Saturday, August 18, 2012

Have you ever seen an aloe plant bloom?

I affectionately call this aloe plant Naomi. She comes from part of a plant that was given to my dad from my grandmother, his mom, Naomi. I got it 7 or 8 years ago, I can't remember now. She was normal sized when I got her. My grandmother passed away from cancer in May 2007. She loved having plants, a trait she passed down to me. I now have this main aloe plus 3 or 4 other plants from it's offshoots that I call great-grandchilden!! I also have an ivy that I named Naomi because it came from a leaf my dad took from one of plants and rooted.   

There are several leaves this size. When it first started blooming 4 or 5 years ago, I got worried that it would be like a Century plant-- take a century to bloom then die. But it didn't. And every year since it's bloomed. The stalk gets 2-3 ft high. The first year it made white flowers. Every year since they've been pinkish. These were taken a year ago also but these are very similar to this past Spring's blooms:  
With yard stick to show how tall it got.  

I am anxious to see what this new bloom is going to look like!

Monday, August 13, 2012


As a triple Goddess, Hecate represents Maiden, Mother and Crone; mind, body and spirit; and birth, life and death.  As Mistress of the Night, She represents the three stages of the lunar cycle of New, Full and Dark.  Hecate symbolizes the dark within us, the part of our psyche we refuse to acknowledge.   Many ignore the wisdom, the strength and the truth of Hecate because our fear of the darkness is so strong.   Hecate is associated with the dark side of the moon, but this is the true Moon.  The Moon has no light of its own, only reflected light from the sun. Dark is the Moon's true color as is Hecate's.    Although most see Hecate as the third phase of the moon, She is actually a Triple Goddess in her own right.  She is Hecate the maiden, Hecate the Mother,  and Hecate the Crone.   Hecate can be called upon during any moon phase, as She is the One and the Three.  In pronouncing her name, in the Greek language the "H" is silent.  So, to properly pronounce her name is "E-CA-TA" or "e-CO-ta." 
In Her maiden aspect, she stands for new beginnings.  She can also be called upon when you need to look at something in a new, fresher way....a way that you have never looked at it before.   You turn to Her when the moon begins to first wax.   In Her Mother aspect is a time to turn to Her when you need nurturing and protection like any mother would give.  Turn to Her when the Moon is Full.  In Her Crone aspect, it is a time to turn to for protection, wisdom and magick.  However, please bear in mind that Hecate is not a Goddess full of tenderness and compassion with white lace and linen.  She is also more prone to be stern with you if you brought a situation upon yourself.  However, Her wrath is swift and just to those who cause harm to a follower of Hers, because those who seek Her, honor Her and do not fear Her are in Her protection and She does not take lightly to those who cause them harm.    She does not tolerate nor does She coddle.  Turn to another Goddess if you seek this.   Her actions are swift and without frills.  So, when you do call upon Her, be prepared for Her swift actions and changes because it might not be what you expected. 
Hecate teaches us an important lesson, which is that the feminine should be valued for itself, not because it brings sexuality or power, but because deep within it there is an eternal wisdom.  Hecate is also the High Priestess, the keeper of the Mysteries. Hecate is not the priestess who seeks the inner knowledge, but High Priestess who has found it and imparts it to others.

