I’m Getting Tired…

…tired of the elitism and jealousy in spiritual circles.

I’m tired of watching good people tear each other to shreds over things that any supposedly educated and mature person could work out amicably.

I’m tired of the fundamentalism of “I’m right, you’re wrong!” every way I turn.

I’m tired of allowing myself to be marred by the doubts of others.

I’m tired of the belittlement of things I hold close to my heart.

I’m tired of being considered a “sheep” or moron by proxy.

I’m tired of being part of a wider community that is snide and bitchy and no better than the faiths it claims to surpass.

I’m tired of having to choose sides.

I’m tired of the energy that is wasted by people who have allowed themselves to be tainted and twisted and then blame it on other people.

I’m tired of these people who will smile to your face, whilst concealing their envenomed blade behind their backs.

I’m tired of people telling me who my Gods are (or aren’t!)

I’m tired of the hubris of some people who think they are the mouthpiece of a deity and can perceive to dictate to everyone else what is and isn’t right. And alternatively, I’m tired of those people who pull apart those people who claim to be the mouthpiece of a deity. 

To be honest, the way we are going as “pagans” and “witches” we may as well all go back to Church because a lot of us aren’t behaving any differently than the people in the faiths we supposedly reject.

If people don’t like what I’ve said, or want to interpret it as a personal attack on them, fine – be THAT egotistical! This world doesn’t revolve around your big heads. 

It’s Getting Dark

I keep ending up here…I’m tired of having to fight to get back to a life that isn’t fulfilling or worthwhile just to end up back in this dark place further along the line. Nothing ever seems to go right and no matter what I do, try or aspire for it just falls apart each and every time. People keep telling me to change the way I look at things, to be positive, to ride it out…but I am tired of hearing it.

I’ve been quite angry and abrupt with close people lately because what they are telling me to do is the same thing I hear time and time again – and it just doesn’t work. This time if I’m not numb, then I’m frustratingly angry with no outlet. I have no control in life any more – everything is controlled and dictated by outside forces. Talking just doesn’t help. It only makes me more angry. Over the years I’ve had counselling, CBT, NLP, tried mindfulness, meditation, yoga, self-help books, hypnotherapy…it just doesn’t work or is not sustainable long term once the stress begins to mount up.

I’m frustrated because I don’t feel like I’m being heard or understood. Never before over the last ten years have I felt so bleak and hopeless. The thoughts are a lot darker, the desire to hurt myself and even to kill myself are a lot greater but the only suggestions anyone – personal or professional – offers me is to talk about it and that just makes me feel even more hopeless and more angry.

And I don’t even have my faith any more. I feel dead inside and no prayers or ritual bring me any comfort. I even dismantled all my shrines and packed the stuff away, but my partner came home drunk that evening and got upset because I had done it, so I put it back up to keep him happy but it just sits there…there is no power or presence there. I feel powerless, a fraud and a failure and talking is supposed to be the great cure that will get me back into the rat race.

I’m so tired…I don’t have faith, I don’t have motivation, I don’t have power, I don’t have purpose…it’s an effort just to exist. Even the doctor’s aren’t much help, ascribing me as having “low mood” as if I’m just going to snap out of it. My family and friends are mostly distant either because they’re too busy living their own lives or just because they don’t know what to do; but ultimately there’s nothing they can do. No one has a magic wand or a special pill that will fix things and this world is so f-ed up that I don’t really want to be a part of it anyway.

I haven’t even bothered reaching out to people further afield, because I don’t like to put myself on others but also because I don’t feel it will do any good…ultimately the same suggestions come through. Try or not, everything rests on my shoulders to change things but I can’t change other people or outside forces and largely that’s what affects me the most. And yes, I know that most people will say it’s all about my perception of those people/things and how I react to them that makes me feel like that but all that says to me is I’m supposed to just pretend to be ok living a crappy life in a crappy world, and play-act my way through until the end. But I’m even too big a coward to hurt myself or to throw myself under that train, off that bridge, to slit my wrists, take that overdose…

Makes no difference. I can never figure out if I want to laugh or cry or scream any more. The days are nothing. Meaningless and empty and I just feel like I’m the butt of some cosmic joke. Yeah, everyone has their own problems and there are people out there in far worse situations etc…it means nothing to me. I’m sick of caring because it has never gotten me anything. Whether I’m kind and caring or a selfish bastard I end up in the same place.

