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

 

 

 

 

Tarot With Tina

 

I taught myself to read the tarot when I was 15 and had purchased my first tarot deck (The Mythic Tarot).  I was looking for a book to buy in the book shop I was perusing and whilst looking in the new age section the set literally fell on my head.  Intrigued due to having been taught to read playing cards and also Greek coffee cups (and the fact it cost the exact amount of money I had on me), I purchased the tarot cards which came with a detailed book and tarot spread cloth.  

When I got home I devoured the book and held each card before me whilst I stared intently at the details.  I would go on and re-read up on the meanings of each tarot card and write down a page of described detailed notes which I then condensed to a few paragraphs – then to a few lines – to one line – to a few words and lastly to one word. I would also practice – paingstainkinly practice, on others where I would ask them to pull 10 tarot cards out randomly or by choice after shuffling.  I would then place the cards in a Celtic cross spread and I would tell the person before me what I saw yet I would also go on to write out detailed readings of the cards and also give the person this when completed. This was a long winded way of teaching myself how to read the tarot but truth be told it enabled me to learn the cards from the book descriptions in a very thorough way.  Of course this way of reading felt cold (as well as extremely time consuming) so I simply started reading using my instincts along with the memory of the cards I had developed. The muscle memory knowledge of the study of what the tarot cards meant was there as a foundation, however when I started reading from a completely instinctual point of view – guess which readings where more accurate?  My instinctual ones which were always extremely predictive.

I also started keeping a Book of Shadows type journal with tarot information consisting of spreads and various connections such as astrology and crystals.  A few years later I discovered “Living the Tarot” by Amber Jayanti and I would sit with each card for up to a week by completing the exercises Amber had.  These included answering questions on each tarot card, adorning myself with an item which signified that particular card, meditating on each card and sleeping with it under my pillow (before hand I had asked for dreams of significance) and would colour a black and white stencil version of The Rider Waite Jayanti had placed in the book in any colours I wished. This book’s lessons were quite significant until I further expanded my knowledge by reading “78 Degrees of Wisdom” by Rachel Pollack and realised the complex connections of the tarot within the system which opened my mind even moreso.

 



I had my first set of “lessons” – 1 night a week for 4 weeks from a reader named Sharon Davies in my first Wiccan coven when I was 21. Only three of us turned up so the lessons were very individualised and personal. What I realised in these classes is that I knew the cards well and it gave me confidence to branch out and read for people who weren’t family or friends.

My second set of lessons was one night a week for several months from a coven member called Triche Roche who is an amazing and still working tarot reader locally. This was done in a group setting with several other coven members on a large round table (similar to a card playing table) and I was taught things like how to activate and cleanse the cards, how to set an intention and opening prayer before I started reading as well as a different perspective on the cards meanings and various tarot reading spreads.

My third and last set of lessons was through a mentor called Ariel Smith through the American Tarot Association around the same time. I worked up to the level of Tarot Councillor over few years of study when I had to cease due to the association ceasing individual mentoring to overseas students.

 



When I became a Tarot Councillor I had built up enough practice and experience as well as confidence to get my first job as a professional tarot reader in a now defunct new age shop called “Living Energies” in my mid 20’s where I created a solid reputation over several years of working there and this continued to other new age stores I worked in from “Crystal World” to “Qi Crystals” where I was booked out for months in advance.  I then decided to leave working as a professional reader in retail stores to transition to private consultations.

Over time it came naturally that I developed my own methods of cleansing the tarot cards, my own divination spreads as well as my own magick rituals and spells using the valuable tool of the tarot. I have also completed various other courses over the years to compliment my tarot reading including crystal and pendulum therapies, palmistry, astrology, numerology, aromatherapy, energy and aura reading just to name a few. 

Teaching tarot on and off for the last few decades in 1:1, group and in lecture and presentation form has also allowed me to grow as a mentor for others who are drawn to the tarot.  Also having attended various tarot conferences and gatherings over the years, being featured in magazines and radio, I also try to keep expanding my knowledge through continuous study and keeping abreast of what is going on in the ever continuous ever evolving world of the tarot.  

I currently offer zoom tarot readings for $100AU for 60min readings most evenings and weekends. These readings include detailed tarot readings which include bonus complimentary numerology and astrology information. For more information and to book in your time please contact me at tarotwithtina@yahoo.com.au

(C) T. Georgitsis 2020

The Winter Issue of Isis-Seshat Magazine Is Now Available!

Cant wait for my copy of this divination issue – this Winter issue I wrote an article on the Limpia and Oracle of the Egg:

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(Photo Credit: Anna Applegate FB 2016)