Full Moon in Aries

I knew I’m ahead of myself, but I’ve only just realised how far I done messed up the naming of the moon’s , caused in no small because it’s a system that I don’t use. To fix this I’ve edited all the full moon posts to remove the information and I will write a separate post to cover it.

Full Moon in Aries

Sun Sign – Libra
Element– Fire
Colour – Red
Incense – Ceder, Cinnamon, Ginger, Pine, Wormwood

Spell /Ritual Themes

  • Health
  • Vitality
  • Leadership
  • Authority
  • Self Improvement

A Spell For Taking Action

You will need

  • Orange candle
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Marker Pen
  • Heat Proof Dish
  • Scrap Paper and pencil

Consider something you want to happen, something you wish to come true. See it in your mind’s eye as a series steps which need to be taken in order to achieve it, if those conditions do not currently exist can you think of what needs to happen to make them exist?

Grab your scrap paper and pencil and turn that wish and desire into a statement of intent to be turned into a sigil using a reduction method. There are lots of ways to do this but I particularly recommend the Jackson Method. If you are not massively artistic (like me) you may want to double up and once the reduction has taken place using a letter wheel or rose to draw out your design

Alternative, translate the letters using a magical script such as Passing the River or Theban before combining them in the usual way.

Once you have your sigil copy it on to one of the bay leaves, repeating your statement of intent and rehearsing the steps that you need to take. You may want to raise energy for the sigil in your own way but for this process, I am recommending burning.

NB if there are lots of steps in this process you can attempt the shoaling method and make a sigil for chunks of the process. Turn each leaf into an individual sigil and inscribe it on its own bay leaf to be burned in order. To truly tap into the theory, throw in a couple of dead certs like “I will wear a blue shirt on Tuesday” to springboard the process (and then remember to wear the blue shirt on Tuesday).

Prepare and light your orange candle in the usual way, continuing to repeat the intent and visualisation which you should hold for a few minutes longer. When ready set fire to the bay leaves and allow it to burn up, visualise the smoke and scent carrying the intent with it.

The sigil is now energised and ready to further use. Initially, I suggest copying it (the final outcome sigil) to another bay leaf and carrying it with you daily. Every time you look at it quickly run through the steps to achieve the outcome and as this begin to manifest burn it in another orange candle and copy out a new one. Repeat until final goal realised.

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Podcast Roundup

The summer holidays have been a strange month and a bit; I’ve done tones of writing and research but I am not able to share any of it on the blog… Yet.

I am waiting for a particular project to come to fruition and then over the course of next year I will have a series of rituals and oracle’s to share with you. In the meantime you will just have to watch this space.

Blog relevent inspiration itself has been slow in coming in recent weeks. My Full Moon and Tarot posts continue to build in the background but that has been about it. I’m hoping for a bit of a spiritual kick in the arse moving from September into October because that time of year is perversely soothing. There is nothing more likely to mess with my mojo that the Summer Holidays.

I’ve not been entirely idle however so I thought I’d do a quick round up of the podcast I’ve been listening to in recent months, to give you an idea of what I’m smudging into my brain.

RuneSoup

Of course I’m going to start with Gordon White, Master of Ceremonies and talent behind the RuneSoup Podcast and premium member courses. If I’m not listening to course material (and I am quite a bit behind on the current Tarot course thanks to an email malfunction and life in general) the I am catching up on podcast episodes. Not everything that Gordon covers in his show is relevant to me but when it is I find the show well presented, researched and incredibly informative. I’ve been listening to this podcast since it’s inception, in fact it was my introduction to the concepts of podcasts so the bar was set high very early on, and it’s hard to pick favourite episodes because they are all so good. I will say that the bi-annual shows with Austin Coppick looking as the space weather for the year are shows I never miss, simply because both Gordon and Austin unpack the astrology so well even I can understand it and see the patters they are discussing. In truth, that is one of the reasons that I recommend RuneSoup as a podcast and subscription based course; Gordon unpacks everything in such a way that I think it is almost universally accessible. So head over to RuneSoup or Gordon’s YouTube channel and get stick in and if you’ve got £10 a month which you don’t know what to do with I highly recommend premium membership and going through the back catalogue of member courses and material.