And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg…I just feel like a slave to this existence.

Living by the Two of Swords

In recent times I have felt as though I am held in some perpetual limbo, both physically and spiritually. All the things I have tried to do have lead to moments of not knowing which way to turn for the best and the stresses that have accompanied such decision making have on occasions dragged out for months, because I had convinced myself of not knowing which way to turn.

All divinations done for myself in any of these situations has always garnered the Two of Swords (or a card of a similar meaning) presenting me with the base knowledge that deep down I know what I have to do. But even so, I eventually move forward and before long come crashing back down at the foot of that blindfolded lady with her crossed swords; or more accurately thanks to the below image – to the Lady Hekate and Her burning brands.

I am stuck. Lost in the void between courses. Adrift in my own darkness. Numb save for anger and frustration. There is no up, no down; no forward, no back. Confusion reigns supreme. Though I’ve been here before numerous times in the last ten years of my life, this is by far the darkest and most bleak of times and I see no way out and mostly, don’t even want a way out. For the alternatives are a mixture of equally bleak or pointless because of the delusion of living in this world, being nothing but a slave to this modern age for no thanks or respite save death.

Upright or reversed, the Two of Swords seems a prevalent force in my life and no matter how truthfully I try to make decisions and live by my choices, I am broken to pieces and ground down time and time again left to silently scream into the abyss.

So how many more times must this Fool be strapped to the Wheel of Fortune only to be ground back into the dirt? Why can’t people understand why I’m so reluctant to bother getting out of the mire, when I’ll just as readily end up back in it?

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The Two of Swords from Pistis Sophia: The Goddess Tarot (Copyright Nic Phillips & Kim Huggens 2012)

Too reserved to revel?

“Many are the wand-bearers, few are the Bacchoi” ~Plato

The first time I encountered Dionysos it was more like just passing in a hallway – an individual you’ve seen many times before without interacting, merely just nodding an acknowledgement in their direction. Eventually, however, these encounters became something more; a dialogue was created and the relationship that grew from it became a very good one.

In a short time I learnt a lot, felt a lot of things changing and began to make sense of my own personal “bigger picture”. That’s when he pulled the rug out from under me.

I hit the floor so hard, my teeth rattled. And when I tried to get up, he pinned me down and metaphorically blindfolded. I was shook up and turned over, pulled apart and left in a dark, dank corner of my own mind.

I felt alone, cut off, naked and scared. I didn’t know which way was up, or down; left or right. And quite quickly, I began not to care. Eventually I didn’t need him to keep me pinned down – I kept myself prisoner and the darkness, fear and pain became a comforting cage of solace that I didn’t want to escape from, because the real world was even more painful and scary.

That first time, I was “down there” for almost seven months. That was when I was made aware of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel and found myself being nudged towards it. Over the years I’ve been back and forth between the darkness and the light a couple of times – each time being rendered apart by Dionysos and left to pick up my own pieces.

Despite all that, I never blamed him or tried to avoid him and yet we became distant. My ritual and prayers seemed muted and unresponsive. In time I stopped actively seeking him out, but missed the union I had shared in the past. Every now and then I get a sense of him on the periphery of my consciousness but like smoke, if I grasp for it then it slips around my fingers and dissipates.

So perhaps it isn’t surprising that recently, amidst all the unsettlement and chaos going on in my personal life, that I felt the “pull” toward him again. I started reading “Dionysos: Exciter to Frenzy” by Vikki Bramshaw, there was a global rite being organised and most recently I became aware of the Thiasos of the Starry Bull and what Sannion and others are creating.

But in reading and following and playing catch up with everything, something has niggled me in the back of my head…Am I really a Dionysian?

