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A Samhain Tale: Hecate and the Crossroads of Choice

At Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is thin and the mysteries of the sacred dark permeate the mundane world, Hecate calls to us. Never before has Her voice been so loud, so urgent. She speaks to us not only in our dreams and ritual magic, but also in the stark language of wildly erratic weather patterns, dying oceans and barren lands, and in the cold despair and hungry hopes of our own warm, beating heart.

It`s not easy to heed Her call. She raises our own spectral fears about the fate of our human society and planet home. Environmentally, socially, politically and spiritually, we are destroying the fabric of our physical and social world. We have reached a critical tipping point, and if we continue on this trajectory, things are not going to end well.

But how do we change? How do we shift from denial, apathy and despair into a place of hope and inspiration? How do we turn this destructive momentum into an evolutionary, birthing moment? And what is our personal part in weaving a better world into being?

“Come to my crossroads,” Hecate whispers on the wind, “Come and you will find the answers you seek.”

Take a deep breath, summon up your courage and say, “Yes, Hecate, I am coming. Guide me to your crossroads.”

In the world between the worlds, where the mysteries lie in wait, you will find Hecate. She appears before you in Her Crone form, with a thick mane of moonlight silver hair and intense, amethyst eyes that shine bright with Her ageless presence. She wears a cloak of midnight black that shimmers as She moves, as if brushed with starlight. An aura of light surrounds Her, a way-showing beacon in the enveloping darkness to guide travelers to Her crossroads. Her arms open wide to welcome you, casting a circle of illumination that draws you into its center. 

With a sweep of Her hands, two roads appear before you.

To the left is a neglected path, overgrown with the luscious fecundity of the wild realm.  Memories arise within you of the feral innocence of childhood with its simple pleasures of play and wonder in your dance with the outer world. And beneath this, older, ancestral memories percolate, of a time when humanity lived in loving, sensual communion with the powers and mysteries of the Mother Earth.  

To the right is a paved-over surface that obscures any trace of the living land under an unforgiving, tar black sheen. This path exudes a deadness that lays bare the tear in our human psyche from the natural world and our true, beautiful essence, and echoes with the keening pain of our battered souls and broken hearts.

“Behold the crossroads of these Great Turning times, where humanity faces a critical, precarious juncture in its spiritual evolution,” Hecate says, “Before you are two ways of living and dreaming.”

“One path holds the good dream of humanity where you walk the Earth in accordance with my life-centered ways and your best nature of love, generosity and communion with others. The second path holds the bad dream where your worst instincts of dominion, fear and greed lay barren the wild realm and the heart of your human society. It is this second path, reeking devastation on the living world, that rules humankind.

“Both of these paths exist inside of you and in your greater society. Humanity is neither good nor bad, but some complex weaving that includes the best and worst of your nature.”

With another sweep of Her hands, the two paths merge into one.

“This is my middle path,” Hecate says,” it holds the opposing paths of the good and bad dream of humanity. A mirror path exists inside of you that contains the joy and sorrow, and beauty and wounding of your life story.

“To transform yourself and your world, you must walk this middle path. To travel its ways is to accept and take responsibility for all that you are and all that you have experienced, and from this greater awareness choose whether the good or bad dream of humanity will hold sway in the core of your being. You must choose whether love or fear will rule you.

“Love is the way forward for you and your human kin — love that can hold and heal the sorrow and wounding that burden your soul and the world soul — love that chooses generosity over greed, and communion over dominion  — love that can turn the destructive momentum that threatens this world into a positive new beginning.

“This love is my way, the way of the sacred feminine, that is awakening within you and leading you home to your Deep Self and a better world.”

As Hecate speaks, the light that emanates from Her being shines brighter and brighter. This wondrous luminosity is the very love that She speaks of, offering a beacon of guidance and hope in these turbulent, Great Turning times. Hecate, the sacred feminine, all life on this stunning Earth, your life, are woven of this love. 

Hecate turns to you, taking your hands and squeezing them tight.

“Time is running out. Do not turn away,” She says, “By your choices, and those of your human kin, will your destiny and that of your Earth home be decided.”

She folds Her arms inward, drawing Her brilliant light back into Her body until She is gone, and you find yourself alone under a star-studded sky. Your hands still tingle from Her touch and the responsibility She has bequeathed to you shines strong and bright within you.

After the crossroads vision is done, the real magic begins. With your every thought, every word, every action, you choose which path your lives serves, and the kind of a world you want to create. Never have the stakes been higher; life as we know it hangs in the balance. To change this world, you must start with yourself.

Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Year's End Dark Moon

Hasn't 2018 been the oddest year energetically? It has felt both overfull and stop and start. Old routines and ventures appear to be coming to the end. Or at least need to go fallow for a year. Meanwhile, what is beginning is also a bit lame and halt. Nothing is quite what it seems to be. Or at least that is what this crone divines.

