Goddess Column: Hekate
Standing at the crossroads, she exists in a liminal space. Time is her essence, yet she endures outside of it, not confined to the steps of death, birth, decay, rebirth that we know. HeKate is the guardian of transformation, of crossroads, of death and necromancy and magick; she is not separate from the darkness but in union with it. She is not a blimp in time, but the fullest expression of how it exists. The goddess of the witches, HeKate’s many names are familiar; Venus, Isis, Inanna. This is an all powerful goddess, a dark goddess, a goddess you don’t want to mess with.
Hekate is a goddess of transformation, and is associated with ceremonies of initiation around the world, including the famous mysteries of Eleusis. Hekate is a goddess of crossroads, of course, but this also means she’s associated with boundaries, and transitional events and moments. She is our guide into the darkness, when we don’t trust in what we see, but what we feel. She allows us to step into our subconscious, into the shadows, into the depths of the earth so we can come away transformed.
Hekate rules over the shadows, and her many forms represent her multifaceted magick. When she holds a key, she is showing us secrets of knowledge, of our future, of what we can accomplish. She is inviting us to open the door. When she is accompanied by her torches, we can follow her through even the most harrowing darkness because we have wisdom, strength, knowledge guiding us. We have the truth, and divine protection in the name of something bigger. When she is in her three headed form, we have the chance to experience the past, present and future through the eyes of the divine. We’re reminded of her power over the heavens, sea and earth, and of the interplay between these landscapes. Hekate is the ancient serpent buried in the spine, the darkness of magick without apology, the shadows that allow us to explore the light more fully. Hekate is magick personified, the mother of witches, the ancient goddess who will never die.
Sacred Symbols & Offerings:
Working and honoring a goddess is more than anything, a relationship. A really beautiful way to start this connection is to create an altar in dedication of a deity. This will serve as an energetic focal point for your work with a goddess. Here you can pray, leave offerings, work magick and focus on your work and intention. Creating an altar is a deeply intentional and personal act and will hopefully help you create an intimate relationship with Hecate. Ask yourself what you can do to foster your relationship with this goddess. You can get a black candle you light for her, meditating on the flame. You can print out photos of her to place on your altar, or buy a statue or figurine to represent her. You can keep a journal and write to her, or write channeled messages from her as a way to connect. You can work with the animal spirits of snakes, dogs and wolves to channel her energy, and place figures and icons of these on your altar. You can work with stones like black tourmaline, carnelian and clear quartz to channel the strength, protection and devotion of this dark goddess. Meditation and ritual are other easy ways to work with this deity, and will be included later in this column.
Crystals: Black tourmaline for protection, carnelian for devotion, strength and passion, and clear quartz to make all this even more potent.
Colors: Black, red, grey, white, gold
Sacred Associations: The torch of knowledge, keys of opportunity, dogs, snakes, wolves, death, the underworld, magick, necromancy, dandelion.
Offerings: Wine, blood, garlic, cheese, honey, sweetcakes, dandelion- best left at a crossroads (or intersection at a garbage can.)
A Meditation to Meet Hekate at the Crossroads:
This meditation can be done at any time but is especially potent at the waning or dark/ new moon. This is also especially potent if you need guidance with what to do during a transitional period, or if there’s something you want to let go of or offer to Hekate.
Find a comfortable seat where you will not be disturbed. You can have any crystals like tourmaline, quartz or onyx near you. Start to settle and take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, allowing any sounds to come out as you exhale. Once you feel present and settled, start to breathe normally. Imagine that you’re on a very flat, very bare road. All you can see is desert around you. You start walking down this road when you come to a crossroads. You know this is Hekate’s domain. You stand here, with the earth around you, and call onto her. Say whatever you need to the goddess of darkness, sharing with her what you wish to learn or let go of. Stay here and continue to call on her and feel her presence. She may show herself, you may feel something in your body. Stay here as long as you need, leaving whatever you want to let go off at the crossroads. Leave this offering here, whether it’s a gift, a letter or an offering. When you’re ready, you can keep walking forward, past the crossroads. Count back from ten and open your eyes at one. Record any messages, feelings or visions and pay attention to your dreams. Try this meditation as often as you’d like to get messages from Hekate.