Case in point, this post by Sannion detailing an initiatory rite. Reading it was fascinating and evocative. But when it came down to it, I stood in my own way and said “you’d never be able to do that”. And I’m probably right. Ritual nudity aside (that’s a big enough hang up for me as it is), the idea of being that “free” is something that scares and intimidates me. I don’t dance, I don’t sing, I don’t vocalise. Even when I’m drunk I’m fairly controlled.

People say there’s an edge to me. That sometimes it shimmers behind my eyes, a little predatory; a little scary. But the bolt on that door is fairly secured. It scares me. I scare myself. As far as general society goes, I’m pretty outside the “norm” and yet I’m still not outside with the true outsiders. I’m standing on the edge of the reserve, by the fence staring out into the wilds; listening to the distant shouts and laughter, the music and the singing.

Even should one of those revellers come up to the fence and invite me to join in, I know I’d politely make my excuses and shyly go home. You’re either in or you’re out. And if I can’t live it then I shouldn’t be hoping and pretending.

There’s no such thing as a reserved Dionysian.

Glasters Relocation Fund

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The mystic beauty of Avalon…

Ever since the first time I visited Glastonbury a couple of years ago, I knew within two hours that this was a place I needed to be nearer to. I have come to know so many wonderful people and always feel “home” when walking the streets or gazing out from the top of the Tor. 

After recently visiting again and spending a lovely weekend soaking up the atmosphere, I once again found myself confronted with too many signs and nudges to ignore. From the situations and conversations that took place, I am now moving towards making now/the New Year the time to make that move and stop standing in my own way.

Myself, my fiance Russell and our good friend Rob are aiming to do this as a group venture; supporting each other in the process and we know we have a strong network of very close and caring friends and family. Moving will mean a complete fresh start for us and for me personally, I will be closer to family.

So I’ve set this page up as a way to gather together the funds to help with relocation costs. 

Now I’m not trying to set myself up as a charity for this, I don’t expect strangers or people who don’t really know me to “dig deep”; I’ve set this page up as a single place where my friends and family and donate money as an alternative to gifts over the festive season and for my birthday in March. Also, where we can deposit our own contributions as and when we can afford to.

Clearly if kindly fairy-godmother/father types out there wish to help, then Gods bless them and known or unknown we will forever be grateful for your help in making this dream a reality.

And so, if anyone truly wants to get me something I want this festive season, I have just one small request: donate to the “Glasters Relocation Fund”. I know asking for money is cliche and a little cheeky but rather than get some things I don’t really need I’d rather that people who care about me, help me achieve what I want to in the New Year – and that is relocation to Glasters/the surrounding area. I don’t care if all you were gonna buy me was a pair of socks or a £-shop candle, it’ll benefit a greater cause in the long run being put into the Glasto Pot.

Thank you!

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Ghost Hunting: Wainbody Wood & Gibbet Hill

Last night was my first ghost hunting experience and it was very interesting indeed! I have always been very open-minded and have wanted to try something like this out for myself – for the very reasons, if nothing else, that I’ll be able to tell when someone is hiding in the dark trying to scare me against something altogether otherworldly happening.

The night started off with meeting up with the rest of the group, walking through to base camp and being split off into smaller groups. My group of six and the guide/organiser of the event, after taking some time to protect ourselves spiritually/psychically, first went down a trail into the woods where very quickly we noticed a severe change in temperature. Whilst we were standing in the dark, calling out, we became aware of flashes of orange light some distance ahead among the trees. This light began to appear from different directions as we continue to speak out to the spirits, should any be present and I got a feeling of being watched and at one point saw a hazy mist just above head level off to my left. I also got a sense of time from the area, like the residual energy and spirits were a few hundred years old.

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Russell stands off in the darkness, with this strange shape/light to the left of the shot (it appeared on 3 consecutive shots in this direction).

We began to walk around back to the base camp (the path in this part going in a circular direction) and as we reached the second part of the path the icy air and sense of being watched dissipated and the woods felt a lot more “normal”. Back at the camp, we were asked to try a spirit board to see if any of the spirits would come through. I was intrigued to try this as I’d never “dabbled” with Ouija boards or anything, having been “warned” off them by my mum at an earlier age. However, I was feeling brave and wanted to experience it and be sure I wasn’t “pushing” the glass or anything.

