The Hekate book list I created has been updated yet again with new, upcoming or books not usually promoted:
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.
- 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.
- Making offerings of appeasement to lost souls.
- Connect and communicate with the spirit world.
- Divination using various methods such as scrying (crystal, fire, mirror, black ink and water), reading such as tarot, runes, dice, I Ching and pendulum.
- Rituals and spells involving protective and cleansing properties for oneself or one’s property.
- 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.
- Collect the last harvest from your garden – be it fruit, vegetables or herbs and flowers.
- 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.
- Prepare food for the God/s you honour during this time and thank them for their gifts.
- 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.
- 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.
- Host a feast with family or friends which can include music and dancing.
- 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:
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
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)
- Rituals and spells involving balance within or outside of yourself such as removing an addiction and replacing it with a healthy lifestyle change.
- Rituals and spells involving mourning something lost – to be able to better accept this loss.
- Honouring the dual nature of life and accepting its beauty. This includes honouring the darkness and the light as both are equally as important.
- Prepare food for the God/s you honour during this time and thank them for their gifts.
- Cleanse and purify your home and garden.
- Gardening such as blessing and sowing autumnal seeds specific to your region and/or fertilising and turning the earth.
- 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.
- 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
I have updated this list to include new or upcoming books or ones I feel should be included in Hekate related books 😀
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…
View original post 720 more words
Lammas or Lughnasadh is the first autumn festival in the Southern Hemisphere calendar. This year it falls on the 4th of February at 12.40am. I was introduced to this festival when I studied Wicca back in my teens and then was exposed to a celebration of it when I was in my first Wiccan coven in my early 20’s.
Historically its a Celtic festival which celebrates the First Harvest of the Fruits such as apples, grapes, tomatoes, peaches, plums but also celebrates the harvest of the first grain, wheat, oats and corn. Therefore traditionally the fruit gathered is made into preserves and the grains and corn made into bread or cakes.
I grew up with an immigrant Greek family and during this time of year they would make large stores of Passata due to it being used so often in their cooking. My father also made home made moonshine using whatever was abundant and in season as well as his own wine and beer. My mother made Pita from home grown spinach and/or horta and fennel, stuffed vine leaves and also various Greek shortbreads and cakes. They would both share what they made with family and friends as it was common practice where they grew up and brought that tradition here to Australia when they immigrated.
These days I continue a version of their traditions as I infuse store bought wine with homegrown Greek herbs, make passata from the tomatoes out of my garden, as well as bake traditional Greek village bread and Greek biscuits using organic ingredients. I have also used this time for years to make plum jam from my garden’s Victorian heirloom organic plums (due to the trees originally being part of a farm in the area before it was sub-divided into housing). These items created from the seasonal harvest are offered to my Gods, Ancestors and loved ones where appropriate.
Due to been heavily influenced by the way I was raised, my rituals are a mix of honouring my personal Gods, ancestors and also honouring the land I live on. I see this as a perfect blend of personal devotion as someone who works with the Gods, local spirits and venerates her ancestors in a modern way. I don’t have any strong connection to the God Lugh, typically honoured during this time of year, so I personally use it as a harvest festival and honour my household Gods: Hekate with a libation set aside to Hestia. Other Gods which I have honoured during his time include Persephone, Demeter, Mercury and Apollo.
If like me if you honour any of the above Gods, you can make Greek shortbread or cheesecake for Hekate, pomegranate infused cakes or salads for Persephone, honey or sesame biscuits for Demeter, home made wine for Mercury and home made beer for Apollo.
Its also a good time to make and dedicate devotional items you have crafted yourself over the summer. I tend to make and dedicate items to specific Gods utilising items from my garden due to it resonating with the vibe of the season and festival. Growing a lot of herbs, the ones which are in season, I collect preserve and store them for future use in Hekate’s name for various magical purposes. I also collect resin, bark, leaves and branches from some of my trees to be used in items such as incense, waters, oils and magical tools.
