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 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

 

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

 

The Witches’ Spell from “Macbeth”

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(www.freedigitalphotos.net)

A dark Cave.

In the middle, a Caldron boiling.

Thunder.

Enter the three Witches.

1 WITCH. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
2 WITCH. Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d.
3 WITCH. Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time!
1 WITCH. Round about the caldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.—
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
3 WITCH. Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,—
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingrediants of our caldron.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

 by William Shakespeare