We took turns in asking questions to any of the spirits that wanted to communicate. After a few moments of pause, the glass gingerly began to move. The first concrete message to come through gave us a man, called F. Gulf from 1845 whose profession started with an “S”. After that we had another male who gave the initials “CJ” as a name and then began to spell random letters, though it occurred to me that perhaps they were Roman Numerals (I, C, M etc.). After that the board seemed to go quiet, however during the time we were using it and calling out, there was a lot of activity in the woods around us; noises and such that appeared to be coming closer to us.

Next, two of our group (my partner and another lady) opted to go back down the path towards the “cold area” and see if they could pick anything up. Whilst they were down there, we at camp could here noises coming from that direction, including a large “snap” of wood and the sound of a pained man calling out – as if someone had fallen over in the dark. When they came back to the group, they said they hadn’t heard anything and that it hadn’t been my partner who had tripped or something.

After that we swapped guides and went off towards Gibbet Hill, where historically three soldiers had been executed for the murder of a man in Coventry and their bodies tarred and hung in gibbets for 69 years as a warning that Coventry was a lawful city. Once we walked over through the woods to the right area, we were split into groups of two (though my partner and another lady we’re put on their own) and we tried calling out for any spirits. It seemed reasonably quiet, but we did hear a few heavy sounds in the bushes ahead of us; but it was more like foot-falls rather than some animal moving through the foliage.

Then we moved up a bit further and tried out a “human pendulum”, where we formed a circle holding hands and one person stood in the centre and we asked the spirits to use our collective energies to move the person. We didn’t have much luck with this and then another group joined with us and we tried it again, finally getting more of a result with a couple of members. But still not very much communication or anything clear.

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A strange shape that featured on 5 shots along the path at the Highwaymen Camp area.

Once again we swapped groups and went with another set of guides back towards base camp. They took us back towards the area we had first been in and whilst I was walking towards the back of the group I took a number of photos. In every single one, there appeared a white “blob” in the left hand corner. I checked that my fingers weren’t in the way and that the lens was clean and still the shape appeared. Then when we stopped and were split up, I took pictures in all directions around me and the form was gone. We spent some time on our own, in the dark, whilst the guide called out. I felt something “stand” just behind me and began to feel very uneasy and then out of nowhere there was the sound of a woman screaming.

That scared me quite a lot and I ran to the nearest person (my partner). Logically I thought it must have been someone in one of the other groups. The guide came to stand with me and I explained what I’d felt so he sent my partner to stand where I had been. He called out and I took pictures in the direction and a white shape appeared once again in the left hand of each shot.

We headed back around to base camp where we met up with another selection of the main group who had also heard the scream but had thought it was one of us. By the end of the night, it had been established that everyone had clearly heard the woman’s scream but each person had thought it to be someone in another group. We also asked about the history of the area we had been in and were told that it had at one time been a highwaymen camp and that the people of Coventry had begun to get tired of the robbery and so soldiers had gone in and slaughtered anyone they found living within the woods.

We were then lead up towards what had until recently been used as a pagan circle as well as a camping ground by local Scouts. This little area had such a wonderful and peaceful energy and the trees opened up to a clear sky, where we saw a couple of shooting stars! It truly was magickal and I would love to visit this area again in the daytime.

From that small respite of positive energy we headed down to another area which had apparently been quite active earlier in the night with other groups. It was instantly much colder again and I didn’t like the sense of the area without specifically being able to put my finger on it. We spent quite a while in this area as a small group but nothing really seemed to happen; all photos didn’t show anything up and despite a feeling of unease there was no real activity.

The guide decided to split us up into pairs and spread us out through the area. Myself and my partner went and stood further up the path and in the darkness we called out to any spirits in the area. At first there was nothing but then slowly the energy began to change; we heard noises around us, my partner head whispers and mumbling behind him. It felt like we were being watched by different people and then there was this sense like we were being circled. It was very negative and the emotions I could feel around me included a lot of anguish and fear, to the point where I began to feel nauseous.

