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.

2013-07-10 23.22.34

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/

Hekate Symposium 2013!

If there’s one thing guaranteed to get me all excited, gentle reader-folk, then it is when something as awesome as The Hekate Symposium returns for a second (and hopefully ongoing annual) time!

The first, which took place in Glastonbury during the weekend of May 5th & 6th was a superb success; the first of its kind it brought together devotees, priests and priestesses of the Goddess Hekate from near and far for a thrilling weekend “filled with lectures, rituals, meditations, invocations and celebration, in which all participants will be encouraged to learn more about the three-formed Goddess of the Crossroads; experience her as the initiatrix and protectress; and participate in transformative rituals, meditations and trance workings through which participants can explore her mysteries.

And now, due to both popular demand and the hard work of the organisers – which include Sorita d’Este – this year’s is set to be even more unique, exciting and intense, taking place just after the fourth annual Rite of Her Sacred Fires – a wondrous ritual that kicked off a huge surge in all things Hekatean over the last few years.

On Saturday June 1st, many people will once again gather for this years one-day event which promises a diverse and interesting selection of speakers and workshops as well as a no doubt fabulous evening ritual (which if it’s anything like the previous year, will be something very personal and memorable for all involved!)

The “sneak-peak” teaser that is given on the event’s website speaks for itself…”Elemental Blessing and Consecration, Hekate and the Sorceress Circe, Hekate and Oceanic Magics, the Four-Faced Goddess, Thracian Religion and Magic … There will also be a Sacred Ritual Theatre production, and evening ritual for all attendees.” With a full program still to be released and I’m sure tons more to be confirmed.

If you are a devotee of, or in anyway drawn to/intruiged by Hekate, then I would definitely recommend finding out about the Symposium and the Covenant of Hekate that facilitates it. It promises to be a unique and worthwhile event that cannot be adequately described or duplicated. I myself am excitedly looking forward to it – especially the fact that author and priest Georgi Mischev will be jetting in from Bulgaria to give a talk on the Four-Faced Goddess Hekate and Thracian Religion. If you haven’t heard of/read his book “Thracian Magic”, I heartily recommend it!!

With stalls selling books, magical & devotional items, artwork etc as well as being located slap-bang in the middle of the stunning hamlet of Glastonbury, this is shaping up to be AWESOME!!!

526853_353601028093048_1744377936_n

New Moon, Full Moon…Time Flies!

November's Full Moon, shining bright above Coventry

So I haven’t posted for a little while again, mostly because this last week I put my back out whilst moving some furniture whilst attempting to rearrange my temple area. During that time I was laid up in bed on painkillers and muscle-relaxants which were fairly trippy but left me semi-conscious and so the week flew by.

Before then though I had marked the Deipnon, Noumenia but as I was approaching the road to recovery the Full Moon came around too so I attempted to mark it with my Covenant-based Rite of the Full Moon.

This November’s Full Moon marked the first year anniversary since the founding of the Covenant of Hekate and as part of my creative votive offering for the Rite I decided to try baking and decorating an anniversary cake.

I decided to make a marble cake of chocolate fudge and madeira (which I added vanilla and almong extracts too). I tried to create a tricolour marble affect by separating off part of the madeira mix and adding red food colouring but unfortunately this mostly baked out.

Either way, once the cake was baked and cooled I levelled it off and iced it in red and black, creating the CoH symbol centrally with white icing (picking out the equal cross and seven-rayed stars with red/black offcuts). I also picked out the edge of the cake will edible silver ball decorations.

The cake was baked/decorated with intent throughout and the first slice (though I was a tad loath to spoil it) was given – naturally – to Hekate as an offering. I only wished I was more local to some of my Covenant brothers and sisters to be able to share in my creation but I’m sure I’ll repeat a similar endeavour in the future where that will be possible. For the record though, it is rather yummy though I think making it as a sandwhich cake next time would add to the nicety and give it added moisture.

CoH Anniversary Cake

Future posts coming include a couple of book reviews, details/photos of a belated (due to my back) Lampteria celebration, poetry and more!

Hail & Praise the Gods!

Full Moon Musings

This month’s Full Moon was as usual marked by the Covenant of Hekate’s Rite of the Full Moon. At first, I was a little unsure regarding my creative votive offering but over the course of the day leading up to the rite I started doodling and had a preliminary sketch for what I had dubbed “Hekate’s Key”.

I’m not sure if it’s merely a creative/artistic offering, a meditative aid, spiritual tool or future tattoo design! The Key contains lots of symbols from snakes, crescent moons, howling dogs and Hekate’s Wheel so I’m interested to see what it develops into.

During the Rite, I also consecrated the phylactery I made at the New Moon, which I have been wearing since. I also drew a card from the Rider-Waite Tarot in relation to Tara Sanchez’s chapter on using the major arcana in relation to Hekate’s many facets.

Rite of the Full Moon - Hail Hekate!

This time I drew The Sun which was very positive and gave me the clarification that Hekate is still strongly guiding me along and I will leave this card out on my shrine to meditate upon until the next full moon. I also drew a card from the Mythic Oracle for a general insight into the month ahead and selected Aphrodite-Beauty which linked nicely to my recent attempts this last week at improving my lifestyle to try and finally – successfully – loose weight using Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It serves as a reminder to ensure I’m doing it for the right reasons, correctly and – most importantly – for myself.

One thing of note, was that during the rite the myrrh resin that I usually burn didn’t want to know. It didn’t smoulder or smoke and the smell wasn’t very prominent.  Curiously, at least one other person I know experienced a similar occurrence.