Hecate, who sits enthroned before the Veil of the Temple as the High Priestess, the card in the Tarot which is ruled by the Moon. To reach daylight on the other side of the Veil, we must all become at one with the Dark Mother of the night.  Whether it be Hecate guarding the home or of the temple, She will avert evil and provides protection.
The Goddess Hecate is also known as the liberator of women, as she sets women free from the bonds created by man.    That is why the Christian Church put Hecate down and created her as the Goddess of evil and destruction.  During Medieval times, pagans were being tortured based on their belief in the Goddess.  Patriarchy reigned and the fear of feminine power caused the Church to demonize Hecate.  She was made infamous as the crone; old, wrinkled, ugly, warts protruding from her nose and chin, mysterious, dark and loathsome.   Many mistakenly call Her the destroyer, but She is not for if you destroy something, that something is forever gone.  You cannot bring something back that has been destroyed.     It has been said that the Goddess's service is perfect freedom. She is the liberator because She is manifest in our deepest drives and emotions, which always and inevitably threaten the systems designed to contain them. She is love and anger, which refuse to fit comfortably into the social order. To be "free from slavery" once meant that, within the ritual circle, all were equal, whether they were peasant, serf, or noble in the outside world. Slavery today could be mental and emotional as well as physical: the slavery of fixed perceptions, of conditioned ideas, of blind beliefs, of fear. Witchcraft demands intellectual freedom and the courage to confront our own assumptions. It is not a belief system: it is a constantly self-renewed attitude of joy and wonder to the world.   Hecate enforces feminine independence from masculine influences and this deals in all things including the religion known as Wicca.  Wicca is heavily influenced by the male God.  The Sabbats are centered around the male God.  The word Wicca is a male term....a term connected to the Goddess religion. 
In today's society, we hide our elderly (or look right through them as if they do not exist) our sick, and our poor so e can pretend to be immune to such human conditions.  But Hecate reminds us of the truth. She sees through the facade of societal amenities.  She is not deceived by social standing, education or titles and wealth.  Instead, She is impressed only by what is in the heart!  She is patroness to those of the heart. 
Hecate originally was a Thracian and pre-Olympian Goddess. Zeus bowed down to her antiquity by granting to Hecate alone a power shared by Zeus, that of withholding from humanity anything she wished. He also "granted" her the powers of the heavens, on Earth and the if She did not have these powers already! He gave her nothing of that which She did not already have.  Of all the Goddesses, she was the most markedly triple and the most complex. She was Goddess of the Wild Hunt. She was to Greeks and Romans, especially the Goddess of the crossroads. Statutes of Her stood there, and food offerings –"Hecate’s Supper" – were taken there at dead of night, on the eve of the full Moon. Her annual festival on August 13 was a propitiatory one, to avert the harvest-destroying storms which the Moon is apt to send at around that time. She also haunted graveyards and the scenes of crimes–as a goddess of expiration and purification.
Hecate is the Darksome Mother, in both the positive and in the negative sense. To those that dare to welcome Her, she brings creative inspiration. She is Hecate Antea, the Sender of Nocturnal Vision, and, typically of a Moon Goddess.  She is Hecate Trivia, Goddess of the Crossroads.
One of her symbols is the torch, for the Dark Mother also holds the light which illuminates the Unconscious and reveals its treasures.  With Her torches she guides those who are seeking the mysteries.  The light from these torches will lead those wishing to understand the mysteries.  
In the Tarot, She is the Threes and the High Priestess; Her gems are star sapphire, pearl, moonstone, and crystal; Plants are the yew tree, cypress, opium, poppy, almond, mugwort, hazel, moonwort, civet, menstrual blood, camphor, garlic, aloes, all sweet virginal odors; Tools are the cauldron, the besom, knives, the key; animals are the dogs and horses, black cats.  The owl is Her messenger.   Her chariot is pulled by dragons.   Hecate’s colors are silver and black.
Through Hecate’s Cauldron, we must look at our true self, the nature of our motives and the results of our actions, because only through Her cauldron can we truly be reborn in becoming a better person than we were before. Only when we look into Her dark cauldron can we see the light.
Hecate, and none but She, is Queen of all living things. It is through Her that all things live or die. She is the laughing maiden, the living mother, and the black hag of death. She is the three and the one. She smiles and the radiance of the moon, whether it be full or dark, is everywhere for there is no power like Her power and no living thing can withstand Her power. For She is anticipation. She is the fulfillment. She is death. Hear her words, children, worship and be glad for if you seek Her, She is with you always.    She was with you in the beginning and shall be with you at the end.
Days of Hecate are August 13 which She is honored and prayed to in order to not send fearce thunderstorms and ruin and the crops.  November 16 is the Night of Hecate which begins at sunset.  This is the night of Hecate's supper and animals were sacrificed in honor of Her.   November 30 is Hecate-Trivia--the day of the Crossroads.  The 29th of each month is the Moon of Hecate. 


