The Orphic Hymns show us that the Ancient Greeks would scatter incense over flames as an offering to the Gods. This act showed the Gods that they were worthy of adoration and worship. The first type of incense used in Hellenic religious and magickal rites consisted of barks, herbs, leaves and flowers. Resins were a precious commodity in the ancient world and frankincense, myrrh and storax were the most predominant ones used in Ancient Greece.
The traditional use of incense continues in this modern age and is a prevalent practice with Hekate’s devotees, especially since she is the Goddess of purifications and expiations. Many of Hekate’s infamous priestesses would use incense blended specifically to use in divination and sorcery, which included Kirke and Medea.
Burning incense is the perfect way to purify and appease a Deity and since scent and memory go hand in hand it can also be used as a magickal trigger. Incense can be a mixture of flowers, herbs, resins, leafs, barks, wine, seeds and even grains. Incense is a perfect offering, which honours Hekate and shows you are dedicated to her worship as you are giving her a gift from the earth.
One of the things I always do whilst honouring Hekate during my regular workings, is the use of incense to invite or conjure her presence. I like to sprinkle a pinch of incense over a lit charcoal block placed within a heatproof container or alternatively throw it over the flames of a roaring fire.
When creating my own incense blends for Hekate, I like to combine several ingredients and place them in a mortar and grind them all up with a pestle. This way not only can your intent be focused and fused within the blend but the components will mix well and burn easier.
This is one of the first incense blends I came up with as a regular offering for Hekate:
Devotional Hekate Blend
1 Part Myrrh Resin
1 Part Lavender Seeds
4-6 Drops Mandrake Essential Oil (Cypress can be used as a substitute)
© T. Georgitsis 2008
This blend is chthonic in nature one which I used for Samhain and Hekate: Her Sacred Fires ritual:
Hekate’s Underworld Divination Blend
1 Part Dittany of Crete Herb
1 Part Livani (Greek Pine Resin)
1 Part Pomegranate (Shredded Dried Husk)
© T. Georgitsis 2013
The following are simple blends for Hekate, which have strong connections to Ancient Greece:
Hekate’s Orphic Blend
1 Part Frankinsence
1 Part Myrrh
1 Part Storax
Hekate’s Blend from Antiquity
1 Part Laurel Bay
1 Part Frankincense
1 Part Rue Seeds
1 Part Storax
1 Part Myrrh
I would fervently suggest you try your hand at making a blend for Hekate as an offering and as a way to prompt communion with her. Here are just some ingredients you can use to make your own Hekate blend: lavender, mint, barley, storax, olive leaves, sandalwood, rose, lavender, bay laurel, chamomile, jasmine, chrysanthemums, sage, oak*, pine, myrtle*, wormwood*, mandrake*, dried apple peal, dried pomegranate husk, honey, saffron, juniper berries*, mugwort, frankincense, myrrh, wine, rue*, maidenhair*, poppy seeds, patchouli, cardamom seeds and sesame seeds.
* Please note good ventilation needs to be applied when using these ingredients, as they are potentially toxic in high doses.
(C) T. Georgitisis 2013 (first appeared in The Australian Pagan Magazine – Issue 3)