Hekate Devotion: An Open Letter

To those who think they can dictate how others experience the divine,

From a personal perspective – MY practice, magick and spirituality is my own.  My research, dedication and ongoing development have led me to where I find myself today.  I work with existing systems and yet it is tailored, modified and individualised to my own preferences.  One hand in modern and the other in ancient practices is the path I tred.  It is my own blend as I take what works and discard what doesn’t.  My taste might not resonate with yours which is completely ok as YMMV.

With that said, I own my own path and the power I yield I do so for my personal development, therefore:

My spirituality is not made to placate you.

My practice is not created for your comfort.

My magick is not worked for your satisfaction.

So to those:

  • Talking down to others is rude and shows your arrogance as you do not demand an audience.
  • Mansplaining makes you look like a domineering person afraid of individual self empowerment.
  • Exhibiting belittling behaviour is unwarranted as is the obedience of another. You are owed nothing except common courtesy and respect which you should have the decency to show yourself.
  • Dictating your point of view which is not accepted blindly – frustrates you, which in some cases you turn into lashed out anger which makes you look controlling and lacking confidence.

So to those who struggle with people who tell you how to be and how to practice – simply give them no attention, pay them no mind, don’t give in to their tendencies to be antagonistic towards you because simply put – they are not worth the energy and time.

Perhaps they are envious of your ways otherwise they wouldn’t chose to be so focused towards what you are doing and instead put that vigour towards their own workings (instead of trying to lord over yours).

Remember – NO ONE can control you, this is YOUR path!  What you owe is to yourself and to your God/s. Do your thing and don’t apologise for it.

Hail Hekate

Setjataset


© T. Georgitsis 2020

Dancing for Hekate

Dance has long been regarded as a exemplary way to elevate one’s soul in a spiritual way. Dance has been part of religious ceremonies, rites and celebrations from time immemorial. It’s a way to display the myths of various cultures and has been used to pass on traditions of these cultures for generations. Divine dance is a wondrous way to commune and connect with Deity.  This occurs by becoming an instrument attuned through repetitive movement which can induce transcendence. Dance can also be used as a tool for the transmission of healings and blessings which can manifest as a euphoric or peaceful feeling.

Dance allows you to tap into the cosmic consciousness and can raise your vibration. With devotion, dance becomes an offering to the gods and ancestors  – in its essence its alchemy in action. When you move in rhythmic motions it opens you up and fills you with a harmonic energy which expands your perception.  Dance connects you to your primal self yet at the same time can strengthen your sentient link to your higher self.

Dance is a form of moving meditation allowing us to weave the magickal world into the mundane. With dedication and regular practice you can master the various subtle energies around and outside of you, to further develop the bond between you and the cosmic energies and your Gods.  With love and devotion, dance can unfold and manifest into the most beautiful works of art.

Some examples of divine dancing can be seen through Turning Dervish Dance, Zaar Dance, Indian Classical Dance, Sword Dance, Maypole Dance, Cham Dance, Greek Folk Dance and Jewish Worship Dances just to name a few.

I learned how to dance pretty much around the same time I learned to walk.  I was influenced by my family who indulged in this pastime at various celebratory events, as well as my general love of music which would inspire me to get lost in various styles and rhythms.    When I was around 6 I started to attend formal Greek Folk dancing lessons and I didn’t realise at the time how instrumental and what an impact it would have in my devotions to Deity.  Over the years I have tried various forms of dance but the one I always come back to and use regularly for communion with spirit is traditional Egyptian Belly Dance.

Bellydance is one of the oldest types of dance in existence which focuses on isolated yet flowing movements through various parts of the body.  This results in the sensual current of energetic emotion being moulded into a work of artistic expression physically.

Bellydance has given me the confidence to accept myself and my body and connect with it in a loving and honourable way.  It’s taught me that every person is a reflection of the Divine and that we have the confidence and drive within to move forward and tackle any obstacle before us.

I regularly Bellydance for Hekate and this type of devotional act works on balancing my body, mind, spirit and emotions and therefore is quite a wholistic practice which allows healing, learning and growing.  It also allows me to raise energy and direct it to her workings and add quite a punch to my rituals and other magical workings in Her name.  Dancing for Hekate has allowed me to really connect to her in a grounded way which is then transferred into her etherial energy.  Dancing for Hekate has also allowed me to let go of the mundane world and put me in trance allowing me to have a quicker connection to various aspects of her practice such as visionary work.

