Hekate's Supper

By Luna Sea

Page updated 16 June 1999



  • First Performed on August 14, 1985

  • First published in Circle Network News, 1986

  • A version by another group, incorporating much of my text, was worked August 13, 1988, at the MoonStone Circle of the Aquarian Tabernacle, in Washington state and published in Panegyria, the journal of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church

  • Rewritten by me for use on August 14, 1992

  • Rewritten by me for the Web, June 1997

This version incorporates actual Greek material, elements from two of the traditions in which i have been trained (NROOGD & Feri), and bits from the Aquarian Tabernacle ritual (in the fixed width typeface)

This ritual is best performed on August 14, Hekate's sacred day. It is especially wonderful if it is a dark moon.

Hekate, strong to shatter every stubborn thing...
Art created by Robin M. Weare, 1995. May be distributed freely, but not sold, with acknowledgement of source and artist.


Preparation

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

One person, well familiar with this ritual, could lead it, but it would be easier with at least two. If there are two, split up the parts marked Leader between you. It is also good if there is a Priestess into whom Hekate will be invoked.

THE ALTAR

At Center: 5 candles arranged in this order: silver, black, sapphire or indigo, black, silver

At each Quarter:
North - Earth: "graveyard dirt" - a blend of the herbs: vetiver, patchouli, and mullein
West - Water: willow water (willow bark soaked in water)
South - Fire: Hekate incense (see recipe); incense burner; matches
East - Air: bell; Dream Pillows (see instructions)

No votives in quarters; No figures on the altar, unless it is a statue of Hekate or her symbol.

OTHER TOOLS:

Aspergillum: lavender flower stalks; flowering allium stalks; fresh mint, rosemary & myrtle

Dish of Sweet Water Drum
hand-sized round, black stone medium-size bowl of salt water hand-towel
Staff or wand Dish of Salt Pentacle Sword or athame

FEAST:

hard cooked eggs, halved, on a plate & salt water in a large bowl
honey & pollen in separate dishes
pomegranate wine and/ or blended berries
crescent dark moon cookies (see recipe, below)
garlic - garlicy sesame seed butter spread on flat bread would be good
almonds; pine nuts; sesame seeds
dates & figs
Libation Bowl

OFFERING:

honey
red wine or non-alcoholic red juice
black feathers





The Ritual


1. Process in

All participants form a line - if only one Leader, s/he asperses them, then leads the group into the ritual space and forms a circle.
If two leaders, then Leader1 at the head of the line leads the group into the ritual space, where Leader2 is waiting - as participants pass Leader2, s/he asperses them.

Leader:

Now is the ending before the beginning, the time of death before new life.
As ebbtide reveals the secrets of the shoreline,
so now is the depth of the night sky revealed.
Now we may read the fates and know the mysteries in the vast and silent stillness.
All is possible. This is the time when we may touch the deep power of the dark.
(adapted from Nor Hall, The Moon and the Virgin)

2. Cast the Circle

Purify the space counterclockwise - moonwise, womanwise - using the four elements from the altar, "graveyard dirt," willow water, incense, and bell, going round the circle one time with each, if one leader. If two, they each take one element around the circle, thus going around twice.

The worshippers chant softly to a low drumbeat, repeating it over & over until Leader completes the casting: Heh-kah-tay, Heh-kah-tay, Heh-kah-tay.

Leader:

The circle is cast by air and fire,
The circle is charged with water and earth.
What is within the circle is between the worlds,
what is between the worlds affects all worlds.

Leader:

O Night, faithful preserver of mysteries,
and bright stars whose golden beams with the Moon succeed after the fires of day;
Thou, three-formed Hekate, who knows our undertakings and comes to our aid,
whose spells and arts that wise ones use, to Thee we dedicate this rite!

3. Invoke of the Quarters

North

Hekate! Come! with your ravening wolves,
your hounds of hell, eyes glowing red,
hurdling out of the cavern of earth.
we hear your howl deep in our bones,
within the marrow of our souls.
Teach us to listen to your deep silences
so we may learn the secrets of our bodies
and the ever-changing cycles of life and nature.
share with us your focus and patience.
Unleash the foundation of our instincts to grow this night.
Join our circle and guard our northern gate.
O, Come and be our altar.

West

Hekate! Come! on your great slithering serpent,
your dragon rising from the watery abyss,
Pouring out visions and prophetic dreams
We feel your damp spray in our blood,
in the waves that roar within our hearts.
Teach us to understand that joys & sorrows
ebb and flow like the rhythmically turning tides,
So our emotions may deepen like the oceans.
Share with us your intuition and inspiration this night.
Join our circle and guard our western gate.
O, Come and be our Cauldron.