I placed my offerings of an apple, pomegranate and garlic on the shrine and poured a libation of mead before closing up the rite.

In other news, I have been musing over a couple of Oracles I have received regarding my spiritual practice/advancement, working on a Hekate ritual to carry out at Samhain, looking at taking up yoga and still having my Flaming Thyrsos tattoo designed.

Covenant of Hekate Camping & Picnic Weekend

Our humble abode for the weekend!

This weekend I have been away in Yorkshire at a very enjoyable weekend set up by Tara Sanchez (author of “The Temple of Hekate“.

After resigning myself to not being able to attend two weeks ago and subsequently making other, more local, plans things all changed at the last minute and I found myself scrambling about attempting to be able to attend with less than 24hrs to go!

As luck would have it and thanks to the support and generosity of both Tara and my partner Darren, I was able to jump in a car with just a few things and zip off first thing Friday morning to Bredsbury to meet with Tara, help her finish getting everything together and then together with another attendee, we drove up to Sentry Circle in Yorkshire.

Bly our HGH (Holy Guardian Hound) - no Hekatean should be without one!

We were very fortunate on a number of levels from the glorious weather (28-30 degrees at end of Sept/beginning of Oct!!), a beautiful site, welcoming people and all round just great energy. Of note is the wonderful Bly, the owner’s dog who is a real sweet character and

very friendly. He captivated everyone and was dubbed our HGH or Holy/Hekate Guardian Hound. His personality was so much bigger than his humble little form but he was such a heart-warming addition to the weekend.

On the Friday itself there was just 4 of us to open up and once the tent was pitched and we’d had a rest we set up an altar to Hekate, situated by the campfire (that was left up day and night for the entire weekend) and performed an opening/gathering ritual.

Amazing people, amazing place, amazing time!

The night continued with good food, good company, and good wine; with conversation trailing well into the wee hours – Tara and myself talking until 4am (until the wine ran out, lol!) It was a first for me camping – and only a second occasion of a group gathering. In the early hours of Saturday I went up to the stone circle that was raised in accordance to the old ways back in 2008 and considering it is in effect a modern construct it’s look and energy feels like it has been there for 1200 years or more!

Each stone was alive with a different energy and personality and the whole circle felt protective, still and calm. Lying on the ground in the center and gazing up at the clear, star encrusted sky was just wonderful and I could have easily fallen asleep up there. The local nature/land spirit seemed to take quiet an interest in me also, tempting me to play “chase” with a Pan-esque energy that was quite familiar. For the entirety of the night I was aware of Him wandering around just

Our altar to Hekate, left day and night by the campfire

behind me, just out of sight.

The next morning, despite being late to bed I was still early to rise (just before 9am) although it was plain to see that it’d been a good night even if the morning was a tad rough! But the beautiful Mima was on hand with cuppa and a smile which helped get things moving and the weather was still glorious! After a breakfast of sausage, bacon and egg (more like elevenses because the cooker was a bit slow) we got on with the rest of the day.

The afternoon was filled with laughter and frolics, with the “Covenant of Hekate Autumn/Winter Fashion Shoot” and the formation of Hekate’s Angels! The day continued with a shared picnic lunch (houmous, lavender bread, grapes, figs, sausages, cheese, antipasti, olives and so much more), lots of conversation and more wine. There were some other people who arrived on the Saturday, some who stayed and some who just came for a short

Hekate's Angels!

while. It was still very nice and during the winding down of the picnic, the land spirit (I think the name is Nur? Nor?) took a shine to a bag of apples which no one had touched. So I asked if anyone would mind if I got some food to offer to Hekate and also the apples to leave up by the circle for Him.

Night fell and the magick continued. I went back up to the circle eventually to offer the apples, despite feeling a little apprehensive because of the playful urgency with which the land spirit seemed to want me up there. Despite trying to offer the apples reasonably neatly, He just got stuck in; knocking apples from my hand and them rolling all over the place. I spent some time up there on my own and got a nice feeling overall and that He was very pleased with the apples (and my confrontation of my desire to run away) and I have promised that whenever I return, I will now bring Him apples.

The fire which burned almost continuously for the weekend thanks to the dutiful attendance of those present

Sunday morning, the heavens opened and the view of the previous two days had truly turned autumnal. In fact it was like we’d actually been camping in July and then fallen asleep for three months, only to wake up in the beginning of October cold, wet and gloomy. But it was still nice; fresh and natural. I had a last walk around, went up to the stones again, helped pack up and put the tent away and then it was time to say goodbyes and head on home.

I was fortunate enough to be able to get my copy of Tara’s book signed by her too, so I was made up with that. Icing on the cake! During my time at the campsite, I was drawing a card from my Mythic Oracle deck every morning and I found it mildly amusing that the card Eros~Desire was drawn on each morning; the description of the cards meaning echoing my experiences perfectly…”He represents the almost ethereal and ecstatic state of desire that is evoked within us when we feel a reconnection to nature and divine, to life and death, to eternity and change rather than the fixed and mundane.”

Sentry Circle, Yorkshire

The weekend was a triumph and I miss the place and company already! I’ve met so many lovely, genuine souls; laughed very hard and had some very profound experiences on a personal level. It’s looking to be that this camp will now become an annual event which will be brilliant and can only go from strength to strength!

 

The first sighting of the crescent moon just breaking over the hills

(Photos courtesy of Tara, Kath and Myself)