Hekate Devotion: Spring Equinox

The Spring Equinox also known as Ostara or the Vernal Equinox is the day which symbolically marks the first day of spring.  The day and night are of equal length and from this point onwards the days get longer as we head towards Beltane.  The Spring Equinox happens when the sun crosses the celestial equator moving – south in the southern hemisphere and north in the northern hemisphere, which causes the days to lengthen and the temperatures to go up.  Vernal itself means fresh or new like the spring and this time officially marks the time of spring. Ostara is derived from the German goddess Eostre who represents new beginnings in conjunction with spring.

This year in the Southern Hemisphere calendar it falls on Thursday the 23rdst of September at 5.20am. Gods such as Ostara/Eostre, The Green Man, Mother Earth/Gaia, Hekate, Persephone, Demeter, Osiris, Geb, Ver, Flora, Freya, Brigid, Jarylo/Yarylo/Iarilo/Gerovit, Eiar, Ba Jia Jiang, Ashanti, Saraswati, Cybele and Morityema all can be honoured during this time of year.

I have celebrated Spring with groups of people in various magickal settings and the one thing which I found linked them, was the coming together to celebrate the flourishing of the land.  Something which I have experienced often during this festival day is the acknowledgement of the bounty of the earth. 

One of the fondest memories I have during this time of year is celebrating the Spring Equinox through colouring eggs.  It’s something I learned from my mother who would prepare them for Greek Orthodox easter.  When I started observing the Spring Equinox I would make them in September to correlate with the southern hemisphere and would make them exactly like my mother did.  I did this by taking chicken eggs which had been wrapped in panty hose, keeping leaves or flowers in place to make a stencil of them appear on the eggs and using red Greek egg dye and vinegar to boil them. When they had cooled I would buff them with some olive oil to give them a nice shine.  Soon after my first few attempts I started to make eggs in elemental colours for the elemental quarters.  

In my coven and magickal groups thereafter we would occasionally make painted eggs which had been blown out from raw eggs and could be used as magickal symbols of spring.  We would also occasionally make floral or herbal wreaths to adorn ourselves with. 

As an avid herbalist during this time of year I notice that my garden is coming to life.  Plants, herbs and trees which have been dormant over the fallow period of the winter are blossoming, new shoots are being birthed or are regenerating. I like to acknowledge and thank my garden and the Devas of the land and its blessings by leaving herbs, trees or plants, offerings especially those who are decades old or have personal significance.  Such as a fennel plant which was planted by my mother and which is now decades old, plum trees which were part of the original farm which existed way before houses were built in the area, an aloe vera plant which was gifted to me by a coven sister in our youth, succulents gifted by an old friend who is no longer living in the country, a lemon/lime tree which my father created and planted which had stopped fruiting until recent years and a lemon tree I planted which was dying and which has regenerated recently.  Of course I adore and respect all the trees, plants and herbs I haven’t mentioned especially since they bring in local birds, insects and bugs which help pollinate and sustain them due to my garden being biodynamic.

During this time of year I also tend to cook a lot especially with the locally sourced organic produce available and gift items such as bread and biscuits to loved ones.  I also tend to food craft for my patrons (specifically Hekate, A’set and Sekhmet) which I then offer upon their shrines and altars during their devotionals.  

I personally feel that Hekate resonates with this time of the year.  Persephone has come back to her mother Demeter with the guidance and aid of Hekate, after being trapped with Hades during the dark part of the year when the earth lay dormant.  The earth is waking up due to Demeter’s great joy in being reunited with her daughter Persephone.  What this signifies from my perspective is that Hekate can be the enabling force for us to come out of and move on from of the dark and fallow experiences we have endured.  Now we can move onto new beginnings, opportunities and illuminate that which we should focus on to bring the blessings we want and need in our lives. 

Hekate can be a guiding force for change and movement.  Hekate can help us tap into the potential of this time as she lights up way which allows us to take a more beneficial path on the crossroads we might find ourselves at.  She encourages us to take the first step towards renewal and rebirth and the promise of new beginnings.  Hekate encourages us to engage in this movement onwards and upwards and use it for the power it contains – the promise of shedding the old and embracing the new and the power (internal and external) it contains.

