A Witch Alone at the Crossroads

All about Hekate, three-formed Goddess of the crossroads
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Hekate in the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot - Part Two

, 14:19

Almost a year ago, I wrote an article with Hekate in the G.D. Temple Tarot. It is time to expand it and be more analytical. In this article I am going to focus on the Moon card of the Major Arcana and how the Goddess is related with that card.

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Hekate in the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot

, 02:54

The Golden Dawn Temple Tarot is one of a few Golden Dawn Tarot decks that are available for the magickal and tarot community. It is a pure representative of the english school of tarot, the most famous school. This deck is the most recent in its category and maybe the most vivid one. It has been created by Nicola and Harry Wendrich and Nick Farrell, extremelly important personalities. It is available in the Wendrich Art House website (http://www.wendricharthouse.com/shop_gdttd1.htm#b1). The cards have been drawn after esoteric work like meditation, astral projection and total understanding of the Book T of the Golden Dawn Hermetic Tradition. vivid.jpg

My main interest in this article is the Moon card (number 18) from the Triumps and we will see why.

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Celebrating Deipnon in April

, 00:16

Working with Hekate who brought a friend of us and of Hers, in our door. According to divination I did, Hekate planned this trip of a Hellene friend who lived abroad and arranged to have a meeting together in order to practice magick and learn each other better. This member is also a member of the Covenant of Hekate and we were friends long before we knew about the C.O.H. So let's read what happened.

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Invocation to Selene

, 02:47

I used the Homeric hymn to Selene, the Orphic hymn to Selene and the Idylls of Theocritus as the main sources of inspiration in order to write the following invocation.

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Hekate and Selene

, 00:23

Selene_goddess.pngSelene is the daughter of Heperion and the sister of Helios (Sun) and Ios(twilight). Her name means the one who is beautifully bright, full of light. From her name, the name of Hellas derives and also the name of Helen.

Selene had many children. The mother of Pandion, the first king of Athens was one of her childen, named Pandeia. The Ores(hours) was her children too, but ώρες means the seasons. Their father was Helios.

The main love of Selene was Endymion, a very important person for us. We will write in a future article for him. From their love, she gave birth to 50 persons. Decrypting this number, we see that the ancients had understood from very old times that the celestial spheres determined time. 50 children of Selene are the 52 weeks of a year. If we see closer to the hellenic language, the word for counting the years of a person who lives is called ηλικία, meaning the circles around the sun that this person has completed.

Religious Habbits

Selene had male and female power because the moon affects all people. Like Helios, Selene had a chariot too. It was driven by:

  • mules
  • horses
  • goats
  • deers
  • bull
  • rooster

You see many sacred animals to Hekate? That's true. Let me go further. According to one myth, Selene wa daughter of Zeus and Leto. Artemis was also their daughter. So, Artemis, Selene and Hekate are one Goddess? After classical period, yes. But why?

The ancient Hellenes knew that celestial spheres and planets were not Gods. So, they considered the barbarians as fools who had made those spheres Gods and Goddesses. So, Helios is Apollo, Zeus, Mithras etc. and Selene is Artemis, Hekate, Phoebe and Leto. Also in hellenistic area Selene was Aphrodite, Athena, Demeter, Persephone, Cybele and Isis. But mainly Artemis and Hekate. In other nations Selene was named Astarte (Phoenicians), Astaroch (Hebrews), Salambro (Syrians), Isis (Egyptians) and Luna (Romans).

Selene was considered the Goddess who gives life to all herbs and trees and humans and animals if she is waxing, so only possitive, growind, expanding stuff should be done. The same thing that it is a rule in Witchcraft today. It seems that the ancients had noticed that the power is more intensive when the moon is growing and it affects the liquids in all living things.

Many herbs have been associated with Selene, as it was a common belief that She could empower their natural earth energy. The same theory exists today in Witchcraft. Selene was the Goddess of Witchcraft.

Common Epithets

Selene had more than 70 epithets.

In the Orphic Hymns Selene is called -besides others-:

  • faesphoros->ligh bringer
  • taurokeros->with bull's horns, representing the quarter of the moon
  • dadouchos->holding torches

Those epithets are closely related with Hekate. Hekate, Selene and Artemis are associated with child birth.