GlitchBottle

GlitchBottle is the brainchild of Alexander Eth and seeks to “uncork the uncommon” with a interview based podcast. Alexander has had guests of the caliber of Mark Stavish, Jake Stratton-Kent and Daniel Harms with a number of highly interesting conversations with Dr Stephen Skinner. I don’t think I’ve listened to an interview I didn’t take something away from, even in cases where the interview represents a topic that lies waayyy outside of my wheelhouse. GlitchBottle is pretty much up to date on YourTube as far as I know, and like many podcasters Alexander does have offers and special items for Patrons and you can find out more about this by visiting the pods website.

The Modern Hermeticist

A blog that I keep in touch with from time to time is Dan Atrell – the Modern Hermeticist. The biggest draw is the Encyclopedia Hermetica – A Big History, Dan’s in-depth look at the history of Hermeticism from its earliest history onwards. Dan also produces videos in which he reads important hermetic tracts. Dan is another brilliant podcaster who I can (and have) listen to all day long. If you have an interest in Hermeticism the I recommend checking out the Modern Hermeticist YouTube channel.

Higherside Chats

I’ll be honest, Higherside Chats is not an especial favourite of mine. Greg Charlwood generally covers topics that I not particularly interested in and I struggle to engage with his deliver style. He does have great guests, and I usually land upon this podcast when other podcast hosts guest on his show or I get wind of a guest I am particularly keen on. So, although I can’t give a well rounded account of the show and sing its praises all the way to high heaven I do still recommend you check it out so you can come to your own conclusions. I should also point out that Higherside Chats offers extended shows for Patreon supporters, and such things are usually worth it if you really like the show.

The History of Witchcraft

Samuel Hume covers the history of witchcraft trials in Europe over 40 installments touching on everything from the witchcraft beliefs of the Greeks and Romans to the Early Modern Witch trials and the reasons that Matthew Hopkins managed to establish a European style witchcraze in a previously credulous and rational England. He does touch on the colonization of New England and begins to build the picture as to how Puritanism carries those same seeds. I found Mr Hume via YouTube where most of the episodes can be found but for episodes 40 onwards it is Podbean is your best source. This talented podcaster also has a series called Pax Britannica; a podcast about Imperial Britain. Still, any one interested in the history of Witchcraft trials who wants to avoid the fallacious arguments made by less informed pagan writers (I’m looking at you Silver RavenWolf) then you couldn’t want for a better researched and delivered podcast. Mr Hume has a great sense of timing and humour, and has the kind of voice I can listen to all day long, which are the kind of things which can make of break a podcast for me. So, for a fact filled and punny (sic) account of the punitive Puritans and to find out exactly why most witches in England were hanged rather than burned head over to the Pax Britannica website and have a listen to The History of Witchcraft.

The History of Ancient Greece

The History of Ancient Greece takes a look at all the all aspects of Ancient Greece, from inter polis and international relations to religion and mystery. All the good stuff.
I actually really like ancient and classical Green History so I just enjoy listening to the show in general but as a Hekatean there are particular shows you absolutely have to pay attention to.

54 – Old Comondy and Aristophanes
55 – Dionysian Mysteries
Episode 60 – The Underworld
Episode 61 – The Two Goddesses (Demeter and Persephone)
Episode 62 – Agricultural Festivals
Episode 80 – Hekate
Episode 81 – Orphism, Omens and Oracle’s

Ryan does have a YouTube channel but for some reason there is a big hiatus in the shows posted there. I recommend picking up the show via his website where you can access his Libsyn list as well as individual posts for each of the episodes.

Pontifacts

I realised belatedly that my list is too heavy with the fellas and that probably not a great reflection on me (I like a cultured, intelligent sounding male voice; so sue me). To prove that I am not entirely male dominated in this I have have started to listen to Brie and Fry of Pontifacts, the show that “rates te Popes from Peter to Francis” to find the “popiest Pope that ever Poped”. I’ve listened for the first half dozen episodes and the light-hearted assessment of each of the early pope’s definitely tickles my funny bone. The two hosts compliment each other really well and despite Pontifacts not being only normal area of interest they are managing to keep me engaged. I’m not sure if that will continue as we move into more modern pope’s but as there are over 200 and change to get though I think the historian in me will want to keep listening.

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Lovers

Upright Meaning
Love, romance, unity, choices, alignment of ideas and values

Reversed Meaning
Disharmony, imbalance, foolish designs, misalignment of values and ideals.