It began to get a little too close and overpowering and so we instructed the spirits to back away, thanking them for their effort to communicate with us. Shortly after, the guide came up the path to us explaining that he felt “drawn” to come and see if we were alright and we explained what we had just experienced before re-joining the rest of our group.

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Strands of mist and haze close to base camp.

I asked if we could go back to the pagan circle, just so I could ground myself a little after feeling such a blast of negative energy and then after that we headed back to base camp, though we seemed to get a little “lost” and ended up taking a very long way around to get back there, rather than the more direct route along which we had originally come.

We spent more time at base camp, listening to some conversation, explaining what we had seen/heard etc. with the others. It was then suggested that we all go back up to the pagan circle to try a larger human pendulum. The majority of us headed back there, whilst the organiser of the event saw a couple of people who decided to leave back to their car. We waited in the circle for him to arrive, with me generally just enjoying the sense of peace and stillness in this little area.

Once the organiser came back he approached my partner and I and asked if he could borrow us for a little experiment. We agreed and our friends who we were with came also. He took us back down the trail to the area where my partner and I had had the negative experience and we all stood there in the dark as the temperature around us dropped, chilling us to the bone.

He asked us what we had originally experienced when down here as the general feedback had been that it hadn’t been very active which he was surprised about. We explained that it had been quite until we had split off where my partner and I had had the rather negative experience.

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Friends Martin, Kylie and my partner Russell with an unexplained “mist” in the corner.

That’s when he explained that the area had been used by at least a dozen reported suicides by hanging in the 80s. One of those people, had been his boyfriend/partner who had killed himself in that very area one night, using a jacket that he had lent him, to hang himself. He then when on to explain how his partner had had a very hard time accepting being gay (early 20s during the beginning of the 1990s) and that usually if any openly gay people/couples are present in the area the spirit usually reacts badly to them, causing nausea, pushing, scratching and sensing of negative emotions. This was fascinating as well as saddening, and during the entire time I was stood there my stomach was in knots and I had an aching pain under my diaphragm.

We finally left that area, my sense of fear, emotion and nausea dissipating by the time we reached the base camp. That was the end of the night, just after 2am in the morning. Tired, a little chilly and certainly with a lot to process, we said our goodbyes and headed home. A lot of the photos I took during the night didn’t particular show anything other than darkness and a bit of flash-highlight foliage, however some (like the ones I’ve included here) had strange mists or haze or blobs that couldn’t be explained as a finger or dust etc because I was doubly sure to check for that; especially in the series of 5 photos where a “changing” shape featured in the same area of the frame (whilst I was walking along a path and stopping to take photos every so often).

All in all it was a very interesting night and I would definitely go on future investigations to other places as well as back to the woods to see what other things I can experience firsthand!

Dionysos Bassareus

I wrote this little poem after meditating on the lesser known aspect of Dionysos as the “Fox God”. It’s a part of Him that has always softly called to me and the fact that Fox has also been trying to get my attention the last few months especially. Once I wrote the piece, again done in my usual “trance” style with no editing I decided to make it “pretty” and found a gorgeous image of a fox, creeping beneath some ripened clusters on the vine. Perfect!

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Dionysos Bassareus “The Fox-God”

Oh charming vulpine Lord,

You who chases birds through the leafy overhangs

And pounces on rodents who threaten the verdant shoots of the vine.

Nibble haughtily at the fermenting fallen fruits come harvest

And grin with black lips at the noon-day sun.

Cry in the night, amidst the cool and fertile earth

Evohe! Evohe!

Fleet and quick-witted, you move unseen

Amber eyes watching from between the leaves

Secretly weaving the magic of the vine.

Protecting the harvest of your gift divine

The violaceous orbs

That draught called wine!

~Kenn Payne

New Moon Ritual

2013-07-10 23.23.33This Noumenia I carried out the newly written Covenant of Hekate New Moon Ritual. My previous night’s Deipnon had been an ad hoc affair, not least because I resigned from my job without currently having something else to move on to. A huge test of my faith as well as a big banishment – not planned, but necessary!

So with a huge sense of relief and the stress of eight years of undervalued corporate slogging firmly off my shoulders, I set about arranging my ritual space and planning for the New Moon Ritual. It is a very proactive and involved kind of ritual, written by a very talented bunch of individuals all bringing together their own experiences and thoughts to make a cohesive and rewarding ritual structure.

