Friday, December 4, 2015

Reflection Spell with Hecate

Created to protect/reflect back harmful energy.  A witch that cannot curse cannot heal.


I use this on my Sanctuary with salt.

Ruler of the land, heavens and sea
Hecate's light reveal my enemy
Return that which is sent to me
Reflect that energy back to thee.



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bringing Hecate into Your Daily Life



As part of my daily devotion I have a threshold altar with incense and candles.  I take a moment center myself and then go about my day.  An altar can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.  Here are a few of the candles that I have used on my altar.  You can find these at Sosanna's Closet. 


Photo Credit - Sosanna's Closet



Photo Credit - Sosanna's Closet

If you prefer a smaller candle, there is also a 3X3 candle available.  This candle holds up nicely and has an excellent image inlay of the traditional triformis.


Photo Credit - Sosanna's Closet

Photo Credit - Sosanna's Closet


No matter what items you choose to adorn your altar, remember that they should be representative of what reminds you of the Goddess.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Images at the Crossroads

Recently I took a trip to Statesville, NC to see the fresco called "Images at the Crossroads."  It was created by Ben Long and depicts Hecate standing at the center of three roads with images of what was going on in history around the time it was created.  She stands with her hands against her chest in a gesture of welcome to all to approach.

Seeing it in person was amazing.  The colors were vibrant and the image towers of the doorway when you first want into the lobby of the civic center.  It really makes a grand statement.  These are the photos I took while I was there.  I hope you enjoy.

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson


Images at the Crossroads a Ben Long fresco.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blood in Incense

Recently I read the book Hecatean Magick by B. Morland  This book contains several entries for different types of incense.  Today I wanted to share with you a few of the recipes.  First let's look at the template incense.

Temple Incense - page 80 Hecatean Magick

1 part Frankincense
1 part Copal
1 part Amber
1 part Sandalwood
A few drops of blood

War Incense - page 73 Hecatean Magick
2 part Black Pepper
1 part Cayenne
1 part High John the Conqueror root (powered)
1 part Sulfur
A few drops of blood to strengthen
A few drops of urine


The common element in them all is blood.  I have used blood drops in many of my spell work but never have seen it used in incense.  I'm interested to see if anyone has used these recipes or have the created any incense for Hecate or any other deity that utilizes blood.



Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Sanctuary of Hecate Trivia Website Launched

It is a great day for the sanctuary today.  The website is up and running.  It is our first official web presence and we hope that you love it!  We added a donation link for those that might want to support our goals for the future of the sanctuary.  Over the next few years look for the following:

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

  1. A center fire pit that will be available for ritual use by local covens.
  2. A permanent altar space with offering dishes.
  3. An elevated walkway throughout the sanctuary that end in directional altars.
  4. Assorted benches along the walk way.
  5. A Native American inspired medicine wheel.

Any one of these items will be a fundraising task, but we will take each as it comes.  We will also need to clean up the area.  There is some yard work, building skills and of course haul off that will be required.  We will look to area covens who would like to support the space by offering their services to help us get the area ready for rituals.




Be sure to check out our new webpage!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Call Her Name

Hecate Apotropaia
Take charge and my life, protect.

Hecate Apotropaia
Light my path and my magic, project.

Hecate Apotropaia
Unlock the knowledge and open the doors.

Hecate Apotropaia
Ward around me as the dancing flame roars.

Hail Hecate!

By Sosanna



Friday, April 24, 2015

Call Her Name

Hecate Soteira,
Savior and Mother of night
Embrace your child with protection and might.

Hecate Brimo,
Angry one’s call
Silence the worlds, silence them all.

Hecate Phosphoros
Bringer of light
Reveal the attack shown in this fight.

Hecate Adonaea,
Guide my magic, direct and firm
All that hurts shall be returned.

Hecate Nyktipolos
Night wandering queen
Open my eyes, allow all to be seen.


By: Sosanna

Friday, April 10, 2015

Who is Hecate

Hecate is a pre 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 dark moon 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.  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, March 27, 2015

My Walk with Hecate


My journey with Hecate has been filled with intrigue and discovery.  I've learned so much over the years that I couldn't begin to list. 

I completed the Rite of the Red Cord just as my mother was moved in with me to assist her in moving on through to the other side.  I thought this was a message from Hecate to take up the torch so to speak and guide her there.  As it turned out I was able to nurse her back to health and send her on a different path.

My decision to become a Torchbearer came like many other decisions related to the Goddess.  I was discussing it with my partner and as he opened our door a black snake slithered into the threshold and then back out again.  I knew this was the Goddess giving me her blessing.  I've worked on several projects for CoH, several ongoing at this time.  As part of my dedication, I have written several magazines and am currently in the process of creating a set of my own Oracle cards based on the Goddess.  I've also created a local rescue to help care for the homeless animals in my county.

