familiar with Mickie’s work but I was not aware that she was hand painting items and dealing directly with her fans that so loved her work.  I watched the progress on this piece and was astounded as she shared new pictures each day.  I even watched as the new owner proudly shared the final product on Mickie’s page.  With the mass marketing and pagan supermarkets that have littered the internet I was extremely pleased to see how truly appreciated and how gracious Mickie was to her client.

I have the pleasure of owning this pendant which is based on the same Maiden, Mother & Crone aspect.

To see more great work by Mickie Mueller please visit her shop at -  http://www.etsy.com/shop/MickieMuellerStudio


Triple form goddess
Another aspect of the triple goddess that I have encountered in my studies is the triple form goddess.  These are goddesses that are represented as having three forms, three heads or from the tree ways.



Hecate, illustration by Stéphane Mallarmé, in les Dieux Antiques : nouvelle mythologie illustrée (Paris, 1880). A Neoclassical rendition of a late Hellenistic or Roman original – Public domain


Hecate is depicted throughout history as having three bodies.  She appears as three females of the same age, unlike the Maiden, Mother, Crone representation.  She appears to be a young woman and carries torches, rope and daggers.  She is often accompanied by dogs. 

Hecate by Richard Cosway




This triple form of Hecate is said to be a representation of the areas of her dominion, the heavens, the earth and the sea.  Because she is said to be the night wandering goddess of the crossroads, the three forms are said to watch each direction. 

Antonine Imperium issued a coin in honor of Hecate (Hekate) available for purchase. 
I found this coin online a few years ago and finally decided to order one. Side one shows Hekate in her triple form with the inscription “Hekate Soteira” and the reverse has a crescent moon at the top, a key at the bottom and the minting information inscribed on the bottom.

I like to think of the triple formed goddess Hecate as watching in the three directions at the crossroads, torches held high to light the way.  I’ve tried several times to create my own Hecate Triformis.  Thus far I’ve only been able to come up with this abstract version. I’ll certainly keep trying.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson



May her mysteries be revealed in your dreams,

Sosanna

Thursday, November 6, 2014

L is for Light-bringer


One of the more well-known titles for Hecate is Hekate Phosphoros, meaning Hekate, the Light-bringer.  In much of the art Hecate is often shown carrying torches.  These torches are said to light the way to secret knowledge.  It is said that she also used those torches along with keys to the underworld to lead Persephone out of the underworld.

So what does that mean to me?  To me, the meaning of the word light-bringer relates to knowledge.  I believe that she brings knowledge to others.  Her “lights” shine the way to understanding things that one may not currently understand.  This is one of the ways I have found that Hecate came into my life in little bits and pieces. 

I am a Knowledge Management Analyst by profession.  My day is spent helping others locate documents and share information with their teams.  I actually unlock knowledge and share it with those that need it.  This struck me in a very profound way.  I’m extremely happy doing this job.  I love it.  I can completely relate to how it must feel to be able to give the gift of knowledge to others.  Teachers and trainers alike must be able to feel this too.
Two of the aspects of Hecate, the Light-Bringer and the Key Bearer both appeal to me. A third aspect completely blew me away.  Hecate is also known to be a protector of women and called upon when justice is needed.  Early in my life I studied law in hopes that I could work to get justice for abused women. 

Some of the correspondences for the Goddess were showing themselves in my life as I continued to look back.  I played an online game where I took the title of “Belladonna”.  Belladonna is an herb attributed to her.  I’ve always been attracted to dogs, bats and owls.  Each are known to be associated with Hecate. 

Going back to my adolescent years, I loved to sit in front of a roaring fire and gaze into the flames.  I used to think I could see things in the fire.  I loved the way it danced and swayed.  Fireplaces, candles and even grills intrigued me.  One of my best memories is sitting outside and watching as a fire pile (how we get rid of our garden waste here in the south) burned.  I attribute this to Hecate.
I believe that knowledge is power, and to be able to not only possess that power, but to share it with others is a truly magical thing.  Within each of us, is that Light-bringer.  We have the ability to share our knowledge, be it related to mundane or to the magical.  I believe it’s our duty to be Light-bringers for all.

