Hekate Devotion: Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice also known as Yule is the day with the shortest amount of daylight and the longest amount of night. Symbolically it marks the death and rebirth of the sun and it falls between Samhain and the Spring Equinox and due to this manifests as the darkest period of the year yet is also a turning point where the days become longer.  It symbolises the darkest time of year and marks the returning of the light due to its time of seasonal transition.  The winter solstice marks the sun as its lowest elevation in the sky and the reason it contains the longest night of the year.  This year in the Southern Hemisphere calendar it falls on Monday the 21st of June at 1.32pm. Gods such as Hekate, Persephone, Demeter, Dionysus, Helios, Poseidon, Zeus, Hera, Hathor, Sekhmet, Osiris, Horus, Neith, Nephthys, Spider Woman, Ameratasu, Saturn, Odin, Bona Dea, Mithras, Holy King, Hod, Frigga, Frau Holle, Cailleach and Baldurcan all be honoured during this time of year.

I have celebrated Yule with groups of people in a magickal setting such as a working lodge, coven and magickal order.  The one thing which I found which linked them all together was the coming together to celebrate the light and the darkness whilst sharing food and gifts.

One of the fondest memories I have during this time of year is celebrating the winter solstice through creating handmade gifts.  I spend considerable time planning on what to make and then following through by crafting gifts which are unique and special.  The first thing I ever recall making was for my first coven where I sculpted and fired a set of runes and hand sewed an accompanying bag to contain them in.  This took a significant amount of energy and effort and was placed in a sack of gifts to be randomly selected by one coven member in the middle of our coven’s winter solstice ritual.  Imagine my surprise when one of my coven members whom I was closest to (and who has become a lifelong friend) chose it at random and had been wanting a set of runes which turned out to feature her favourite colour (they were coloured green and purple).

I personally like to hand make gifts during this time of year usually involving items which feature divination, light, purification, seeds, woods and herbs harvested and collected.  I also love to cook, bake and prepare food which is consumed, shared or given to loved ones including the following: citrus preserves such as salt preserved lemons and Cointreau marmalade,  soup (lentil/beans/barley and root vegetable, Greek chicken soup), stew (barley, beans, lentil, cholent andcoq au vin), bread (Greek sweetbread, olive loaf and garlic and feta loaf), gingerbread (especially witches houses/cottages), shortbread (various Greek ones), lamb or beef roast, dumplings and baked spiced rice stuffed into vegetables.

Since this time tends to fall on my personal anniversary (we got together on the winter solstice) for me it also involves going out for an intimate meal with my partner and exchanging thoughtful gifts.  

I feel that Hekate resonates with this time of the year for various reasons. One being that this is a liminal time where she has dominion between the darkness and the light.  In this time  she encourages and enables us to turn our attention to the presence of the promise of new things to come.  As the time of growth and movement is before us Hekate beckons us to straddle the in-between time and to use this time for the power it contains.

I personally like to honour Hekate during this time and make offerings of apples, pomegranates, garlic, onions, mead, beer, wine, bread, barley, nuts, lilies, pine, mistletoe, juniper, holly, frankincense, myrrh, cedar, bay, chamomile and roots from dandelions.

I also like to make items for Hekate which resonate with the season mostly wands collected from wood during the summer, candle anointing oil blends, herb pouches for dreaming, health and wealth, candles which illuminate, soap which cleanses, incense using dried herbs from the summer, book and journal covers with locally sourced materials or upcycled materials, various art pieces with paints, ink, photography and/or several thread types (in recent years its been all about the land, sea and sky) and beaded jewellery such as ethically sourced crystal necklaces which can also be used as meditation or manifestation beads.

In the garden now is the time to plant:

Vegetables such as artichoke, asparagus, beans, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chillies, corn, cucumber, endive, kale, leek, lettuce, melons, okra, onion, parsnip, peas, pumpkins, radish, rhubarb, shallots, silver beet, snow peas, spinach, tomatoes, turnip and zucchinis

Herbs such as garlic, basil, chives, cress, curry, dill, mint, parsley, sage and thyme.

Flowers such as aquilegia, calendula, cineraria, cyclamen, delphinium, foxglove, nemesia, pansy, primula, polyanthus poppy and viola. 

