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

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