I find that Bellydancing is very valuable to my Body, Mind, Spirit and Emotion and here are just some of the benefits I have found over the years:

BODY

Bellydance contains naturally fluid movements which work with the female body’s regular dispositions. Due to this, Bellydance strengthens the core, joints and ligaments, tones the muscles, straightens the spine, leads to better developed balance and co-ordination, improves flexibility in a painless and safe manner and improves the digestive system. Repetitive movements found within Bellydance can improve circulation and breath and corrects stiffness which occurs with a predominate sedentary lifestyle.  Even if you only dance for an hour a week, it can severely enhance your cardiovascular capacity and when practiced more often can increase lung capacity.  Your body changes after continued practice of Bellydance and this is due to the fact it’s a weight baring exercise which assists in weight loss, strengthens your bones and shapes your body into its natural graceful state of shape. Bellydance also strengthens the pelvic floor muscle since its predominately used, therefore it can assist with pms, sexual relations and childbirth. This style of dance can also be useful as a rehabilitative exercise as it’s a gentle way of working through an injury when you have received the go ahead to get back into physical workouts.

MIND

Bellydance contains alternating movements, routines and music which regularly allows a change in scenery.  Mixing things up in this way has many mental health benefits as it allows you to enjoy yourself in a pressure free environment. Bellydance is fun and learning it with a within a group environment can not only can elevate you but opens you up to making connections with others. The rhythmic and accompanying movements in Bellydance can also calm and centre you which allows relaxation.  Bellydance also causes stress reduction through stimulating yet soothing the mind as well as the increase of happiness and joy due to being involved in something uplifting. Building your self esteem through the feeling of being liberated through Bellydance is attained as well as connecting to yourself through thoughtful and loving self-discovery.

SPIRIT

Bellydance is a creative outlet which allows a woman to connect to her feminine nature and her natural cycles of her body which is a manifestation of the Goddess within her. Since Bellydance is a ritualised physical and emotional expression it opens one’s ability to honour and connect with deity in a most profound and beautiful way.  This connection has been used for millennia as performances of Bellydance have occurred throughout the ages during various celebrations which includes faith/religious ceremonies, coming of age ceremonies, weddings and fertility rites.

EMOTION

Bellydance allows you to express your emotions through dance and dancing out your stressors is a great way to work through them.  It also helps you forget about your problems and allows you to let things go due to being in the moment with the dance, as quite frankly you just don’t have the time to worry about anything else.  Bellydance can help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety and can enable the sensation of feeling sexy in one’s skin. This style of dance also helps improve body confidence and assurance of one self and accompanying abilities which inspire freedom of expression through a sense of inner strength.

Bellydance has brought me many personal benefits and I am grateful for the body, mind, spirit and emotional benefits I have harvested over the years of dancing this path. As always please see your GP before embarking on a new exercise regime (which includes dancing) and remember that every person is a representation of Deity and Bellydance is a great way to honour God/dess inside and outside of yourself.

Whatever style of dance you are drawn to, try to engage in it regularly as an offering and see how it enhances your magickal and spiritual practice.


 

© T. Georgitsis 2013/14 updated 2020

The Cardinal Points and Hekate

A Greek Wind Rose is a classical compass which was used in the Mediterranean by the Hellenics and Romans.  The Greek Wind Rose typically shows the points of orientation, directions and the names of the winds.  The Classical Wind Rose is the Greek Wind Rose as shown below:

Greek_12-wind_rose

The philosopher Aristotle in his Meteorology (c 340 BCE) created the 12 wind system which is seen below. 8 are principle winds: Aparctias (N), Caecias (NE), Apeliotes (E), Eurus (SE), Notos (S), Lips (SW), Zephyrus ( W ) and Argestes (NW) and two are half winds: Thrascias (NNW) and Meses (NNE).  Aristotle made an addition with the Phoenicias wind for the SSE but didn’t suggest any for the SSW.