Description of Rider-Waite-Smith

The Loves stand in the garden, flanked by the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. They are naked before each other and standing to gaze into each other’s eyes, unaware of the snake which lurks in the tree. The scene in the garden is watched over by an angel, the divine force which watches over the two lovers, guiding their actions from on high.

The Lovers is the card which relates expressly to relationships and the joining of people, their ideas and their ideals. Although this is often taken to relate to matters of the heart such union can move beyond the emotional realm. The closeness indicated by the Lovers may just as easily apply to matters of business or creative endeavours where two people work closely to achieve the same goal. They suggest a level of harmony and clarity of purpose as well as a commitment to the situation at hand.

Key Symbols

Adam and Eve

The two naked figures are the primordial man and woman, Adam and Eve, and it is from them that the main meaning of the card is drawn. They are comfortable in their nudity, looking towards each other with love and longing. The Lovers themselves speak of the relationship element of the card, and it easy to get caught up into the iconography and assume the card refers to love when in truth it can refer to all forms of relationships, from business to pleasure and everything in between.

The Garden of Eden

The entire scene within the card is representative of the Garden of Eden from the Book of Genisis. Adam stands with his back to the fiery Tree of Life whilst behind Eve is the fruit-laden Tree of Knowledge with its serpentine garland. The scene reminds us of the level of bliss in our relationships but that there is a sense of tensions and danger in the form of temptation. The Garden reminds us that the Lover card often refers to decisions that have been, or need to be, made.

The Angel

Looking down over the Garden scene is the Archangel Michael, whose name means ‘who is like god’. He represents the divine presence and the hand of providence in the scenario being viewed in the cards, indicating that things will move ahead in a satisfactory way. When reversed that presence comes from a chthonic perspective and heralds the presence of the Devil card in relation to the Lovers. In this position themes of disagreement and argument are indicated.

The Lover of the Arcana

Depicted in the Arcarna version of the Lover’s are two snakes intertwined in a loving embrace. The two snakes both have coloured eyes, which indicates that the characters represented by the animal figures are important ones. Although initially the larger snake was identified as Faust, serpent familiar of Magician Asra, with the second smaller snake assumed to represent a potential second familiar for the Apprentice it became apparent in later books that this identification was incorrect. The introduction of Asra’s parents to his storyline showed that they were the characters associated with this card, with Asra’s father Salim represented by his familar, the blue snake Flamel, and his mother Aisha represented by Chimes, her pale gold snake familiar. This identification is born out by the storyline as we will see when we get to the relevant card.

The Lovers card of the is relatively clean in terms for symbolism in comparison to its companion in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and even other cards in the Arcana deck. The Lovers are locked in an embrace and their contrasting colourings are reminiscent of the coming together of people and ideas and the concept of two becoming as one. The garden so clearly shown in the Rider-Waite-Smith is only hinted at and in place of the angel is a solar disc similar to that found in the Fool Card, hinting at the risk of being a “fool for love” which is consistent with the eventual fate of the Lovers in the game.

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Indalo Man

The Fam went on holiday without me earlier this year. Yes they all trotted off to sunny Spain and left me at home to fend for myself *le sob*

They were nice enough to bring me back a little statue of Indalo Man however and I fell in love with it because it ticks so many boxes for me.

So who is Indalo Man?

Indalo Man is the unofficial symbol of the Almeria region of southern Spain. The figure of a man holding a dome over hid head, usually interpreted as being a rainbow, appears prominently within Neolithic cave art discovered in 1868 in a cave called La Cueva de los Letreros (Cave of the Signboards), discovered by Antonio Gongónia y Martinez.

The cave itself is Neolithic usual detritus associated with cave habitation, indicating that it held a ritual purpose as opposed to a mundane one. Animal remains and objects located in nearby caves were dated between 5500 – 6000 BCE so presumably the ritual site of La Cueva de los Letreros was also in use at the same period of time.

Other symbols around the Indalo Man include horned men and animals whilst the colours are all achieved through natural pigments the most prominent colour appears to be red (ocher). Whilst most of the scenes are typical of Neolithic cave art, representative of hunting scenes and possibly carrying the ritual purpose of ensuing the outcome of such important activity, the figure of the Indalo Man seems to stand out as unique to the area.

