Monday, May 25, 2009

Goddess of the Week

Hekate is the Greek Goddess of witchcraft, the night, and magic. She is one of the Titanes, the old guard of the Gods, and She is a triple Goddess, of the Moon, Earth, and the Underworld, having powers over the sky, earth and sea. Crossroads, especially those where three roads meet, are sacred to Her, as are hounds. She is sometimes described as a ghostly figure, who goes around at the dead of night trailing ghosts and spectral hounds; and She protects travelers, especially those out on lonely roads at night.

She was usually said to be the daughter of the Titanes Perses ("Destroyer") and Asteria ("Starry One"); Her name means "She Who Works From Afar." She is associated with the night and the dark.

She was depicted in ancient art with torches to light the night; and She is the only Goddess Who helped Demeter search for Her daughter Persephone after She was abducted by Haides. And after it was decided that Persephone would spend a part of the year in the Underworld as its Queen, Hekate chose to accompany Her as friend and adviser.

The last day of the month was sacred to Her, meaning the last day of the lunar month, or the dark of the moon before the new moon is sighted. Since that was yesterday, I'd say Her timing is impeccable.

She's a psychopomp, in some ways, I think, given Her torches and the ghosts that follow Her; and in some parts of Greece, like Eleusis, home of the famous Mysteries, She was paired with Hermes, both of Them having parts in the ritual return of Persephone to the world.

Though She's Greek, not Celtic, I always associate Hekate with the season of Samhain, late autumn when the leaves are off the trees (at least in New England); and though it's Beltaine here now, it is Samhain in the southern hemisphere. Up here, though, it's all flowers and new green grass and leaves, and the light is getting brighter and brighter; perhaps, She is reminding us that the two, the dark and the light, are always to be found together, and that the light carries within it the seed of the dark, just as the dark carries within it the seed of the light.

Like I said She has aspects of a psychopomp, the Soul Guide Who guides the spirit to the Underworld (and back, sometimes); perhaps She tells of a journey into something to retrieve its opposite this week, or that we are embarking on a journey of soul retrieval, if even a little one at this time. This card could also serve as a heads-up to look deeper and more closely at a situation that may appear to be very bright indeed; not, necessarily, as an exercise in pessimism (of needing to find the misery in the middle of happiness) but as a lesson in balance and seeing the true whole.

So, as always, I ask, What do You say, Lady?

You are a Witch. Do not forget that. I do not forget.

I am fearsome and I am compassionate both. I am invoked in curses and I protect the alone and frightened. I am powerful in dark magic, and many a black she-lamb has had its throat cut to me; also I helped a grieving Mother find Her lost Girl. But mostly, I am Woman's friend. I am very old, and do not side with the patriarchs. Even Zeus fears me.

He would not cast me into Tartaros with the other Titanes; He did not dare. But what good would that have done Him anyway? It is my realm already. But He will not harm me. He does not dare. Remember that, too.

What would you know now? Within the light there is dark, always. You see the light within the dark, do you not? At winter's lowest point what do you do--light a candle, decorate your homes with tiny lights, twinkling as my Mother, the starry void. All I ask is you do the same in the season of light. Find the shadows now. Seek them out. Be whole.

I'm not, myself, sure how to go about doing that. Any ideas? What do you think?

References: mainly Theoi, Aaron Atsma's amazing site on Greek mythology, which has extensive primary sources quoted and organized by Deity, hero, demi-god, &c. Go check it out (if you haven't already).


Jana said...

What about allowing a few drops of your anger, rage, grief or fury to drip through all the spring sunshine and rainbows and add some seasoning to what drives you, and to what you create right now? A little edge, a little sparkle.

I like it!

BTW, thanks for what you do. I really enjoy your missives from the goddesses and look forward to the day I can get hold of your oracle deck!

I've become really interested in oracle decks of late--not just for divination/contemplation, but also for story games.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi...i just found your blog and i think there are posts i mine that might really interest you. have a look when you have time.


Unknown said...

Hekate for this week... what a blast...

As the winter is approaching here, I feel more and more into a mood of transforming and putting things on the right path, so when Spring comes, everything will simply blossom...

I feel this is a very "hekaty" movement.

Souris Optique said...

What I think, while not very enlightening, I'm afraid, is that your goddess of the week posts are startlingly pertinent to me. Like in a holy-crap-how-does-she-do-it sense. I read every week, and am also looking forward to being able to own a copy of your goddess oracle someday!

Thalia said...

Souris Optique, I am grateful if surprised to hear that. I really feel like I'm just making it up, pulling this stuff out of thin air. It doesn't feel like, I don't know, revelation or Inspiration, capital I or something. Just me grasping at straws, and making something up to fill the page.

Though when I go back to it I'm usually amazed to see how spot on it was, for me at least. It's all so weird.

So thanks.

Soul Retrieval said...

Soul Retrieval is very easy for the client. They lie relaxed and comfortable and I journey to the Lower World, using the sound of my rattle to help change my level of consciousness so I can journey and search for the missing soul part. Very often I am given a gift to bring back to the client along with a power animal, an ally, which assists and supports the client on their own journey through life
Soul Retrieval