I feel magically used crafts such as candles and incense are perfect to infuse with the energies of the season especially if we are able to harness these energies and channel them into the items. I also tend to make preserves which I use in offerings thorough the remainder of the year
Also its a good time to acknowledge the ancestors and leave them some food offerings as a form of ancestor veneration. I usually leave some food they liked in life such as kalamata olives, feta, stuffed vine leaves my mother taught me to make along with some Greek coffee which I can scry and divine with.
So even though the Hekate and Ancestral traditions of spirituality and magick I work, doesn’t sound like it fits exactly within the Lammas/Lughnasadh festival – I make it work for me and you can too as the most important thing I feel is devotion and dedication to your path whatever form that takes.
(c) T. Georgitsis 2020
The best time to honor Hekate is the Deipnon and Noumenia. With that said, every year I create an Athenian Calendar to calculate the Deipnon and Noumenia using the Southern Hemisphere New Moons, to ensure my devotions are on the right evenings for my location. This is calculated by the start off point of the Summer Solstice in Greece of that particular year.
The Athenian Calendar also known as the Attic Calendar was a lunisolar calendar used during the classical period of Ancient Greece during the 4th and 5th Centuries BC. It was exclusively used in Athens at the time and each month starts at the first sighting of the new moon, with the year beginning just after mid-summer. It’s become a modern go to for practicing Hellenics and as such, what we use and have today is a reconstruction of what they used around 300-500 BC. I have superimposed this Athenian Calendar over our modern Gregorian one, to loosely create a festival calendar of 12 months based on the cycle of the moon which starts at the beginning of the Athenian year – on the summer solstice in Athens. The names of the months reflect the gods and festivals honoured at that time and have agricultural links to the planting or harvesting of food in the northern hemisphere.
Here is what the yearly Athenian Calendar basically looks like:
1 Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομβαιών) July/August
2 Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών) August/September (named after Apollo)
3 Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών) September/October
4 Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών) October/November
5 Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών) November/December (named after Zeus)
6 Poseideon (Ποσειδεών) December/January
7 Gamelion (Γαμηλιών) January/February
8 Anthesterion (Ἀνθεστηριών) February/March (named after the festival of Anthesteria)
9 Elaphebolion (Ἑλαφηβολιών) March/April
10 Mounichion (Μουνιχιών) April/May
11 Thargelion (Θαργηλιών) May/June
12 Skirophorion (Σκιροφοριών) June/July
Every month lasts for approximately 29-30 days in total. Each month is broken up into 10 days of three which reflect the moon phases in the following order: Waxing, Full and Waning Moons.
Days 1 to 8 were all sacred to gods or spirit entities and the last day of the month, known as “hene kai nea” translated as “the old and the new”, is dedicate to Hekate as it’s her Deipnon along with the first day of the month, Noumenia which is also dedicated to Hekate.
