Hellenic Hekate Ritual: Purification

One early afternoon I went out for lunch to run some errands and a co-worker asked me how the weather was upon my return. I informed her it was sunny and humid but that it would most probably rain in an hour or so because of the natural signs I was seeing.  This co-worker asked me how I knew and I shared that my mother had taught me how to read the signs of nature.  This was done through various signs perceived through things such as smells, sunset/sunrise colours, clouds, sounds of insects/animals (just to name a few) in order to predict the weather.  Due to my mother coming from a farming family in a small rural village, this was second nature to her and her family, which helped them to be in tune with the seasons. This co-worker nodded in agreement with me and shared that she had experienced something similar through her family and within an hour and a half, it did indeed rain.

When my mother was teaching me magick as part of my normal everyday life, I didn’t realise how much impact it had on me as an individual and how much it would shape my practice.  I have vivid memories of the two of us sitting on a beach watching the sunset where she would explain how that particular sunset was signalling the next day’s weather – which always came out the way she predicted.  A lot of the magick she taught me was in this vein, like when I had my first headache as a child where she took me into the garden and showed me what herbs to pick and how to brew a tea to drink in order to get rid of it.  We’d be outside watching the full moon and she’d teach me how to sing to it which in hindsight turned out to be a spell/affirmation and although I was always an observant child who dutifully obeyed my mother because we were very close – I just went along with it as I just thought it was normal.  I never knew her connection to nature as well as the deep love and practice of spirituality and magick and sharing it with me wasn’t the standard for everyone else .  Therefore when I gregariously announced that I was going to be a witch when I grew up at the age of 5 after reading “Meg and Mog” I couldn’t comprehend the laughter from the other children around me.  Suffice to say I did learn the lesson of keeping silent and not speaking about what I learned publicly afterwards unless I was with like-minded people.

I feel when we are more connected to nature and the cycle of things we are more in tune with the magick around us. I’ve seen more magick performed by locals at a small rural Greek village seasonal festival than in some huge elaborate staged festivals and I ascribe that to the fact that the former was more in tune with nature and the cycle of the seasons. The one seasonal celebration still held in my maternal grandmother’s village in autumn is my favourite as it involves jumping over three fires in a row as a way to cleanse the body and soul and bring in health, prosperity and success. It’s also a way to mark the end of summer and rid oneself of any evil.  After the last harvest occurs in the village, everyone goes down to the fields and collects the stalks of wheat straw and place bundles of them upon the road before their homes, schools, town buildings and even churches.  They build three bundles of straw in succession of each other and as the sun sets they are lit and jumped, sung and danced over.   Everyone participates and if you take a walk through the streets you can see these fires set up every so often and the best and biggest is always in the town square – the central focal point of the village and where many celebrations occur throughout the year.  Some of the boys and men build huge roaring fires and have competitions to see who can jump the highest. The winner of this competition is deemed to have the best luck for the rest of the year.   This practice amongst a few others are still happening to this day even if the village population is dwindling – their devotion to the old traditions isn’t.

This practice held during autumn could possibly have connections to the Hellenic festival of Anastenaria or Nestinarstvo which originated in Northern Greece and Southern Bulgaria where participants walked barefoot through fire (over coals) as part of a celebration in honour of St Helen and Constantine.  This tradition is believed to be a mixture of orthodox Christianity mixed with the local pagan celebrations as was the custom for locals to adapt their celebrations to preserve them.

Here in Melbourne, Australia, I can always tell the changes of the season by observing my garden and the creatures who frequent it.  The smell of the season has changed and certain pollens are in abundance therefore certain tree/herbs/flowers are blossoming.  Observing the land around me, the earth is beginning to slowly withdraw its greenery in favour of the rich brown colours of the earth.  The sun is winding down its effect as we are brought close to the darkness of winter.  To celebrate this time of year whilst still honouring my Hellenic roots I have developed my own Hellenic purification ritual which can be performed before a fireplace, fire-pit, oil lamp or even a candle to symbolise cleansing and purification.