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hekate, Queen of the Night

“Come Hekate, Beloved of all Grandmothers!
Goddess of Transformation. Goddess of all Sacred Changes!
Sing praises to Old Women and Hags! Glory be to Crones!
Sing praises to Old Hekt! Welcome, Mother of all magical, healing words!
Beloved Grandmother! Bringer of life – too short but never ending.”
Hekate (also spelled Hecate) is a primordial Goddess whose genealogy goes back to Her birth at the beginning of time as a daughter of Nyx, Ancient Night. Hekate may have been originally derived from the Egyptian midwife goddess Heket, who in turn evolved into Heq or the tribal matriarch of predynastic Egypt. In Greece, Hekate was a pre-Olympic Goddess, but unlike many other primordial deities, Hekate was absorbed into the classical Greek pantheon.
Later Greek myths give other accounts of Her parentage rather than that She was a daughter of Nyx. In one version She is the daughter of Aster and Perses (both symbols of shining light) and Hekate is portrayed as a torch-bearing Moon Goddess who wears a gleaming headdress of stars. Later traditions make Hekate the daughter of Zeus and Hera and reduce Her power to only that of the underworld and the waning dark moon. However, no matter what her parentage was said to be, Hekate was a key figure in reuniting the mother and daughter in the story of Persephone’s abduction into the underworld by Hades, and her periodic return to her mother, Demeter. This myth was the basis for the Eleusinian initiation rites of birth, death, and rebirth, which were derived from the mysteries of natures’ seasonal cycle.
Hekate, was known by many names: ‘Queen of the Night’, ‘Queen of the Dead’,'Queen of the Ghosts’, ‘Mother of Witches’, and ‘Mistress of Magic’.
By medieval times, Hekate became particularly diabolized by Xtian Catholic authorities. The church projected onto Her their own sexual hang-ups and spiritual insecurities, and turned Her into the ugly hag as Queen of the Witches. It was Hekate who was now responsible for inciting the Pagans to supposed acts of devil worship and dark rites.
Hekate is one of the most ancient embodiments of the Great Triple Goddess, in which form She is associated with Artemis and Selene as a moon triad. Hekate is most often linked with the dark of the moon and presides over magic, ritual, prophetic vision, childbirth, death, the underworld, and the secrets of regeneration. As mistress of the crossroads, She dwells in caves, walks the highways at night, makes love on the vast seas, and is the force that moves the moon. As Queen of the Dead, Hekate is a wardress and conveyor of souls through the underworld. As Goddess of Magic and enchantments, She sends prophetic or demonic dreams to humankind. Her presence is felt at tombs and scenes of murders where She assists in liberating the souls of the newly dead. Hekate is also worshipped as a goddess of fertility, whose torch can be carried over freshly sown fields to symbolize the fertilizing power of moonlight.
All wild animals are sacred to Hekate, and She is sometimes shown with three animal heads – the dog, snake, and lion, or alternately the dog, horse, and bear. However, Her primary animal form and familiar is the dog. She is associated with the three-headed dog, Cerberus, who derived from the Dog Star Sirius, whose rising foretold the annual flooding of the Nile. At night, particularly at the dark moon, Hekate can be seen walking the roads accompanied by Her howling dogs – which are usually black in color.
The black poplar and yew trees are sacred to Hekate. The yew is considered the central tree of death, and is associated with immortality because it takes longer than any other tree except the oak to come to maturity. Hekate’s cauldron contains ‘slips of yew’ and Her sacred tree is said to root into the mouths of the dead and release their souls and it also absorbs the odors of death. The willow tree and bark is also sacred to Hekate as it is to all the Moon Goddesses.
Other symbols of Hekate are: torches; the dark and pre-new moon; crosses and crossroads; a crescent crown with mandragon leaves; the Dove (a Goddess symbol of freedom); Baetylic (a black type of meteorite which is Hekate’s magic stone); and winged serpents.
Because of Hekate’s role as a Triple Moon Goddess who typifies the cycle of birth, life, death and re-birth, She is a good Goddess to call upon when you wish to lose something of yourself or when you wish to end something in your life.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Goddess Hecate

Goddess Hecate
Often depicted as a  "hag" or old witch stirring the cauldron. Hecate, the Greek goddess of the crossroads has been denigrated in status from goddess to witch in current times. The reasons are explained more fully in the full version of Hecate's story. (see the link at the bottom of this page.
The Greek goddess Hecate was the only one of the Titans who Zeus allowed to retain  authority once the Olympians had defeated them.

She was given the position within the new regime of being the guardian of the households and the protector of all that was newborn. This goddess of witchcraft was once highly revered and had great influence in the pantheon. Only with Hecate was Zeus willing to share the tremendous power of giving mortals anything she wished (or, if she please, the power of withholding it).
Hecate as Triple Goddess
Hecate was one of the three "triple goddesses", sometimes illustrated as Persephone (young maiden), Demeter (the mother), and Hecate ( wise-woman,  old "crone"). The goddess Hecate features in the story of the abduction of Persephone and the wanderings of her mother Demeter.Hecate, known for her farsightedness, had witnessed the abduction  of Persephone and told Demeter,  the mother what had happened. Later she became a close friend and confidant to the frightened Persephone and helped her adjust to life in the Underworld.  To express his gratitude for her assistance to his young bride, Hades invited Hecate to become a permanent resident in his kingdom and allowed her to come and go as she wished.
Images of Hecate often depict of  this "triple" aspect...showing her with three heads. It was said he could  see in all directions, into the past, present, and even the future. Thus the crossroads were sacred to her, especially those with three roads that converged.  In ancient times such intersections  were often marked with three masks on a pole. and food was often left there to honor her and to feed those who traveled with her at night.
Queen of the Night
The reclusive Hecate (who was called the 'Queen of the Night') often enjoyed nightly jaunts, accompanied by her hounds and sometimes by a following of  "ghosts" and others who were social outcasts. 
The goddess Hecate was known (and also feared) as the protector of those who were oppressed and also those who tended to live a bit "on the edge". Her role in the Underworld, the land of the sleeping and the dead, undoubtedly made her feel more tolerant of those who most would shun out of fear or misunderstanding and more comfortable in their company.
Not surprisingly since Hecate had great influence in the "spirit world", appeals were often made to her for assistance in keeping one safe. She was known as a protector of young children, shepherds, and sailors. In addition,  the goddess could be counted upon to help those who were dying, easing  their transition into the "Otherworld" and helping them prepare for a return in their next life.
The Greek goddess Hecate is a goddess who helps us make transitions and new beginnings, especially ones that were not planned.  As a magical goddess at home in the spirit world, she helps keep us in touch with our spiritual selves.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hecate Titan Goddess of Crossroads: Queen of the Witches