After completely stripping down my altar area, cleansing it with three different types of sacred well/spring water, scattering with rose petals and then anointing with Hekate oil, I placed fresh cloths in black and white and placed centrally my magnificent statue created by Georgi Mischev of Threskeia. Around the central image of Hekate I coiled a whole shed snake skin, placing a braided red, white and black cord in a circle and putting an iron key at the feet of the statue. I also used a new red candle for my ritual, which I had decorated with the CoH symbol (something I’ve wanted to do for ages!). There were two small black beeswax candles either side of the Hekate statue, a small statuette of Hermes to the left and one of Hestia to the right. Other items included were of course my red cord (used in all Covenant rituals), bread and wine offerings, a small bowl of anointing oil, a vase of roses, “jewelled” candle holders I picked up from a charity shop and my newly mounted Hekate coin pendant to be consecrated.

With the candles and incense (I used myrrh resin) lit, it was time to proceed with the ritual itself. After the initial grounding and centring and a preliminary offering of wine to Hekate, Hermes and Hestia it was time to go on the Pathworking part of the ritual. A member of the ritual team who had kindly recorded themselves reading through this and I had downloaded it as I find it easier to follow a guided meditation or pathworking without having to worry about talking myself through it.

I really liked this part, though I think personally I may move it to the end of the ritual rather than the beginning just because I feel that flows better for me. The imagery was very profound and the adventure was enjoyable and rewarding. Despite there being quite a lot of disturbances in my home and the street outside (noisy passers-by, cars, inconsiderate/noisy housemates) that hindered my journey, for the most part I had a beneficial experience and received my “token” symbol from Hermes on behalf of Hekate.

ivyleafI don’t mind sharing here with you that it was an ivy leaf. Something I am still musing on the possible meaning and connection of this. For me personally it is not the first time Hekate has visited me or shown me what I identify as Dionysian symbols but I have yet to distinguish if these are markers meaning I shouldn’t forget my sometimes floundering relationship with Him or if She is trying to tell me that I can get everything He can give from Her…or something else.

So after the pathworking, the ritual itself took place. I liked the flow, symbolism and power of the whole thing and found the energies built, especially with the beautifully written words used to praise and evoke the Gods. I also like the use of a bowl of chilled water, used to reflect the passing from Dark to New moon; it was refreshing and energising!

The interesting part of the ritual was the creation of three intents for the lunar month ahead, revolving around Hekate’s three realms of power: Heaven, Earth and Sea. I spent a long time thinking on this, feeling uncertain on what to create/say for these intents. In the end, I decided that the Heaven/Sky intent would be linked to something relating to the mind, intellect, reason, sciences, travel etc. For Earth it would be more to do with stability, order, material issues, fertility and the like. And for the Sea/Water aspect I would choose something pertaining to emotions, intuition, wisdom, clarity or healing.

Having spent quite a while thinking on what to choose, I ran out of time in making these intents anything “special” to look at ritually speaking; no fancy sigils, not a stone/shell/feather imbued with intent etc…instead I created little folds of paper, each marked on the front with the corresponding elemental symbol and then inside I wrote down my corresponding intent. Despite this, I still found this part of the ritual very rewarding. One of the ritual team had mentioned that “nature abhors a vacuum; so if you do any banishment during the dark moon, make sure to draw a corresponding number of things to you during this ritual of the new moon crescent” so I felt strongly of what my Earthly intent should be, given that both my partner and I are no currently unemployed. So I am interested to see how this all plays out during the current lunar cycle.

After the closing of the ritual, I decided to do something I have not really considered or done before. I took the bread, wine, 3 roses and my statements of intent to the end of the road, which is a 4-way crossroads. There, there is a small field on the corner, enclosed by trees near to a small river. In the dark, I walked to a hawthorn tree in the middle of the field, placed the offerings of bread and roses at the foot and poured the wine over them. Then I took the Earth intent, folded it up and pushed it into the earth by the tree’s roots. For the Sky/Air intent, I set fire to it and let the ashes flutter away on the night air and for the Water Intent I folded it into a small bundle and tossed it into the river to be carried away.