Some see the Indalo Man as being a prehistoric God raising a rainbow above the world, symbolising his pact of protection over man. Others suggest that is a man (or holy man) who captured the rainbow and was able to secure a similar protective pact between God and man to ensure protection against all evil spirits. Those with a Christian mindset see the Rainbow as being the one sent by God following the Flood and the pact being one of man and trust between man and God.

©Victoria Newton

The origin of the name “Indalo” seems to have been lost to time, although some state that it is derived from the Latin, “Indo Eccius” meaning “Messenger of the Gods”. Though this may not be the true origin of the name it is certainly consistent with the last couple of interpretations.

Whatever the detail the interpretation is consistently one of good luck and of averting ‘evil’. In the 17th century, villagers in the immediate vicinity began to paint the symbol on their houses and after it appeared that they survived a series of earthquakes relatively unscathed people in larger towns and villages took up the practice.

Although the region went through a serious decline the area received a revive after a number of prominent artists visits in the 1920s. The Indalo Man featured as part of this revival and when the local provincial council was looking for an unofficial mascot the Indalo Man was well established as a symbol of good luck and protection.

Now the Indalo Man appears on all the best tourist trap tat (and I mean that in a nice way honest). He is put in t-shirts, jewellery and assorted other trinkets and is available in statue form as well so you too can have the protective influence if Indalo Man at home.

In addition to the statue, other bits and pieces bearing Indalo Man made their way into the house in the possession on this kids so I’ve been working out ways to empower and incorporate these things into our household and practice. It would have been better if I had been able to connect with the spirit of the Land from which Indalo Man comes from, though this something I hope to achieve later this year,….. Is still accessible on a symbolic level.

Sources
Source 1

Source 2

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Full Moon in Pisces

Sun Sign – Virgo
Element- Water
Colour – sea green/blue
Incense – Sage, lemon balm, lemon, elder, borage

Spell /Ritual Theme

  • Psychic abilities / development
  • Self Reflection
  • Emotional / Spiritual Balance
  • Peace

Go With The Flow Spell / Visualisation

  • Blue candle
  • Image of flowing water (optional)
  • Background music / running water ambiance – ideally have a timer / recall point on the soundtrack so you know when to return in case you go off script.
  • Blue Candle
  • Ametrine (balance stone) cleansed and ready for sharing

Set up your space so it is cool and temperate. There will be a period of meditation so ensure you you will be comfortable and undisturbed.

Place your image of running water in the centre of your altar with the blue candle in front of it. This image is option but as you will be visiting a place of running water in your journey it might be helpful to have something to on hand as an aid memoir.

Light your blue candle and with a piece of ametrine in hand begin a process of centring yourself. You may want to make an intention setting statement before beginning to further align your mind to the purpose of the meditation. For the purpose of writing this I am going to assume it is a place in nature.

I’m going to assume you have a personal practice for preparing for meditation, if so do so now. If not a simple beginning will be to consciously slow your breathing and allow your eyes to slowly close. Visualise a doorway in front of you and when you are ready to enter the meditation open the doorway, enter through it and close the door behind you.

Find yourself on a woodland pathway and take note of all the sounds around you, any birds or animal noises, the wind moving gently around you. You should already begin to feel yourself relaxing.

In the distance you can hear water running and are drawn down the pathway to to the sound. After a short distance you find yourself stood in the most beautiful natural setting, which matches the image on your altar. Take a note of the sights and sounds around you, allow the water to sooth you. Spend a few moments staring into the water, making a note of anything you might see as you gaze into it. Enter the water if you feel drawn to do so, allow the cool waters to cleanse you of any worries or cares. If the water isn’t deep enough to get in scoop some into your hands and take a cooling drink.

Spend at least 5mins communicating with this place of calm beauty, drinking in the sounds and calm of the water. At some point you will recall that you are holding the price of ametrine in your hand. Fully immerse it in the flowing water, cleansing it and filling it will calming energies.

Once ready, return along the path and exit the meditation in your usual way. If you entered by a doorway remember to exit by it, closing the door behind you.

Return to your room and altar space with a sense of calm and balance. The ametrine in your hand may feel cool in your hand but it should radiate a sense of peace and remind you of your place of beauty. Keep it with you and if you need a dose of the calm from the meditation take it out and connect with it’s energy at a later date. Stones charged in this way will need regular charging, and meditations like this can be performed at anytime but for the best results begin the energisation process during the Piscean full moon.