Aristotle’s wind rose (correspondence to modern compass directions)

North (N) Aparctias (ἀπαρκτίας)
(variant Boreas (βoρέας))
the top meridian
North-Northeast (NNE) Meses (μέσης) the polar “rise”
Northeast (NE) Caecias (καικίας) the summer sunrise
East (E) Apeliotes (ἀπηλιώτης) the equinox sunrise
Southeast (SE) Eurus (εὖρος)
(variant Euronoti (εὐρόνοτοι))
the winter sunrise
South-Southeast (SSE) No wind
(except local Phoenicias (φοινικίας)
South (S) Notos (νότος) the bottom meridian.
South-Southwest (SSW) No wind
Southwest (SW) Lips (λίψ) the winter sunset
West ( W ) Zephyrus (ζέφυρος) the equinox sunset
Northwest (NW) Argestes (ἀργέστης)(Variants: Olympias(ὀλυμπίας),
Sciron (σκίρων)
the summer sunset.
North-Northwest (NNW) Thrascias (θρασκίας) the polar “set”

For those of you who like to work with Hellenic or Roman gods you can create sacred space similar to the wiccan circle cast using the Greek Wind Rose especially if you don’t have a shrine or temple space.  This is ideal for setting up temporary spaces whether they be in a private or public area as they can be established and disassembled at you own whim and need.  You can include the main cardinal points North – South – East or West or if so inclined, include all the other mid cardinal points such as North West etc.

When I was practicing wicca in the Elphame tradition the quarters had elemental witches who would call upon the elements allocated to North, South, East and West by using their wind names:

North and element of Earth: Boreas (βoρέας)

*South and element of Fire: Notos (νότος)

East and element of Air: Eurus (εὖρος)

West and element of Water: Zephyrus (ζέφυρος)

As someone who works with Hekate, I have found when casting circle in this fashion, instead of using elemental names, you can call in the quarters utilising the epithets of Hekate.  In this way you can use epithets which resonate with you and how you allocate meaning and connection to the elements.

I have shown an example below, please note your milage may vary.  The following is an example of a standard deosil (clockwise) elemental affiliation to some of Hekate’s epitaphs you could potentially use with your magick with Hekate.

Air: Hekate Angelos

Fire: Hekate Brimo

Earth:  Hekate Khthonia

Water: Hekate Einalian

For further information on Hekate’s epithets I would strongly recommend reading Sara Neheti Croft’s blog on Hekate’s Many Names

Regardless of which epithets you choose to help you call in the quarters with Hekate’s aid, my advice is get to know the epithets of Hekete you are working with first and foremost.  Develop a relationship with them and see if calling them in this aspect will work for you.  If not, move on as there is no use in working with a title or aspect of Hekate which simply doesn’t resonate with you.  If it works – great!  Further develop this connection and keep working with Her to deepen and strengthen it.

Magick isn’t stagnant and your practice doesn’t have to be either.  Your practice can evolve over time or it can also simplify over time.  Therefore the main tip I have for this kind of work is to practice, practice and practice!  Take note of what you are doing and do it with respect to Hekate and to yourself and be devoted as nothing of value has been gained without doing the work.


*in hindsight I feel this information shared by the HPS at the time was incorrect as the use of Apeliotes (ἀπηλιώτης) for South would have been more prudent to align with the correct Greek Wind Rose as Notos aligns with the South East.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2020

Hekate Magick: Re-Use and Re-Purpose

Hekate image shrine made from repurposed wood.

 

Before our modern throw-away culture – people rarely threw or tossed things away simply because they had outgrown their use or were broken and battered.  What they did was re-purpose, re-use or recycle – not only to save cost – but to reduce waste.  Some places and people still maintain this kind of living and now more than ever, as our world is being suffocated by waste cluttering our seas and landfills, it’s only environmentally conscious to do the same.

I like to challenge myself to learn to make my own devotional items, especially since I prefer to tailor things for my own spiritual and magickal needs/wants.  I find all you need is a can-do attitude, patience and practice – which is essential in developing your crafting skills.

Making your own magickal items for your workings can also ensure the ingredients you use are environmentally and ethically sourced. Also you dont have to spend a fortune for commercially manufactured items which can always be on the pricey side, as you can make things from recycled materials, so not only are you cutting cost but waste.

When my aunt and mother were creating their magickal crafts, there wasnt a local occult shop they could just pop into.  What they did is made do with what they could use from around the house and also what they could wild harvest in nature.  I am so glad to have had this influence in my early years because quite frankly its taught me to be self-sufficient.

I have a thing for not throwing anything out which I might re-use at a later date.  I have a cupboard filled with old jars, containers, paper bags and the like which can be reused or repurposed.  I continuously find they come in handy when making my own craft items.  I also like to repurpose and take something which once served one purpose and use it for another.