In August of 2013, I became an officially ordained Minister and currently offer spiritual counseling to others at no charge.  Several clients have regularly scheduled sessions with me and some are also followers of Hecate.

My house sits firmly at a crossroads, next to a river where I've been fortunate enough to have the open space to create a small ritual space dedicated to Hecate outside.  We are looking to expand so that I can create a Pagan Community Service Center to assist those like-minded in my area. 
As part of my service to the Goddess I have daily works and of course on the moon phases to spend time putting myself in a position to understand more about her.  This process has been extremely rewarding and helped me find a point in myself that I can accept me for me.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Ostara Blessings

This entry was published as part of the Ostara Issue of Imramma Magazine.  Get the full issue here.




As a devotee of the goddess Hecate, spring is an important time of the year.  In one of the most popular myths related to the goddess, Hecate participates in the search for the captured Persephone in the underworld by the god Haides.  After an eventful search, rescue and deal with Haides, Persephone stays as his wife and queen in the underworld, returning in the spring.  Her mother, Demeter is said to be so distraught that when her beloved daughter descends into the underworld all the life dies on the earth only to return the following spring, when Persephone returns.  Hecate accompanies her on this journey each season, using her torches to light the way and her keys to unlock the passage to and from the underworld.

Spring is when we look to welcome a burst of new life over the planet.  We plant our seeds that we blessed at Imbolc and sow them deeply in the warming soil.  This is the time when we see new life often in the form of bunnies and ducklings from pets in the pet store to the marshmallow kind that grace Easter baskets across the United States.  For me, this is the time when my flowers are blooming and I’m able to finally get my hands in the soil.   As a potter, I work with the earth in the form of clay in my studio all year; however there is something different when I’m able to get my hands into the soil for the first time of the growing season.  Remembering my Imbolc ritual blessing of the seeds I go out into the garden and begin with a deep breath and complete the following:

Using my hands I dig into the soil feeling the energy flow through my hands.  I visualize the flow of energy from my body to the seed as it drops into the soil. I cover it when the soil imagine the walk of Hecate from the darkest parts of the underworld bring forth Persephone and breathing life back into the world.  She comes forth from beneath the earth and breaks through the ground escorted by Hecate Chthonia, Hecate Phosphoros, and Hecate Propolos!!


Ostara Blessings!


Sosanna is blogger, shop owner and spiritual counselor located in rural North Carolina.

Friday, March 13, 2015

An Introduction to Threshold Altar

An Introduction to Threshold Altar

Historically Hecate is a goddess of luminal spaces.  Doorways, entryways and gates were/are often graced with her presence.  It was thought that Hecate would protect those that passed through the gates and within the gates from harm.  These are some suggestions for creating your own entryway altar.


v  Image
v  Incense Burner
v  Incense
v  Candle
v  Offerings
v  Tokens

Image
An image for Hecate – This can be a literal representation of her in the form of her in human or animal form.  Many purchase items from online retailers or have a statue commissioned from an artist or sculptor.  A cost effective alternative would be to check local thrift/second hand stores for images of females that can be used to represent her.  For example, recently I found a statue of the “Blessed Mother” with a blue head wrap that stands about 12 inches tall in a second hand store.  I repainted the porcelain white skin and powder blue head scarf to a deep olive toned skin and a saffron colored head piece and now she is Hecate.

Incense Burner
The next thing you’ll need is a dish for burning incense.  I use a small dish that I threw on my pottery wheel.  Any non-flammable dish will do.  It can be something as elaborate as a metal dish with carvings or as simple as a piece of pottery.  The important thing is what it means to you.  Find something that you relate to and dedicate it to her.

Incense
Types of incense can vary based on accessibility and preference.  Many use frankincense and myrrh for Hecate.  I prefer to use white sage simply because I like the clean smell it gives my ritual space.  There are formal recipes that can be used to create incense specifically for Hecate.  If you wish to do this by all means take the time and add this to your altar.  However, do not feel that you need this one item to make your altar real.  Your altar is real simply because you created it with honor to her.

Candle
Small candle that can be lit safely each day and burn throughout the day safely.  I use tall seven day candles or large glass candles that are relatively inexpensive and safe to burn.  Some prefer red candles specifically for working with Hecate.  I use red for my main candle and for The Rite of her Sacred Fires.  For my threshold, I use what I have on hand.

Offerings
Some threshold altars can have a spot for offerings.  Typical offerings to Hecate may include honey, leeks, fish or garlic.  I recommend doing what makes practical sense in your situation.  I have cats who are known to jump on my altar so leaving items like fish for example, would be a recipe for destruction.  Instead of leaving perishables or spill-ables at my door way altar, I leave tokens.