I am not a world class meditation writer so if you want something a little more detailed you might want to consider this meditation and adapting it to the themes of inner peace and calm.

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Hekatesia – Hekate’s Night

Hekatesia, meaning Hekate’s night, can appear to the newcomer more than a little confusing. It is a much-used term, with some groups using it to refer to ritual devotion to Hekate performed at the full moon whilst others use it to refer to specific ritual observations which they link to ancient Greek and Roman cults, or as entirely modern practices. Of the four dates cited for the observation of Heketeisia, two occur in the same month of November, three coincide with the ide’s (midpoint) of the month which can be between the 13th and 16th depending on the month in question and two in particular can be linked to ancient cults which are associated with Hekate either directly or indirectly.

A Couple of Spanner in the Works
There seems to be some level of conflict as to where the celebration is planned and what focus is taken. There are three aspects which may be focused on in a given Hekatesian ritual;
1) Hekate as nurturing and protecting harvests and the young
2) Hekate as a protection against storms and madness
3) Hekate as a Goddess of the Moon, Witchcraft and the Crossroads.

There is a historical basis for all three of these associations and ritual focuses, which we will cover below.

Similarly, there is some issue around timing with Metageitnion, a ritual month within the Attic calendar, spanning the modern months of August and September and even the day within the modern calendar to which they should be allocated. It is possible to place a ritual date for Hekate at the midpoint of either month either on the 13th or 16th of the month depending on the modern author and the source used to render the Greek and Roman dates into a modern calendar. Because these dates are used interchangeably it can appear confusing however it is possible to perform Hekate on either of them or any point between if it fits your personal schedule better.

Broadly speaking the August and September rituals are dedicated to Hekate in a protective guise whilst the later November dates are associated with chthonic nature as a Goddess of Witchcraft in modern writings. I intend to partially ignore the dating of one ritual to allow it to fit better into this energetic pattern, but there will be plenty of nods to this historical truth of the matter. I am also bucking the trend of association Hekate and Storms with and August dates, for reasons I will explain below. As with all things modern and pagan, there is a healthy element of UPG in doing so however I hope the information I provide will constitute a convincing explanation.

Kurotrophos and Harvests

13th August
Offerings are made to Kurotrophos throughout the Attic calendar, intended to protect women in childbirth and young children. These are usually performed in association with other deities, such as Athena, Poseidon, Zeus and Apollo, but it is the Kurotrophoi that received the initial honours and sacrifice in ritual.

The 16th of Metageitnion, in particular, is associated with Artemis and Hekate. Both goddesses are given the title of Nurse of the Young or “child-rearing” but with our focus on Hekate, we will concentrate on Her.

The earliest reference of Hekate in association with this title, our old friend Hesiod and his Theogony:

“So, then, albeit her mother’s only child, she is honoured amongst all the deathless gods. And the son of Kronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Eos (Dawn). So from the beginning, she is a nurse of the young (kourotrophos), and these are her honours.” [404]

Equally, this is a title given to Artemis and the clearest naming can be found in the 5th book of Hellenic Historian Diodorus Siculus.

“And Artemis, we are told, discovered how to affect the healing of young children and the foods which are suitable to the nature of babes, this being the reason why she is also called Kourotrophos.” [5.73.5]

As with many ancient rituals, we know little about the details beyond the rituals are attested to have occurred in Erchia and the Acropolis in Athens but modern Reconstructionist groups have established their own rituals around this.

The period of 16th of Metageitnion falls between two harvest periods, grape and grain, the season would not have been known for its storms. Neither remaining evidence nor modern reconstruction contains appear to make reference to storms, and as such, I tend to lean away from this association and toward the more protective and nurturing qualities of Kourotrophos. Such rituals do not need to be restricted to children of the loins however, and an August ritual to Hekate Kourotrophos should have something for everyone. We all, regardless of gender, nurture children of the mind; our ideas, projects etc. Many of us have pets, or children we know through family, friends and our wider social networks.

Lady of Storms

16th September
Hekate has a number of epithets which can be used to link her to storms. From Brimo to Persia, her overwhelming nature is connected to these great conflagrations through her connection to the ocean and sky. The main tangible piece of evidence for connecting Hekate to Storms and cultic worship of her in this form can be found in Samothrace, in the form of a cave based cult dedicated to Hekate as a cause and cure for madness in the form of thunderous storms.