Namaste & Blessed Be
Sosanna

)O(

Thursday, October 23, 2014

H is for Hecate


Hecate is a sometimes called a Greco-Roman Goddess, though she predates this era.  She is said to be the key bearer to the underworld.  Granted dominion over the heavens, the earth and the seas; she is associated with fire, light, moon, magic and witchcraft.  She is considered a goddess to the midwife and with the magic of necromancy.  Sometimes called the Goddess of the Witches, Hecate is often depicted as a triple form goddess.  Though tagged as the Crone by Aleister Crowley, Hecate is certainly represented by each stage of the Goddess including maiden and mother. 

In Mythology, Hecate, a Titan was favored by Zeus before all others and granted dominion over the Earth, Heavens and seas.  Hesiod referred to her as the only daughter of Perses and Asteria.  One of the more popular and my favorite Myth involving Hecate is the abduction of Persephone. 
The story goes; Persephone was abducted by the God of the Underworld – Hades, while she was out collecting flowers.  Demeter searched to find her daughter.   While she looked her sadness caused the world to fall into state where nothing could grow.   Hecate assisted Demeter by telling her that Helios, the Sun God sees everything and he should know what happened to Persephone.  It wasn't until after Persephone was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds that she was found.  It was the rule of the Fates that if someone consumed food or drink in the Underworld, they had to stay there for all eternity.  A deal was made with the distraught Demeter that allowed Persephone to spend four months in the Underworld with Hades, and the rest of the time with her mother.  This is where the winter season comes from.  In her sadness for her missing daughter, Demeter mourns and nothing can grow on the Earth until she returns in the spring.

Hecate is the Goddess of the Crossroads.  It is thought that offerings made to her should be placed at a three way intersection.  Garlic, honey, mushrooms and eggs are placed with a flame.  The plate is left and it is said that one should walk away without looking back.  Hecate will decide who gets what is left for her and at times, it was thought that she fed the homeless and needy with her offerings.  The torch, the dog, the key and the dagger are often found in her representations. 
The willow and the yew tree are sacred to Hecate.  Black dogs are also associated with Hecate.  Being the Goddess of Witchcraft and necromancy, Hecate is often called upon to assist those traveling from the land of the living to the Underworld.  Many see her as the guardian to the Underworld and the holder of the key to the gates there.  Because of this association many call upon Hecate in their workings with the dead. 

Often held on the 13th of each month, Hecate’s supper is a ritual where eggs, fish, garlic, mushrooms and honey are left at a cross roads in her honor.  The Night of Hecate is November 16, while the Day of Hecate is considered November 30th.  Modern festivals include an event held on the full moon in May called the Rite of her Sacred Fires, where Hecateans around the world participate in a ritual to honor the Goddess. - (Witchcraft Out of the Shadows - A History - Leo Ruickbie - 2004 page 19)

For many years I considered myself Wiccan and had no particular deity.  After working with Christian Day’s “The Witch’s Book of the Dead”, I began to research Hecate and found a connection with her.  I completed my devotee dedication in January 2012 and my Torchbearer dedication in 2014

UPDATE - I found the following ancient Roman calendar reference that might be useful.  (LINK)
UPDATE- finally a reference to August 13th for Hecate- Thanks to Sara Croft for sharing this wonderful discovery.  - Andrew Alfoldi, Statius' Silvae mentions the procession of torchbearers in honor of the dies Triviae, of whom for the Romans Hecate was one (on p. 141) 
Alfoldi, Andrew. "Diana Nemorensis," American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 64, No. 2 (Apr. 1960), p. 137-144.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Hecate Statue Project

While not part of the 30 Days project, I thought I'd keep this blog active with other things that I do in her honor.   Click here to see the 30 Days of Devotion to the Goddess Hecate




This is a project I did recently making a Hecate devotional center piece.  This will go in my shop as part of my shrine to the Goddess.


