Catching Up!

So it was mid-March since I last posted a blog entry, so I guess I should do a quick round up of everything that’s been going on…

The end of March marked not only my 30th birthday, but also the birthday of my boyfriend and our six month anniversary. To mark this, we went away to London for the weekend. For me it was my first, proper visit to the capital and we had great fun (despite the weather) taking in the sights. One of my highlights (not including the sexy barmen in Soho bars) was standing next to a statue of Dionysos in the British Museum and seeing a gorgeous jug depicting Hekate.

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April brought about my 30th Birthday Party! It was a riot and I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was so happy to be surrounded by good friends and loved ones. I partied into the small hours, playing silly games, drinking and eating and taking plenty of pictures so that I have lots of fond memories. Huge thanks to my friend Rob too for his awesome catering skills – everyone commented on the buffet! At the end of April the boyfriend and I went to a Summerween Party, in fancy dress, where I got my satyr on!

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And so now we are well on our way into May (where does the time go!?) The weather is turning for the better, the days are getting longer. Beltane saw me get crafty and create my own, mini-Maypole decoration which turned out really well. My boyfriend has now moved in and we are all lovey-dovey and sickeningly happy, lol. I have just finished editing and published the latest issue of Askei Kataskei (available for free pdf download) and fast approaching is the fourth annual Rite of Her Sacred Fires!

And tonight marks Hekate’s Deipnon, which I shall be quietly celebrating this evening after I finish work. But I would like to share the following, beautiful image from Mandragora Magika of our Saffron-Robed Lady of Hounds. Hail Hekate!

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Dark Moon Praises!

Hekate

‘She of the Void, Creatrix of the Serpentine-world-soul. Queen of the Three-tangent realms’

Oh great queen of the three-fold way,
Goddess of above, below and between
On the darkest night are your revels held
The baying of hounds and the flicker of torches
Eggs and garlic, honeyed-bread
Left at crossroads – for you and the restless dead
Dread-faced lady of the mystery realms
Tonight you walk the earth with your horde.
May the thick, sweet smoke of resins reach your nose
The whispered words of praise reach your ears
The utmost devotion, love and respect reach your immortal heart.
Titan of ineffable beauty, thousand named, multi-formed
Twin black bitches flank you,
The glimmer of firelight illumines your form as you hold aloft your torches.
Nymphs wielding fire brands dance with phantoms in the shadows
As your Nyxian robe sweeps the land, cosmic radiance unparalleled!
Praise be to thee – Hekate, Hekate, Hekate!
Your name spake in threes – Hekate, Hekate, Hekate!
I am devoted to you – Hekate, Hekate, Hekate!

Image by Patrick Larabee (Artist Page)

Deipnon Praises to Hekate

Titan of ineffable beauty

Limitless power

Fathomless dread

The Black Bitch yelps in the dead of night

Herald to your arrival

Nocturnal, sepulchral revelry

Hounds, snakes and spirits

Greet you at the feast

Garlic, eggs and honey

Food for the dead and the twin-torch Maiden

A stark and penetrating gaze follows

The steps of the humble one

Whose back to You is now turned

Intricate features flicker in a slight smile

Shivers sent up the spine of the blessed kin of

Your benevolent graces

Footsteps quicken, as does breath and heartbeat

Hyena laughter ripples through the air

A sense of thanks amidst dread and despair

As the serpents of shadow and flame

Nuzzle affectionately at your neck

Black whelps licking longingly at your fingers

Shades of those departed

Serenading You in song and dance

Praise be to You

Queen of the night-wandering souls

Goddess of the Great Below

Keeper of the Secrets beyond the Veil

Hekate!

My Goddess! My Lady!

Hekate! Hail!

Deipnon & Noumenia

Last night marked the transitional phase between the end of the lunar month Boedromion and the beginning of Pyanepsion. At this time Hekate is honoured with a small feast; usually a meal of eggs, onions, garlic as well as traditionally household sweepings, ash and other ritual detritus from househould shrines which were burnt at crossroads in Ancient Greece, in little clay censers.

My phylactery, made as instructed in "The Temple of Hekate" by Tara Sanchez

Myself, I marked the occasion simply by spending some time with Hekate at her shrine. I offered incense and recited a prayer and then listened to Jade Sol Luna’s “Tales of the Witch Moon”. I usually try to keep it simple if the deipnon falls in the middle of the week as work gets in the way due to the odd hours I work; I make up for this on the occasions when I’m either off during a deipnon or it falls on Friday or the weekend.

During my time listening to Jade’s latest chants, I also made a start on creating the phylactery, an exercise laid out in Tara Sanchez’s book “The Temple of Hekate”, which I reviewed in a previous post. The phylactery, which is a simple braided thread/cord, is used to create a connection with the Goddess Hekate and to aid in protection. I bought some simple thread in white, black and red (the red was slightly “fancier” as it was made up of two types of thread itself) and proceeded to braid them together, as the exercise says that from the period between new and full moon, the phylactery should be worn about the person in order to imbue it with your own personal energies, before consecration at the full moon.

I’ve never braided before in my life – had to get a “how to” guide off the Internet – and it was painstakingly slow progress and it still didn’t turn out quite right. Perhaps some practice is in order, and if this phylactery fails to last between now and the full moon, I still have cord aplenty to make a new one, but I think it’s growing on me and the inconsistency of the braided just makes it more personable to me. I also made one for a friend which I will send to him to “scent” and then instruct him in the simple consecration ritual. I feel he could use some Hekatean energies in his life right now and although he has no connection with Hekate, she helps those in need – sometimes even when they haven’t out right asked for it.

Dionysos~Ecstacy from the Gods & Titans oracle deck by Stacey Demarco; illustrated by Jimmy Manton

For Noumenia, I ensured all my shrines were clean and tidy, placed fresh flowers to all the Gods on the main altar area. Various incenses were lit and I read aloud a number of prayers and hymns, always giving special thanks to either those Gods who have helped me in the last month and especially those who are more prominent in my life such as Hekate and Dionysos. Simple libations and food offerings are also made as well as the recreation of a fresh Kathiskos in honour of Zeus Ktesios.

Usually at Noumenia, I also will pick a card from my tarot deck as a focus and guide for the month ahead. I have thought lately on changing this slightly by each month drawing a card from a different tarot/oracle deck (as I do have quite a few). By doing this I can open myself up to not only the meaning of the card itself but the richness and variation of the different symbolism and imagery of the various decks in my (slowly expanding) collection. Some decks have a leaning towards Greek myth and imagery, others more traditional and still others which are original and somewhat radical in their appearance.

This Noumenia I decided to draw from the Gods & Titans deck (as the sister deck Goddesses & Sirens has just been released, it seemed fitting) and was very pleased to draw out Dionysos – Ecstacy! It helped reinforce my connection with Him which of late had felt tenuous and distant.