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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Hekate Devotion: Lammas/Lughnasadh

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

 

 

 

 

Athenian Calendar 2020/21 (Southern Hemisphere)

Image by Konstantin Arzumanidis

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:

Summer (Θέρος)

1          Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομβαιών)           July/August

2          Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών)             August/September (named after Apollo)

3          Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών)                September/October

Autumn (Φθινόπωρον)

4          Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών)                    October/November

5          Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών)          November/December (named after Zeus)

6          Poseideon (Ποσειδεών)                      December/January

Winter (Χεῖμα)

7          Gamelion (Γαμηλιών)                         January/February

8          Anthesterion (Ἀνθεστηριών)              February/March (named after the festival of Anthesteria)

9          Elaphebolion (Ἑλαφηβολιών)             March/April

Spring (Ἔαρ)

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)

 

Summer (Θέρος)

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

 

Autumn (Φθινόπωρον)

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

 

Winter (Χεῖμα)

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

 

Spring (Ἔαρ)

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

Hekate Magick: Samhain for her Witches

deipnon-september 2013

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)

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

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

 

Crystals for Hekate

To say I have a love of crystals is an understatement.  So it goes without saying that I have created and charged many devotional items utilising specific crystals in Hekate’s name.  I have used polished and raw  pieces which included caves, slabs, points, tumbled stones, beads, set jewellery, pendulums and sun/moon catchers.  First and foremost when you buy, inherit, borrow or are gifted crystals it is wise to cleanse and purify them.  This ensures the previous energies which could potentially be stagnant, negative or malevolent can be removed and return the crystal to its original vibration.

How to Cleanse and Purify 

You can clean and purify your crystals by:

  1. Immersing them in salt water for 24 hours under the *sun or moon light or by wiping them with a damp cloth soaked in salt water.
  2. Immersing them in a bowl of brown rice for 3 days on an altar or in the NW corner of a room, home or business.
  3. Immersing them in a bowl of purified water with fresh flower petals such as marigolds, sage blossoms, sun flowers, iris, honeysuckle, daisies, roses, rosemary blossoms, lemon blossoms, carnations, cherry blossoms and apple blossoms.
  4. Smudge using herbs such as lavender, sage, cedar and bay.
  5. Crystal programming. This is the most difficult and requires focused concentration and experience in meditation and working with crystal energies.  I have detailed this more thoroughly under the heading “How to Charge a Crystal”.
  6. Reiki/Sekhem/Seichim which utilities specific symbols channeled through the breath and hands.
  7. By burying in the earth (garden, pot plant, sand) for 24 hours.
  8. By sound intoning using crystal bowls, chanting, Tibetan singing bowls, sistras, bellydance cymbals, bells, tuning forks and singing.
  9. By placing them on or within a clear quartz or amethyst quartz: cluster, slab or cave. You can also place a smokey quartz single terminator crystal on top of them.
  10. By holding the crystal in the hand which isn’t dominant (ie left hand if you are right handed) and visualise a blue light flowing from your hand and enveloping the crystal.

I like to make my own crystal cleanser which I put into a spray bottle and then spray over my crystal jewellery, caves, slabs, balls, and other shaped crystals due to convenience. This same cleanser can be added to a bowl or tub of purified water which you can wash your crystals in.

Setjataset’s Crystal Cleanser (© T. Georgitsis 2001)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoons of Rock Salt
  • 250 mils Orange Blossom Water
  • A pinch of Fresh Rose Petals (omit if you will not or cannot refrigerate)
  • 3 Drops of Essential Oil of Clove
  • Small Amethyst Crystal (Pebble Sized) 300 mil Capacity Spray Bottle

Method

  1. Place crystal in bottom of spray bottle.
  2. Crush rock salt into fine powder and pour into spray bottle.
  3. Pour orange blossom water and clove oil into spray bottle and shake vigorously.
  4. Add Rose petals and refrigerate until needed (refrigeration isn’t needed if rosepetals are not added).

*= Do not place amethyst, lavender quartz, rose quartz, smokey quartz, ametrine, beryl, fluorite, danburite, citrine, aquamarine, celestite and kunzite in direct sunlight as it fades.

** = Do not use on soft porous crystals such as: malachite, selenite, angelite, howlite, aragonite, azurite, dolomite, as it will deteriorate the crystals.

 

How to Charge a Crystal in Hekate’s Name

All crystals take in the various energies they are surrounded by, but you can also tap into them and give them a purpose.  This is done via crystal programming. In its essence, crystal programming is a way you can charge your crystal with specific intent and purpose as well as it activating the true capabilities of the crystal.  Crystals can absorb, hold and release information, visions and feelings and can be programmed for happiness, abundance, success, healing and whatever else you can think of which you want to manifest in your life. The way crystals are programmed is through projecting your thought form into the crystal in a clear and conscious way.