  1. Supplies
  2. Glue gun
  3. Glue sticks
  4. Rubber Bands
  5. Wooden Dowel
  6. Cheesecloth
  7. Primer
  8. Hemp
  9. Three zip ties
  10. Stone fleck paint
  11. Wood for base
  12. Decorations - I used Christmas light bulbs to serve as torches, a small key charm, a dagger that I carved from a match stick, a coil of rope that I made from some hemp string.  I then picked up a small brass candle stick to act as a chalice, a boot knife and a large key.
  13. Images - I used license free images from Wikicommons




Start by removing all the clothes, and put the hair up in a pony tail.   Then take scissors and cut off the hair bluntly just past the rubber band.  Using a glue gun, carefully cover the pony tail and the head with the melted glue.  As it cools I used my fingers to shape the hair into a Grecian style hairdo.  Something that may be found on a museum statue.

Next I took the cheesecloth and wrapped it around the barbies in a similar Grecian style.  I used a bit of braided hemp to tie round the waist.  Next I take a zip tie through the belt and attach them to a dowel. I attached all three dolls to the dowel to replicate Hecate in her tri-form. I left the dowel out a bit at the base so I could use it to mount the statue to the box for decoration and to the stand at the end of the project.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
For the small dagger in one of the forms hands, I took a large fireplace match and carved a small handle space in it and shaped the point for the knife edge.  For the rope, I just coiled the string around my fingers to make it look like a big bunch of rope.  The charm didn't require any work.  I simply used a bit of hot glue on each.   After I was happy with the appears of the look,  I sprayed the entire statue with primer.  After the primer dries I start layering the stone fleck paint onto the figure.  I ended up doing about 3-4 coats of the stone paint including the base.



While the paint dries I started working on the display case.  Display cases can be pretty pricey.  With three dolls together I needed one that was over 12 inches tall and over nine inches wide.  A case that holds a football was 59.00 at Michael's.  After weighing a few options I decided to use a 10 gallon fish tank, which only cost about 12.00 brand new.  The tank came with a card board cover on the top.  I used that to create a back for the case.

For the background, I thought that in order to see all three of the sides, it made sense to put a mirror on the back.  I downloaded some free images and printed them out in different sizes.  Using watered down white school glue I made a decoupage of the images and attached the mirror to the center.  It takes about 24 hours to dry completely.

After that was complete I placed the wood block into the bottom (which is really the side, the opening would be on the back) of the aquarium.  I applied a bit of epoxy into a hole drilled in the center and put the dowel into the block.  After she dried, I added the decoration on the base of the block and attached the back.

I think it turned out pretty good.


This is her complete.  I really love the way the back turned out.


Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson



Chalice, background and key.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

 Key and Dagger.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
 Rope.
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson







Friday, August 1, 2014

Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?

When beginning to learn about Hecate I recommend a lot of reading.  This is a list from the Facebook Group - Hekate's Crossroads.

Historical and Greek Religion
Hekate in Ancient Greek Religion ~ R.Von Rudloff
Hekate Liminal Rites ~ Sorita d'Este and David Rankine
Hekate Soteria ~ Sarah lles Johnston
The Goddess Hekate ~ Stephen Ronan
Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds ~ Georg Luck
Magic in the Ancient World ~ Fritz Graf
Magic, Witchcraft and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds ~ Daniel Ogden
Magika Hiera: ancient Greek Magic and Religion ~ Christopher Faraone and Dirk Obbink (eds)
The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation ~ Hans Dieter Betz (ed)
Religions of the Ancient World:A guide ~ Sarah Iles Johnston. A great book for understanding the context of Mediterranean religion as a whole, with lots of information on both Greece and Rome.
The Chaldean Oracles. Text, Translation and Commentary by Ruth Majercik, Brill, Leiden, 1989.
Hekate in Ancient Greek Religion - Rob Von Rudloff

Devotional, Prayer Books and Anthologies
Hekate Her Sacred Fires ~ numerous contributers from around the world. Edited by Sorita d'Este
Hekate Keys to the Crossroads ~ numerous contributers from across the world. Edited by Sorita d'Este
Bearing Torches ~ A Devotional Anthology ~ Bibliotheca Alexandrina
A Paean of Hekate - Shani Oates

