Page updated 16 June 1999
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.
Art created by Robin M. Weare, 1995. May be distributed freely, but not sold, with acknowledgement of source and artist.
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.
At Center: 5 candles arranged in this order: silver, black, sapphire or indigo, black, silver
No votives in quarters; No figures on the altar, unless it is a statue of Hekate or her symbol.
Aspergillum: lavender flower stalks; flowering allium stalks; fresh mint, rosemary & myrtle
hard cooked eggs, halved, on a plate & salt water in a large bowl
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.
Now is the ending before the beginning, the time of death before new life.(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.
The circle is cast by air and fire,
O Night, faithful preserver of mysteries,
3. Invoke of the Quarters
Hekate! Come! with your ravening wolves,
Hekate! Come! on your great slithering serpent,
Hekate! Come! with your pride of passionate lions,
Hekate! Come! on your mysterious owl,
Hekate! Guide to the secrets of the soul,
Invocation of the Mighty Dead
Said in the center of the circle:
Ancient and Mighty DeadLeader then lights the candles on the altar, and says:
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
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.
6. Invoke the Goddess
Tonight the Moon has darkened, just as silver turns black with age, we honor the Goddess in Her Dark forms:
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:
Lady of mystery, shrouded in time, lady of earth and heaven and sea,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.She rises from the throne, takes a step forward and gestures:
Ye who call me here, your feet treading the ancient round, hear me:
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,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)
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
I am the spirit of eternity. I was before manifestation.
Hekate, Dark Mother!
10. Grounding and Dismissal of the Quarters
Farewell, Guardians of the North, place of security,
Farewell, Guardians of the West, place of deepening,
Farewell, Guardians of the South, place of movement and energy,
Farewell, Guardians of the East, place of new beginnnings,
Star-spun Center! Essence of the Mysteries,
Leader, carrying salt on pentacle, sprinkles salt around circle widdershins:
Around, around,ALL grasp staff and say:
Let the power pass from meLeader takes sword and says:
All from air, into air, let the misty curtain partLeader 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.
End of Ritual
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