Queen of the Witches - Goddess of Crossroads
I am Hecate, Queen of The Witches--Sorceress, Psychic, Crone, Hag.
I ride through the night sky, bathing the landscape in supernatural light.
Guardian of the Unconscious; Mistress of the Night; Holder of the Key.
I am Hecate; I command Earth, Sea and Sky;
I control the lunar cycles; I control your menstrual cycles; Goddess of Life and Birth
I am Hecate the ultimate Feminine.

Hecate is a triple Moon Goddess; skilled in the arts of divining and fortune telling. She represents feminine energy and independence from the masculine. Hecate as Queen of the Witches is the protector of women and children, in her role as Mother Goddess. As the Crone she is all wisdom, understanding and protecting the tribe (society). As the Maiden her role is that of fertility, the cycle of life, and rebirth. Hecate is the Goddess of Crossroads, and with three faces can divine past, present and future. As Queen of the Witches, she protects and guides both solitary witches and covens, and can grant great power to them and bestow upon them great gifts. As Goddess of the night and holder of the key, she is able to freely move between the worlds and guide one into or out of the darkness of intuition and self-knowlege.

Hecate is an ancient Goddess from an early, pre-Greek period of myth. It is believed she was a Titan Goddess, and was so powerful and respected by her followers that she maintained control even after the fall of the Titans to the Olympian Gods. She had dominion over sky, earth and the underworld making her the bestower of wealth and the blessings of life. Even Zeus honored Hecate in that he allowed her the ancient power of giving or denying to mortals any desired gift.

As a Triple Moon Goddess Hecate gives humans dreams and visions which, if interpreted wisely, led to greater clarity. Hecate presents the three faces of the Goddess, that of maiden, mother, and crone and she is connected to death and regeneration. Hecate is the holder of the keys to the underworld and allows hope of re-birth and transformation as opposed to Hades, who represented the inevitability of death.

It is believed that Hecate's name derives from the Egyptian midwife-Goddess Heqit, Heket, or Hekat. The hag was the tribal matriarch of per-dynastic Egypt and was known as a wise woman. Heket was connected with the embryonic state when dead grain decomposed and began to germinate. She was also one of the midwives who assisted every morning at the birth of the Sun.

In Greece, Hecate was one of the original trinity who were connected with the moon's three phases and ruled over heaven, earth and the underworld. She was worshipped at places where three roads met and was known as Hecate Trivia, Hecate of the Three ways. It is believed that Hecate's worship was recognized by the pre-Olympian divinities whom Zeus and his cohort had ousted. The newcomers also bowed to her antiquity by granting to Hecate alone a power shared with Zeus that of granting or withholding from humanity anything she wished.

Hesiod in Theogony says that Hecate was the daughter of the Titan Perses and Asteria, a star Goddess, both symbols of shining light. Asteria was a sister of Leto who gave birth to Apollo and Artemis, making Hecate a cousin to Artemis. An even older tradition saw her as a more primal Goddess and made her a daughter of Erebus and Nyx (Night). 

During the middle ages, Hecate became known as Queen of the Witches. Religious authorities during this period said that the people most dangerous to the faith were those whom Hecate patronized - midwives, healers and seers. They also saw the simple peasants practicing folk religion as devil worshippers and Hecate was portrayed as an ugly hag leading covens of witches in these practices.

Hecate of the Amazons was a Moon and underworld deity. Her chariot was often pulled by dragons. She was the oldest Greek form of the triform Goddess, who ruled heaven, the underworld and the Earth. After the matriarch fell, the Greeks worshiped Hecate only as Queen of the Underworld and ruler of three-way crossroads. In Greek Mythology, when the Olympian Gods claimed fame, Zeus did not dare try to take any of Hecate's powers from her, as he knew her powers were just as great as his if not greater.

As Hecate Trivia, Hecate of the Three Ways, Her images stood at the crossroads, where offerings of dogs, honey and black lambs were left on Full Moon nights, Divination and communication with the dead were performed in these places.

She was also know as angelos (angel) and phosphorus (light). In the myth of Kore-Persephone, Hecate does not interfere when the Maiden is dragged down into the underworld. Demeter is outraged and vengeful, but Hecate remains calm, knowing that certain things in life must come to pass and there is little point in becoming hysterical about them. This inner illumination (phosphoros) of consciousness, this learning to roll with the punches and then coming back to better things is the deep wisdom taught by the Dark Mother, the dark angel (angelos) of the collective unconscious. If we do not know this aspect of the Goddess or acknowledge Her wisdom, we cannot have a truly integrated personality.