Books on Specific Practices and Traditions
Hekate 1: Death, Transition and Spiritual Mastery ~ Jade Sol Luna
Hekate 2: Awakening of Hydra ~ Jade Sol Luna
Hekate The Witches' Goddess ~ Gary R. Varner
Crossroads, the Path of Hekate - Greg Crowfoot.
Queen of Hell - Mark Alan Smith ( limited issue)
Lunatik Witchcraft by Shay Skepevski
The Temple of Hekate ~ Tara Sanchez
Witchcraft Medicine ~ Muller-Ebeling, Ratsch and Dieter Storl....This has a brilliant chapter on the Garden of Hekate, her sacred plants and overall symbolism, association and resource.
Hecate : Queen of the witches or wise crone ? ( celebrate the Divine Feminine; Reclaim Your Power with Ancient Goddess Wisdom) - Joy Reichard
Hekatean Magick - B. Morlan
The Dance of the Mystai - Tinekke Bebout
Thracian Magic - Georgi Mishev
Rotting Goddess: The Origins of the Witch in Classical Antiquity by Jacob Rabinowitz it is a comprehensive study from the time of Homer to the Greek Magical Papyri and examines the slow stages of how Hekate was demonized and the mythology of the evil witch arose.
Restless Dead, Sarah Iles Johnston, Encounters between the Living and the Dead in Ancient Greece, University of California Press, Berkeley 1999 See, in particular, chapter 6 "Hecate and the Dying Maiden", pp. 203-249
Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess - Demetra George


Classic Texts
Aeneid by Virgil - Robert Fagles (trans), Penguin Classics, 2010
Aeneid by Virgil - Stanley Lombardo (trans), Hackett Pub. Co. 2005 (6 references)
Argonautika by Apollonios Rhodios - Peter Green (trans), University of California Press, 1997
Description of Greece Vol.1-2 by Pausanias - W.H.S. Jones(trans), (Loeb Classical Library), Harvard, 1918, (5 references), (vol. 3 likewise makes a brief mention of Hekate)
Diodorus Siculus: Library of History Vol. II, Books 2.35-4.58 - John Henry Mozley (trans), (Loeb Classical Library no. 303), Harvard, 1935
------------------Diodorus Siculus: Library of History Vol. III, Books 4.59-8 (Loeb Classical Library no. 340), Harvard, 1939
Fasti by Ovid, - Anne Wiseman and Peter Wiseman(trans), Oxford, 2013
Frogs and Other Plays by Aristophanes - David Barrett (trans), Penguin Classics, 2007
Greek Magical Papyri in Translation - Hans Dieter Betz, University of Chicago Press, 1997
Homeric Hymns - Apostolos N. Athanassakis (trans)
Homeric Hymns: A Verse Translation - W.H.D. Rouse (trans), WW Norton & co. 1975
Library of Greek Mythology by Apollodorus - Robin Hard (trans), Oxford, 2008 (2 in-text references to Hekate) Medea by Seneca - Frederick Ahl (trans), Cornell, 1986
Metamorphoses by Ovid - Charles Martin (trans), WW Norton, 2010 (9 references)
Nonnos: Dionysiaca, vols. 1, Books 1-15 - W.H.D. Rouse (trans), (Loeb Classical Library, No. 244), Harvard 1940, (5 references), (volumes 2 and 3 each have one reference to Hekate)
On the Nature of Animals by Aelian - Gregory McNamee (trans), Trinity University Press, 2012
Orphic Hymns - Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow (trans), John Hopkins Uni Press, 2013
Phaedra by Seneca - Frederick Ahl (trans), Cornell, 1986
Strabo: Geography, Books 10-12 - Horace Leonard Jones (trans), (Loeb Classical Library No. 211), Harvard, 1928 The Chaldean Oracles - G.R.S. Mead, Book Jungle, 2007
Thebaid: A Song of Thebes by Statius - Jane Wilson Joyce (trans), Cornell University, 2008 Valerius Flaccus, vol. 286 of the Loeb Classical Library - John Henry Mozley (trans), Harvard, 1936. (11 references)
Works and Days, and Theogony by Hesiod - Stanley Lombardo and Robert Lamberton (trans), Hackett Publishing Co, 1993
Works and Days, Theogony, and Shield by Hesiod - Apostolos N. Athanassakis (trans), John Hopkins Uni Press, 200

I also recommend checking out the YouTube channel for Sorita D'Este.  She has a great deal of information related to Hecate.

