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/

Hekate Devotion: Samhain

 

Samhain also known as All Hallows Eve, Feast of the Dead and Halloween is the historically Gaelic festival and in a literal sense means summer’s end, marking just that – as it signifies the start of winter and the end of the harvest season.  It falls between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice and is a time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest due to it being a liminal/threshold festival. In the 19th century it was suggested to be the “Celtic New Year” and in modern time this became the “Witches New Year”.  This year in the Southern Hemisphere calendar it falls on the 5th of May at 4.36pm. Gods such as Hekate, Hades, Persephone, Osiris, Crom Cruach, Cerridwen, Lilith, Kali, Ishtar, Persephone, Oya, Innana, Pamona, Cailleach, The Morrigan, Nephtys, Rhiannon, Herne, Anubis, Odin, Bran and Cernunnos can all be honoured during this time of year.

I have celebrated Samhain with groups of people in a religious, spiritual and mundane way both here in Australia and overseas.  The one thing which I found resonated with them all was the celebration of what has passed and honouring that which came before us.



One of the first memories I have during this time of year was when we were visiting my mother’s village on a small Aegean island of Greece, Lemnos (where its origins can be traced back to the Epipaleolithic Period) but its more commonly known for its (Mycenean Period) whose matriarchal line had lived on for centuries.  She took me to her family’s mausoleum which from the outside looked like a mini Parthenon with walls.  Once inside, the marble covered walls were lined and stacked from ceiling to floor with ledges crammed with skulls and bones.  My mother with arms outstretched swept over what I was taking in said in an echoing voice that these were my ancestors and I needed to honour them and that one day she would be amongst them and I needed to remember to pay my respects.

I personally like to honour my ancestors during this time by leaving offerings for them on their ancestor shrine I have been keeping and tending to for more years than I can count.  My mother was a very spiritual person and taught me to always tend to the ancestor shrine and light incense and leave offerings for them frequently.  During this time since its so close to Greek Easter I make and leave coloured eggs (usually red with patterns of leaves or flowers on them like I was taught using old panty hose and dried leaves/flowers) along with other items my blessed dead liked in life.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2013

I feel that Hekate resonates with this time of the year for various reasons.  This is a liminal time and this is Hekate’s domain as she can traverse the various realms (sky, earth, sea and underworld) as she easily navigates through the thresholds as well as being Goddess of the Underworld, Crossroads and Queen of the Dead and Lost Souls she can help guide.

I personally like to honour Hekate during this time and make offerings of apples, pomegranates, garlic, onions, bay leaves, mead, beer, wine, red meat such as lamb roast, wine, bread, barley, nuts, acorns, pumpkins, gourds, mushrooms, sage, nutmeg, mint, oregano, thyme, marigolds, lilies, chrysanthemums, mugwort, wormwood, dittany of crete, oak leaves, rosemary, corn, gingerbread, chestnuts and apple cider.

Since this tends to be near or after Greek easter I tend to make an apple tea cake and leave a token inside (usually a wrapped up gold coin) which I divide and serve and whomever gets the coin has the token of luck.  I also like to cook items for Hekate which resonate with familial recipes so I like to bake and offer Anastasia’s Spiral Pita and Greek Kourabiethes.

Some things you can do to honour and mark Samhain in your personal practice (or with a group of likeminded individuals) can be:
  1. Dumb suppers such as a place for them at your table or food left for them on a ancestor shrine/altar, doorstep, property boundary, gravestone or crossroads to your blessed dead such as ancestors or other loved ones who have passed over.
  2. Making offerings of appeasement to lost souls.
  3. Connect and communicate with the spirit world.
  4. Divination using various methods such as scrying (crystal, fire, mirror, black ink and water), reading such as tarot, runes, dice, I Ching and pendulum.
  5. Rituals and spells involving protective and cleansing properties for oneself or one’s property.
  6. Light a hearth fire either in a fire place, outside bonfire style or a simple small fire inside using a proof vessel on a shrine such as a cauldron, lamp or even a candle.
  7. Collect the last harvest from your garden – be it fruit, vegetables or herbs and flowers.
  8. Honouring the dual nature of life and death and accepting its beauty.  This includes honouring the darkness and the light as both are equally as important.
  9. Prepare food for the God/s you honour during this time and thank them for their gifts.
  10. Personally reflect on the last 12 months and take note of your accomplishments and failures and create a plan to continue with said accomplishments and rectify failures.
  11. Make a jack-o-lanturn from a pumpkin or gourd and place a candle inside it and when lit leave i (in safe) view of a windowsill or outside near your front door.
  12. Host a feast with family or friends which can include music and dancing.
  13. Create a shrine with images or items from your blessed dead and recite prayers and leave offerings in their name.

As is my style, I like to craft during this time of year making Hekate and ancestor beaded necklaces, anointing oils, and seasonal incense and candles.  With the necklaces, I make them using my mother’s agillete (knot magic or witches ladder) and then I bless and consecrate them in my yearly Samhain ritual which you can find here:

Hekate Magick: Samhain for her Witches

So work your magick this Samhain, honour those who came before you and reflect and contemplate on your journey thus far taking in and celebrating the ebb and flow of the seasons and of life itself.