Method

  1. Clean crystal of all previous programming (whether it was intentional or not) using the tips of “How to Cleanse and Purify” section above.
  2. Formulate what you want your crystal to be programmed with, ensuring you think about it carefully as the crystal will only amplify what potential you store within it.
  3. Enter a place of calm meditative contemplation in a safe space where you wont be disturbed.
  4. Take the crystal and place it in the middle of your hand which isn’t the dominant one and place the other hand over it in a cupping motion touching the crystal with both hands.
  5. Place the intent in the crystal now by visualising what you want it to do ie. if you want it to help it heal you, visualise the sickness vanishing away.
  6. Once you feel that your thoughts have successfully flowed through (you can usually feel this as a circuit running through your body and into the crystal) you have successfully programmed your crystal.
  7. Repeat the steps 4-6 several times to ensure your crystal has been programmed securely.

Simple Use for Programmed Crystals

Carry it around with you to trigger the properties you programmed it for by rubbing it or holding it between your palms for some extra energy and inspiration.

 

I have created a list of crystals which resonate with Hekate’s nature.  You can use these crystals in Hekate’s magickal workings and devotions whilst bringing in the energies and qualities they omit.

A List of crystals for Hekate by *Setjataset (in alphabetical order by name)

  1. Amber
  2. Amethyst
  3. Ametrine
  4. Aquamarine
  5. Basalt
  6. Black Kyanite
  7. Black Tourmaline
  8. Blood Stone
  9. Blue Kyanite
  10. Carnelian
  11. Charoite
  12. Citrine
  13. Coral
  14. Fire Agate
  15. Fire Opal
  16. Fire Quartz
  17. Garnet
  18. Green Kyanite
  19. Hag Stone
  20. Hemetite
  21. Jet
  22. Labradorite
  23. Lapis Lazuli
  24. Lodestone
  25. Meteorite
  26. Moonstone
  27. Obsidian
  28. Onyx
  29. Opal
  30. Pearl
  31. Petrified Bone
  32. Quartz – predominately Key Quartz, Phantom Quartz, Activation Quartz, Beta Quartz , Brige Quartz, Celestial Quartz, Channeling Quartz, Deva Quartz, Merlin Quartz (please note that these are quartz formations found within clear quartz).
  33. Red Jasper
  34. Routilated Quartz
  35. Ruby
  36. Selenite
  37. Selenite
  38. Smokey Quartz
  39. Smokey Quartz
  40. Snowflake Obsidian
  41. Tektite
  42. Tourmelated Quartz
  43. Travellers Stone

Whatever stone or crystal you use in her name ensure it resonates with the purpose of its use for Hekate and that it’s been cleansed, purified and charged in her name.


(C) *T Georgitsis 2020

Books on Hekate

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 be attributed to her surge in popularity in our culture as well as in magical, spiritual and faith driven circles.  This means we have more resources available to us about Hekate, as well as the types of resources available.

I have personally compiled a list of Hekate books available as of writing this post.  Please note that some might be out of print, or a limited print run and therefore hard to obtain unless its second hand.  With the exception of a few books I have italicised, I have read all these books and found them useful even if I didn’t necessarily agree or like the information and style, presented.  I love being able to have the ability to be able to discern for myself what works for me and what doesn’t, when it comes to Hekate, and the fact I have access to books which share things about her from varying interpretations enriches my devotions to her personally.

So I implore you to diversify your knowledge on Hekate and pick up a book you wouldn’t necessarily, if you walked into a book shop or perused online.  Give an unknown or unfamiliar author a chance to challenge your preconceived notions of who Hekate is and what she can offer, or alternatively get that book you have had on your wish list, as knowledge is power and Hekate is all about self-empowerment.

A List of Hekate Books by Setjataset (in alphabetical order by title)