I personally like to honour Hekate during this time and make offerings of  eggs, herbs (mint, sage, iron wort, lavender, wormwood etc – herbs of hers which are growing now), seeds (for planting), lavender flowers, sage flowers, saffron, corn flowers, edible flowers (violet, chive, clover, lilac etc) breadapples, pomegranates, dandelions, wine, grape juice, honey infused tea/milk and substitutes such as oat or almond milk, onions, black garlic, grains such as barley, wheat husks, pomegranate cakes, cheese, legumes, beans and meat (lamb, rabbit and goat).

Vegetables such as beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, endive, leek, lettuce, onion, parsnip, pak choi, peas, radish, rocket, silverbeet, snow peas, spring onion, strawberry, corn and tomato.

Herbs such as chives, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, sage and thyme.

Flowers such as alyssum, asters, begonias, celostias, chrysanthemums, cinerarias, corn flowers, geraniums, petunias, daisies, carnations, lavender, marigolds, snapdragons, pansies, foxglove, sunflowers, gazanias, impatients and dahlias.

Some things you can do to honour and mark the Spring Equinox in your personal practice (or with a group of likeminded individuals) can be:

  1. Make food usually consumed during this time and partake or share with loved ones, as well as leave as offerings to your gods or gods of the season: meat (lamb/rabbit/goat) or legume and bean stews, egg dishes such as quiches or boiled coloured eggs, cheesecake, yogurt, cakes and anything which can be shared and is seasonal.
  2. Make coloured eggs or decorate wooden/ceramic eggs and leave them as offerings to the earth, seasonal God/dess or your patron/matron.
  3. Rituals, spells and magick for new beginnings, fertility, rebirth, renewal, new opportunities and endeavours (especially at dawn).
  4. Plant seeds for the future whether they be physical or metaphoric.
  5. Clean and refresh your home or ritual/magickal space ie spring clean through cleaning, decluttering and revamping.
  6. Rebirth rituals which can include taking devotional vows for a specific tradition or God/dess.
  7. Get up at sunrise and bask in the first light of the day in nature, whether you do so in your own backyard, local park or nature reserve.
  8. Feed your local wildlife appropriate offerings such as bird specific feed for your local natives.
  9. Take the day off if you can and spend the time in nature ie a picnic or hike.
  10. Light a fire (bonfire or fireplace) or candles to celebrate and honour the light of the sun during this time.
  11. Make wreaths from seasonal herbs and flowers to adorn yourself with.
  12. Craft some items which resonate with the season for you.
  13. Prick some flowers or treat yourself to some from a favourite florist to bring spring into your living area.
  14. Start a new hobby or lifestyle change (such as exercise) you have been wanting to or reconnect to.
  15. At dawn light candles to mark the passage of time from winter to spring and also to honour the Gods of this season (in gold, green, pink, yellow, blue and purple).

So work your magick this Spring Equinox, honour the dawn, nature and new beginnings and opportunities which are available to you and ask for what you want to blossom in your life.


(c) T. Georgitsis 2021

Hekate Devotion: Imbolc

Imbolc, which means “in the belly” or “ewe’s milk”, is the day that marks the incoming Spring.   Symbolically it marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox and celebrates the rebirth of the sun as the days get longer.  Traditionally it is a Northern Hemisphere Gaelic festival which falls on the 1st of February and celebrates the Feast Day of Brigid. It marks the time of the year when spring flowers start to emerge in nature and can be a date to celebrate women.

This year in the Southern Hemisphere calendar it falls on Saturday the 7thst of August at 4.53pm. Gods such as Brigit, Aenghus Og, Cerridwen, Hekate, Persephone, Demeter, Gaia, Hestia, Aphrodite, Eros, Pan, Bast, Aradia, Ceres, Faunus, Venus and Vesta can all be honoured during this time of year.

I have celebrated Imbolc with groups of people in various magickal settings and the one thing which I found linked them, was the coming together to celebrate the planting of seeds and sharing of food in a communal setting.  Something which I have experienced time and time again during this festival day is the ritualistic act of planting physical and metaphorical seeds which symbolises set intentions for the coming season of Spring and Summer.  Also feasting is highlighted during this time as so many religious festivals tend to celebrate this way.

