Writing for a new magazine The Starlit Path and in this issue I talk about the Purification of Autumn to coincide with the Southern Hemisphere and how my Greek roots connect to that with a ritual to Hestia.
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Aids: Memory, stress and fear.
Chakra: Solar Plexus, Third Eye & Root.
Element: Air & Fire.
Planet: Jupiter & Saturn.
Purpose: To amplify and focus energy whilst releasing blockages and decluttering the mind.
Star Sign: Aquarius, Gemini, Leo & Sagittarius.
Tarot Card: The Hermit
Spell work: This is a spell I came up with back in 2001 when I was studying science and I had to memorise huge chunks of information. I took a piece of honey calcite, cleansed it (using a crystal cleaner I created using essential oils and water, sunshine, moonshine, incense such as sage, salt water or a mother crystal such as a amethyst cave) and programmed it with my intention of what I needed it for, in the name of Thoth (that is the Ancient Egyptian God who came to me at the time and was assisting me in my studies). This intention was clear and respectful. It went something like this:
“Em Hotep Great Thoth
Please assist me in learning and memorising the information on XXX for the purpose of XXX
Thank you and In Peace Great Thoth”
What I would do next is take a piece of honey calcite and place it before me (either on the top of my study notes or next to them) while I was going over what I needed to know for an exam I had. Every so often I would pick up the honey calcite and rub it whilst I was concentrating on memorising my study notes. Later on, in the exam, I would put my honey calcite on the table before me whilst I completed the exam (or I would carry it in my pocket if I felt self conscious about it). When I came across a difficult question during the exam and I was having hard time recalling the information I needed, I would pick the crystal up and rub it and instantly see my study notes with the answers.
(c) T. Georgitsis 2018
Incense in Ancient Egypt was seen as something containing the properties of life which could evoke belief and stabilise faith. It was thought by the ancients that incense brings about reverence as well as the manifestation of the Netjer it is being offered to. The Ancient Egyptians even had a god of incense – Nefertum, the lion headed son of Sekhmet who in the creation myth was the lotus rising from the primordial waters. Nefertum’s connection to scent and healing makes him the perfect patron of incense, especially since his symbol – the lotus, dawns every morning like incense smoke wafting towards the rays of the sun.
Incense has been a highly valued and used in Egypt all through its history. This was made evident by its worth and the lengths the Ancient Egyptians would go to, to source it. Incense had a major role in the magickal and spiritual practices of Kemet and many expeditions were sent down to the Land of Punt (modern day Ethiopia or Sudan but scholars are yet to determine its exact location) to source rare and expensive resins used in incense blends. Many pharaohs, noblemen and priests of Ancient Egypt would cultivate and propagate trees to keep up with the demand needed by the temples, tombs and residences of the time.
Various ceremonies in antiquity revolved around fumigation practices and in Ancient Egypt this has been evident in many reliefs and papyri describing these in detail, which has highlighted what a vital function it played. The most common type of fumigation using incense in Ancient Egypt was used in a devotional act before representations of Netjer as well as for the Akhu at ancestor shrines or tombs.
The ancients believed that Netjer embodied the smoke of burning incense, as a romantic manifestation in the omissions of the lit incense they were offered by the priests and populace alike. Like “God” the smoke from incense can permeate all, at times even without being visibly detected. Priests therefore would offer incense as one of the ways to animate and reinvigorate Nejter’s manifest representation on earth, in the form of a ritual called “Opening of the Mouth”. A way the priests could do this was by blowing through the censor containing the lit incense which activated the Heka through the breath whilst directing it. Using incense to fumigate not only cleaned the temple and its possessions but it bestowed Heka through to the priests themselves as the scent activates communion with Netjer through an altered state which is induced.
It’s surprising to know that many recipes and processes for making incense was shrouded in secrecy but it was very well known that they contained specific instructions on how to create them with specific allocated time, ingredients with symbolic connections and Heka. The priests who were responsible for creating incense for their Netjer’s did so with complete respect and devotion as if they were tending to the physical manifestation of the gods themselves – which they were in part, since making incense was seen as creating the body of the Gods. Frankincense and myrrh resin gathered was referred to as “sweat” or “tears” of the Nejters and as such the Ancient Egyptians treated their frankincense and myrrh as emblems of their Gods bodies. The trees themselves were seen as fruitful goddesses who’s resin was divine menstrual blood. So as you can see this emphasizes what great importance incense was to the daily rites of the Ancient Egyptians from their homes, workplaces, palaces and temples.