Some things you can do to honour and mark the winter solstice in your personal practice (or with a group of likeminded individuals) can be:

  1. Hold a ritual signifying the balance of darkness and light and/or liminality.
  2. Work spells and magick which involve igniting a flame, balance or brining the light into a situation, .
  3. Create and light a bonfire or light a special candle carved with symbols which signify the time of year.
  4. Inscribe and light a Yule log in a firepit or fireplace.
  5. Take a walk at dusk holding a lantern.
  6. Bake a seasonal pie, cook a roast and make mulled wine or any other food or drink which to you symbolises the winter solstice .
  7. In the evening go out star gazing and seek out your local constellations.
  8. Honour the Gods which signify this time of year by creating a shrine or altar in their name or tending to an existing one and make offerings to them.
  9. Create an ice wreath in the freezer filled with flowers and herbs of the season (use a bunt cake tin) and once set place a candle in the middle of the wreath and light it to signify the winter moving out and the spring coming in.
  10. Use this time to cleanse your magickal tools and spaces such as shrines and altars.
  11. Rituals and spells involving transitions and movement.
  12. Reflect on your inner world and take some time to just be with yourself and listen to your inner self such as meditation, yoga, going for a walk in nature or just sitting in a space which is sacred to you and just being present.
  13. Use this time to recharge yourself through honouring yourself and do what you need to, to enable that reset.
  14. Host a feast with family or friends which can include music and dancing.
  15. Light black and white candles to signify the diminishing darkness and the increasing light.
  16. Decorate a tree (such as a xmas tree) with decorations which signify the winter solstice.
  17. Exchange gifts with loved ones.
  18. Donate to charities involving the displaced such as the homeless and refugees.
  19. Do something kind for someone who is alone, in pain or suffering.
  20. Volunteer for a charity which assists the natural world or the less fortunate.
  21. Divination such as rune, tarot, dice, candle wax, crystal, magick mirror or ink scrying.  

So work your magick this midwinter, honour the light and the darkness within you and all around you and contemplate and manifest balance in your life.


(c) T. Georgitsis 2021

Mystic Tribe Magazine: June 2021, Issue #43

In the latest issue of Mystic Tribe Magazine, I have written an article called “Ancient Egyptian Incense which describes the history and usage of incense in Ancient Egypt along with a recipe of how to make your own.   Get your your FREE copy below:

Mystic Tribe Magazine: May 2021, Issue #42

In my regular column on crystals, in the latest issue of Mystic Tribe Magazine, I have written an article called “Crystal Elixirs which describes what crystal elixirs are, how to make and use them and some recipes for you to try along with safe and toxic list of crystals.   Get your your FREE copy below:

Books on Hekate

The Hekate book list I created has been updated yet again with new, upcoming or books not usually promoted:

https://setjataset.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/books-on-hekate-by-setjataset/

Isian News: Issue #180, Beltane 2021

 

In the latest issue of Isian News by the Fellowship of Isis, my Lyceum of Heka (my teaching school within the fellowship) news features my article about “Heka” (Ancient Egyptian Magick)”.   For your FREE copy follow this link:

Mystic Tribe Magazine: April 2021, Issue #41

 

In my regular column on crystals, in the latest issue of Mystic Tribe Magazine, I have written an article called “Lotus Crystal Oil which describes what lotus oil can be used for and how to make your own with the aid of a crystal for an added magickal kick.   Get your your FREE copy below:

 

Mystic Tribe Magazine: March 2021, Issue #40

In my regular column on crystals, in the latest issue of Mystic Tribe Magazine, I have written an Ancient Egyptian themed article called “Isis/A’set Crystals and How To Charge Them with Her Aid which describes my connection with Isis/A’set, her crystals and a Rite to Charge Isis/A’set Crystals.   Get your your FREE copy below:

Isis/A’set Magic: Devotional Rite

 
(C) Setjataset – Kemetic A’set Shrine

I have been a devotee of Isis/A’set for decades as she was my first matron.  Having been fascinated with Ancient Egypt due to a familial connection She was the first deity who called to me when I first started practicing my family’s magickal practices (which were Hermetic and Greek/Egyptian Folk Magick centric). 

Who is Isis/Aset – I have written about her before on this blog, specifically her role as Mistress of Magic which has been her dominate force in my practice, which you can read here:

Who is Isis?


I self-dedicated to Isis/A’set as her devotee at age 18 and then when I joined my first magickal group at 21, chose the magickal name A’set in her honour and trained and taught as her Priestess (Elphame Wicca).  