One of the fondest memories I have during this time of year is celebrating Imbolc through planting seeds or seedling when I was starting out in my first coven.  It’s something I never did before on my own and being able to watch something I planted with my own hands, grow and prosper developed my love of gardening.  When I started studying herbalism a few years later I became obsessed with growing all the medicinal and magickal herbs I could.  I spent years transferring my garden into a large organic one and creating special herb garden spaces dedicated to Hekate and A’set respectfully.

As an avid herbalist who likes to grow my own plants, herbs and trees I can use in my practice, I tend to always focus energy during this time planting organic heirloom seeds or seedlings for the coming season’s use.  I also like to plant my intentions for what I want to grow in my life as I feel this is the perfect time to do so, to align with nature.  Along with this, I also love to spend a lot of time in nature and honouring nature.   From the seas to the mountains, I tend to go on a Imbolc hike coupled with a picnic/bbq if the weather permits.

I also tend to make a lot of candles as I am an avid candle maker and use various methods from set tapers and pillars, rolled wax to poured soy.  I make them for my patrons (specifically Hekate, A’set and Sekhmet) which I then burn regularly on their shrines and altars during their devotionals.  I also make a lot of incense for the same patrons as I find when I blend and grind up all the materials its quite easy to set intention for them as I find it an incredibly meditative and magical act.

Brigit represents the light and so does Hekate and I personally feel Hekate can guide us out of the darkness and into the light, like she did for Persephone.  

I feel that Hekate resonates with this time of the year for various reasons.  Hekate can illuminate what has been hiding in the darkness and ignite the flame within us.   In this time  she encourages and enables us to turn our attention to the presence of the promise of new opportunities to come.  As the time of growth and movement is happening all around us Hekate encourages us to engage in this and use it for the power it contains – the promise of a light at the end of a dark tunnel and the promise of growth after a fallow period.

I personally like to honour Hekate during this time and make offerings of seeds, breadapples, pomegranates, dandelions, primroses, grape juice, honey infused milk, onions, grains such as barley, wine, honey cake, seed cake and preserve cake.

In the garden now is the time to plant:

Vegetables such as  lettuce, spinach, kale, collards, Asian greens, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, leek, onions, sweeds, parsnip, turnip, peas, radish, rocket, garlic, potatoes, cucumber, eggplant and silver beet.

Herbs such as mustard, horseradish, curry plant, licorice, dandelions, parsley, feverfew, dill, mint, marjoram, oregano, lovage, and chervil.

Flowers such as, primroses, cornflowers, calendula, Siberian wallflower, nasturtiums and cyclamen.

Some things you can do to honour and mark Imbolc in your personal practice (or with a group of likeminded individuals) can be:

  1. Make the food usually consumed during this time: colcannon, sowans, dumplings, barmbrack or bannocks.
  2. Make oak crosses.
  3. Make corn husk or straw dolls.
  4. Visit local wells, rives or streams and collect the water for magick and ritual work.  Use water to bless home, family and garden.
  5. Take a walk sunwise (clockwise) around a well and pray for good health or an ailment ensuring to leave an offering such as a coin.
  6. Hold feasts with loved ones.
  7. Divination such as candle (flame or wax), water and weather divination (cloud, sunset/sunrise).
  8. Sew seeds for the coming spring and plant what you want to grow into your life.
  9. Spring clean (such as home and altar/shrine) as it’s the time of purification which can be used to remove the stagnant energies and bring in cleansing new energies.
  10. Make offerings to the earth and sea.
  11. At sunset light candles to mark the passage of time from winter to spring and also to honour the Gods of this season (in gold, white, yellow and red colours).
  12. Light torches in your Gods names.
  13. Go for a walk in nature and take stock of what is growing and coming in for you.
  14. Initiation and self-initiation rituals can be worked during this time due to apt timing.
  15. A good time for fertilising things such as ideas, projects and even yourself with what you want to grow

So work your magick this Imbolc, honour the light and ask for what you want to manifest in your life.