My final suggestion is to listen to the Goddess.  She may come to you as a lion or as a dog.  No one can tell you how you should or should not relate to a deity.  This is your journey.  It will be very different from another's.






Friday, July 25, 2014

Any interesting or unusual UPG to share?

There are a few incidents that have happened to me that I attribute directly to the Goddess.  When I moved to North Carolina I found a house that was perfect. I bought it site unseen and moved in from across the country.  When I drove into the driveway for the first time I noticed that a Juniper tree was right at the entrance of the house which sits at a three way intersection.

Over the next seven years I joined the Covenant of Hekate and was discussing with my partner if I should start the process for becoming a Torchbearer.  He opened the front door and a black snake came inside the building circled my threshold altar and then went back out.  I took that to mean she approved of my decision.

Finally just as my Torchbearer status was announced we closed on the purchase of three additional lots in the area we live. This increased our total property to five acre, which extended down to the end of the road. We literally own crossroad to crossroad.  

This is even more interesting when I found out that this land was in my family in the 1800's.  Its just amazing what has happened since I've found and began my journey with the Goddess.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Something You Wish You Knew About this Deity but Don’t Currently

One of the things that I find confusing as it relates to Hecate is her place as the Cosmic World Soul.   It is said that she is the womb in which all souls were made.  She is the mother of all Souls.  The thoughts came to form as lightning which impregnated the womb with all the souls in the Chaldean Oracles.

I would also like to know her specific origins.  We know that she has been dated to Asia Minor and is considered older than the Greek stories of her.  I would like to be able to find a solid connection between her and perhaps the villages of China.  The Torch Festivals of those remote villages are held in the late summer and last for three days.  Torches are placed at the entrances to the houses and usually end in a huge bonfire.  Some activities include bulls and sheep which we know are directly related to Hecate.




Friday, July 11, 2014

Worst misconception about this deity that you have encountered

There are many who follow Hecate as the crone aspect of the triple Goddess figure.  There are some that follow her as the cosmic world soul.  Others who follower her as Queen of the Witches.  While each group  has a different view of the Goddess, I really don't believe that any one can tell another that their path is wrong.

Hecate has been used in curses as well as for blessings or calls for justice.  While I may not agree that she is the crone goddess or the ugly hag as called by Aleister Crowley, I still must respect each individual for their own views of her.

Aleister Crowley - Moonchild - “a thing altogether of hell, barren, hideous and malicious, the queen of death and evil witchcraft.


While Crowley seemed to call her evil, he wrote an invocation to her which is being read aloud in the video below.








Friday, July 4, 2014

How has your relationship with this deity changed over time?

Over the years my relationship with the Goddess has changed a great deal.  I started out as a solitary with no named deity and then after winning a book from a blog giveaway Hecate made herself known to me.  I started my research and was not satisfied with the Hecate's place in the Maiden Mother Crone (Triple Goddess) construct.

A friend pointed me towards the Covenant of Hekate.  I went and read several posts and articles by Sorita d'Este and became interested in joining the Covenant.  After my application was accepted I completed the Rite of the Red Cord and became a Devotee member of the Covenant.

The following two years were a struggle.  I had situations with my immediate family as well as losing my grandmother at the age of 98.  I feel as though my work with Hecate helped guide me through these times.  Helping me understand that death is but a passage to the next plane and we all will call upon her to use her torches to guide us to our next world.

A year or so later I decided to make the commitment to become a Torchbearer for the Covenant.  I have completed each of the goals I placed for myself to make this happen.  I have completed my Ordination, maintain a community service project for feral/wild cats and started the process to create a Sanctuary to the Goddess.  My five year plan is to have a building and an area to hold public rituals in her honor.