Other studies from the middle ages show Hecate with three heads and six arms. Hecate was shown holding three torches, a key, a rope, and a dagger. With the key, she unlocks the deep mysteries, the rope is a symbolical umbilical cord, the dagger, which has become the athame of Witchcraft, cuts through illusion to true power. But Hecate was also known as the most lovely one, a name for the Moon. It was said that She wore a shimmering headdress and was second to none in her powers.

Hecate was also called the Silver-Footed Queen of the Night, likely due to her connection with Persephone, who was also called by that title. In Italy at Lake Averno, an extinct volcanic crater, the thick, dark forest surrounding the lake was known as Hecate's sacred grove. Actual temples to this Goddess were rare. During the Middle Ages, Hecate became known as Queen of the Witches.

Hecate is known for her gifts of prophecy, her clear vision, and her knowledge of the magical and occult arts. Because she stands at the crossroads, she can look into the past, present and future, Her Priestesses were many, including Medea and Circe. Medea had Hecate's foresight and wisdom, Circe her gift of the magical arts.

Hecate's worshipers invoked her in ritual and placed food for her as an offering. This was known as Hecate's supper. Rituals were always in the darkest hours of the night. Worshipers gathered to study and learn occult wisdom. 

Hecate is the Dark Mother, in both the positive and the negative sense. She can send demons to torment men's dreams, she can drive them mad, if they are not well integrated enough to cope with her, but to those who dare to welcome her, she brings creative inspiration. 

Hecate is the ultimate advisor, as she sees clearly back into the past through the present and on into the future. She is the Keeper of the Key to the Akashic Records. The final mysteries of life and the universe are hers. She is the gentle Death Priestess who meets us at the end of our lives and guides us into the world of spirit.

Hecate, the Crone blends with the Maiden and Mother as they blend with Her. She is the greatest of Teachers and Initiator, for She leads us downward into the entrance of the labyrinth web. From that point, we have no choice but to face the cycle of life and death. We are shown past lives, the mistakes, the victories, and the talents gained. Only when we can accept and understand, at least in part, does the Crone show us the most sacred of Her Mysteries: that the labyrinth does not end but continues on, back into life, a never-ending cycle of existence.

She stands at the triple crossroads that exists at all levels of our being, manifesting as spirit, soul and body. We should recognize that the terrible, awful hag-like image of Hecate is merely a document of the unconscious fear of the feminine, the mystical, and the underworld. 

We must visit and come to terms with the dark unconscious side of our "inner nature" for, if we avoid this realm, we create polarity and eventually develop a dualistic world view. We have to face up to our inner Hecate, make a relationship with her as guardian of our unconsciousness, our dark side, and, trusting Her stewardship, allow ourselves to grow into an awareness of the rich realm of our personal underworld. Only through this can we become integrated beings.