  1. A Paean of Hekate by Shani Oates
  2. Bearing Torches: A Devotional Anthology by various authors, edited Bibliotheca Alexandrina
  3. Book of the Witch Moon by Michael W. Ford
  4. Circle for Hekate – Volume 1: History & Mytholgy by Sorita d’Este
  5. Crossroads, the Path of Hekate by Greg Crowfoot
  6. Entering Hekate’s Garden by Cyndi Brannen
  7. Evensongs for Hekate: Poetry, Hymns and Prayers by Sara Croft
  8. Evoking Hecate by Anousen Leonte
  9. Hecate: Witchcraft, Death & Nocturnal Magic by Asenath Mason
  10. Hecatean Magick by B. Morlan
  11. Hekate by Courtney Weber (forthcoming)
  12. Hekate: A beginner’s guide to witchcraft, ghosts, spirituality, and Hekate advance rituals and spells for Meditation and Divination by Johander Kholms
  13. Hekate (Monsters of Mythology) by Bernard Evslin
  14. Hekate 1: Death, Transition and Spiritual Mastery by Jade Sol Luna
  15. Hekate 2: Awakening of Hydra by Jade Sol Luna
  16. Hekate Her Sacred Fires by various authors, edited by Sorita d’Este
  17. Hekate in Ancient Greeck Religion by R.Von Rudloff
  18. Hekate Keys to the Crossroads by various authors, edited by Sorita d’Este
  19. Hekate Liminal Rites by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine
  20. Hekate Soteria by Sarah lles Johnston
  21. Hekate The Witches’ Goddess by Gary R. Varner
  22. Hekate: A Devotional by Vivienne Moss
  23. Hekate: The Crossroads Dark Goddess by Idlu Lili Regulus
  24. Hekate’s Fountain by Kenneth Grant
  25. Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction to Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft by Cyndi Brannen
  26. Knowing Hekate: A Spiritual Colouring Experience by Sara Croft
  27. Liber Kthonia by Jeff Cullen
  28. Lunatik Witchcraft by Shay Skepevski
  29. Queen of Hell by Mark Alan Smith
  30. Shards of a Broken Mystery: Restoring Hekate and our Divine Feminine Soul by Shira Marin
  31. Temple of The Bones by Jennifer Teixeira
  32. The Dance of the Mystai by Tinnekke Bebout
  33. The Goddess Hekate by Stephen Ronan
  34. The Hekataeon by Jack Grayle
  35. The Temple of Hekate by Tara Sanchez
  36. The Witch’s Book of Spirits by Devin Hunter
  37. The World According To Hekate by Bobbie James

A List of Hekate Related Books by Setjataset (in alphabetical order by title)

  1. Ancient Magic: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Supernatural in Greece and Rome by Philip Matyszak
  2. Apocalyptic Witchcraft by Peter Grey
  3. Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds by Georg Luck
  4. Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World by John G. Gager
  5. Dark Goddess Craft by Stephanie Woodfield
  6. Daughters of Hecate: Women and Magic in the Ancient World by Kimberly B. Stratton and Dayna S. Kalleres
  7. Encountering the Dark Goddess by Frances Billinghurst
  8. Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, Shield translated by Apostolos N. Athanassakis
  9. Magic in the Ancient World by Fritz Graf
  10. Magic, Witchcraft and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds by Daniel Ogden
  11. Noxobnia: Feminine Deities of the Left Hand Path by Edgar Kerval
  12. My Personal Journey with Hecate by Connie Dunn
  13. Mysteries of the Dark Moon by Demetra George
  14. Protection and Reversal Magick: A Witch’s Defence Manual by Jason Miller
  15. Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion by Christopher Faraone and Dirk Obbink (eds)
  16. Restless Dead: Encounters between the Living and the Dead in Ancient Greece by Sarah lles Johnston
  17. Rotting Goddess: The Origins of the Witch in Classical Antiquity by Jacob Rabinowitz
  18. Strix Craft: Ancient Greek Magic for the Modern Witch
  19. The Chaldean Oracles, (text, translation and commentary) by Ruth Majercik
  20. The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation by Hans Dieter Betz (ed)
  21. The Hekate Tarot: Tool of Transformation by Hope Ezerins and Tinnekke Bebout
  22. The Orphic Hymns by Apostolos N. Athanassakis
  23. The Rotting Goddess by Jacob Rabinowitz
  24. Thracian Magic: Past & Present by Georgi Mishev
  25. Veneficium: Magic, Witchcraft and the Poison Path by Daniel A. Shulke
  26. Witchcraft Medicine by Muller-Ebeling, Ratsch and Dieter Storl

(C) T Georgitsis 2020

Hekate Magick: Samhain for her Witches

deipnon-september 2013

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)

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

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

 

Starlit Path: Volume 2, Issue 4, Winter 2019: Walking with the Goddess, “Ritual”


 

In this issue, for my column Walking With the Goddess, I share my article on “Ritual“.  This article contains various ritual techniques and I finish off the article with a self-initiation ritual with the aid of Hekate.

The Starlit Path is a free magazine which can be downloaded here: Starlit Path Winter 2019

Starlit Path: Volume 2, Issue 3 Fall 2019: Walking with the Goddess, “How to Protect Yourself”

 

In this issue, for my column Walking With the Goddess, I share my article on “How to Protect Yourself“.  This article contains various protection techniques utilising the elements of earth/air/fire/water with respects to the Body/Mind/Spirit/Emotion and I finish off the article with simple protection magick with the aid of Hekate.

The Starlit Path is a free magazine which can be downloaded here: The Starlit Path Fall 2019