(c) T. Georgitsis 2021

 

 

 

 

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:

 

Artz Blitz

 
 

I did a thing I have been wanting to do for years but too apprehensive. I finally had the courage to submit to ArtzBlitz Creative Writing 2021! The theme was “Future” and we had 24 hours once we were told of the theme to submit. My entry “This Future of Mine” is listed last – T. Georgitsis (due to it being in alphabetical order via first name) in the Creative Writing 18+ Section and can be read here:

 

If you would like to support me and vote for my writing you can do so using the link below which will be appreciated:

 

I was inspired to enter when it came up synchronicity wise whilst I was studying Hekate through a structured class I am currently undertaking (which I felt compelled to join after watching the teacher speak in which I was deeply moved). I like being open to learn more about Hekate in any way I can – one way being through other people’s perception and knowledge of Her (and why I like to read so much on Hekate and other people’s practices devoted to her). The poem was written between study sessions of the course I am doing on Hekate and submitted. I like how this class is making me take a step back and view things in a different perspective. It’s allowed me to reassess and explore my devotion to Hekate whilst also opening myself up to new experiences.

 

 

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:

Hekate Devotion: Mabon/Autumn Equinox

 

Mabon or the Autumnal Equinox is the second harvest festival in the Southern Hemisphere calendar which is a vernal equinox meaning the hours of the day and night are approximately the same length. This year it falls on the 20th of March at 7.37pm. Mabon is named after the god of the same name in Welsh mythology but its a modern adaptation from the 1970’s.  Other gods such as Pamona, the Green Man, Bachus, Dionysus, Artemis, Carpo, Hestia, Persephone, Demeter and Hekate can all be honoured during this time of year.

My mother was a wildcrafter and I have very distinct memories of her taking me foraging during this time of year. We would forage for various herbs, plants, nuts and flowers.  The area I grew up in was surrounded by farmland and so there was a plethora of nature’s gifts to be found and used.  On occasion we would also take day trips to forage seasonally. 

I like to take long walks and see the changing of the leaves (yes I am one of those people) and I do this locally as well as around my beautiful state. I also go out foraging during this time of year and I have engaged in various foraging expeditions and would recommend the following books for those living in Melbourne/Victoria to assist you as you need to be VERY careful with what you collect and use (and if in doubt leave it be and don’t risk poisoning yourself):

  • The Weed Forager’s Handbook: A Guide to Edible and Medicinal Weeds in Australia by Adam Grubb and Annie Raser Rowland.

  • Wild Food Plants of Australia Paperback by Tim Low.

I feel that Demeter resonates with this time of the year.  This is the time when Demeter withdraws her creative powers from the earth as Persephone descends into the underworld. I also feel that Hekate also resonates with this time of year especially since its a liminal time – a day of equal day and night and Hekate’s ability to dwell within those times.

I personally like to honour Demeter as well as Hekate during this time and make offerings of wine, grapes, bread, grains: corn, oats and barley, nuts, acorns, apples, pomegranates, onions, poppies, mushrooms, dandelions, nettles, marrow, chickweed, black berries, oak leaves, vine leaves and herbal teas.

I like to cook with seasonal foods and for Hekate and Demeter I like to bake and offer Cheese Garlic and Thyme Bread , Garlic and Saffron Risotto  (I substitute the rice for barley and the butter for Nuttlex) and Apple Tea Cake (I substitute milk with soy/almond/oat milk and butter with Nuttlex)

Some things you can do to honour and mark the Mabon/Autumn Equinox can be:
  1. Rituals and spells involving balance within or outside of yourself such as removing an addiction and replacing it with a healthy lifestyle change.

  2. Rituals and spells involving mourning something lost – to be able to better accept this loss.

  3. Honouring the dual nature of life and accepting its beauty.  This includes honouring the darkness and the light  as both are equally as important.

  4. Prepare food for the God/s you honour during this time and thank them for their gifts.

  5. Cleanse and purify your home and garden.

  6. Gardening such as blessing and sowing autumnal seeds specific to your region and/or fertilising and turning the earth.

  7. Go foraging with friends (ensuring you are very careful and don’t collect anything poisonous or which has been sprayed with chemicals) or alternatively book a local guided wild forager tour (such as mushroom or herbs/plants) or go apple picking at a local orchard.

  8. Like Demeter go for a wander – take a long walk in the woods or somewhere where you feel close to the gods and spirits of your local land.

As is my style, I like to craft during this time of year making abundance pouches which I fill with various items which symbolises abundance to me, along with cleansing washes, blessing oils, and seasonal God/dess incense.

I would like to share with you a Hekate Incense I came up with which I love and resonates with this time of year and which I urge you to try your hand at making:

Hekate’s Autumnal Incense (C) T. Georgitsis

1 Part Dehydrated (or oven dried) Apple Peel

1 Part Dehydrated (or oven dried) Pomegranate Peel

1 Part Pine Resin

1-3 Sprinkle of Cinnamon (or crushed cinnamon stick).

Since I love to perform rituals to honour Hekate, I like to mark the date with a ritual in her name.  Here is a hymn I wrote to Demeter and Hekate for my devotional rites which I would also like to share with you:

Autumnal Hymn to Demeter and Hekate (C) T. Georgitsis

Great Goddess Demeter

I thank you for your bounty

You who separates the chaff from the grain

I pray to you so that my life be full of boons

Madam of the Sacred Law

Encourage and protect me as I work its mysteries

Great Goddess Hekate

I thank you for your guidance

You who perceives the cycles of life and death

I pray to you so that my life be full of blessings

Madam of Magick

Encourage and protect me as I walk its path 

 

So work your magick this equinox and engage in some activities which can bring you in closer connection to your Gods and the cycle of the earth.


(c) T. Georgitsis 2021

 

 

 

 

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