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!!!

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Ritual of the Heptagram: Feedback

Four weeks ago today, I was made aware of the following ritual by Sorita d’Este when she posted it on her Facebook profile and was asking what people thought of that type of ritual and wondered if people would mind trying it out and giving some feedback. For me, this was a type of ritual I had not previously had all that much experience with, however I am always interested in trying new things and this seemed a simple enough start into something different.

I decided that I would carry it out, each day for a week and also to attempt to do it during a corresponding planetary hour on that day. Here are my thoughts and findings.

I started the week on the Sunday, feeling this as a positive and enfigorating day to attempt the ritual. The planetary hour fell in the mid-evening so I got myself settled, lit a candle and some incense and proceeded. Honestly, there was nothing ‘major’ to report but then I was hardly expecting pyrotechnics! My initial unfamiliarity and stumbling a smidge over the vowel intonations also didn’t help but I percevered and perhaps the most notable part of the ritual came towards the end:

“Cross your arms over your chest and say:

There is no part of me that is not of the Gods”

At this point I experienced a warm sensation flooding through my body from my heart-centre. This left me feeling very happy, positive and revived.

During the working week, I allotted to carry out the ritual before work, the corresponding planetary hours falling nicely mostly before the start of my shift. Again I lit a candle and some incense to start and settled myself down before proceeding.

Monday, despite still tripping over the vowels, I was a little more confident in the ritual and the energy felt tingly and ‘clear’, with a sense of mental clarity and focus. I felt ‘energised’ in a similar fashion to how I get during Full Moons. Also that night I conducted a Tarot reading for myself which was very clear and easy for me to interpret – something which is not usually possible when I’m trying to read for myself.

For some reason, I was wary of Tuesday. Mars and Fire energy are intrinsic in my base personality but I have had trouble accessing it adequately without being on the verge of ‘loosing control’ (i.e. being agitated and confrontational when trying to attain confidence and inner strength). However, I clear the doubts from my mind and proceeded anyway. There was definitely a more intense, warming energy and I felt resolute and stronger at the close and I felt like I was ready/needed to achieve something. Also, contrary to my initial concerns, I found it helped me reign in unnecessary confrontational impulses, allowing me a different focus and more ‘tactical’ thinking.

Wednesday helped clear away those mid-week blues. The ritual had a lighter, more airy feeling and I again felt a sense of mental clarity. Beyond that though, nothing major to report.

Thursday was perhaps the biggest ‘non-event’. I felt a little ‘off’ whilst conducting the ritual and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary and no real sense of energy of which to speak of. Given the surrounding circumstances though (re life/work etc) it’s possible I was somewhat preoccupied.

On Friday the energy was warm and vibrant, light and calming. I also had a ‘fresh’ feeling as I had to do the ritual earlier in the morning than on other days due to a work commitment. Cliché as it sounds, I came away from it with a notion of that ‘Friday Feeling’.

Saturday is where it gets slightly interesting, in as much as it never happened. I tried multiple times on the original Saturday, one Saturn Hours on other days and on the following Saturdays to attempt to finish the weekly scope of the ritual and each time something came up or prevented/distracted me.

This was very interesting and peculiar at the same time. However, tonight whilst doing some simple working and worship at my Hekate shrine it dawned on me it was Saturday and so, centring myself I turned East and began.

I was alone in the house and so didn’t hold back with the words of the ritual, the vowel intonations etc and I was surprised at how commanding I sounded and how powerful the words were. There was a ‘head rush’ of energy midway through and at the close I felt giddy and ‘buzzing’. I sat down and stared at the incense smoke obscuring my Hekate Skull effigy and then reached for the Major Arcana of my Rider-Waite deck to draw a card in keeping with the chapter of The Temple of Hekate.

I selected The Hermit. Of all the cards to pick I get the one that – through use of my Mythic Tarot – I link with the figure of Saturn (as Kronos)! The meaning given in ToH accessed the part of me that has been wondering what comes next for me spiritually.

“I call Hekate, bearer of light; shine your torches like a beacon so that I may use it as a point of focus as I contemplate your mysteries.”

I’m quite intrigued…I wonder what will come next…