(c) T. Georgitsis 2021

Image

A Poem: Just Like Persephone

Hekate: My perception of HER

Hekate is a Chthonic Greek Goddess who preceded the Olympian gods and was also a Titaness.  Daughter of Perses and the Star Goddess Ateria and Granddaughter of Phoebe, Titanus of the Moon.  Hekate aided Zeus in the battle of the Titans and therefore was not expelled like the other Titans were when Zeus formed the Olympian pantheon.  Hekate also played a part in Persephone’s story in which she helped Demeter, Persephone’s mother in finding her after Persephone went into Hades (wether by force or by her own volition) and thereafter became Persephone’s guide when the later, travelled to the underworld for her yearly journey.

Hekate’s name means “she operates from afar”, “she removes or drives off” “the far reaching one” or “the far-darter”.  She is shown as an ageless goddess who in later times was sometimes depicted with three human faces or three animal faces.  These faces consisted either of a dog, snake, horse, cow or boar, all which faced different directions and refers to Hekate’s triple nature and the realms she has dominion over –  the sky, sea and earth.  Hekate is also sometimes depicted with dogs at her side whilst at other times shown alongside other gods (like Hermes and Kybele) or children.

Hekate having dominion over the sky, sea and earth is also known as the Goddess of the crossroads, liminal places, witchcraft, magick, herbology, necromancy, cosmic world soul, mistress of animals, aider to women in childbirth, mistress of the dead and guide of ghosts.  She is patron of sorcerers and witches and in ancient times was prayed to by athletes, solders, fishermen, farmers and merchants alike for favour in their various endeavours as well as being a common goddess venerated in household shrines.  Shrines to Hekate were placed at doorways and crossroads where offerings were made on her sacred day Deipnon (Dark Moon) which was the last day of the month in the Athenian calendar and again on the Noumenia (New Moon) on the first day of the next month. Hekate’s main site of worship was in Lagina (modern Turkey) but she had shrines scattered throughout ancient Anatolia and Greece.

Hekate’s symbols include keys, torches, the moon, snakes, dagers and is a goddess who bestows her blessings in the form of protection, prosperity, prophesy, proficiency in communing with the dead and the performance of magick.  Sacred offerings to her include: milk oak, yew, honey, garlic, cypress, aconite, belladonna, dittany, mandrake, and pomegranates.

This was one of the first descriptions I wrote publicly of Hekate years ago…


(C) T. Georgitsis 

Hekate Devotion: Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice also known as Yule is the day with the shortest amount of daylight and the longest amount of night. Symbolically it marks the death and rebirth of the sun and it falls between Samhain and the Spring Equinox and due to this manifests as the darkest period of the year yet is also a turning point where the days become longer.  It symbolises the darkest time of year and marks the returning of the light due to its time of seasonal transition.  The winter solstice marks the sun as its lowest elevation in the sky and the reason it contains the longest night of the year.  This year in the Southern Hemisphere calendar it falls on Monday the 21st of June at 1.32pm. Gods such as Hekate, Persephone, Demeter, Dionysus, Helios, Poseidon, Zeus, Hera, Hathor, Sekhmet, Osiris, Horus, Neith, Nephthys, Spider Woman, Ameratasu, Saturn, Odin, Bona Dea, Mithras, Holy King, Hod, Frigga, Frau Holle, Cailleach and Baldurcan all be honoured during this time of year.

I have celebrated Yule with groups of people in a magickal setting such as a working lodge, coven and magickal order.  The one thing which I found which linked them all together was the coming together to celebrate the light and the darkness whilst sharing food and gifts.

One of the fondest memories I have during this time of year is celebrating the winter solstice through creating handmade gifts.  I spend considerable time planning on what to make and then following through by crafting gifts which are unique and special.  The first thing I ever recall making was for my first coven where I sculpted and fired a set of runes and hand sewed an accompanying bag to contain them in.  This took a significant amount of energy and effort and was placed in a sack of gifts to be randomly selected by one coven member in the middle of our coven’s winter solstice ritual.  Imagine my surprise when one of my coven members whom I was closest to (and who has become a lifelong friend) chose it at random and had been wanting a set of runes which turned out to feature her favourite colour (they were coloured green and purple).