South

Hekate! Come! with your pride of passionate lions,
your blazing wild cats of intensity and desire,
Burning in a whirlpool of liquid fire.
We hear your roaring along our nerves,
dancing in flames that leap in our will.
Teach us to move with justice and courage
So we may accomplish our goals.
Ignite us with the spark of creativity,
Share with us your power and transforming energy this night.
Join our circle and guard our Southern gate.
O, Come and be our sword.

East

Hekate! Come! on your mysterious owl,
with your ravens of spirit-speech,
Flying on the wind that whirls between the worlds,
We Hear your whispering with each breath,
in the Murmuring magic in our minds,
Blow clear our thought patterns.
Teach us to gather and use our knowledge
so we may be inspired by truth.
Share with us your wisdom and clarity this night.
Join our circle and guard our Eastern gate.
O, Come and be our staff.

Center

Hekate! Guide to the secrets of the soul,
Keeper of the invisible mysteries of the spirit.
Nine-fold lady who whirls without motion,
Ebbs and flood of the inward ocean,
Burns untouched in flower flames,
Star-born light about the circle spin,
The night without, the bright within.
Join us in our circle,
In the center of the widening gyre.

Invocation of the Mighty Dead

Said in the center of the circle:

Ancient and Mighty Dead
who once lived in the Lady's name,
Who once worked what we continue here,
Come dance and feast with us again,
We who are kin in spirit and in heart.
Leader then lights the candles on the altar, and says:
I do bless and consecrate this altar
in the name of Hekate the ancient one,
venerated even before the ancient Greek civilization arose.

4. Cleansing of Negative Energy

Leader asks all to be seated, and then will give out a hand-sized round, black stone; a bowl of salt water; and a towel (for a larger group, use 2, 3, or 4 of each and them distribute equidistantly around the circle).

Leader then says:

We will pass the stone counterclockwise. As you hold it, fill it with your pain, your anger, your negative energies, voicing them if you wish, while everyone is chanting: "Heh-kah-tay, Heh-kah-tay." When you have poured it all into the stone, bathe it in the cleansing and purifying salt water, and dry the stone with the towel, then pass it on. When each of you has done this, place the stone in the water, cover the container with the cloth and place it near the altar.

The items are passed around the circle. When they are returned to the center, Leader makes a gateway in the Northwest and says:

Let all negativity be cast out of this circle, and from each of our lives as it has been washed out of these stones. I banish it into the earth, to be carried away from here and away from our lives, to be transformed and purified by the cycles of nature, just as this salt water will be made again fresh.

Leader takes bowl, exits circle, and if outdoors, pours water into the earth. If indoors, take bowl and pour water either into a sink or toilet. (i think it's easier to be sacred pouring it into a sink, but do what feels best to you.)


5. Visualization: A Trip to Tartaros

Leader:

Now we will journey to the Underworld to ask a boon of the chthonic Hekate. Sit comfortably, breathing in and out slowly and at ease. Close your eyes and feel your center.


Three faced one, patroness of the 9 wild muses, Torch Bearer, Star-crown wearer,
Mother of ghosts who prophesize in the form of bee, serpent, mouse, or bat.
She of 3 heads: mare, dog, serpent; or lioness, mare, dog;
or lioness, dog, serpent; or yet, heifer, lioness, serpent.
Dog-star of summer. Brazen sandled one, Whose Magic mists are raised by willow spells.
Thessalian witches, followers of Hekate, Cerdo the weasel, shapeshifters & spellspinners.

Turn west. There lies the opening to Tartaros, the Underworld, in a grove of black poplars, sacred to Her whom we honor. The purpose of the visit is to learn something, perhaps of the future. Often this was done through mantike, inspired prophecy through possession by the deity, enthusiasmos, the deity within us. Don't forget to give a coin to Charon, the ferryman over the River Styx. [pause]

We've reached the other shore. Beware Cerberus, the three-headed dog; his job is to prevent hapless ghosts from fleeing and the living from entering. But tonight we are under the protection of Hekate Chthonia, Hekate Ourania, and he, her servant, lets us pass.

Do not tarry in the cheerless Asphodel Meadows where weary shades wander, purposelessly, twittering like bats.

Look ahead: there lies Erebus, the palace of Hades and Persephone, She who was tutored by Hekate; now She is in the world above for it is summer.

Perhaps we will catch a glimpse of the three Erinnyes, the Furies, who live in Erebus. There is no mistaking them, who punish those who break those of deservedly guilty conscience. They are aged, with snakes for hair, dogs' heads, coal black bodies, bats' wings, and bloodshot eyes. In their hands they carry brass-studded scourges.

To the left is Lethe, shaded by Hekate's white cypress - do not drink of its waters, for it is the Spring of Forgetfulness, for common souls of the dead awaiting rebirth, and we yet live.