Joining the Fellowship of Isis later on I undertook training in Lyceums (training schools within the Fellowship of Isis) and became a Hierophant Priestess through rigorous path-working study, opening my own Lyceum a decade later.  

Craving more knowledge I joined the House of Netjer (a kemetic temple) in the middle of my FOI studies and was divined as the daughter of A’set/Serqet and took the divined name Setjataset (A’set ushers her in) and briefly trained as her Sau and remain as a Divined Remetj to this day.


(C) Setjataset – FOI Shrine to Isis

I devoured any academia and magickal books I could find on Isis/A’set and her practice and also trained in the vibrational healing modality Isis Seichim to further my devotion to her.  

Isis/A’set was the one who led me to Hekate during a Dark Night of the Soul and as such I became Hekate’s devotee and Priestess with the guidance of Isis/A’set.

To this day I maintain a devout Priestess to Isis/A’set and tend to her shrine regularly and enact various rites and magick in her name (both group and solitary work through my Lyceum of Heka as well as my healing and reading work).

Below I have written a ritual for a devotional to A’set which I have been using for years in group and solitary work. I find this rite quite beneficial to strengthen your connection to this goddess.

Rite to A’set by Setjataset © 2004

Start this rite just before sunset.

Shrine faces east and has some unlit incense, a blue candle, anointing oil, a bowl of rose water, A’set statue and an offering for A’set placed upon it.

Begin by standing with both arms relaxed by your side before your shrine.

Light some incense and then draw the Invoking Ankh followed by the Invoking Eye of Horus before you, behind you, to your left, right, above, below and within you. 

Light the blue candle.

Take the rose water and sprinkle it over the A’set statue.  Now take the anointing oil and anoint the statue of Isis on the third eye area of her forehead.

Lift both hands and arms from your elbows up before you, with palms facing upwards and say:

“Dua-ur-ntr Anedj-Rak Ne-fer A-set.”

(Adorations and greetings to you beautiful Isis.) 

Repeat the following Hymn to A’set:

“Ra is in celebration!

The heart exults in joy

For your heart is soft and sweet O Goddess!

Isis Queen of the World and Her son Horus

He is King upon the Throne of His Father

Governing both poles

The Seat of Geb is in Her possession

The function of Atum is in Her hand

The strength of Mentu is in Her grasp

The divinity who produces the beginning

And fills the Sky and Earth with Her perfection

This Crown who bright in Gold appears

Auguste is Her sign

Lives in the House Divine

Sovereign of the Gods of the Sky

Queen of the Gods of Earth

Falcon also of Gods of the Tuat

The Mistress of Bright Glory

On the Throne is Her command

It is the one Her heart desires

Who is chosen to ascend the Throne

Without violence they ascend the Palace

One call, one desire to see

The Honour of the Country and everything whole

It is by Her order that the Temple is blessed

With the return of Her brother!

Her name is pronounced and the world is loyal to Her”(1)

Cross hands over chest in Osiris Position and meditate, pray or send her a petition of askance.

After this is completed place the offering to Isis before her statue and say:

“Ho-tep A-set” (Peace and Offerings A-set).

Farewell A’set by repeating the following:

“O Holy Blessed Lady

Constant comfort to humankind

Whose beneficence and kindness nourish us all

And whose care for those in trouble is as 

A loving Mother who cares for all Her Children

You are there when we call

Stretching our your hand to put aside

That which is harmful to us

Untangling the web of fate in which we may be caught

Even stopping the stars if they form a harmful pattern

All other deities

Whether bountiful or merciless

Do reverence to Thee

For it is Isis who rules the world

Stamping out the powers of evil

Arranging the stars to give us answers

Causing the seasons to come and go

Commanding the winds to move ships

Giving the clouds to water the growing seeds

So that we may have food

If I have one thousand mouths

And one thousand tongues in each

Still I could not do justice to Thy Majesty

Yet I will forever remember your help in my time of need

And keep your blessed image deep within my heart.”(2)

Let blue candle burn all the way down (Note: Never leave a lit candle unattended.).

Leave offering on shrine for at least 24 hours and use appropriately.

_____________________________________________________________________ 

Footnotes:

(1) Traditional Hymn to Isis taken from a wall at her Temple in Philae.

(2) Prayer from Om Sety at the Abydos Temple.