Friday, August 3, 2012


Hecate, or Hekate, is the Goddess of the Underworld and the Goddess of the Dark Phase of the Moon. The name Hecate is believed to have been derived from one of the following Egyptian words: Hewitt, Hemet, or Heat. Hecate was the daughter of the Titans Parses and Astoria, and the mother of the nymph Scylla, although there are some who claim that she was actually the mother of the Goddess and Sorceress Circe.
Even though Hecate is sometimes associated with all three phases of the Moon, she is, more often then not, connected with the third stage of the Moon, which is the Dark Moon. For that reason, she takes on the role of the Crone in a typical Triple Goddess formation in which there is a Maiden, a Mother and a Crone. Hecate has also been known as the "Queen of Ghosts," the "Goddess of the Three-Way Crossroads" and the "Goddess of the Dead," and it was there, at those three-way crossroads, that her followers held midnight rituals in her honor. She was also believed to roam the Earth on moonless nights, accompanied by her pack of hounds.
The Dark Goddess, Hecate, has been around for as long as anyone can remember. She was definitely pre-Olympian, and most likely Thracian in origin. The Greek and the Roman pantheons each quickly cleaved her unto their breasts and made it seem, for all intent and purposes, that she was one of their own. What we do know, is that Hecate existed as least as far back as when the war began between the Olympians and the Giants.
While the other Gods chose to live on Mount Olympus, Hecate preferred to live in the Underworld; sharing that place of darkness and death with Hades and Persephone, and with Khanates, Hypos and Orpheus, the Gods of Death, Sleep and Dreams. However, when Persephone was not on one of her three-month visits to the Underworld, she went up upon the Earth and Olympus, to take on her role as the beautiful Goddess of Springtime.
Hecate had great powers of her own outside of the Underworld, since she was also the Goddess of the Night Sky. Hecate and Persephone were polar opposites of each other, and when they left the Underworld to travel up to the Earth, Persephone brought with her brightness and life, while Hecate brought with her darkness, and all of the things that tend to accompany darkness. It was Hecate who met the souls of the dead, and then led them into the Land of the Shades from one of its entrances at Lake Verna. When the souls of the dead went to enter the Underworld, they had to pass by Hecate’s sacred trees, the Willows and the Yews.
Willow trees were believed to be extremely important to witches, since they supposedly were bound to them and helpless without them. It was in those hidden caves surrounding Lake Verna that witches would gather to summon the souls of the dead. The witches who worshipped Hecate usually did so at the three-way crossroads, on the very blackest of nights, and on her holy days, which were the Feast of Divine Life on September 21, Samhain on October 31, and on November 16, which was known as the Night of Hecate the Three-Formed.
Hecate’s followers usually worshipped her by leaving offerings of food, rather then through sacrifice, which is what most people tend to associate with a Dark Goddess. Hecate's sacred color was black, and her sacred animals were the toad, a symbol of conception, and dogs; but more often then not, hounds.
Hecate is yet another of the Greek Goddesses of the Moon, and she represents the third aspect of the moon which is the Dark Moon. She has been known as the Hag, the Crone and the Dark Mother, and it was believed that she had great wisdom and knowledge. She was also believed to be a keeper of secrets, and of mysteries. Hecate was known, as well, as a Huntress Goddess, and she frequently was depicted having the head of a boar, a horse or a dog.
Many people believed that Hecate had the ability to control the spirit world, as well as the powers of nature such as birth, life and death. Another myth regarding Hecate was that dogs were the only ones that could hear her, as she traveled across the Earth in the dark evening sky. It is from there that the old wives’ tale comes from, which claims that when dogs bark at night for no particular reason, they have actually done so because Hecate had just been passing by. Some people have pictured Hecate as an Amazon Goddess, travelling about in a chariot drawn by fire-breathing dragons, while her powers of sorcery were believed to be the best in the world.
As far back as the eighth century, B.C.E., Hecate was depicted in an ancient statue having wings on her back, and holding a snake in her hands. She was also believed to be a shape-shifter, who could change her form, or even her age, and rejuvenate at will. The most important thing of all, was that she was believed to have the ability to kill.
Hecate was also known as Hecate Trevia, or Hecate of the Three Ways. She was given that name because her statues stood at the three-way crossroads. People would frequently leave offerings to her at those three-way crossroads, on evenings when the moon was full, and those offerings consisted of dogs, honey and black lambs.
In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Hecate was one of the parties who were helpful in bringing Persephone back home. Zeus always had the greatest respect for Hecate, and he would frequently seek her counsel, whenever he had to deal with mortals on the Earth.
When the Titans ruled the world, Hecate acquired a great many privileges, and Zeus had actually allowed her to keep them all. Hecate, however, had no desire for more then she had, even though those privileges gave her great power.
When someone would pray to Hecate, and that prayer touched her, she responded quickly and in a positive manner. Hecate gave her help to whomever she pleased, whenever she pleased, whether she was granting victory in times of war, or simply sitting back and letting destruction prevail, each according to her own particular whim. Hecate was also known for the help that she gave to competitors and fishermen; but what Hecate can give, Hecate can also, just as easily, take away. That is the power of Hecate.
A great many depictions of Hecate exist. Hecate was the Goddess of the Dark Moon, which is the third aspect of the moon. She was also the Goddess of the blackest of nights, when the moon was hidden, and she was frequently associated with deeds of darkness. She was also known as the Goddess of the Triple Pathed Crossroads, and as the Queen of the Night. When her festivals were held, at those places where the three roads meet, they became perfect times for divination and for communication with the dead. Hecate’s followers frequently worshipped her in the darkness, with only the flames of their torches lighting their way.
During the early part of the Middle Ages, Hecate’s reputation as the Queen of the Witches grew in power, and she was usually envisioned in the role of a Crone, which role is archetypal of the feminine mystique. A popular belief during that particular period in time was that if these magical women had the power to bring life into this world then, as they aged, they would also gain the power to take that life away. It was for that reason that Hecate became, in no uncertain terms, the Greek Goddess of Magick, and since she became the Goddess of Magick, the connection between Hecate, death and the Underworld continued to grow stronger as time passed by. There even came a time when people were so fearful of Hecate, that they committed blood-sacrifices in order to remain in her good graces. Darker still, is the belief that Hecate was the patroness of a demonic group of vampires known as the Empusae.