“In Samothrace, there were certain initiation-rites, which they supposed efficacious as a charm against certain dangers. In that place were also the mysteries of the Corybantes and the Corinthian cave, where they sacrificed dogs. The initiates supposed that these things save [them] from terrors and from storms.”

sigma79 via Suda online, original referal here

The Corybantes were an ecstatic cult which celebrated its rites in caves accompanied to the clashing of shields and stamping of feet. I say “were”; I recently watched a BBC 4 documentary on Baccus which included a reference to a traditional folk celebration seemed to contain undertones of the cult, with the loud clashing of goat bells as men leap around in sheep and goat skins. The legendary went far beyond what we know of the Corybantes and included an element of cross-dressing, but one must wonder…

Primarily associated with Dionysis Zagreus as guardian of his birth, the Samothracian Corybantes are sometimes conflated with the Idaean Dactyls and Cretan Kouretes who in of themselves have a connection to Hekate. Through the Orphic and Bacchic mystery cults, we know that Hekate has an ongoing connection to Persephone, mother of Dionysis Zagreus, so it is unsurprising to find her referenced in connection to one of his cult centres and black puppies are by no means an unfamiliar motif in the worship of Hekate.

Suda is not the only reference to this connection. Strabo refers to the Samothracian Corybantes as being the ministers of Hekate in Geography whilst Nonnus links her to the discordant noise, music and animalistic aspects of the Cult in Dionysiaca. In particular, Nonnus refers to Hekate by the epithet of Perseis and oceanic title with concepts such as “to destroy” at its root.

That there was a cult of Hekate associated with storms located in the caves of Samotrace is not in doubt, but it is far from clear when these rites of near madness, propitiation and initiation actually took place. It is likely a modern conflation which has lead to the themes of this cult to be combined with the timings of the agricultural ritual rather than anything else. I look at the modern rituals for Hekate of the storms and I tend to find them lacking and have always failed to connect with this form of Hekatesia during the month of August. On completing the research outlined above I has come to realise why.

There is little ecstasy in modern ritual and whenever we talk about Hekate as a Storm goddess I imagine the noise and the stamping of feet. In moving this form of Hekatesia in closer proximity to the Autumn Equinox, and all the Eleusinian connections that bring, I can almost hear the cry “the Lady Brimo has brought forth a holy son, Brimos” (the sacred Eleusinian exclamation as is given to us by Christian writer Hippolytus) accompanied by all the sounds and madness of an ongoing storm. Hekate Persia, heralding the arrival of the infant Dionysis, with the fires of her torches and the thundering of clashing shields and bells, calls to me on a very deep level but sadly I am never going to replicate such ritual madness on my own in the back bedroom. This is just one of those rituals I need to find a compromise for, but it will most certainly be one which places the celebration of Hekate as Stormbringer firmly in September.

Hekatesia Nemoralia

13th/16th/30th November
Can you tell I’m hedging my bets here? The date cited for the November Hekatesia varies wildly from dates mirroring the rituals early in the year to a 30th date, which I like to think of as second Halloween.

The other name for this date of “Day of Hekate of the Crossroads” and as that might imply, the ritual celebrations focus on Hekate in her Chthonic forms of Keybearer, Crossroads and Goddess of Witchcraft. There are a couple of different cults and rituals I could focus on here but as Lagina has a post of its own I will focus on the Roman Dianic festival of Nemoralia.

Nemoralia was a festival where Diana was celebrated in three forms over three days and it is possible, even likely, that Hekate was conflated with one of these forms.

During the ritual, the dies Trivia of Diana were honoured at Nemi with ritual acts such as torchlit procession and races around the sacred groves. Though the finer detail of ritual is unclear the overarching purpose of the ritual was to follow the descent of Diana Nemorensis (terrestrial huntress) into the Underworld where she would assume an unnamed chthonic form. Because this Goddess form is associated with the crossroads and infernal spirits it is assumed that this second form of Diana is conflated with the Roman Hecate. The high point of the ritual cycle was the transformation and ascent of this infernal Goddess to become Diana Lucina (celestial/lunar).