Here are the details of those 8 sacred days in the Athenian Calendar month:
Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon)
Day 2: Agathos Daimon
Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros
Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
Day 29-30: Deipnon
To get you all started with adapting the Athenian Calendar to the Gregorian one, here is the Athenian Calendar I created for 2021, calculated for Southern Hemisphere practitioners:
21 June 2020 (12.43am), = Summer Solstice in Greece (Winter Solstice in Australia 21st June 7.43am AEST)
1 Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομβαιών)
21 July – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 3.32am Athenian New Year
22 July – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
23 July – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
24 July – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros
26 July – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
27 July – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
28 July – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
17-18 August – Day 29-30: Deipnon
2 Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών) (named after Apollo)
19 August – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 12.41pm
20 August – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
21 August – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
22 August – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros
24 August – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
25 August – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
26 August – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
15-16 September – Day 29-30: Deipnon
3 Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών)
17 September – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 9.00pm
18 September – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
19 September – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
20 September – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros
22 September – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
23 September – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
24 September – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
15-16 October – Day 29-30: Deipnon
4 Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών)
17 October – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 6.31am
18 October – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
19 October – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
20 October – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros
22 October – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
23 October – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
24 October – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
13-14 November – Day 29-30: Deipnon
5 Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών) (named after Zeus)
15 November – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 4.07pm
16 November – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
17 November – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
18 November – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros
20 November – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
21 November – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
22 November – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
13-14 December – Day 29-30: Deipnon
6 Poseideon (Ποσειδεών)
15 December – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 3.06am
28 November – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
29 November – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
30 November – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros
2 December – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
3 December – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
4 December – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
12-13 January – Day 29-30: Deipnon
7 Gamelion (Γαμηλιών)
13 January – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 4.00pm
14 January – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
15 January – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
16 January – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros
18 January – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
19 January – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
20 January – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
10-11 February – Day 29-30: Deipnon
8 Anthesterion (Ἀνθεστηριών) (named after the festival of Anthesteria)
12 February – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 6.05am
13 February – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
14 February – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
15 February – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Erosc
17 February- Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
18 February – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
19 February – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
11-12 March – Day 29-30: Deipnon
9 Elaphebolion (Ἑλαφηβολιών)
13 March – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 9.21pm
14 March – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
15 March – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
16 March – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Erosc
18 March – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
19 March – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
20 March – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
10-11 April – Day 29-30: Deipnon
10 Mounichion (Μουνιχιών)
12 April – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 12.30pm
13 April – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
14 April – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
15 April – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Erosc
17 April – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
18 April – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
19 April – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
10-11 May – Day 29-30: Deipnon
11 Thargelion (Θαργηλιών)
12 May – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 4.59am
13 May – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
14 May – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
15 May – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Erosc
17 May – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
18 May – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
19 May – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
8-9 June – Day 29-30: Deipnon
12 Skirophorion (Σκιροφοριών)
10 June – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 8.52pm
11 June – Day 2: Agathos Daimon
12 June – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday
13 June – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Erosc
15 June – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday
16 June – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday
17 June – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)
8-9 July – Day 29-30: Deipnon
(C) T. Georgitsis 2021
To those who think they can dictate how others experience the divine,
From a personal perspective – MY practice, magick and spirituality is my own. My research, dedication and ongoing development have led me to where I find myself today. I work with existing systems and yet it is tailored, modified and individualised to my own preferences. One hand in modern and the other in ancient practices is the path I tred. It is my own blend as I take what works and discard what doesn’t. My taste might not resonate with yours which is completely ok as YMMV.
With that said, I own my own path and the power I yield I do so for my personal development, therefore:
My spirituality is not made to placate you.
My practice is not created for your comfort.
My magick is not worked for your satisfaction.
So to those:
- Talking down to others is rude and shows your arrogance as you do not demand an audience.
- Mansplaining makes you look like a domineering person afraid of individual self empowerment.
- Exhibiting belittling behaviour is unwarranted as is the obedience of another. You are owed nothing except common courtesy and respect which you should have the decency to show yourself.
- Dictating your point of view which is not accepted blindly – frustrates you, which in some cases you turn into lashed out anger which makes you look controlling and lacking confidence.
So to those who struggle with people who tell you how to be and how to practice – simply give them no attention, pay them no mind, don’t give in to their tendencies to be antagonistic towards you because simply put – they are not worth the energy and time.
Perhaps they are envious of your ways otherwise they wouldn’t chose to be so focused towards what you are doing and instead put that vigour towards their own workings (instead of trying to lord over yours).
Remember – NO ONE can control you, this is YOUR path! What you owe is to yourself and to your God/s. Do your thing and don’t apologise for it.