This aspect of the ritual was totally instantaneous and not previously planned, but felt right and good at that time.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the contributors who helped write this ritual and I look forward to doing it again at future New Moons as well as seeing how it develops and evolves into my own personal practice.

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Hekate Symposium 2013

I have had the most splendid weekend in Glastonbury joining together with other’s for the second Hekate Symposium. Having thoroughly enjoyed all the goings-on of 2012, I was eagerly anticipating this year’s and was not disappointed in the slightest!

Changing down to a single-day event, Saturday got off to an early start with helping to set up for attendees and stall holders as well as some time to mingle, catching up with old friends, as well as to get to know people who were until that point acquaintances on Facebook. I also quite enjoyed the change of venue, enjoying the larger space and the stage element for the speakers and Hekate Shrine.

Once everyone was settled it was time to begin and the day’s events kicked off with a Blessing Ceremony conducted by “Guest of Honour” (at least in my book!) author, artist and priest Georgi Mischev of the Bulgarian group Threskeia.

Whilst Sorita d’Este reading translation of the various parts, Georgi conducted a powerful and meaningful Blessing that no language barrier could get in the way of. The sheer transformation between him as a very friendly and warm soul in person, to the devoted and commanding presence he exuded in his capacity as priest was breath-taking!

And so with Hekate’s gaze and blessing now firmly upon us, David Rankine – Master of Ceremony – introduced the first speaker of the event to the stage. Up first was Sophia Kirke and her talk “Circe, lover and sorceress”. Delving into Circe’s origins, Sophia lead us in a captivating recount of elements of the tale of Odysseus. There were many parallels drawn with the dark/light, kill/cure aspect surrounding the topic of pharmaka and the fabled Mole flower, with links to sympathetic magic. To finish, we were all lead on a short transformational path-working which I personally found reflected some of the changes I have gone through recently in myself.

After a short break we returned to the much anticipated “Hekate: Genesis” performance led by Emily Carding and So Potent Arts. This Hekatean-Shakespearean mash-up was fascinating and captivating. The high quality of the performance and the sheer originality of the piece lead to raucous applause – and rightly so!

This lead nicely into the lunch break which enabled some more socialising, some time browse the stalls and dash onto the high street to make purchases. Once we were all back in our seats, eagerly awaiting the next talk, Hazel lead us in her talk “Oceanic Hecate: An exploration of Hecate’s water depths”.

I found this fascinating and it echoed some of the watery themes that had already cropped up in Sophia’s talk on Circe. Having dealt with a lot of emotional changes in the last twelve months, I was interested to see how Hekate’s lesser known/explored ocean aspect reflected in areas of my life. There was a lot of talk around “going with the flow”, “never fear, fight or suppress emotions” as well as the liminality of the beach and deep, emotional healing – all things I could relate to.

Next up was “The Goddess Hekate and the Wheel of the Year” by Amelia Ounsted. Looking at Hekate from both a historical point of view as well as a Wiccan one (that did not attribute the stereotype of the Crone to her). I liked the “intellectual puzzle” description of Amelia’s process and journey through exploring Hekate and the Wheel; her encounters with different aspects of the Goddess, such as “child” and “sexy” Hekate and how it deepened her understanding of Soteira as “the life force that infuses, changes and resides within us.”

Following another break, we settled down to listen to Georgi Mischev speak on “The Four Faced Hekate”. The basis for his second book, he discussed polycephalic deities amidst the peoples of Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa. The connections between ritual masks and multi-faced, single deities such as Hermes, Dionysos, Janus and of course, Hekate. He also explained the development of the Sun-God from a monda (singular) into a tetrad (four) and the face that Hekate is “one goddess with a multiplied image”. There was so much fascinating information coming from Georgi that I couldn’t quite scribble fast enough AND listen at the same time, so I for one am very much looking forward to his book on the subject!

