Hekate for Halloween

deipnon-september 2013

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

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Khalkeia Festival

On the 20th of October, the Hellenic Khalkeia festival is observed.

The Khalkeia is a festival celebrating and is devoted to Hephaistos, Athena Ergane and the Khalkeia (patrons of artisans).

This is an auspicious time to celebrate crafting and to make devotional crafts.

Offer meat and grain.

Here is a hymn to Hephaestus you can read out during your devotionals:

Homeric Hymn 20 To Hephaestus

 Sing, clear-voiced Muse, of Hephaestus famed for inventions.
With bright-eyed Athena he taught men glorious crafts throughout the world,
—men who before used to dwell in caves in the mountains like wild beasts.
But now that they have learned crafts through Hephaestus the famed worker,
easily they live a peaceful life in their own houses the whole year round.

Be gracious, Hephaestus, and grant me success and prosperity!

English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White

 

(C) T. Georgitsis 2017

We Are The Witches – A Poem

We are the ones who rise
We are the cursers
We are the crafters

We are the ones who heal
We are the charmers
We are the wise

We are the ones who dare
We are the quiet fury
We are the witches

(C) Image and Prose: T Georgitsis 2017

 

 

Pyanepsia Festival

On the 28th of September, the Hellenic Pyanepsia festival is observed.

The Pyanepsia is a festival celebrating and is devoted to Apollo,  Theseus, Helios and the Horai (the goddesses of the seasons and time).

This is an auspicious time to celebrate the harvest festival whilst retelling the myths of Theseus.  Make an eiresione (take a branch of olive, laurel or from a fruit tree and place around it strings of white or purple wool.  Add fruits, pastries, cakes, acorns to decorate and place on the front door of the home to protect the hearth against ill will.

Avoid meat and offer honey, olive oil, figs, bread, panspermia,  (the meal which was offered to Apollo for the safe travel from Delos to Attica by Theseus), fruit and pastries.

Here is a retelling of the Life of Plutarch you can read out during your devotionals:

(C) T. Georgitsis

Oskhophoria Festival

On the 28th of September, the Hellenic Oskhophoria festival is observed.

The Oskhophoria is a festival celebrating the grape harvest and is devoted to Dionysus and Athena (Skira).

This is an auspicious time to work with protection, specifically of the hearth.

Offer grapes, vine leaves and wine.

Here is a poem you can use in your devotionals:

Dionysus 

(C) T. Georgitsis

Proerosia Festival

On the 27th of September, the Hellenic Proerosia festival is observed.

The Proerosia is a festival of “first fruits” devoted to the time of plowing.

This is an auspicious time to honor Demeter.

Offer seeds, fruit, flowers and herbs.

Here is a hymn you can use in your devotionals:

Homeric Hymn to Demeter

Eleusinian Mysteries

On the 6th till the 12th of September, the Hellenic Eleusinian Mysteries is observed.

The Eleusinian Mysteries is a time celebrating  Demeter and Persephone’s mystery cults in the town of Eleusis outside of Athens.

This is an auspicious time to dedicate yourself to your Hellenic Gods or traditions or retake your vows with the same.

Offer symbols of rebirth like wheat.

Here is a hymn you can use in your devotionals:

Homeric Hymn to Demeter (translated by Gregory Nagy)

Homeric Hymn to Demeter

 

(C) T. Georgitsis

Demokratia Festival

On the 3rd of September, the Hellenic Demokratia festival is observed.

The Demokratia is a festival celebrating democracy in Athens and is devoted to Themis, Zeaus Agoraios and Athena Agoraia (which are all gods connected to the sacred agora ie marketplace).

This is an auspicious time to celebrate democracy in our lives which was created by the Ancient Greeks.

Offer incense such as frankinscense.

Here is a hymn you can use in your devotionals:

Orphic Hymn to Themis

Illustrious Themis, of celestial birth, thee I invoke, young blossom of the earth; 
Beauteous-eyed virgin; first from thee alone, prophetic oracles to men were known,
Giv’n from the deep recesses of the fane in sacred Pytho, where renown’d you reign;
From thee, Apollo’s oracles arose, and from thy pow’r his inspiration flows.
Honour’d by all, of form divinely bright, majestic virgin, wand’ring in the night: 
Mankind from thee first learnt initial rites, and Bacchus’ nightly choirs thy soul delights;
For holy honours to disclose is thine, with all the culture of the pow’rs divine.
Be present, Goddess, to my pray’r inclin’d, and bless the mystic rites with fav’ring mind.

(C) T. Georgitsis

Artemis Agrotera/Kharisteria

On the 28th of August, the Hellenic Artemis Agrotera/Kharisteria festival is observed.

The Agrotera/Kharisteria is a festival of feasting which is dedicated to Artemis the Huntress.

This is an auspicious time to celebrate success in battles and in modern times victory over what you’ve been fighting for.

Offer meat such as goat or lamb.

Here is a hymn you can use in your devotionals:

Hymn to Artemis

I sing of Artemis, whose shafts are of gold, who cheers on the hounds, the pure maiden, shooter of stags, who delights in archery, own sister to Apollo with the golden sword. Over the shadowy hills and windy peaks she draws her golden bow, rejoicing in the chase, and sends out grievous shafts. The tops of the high mountains tremble and the tangled wood echoes awesomely with the outcry of beasts: earth quakes and the sea also where fishes shoal. But the goddess with a bold heart turns every way destroying the race of wild beasts: and when she is satisfied and has cheered her heart, this huntress who delights in arrows slackens her supple bow and goes to the great house of her dear brother Phoebus Apollo, to the rich land of  Delphi.  There to order the lovely dance of the Muses and Graces. There she hangs up her curved bow and her arrows, and heads and leads the dances, gracefully arrayed, while all they utter their heavenly voice, singing how neat-ankled Leto bare children supreme among the immortals both in thought and in deed.Hail to you, children of Zeus and rich-haired Leto! And now I will remember you and another song also. 

 

(C) T. Georgitsis

 

Genesios Festival

On the 27th of August, the Hellenic festival of Genesios is observed.

This is a festival which is dedicated to the dead.

This is an auspicious time to honor your ancestors who have passed.  Visit their grave or memorials and remember the things they did in life.

Offerings which can be made during this time include water, incense, flowers, bay laurel, honey and milk.

Here is a prayer you can use to honor on this day which I wrote for my ancestors:

Imperishable Stars

Imperishable Stars

Never to rise nor set

Your luminous hearts fixed

Watching in abject silence

Epithets eternally emblazoned

Within and upon your earthly kin

Eternally through the promised premise

Incandescent in dogging darkness

(C) T. Georgitsis 2016