Today Egypt’s love of incense survives through the perfumery industry, the fragrant filled swinging censer of Coptic orthodox priests as well as the burning braziers found in the common people’s home shrines. Many practicing Kemetics like myself make their own incense blends and one which is used as a staple go to for all Netjers and Heka is a compounded incense called Kyphi. Here is a recipe I’d like to share with you which you can easily make yourself:
3/4 (of a part) Honey
3 (parts) Raisins
1/4 (of a part) Copal
1/4 (of a part) Myrrh
1/4 (of a part) Orris Root Powder
1 (part) Sandalwood
1/4 (of a part) Storax
1/2 (of a part) Frankincense
1/2 (of a part) Cinnamon Powder
1/2 (of a part) Finely Ground Benzoin
Wine (enough to moisten entire mixture)
(c) T. Georgitsis 2015
Specific magickal workings need to be conducted on specific moon phases. Here are the New and Full Moon Phases for Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 2018:
|New Moon||Full Moon|
|16 Feb||8:05 AM||2 Mar||11:51 AM|
|18 Mar||12:11 AM||31 Mar||11:36 PM|
|16 Apr||11:57 AM||30 Apr||10:58 AM|
|15 May||9:47 PM||30 May||12:19 AM|
|14 Jun||5:43 AM||28 June||2:53 PM|
|13 Jul||12:47 PM||28 Jul||6:20 AM|
|11 Aug||7:57 PM||26 Aug||9:56 PM|
|10 Sep||4:01 AM||25 Sep||12:52 PM|
|9 Oct||2:46 PM||25 Oct||3:45 AM|
|8 Nov||3:01 AM||23 Nov||4:39 PM|
|7 Dec||6:20 PM||23 Dec||4:48 AM|
Seeking Submissions for the 2018 Spring Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal on the Theme of “People of Prayer”–Deadline: Friday, March 30
If meditation is the act of listening to the Divine, prayer is the art of speaking. It’s an under-discussed topic in Polytheistic and theistic Pagan communities, which is unfortunate, as it really is the most basic component of establishing and sustaining a devotional relationship to one’s Patron Deity or multiple Holy Powers. Many people who “come home” to a Pagan spiritual path may have an aversion to prayer because they associate the practice with the undesirable (Abrahamic) religion of their upbringing, but there are ways to overcome the negative perceptions and conditioning related to former religious experiences so that one can have a thriving, judgment- and distraction-free prayer practice that sustains the spirit. Those are the issues I’d like to explore in the Spring 2018 issue of Isis-Seshat journal, a…
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Preparing and cooking food is an act of magick itself, so for me, I like to have an altar in my kitchen. Back in the days of old, the kitchen hearth was a place of magick especially when it came to folk magick and it continues to this day since many of us practice the craft in our own homes.
Crafting in the kitchen can often evoke warm, safe and happy memories. Considering this is a place well known to most, it can be used to work magick through creating food and drink in a familiar loving surrounding. Food itself contains energy and the spark of life, therefore it is only understandable to honor this gift of the gods by creating an altar in your kitchen. Having a kitchen altar can increase the vibration of your home, especially if you consider that an altar is sacred space and can further empower the process of food crafting. This starts with the ingredients and tools used, to the methods employed to prepare and cook the food, all the way to the finished product.
Altars in the home have been around since ancient times as this was sometimes the only place an ordinary person could commune with the gods in sacred space. Since the kitchen was the main room where meals were prepared, which were often seen as gifts from the gods, it was often an ideal place to put a household shrine. Kitchen altars can be the power spot of the house where energies can be used to bring balance and harmony into the home and those who live there.
A simple kitchen altar can be placed in a niche, shelf mounted on a wall, in a cupboard, on the kitchen table or on a surface like a bench top. It can be elaborate which can bring attention to it or it can blend in with the décor of the kitchen and be overlooked by inquisitive guests.
What you place upon your kitchen altar is completely up to you and your own tastes. If you are following a specific path such as Wicca I suggest placing an image of a god or goddess of the hearth such as Hekate, Gaia, Hestia, Aradia, Ceres, Ida, Lakshimi, Vesta, Demeter and items which represent the four elements such as:
Earth: bread, salt, flowers, fruit, acorns, crystals;
Air: oil burner, leaves, tiny brooms, feathers;
Fire: a lighter, matches, oil lamp, candle;
Water: bowl/glass/bottle of water, witch bottle, shells.
These items including a witches blade, used for cutting up herbs, can be placed on the kitchen altar along with a mortar and pestle for grinding up salts, spices and herbs. Remember to keep the altar clean and free of clutter to further resonate this magickal energy into your home and your life.