I personally like to hand make gifts during this time of year usually involving items which feature divination, light, purification, seeds, woods and herbs harvested and collected.  I also love to cook, bake and prepare food which is consumed, shared or given to loved ones including the following: citrus preserves such as salt preserved lemons and Cointreau marmalade,  soup (lentil/beans/barley and root vegetable, Greek chicken soup), stew (barley, beans, lentil, cholent andcoq au vin), bread (Greek sweetbread, olive loaf and garlic and feta loaf), gingerbread (especially witches houses/cottages), shortbread (various Greek ones), lamb or beef roast, dumplings and baked spiced rice stuffed into vegetables.

Since this time tends to fall on my personal anniversary (we got together on the winter solstice) for me it also involves going out for an intimate meal with my partner and exchanging thoughtful gifts.  

I feel that Hekate resonates with this time of the year for various reasons. One being that this is a liminal time where she has dominion between the darkness and the light.  In this time  she encourages and enables us to turn our attention to the presence of the promise of new things to come.  As the time of growth and movement is before us Hekate beckons us to straddle the in-between time and to use this time for the power it contains.

I personally like to honour Hekate during this time and make offerings of apples, pomegranates, garlic, onions, mead, beer, wine, bread, barley, nuts, lilies, pine, mistletoe, juniper, holly, frankincense, myrrh, cedar, bay, chamomile and roots from dandelions.

I also like to make items for Hekate which resonate with the season mostly wands collected from wood during the summer, candle anointing oil blends, herb pouches for dreaming, health and wealth, candles which illuminate, soap which cleanses, incense using dried herbs from the summer, book and journal covers with locally sourced materials or upcycled materials, various art pieces with paints, ink, photography and/or several thread types (in recent years its been all about the land, sea and sky) and beaded jewellery such as ethically sourced crystal necklaces which can also be used as meditation or manifestation beads.

In the garden now is the time to plant:

Vegetables such as artichoke, asparagus, beans, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chillies, corn, cucumber, endive, kale, leek, lettuce, melons, okra, onion, parsnip, peas, pumpkins, radish, rhubarb, shallots, silver beet, snow peas, spinach, tomatoes, turnip and zucchinis

Herbs such as garlic, basil, chives, cress, curry, dill, mint, parsley, sage and thyme.

Flowers such as aquilegia, calendula, cineraria, cyclamen, delphinium, foxglove, nemesia, pansy, primula, polyanthus poppy and viola. 

Some things you can do to honour and mark the winter solstice in your personal practice (or with a group of likeminded individuals) can be:

  1. Hold a ritual signifying the balance of darkness and light and/or liminality.
  2. Work spells and magick which involve igniting a flame, balance or brining the light into a situation, .
  3. Create and light a bonfire or light a special candle carved with symbols which signify the time of year.
  4. Inscribe and light a Yule log in a firepit or fireplace.
  5. Take a walk at dusk holding a lantern.
  6. Bake a seasonal pie, cook a roast and make mulled wine or any other food or drink which to you symbolises the winter solstice .
  7. In the evening go out star gazing and seek out your local constellations.
  8. Honour the Gods which signify this time of year by creating a shrine or altar in their name or tending to an existing one and make offerings to them.
  9. Create an ice wreath in the freezer filled with flowers and herbs of the season (use a bunt cake tin) and once set place a candle in the middle of the wreath and light it to signify the winter moving out and the spring coming in.
  10. Use this time to cleanse your magickal tools and spaces such as shrines and altars.
  11. Rituals and spells involving transitions and movement.
  12. Reflect on your inner world and take some time to just be with yourself and listen to your inner self such as meditation, yoga, going for a walk in nature or just sitting in a space which is sacred to you and just being present.
  13. Use this time to recharge yourself through honouring yourself and do what you need to, to enable that reset.
  14. Host a feast with family or friends which can include music and dancing.
  15. Light black and white candles to signify the diminishing darkness and the increasing light.
  16. Decorate a tree (such as a xmas tree) with decorations which signify the winter solstice.
  17. Exchange gifts with loved ones.
  18. Donate to charities involving the displaced such as the homeless and refugees.
  19. Do something kind for someone who is alone, in pain or suffering.
  20. Volunteer for a charity which assists the natural world or the less fortunate.
  21. Divination such as rune, tarot, dice, candle wax, crystal, magick mirror or ink scrying.  