© T. Georgitsis 2020
Dance has long been regarded as a exemplary way to elevate one’s soul in a spiritual way. Dance has been part of religious ceremonies, rites and celebrations from time immemorial. It’s a way to display the myths of various cultures and has been used to pass on traditions of these cultures for generations. Divine dance is a wondrous way to commune and connect with Deity. This occurs by becoming an instrument attuned through repetitive movement which can induce transcendence. Dance can also be used as a tool for the transmission of healings and blessings which can manifest as a euphoric or peaceful feeling.
Dance allows you to tap into the cosmic consciousness and can raise your vibration. With devotion, dance becomes an offering to the gods and ancestors – in its essence its alchemy in action. When you move in rhythmic motions it opens you up and fills you with a harmonic energy which expands your perception. Dance connects you to your primal self yet at the same time can strengthen your sentient link to your higher self.
Dance is a form of moving meditation allowing us to weave the magickal world into the mundane. With dedication and regular practice you can master the various subtle energies around and outside of you, to further develop the bond between you and the cosmic energies and your Gods. With love and devotion, dance can unfold and manifest into the most beautiful works of art.
Some examples of divine dancing can be seen through Turning Dervish Dance, Zaar Dance, Indian Classical Dance, Sword Dance, Maypole Dance, Cham Dance, Greek Folk Dance and Jewish Worship Dances just to name a few.
I learned how to dance pretty much around the same time I learned to walk. I was influenced by my family who indulged in this pastime at various celebratory events, as well as my general love of music which would inspire me to get lost in various styles and rhythms. When I was around 6 I started to attend formal Greek Folk dancing lessons and I didn’t realise at the time how instrumental and what an impact it would have in my devotions to Deity. Over the years I have tried various forms of dance but the one I always come back to and use regularly for communion with spirit is traditional Egyptian Belly Dance.
Bellydance is one of the oldest types of dance in existence which focuses on isolated yet flowing movements through various parts of the body. This results in the sensual current of energetic emotion being moulded into a work of artistic expression physically.
Bellydance has given me the confidence to accept myself and my body and connect with it in a loving and honourable way. It’s taught me that every person is a reflection of the Divine and that we have the confidence and drive within to move forward and tackle any obstacle before us.
I regularly Bellydance for Hekate and this type of devotional act works on balancing my body, mind, spirit and emotions and therefore is quite a wholistic practice which allows healing, learning and growing. It also allows me to raise energy and direct it to her workings and add quite a punch to my rituals and other magical workings in Her name. Dancing for Hekate has allowed me to really connect to her in a grounded way which is then transferred into her etherial energy. Dancing for Hekate has also allowed me to let go of the mundane world and put me in trance allowing me to have a quicker connection to various aspects of her practice such as visionary work.
I find that Bellydancing is very valuable to my Body, Mind, Spirit and Emotion and here are just some of the benefits I have found over the years:
Bellydance contains naturally fluid movements which work with the female body’s regular dispositions. Due to this, Bellydance strengthens the core, joints and ligaments, tones the muscles, straightens the spine, leads to better developed balance and co-ordination, improves flexibility in a painless and safe manner and improves the digestive system. Repetitive movements found within Bellydance can improve circulation and breath and corrects stiffness which occurs with a predominate sedentary lifestyle. Even if you only dance for an hour a week, it can severely enhance your cardiovascular capacity and when practiced more often can increase lung capacity. Your body changes after continued practice of Bellydance and this is due to the fact it’s a weight baring exercise which assists in weight loss, strengthens your bones and shapes your body into its natural graceful state of shape. Bellydance also strengthens the pelvic floor muscle since its predominately used, therefore it can assist with pms, sexual relations and childbirth. This style of dance can also be useful as a rehabilitative exercise as it’s a gentle way of working through an injury when you have received the go ahead to get back into physical workouts.