Instead, approach Mnemosyne, the Pool of Memory, shaded by white poplars of Persephone. This pool is for initiates. Kneel down and sip its cool waters and see a vision there. [pause]


6. Invoke the Goddess

Leader continues:

Tonight the Moon has darkened, just as silver turns black with age, we honor the Goddess in Her Dark forms:
HEKATE, the Distant One, Lady of the Underworld, Dea Triformis,
with 3 heads - serpent, horse, & dog - carrying a torch & wearing a glittering crown of stars;
TRIVIA, guardian of the 3 paths, standing at the crossroad;
LEUKIPPE, the nightmare; CIRCE, sorceress, death bird, bird of wisdom, the owl;
LILITH, the yoni-lily, seducer in the night;
black-faced KALI MA, Dark Mother, dancer in the sea of blood;
VEILED ISIS; BLACK MADONNA;
MANIA, mother of ghosts; MACHA with her twin-headed ax;
ERESHKIGAL, black-haired & naked in her lapis lazuli palace
surrounded by rainbow gardens in the wilderness at the world's end;
MAYAHUEL, patroness of hallucinations & intoxications, on a throne of tortoises & snakes;
the Egyptian HEQIT, whose head is a frog's, symbol of the foetus,
midwife to the birth of the Sun,
mistress of the magic power of the Word,
holder of the reins of the ancient sacred spell.

She is the Crone; the Grandmother; spinner, teacher, prophetess, gossip, midwife, healer, avenger, shapeshifter; the guardian of the unconscious; deathbringer; mistress of subterranean spirits; she who stands between the pillars of the gateway to another world; ruler of the untamed forests of the human psyche, of poetry & lunacy, sleep & transformation; Giver of Visions. Within each of us lie her mysteries - at the still center to which all must return as a prelude to rebirth. This is the most secret face of the Goddess.

Many mortals fear her, for Her wrath can be destructive. But some long to learn from Her. On the night of the Dark Moon, She appears before them, Her hair a nest of writhing snakes, constantly transforming. And among the lessons She teaches is:

Without Birth there is no Life;
Without Life there is no Death;
Without Death there is no Rebirth;
As Darkness gives birth to Light,
And Light to Darkness,
Each needing the other.


Oh, Dark Goddess!
Bring us the Knowledge of the Silver Wheel of Death & Rebirth!
Grant us the Power and the Wisdom to use it rightly!


7. Offering of Honey:

Leader:

Lady of mystery, shrouded in time, lady of earth and heaven and sea,
who makes the earth bring forth abundantly.
At whose word bitches whelp, and mares foal.
Thou, honored of Zeus, holder of the torch of light, bearer of the scourge.
Pale Queen of ghosts whose suppers are laid where three ways meet,
lunar goddess light and dark, mistress of magic, of wisdom,
watcher over secret meetings and wild places. Silent one.
Hekate! Queen of night, I call thee into the body of this, thy priestess!
Speak to us, O Hekate!
Priestess seats herself in Hekate's throne, and speaks. She declaims, slowly and deliberately:
I am the old one who is maid, mother, and all, the threefold goddess.
I will teach you to read pebbles cast, the black pool, and the human hand.
I will teach you the stars, and how to make the smoke that brings dreams.
I will send visions.
Remember, anything is possible
after you find the courage to admit that nothing is certain.
She rises from the throne, takes a step forward and gestures:
Ye who call me here, your feet treading the ancient round, hear me:
the spiral dance is danced over the abyss, always.
So dance and form your vision of the boon you dare ask of me!

Hekate Chant

Done antiphonally -- that is, Leader says a line, then ALL repeat it -- best if outside where three roads meet:

Come, infernal, terrestial, and celestial Bombo,
Goddess of the broad roadways, of the cross-road,
Thou who goest to and fro at night, torch in hand,
Enemy of the day, friend and lover of darkness,
Thou who dost rejoice when the hounds howl and warm blood is spilled,
Thou who wanderest amid the phantoms in the place of tombs,
Thou whose thirst is blood, Thou who dost strike chill fear into mortal heart,
Gorgo, Mormo, Moon of a thousand forms,
Look favorably upon our sacrifices!
The worshippers then are led in the spiral dance, twice inward and twice outward to the starting point. ALL chant: "Heh-kah-tay, Heh-kah-tay" during the dance.

After the dance is concluded, the Leader says:

Now we may ask of Glorious Hekate a boon, for the ancient power which she has ever enjoyed is that of bestowing on mortals, or withholding from them, any desired gift. As we make our offering of honey, we must cast our eyes downward, and leave the place of offering without looking back.

One at a time, each participant goes to the appointed place, offers honey, asks boon silently, then returns to circle space without looking back, to await the others. While one is offering, the rest may dance freely while awaiting their return.

In the 1992 performance of this ritual, we poured honey into the holes of a "manhole" cover over an underground stream, which was in a crossroads of two streets over which an electric commuter train ran - three roads, and in 3-dimensions, subterranean, terrestrial, and aerial!