It was because of those particular reasons that Hecate became a Goddess of enormous intensity. It almost seemed as though it happened overnight, but from that time forward Hecate was worshipped regarding every kind of witchcraft, sorcery and enchantment that there was. It was then, as well, that Hecate became known as the patroness of Medea, and of many other witches.
The cult of Hecate was one of the strongest cults in the ancient pagan world, and it was during the 11th Century, C.E., that the Christian Church condemned any person who made an offering to Hecate at one of those places where the three roads meet.
In modern times, Hecate is more often then not looked upon as a Moon Goddess, and as the Queen of the Witches, although Wiccans, Neo-Pagans, and a variety of other Goddess groups still comprise many of her followers.
Hecate appears in what might possibly be the oldest of the Triple Goddess formations, appearing in all three phases of the moon, but more often then not as the dark moon. That, however, is only the beginning; because when it comes to Triple Goddesses and Hecate, there is more; so much more.
Hecate is a truly amazing Goddess, because she has been in, not only so many different Triple Goddess formations, and so many different types of Triple Goddesses, but also because of the many ways in which she is related to the magickal number three, triads, and things that happen to be tripled.
First, let us first look at some of the more simple triads that reflect the triple nature of Hecate, which are indicative of her rulership over the three phases of the moon, and of her connection to the magickal sacred number three. Some of these deal with Hecate's association with the three-way crossroads, with her celebration on November 16, which is the Night of Hecate the Three-Formed, with Hecate's tarot associations, which are threes and the High Priestess; and with the fact that Hecate represents the third aspect of the moon.
These Triads also appear as the moon's cycles: as the new moon, the full moon, and the dark moon; and in the various cycles of life: as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. She has appeared, as well, in the three realms: which are the Sky, the Earth, and the Underworld.
What follows are perhaps the most interesting of all. They are the many ways in which Hecate can be seen as a solitary Triple Goddess or, in a different light, as a Goddess who is a part of a Triple Goddess formation. In Greece, Hecate was one of many Goddesses who were used in a variety of different combinations, comprising the original feminine trinity which ruled Heaven, the Earth, and the Underworld. In another of her Triple Goddess trinities, Hecate appeared as a singular Triple Goddess, in which she was a young girl, a mother and a crone, which are the attributes that are connected to the three stages of power in the Divine Feminine.
It is Hecate, as well, who flourishes in a Triple Moon trinity, which continues to exist to this very day. In it, she becomes the Goddess of Three Forms, with the virginal Artemis/Diana on Earth, as the crescent moon; Selene, the pregnant mother, in the night sky, as the full moon; and herself, in the Underworld, as the Crone, or the Dark Moon. In her role as the Dark Moon, Hecate rules the darkness as the Goddess of the Dead and the Queen of the Night. A three-faced image of Hecate also existed, representing three separate aspects, and it became known as a “Triformis.” The Romans referred to this Triple Goddess formation as Diana Triformis, since it consisted of Diana, Persephone and Hecate.
Hecate has also been associated with the Moon Goddess, Selene, who appears to be very similar in form to Hecate. In fact, Selena is actually so similar to Hecate, that their emblems and their triadic conceptions are almost identical. More often then not, these two Goddesses were considered to be interchangeable; and a prayer that was offered to one, was actually a prayer that was offered to either of them. This particular duality, which consisted of Hecate and Selene, had three heads, carried torches, and took on the role of the overseer of the three-way crossroads. Another triadic concept was known as Hecate Trevia, or Hecate of the Three Ways, and it was that image which guarded the three-way crossroads for many thousands of years.
Even though the Greeks may have tried to stress Hecate's Crone or Underworld aspects, people continued to worship her in the exact same manner that they always had, which was at the places where the three roads meet. Hecate’s worshippers truly needed to be at those specific places, because it was there that they were able to perform their rites of magick. That image of Hecate, which stood at the three-way crossroads, looked in all three directions at the same time. That only helped to give Hecate the reputation for being an all seeing and all knowing Goddess.
Hecate also appeared in another Triple Goddess trinity, as the Goddess of the Night, of the Crossroads, and of Life and Death. In earlier times, the Greeks also worshipped another Triple Goddess trinity, which consisted of Persephone as the Maiden, Demeter as the Mother, and Hecate as the Crone.
Hecate has also appeared in a variety of Triple Goddess formations in which she had three heads, with each head being that of a different animal. The first of these formations consisted of the heads of a dog, a horse, and a serpent, while the second one consisted of the heads of a horse, a lion and a dog. Several other triple goddess trinities also existed, and they had three whole bodies attached to their heads. The third Triple Goddess trinity depicted Hecate carrying three heads, with each head facing in a different direction. In that Triple Goddess trinity, one of the heads was usually that of an animal, most often a horse, a dog or a boar.
Hecate, Queen of the Night, Hecate, Triple Goddess of the Moon, Hecate Queen of the Witches, and Hecate, Goddess of Magick: these are some of the names that belong to this special Goddess since, believe it or not, they represent but a small fraction of all of her names. Hecate was, is, and always will be an extremely diverse and powerful Goddess, with the ability to do great good or great evil.
Are there ever any dark nights when your dogs become extremely excited, but you know, or think you know, that nothing is wrong and that no one is out there? Will you wonder now? Will you? Could that possibly be that Hecate is passing your way on one of her many rounds across the dark night sky? Maybe; but if you ever find yourself at three-way crossroads, on the very blackest of nights, it might be wise for you to pray that Hecate grants your favor; and always remember to keep watching in every direction at all times.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Herb of the Month: Apple Mint