Sosanna's Sanctuary - Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Time When this Deity has Refused to Help

I like to say have I relationship, not a religion.  I don't spend my time asking for things or praying for things that I can do myself.

I believe that deities have better things to do than to worry if my football team wins a game.  Or if I lose 20 pounds.  So there hasn't been a time in my life when I have been refused help from Hecate as I don't ask favors of her.

I ask that if these things are meant to be shown to me, let them be illuminated.  The path is there, the torches are lit.  It is up to me to find the way.


Friday, June 20, 2014

A time when this deity has helped you

When I began my journey to learn about Hecate, I was just being to take care of my mother.  I always felt little or no connection to her.  I was told my mother was dying and I honestly believed that Hecate had put me in this position to help her move on to the next phase of her life.

At the time I didn't realize that what was actually happening is that I was learning to break free of the chains of expectation.  I was learning that even though everyone expected me to take care of my mother because I was the oldest, I was actually NOT required to do anything at all.

She lived here a little over 8 months.  It was awful.  I did everything I could to be a 'good daughter' and make sure she was taken care of, while my health both physical and mental deteriorated.  My sisters never came to help me with her.  Instead they ran off to the beach and went on with their lives while I sat her actually assisting my mother to live longer and torment me longer.

One night I sat in front of my altar and began working on my chants.  It came to me that I did not need owe her anything, I needed to cut that cord and take the direction in the crossroad that led to happiness for me.



As I repeated the chant I accepted what her torches had revealed to me.  I did have a mother, and she was showing me that I needed to care for myself.  Since accepting this my life has been so much better.



I feel so much more connected to the Earth and to my own sense of well being.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Your Own Composition – A Piece of Writing About or For this Deity

This is my original work submitted as part of the Pagan Blog Project in 2013

Hecate is a Greco-Roman Goddess.  She is said to be the key bearer to the underworld.  Granted dominion over the heavens, the earth and the seas; she is associated with fire, light, moon, magic and witchcraft.  She is considered a goddess to the midwife and with the magic of necromancy.  Sometimes called the Goddess of the Witches, Hecate is often depicted as a triple form goddess.  Though tagged as the Crone by Aleister Crowley, Hecate is certainly represented by each stage of the Goddess including maiden and mother. 

In Mythology, Hecate, a Titan was favored by Zeus before all others and granted dominion over the Earth, Heavens and seas.  Hesiod referred to her as the only daughter of Perses and Asteria.  One of the more popular and my favorite Myth involving Hecate is the abduction of Persephone. 

The story goes; Persephone was abducted by the God of the Underworld – Hades, while she was out collecting flowers.  Demeter searched to find her daughter.   While she looked her sadness caused the world to fall into state where nothing could grow.   Hecate assisted Demeter by telling her that Helios, the Sun God sees everything and he should know what happened to Persephone.  It wasn’t until after Persephone was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds that she was found.  It was the rule of the Fates that if someone consumed food or drink in the Underworld, they had to stay there for all eternity.  A deal was made with the distraught Demeter that allowed Persephone to spend four months in the Underworld with Hades, and the rest of the time with her mother.  This is where the winter season comes from.  In her sadness for her missing daughter, Demeter mourns and nothing can grow on the Earth until she returns in the spring.

Hecate is the Goddess of the Crossroads.  It is thought that offerings made to her should be placed at a three way intersection.  Garlic, honey, mushrooms and eggs are placed with a flame.  The plate is left and it is said that one should walk away without looking back.  Hecate will decide who gets what is left for her and at times, it was thought that she fed the homeless and needy with her offerings.  The torch, the dog, the key and the dagger are often found in her representations.
 
The willow and the yew tree are sacred to Hecate.  Black dogs are also associated with Hecate.  Being the Goddess of Witchcraft and necromancy, Hecate is often called upon to assist those traveling from the land of the living to the Underworld.  Many see her as the guardian to the Underworld and the holder of the key to the gates there.  Because of this association many call upon Hecate in their workings with the dead. 
Typically held on the 13th of each month, Hecate’s supper is a ritual where eggs, fish, garlic, mushrooms and honey are left at a cross roads in her honor.  The Night of Hecate is November 16, while the Day of Hecate is considered November 30th.  Modern festivals include an event held on the full moon in May called the Rite of her Sacred Fires, where Hecateans around the world participate in a ritual to honor the Goddess.