Hekate incense from repurposed jar and herbs.

 

13 Re-Use and Re-purpose Tips for the Hekate devotee:

  1. Wash and store old glass jars, bottles and containers as they can come in handy to store various items in them, such as oil blends, herbs, resins, incense, waters, powders etc. You can also use jars as soy candle holders and for jar spells and bottles as candle holders or vases.
  2. Used charcoal blocks for recipes such as black salt, it can also be gathered and placed in a charcoal burner as a heat buffer between the container and lit charcoal as well as using it for devotional artwork.
  3. Old pieces of wood can be used to make a shrine box, portable shrine, tools or divination box.
  4. Perishable offerings can be thrown into a compost for use over a garden and some items can be used to regrow the vegetable or plant it came from by harvesting seeds or planting the roots/tops.  I have done this successfully with many vegetables and herbs.
  5. Offerings in the form of flowers, herbs, salt and even fruit can be reused in the making of incense, water, powders etc. Drying out in a slow burning oven or herb air dryer after you’ve cut up your ingredients is a great way to reuse fruit peels for incense.  Also grinding up egg shells or using ground up coffee beans can be used in powders.
  6. Broken plates, glasses, old pins, rusty nails etc can be used for protection magick such as witches bottles.
  7. The stubs of candles can be used similar to sealing wax in various spells and workings.
  8. Use the bees wax from honey comb to make cosmetics, candles and furniture polish.
  9. Take that old piece of clothing, sheets, towels, tablecloth you love but can use anymore due to damage and wear and cut and and reuse material for crystal and divination bag holders, coverings for magic mirrors or tools and in some instances new altar or shrine cloths.
  10. Use old egg carton to plant seeds for herbs, plants and trees.
  11. Use broken crystals, rusty scissors, old keys and cracked statues in specific magick and ritual work.
  12. Feed the local birds and animals with safe food offerings from your shrine.
  13. Don’t throw out expired culinary herbs from your pantry, reuse them for spells, mojo bags, incense and the like.

Hekate mugwort candles made from repurposed beeswax and oil made from dried out herb.

 

I like to make my own version of Hekate Black salt repurposing spent charcoal and expired herbs using the following recipe which I would like to share which is easy to make:

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

Ingredients

  1. 2 parts kosher rock salt
  2. 1 part ash from the herbs of: dandelion, lavender, mint, bay, mugwort and rue (or any herb you associate with Hekate which is safe to burn and turn into ash)

Method

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

Simple Use for Black Salt

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

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

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

Hekate khernips from flowing water wildcrafted and stored in a re-purposed jar.

 

I strongly urge devotees to go and try and re-use and re-purpose items in Hekate’s name.  Also if anyone has any other ideas they would like to share with me I would love to hear them.


(C) T. Georgitsis  2014, Updated 2020

Hekate Magick:Working from Home

In Victoria, Australia we are currently in Stage 4 lockdown due to the pandemic, which means we can’t leave the house (unless your are an essential worker or its for medical, caretaking or limited exercise) and therefore those of us who can – are working from home.

Hekate is well known as a Goddess of the hearth and home and many of her devotees have shrines dedicated to her in their homes.  Therefore it is quite appropriate to venerate and honour her moreso whilst you are working from home.

Personally I have felt many more benefits when it comes to honouring the Gods and working with them in plain sight whilst I am working from home.  Some of the added benefits I have discovered include active practice whilst being productive during working hours.  To help those of you who would like to increase your practice whilst at home when it comes to Hekate (or any other God/dess) I have come up with 13 things you can do which I have listed below.

13 Things for Hekate whilst working from home:

  1. Burn incense.
  2. Burn aromatherapy oils.
  3. Perform a midday devotional.
  4. Eat more holistically, actively putting mindful vibrational energies into your food whilst preparing it and then eating it slowly, savouring each bite as a blessing.
  5. Listen to witchy music and podcasts out loud.
  6. Use any breaks for magic or spiritual work such as reading a chapter from a Hekate book you have been wanting to read or giving yourself a quick reading or healing.
  7. Your working desk can be covered in crystals, tarot cards, Goddess statues, bones etc – things which resonate with the energies and remind you of Hekate.
  8. You can surround yourself with Hekate centric art which you can focus on when you need to give your eyes a break from computer work to prevent eye strain.
  9. Journaling or note taking for deeper development at a later time.  If something comes to you such as an idea for a devotional act in Hekate’s name such as a spell, chant, hymn, ritual or some volunteering or support work which can be done from home you have the freedom to pause and focus on that.
  10. Hekate’s gardening during breaks – use your breaks to maintain, admire or surround yourself with your herbs, flowers or trees.  You can also use this time to start to plant a Hekate garden which can be something as small as a herb on a windowsill.
  11. You can make herbal teas or juices in honour of Hekate to sip on whilst you work.
  12. Sing, chant, dance and sway as a way to move your body when you need to get up to prevent RSI, back-pain or workplace fatigue.
  13. If you havent done it already a Hekate shrine can be set up near or on your workspace or you can maintain the one you currently have.