After a few questions directed towards Georgi’s talk, Sorita d’Este took to the stage to begin her talk “Hekate, Illuminating the Mysteries, Shattering Illusions”. Swapping her planned academic talk for a personal exploration of her work with Hekate, she lead us on the tale of her somewhat complex route. This sense of personal insight and sharing was a very fitting way to sum up the end of the day’s main talks as I had felt a great sense of unity and community in all those present – much more so than the previous year.

With a last look around the stalls, the hall was vacated to allow for the evening’s preparations and last minute tweaking/planning for the Closing Ceremony. Reconvening for 8pm, Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule and Friends performed Oryelle’s “Liber Qoph vel Hekate”, a lunar adoration written as counterpoint to Crowley’s solar adoration “Liber Resh vel Helios”. With Emily Carding, Aria Amarosa and Su Real dancing/performing, Orryelle led us with violin and voice, accompanied by Andrea Kundry on gong and gamelan. It was a very energetic lead up to the evening’s ritual closing ritual; intense and original and something that I very much enjoyed it.

And so, we came to the end of the day with the Closing Ceremony, presided over by Sorita with myself, my friend Robert, Georgi, Sophia, Hazel, Lezley, Andrea and Amelia taking part as the ritual team. The ritual itself again amplified and brought home the huge sense of community from the day’s events. After blessing, purification and greeting the Elements we all chanted together which really brought us together further and the energies in the room – already palpable by that point – continued to swell. After being lead in a call and response piece by Lezley and some more chanting, soon enough it was time for Hekate to be called upon to use Amelia to communicate an oracle to all present. This was a truly superb experience – being only my third of a trance-oracle priestess. Four of the attending priestess in turn invoked Hekate and with the fourth invocation it was like a bolt of lightning descended in the room – and into Amelia.

Her oracle was so powerful that it shook the very walls! It was a true blessing and very special. Afterwards, Hekate-Amelia was asked to bless food and wine and tiny oracle scrolls for the attendees. Then, in turn, everyone came to share in the food and drink and to take their scroll. With the ritual wrapped up, there was some time for unwinding, socialising, drinking and of course tidying away. A long but highly positive and eventful day indeed!

The following day, anyone still in Glastonbury who wished to attend were invited to private land owned by Sorita’s partner Lokabandhu Lokabee, right up by the Tor, for a picnic and ritual. The glorious sunshine (Thracian sun – bottled and brought by the generous Georgi Mischev!) welcomed those of us in attendance as we met at the White Springs and then climbed up the hill towards the Tor and the field. We sat and talked, laughed, shared, explored and then carried out a simple impromptu ritual. Lighting a fire, we burnt the offerings that had been placed on the shrine the previous day whilst being led in a powerful chant by Orreyelle! Hekate obviously couldn’t wait for Her grapes and rose as the flames leapt out to great me, singing the hairs up my arm, lol!

Once we had finished, we gathered our belongings and prepared to head down again. I left some flowers at the three-way crossroads that was just outside the entrance to the field. We then all went into the White Springs, which is where in 2012 the Symposium was lucky enough to hold the Rite of Her Sacred Fires inside. I enjoyed being back in there…I like the primal and cooling nature. Again the watery/oceanic aspect of Hekate was present and the cooling water lapped at my feet.

Overall it was a beautiful and meaningful weekend! I was so glad to be back in Glastonbury, as well as surrounded with my fellow brothers and sisters of Hekate. HUGE thanks to everyone involved for their effort, hard work, devotion and friendship and Super-Special thanks to Sorita and Georgi! I look forward to 2014 – the Third Annual Hekate Symposium should be something very special indeed, I’m sure!!

I returned home to Coventry with many fond memories, new friendships forged and some beautiful purchases and gifts.

Emily Carding - So Potent Arts Georgi & Me Georgi & Sorita Georgi Mischev - Four-Faced Hekate Talk Georgi Mischev - Opening Blessing Liber Qoph Vel Hekate Performance

Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule Post-Symposium Picnic So Potent Arts Performance Symposium Hekate Shrine

Hekate Statue by Georgi Mischev

IO HEKATE!!!

IO HEKATE!!

http://theurgia.co.uk/

http://threskeia.webs.com/

http://sorita.co.uk/

http://hekatecovenant.com/