Bellydance contains alternating movements, routines and music which regularly allows a change in scenery. Mixing things up in this way has many mental health benefits as it allows you to enjoy yourself in a pressure free environment. Bellydance is fun and learning it with a within a group environment can not only can elevate you but opens you up to making connections with others. The rhythmic and accompanying movements in Bellydance can also calm and centre you which allows relaxation. Bellydance also causes stress reduction through stimulating yet soothing the mind as well as the increase of happiness and joy due to being involved in something uplifting. Building your self esteem through the feeling of being liberated through Bellydance is attained as well as connecting to yourself through thoughtful and loving self-discovery.
Bellydance is a creative outlet which allows a woman to connect to her feminine nature and her natural cycles of her body which is a manifestation of the Goddess within her. Since Bellydance is a ritualised physical and emotional expression it opens one’s ability to honour and connect with deity in a most profound and beautiful way. This connection has been used for millennia as performances of Bellydance have occurred throughout the ages during various celebrations which includes faith/religious ceremonies, coming of age ceremonies, weddings and fertility rites.
Bellydance allows you to express your emotions through dance and dancing out your stressors is a great way to work through them. It also helps you forget about your problems and allows you to let things go due to being in the moment with the dance, as quite frankly you just don’t have the time to worry about anything else. Bellydance can help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety and can enable the sensation of feeling sexy in one’s skin. This style of dance also helps improve body confidence and assurance of one self and accompanying abilities which inspire freedom of expression through a sense of inner strength.
Bellydance has brought me many personal benefits and I am grateful for the body, mind, spirit and emotional benefits I have harvested over the years of dancing this path. As always please see your GP before embarking on a new exercise regime (which includes dancing) and remember that every person is a representation of Deity and Bellydance is a great way to honour God/dess inside and outside of yourself.
Whatever style of dance you are drawn to, try to engage in it regularly as an offering and see how it enhances your magickal and spiritual practice.
© T. Georgitsis 2013/14 updated 2020
Samhain is 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 Samhain. During Samhain, 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: Samhain also known as Halloween. Hekate can be called upon as an intermediary to connect you to your ancestors especially since our dearly departed tend to visit us during Samhain. 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 Samhain, 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 Samhain includes apples, pomegranates, garlic, onion, wine, mead and mugwort tea.
Here is a simple witches ritual for Hekate, Samhain and your ancestors I have composed and used successfully multiple times in years past:
Setjataset Samhain Rite ((C) T. Georgitsis 2010)
- Dumb Supper (any of the foods and drinks your ancestors loved in life)
- Coins (3) – of any denomination which can be donated
- Incense – dragons blood, frankincense or livani
- Candles (1-3) – tea lights are easiest but you can use tapers
- Image of Hekate
- Key – skeleton if you have it but any key will do
- Skull – crystal, animal bone or a copy
- Divination form – tarot cards, scrying bowl, mirror, dice
- Any offerings you would like infused with the energies of Samhain
- Pen and Paper
Prepare a dumb supper and place in the NW of your circle or on the left of your altar/shrine.
Create sacred space or open the shrine.
Light some incense.
Inscribe the candle with the ancestors names you would like to connect with and place before the image of Hekate.
Take the three coins and blow on them before placing them in front of the candle.
Light the candle which has been placed in the middle of your altar before the image of Hekate. This is used as a beacon so your deceased loved ones can make their way to you.
Have a key and an image of a skull on the left side of your alter/shrine.
Any form of divination should be placed on your shrine after giving the item/s a little shake.
Begin the rite by evoking Hekate with the following Orphic hymn (or any hymn you resonate with which fits the season and purpose):
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. Write them down with your pen and paper so you can reflect and refer to them later.
Thank and farewell your ancestors and Hekate.
Close sacred space or close the shrine.
Dispose the offerings by leaving them at a base of a tree, putting them in a compost, burying them in your garden or leaving them safely at a crossroads.
Donate your coins to a charity.