For many years I considered myself Wiccan and had no particular deity.  After working with Christian Day’s “The Witch’s Book of the Dead”, I began to research Hecate and found a connection with her.  I completed my dedication in January 2012 and now work my circles and rituals in her honor.

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Quote, a Poem, or Piece of Writing that You Think this Deity Resonates Strongly With

The quote that I most closely associate with her is:

Aristophanes, Plutus 410 ff (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) :"Ask Hekate whether it is better to be rich or starving; she will tell you that the rich send her a meal every month [i.e. food placed inside her door-front shrines] and that the poor make it disappear before it is even served." - http://www.theoi.com/Cult/HekateCult.html


I do a great deal of justice work.  I believe that we should have more care for those in our nation and world who go without food.  These are basic needs that everyone needs to have met.  In her role as protector of the women and children, I can easily see how this would be something that resonates with her today.

Based on her role as protector I wrote a piece as a call for justice.

Calling to Hecate for Justice
Hecate Hecate Hecate
Dark Mother, Mistress of the Night
I call upon you and your hounds under the dark moon
Bring forth your justice with all its might.

Hecate Hecate Hecate
I call out to you times three
Protector of women and those in need
I’m here at the crossroads, belladonna in hand
Requesting from you justice for this horrible deed.

Hecate Hecate Hecate
Hear my chant and bring forth justice
Vengeance is not what you give, nor what I seek
Bring forth your powers to protect the meek.

~Sosanna - 2012~

Friday, May 30, 2014

Music that Makes You Think of this Deity

Music that I associate with Hecate - I do not claim ownership of any of these works.














Friday, May 23, 2014

Art That Reminds You of this Deity

There is some amazing work out there that depicts the Goddess.


Hekate - Queen of Witches
Jeff Cullen Artistry
https://www.facebook.com/JeffCullenArtistry


Hecate by Hrefngast
http://hrefngast.deviantart.com/art/Hecate-209240765


Goddess Hecate - JBarnum
https://www.etsy.com/people/JBarnum

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Good & Bad - Qualities of Hecate


Like others who have taken part in this exercise regarding Hecate, I too, often wonder if I'm following the same deity as my fellow Hecateans.  Just a few weeks ago in a Facebook group I belong to someone asked if anyone had ever had to call upon Hecate by (and I'll use their words here) "open a can of whoopass on someone"

Now, from her history I understand that Hecate is no one to be trifled with.  But to me, it never came across as some sort of attack.  Certainly not a "can of whoopass".  She comes to me silently usually.  She has a torch and she sheds light.  You can see what is there.  It has no emotion attached to it.  It is simply the truth. To me that is the quality in her I admire most.  Revealing the truth is not always an easy thing to do.  And sometimes people don't want to hear the truth. They want to live in their own little world and not really see what's going on.  To me, when you call upon Hecate you need to be ready for two things.  Truth and justice.

The troubling parts are of course the animal sacrifices.  Throughout human history we have felt the need to shed blood as a way to pay some sort of price to our deities.  Hecate is certainly no exception.  She has had black dogs, puppies, ewes & bulls sacrificed to her.

As a follower of her today I do not believe in harming of any animals.  My offerings to her consist of garlic, leeks and honey.



Photo Credit - Sosanna Olson - Harvest Altar


On special occasions or in the case of special spell-work I may use my own blood(1) as an offering.

Photo Credit - Sosanna Olson - Hecate Blood Offering

Photo Credit - Sosanna Olson - Blood Offering Altar


(1) Blood offerings are not for everyone, this blog is in no way suggesting that others use blood offerings or take part in blood offerings.  This is a special situation and should not be taken lightly.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rite of Her Sacred Fires (RoHSF) - Honoring the Goddess


Today we celebrate the Goddess.  Please join us in honoring her.  You can find all the information on Rite of Her Sacred Fires webpage.