I am sure there are other things you can do to honour Hekate whilst working from home, which doest take away from the work you need to complete, which can create a deeper connection to her and her devotion.  So my advice is – use this time wisely and don’t waste the opportunity.

With the above said, you can also simply chose to do nothing of the above except contemplate or think upon the nature of Hekate and how you feel about her or her role in your life and in the world generally.

Whatever you choose to do during this time be kind and gentle to yourself and those around you. This is a unique time for us, which is full of emotions and stress and which should be taken care of, instead of projected in unhealthy ways (whether it be towards yourself or others).


(C) T. Georgitsis  2020

Hekate Magick: Four Thieves Vinegar

Four Thieves Vinegar also known as Prophylactic Vinegar or Marseilles Vinegar/Remedy, is a health tonic made from vinegar, herbs, spices and garlic which was created in the middle ages to protect against the plague (black death).  Similar concoctions have been made as far back as the time of Hippocrates in Ancient Greece.

The basic recipe for the remedy is adding certain herbs to be placed and steeped in a vinegar solution for several days.

In the current climate of Corvid-19 it can be used as powerful disinfectant.  

I created an original recipe several years ago.  This recipe is based on a medieval recipe and has modern ingredients added which I personally found useful:

Setjataset’s Four Thieves Vinegar Recipe (© T. Georgitsis 2014)

Ingredients

  • Vinegar (rice wine or apple cider) – 2 litres
  • Wormwood (1 tablespoon)
  • Sage (1 tablespoon)
  • Marjoram (1 tablespoon)
  • Meadowsweet (1 tablespoon)
  • Campala Root (3 tablespoons)
  • Angelic Root (3 tablespoons)
  • Rosemary (3 tablespoons)
  • Horehound(3 tablespoons)
  • Champhor (3 tablespoons)
  • Thyme (2 tablespoons) – modern addition
  • Mint (2 tablespoons) – modern addition 
  • Lavender (2 tablespoons)
  • Cloves (25 cloves)
  • Rue (3 tablespoons) – optional
  • Garlic (3 cloves) – optional

Method

  1. Add dried herbs to vinegar solution.
  2. Before closing the lid put some cling wrap to stop metal lid from corroding.
  3. Steep for 3 weeks in a secure glass jar, in a cool dark place.
  4. Strain solution through cheesecloth and then bottle securely in smaller jars.

Simple Use for Four Thieves Vinegar

Use as a disinfectant or house cleaning agent.

Cautions
DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY!
DO NOT USE IF PREGNANT OR LACTATING!
DO NOT USE/TAKE IF YOU HAVE ALLERGIES TO INGREDIENTS MENTIONED!

 

Recently I created an amended version of my Four Thieves Vinegar in dedication to Hekate which I made in conjunction with a prayer for plague protection I wrote in honour of her.

My suggestion is to repeat the prayer before you start making the vinegar, after you have created the vinegar and left it to steep and once again after you have decanted the final product, once it has been strained.

Here is my recipe for the Hekate’s Four Thieves Vinegar:

Setjataset’s Hekate Four Thieves Vinegar (© T. Georgitsis 2020)

  • Vinegar (apple cider) – 1 litre
  • Wormwood (1 tablespoon)
  • Sage (1 tablespoon)
  • Rosemary (2 tablespoons)
  • Thyme (2 tablespoons)
  • Mint (2 tablespoons)
  • Lavender (2 tablespoons) – culinary not aromatic
  • Cloves (5 cloves)
  • Garlic (3 bulbs) – optional
  • Bay Leaves (1 leaf) – optional

Method

  1. Add fresh herbs to a jar.
  2. Cover herbs with vinegar solution.
  3. Before closing the lid put some cling wrap to stop metal lid from corroding.
  4. Steep for 3 weeks in a secure glass jar in a cool dark place.
  5. Strain solution through cheesecloth and then bottle securely in smaller jars.

