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
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hecate_with_blood_offering.jpg


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
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hecate (1)
http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/Hekate.html (2)
http://witchofstitches.blogspot.com/2011/08/hekates-night-august-13th.html (3)
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usfl&c=words&id=15065 (4)