We have just passed the night of the dark moon at the darkest time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In our rural fastness,without street lighting, night is very tarry at this time of year. And so, too, at this dark moon did my knees and bones complain and beg to rest. 2018 has been exhausting,personally and collectively.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Hecate's Eve

A friend had to remind me that yesterday was Hecate's Eve. As a crone I love Hecate,her dogs and crossroads, her ways and means, her lantern light. I wrote several poems back in 2016 when I was participating in Joana Colbert Powell's 30 Days of Hecate e-course. It was a wonderful way to stay sane in what was a momentous year for me - getting married, turning 60, my croning ceremony.

And just prior to that croning ceremony I wasin Knaresborough, Yorkshire at Mother Shipton's Cave. It was there I realised that, along with Biddy Early, that she was one of my croning confirmation sponsors. She lived in a cave in the King's Woods and prophesied. She is an Anglophone Hecate made flesh. Here cave is really very, very, woo-woo!

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  • Hearth M Rising
    Hearth M Rising says #
    So pretty!

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Riding with Nicnevin

The Scottish version of Hecate (at least according to some) rides with a company of 'weird sisters' in the night, with wild plans of mischief. No wonder I think of it now that Walpurgisnacht is upon us. There's a most interesting poem that offers us insight in to the beliefs of the past. 'The Flyting Betwixt Montgomerie and Polwart' is a humorous verbal battle. Flyting is probably better known amongst the Norse, but the Scots have that tradition of joshing verbal battles, too. Though a challenging text, the 16th century poet Montgomerie demonstrates well the variety and force of Scottish insults (seriously!) but there's also some interesting supernatural information that usually comes in the form of scurrilous suggestions like:

 Wih warwolfes and wild Cats thy weird be to wander

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A Hymn of Hekate - the Art of Music

It's been a bit quiet on the blog here, but with good reason - I've been on tour for the last month with our band (The Nathaniel Johnstone Band), and prior to leaving for the tour, I needed to get the first draft of my book, The Witch's Cauldron in to the publisher and get the layout designed and finished for the new album, The Mother Matrix

The album was inspired by my drawing and painting by the same title, and I'm excited to say it also includes the second song I have written.  (The first was "Persephone Rises" and was track 8 on our Greek-themed Steampunk album entitled The Antikythera Mechanism.)

I've done and made a lot of things in my life, but I don't think I ever imagined myself writing a song.  Sure I've written poems, stories, and many articles over the years, but a song seemed like something else.  However, when you're married to a musician, I suppose one should expect a fair bit of bleedover.  I didn't sit down with the explicit intention of writing a song.  Rather it just sort of happened.  "Persephone Rises" emerged just around the Spring Equinox of 2014.  

In the summer of 2015, Nathan and I were contemplating the theme of the 2016 album.  We were playing with the idea of something dark, perhaps bellydance-inspired, pagany. After one discussion, I found myself up in my studio, and "Hekate's Song" was written.  Once we had settled on the title/feel of the album, I added two more verses to tie it in, and it became the third part of a trio of songs on the album exploring the concept of The Mother Matrix, and its title became "The Crossroads."  (I also ended up writing most of the verses for part 2, "Going Gone" which weaves in the concepts of the Fates.)

But the words are only part of the magick, because then the real musicians take over and truly bring the song to life. Dogwood's vocals, to me, truly evoke the power of Hekate's voice I envisioned when writing the song, and I love the interjection of S. J. Tucker's ethereal backing vocals. Nathan's composing and Tom Coyne's drumming gives it all roots and more compelling layers of power.  It becomes a painting inside of your head, moving throughout your body. 

Have a listen (will open in a new window): 
https://soundcloud.com/nathaniel-johnstone/the-crossroads-part-3


 

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Trivia at the Crossroads

Last year I facilitated a (very) small gathering devoted to the Goddess Hekate in the basement of a local metaphysical shop. My Comrade and I celebrated The Rite of Her Sacred Fires, a global ritual written and organized by Sorita d’Este from the Covenant of Hekate, an organization devoted to Hekate, Our Lady of the Crossroads.

The Rite of Her Sacred Fires is a very sweet and very powerful ritual, celebrated annually by people all over the world on the full moon in May. (This year the full moon is on Saturday, May 21.) We chanted, we sang, we decorated candles, we raised some power, and together we spoke these words:

Great Hekate, who spins the web of the stars and governs the spiral of life, guide us through towards pathways of understanding. From crossroad to crossroad, the torchbearers and the keybearers of your mysteries will always find one another.”

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  • Tamrha Richardson
    Tamrha Richardson says #
    I feel as if I could have written this! I'm right there with you, in so many ways. Great post!
  • Trivia at the Crossroads
    Trivia at the Crossroads says #
    hahah, thank you, Tamrha! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. And YES. I knew I wouldn't be the only one having these

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Meet Me At the Crossroads

This time of the year is one of connection. The veils between the worlds have thinned and many will reach out to the Goddess Hecate as they seek the deeper wisdom of her triune form. 

Some will call to the Goddess to guide them to the land of the ancestors as they seek the gifts of those beloved who have passed on. Others will call to the Goddess seeking greater knowledge of their own strength and the power held in the trinity in the human form. And, some will use the energy of Hecate to transform and renew what will be carried into these months ahead that may be used as space of reflection. 

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