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

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

Haitian Vodou Ritual to Papa Legba and Ancestors

Taken from my now defunct LJ. 

I wanted to repost here to ensure I kept a copy for my own records and future reference.

This was the first Fet I ever attended in 2011/12.

legba2-mine

 

Mambo P was in Melbourne and held an invite only workshop/ritual  which I attended due to being on S’s FB group where it was advertised.

The ritual started an hour late due to us waiting for stragglers (H who is notoriously late was picking up a voodoo initiate from NZ who has recently moved to Melbourne) and it was held at Ceres which I finally got to see after hearing about it for so long.

Since I got there on time, I helped Mambo P set up and I also purchased her two books and cd for my own studies/information which she signed for me.

After everyone finally arrived Mambo P briefly spoke about what we were going to do and how Haitian Vodou works from her training, experience and perspective and then we got started.

We learned a song for Papa Legba, the Keeper of the Cross-Roads and two chants for our Ancestors as well as the Rada salute to greet our Ancestors and greet our Peristyle.

A pe was created for everyone’s Ancestors and Papa Legba beforehand and each person put something from their Ancestor upon it as well as offerings to Papa Legba.  For my ancestors I had my father’s pipe and a picture of my mother and for Papa Legba I offered rum (which was consumed during the rite) and pasta and canned food was offered for the homeless.

We ended our Service with a farewell and goodbye to the Spirits.

I did become tipsy during several occasions in the ritual (and I only had two small shots of rum earlier in the evening) and I feel I would of been tipsy moreso or even attained possession if I hadn’t been so self conscious of the fact my partner was having an awkward time of it.

Unfortunately my partner didn’t have a good time due to H being there (he was throwing death stares towards us throughout the workshop, most probably because he doesn’t like us due to calling him out on his lack of duty of care 10 years ago when he was running a yearly specific weekend workshop and he still hasn’t got over it).  Predominately it was due to my partner’s own words that the Mambo was being rather blunt and tactless when it came to instructing those of us who had never attended a vodou group ritual before and he felt that he was constantly being picked on and embarrassed and therefore couldn’t let go and connect (she did the same thing to a few of us as, myself included and the vodou initiate who was there mentioned to us that Mambo P was prone to behave like this in ritual and not to take it personally). My partner was upset that he wasn’t warned beforehand since we had already paid for the gathering and being a teacher himself he found a lot of her teaching style lacking due to its scattered and abrupt/calling out nature.

I have to say for me it was a double edged sword and has been very hard for me to talk about this publicly so have only confided in a few people in a safe and private environment.  Personally I did get something out of it and at first I was glad I went.  Its true what Mambo T Chita Tann told me about learning by participating in ritual – it does enrich your practice and the only way to learn other than learning the basics from her book.  I learned things which I had only read about before and I was shown how to sing and/or execute properly.  I have to add however that I did completely agree what my partner said about the style of teaching so I wont be attending any of Mambo P’s events in the future.  I found that afterwards I was dissecting what happened (her behavior towards other attendees and myself) and I found she was rather rude and tactless towards myself and others and not the style of teaching I align with.  Yet her contacts and friends who attended didn’t receive the same brash treatment and actually had more preferential treatment.  At the end of the Fet, Mambo P asked if we had any questions and when I did ask one, I was quite aggressively dismissed that H picked up on it and came over to diffuse the situation and comfort me. This was when I had enough and decided to leave with my partner instead of staying on for the social aspect.  Unfortunately I have come to find out many contacts and long time friends both here and OS have had quite terrible experiences with Mambo P and it confirmed for me that her manner of treating people is something I’d rather avoid in the future.  I don’t know why this is VERY common here in Australia  but many teachers and facilitators tend to have that priestessitis vibe and come from a place of ego.  

 

Sacred Mother Blessings Ceremony

(taken from my now defunct LJ)

I love being a Priestess….

Fascilitated B’s Belly Blessing this past weekend which is the first one I’ve ever done.

It was a lovely day and B and her fiance D were very pleased and loved my ritual.

altar
Basic Belly Blessing Altar with items from nature guests brought along which B made into a dreamcatcher.

dreamcatcher
B Making her dreamcatcher.

necklace
Beaded necklace I made for B as part of ritual – I asked all guests to bring a bead in which symbolised B and explain to all assembled what it meant and how they met B

By the end of it the whole party was in tears and it was a very warm and loving circle.

pendant
B made this broach for me as a thank you.  She painted/drew the fairy inside which is one of her original designs and set the enamel herself which was one of her first.

baby bottle
I won this as one of the prizes in the baby shower game before the ritual – its a baby bottle filled with chocolate and condoms lols

 

FOI and my role…

As a Priestess Heirophant within the Fellowship of Isis and my work, a few months back I had the pleasure of being voted in as a member of the Archpriesthood Union:

http://www.fellowshipofisiscentral.com/

1923555_8151534761_3354_n
(C) T Georgitsis 2007

Also as an aside, my Lyceum which teaches the College of Isis curriculum is once again taking on new students. Fore more info see my Lyceum page on FB:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lyceum-of-Heka-Fellowship-of-Isis/223016837711229

Hekatecentric Events From The Past

I have hosted a few Hekate-centric free public gatherings/events over the last few years other than Hekate: Her Sacred Fires which I have been running since its inception.