As I’ve already said, it is not clear exactly what was involved in the rituals of the dies Trivia, but we know that it was conducted over three days and involved a torchlit race around a lake sacred to Diana. If I were to indulge my imagination I would suggest that the rituals began on the first day with a round of ritual purification, perhaps bathing in the lake, and honouring Diana Nemorensis with prayer and sacrifice. At moonset, the translation of terrestrial Diana into her infernal counterpart would occur and participants would face a second day of perhaps mourning or acts of appeasement. These lamentations and offerings would be to ensure that this infernal Goddess was released and allowed to ascend the next night as Diana Lucina. It may even be possible that the act of sleep that night was an attempt to receive personal oracles from the Goddess during her time in the Underworld. Moonrise on the second night would be the return of Diana Lucina and perhaps it is at this point that the waters of the sacred lake were doubly purified in the light of both torch and moon moonlight and Diana honoured in a swift-footed race. Celebrations would continue into the night with moonset being the natural point of conclusion, leaving the third day for final rituals of thanks and appreciation before participants departed for their homes.

The timing of Nemoralia does not fit the November date however, and this is the danger of trying to harmonise Greek and Roman calendars. Nemoralia was actually celebrated at a time equivalent to the Greek Metageitnion, expressly stated as the Ides of August, and as such modern practitioners are just as like to incorporate this aspect of Hekate into an August Hekatesia as anything else. For me, however, the energy associated with the descent of a lunar Goddess into a chthonic form fits better with the dark half of the year. Regardless of how well the themes fit we should try to look for another ancient ritual associated with Hekate which better fits the November date.

Thesmophoria

Thesmophoria is a women-only ritual celebrated during the ritual month on Pyanepsion (October/November) which was dedicated to Persephone and Demeter. The ritual falls under the umbrella of the Eleusinian Mysteries, though is a ritual act apart from the Lesser and Greater Mysteries we are more familiar with. Forbidden to men, Thesmophoria was only available to aristocratic citizen women of Athens and was of a similar tone and nature to the ribald crossing of the bridge during the procession to the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries and within the wider myth cycle is analogous to the encounter between Demeter and Baubo. The women of the city would gather in the Agoge to eat, drink and generally get merry as they honoured Demeter and her children Persephone and Ploutos. The best-known account of the ritual can be found in Aristophanes’ comedy Thesmophoriazusae

“Woman Herald: Silence! Silence! Pray to the Thesmophorai, Demeter and Koura [Persephone]; pray to Ploutos, Kalligeneia, Kourotrophos [Hekate], Ge (the Earth), Hermes and the Kharites (Graces), that all may happen for the best at this gathering, both for the greatest advantage of Athens and for our own personal happiness! May the award be given her who, by both deeds and words, have most deserved it from the Athenian people and from the women! Address these prayers to heaven and demand happiness for yourselves. Io Paean! Io Paean! Let us rejoice!”

In this translation (O’Neill) the title Kourotrophos is attributed to Hekate, and this is likely correct given the Eleusinian connections this ritual has. As with the rest of the cult, Hekate’s part is a small one, a supporting figure to the great Goddesses Demeter and Persephone, but it is likely that the date of Thesmophoria influenced the investiture of a Heketean celebration in November, particularly if we are keen to maintain the mid-month as the time when such rituals were performed.

Final Musings

All that is written here is for your consideration rather than instruction, I’ve tried to keep my thought process and research as transparent as possible to allow you to replicate it in your own time and way.

To close off today’s post I wanted to share one piece of inspiration which came to me in the process of creating this post.

“The Lady Brimo has brought forth a holy son, Brimos born of fire and maddening storm. Come forth Hekate Persia, guide the storm and my journey through it.”

©Vicky Newton

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Intermission

It’s that time of year when the schools are out and we try to get things done. In addition to visiting fun an interesting places like Mother Shipton’s Cave, White Scar Caven and Druids’ Temple I managed to get a long term craft project done. We’ve also undertaken a rejig of the household, so I haven’t had lots of time for post writing and editing so here are some photos for now but a more detailed posts will follow.

Druids Temple ©Vicky Newton

Druids Temple ©Vicky Newton

Druids Temple ©Vicky Newton

Petrifying Well Mother Shipton’s Cave ©Vicky Newton

©Vicky Newton

©Vicky Newton

©Vicky Newton

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