English(original)
Preparation:

Find a quiet place where you will be able to perform the rite undisturbed. You will need a candle (or another form of devotional fire, such as a lamp or hearth fire) and something with which to light it.  You may wish to consecrate the candle, or other materials you will be using in keeping with your usual tradition of working, otherwise please simply ensure that it is clean.

Prelude:

Make yourself comfortable, breathe deeply and find your point of balance, a balance of mind and soul and body, which will present you proud and beautiful to the world.  Breathe deeply and find your voice, the voice with which you will speak words of true and pure intent.  Breathe deeply and call upon the freedom within your heart so that you will be able to express yourself with purity of intent and with strength of desire.

Place both your hands on your heart (three heartbeats), your forefinger and middle finger of your dominant hand to your lips (three heartbeats), and then to your brow (three heartbeats).  Now enclose your thumbs within both your hands (in fists) and raise both your arms to the heavens.

Open your hands and with palm upwards in your left hand, bring your right arm to your side palm facing downwards and invoke the Goddess.

Invocation:

I invoke thee, Great Mistress of the Heaven, Earth and Sea,

By your mysteries of Night and Day,

By the Light of the Moon and the Shadow of the Sun

I invoke thee, Mistress of life, death and rebirth

Emerge now from the shadow realm to feed my soul and enlighten my mind,

Triple-formed Mistress of the three ways

I entreat thee, Key-bearing Mistress of the Nightwandering Souls

To bring forth your wisdom from amongst the stars

To bring down your starfire from the darkness between,

Creatrix of Light!

Goddess of the Shadow Realms! Light-bearing queen!

Whisper now your secrets!

Fire-bringer! Earthly-one! Queen of Heaven!

[Raise both hands with palms facing upwards to the heavens (three heartbeats) and then touch the ground palms downwards]

[Sit before the candle and prepare to light it]

[Take three deep breaths and allow your senses to awaken]

Say:

Hekate, companion and guide to the mysteries

I light this sacred fire in your honour,  [light fire]

Its light uniting the stars and stones, the heavens and the earth,

With this fire I express my desire for a greater understanding of your mysteries

Askei Kataskei Erōn Oreōn Iōr Mega Samnyēr Baui (3 times) Phobantia Semnē,

Great Hekate, who spins the web of the stars and governs the spiral of life

Guide me through towards pathways of understanding,

From Crossroad to Crossroad,

The Torchbearers and the Keybearers of your mysteries,

will always find one another,

Now sit and watch the flame flicker and dance, allow yourself to focus on the different colours in the flame, the yellows and reds, the blues and whites, and the black.  If you wish you may decide to spend some time meditating on the flame, skrying for visions or omens.  Likewise, you may wish to extinguish it and keep the candle – let your true self radiate brightly its beautiful mysteries from this day on forth, the flame of the fires of Hekate burns on in your heart!

I banish now the shadows of doubt from my mind,

Infused by the silence and warmth of our union

I feel your golden radiance within my heart

And the glory of knowledge on my brow,

I am a student of your mysteries.

Extinguish the flame, then place both your hands on your heart (three heartbeats), your forefinger and middle finger of your dominant hand to your lips (three heartbeats), and then to your brow (three heartbeats).

Open your palms reaching towards the heaven, then reach down and touch the Earth.

[Copyright Notice]

This ritual was written in celebration of the completion of the book Hekate Her Sacred Fires and as an act of Devotion to the Goddess Hekate.  Permission is given for the adaptation of this ritual for personal and group use.  The ritual is designed to be performed as is, but can also be incorporated into longer rituals, and is compatible with most magical traditions.  Whoever performs this rite takes personal responsibility for the results (or lack of results!) thereof, the author cannot be held responsible for any undesired effects. This ritual may be reproduced freely for non-commercial purposes in any format electronic or printed, providing that this original notice remain intact. 

For any changes, updates and further resources see www.sacredfires.co.uk

(c)Sorita d’Este, 2010