As Hekate’s priestess and devotee I have updated the ritual I first wrote in honour of Hestia and re-adapted it to Hekate who also is considered a deity of hearth and home.  Also with the continuing issue of Coronavirus sweeping the world currently, I have also added and emphasised the purification aspect of the ritual for heightened protection.

 

Purification Ritual to Hekate – (C) Setjataset 2020

Preparation:

Purify body by showering or washing head, hands and feet.

Set up shrine with water, wine/juice, salt, bread/crackers, olive oil, incense, barley and an oil lamp/candle before an image of Hekate.

Ritual:

Wash your hands in Khernips before assembling your ritual items, whilst saying:

“Αφήστε όλα αυτά που είναι βλαβερά να φύγουν!” (Let all that is profane be gone!)

Throw a few seeds of barley onto the shrine whilst saying:

“Xerniptosai!” (be purified!)

Light the oil lamp/candle and repeat the following hymn to Hekate:

“I make the offer of light to you

Great and Blessed Hekate

Goddess of hearth and home

I offer my shrine for purification

I offer my home for purification

I offer myself for purification

Be welcome with me

Bless me with your love”

Pour libation of wine/juice in Hekate’s name.

Make offering of bread/crackers and olive oil and light the incense in Hekate’s name pushing the smoke towards you three times.

Mix some salt with the water and sprinkle the mixture three times upon the shrine and on yourself and state:

“Come Come Come

Great Goddess Hekate  

Burn Burn Burn

Away all that is miasma  

Move Move Move

It far away from me, my loved ones and my home”

Spend some time in quiet contemplation and visualise yourself, your home and your loved  ones being purified.  You can also think of what you need to purify in your life – are there any obstacles which you need to remove or let go or habits you need to move past? Focus on these and make some changes in your life by actively working on them.

Thank Hekate and farewell her.

You may keep the shrine and refresh offerings as required, remembering to keep it clean.


*Miasma = aura of uncleanliness which lingers with respects to a person and their surroundings.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2018, Updated 2020

Pagan Blog Project: H is for Hot Foot Powder

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What is Hot Foot Powder?

Hot Foot Powder (aka Get Away or Drive Away) is hoodoo folk magick which has the specific intent of driving away unwanted people.  It can be used as part of foot track magick which is a magick that utilises the track or dirt of someone’s footprint. Hot Foot powder is created with a mixture of minerals and herbs.

Tina’s Hot Foot Powder (© T. Georgitsis 2014)

Ingredients (a pinch of each)

  1. Cayenne Pepper
  2. Sulfur or Gunpowder
  3. Salt
  4. Black Pepper
  5. Graveyard Dirt
  6. Red Sandlewood
  7. Tormentil (OR a mix of Hyssop & Rue OR Nettle or White Sage)

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients ensuring the herb is ground up and place in an envelope or container for future use.

Simple Use for Hot Foot Powder

Sprinkle under the chair or bed of an unwanted guest.

© T. Georgitsis 2014

Pagan Blog Project: G is for Gris-Gris

What is a Gris-Gris?

A Gris-Gris (aka grigri) is an African centric voodoo amulet which has a specific intent and purpose of protecting the wearer from evil spirits, negative forces, brings in luck and/or is used as a method of contraception*.  It usually takes the shape of a small cloth bag and contains a ritualistic amount of small objects (usually a prime number between 3-13) and prayers from the Qur’an which is specifically tailored to the person who will be wearing it.

Tina’s Make Your Own Gris-Gris Bag (© T. Georgitsis 2014)

Ingredients

  1. Personal effect of wearer.
  2. Stones, crystals, herbs, roots, resins, bones, coins, charms and tokens.
  3. Seal, sigil, prayer or petition which has been drawn with magickal ink on parchment.
  4. 2 inch by 3 inch hand stitched bag with one end left open and made from cotton, flannel or leather (chose a colour to suit your intent);
  5. Handmade cord, hemp string, wax thread or leather cording.