Simple Use for Hekate Four Thieves Vinegar 

  1. 1 teaspoon diluted in a room temperature glass of water to be drunk once a week.
  2. 1 tablespoon in a bath once a week.
  3. 1 tablespoon in a small spray bottle to use on surfaces as required/daily.

Cautions
DO NOT TAKE IF PREGNANT OR LACTATING!
DO NOT USE/TAKE IF YOU HAVE ALLERGIES TO INGREDIENTS MENTIONED!

Here is the prayer I wrote for Hekate to go with the creation of her vinegar:

Hekate Prayer for Plague Protection (© T. Georgitsis 2020)

Hekate Alexeatis

I call to you as Averter of Evil

Keep this virus away from me (and my loved ones)

Hekate Aregos

I call to you as Helper

Help me (and my loved ones) to keep safe from this pandemic

Hekate Episkopos

I call to you as Guardian

Guard me (and my loved ones) against Corona-18

Hekate Ekdotis

I call to you as Bestower

Bring to me (and my loved ones) health and vitality 

Hekate Propolos

I call to you as Guide

Assist me (and my loved ones) during this difficult time

Hekate Soteira

I call to you as Saviour

Be there for me (and my loved ones) 


 

(C) T. Georgitsis 2014, Updated 2020

Hekate Magick: Khernips (Sacred Water)

Circe by John William Waterhouse

 

Khernips which is also known as lustral water is blessed or sacred water which is employed in Hellenic rites and can be used in the devotional workings of Hekate.

Khernips is primarily used for libations, offerings and to purge oneself of miasma (environmental and energetic pollutants believed to cause illness by the Ancient Greeks and modern Hellenes).  It can also be used to heal body/mind/spirit/emotion and can be consumed for internal use or applied externally (depending on the properties).

Khernips can be employed to bless or consecrate anything from shrine/altar tools, jewellery and places of practice, to plants, people and pets.  Washing one’s hands with blessed water before entering into ritual was common practice for the Ancient Greeks as it was believed to keep miasma at bay.  Khernips can be also used to put out a ritual fire, to wash ritual clothing and for use in practical and ceremonial magic, such as where one creates objects for specific purposes like a talisman from clay and water.

The Ancient Greeks made their khernips simply by collecting it from a sacred spring or well and storing it in a jug or similar vessel for devotional use.  The same technique can be employed now, however if you are collecting from a spring, be sure to leave an appropriate offerings like coins, flowers or herbs.

Another way to make this sanctified water is as easy as colleting rain water and purifying it.  My favourite technique of making khernips is collecting sea water. This can be ritualistically done by placing the vessel just on the shore line and collecting the water through a wave as it comes towards you. Several other methods of khernips I have successfully used over the years includes: mixing kosher rock salt and purified water, herbal/flower water (orange blossom, lavender, rose and angelica for Hekate), aromatherapy water utilising cold pressed essential oil and another method is purified water mixed with wine (sweet pine wine or any robust wine).

The way you can use khernips is by placing it in a glass lidded container for storage and then pouring it into a bowl or jug for ritual use.  You can then dip your hands into the bowl or alternatively pour the khernips over your hands from a jug to purify yourself before rites.  Use a bundle of tied up herbs to asperge* with or alternatively use your hands to sprinkle it over things like offerings, tools and sacred space.  Also putting khernips in a spray bottle to be able to diffuse it within an area works very well, as does using a water bottle or a bottle with a dripper. Some khernips, especially those having plant materials, need to be refrigerated or alternatively a preservative needs to be added such as a dash of wheat germ oil, olive oil or pure alcohol to keep it from going rancid.

This is a simple khernips creation and blessing I created as part of my regular devotional use for Hekate which I would like to share:

Setjataset’s Khernips Blessing ((C)T. Georgitsis 2013)

Ingredients:

  • Dried Bay Leaf
  • Purified Water (filtered water)

Method:

Light the end of a dried bay laurel leaf and say:

I banish all that is unclean, corrupt and profane with the aid of Hekate!

Plunge the lit end into the water and say:

It is purified, upright and sanctified in Hekate’s name.

You can employ the same method by holding some rock salt over a bowl of water, sprinkling the rock salt over the water and finishing off by swivelling around the mixture in the bowl with both hands.