 

If you are interested in training in the Fellowship of Isis as a Priest/Priestess my Lyceum of Heka is now taking students – for further information please go here:

Lyceum of Heka


(C) T. Georgitsis 2021

Books on Hekate

I have updated this list to include new or upcoming books or ones I feel should be included in Hekate related books 😀

Setjataset

Some (if not most) devotees, priests, witches, magicians and practitioners of Hekate love to find out more about her from a historical, modern, personal, religious and magical point of view.  They love to read and research Hekate, and therefore tend to devour everything they can find, which is written and discussed on Her.

For me personally, I like to collect books on Hekate for my personal library.  I do this so I can understand academic’s research and study on Hekate as well as individual’s personal experience and interpretation on her. I love to read how Hekate manifests for others who have a deep interest, love and respect for Hekate.  Although I don’t necessarily agree or resonate with everything I read, I find it expands my perspective and knowledge about her in a more well rounded way.

Over the last few years I have noticed more books being written on Hekate which can…

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Resolutions 2021

Many create resolutions at the beginning of the new year.  These resolutions can include getting rid of a bad habits or introducing a good one.  Resolutions tend to be created and promises made – which usually (if not always) fall by the wayside.

This is why I as I have described before I personally do not create resolutions.  What I like to do is set intentions of what I want to undergo for the year with the focus being on what new “experience” I want to learn or immerse myself in.

Last year what quite an intense one and as such most of my time was spent on survival and self-care.

My focus for the year is listed below in bold, whilst my achievements are listed beneath with supporting lists, links or photographs.

Read and re-read books which inspire and/or move me:

GoodRead List 2020

I didn’t read as many books as I usually do due to spending a lot of time reading academic papers on Academia as well as subscribing to Medium and reading various articles there by independent writers.

Support more artists creating hand-made/self-published items born from their hard work, research, study and/or imagination:

Miss Marley Art

The Woodpecker

TitchyYosies

MUMA

LeRoux Manor

The Quirky Cup Collective

Luna Noire Creations

Rapt n Hide

B Inspired Art

Woodspinning

Fiona Ariva

Reclaimed Red Gum Eucalyptus Floating Ledges (c) The Woodpecker

Support a charity I resonate with:

Share the Dignity

Guide Dog Australia

Run For Refugees

Sister Works

STEPtember

Meow Rescue

Cotton On Foundation

Nefertiti & Ramesses (c) T. Georgitsis

Visit somewhere I haven’t been before which has a spirit of place:

Dromana Beach (been there as a child but not as an adult).

Mornington peninsular (visited various places of the area).

Healesville Sanctuary

Dromana Beach 12/2020 (c) T. Georgitsis

Dromana Beach 12/2020 (c) T. Georgitsis

Complete a workshop/course which is connected to my interests, passions and causes I like to support:

Handwriting Course (Cursive)

Caligraphy Course 

Self Publishing Workshop

Librarian Course 

Create something magical which feeds and inspires my practice:

Painting with acrylics – submitted and accepted to Gallery Exhibit 5 x 9 (painting sold)

Photography of Spirit of Place – submitted and accepted to Optica 2020 Exhibit

Card Making with Kemetic, Hellenic, Magical and Witch Themes

Letter Writing by Hand

Typewriter Poetry

Journalling which included a pandemic diary, magical spell book, magical grimoire and poetic journal with mixed media, watercolour, acrylic and ink drawings.

Blogging – Occult/Magical and Creative Writing 

Craft Making (candles, soap, anointing oils, incense blends, herb bundles)

Cooking various new meals which includes celebratory offerings 

Created new spells utilising Greek Folk Magic practises 

Planted more herbs and focused on cultivating and preserving ones used in Greek and Egyptian magic.

“Blue” 9×5 Exhibition (C) T. Georigitsis

“Diva Connection” Optika20 (c) T. Georgitsis

Attended Conference with a Magical/Spiritual Slant :

AWC 2020

HoN End of Year Festivities – Epagomenial Days & Wep Ronpet 

LIFE is about experiences and the way I feel when I – create, visit or support something which inspires and uplifts me.  I find its easier to get energised and complete set objectives if I find personal purpose within the task before me.

Therefore my suggestion for those wanting to set resolutions who then struggle to fulfil them, is to instead write a wish list of intentions, of things you would like to do – to feed your soul and go from there.  That way there is less pressure as the focus is more pleasure in your life.

(C) T Georgitsis – all images and text 2020