Method

  1. Ensure the 4 elements are present upon your working altar: candle- east, bowl of blessed water – west, incense – north, graveyard dirt- south and arrange them appropriately over a symbol of a cosmogram or veve.
  2. Place the bag in the centre as this is where you will create your gris-gris.
  3. Bless and smudge the 3-13 items individually as you put them in the bag.
  4. Tie up the open end of the bag with cord or string.
  5. Sprinkle with blessed water and recite a personal incantation of intent.
  6. Smudge with incense.
  7. Recite personal words of power into the gris-gris to active it.
  8. Finally focus your intent and purpose of the gris-gris and breathe on it.

Simple Use for Gris-Gris

Pin to your undergarment for personal protection.

* = with complimentary assistance, do not use as the only method of contraception.

© T. Georgitsis 2014

Pagan Blog Project: F is for Florida Water

1003587_10152772605119762_1560974530_nImage (C) T Georgitsis 2014

 

What is Florida Water?

Florida water is a cologne type water used for spiritual and magickal purposes in the Americas (originally used and created by Caribbean and African descendants).  The name comes from the flowery tones of the scent as well as references to The Fountain of Youth which is rumoured to be located in Florida.

It is used to clean, purify, heal, protect, banish negativity, break hexes, as offerings to the spirits of the dead and as a base of scrying water.

Tina’s Florida Water  (© T. Georgitsis 2014)

Ingredients

  1. 200 mls of rosewater
  2. 200 mls of orange blossom water
  3. 50 mls of vodka
  4. 8 drops Lavender Oil
  5. 8 drops Bergamot Oil
  6. 3 drops Clove Oil
  7. Small handful of dried purple sage blossoms OR jasmine blossoms(you can omit this if you like)
  8. Own Perfume

Method

  1. In a glass bottle with a wide mouth pour the dried sage blossoms.
  2. Add vodka.
  3. Now add rose water and orange blossom water.
  4. Add Lavender, Bergamot and Clove Oil.
  5. Add a few sprays or drops of your personal perfume.
  6. Shake and place in dark cupboard or refrigerator (if herb added) for a moon cycle.
  7. After a moon cycle strain the herb out, then use.

Simple Use for Florida Water

Add a capful to your mop bucket and wash the floors to dispel negativity in the home.

© T. Georgitsis 2014

Pagan Blog Project: B is for Black Salt

What is Black Salt?

Black Salt also known as Witches Salt and Drive Away Salt.

*Black salt is primarily used in hoodoo and rootwork but has been adapted by witches and pagans alike. Its purpose is to clear, banish and repel any negativity or manipulation and provide protection to the user.  It is generally used in banishing, hexes and protection workings.

Black salt is basically salt, mixed with something which turns the salt black and can come in various forms including: black food colouring (use powdered form), black pepper, ash, charcoal, scrapings from the bottom of a pot, black chalk, candle or lamp wick residue.

The standard black salt recipe is 2 parts of salt to every 1 part of black item.  Grind up all parts in a mortar and pestle and use or store for later.

Personally speaking I prefer to use rock salt which is kosher along with the ash of some sacred herbs (herbs depend on the purpose of the black salt created).

Hekate’s Black Salt  (© T. Georgitsis 2014)

Ingredients

  1. 2 parts kosher rock salt
  2. 1 part ash from the herbs of: dandelion, lavender, mint, bay, mugwort and rue

Method

  1. In a heat proof dish and preferably outside take some dried dandelion root, lavender, mint, mugwort and rue herbs and burn with a lighter** until they are reduced to ash.  Whilst doing this visualise what kind of things you want to remove or banish out of your life.
  2. Take the ash and in a mortar, crush and blend it with a pestle with half the amount of salt to your ash ratio.
  3. Once blended use or store for later.

Simple Use for Black Salt

Sprinkle around the perimeter of your home.  With a long handled broom sweep the perimeter containing the traces of black salt outwards and away from your home.

© T. Georgitsis 2014

*Not to be confused with the Indian spice black salt which is pink in colour.

** I prefer the turbo gas lighters for the long reach and ability to stay lit with wind