So work your magick this midwinter, honour the light and the darkness within you and all around you and contemplate and manifest balance in your life.


(c) T. Georgitsis 2021

Super Blood Moon Eclipse (May 2021)

All images taken by © S. Altman

Hekate Magick: Super Blood Moon Eclipse

The Magick of this Moon

The Full Moon which is also a Supermoon and Blood Moon this month is happening this May full moon on the 26th (3.45am – 9.13pm EST).

A Supermoon is a New or a Full moon which coincides with the closest distance to the earth in its orbit.  This means the moon appears larger than usual from the perspective from earth.

A Blood Moon is a Full moon which is a Solar Lunar Eclipse.  The earth is between the sun and the moon which causes the moon to have a reddish tinge due to the red light which skims over the earth.

The Lunar Eclipse energies transition through the new and full moon phases during the eclipse, which enables the moon to cycle through the various stages of the moon and its magick.

Eclipse magick is when the energy is amplified due to the moon energies intermingling.

There are various types of magick you can perform during this coming moon:

  • Liminal – magick worked between the darkness and the light.
  • Manifestation – setting goals, intentions and affirmations.
  • Breaking – curses, bad habits, bad relationships and connections.
  • Transformation – self/surroundings, spellwork and health encompassing all aspects of oneself (body/mind/spirit and emotion).
  • Devotion – to lunar or liminal Gods and Goddess.
  • Focus – personal and spiritual development along with illumination and psychic work (divination and magickal goals).

Right now our world is suffering through much turmoil and as such our energies are scattered and stagnant.

This is a good time to clear the energies which no longer aid you in preparation for the next phase in your life.

Now is the time to work on breaking the bonds which drag you down and transform it into manifesting that which raises you up.

Since the full moon is in Sagittarius it will be an intense time, therefore I suggest working on the self and releasing the frustration and anger in a proactive way. Below I have outlined an easy rite you can perform in any tradition you resonate to, with the guidance of Hekate:

Hekate Eclipse Magick by Setjataset

Preparation:

Chose a liminal time and place for the ritual to be set, preferably outside if you can manage it under the full moon or alternatively where the moon beams can shine upon your workings.

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

Your shrine and offering items should be placed on a shrine or working altar and should include: black candle, red candle (or white/neutral coloured candles if you don’t have red/black), purified water/khernips mixed with salt, a token or offering you have for Hekate, incense and an image of Hekate.

Welcoming and Opening

Open sacred space or the shrine/altar and welcome Hekate by simply calling to her or reciting a hymn, poem, evocation in her name.

Light your incense and waft over sacred space.

Sprinkle purified salted water over sacred space.

Magical Working

Write (with a sharpie) or carve (with a blade, wand, knife, pin, fingernail) on a black candle what you want to get rid of.

If you don’t have a black candle use a white or neutral colour and write on the candle a word representing what you want to get rid of ie procrastination.  Think about it carefully and don’t be rash in what it is you are wanting to get rid of and make sure its what you really want.

Write (with a sharpie) or carve (with a blade, wand, knife, pin, fingernail) on a red candle what you want to bring in.

If you don’t have a red candle use a white or neutral colour and write on the candle a word representing what you want to bring in ie self-love.  Think about it carefully and don’t be rash in what it is you are wanting to bring in and make sure its what you really want.

If so desired, anoint candles.  Use an oil such as Abramelin oil or something simple such as olive or lavender oil.  If you have no oil, use your own saliva.

Light both candles.

Push the black candle away from you and the red candle towards you and then say:

“Hekate Queen of Earth, Sky and Sea

Assist me to straddle this liminal time

Guide me through the Darkness and into the Light

With the power of the Moon I release my intentions”  © T. Georgitsis 2020

Let the candles burn down completely in a safe manner.

Thanks and Closing

Thank Hekate and close sacred space or the shrine/altar.

Ritual is now complete and any feasting and/or grounding work can take place.

Do not speak about your working until it has manifested and even then be cautious with how you share it.


© T. Georgitsis 2020, Updated 2021

Books on Hekate

The Hekate book list I created has been updated yet again with new, upcoming or books not usually promoted:

https://setjataset.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/books-on-hekate-by-setjataset/

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