A Ritual of Offering for Hekate at the Crossroads:
By writing a letter of and leaving it for Hekate at the crossroads, you’ll be able to connect to this dark goddess and find her guidance even in moments of unrest or confusion.
You’ll need: Sacred herbs for smoke (mugwort, desert sage, sweetgrass,) a paper and pen, a black candle (can be a chime or tea light) and lighter, an offering of sweets, honey or wine. Optional a notebook, black tourmaline and dandelion
Step 1: Ground and center
Burn the sacred smoke of whatever herbs you choose, making sure to cleanse the space of wherever you’ll be doing this ritual. Make sure to waft the smoke over your head, over your limbs, between your legs, on your palms and the soles of your feet. When you’re ready, find a comfortable position and sit. Start to breathe, imagining the base of your spin extending into a golden beam of light that moves into the base of the earth. As it does this, the beam of light moves out the top of your head into the cosmos. Start breathing into your heart, feeling the support from beneath you as well as from above you meet in your heart center. Continue to breathe into this support for as long as you need, remembering that this energetic connection is always here to serve you.
Step 2: Write your offering
Once you feel grounded, you can open your eyes. Grab your pen and paper and start to write a letter of offering to Hekate. Hekate is the guardian of transformation and initiation, who’s reign is beyond that of this realm. She is the goddess of witches. What is it that you need help with? What do you need to let go? What stories or conditioning or patterns are you tired of? Offer up any pain, or issues or things that are no longer serving you to this goddess. Sacrifice them in her name. Take as much time as you need to do this.
Step 3: Meditate at the crossroads
Once you have your letter, hold it in your non-dominant hand, find a comfortable seat and close your eyes. You’ll be employing the same guided meditation as described above. Imagine that you’re on a very flat, very bare road. All you can see is desert around you. You start walking down this road when you come to a crossroads. You know this is Hekate’s domain. You stand here, with the earth around you, and call onto her. Stay here and continue to call on her and feel her presence. She may show herself, you may feel something in your body. Give Hekate your letter, or leave it at the crossroads. Say whatever you need to the goddess of darkness, sharing with her what you wish to learn or let go of. When you’re ready, you can keep walking forward, past the crossroads. Count back from ten and open your eyes at one. Record any messages, feelings or visions you may have had.
Step 4: Light the black candle
After you’ve left your offering for the goddess, make your way to the altar. Light your black candle and speak anything else you wish to say to Hekate. You can also say something like this
“Goddess of darkness, of liminal space. Hekate, I offer you this letter in my name. May you guide my magick, and let me release what I don’t need. I meet you at the crossroads, in service of thee.”
Let this candle burn all the way down and if there’s wax remaining, take it to leave at an intersection or crossroads.
Step 5. Ground the energy and leave the offerings
Once again, find a comfortable seat and connect to your breath. Take a second to thank Hekate for her wisdom and guidance. Breathe into this. Imagine the vibrant light that connected you to the earth below and cosmos above moving back into your body, eventually meeting at your heart. This fades and fades until you just feel a warmth at your heart center. When you’re ready, press your forehead into the ground like in child’s pose, imagining any excess energy moving back into the earth.
Carry around your black tourmaline if you need, and either drink some dandelion tea or leave it along with sweets, honey, cake or wine as an offering to the goddess of the crossroads. You can either leave this at an intersection, at a crossroads or on your altar. Let the goddess know it’s for her, and if you have to throw it out, imagine the energy being cut off from the item before you throw it away.
As a dark goddess, Hekate also rules over sexuality, sensuality and connection to pleasure. This curved obsidian Chakrub is perfect for Hekate’s domain, to help you explore your own darkness, depths and sexuality. Not only is this stone incredibly protective and cleansing, it also perfect for working with sex magick and tantra as a way to deepen your magical exploration of taboos, kink and the self. Use this Chakrub while meditating on your own divine depths to channel Hekate. Or use this and as you orgasm, release anything that’s no longer serving you to the goddess of the crossoads.