Tokens
Tokens are small items similar to objects found in a mermaid’s purse or shaman’s medicine bag.  These are items that find their way to me throughout my day.  It may be a small sea shell that I found at a beach or park or it may be a small pebble that met me on a walk around my Sanctuary.  It may be a gift from a friend.  I have a key on a string of beads that was a gift when I became a Torchbearer for Covenant of Hekate that encircles my incense bowl.  I replace these items ever so often when I feel the urge to do so. 

Using the Threshold Altar
Each person will use their altar in different ways.  I have seen some being condemned for dropping their keys when they come in the door on their threshold altar.  To me, what a better place for my keys to be safely stored than in the presence of Hecate.  This is my daily ritual to her.

Stand in front of the Threshold Altar and clear my mind. I find a spot in my mind that is quiet and take a deep breath in. 

I light the candle and focus my mind on what the light of her torches may reveal to me today.

I light the sage off the candle’s flame and wave the smoke around her tokens and her imagery on the altar.  I focus on the smoke permeating the items on the altar, my space and my body with healing and prosperity.

I close my eyes and see myself making my way through my day with her energy around me.



A Threshold Altar is a space that we set up to remind us of the importance of Hecate’s presence in the choices we make in our daily life.  It is intended to be a place of respect and a place to focus our energy.  While each item is important and should be chosen with care, it does not need to be something that is made of gold or costs an exorbitant amount of money.  It should be something that means something to you.


Friday, February 27, 2015

An Introduction to Crossroads Altars

An Introduction to Crossroads Altars

Historically Hecate is a goddess of luminal spaces and is said to wander the crossroads.  Often offerings are left for her there.  This document will serve as an introduction to creating an altar at a crossroads.
You will need:
v  Location
v  Image
v  Incense  & dish
v  Torch
v  Offerings

Location –Traditionally Hecate is a goddess of the three ways or three directions.  The crossroad would be a Y intersection.  A spot where there are three directions to take.  Choose a spot away from the main part of the road where it is safe to set up the space and where it will not be a nuisance to passersby.

Image
An image for Hecate – Depending on the size of the altar set up, the image can be a simple statue or a large pole with masks (faces) mounted on it to gaze into three directions. 

Incense & Dish
Types of incense can vary based on accessibility and preference.  Many use frankincense and myrrh for Hecate.  I prefer to use white sage simply because I like the clean smell it gives my ritual space.  There are formal recipes that can be used to create incense specifically for Hecate.  If you wish to do this by all means take the time and add this to your altar.  Be mindful that this will be left outside. In fire prone areas, it makes sense to bring the incense back inside with you and not leave it outside unattended.

Torch
Candles, garden torches or other items can be used to represent a torch in this setting.  Again be mindful of the natural surroundings.  If fire is a concern refrain from leaving unattended flames outdoors.  An alternative to a live fire may be to pick up a few solar powered drive way or garden path lights and use those instead.

Offerings
Typically the offerings left at the crossroads altar would consist of the elements of the Deipna or supper.  These include mullet, garlic, eggs, leeks and other items.  The sweepings of the house are often dropped at the crossroads as well.  This is said to remove the negative energy or any energy that may have displeased Hecate from the house.  The offerings should be taken out to the crossroads as part of the entire ritual and left without turning back.   Be mindful of the offerings if the crossroads chosen is not one’s own property.  Leaving food will of course attract animals. 


Using the Crossroads Altar
Generally the crossroads altar is used for leaving offerings to Hecate.  As mentioned in the offerings section, be mindful of what items are left behind.  Fire hazards, dangerous foods and any type of items that could cause a distraction to traffic should be avoided.

Each individual rite may vary.  This is a simple way to use a crossroads altar.

The day prior to Hecate’s Supper, sage the entire house and complete a ritual cleaning.  Use the sage smoke to cleanse the air and pick up a broom and sweep around the ritual space as well as the entire house.  The sweepings should be tied up in a small bag and placed next to the inside working altar.

At the working altar on the night of the supper, cleanse the area and create a sacred space.  Use the means that best fits your practice to create this space.  Ask for blessings and prosperity over the next moon and display the offerings on the altar. 

After the ritual is complete collect the bag, the offerings and walk to the crossroads altar.  Recite any spells, chats or incantations that are desired here.  Leave the offerings along with the bag at the crossroads and return to the house without looking back.


Summary
Every persona will set up an altar a different way.  Take the time to think about the purpose the altar and what needs should be addressed.  If it is to be a public altar where rituals will be held, be mindful of neighbors and traffic that could be impacted. 


Friday, February 13, 2015

Is Hecate the Cosmic World Soul?