If you don't have a safe outdoor space to perform this, each participant may pour a drop honey into a fire in a fireplace or a "fire-cauldron" - see instructions. This makes the "don't look back" warning a bit more difficult to accomplish. If possible, have the offering place set up in another near-by room.


8. Feast of Hekate

Pass the food around one plate at a time, reading the section for each as it begins around. Different worshippers can read the descriptions if they have been written out ahead of time on index-cards.

a. Hard-Cooked Eggs, halved, and a bowl of Salt Water into which to dip them

The egg, unbroken, is the perfect form, symbol of unity. It is both seed and womb. It is the world, the universe. Within are the white and yolk, silver and gold, moon and sun. The Feminine Essence was often represented as containers and jars in bird and egg forms in the most ancient days. By dipping the egg in salt water, we purify it in the liquid of our tears, the amniotic fluid, the oceans, the source of life and wisdom. Eating the egg, we give birth to ourselves.

b. Honey & Pollen

This is the food of the Thriae, the most ancient Delphic prophetesses, who wove golden tissues of words of truth or madness. They sang the thriambos, a honey-intoxicated bee song, in honor of the flowering pollen-producing rod, the magic wand of the phallic God, reunifying nature and spirit. Honey is the substance of resurrection, used in Asia Minor in embalming fluid, the sacred essence of the Great Goddess. It was sometimes mixed with menstrual blood, which it also represented, and drunk as a sacred elixir. Souls were seen as bees. It was believed that bees were begotten of bulls, which were also sacred to several Eastern Mediterranean Goddesses, and a bull was sometimes sacrificed so that bees would come and nest in its head.

c. Pomegranate Wine -or- Pureed Mixed Berries

(strawberries, raspberries, & boysenberries) in the first version of this ritual, which was alcohol-free)

This is the blood of the Mother Goddess, of all women, of life. As babes in blood we are born; as maidens with blood women flow; as mothers in blood women birth; with age comes the ending of blood and the shadow of Death we know. (paraphrased from Shekinah Mountainwater)

d. Homemade Crescent Cookies with Black Poppy Seeds (see recipe)

These are the horns of the Moon, as waxing it reappears in the sky. This is the shape of the fallopian tubes above the uterus, and the shape of the horns on the bull's head, over which devotees of the Serpent Goddess leaped with joy in ancient Crete.

e. Other Foods

garlic spread & sesame seed butter on flat bread; almonds; pine nuts; dates & figs (dried is fine); honey-sesame candies.

f. The Cross-Road Offering

Be sure to set aside a small packet containing a bit of each ritual food to be left in a crossroad tonight for Hekate. We wrapped the food in black paper napkins.

9. Farewell to Hekate

Priestess:

I am the spirit of eternity. I was before manifestation.
To question beyond my origin is not to understand me. I am the moving center.
Out of me all things come into being, it is in my spell that everything remains,
and unto me all must return.

Leader:

Hekate, Dark Mother!
We thank you for your presence here tonight
in this circle cast in your name, here at your shrine,
and as you depart, we bid you hail and farewell.
Forget us not, and in this coming year grant each their boon. Go in peace.

10. Grounding and Dismissal of the Quarters

North:

Farewell, Guardians of the North, place of security,
Altar of deep structures, the Earth which is Her fertile Body
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May there be harmony between us now and forever.

West:

Farewell, Guardians of the West, place of deepening,
Cauldron of visionary dreams, the Water which is Her living Blood
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May there be harmony between us now and forever.

South:

Farewell, Guardians of the South, place of movement and energy,
Shining Sword of flaming light, the Fire which is Her quickening Spirit
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May there be harmony between us now and forever.

East:

Farewell, Guardians of the East, place of new beginnnings,
Magic Staff and sacred word, the Air which is Her vital Breath
We thank you for your presence in our circle tonight.
May there be harmony between us now and forever.

Center:

Star-spun Center! Essence of the Mysteries,
Our rite is over, it's time to leave.
What was woven, now unweave!

Leader, carrying salt on pentacle, sprinkles salt around circle widdershins:

Around, around,
it shall go to ground,
and not rebound.
ALL grasp staff and say:
Let the power pass from me
to end where it was begun;
As I will so mote it be;
chant the spell and be it done.
Leader takes sword and says:
All from air, into air, let the misty curtain part
Leader cuts circle and says:
and moonlight shall not turn against us.

Leader goes to East with staff and says, holding staff horizontal:

It shall end in the beginning: The circle is open.
...then turns staff vertical and draws line across circle and says:
Merry meet, merry part.

ALL: Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.

End of Ritual




Additional Sources

Book:
Nor Hall, The Moon & The Virgin: Reflections on the Archetypal Feminine

Link:
Hekate Recipes: Incense, Dream Pillows, Dark Moon Crescent Cookies, Fire-Cauldron



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