Suggested Use for Khernips:

    1. To purify yourself before and after ritual.
    2. To remove miasma* from people, animals, physical items or spaces.
    3. To be used for libations in ritual and magickal workings.
    4. To be used as offerings.
    5. To water sacred plants, herbs and trees.

*Asperge = to sprinkle with sacred water.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2014, Updated 2020

Hekate Magick: Witches Flying Oil

Witches Flying Oil is an agent used to assist witches reach the astral or trance states.  In the 1300’s witches flying ointments were made with heated animal fats and nightshade herbs which was claimed to help them fly to the Sabbath on their brooms.  I have created a Witches Flying Oil which is a vegetable based oil, infused with herbs which is a milder version of witches flying ointments.

witch_m_1728821a

I personally like to grow my own herbs as that way I know that they are organic and environmentally clean.  I know that not everyone can do that so if you need to source them I suggest you purchase organically grown or alternatively trade, barter or swap with friends or family who grow their own in a pesticide free environment. Also to note is to please be mindful when when wildcrafting herbs ensuring that the locations you are gathering them from are not sprayed with chemicals or polluted by traffic and negative human interference.

I like to speak or sing to the herbs I am utilising in my witches flying oil by respectfully calling them to action and setting their intentions.  I like to do this during the full moon, new moon or waxing moon – depending which herbs resonate with which moon phase with the aide of Hekate as her Pharmakia.  When my oil is complete I also like to charge it during new, dark or full moon.  I activate and charge my herbs and finished oil in a ritual dedicated to Hekate so I suggest you do something similar by creating sacred space and evoking Hekate, activating and charging the items as a form of offering, thanking and farewelling Hekate and closing sacred space.

The following herbs are the ones I like to use in my Witches Flying Oil, not only because they are used in Hekate’s practice but also for the following magical reasons:

Bay Laurel: Enhances psychic ability and prophecy whilst allowing healing energy and protecting against negative influences.

*Mandrake: Enhances imagination and psychic ability whilst encouraging hallucinations.  Also magnifies magickal workings energetically.

Mugwort: Enhances psychic projection/ability, prophecy, altered states of consciousness and divination whilst providing protection.

Wormwood: Enhances divination, visions and astral projection whilst also providing protection.

Poppy: Enhances success, dream work, calming and cleansing energies. Also used for its invisibility properties against those who want to see your magickal workings.

Olive Oil: Enhances protection, blessings and cleansing and great for working as an anointing base.


Medea photograph by Hulton Archive 

Here is my recipe for my Witches Flying Oil with details of how to make it and how to use it safely:

Setjataset’s Witches Flying Oil for Hekate (© T. Georgitsis 2014)

Ingredients

  • Bay Laurel Leaves – 2 tablespoon crushed herb
  • *Mandrake Root – 1/2 teaspoon cut up root
  • Mugwort Leaves – 2 tablespoons cut up herb
  • Wormwood Leaves – 1 tablespoon cut up herb
  • Poppy Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon seeds
  • 375 ml size glass jar with lid

Method

  1. Place clean dry ingredients in a glass jar and fill the rest of the jar with extra-virgin olive oil.
  2. Before closing the lid, put some cling wrap over the jar mouth if it has a metal lid to prevent it from from corroding.
  3. Succuss (shake) the herbs in the oil solution daily for a month.
  4. Steep for a month in a cool dark place remembering to success the bottle daily.
  5. Strain solution through cheesecloth (at least three times) and then bottle securely in smaller jars. Label jars to ensure you know what they are for future reference.

Suggested Use for Witches Flying Oil

  1. Make sure you patch test on your bottom part of your inner forearm to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction and ensure you do not ever take this oil internally.
  2. Ensure that you are in a safe and comfortable environment when first trialling the oil and that you are feeling well and that there is someone close by in case of a medical emergency.
  3. If no allergic reaction occurs after trialling some on your forearm, place a small amount on your palms, on the inside of your wrists or back of your knees, or the nape of your neck for inducement of trance and flying on the astral.
  4. You should feel the effects of the flying oil which include an altered state of consciousness when you enter a trance state on the astral plane.
  5. When your astral journey is over ensure to properly wash the areas you placed the oil on thoroughly so it doesn’t cross-contaminate other items you touch or brush against.
  6. Journal your findings for future reflection and insights.

*Can be toxic do not take internally and use carefully.