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). 

However 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


In the text above the debate is, based on the information in the Chaldean Oracles, is Hecate the Cosmic World Soul or is she the source of the Cosmic World Soul.  Several references to Hecate is the Mother, the source of consciousnesses.  If that is the case do we see Hecate as some see the the Christian god or as the Madonna?  And if she is the Madonna would that not make us gods?

It is interesting to see how much research has been put into the things like the Chaldean Oracles and other ancient texts.  I am extremely interested in seeing how far back references to her go.  Was she always a goddess of the crossroads? Where else does she appear in antiquity?



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

PGM - Greek Magical Papyri - III





"PHORBA PHORBA BRIMO AZZIEBYA". Take bran of first quality and sandal-wood and vinegar of the sharpest sort and mold a cake. And write the name of so-and-so upon it, and inscribe it in such a way that you speak over it into the light the name of Hecate, and this: "Take away his sleep from such-and-such a person", and he will be sleepless and worried.
Against fear and to dissolve spells: Speak through [two] knives [sounding loudly] this formula: but [against] evil animals it does not work [compellingly], for [- - -]



Hecate is often called upon or associated with curses.  In modern times, most people associate curses with dark magic or dark spell work and in turn lean towards a night or dark goddess for that work.

First let me state that I do not believe magic has a light or dark, a left hand path or a right hand path.  Magic is energy and energy encompasses all.  We cannot know one without the other.  They are one source, one energy, one magic.

In 2012 a curse was found and published in Live Science calling upon Hecate to curse.  The curse was written in Latin and depicted a snake haired goddess on a lead tablet.    With all of her attributes it makes sense why they would choose her as a source of power for a curse.  

I have worked with Hecate in warding spells and in spells to protect my property.  The papyri above reference a spell to keep someone awake and worried.  Have you used Hecate in curses?  Would you?  Why or why not?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

PGM - Greek Magical Papyri - II




"ASKEI KATASKEI ERON OREON IOR MEGA SAMNYER BAUI (3 times) PHOBANTIA SEMNE, I have been initiated, and I went down into the [underground] chamber of the Dactyls, and I saw the other things down below, virgin, bitch, and all the rest." Say it at the crossroad, and turn around and flee, because it is at those places that she appears. Saying it late at night, about what you wish, it will reveal it in your sleep; and if you are led away to death, say it while scattering seeds of sesame, and it will save you.


In another reference to Hecate we see the quote - "Askei Kataskei Eron Oreon Ior Mega Samnyer Baui" repeated three times and followed with Phobantia Semne.

This has been a bone of contention between several that study the Goddess in that is this really a reference directly to Hecate.  We are not really sure of what the words mean or how they are said. As part of the Rite of Her Sacred Fires members of the Covenant of Hekate use this verse as part of their ritual to the Goddess.

Here is an example of the Rite of Her Sacred Fires ritual - 






Tuesday, January 20, 2015

PGM – Greek Magical Papyri








[- - - This] name [is] a favor charm, a charm to dissolve a spell, a phylactery, and a victory charm: "AA EMPTOKOM BASYM, protect me."
Charm of Hecate Ereschigal against fear of punishment (in the underworld): If he (a punishment daimon) comes forth, say to him: "I am Ereschigal, the one holding her thumbs, and not even one evil can befall her."
If however he comes close to you, take hold of your right heel and recite the following: "Ereschigal, virgin, bitch, serpent, wreath, key, herald's wand, golden sandal of the Lady of Tartaros." And you will avert him.


As I read this I couldn't help but hear the Lord's Prayer in my head.  I think this is where Ly de Angeles reference to the fact that religious speak has permeated our culture is proven for me.    Obviously referencing Hecate this passage seems to imply that she will grant safe passage to those dealing with daimons (demons/spirits).  

What invocations do you use to work with Hecate?  Do you call her for protection or as a ward?  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chaldean Oracles - 70

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


Nature, making space through all things,
hovers suspended from Great Hekate:

For tireless Nature rules worlds and actions
so that sky might turn
drawn down along its eternal course
and swift Helios come about the center
according to his ethos.                                                                              [70]                                                               



Reading through this passage it seems to say that all things, including nature itself comes from Hecate. The sun is only able to come to center but through her.How do you read this?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Chaldean Oracles - 56

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 indeed is the source
and spring of blessed intellection,
for the First Power receives the birth of All
in her unspeakable womb hollows
and pours it forth on the All

as it runs its course.                                                                          [56]




This passage again reinforces Hecate as the Mother or the Cosmic World Soul.  Saying that all, ALL come from her womb.  Intellection means the action or process of understanding, so it seems that she is the source/spring of blessed understanding.  That understanding is mothered by her womb and and pours forth on its path.