Artemis is also called:dadouchos, dafnea (with bays), Hekatevolos, Elafiaia (of the deers), Hekate, Hegemone (ruler), Urania (of heaven), Persiki (from Persia), Potnia, Soteira, Triodia (of the three roads), Phosphorus, Tauriki (of the taurus), Chthonia (of the earth), Propylaia. In Hekate, Keys to the Crossroads we read that in Elefsis there was a smaller temple to Artemis Propylaia and Poseidon. But if we make the connection, Hekate is associated with the Elefsinean Mysteries and in Hesiod we find a connection with Poseidon and Hekate. This temple is in front of the sacred space and Artemis is Propylaia, the one who guards the gate, a property which is associated with Hekate, like in Acropolis of Athens, in which the statue of Hekate made by Alcamenes, was protecting the gate.

We can find together, Hekate and Selene in Apollius Rodios (270 b.C.) and Ovid's Metamorphoses (48 b.C) In the hellenistic period Hekate was Selene in the sky, Persephone in the Underworld (Hades), Artemis in the Earth. Nonnus (5th century a.C.) is writing that Selene is Hekate of many names. In the PGM we can find hymns and many magickal spells, that associate Hekate with Selene, especially hymns to the moon. The Byzantine scholar and poet Ioannes Tzetzes(1100 a.C.) writes that Hekate, Selene and Artemis are the same.

So, Hekate and Selene in the archaic period they were seperate Goddesses but later maybe they identified, they were the same or interchangeable.

Deipnon

, 13:15

Hekate's deipnon

One night before the Dark Moon, in ancient Hellas, food was offered to the Goddess Hekate by all citizens, in public places. Deipna (or suppers in english) were left in theee ways crossroads (triodos), a sacred place for Hekate. The offerings has two meanings, to calm the Goddess in their favor and to protect her followers. Moreover, spirits and ghosts who were wandering this night could find pleasure. The result of this action was that those spirits would not cause troubles in the city.

11147871_10206981090469802_86501629983181646_n.jpg

In the supper, special foods were laid to the Goddess. Some of them were: cheese, garlic, fish, pies, sweets, eggs, olives. It has been suggested that in breads or cakes or sweets, they put candles, so that the spirits or the Goddess will find them. Today, other special offerings include: onions, pies with honey, beans, raisins etc. Check the Covenant of Hekate website for more and the offering recipes that Eirini has written.

This old custom was very widespread in the ancient classical, hellenistic, roman and byzantine period. Hekate is strong again and more and more devotees of Hers follow the tradition by offering-donating food to pets, to people, to charity organizations or they actually put offerings at the crossroads, at the threshold of their house, at their outdoors or indoors altar. This religious custom was a very famous one, as we also read in Aristophanes. The poor citizens used to eat some of the offerings. After cristianity was established, Hekate's deipna were continued in Hellas until 11nd century a.C. In the Hymn of Demeter of Kallimachos we read that Erysicthon was cursed by Demeter and he was eating continuously. He ate his personal fortune and then from reastaurants and from the crossroads. In Theocritus work Idylls we read that the Witch Simaitha is binding her lover calling Hekate and she is making offerings at a crossroads when she heard the dogs barking. This is still a sign that Hekate came to your place.

Today, many Witches, offer deipna to Hekate during the Dark Moon esbat and they left them in a crossroad, as it was used to in ancient times. I have been amazed of how new devotees of Hekate systematically celebrate Deipna. There are some pretty interesting description concerning what is happening to those suppers today. You can read a good experience in the book: Hekate, Keys to Crossroads. Some witches use to donate food or money in Her name, remembering the ancient times. In the Covenant of Hekate we practice the celebration of Deipna during the dark moon or one day before. It is a part of the dark moon ritual. From the morning of the same day we cleanse the house and then we do energy cleansing. Those preparations are essential because Hekate will visit the house during the ceremony. Members of the Covenant of Hekate celebrate officially Hekate's Deipna and they post their photos on facebook. A video slideshow had been created and posted on youtube. Those acts motivate people to honor the Goddess besides daily and monthly every Dark Moon. The chthonic aspect and the underworld aspects of Hekate have been related with Deipna. offerings-preparation.jpg Preparing small bread offerings

deipna.jpg Celebrating Deipnon in the sea rocks

de.jpg Releasing Deipnon with a candle so that the spirits will find it.