When food crafting I find myself instantly drawn to the kitchen altar. Here I light a candle and offer up a little hymn to the goddess to imbue and bless my food with health, vitality and delicious flavor in her name as well as guarding and protecting my home and those who live within it. Here is a hymn I have written for Hekate whom is the patron of my home’s hearth which you can use:
Great Goddess of the hearth and household
Watch over and protect those within our fold
To your honour we feast and drink
Bless us with your eternal link
Filled with health and vitality
So I will it, so mote it be”
(c) T. Georgitsis 2010
Linda Iles has produced a great issue this season of the Fellowship of Isis zine which is a free magazine with members contributing from all around the world.
I have contributed an article on Bellydance and for your copy follow this link:
Halloween is also celebrated as the witches new year and is the time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest and therefore perfect for divination or contacting the dead. Hekate’s connection to witches can be traced back to classical Greece where they worked with her for various incantations, spells and called upon her for assistance and blessings.
Hekate, the virgin titaness who prefers solitude, goddess of the sea, earth and sky, light bearer and revealer to those who seek, keeper of the crossroads who roams the cemeteries for lost souls, queen of magic and the night, key bearer who has access to the otherworld and can commune with those who have passed between the veils, goddess of ghosts and necromancy, patron of travellers who guides them to their destination.
Goddess of witchcraft, magic and ghosts – Hekate in my opinion exudes the energy of Halloween. During Halloween Hekate, the embodiment of death roams the earth and is therefore one of the most suitable gods to honour during this time. Since Hekate is known as goddess of the dead, mistress of souls who can accompany the departed between the realm of the living and that of the dead, witches have naturally been drawn to call upon her during the festival of the dead: Halloween also known as Samhain. Hekate can be called upon as an intermediary to connect you to your ancestors especially since our dearly departed tend to visit us during Halloween. Also communing with the ancestors during this time can reveal future fate and Hekate can also be of assistance when divining.
Venerating the ancestors and Hekate during this time which also celebrates the last harvest ensures blessings and that fertility to the land is returned in spring. The ancient Greeks would often leave offerings to Hekate in order for their crops not to fail and for her storm aspect to be pacified. Considering winter is a time of storms and the earth lays dormant, getting Hekate on your good side with respects to these aspects is forward thinking.
I personally see that during Mabon (Autumn Equinox) is when Hekate, torches in hand, guides and protects Persephone as she descends into the underworld. At Halloween, Hekate has returned from the Underworld with news from the dead, as she is one of the few gods who can traverse between all the worlds.
Constructing a dumb supper for Hekate and your ancestors is a wonderful way to honour them both by placing a plate of food that Hekate and your ancestors would appreciate then leaving it on a Hekate or ancestor altar, on a crossroads or on your doorsteps ensures they will take on the essence of the food offered.
Offerings to your ancestors can include food they enjoyed during life and offerings to Hekate that compliments Halloween includes apples, pomegranates, garlic, onion, wine, mead and mugwort tea.
Here is a simple ritual for Hekate, Halloween and your ancestors I have composed and used successfully in the past:
Prepare a dumb supper and place in the NW of your circle or on the left of your altar.
Create sacred space.
Light some incense preferably dragons blood, frankincense or livani (which is found at Greek continental shops and I prefer the rose scented type).
Have a candle placed in the middle of your altar before an image of Hekate in red or black so your deceased loved ones can make their way to you whilst invoking a hymn to Hekate (I prefer the Orphic Hymn to Hekate).
Have a key (I prefer skeleton keys) and an image of a skull (I prefer to use crystal) on the left side of your alter.
Any forms of divination should be placed on your shrine which include, tarot cards, scrying bowl or mirror.
Begin the rite by lighting the spirit candle and evoke Hekate with the following Orphic hymn:
“Hekate Einodia, Trioditis, lovely dame, of earthly, watery, and celestial frame, sepulchral, in a saffron veil arrayed, pleased with dark ghosts that wander through the shade; Perseis, solitary goddess, hail! The world’s key-bearer, never doomed to fail; in stags rejoicing, huntress, nightly seen, and drawn by bulls, unconquerable queen; Leader, Nymphe, nurse, on mountains wandering, hear the suppliants who with holy rites thy power revere, and to the herdsman with a favouring mind draw near.”
Take the key and tap the top of the skull three times and repeat the following chant:
“Hekate we ask that you open the gates of Hades and allow our ancestors to traverse to us this night
Guide our loved ones who have passed over, to us with your wisdom and might
Bring our ancestors of old and new with you to share with us their gift of foresight
Great Goddess we seek to commune with them in the name of all that is light
Bless us for we pay homage to you and our departed ones in this very rite”
Commune with your ancestors and use your divination tools to see what the year has in store for you or ask any specific questions that you have.
Thank and farewell your ancestors and Hekate.
Close sacred space.
(C) T. Georgitsis 2010