Friday, April 25, 2014

How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?

Hecate has been seen in multiple cultures.  She was referenced by the Chaldean's in the Chaldean Oracles. Today many Wiccans hold her as the Crone aspect of the triple goddess.

These are a few images from wikicommons of  "Triple Goddess".

Qetesh relief plaque (Triple Goddess Stone)
By Camocon (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Marble statuette of Hecate depicted as a triple goddess surrounded by dancers, from the Mithraeum at Sidon (Colonia Aurelia Pia, Syria), Louvre Museum (9362315337)
By Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, Germany [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I think it is difficult for us to look at a deity today and really know if that image we see today is actually what is intended.  I believe that we as humans use the magical to explain what we cannot understand and to help us be better people.

The attributes of deities, protectors, defenders these are the things that we want to embody.  These are the things that we hold dear to us.  We create these beings to remind us of what we can be.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?

I found particular topic to be a bit of a challenge to write for.  We can look at the word mundane as being one, non magical or two, drab or boring.

From a non magical prospective I think that everything working with Hecate would  be magical/spiritual.  Most of the work you're doing is either for betterment of your relationship with the Goddess.  To me that makes everything from collecting the wood for a bonfire, to sitting for tattoos in her honor as being non-mundane.

Recently I started the process of putting in dreadlocks.  As I sit and feel the backcombing, those who do not know, IT HURTS, each pull and tug I try to focus on my dedication to the Goddess.  I try to breathe deeply and focus on why I'm working on this particular look.  The same way I may sit for a tattoo.

As far as drab or boring.  When in a mindset to do anything for a deity, I think that if you're looking at it and it feels boring, you may need to do some work on that relationship.  Nothing done for spirituality should be boring.

I use this video often to help me with chanting and focus on the Goddess.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Has Worship of this Deity Changed in Modern Times?

In ancient times black bulls, sheep and black dogs were often sacrificed to Hecate.  There are many references in literature to this.

In the Argonautica, Jason under the direction of Medea sacrifices a ewe to Hecate in addition to honey. (1)
Dogs along with red mullet were often a sacrifice in Athens and it was said that she was often preceded by the howling of dogs.(2)  There are even references to black puppies/dogs being sacrificed at the crossroads to her in Asia Minor. (1)

Here is a piece said to show Hecate and one of her black dogs.

Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Today animal sacrifice is generally not longer practiced by the followers of the Goddess.  For me, any sacrifices are more linked to myself and not imposing that suffering on others.  I have several tattoos in her honor.  To me, sitting and feeling the pain of the process allows me to focus some direct meditation to her. Here are a couple of my pieces.
Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Tattooist - Elijah Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Tattooist - Elijah Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Tattooist - Elijah Olson

The next sacrifice I may do is the work that I put in for our sanctuary.  I'm currently working acquiring some additional property and plan to work the land myself.  Cleaning out the trees and creating separate areas where others can come and hold devotional practices to the Goddess.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

My five year plan is to have the area cleaned up and ready to hold events such as dedications, cronings and handfastings.

Overall I believe the most significant change would be the removal of animal sacrifice to the Goddess.  I've read several articles that reference blood sacrifices.  There are some cases where devotees collect their own menstrual blood (3) or use sterile lancets to prick the finger to produce a drop of blood (4) for the Goddess.

For me personally I have used a sterile lancet, like those used for diabetes testing, to collect drops of blood for specific rituals.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

I don't believe that all rights that involve the Goddess MUST have some sort of sacrifice I do believe that giving something  back is always welcome.

Sources (1) (2) (3) (4)

Friday, April 4, 2014

What Modern Cultural Issues are Closest to this Deity’s Heart?

Hecate is said to be a protector of women and of all things newborn.  She is said to guard over life's transitional points, such as live and death.

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." -

Public Domain - Wikicommons

To me this quote leads me to believe that Hecate was concerned with the care of those less privileged.  She makes reference to how the rich feed the poor in her honor.   I believe that she could be referring to people or animals in this case.  As part of my devotion to Hecate I do a lot of work with local animal fosters and rescues.

“Hekate Kourotrophos” – nurse to all living beings.
"She ... out of Erebos and Chaos called Nox (Night) and the Di Nocti (Gods of Night) ... stones brayed and bellowed, dogs began to bark." - Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.403

Recently I even started a feral rescue to help collect money to provide food and medical care for animals in my area in her honor called Renee’s Rescues.  

Here are a couple of videos of some of the animals I work with at my rescue.