(C) T. Georgitsis 2010, Updated 2020
A Greek Wind Rose is a classical compass which was used in the Mediterranean by the Hellenics and Romans. The Greek Wind Rose typically shows the points of orientation, directions and the names of the winds. The Classical Wind Rose is the Greek Wind Rose as shown below:
The philosopher Aristotle in his Meteorology (c 340 BCE) created the 12 wind system which is seen below. 8 are principle winds: Aparctias (N), Caecias (NE), Apeliotes (E), Eurus (SE), Notos (S), Lips (SW), Zephyrus ( W ) and Argestes (NW) and two are half winds: Thrascias (NNW) and Meses (NNE). Aristotle made an addition with the Phoenicias wind for the SSE but didn’t suggest any for the SSW.
|North (N)||Aparctias (ἀπαρκτίας)
(variant Boreas (βoρέας))
|the top meridian|
|North-Northeast (NNE)||Meses (μέσης)||the polar “rise”|
|Northeast (NE)||Caecias (καικίας)||the summer sunrise|
|East (E)||Apeliotes (ἀπηλιώτης)||the equinox sunrise|
|Southeast (SE)||Eurus (εὖρος)
(variant Euronoti (εὐρόνοτοι))
|the winter sunrise|
|South-Southeast (SSE)||No wind
(except local Phoenicias (φοινικίας)
|South (S)||Notos (νότος)||the bottom meridian.|
|South-Southwest (SSW)||No wind|
|Southwest (SW)||Lips (λίψ)||the winter sunset|
|West ( W )||Zephyrus (ζέφυρος)||the equinox sunset|
|Northwest (NW)||Argestes (ἀργέστης)(Variants: Olympias(ὀλυμπίας),
|the summer sunset.|
|North-Northwest (NNW)||Thrascias (θρασκίας)||the polar “set”|
For those of you who like to work with Hellenic or Roman gods you can create sacred space similar to the wiccan circle cast using the Greek Wind Rose especially if you don’t have a shrine or temple space. This is ideal for setting up temporary spaces whether they be in a private or public area as they can be established and disassembled at you own whim and need. You can include the main cardinal points North – South – East or West or if so inclined, include all the other mid cardinal points such as North West etc.
When I was practicing wicca in the Elphame tradition the quarters had elemental witches who would call upon the elements allocated to North, South, East and West by using their wind names:
North and element of Earth: Boreas (βoρέας)
*South and element of Fire: Notos (νότος)
East and element of Air: Eurus (εὖρος)
West and element of Water: Zephyrus (ζέφυρος)
As someone who works with Hekate, I have found when casting circle in this fashion, instead of using elemental names, you can call in the quarters utilising the epithets of Hekate. In this way you can use epithets which resonate with you and how you allocate meaning and connection to the elements.
I have shown an example below, please note your milage may vary. The following is an example of a standard deosil (clockwise) elemental affiliation to some of Hekate’s epitaphs you could potentially use with your magick with Hekate.
Air: Hekate Angelos
Fire: Hekate Brimo
Earth: Hekate Khthonia
Water: Hekate Einalian
For further information on Hekate’s epithets I would strongly recommend reading Sara Neheti Croft’s blog on Hekate’s Many Names
Regardless of which epithets you choose to help you call in the quarters with Hekate’s aid, my advice is get to know the epithets of Hekete you are working with first and foremost. Develop a relationship with them and see if calling them in this aspect will work for you. If not, move on as there is no use in working with a title or aspect of Hekate which simply doesn’t resonate with you. If it works – great! Further develop this connection and keep working with Her to deepen and strengthen it.
Magick isn’t stagnant and your practice doesn’t have to be either. Your practice can evolve over time or it can also simplify over time. Therefore the main tip I have for this kind of work is to practice, practice and practice! Take note of what you are doing and do it with respect to Hekate and to yourself and be devoted as nothing of value has been gained without doing the work.
*in hindsight I feel this information shared by the HPS at the time was incorrect as the use of Apeliotes (ἀπηλιώτης) for South would have been more prudent to align with the correct Greek Wind Rose as Notos aligns with the South East.
(C) T. Georgitsis 2020