USE AT OWN DISCRETION AND RISK.

DO NOT use if pregnant, lactating or have a medical or mental/emotinal condition which can put you at risk.

 

© T. Georgitsis 2014, Updated 2020

Pagan Blog Project: Z is for Zaghareet

dancer

Zaghareet (pronounced “zah guh REET”.) also known as a ululation is a long, high-pitched, wavering yet sharp trilling howl created with the fast movement of the tongue to show heightened emotion.  On the most part its a celebrational  sound used to give praise and express joy within several contexts: ritual, singing, celebrations/events but it can be also be used as a sound of deep mourning depending on the culture using it.

In the context of bellydancing at haflas, weddings and other parties.  The dancer herself can use the zaghareet to show how much fun they are having otherwise it can be directed towards the dancer to show appreciation for their dancing.  It’s a great honour to receive a zaghareet.

This is what its supposed to sound like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaz82eJTkK4&index=2&list=PLCZAeT3QsYc60xQ8s8tETcjr3Uipl3t2y

© T. Georgitsis 2015

Pagan Blog Project: Y is Yes I’m Coming Out

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When I was 21, I chose to share with my sister that I had joined a Wiccan coven.  My relatives were well aware of my magical and spiritual practices due to the familial connections but that was done with one’s own family and without outside participation.  I was worried with how they were going to handle the news of me practising witchcraft with a bunch of Australians who I wasn’t related to, so I thought I’d test the waters with my sister.

To say it was a complete shemozzle was an understatement…..

I spent most weekends at my sister’s place for years helping her out due to a horrid divorce as she had heavily relied on me as confidant, supporter and helper so I thought it would be a good time to share my news with her.  I felt she would be open if I was just honest with her in a clear, concise way.  I was informative and positive about it all, as I really wanted her to understand where I was coming from.  She spoke little and only mentioned to be careful and seemed to be accepting of my choice.

Consequently I was extremely annoyed and frustrated when I left her that afternoon and drove the 20 mins home, where my father was waiting for me in a heightened state of anxiety and apprehension.  My sister had called him as soon as I had left her place to tell him I had joined a cult and that I needed a good talking to as I was going to be brain washed and used.

I felt so betrayed.

I was genuinely surprised as truth of the matter is I had been so careful with the way I approached my sister about it all and was very selective with the language I used.  I even gave her a copy of Scott Cunningham’s “Witchcraft Today” to read and she showed some interest.  My sister knew how I privately studied the occult, how my interest was deepening as I got older, how I wanted to learn more and network with others who were likeminded – she knew these were the reasons why I had joined the coven  This is why I was so horrified at how she twisted my words in her mind and didn’t have the decency to speak to me about it further.  It pained me that my sister had backstabbed me this way and over time I noticed her pulling away from me.

Thing is I accepted my sister for all her insecurities, selfishness, ego, greed and bitchiness but I always protected her and defended her and thought that as a big sister she would also do the same to me – no matter what.  That wasn’t the case and what she ended up showing me was how much contempt and hate she had for our mother and the magickal tradition we are part of and how all magicians/witches are against God/Jesus.  I had NO idea she felt this way until I confronted her about her behaviour.  I knew she never practiced herself unless it was to remove a hex or evil eye (the same is with most of my family) but the absolute revulsion she had for practitioners of the craft really shocked me. Although we moved past it for a while she would always make passive aggressive digs about it.  In the end it wasn’t my coming out that destroyed our relationship but it was the beginning of me opening my eyes and taking in what a spiteful, bigoted and angry individual she was…she chose to severe the ties between us due to my personal choices of how to live my life years later and hand to god/dess my life hasn’t been dimmed without her – in fact its made me realise that I don’t NEED to have assholes in my life who put me down due to their issues with something that doesn’t affect them.

With that said, my father was more open.  He married a magician/witch after all and had witnessed my mother practice on occasion and was impressed and amused by her talent.  I was truly my mother’s daughter and as long as I was in a safe environment he supported me fully…plus he knew I wasn’t an idiot and could think for myself.  In fact my father met my fellow conveners and he opened up his home to them and many rituals as well as dinner gatherings were held there.  He got to know my fellow coven and got to see firsthand what lovely people they were.

In the end I realised that coming out even though you might think you are out is harsher and I get why so many people stay in the closet.

Would love to hear other people’s stories on what happened with them when they came out of the broom closed to family…

© T. Georgitsis 2015