Here are a few I’d like to share with you:

Feast of Hekate, Dandenong Mountains
(BBQ, Picnic and impromptu ritual)

Feast of Hekate August 2011 - public rite

 

Magick of the Sea – Sandringham
(Picnic and workshop on various forms of oceanic magick)

Sanctuary of Hekate's Crossroads - Magick of the Sea Workshop February 2013 - public rite

Hekatesia Ritual, Sandringham
(Hellenic Hekate Ritual and Pub Moot)

Sanctuary of Hekate's Crossroads - Hellenic Ritual November 2013 - public rite

Hekate Her Sacred Fires: My Event Altars from 2010 – 2013

Having contributed to Hekate: Her Sacred Fires book (article: Illuminating the Path – http://avaloniabooks.co.uk/catalogue/paganism/hekate-her-sacred-fires/)  I took part in the first Hekate: Her Sacred Fires ritual in 2010 (http://hekatecovenant.com/rite-of-her-sacred-fires/) and have been hosting public events here in Melbourne, Australia ever since.

I am one of the founding members of the Covenant of Hekate which was born from the Hekate: Her Sacred Rites ritual, and I was also one of the first torchbearers who in turn opened  an official sanctuary through the covenant called The Sanctuary of Hekate’s Crossroads (https://www.facebook.com/groups/thesanctuaryofhekatescrossroads/).

Here are the shrines I have worked with for Hekate: Her Sacred Fires with respects to the event as Hekate’s priestess over the years:

2010 – 1st/First Hekate: Her Sacred Fires Ritual (Private Event: SE Melbourne, Australia)

30448_460444729761_3200866_n

2011 – 2nd/Second Hekate: Her Sacred Fires Ritual (Public Event: Kilmore, Victoria (Australia)

Hekate Her Sacred Fires 2011

2012 – 3rd/Third Hekate: Her Sacred Fires Ritual (Public Event: Sandringham, Victoria (Australia)

Sanctuary of Hekate's Crossroads - Hekate Her Sacred Fires Public Ritual May 2012

2013 – 4th/Fourth Hekate: Her Sacred Fires Ritual (Public Event: Sandringham, Victoria (Australia)

Sanctuary of Hekate's Crossroads - Hekate Her Sacred Fires Public Ritual May 2013

 

Sekhmet Sekhem Workshop on 9th February 2014

1920612_10152679614964762_1262672424_n

(Sekhmet Shrine (C) image copyright T. Georgitsis 2014)

On Sunday 8th February 2014 I taught a Sekhmet Sekhem workshop in Sacred Mist in Malvern (Victoria, Australia) as Sekhmet’s Priestess and as a Master Sekhem Practitioner.

It was a hot windy day as I set off in the early morning to set up and prep for the vibrational modality I was going to teach with the guidance of Sekhmet.  

The owner Lesley had done an AMAZING job setting up and the workshop space was beautiful and perfect for my needs:

1798191_10152679615774762_1463312725_n

I got there half an hour early and set up a Sekhmet shrine, the odds and ends table which the students would need throughout the day ( which included stationary and their manuals), as well as some morning tea/afternoon tea in the kitchenette behind the partition.

3554_10152679613454762_538509608_n

I had specific Ancient Egyptian themed music playing throughout the day and burned my own Sekhmet incense blend to clear and prepare the space.

Throughout the workshop I also used other complimentary vibrational tools…I placed my Sekhmet statue in a crystal grid with some gem stones sacred to her which were given out to the students at the end of the workshop, I had the students use pomanders to clean their auras before the commencement of the workshop , I also used sacred waters to purify my students and the space as well as natron which was offered, kyphi was burned throughout the day as was a specific candle I had made,  I anointed my students with specific oil blends, I had offered various heka amulets which I had pre- made under purity conditions and then handed out to students as a way to record their personal symbols received during the initiation.

The workshop itself consisted of various prayers, ritual gestures, meditations, initiations and information presented in discussion, notes and interaction with one another.  Overall the energy of the workshop was quite healing and centered.  Everyone in attendance was very respectful and was there to learn and I am truly blessed to have been able to initiate and share the current of Sekhmet Sekhem with everyone!

 

1798612_10152679614534762_1954914803_n

Beltaine Celebration – Silver Birch Grove (ADF)

Image

This past Sunday I attended the Australian ADF’s local Beltaine celebration run by the Silver Birch Grove (https://www.adf.org/core/index.html).   It was my first druidic ritual run by Shazbeth and her grove and I was so impressed.  The attendees were friendly as were the facilitators who were organised, open and explained the ritual with handouts provided, which made me feel safe and welcome.

The sounds of the local wildlife and the natural landscape provided a beautiful backdrop score as we gathered in reverence within a liminal place, underneath a natural canopy of native trees and flanked by a stream.

Shazbeith had written the rite and her eloquent words, songs and actions along with some other members of the grove, connected me to the energies of the natural flow of the festival, as well as the environmental surroundings.

Image

The rite itself consisted of honour and veneration to the to the Gods/Goddesses (Manannan mac Lir & Danu), Ancestors and Spirits of Place as well as libations, singing of prayers/chants/hymns, divination, offerings and partaking of the oblation.

I felt and saw the devas of the land surrounding me and I experienced the power raised as it resonated through the sacred space.  I sensed some of my own ancestors watching from just beyond the clearing in the north west as well as one of my own patrons (Hekate).

Throughout the celebratory rite it felt familiar – true there were similarities with the way the prayers and libations were performed with my personal Hellenic practise but it was something more than that…it was the reverence and connection to nature whilst also acknowledging those who came before us and the gods who are ever watchful and present in our lives.

After the rite, we all enjoyed a picnic where we shared what we had brought with one another surrounded by wild herbs, flowers, grasses and trees which was uniquely Australian and picturesque.

Thank you Shaz and members of the Silver Birch Grove!

Image