Element: Air
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Sacred to: Hades (Pluto), Hecate
Used for: Money/Prosperity, Lust, Healing, Travel, Exorcism, Protection, Attracting Good Spirits.

Magickally as well as medicinally, apple mint is used for pretty much the same purposes as other mints.

It is grown as an ornamental plant (look at the pretty green and white leaves!), and used in jellies and teas, and some recipes (see below for a recipe for Apple Mint Couscous).

All mints are sacred to Mintha (Mentha, Menthe). Mintha was a nymph, who fell in love with Hades, and he loved her as well. Persephone (his wife) became jealous, and trampled Mintha, killing her. (In some versions, Demeter, Persephone's mother, is the one to kill Mintha). Hades was saddened by the death of his love, and he raised her up as the first mint plant.

Apple mint can be used to fight headaches, and calm stomach problems. It is often eaten or drunk in teas. It can also be used in a balm to soothe muscle pains.

Worn around the wrist, mint protects against bad health.

To attract money, place or rub a few mint leaves in your purse or wallet.

To expel evil, sprinkle salt water with sprigs of mint, rosemary, and marjoram.

Place it on the altar to attract good spirits, it is extremely useful for this purpose.

Keep some apple mint close to you for protection, prosperity, good health, and to attract good spirits to your home and hearth.

Apple Mint Couscous:
* 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon butter, in all
* 1 cup peeled and finely chopped sweet apples
* 1 tablespoon minced shallots
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus extra for garnish
* Salt and pepper
* 1 cup couscous
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 cup chicken stock
* 2 ounces crumbled feta
* Fresh rosemary
In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter is melted, add the apples, shallots, garlic, and mint. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the couscous and olive oil and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil, stirring for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining butter and remove from the heat. Cover and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Fold in the feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Mound the couscous in the center of the platter. Lay the carved lamb over the couscous. Garnish with fresh rosemary and mint.
(courtesy of Emeril Lagase, )

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
Green Witchcraft by Ann Moura
The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Persephone Myth

There are many variations of the myth surrounding Persephone, so I have taken the common elements and created a summary that feels a little more 'whole' than any individual stories I've read. I'm sure you would be able to find a large number of variations in different aspects of this tale but this is just my interpretation from my own research and feelings.

Persephone was the only child of the union between Zeus, the King of the Gods, and Demeter, the Goddess of Agriculture. Demeter doted on Persephone and she grew up knowing the love, nurturing and tender care of her mother as well as the playful sisterhood of her half-siblings, Athena and Aphrodite.

As Persephone grew, Hades, King of the Underworld, who was also her father’s brother, fell in love with her. Hades was often jealous of Zeus’ power and appealed to Zeus for Persephone’s hand in marriage. Zeus, wanting to appease his brother, agreed, but neither Zeus nor Hades shared their plans with Demeter or Persephone.

In order to make Persephone fall in love with him, Hades planted a beautiful narcissus flower in Demeter’s garden. As the lovely Persephone amused herself picking flowers one day, she noticed the narcissus flower and while she was distracted by it, Hades took the opportunity to abduct her and take her to the Underworld.

When Demeter discovered that her daughter was missing, she was distraught. She neglected her duties in her grief and all that grew began to die. She searched everywhere on earth for her daughter but when she could not find her she appealed to Helios, the God of the Sun, who could see everything. Helios told Demeter of Persephone’s abduction by Hades and of the agreement with Zeus.

Demeter was furious and confronted Zeus. Zeus saw the crops dying and knew that he needed to take action so that Demeter could return to her duties. He agreed to negotiate with Hades for the return of Persephone.

With Persephone’s great capacity for love, she came to know Hades not just as her abductor and saw that the actions he had taken were motivated by love for her. She came to understand Hades and accepted from him a pomegranate, eating six of the seeds and thus binding her to Hades in marriage. Through this marriage she also took the title, and accepted the responsibilities, of Queen of the Underworld.
Persephone enjoyed the responsibility and the power of her new role and began assisting those who were having difficulty transitioning from the land of the living to the land of the dead. She often gained their confidences and through their confessions and her powers of insight and empathy, she became the keeper of much secret knowledge.

Knowing that he was breaking his agreement with Hades, Zeus sent Hermes as the messenger to demand Hades return Persephone. When Hades explained that Persephone had become his wife, through the symbolic eating of the pomegranate seeds, Zeus ordered a compromise, declaring that Persephone should spend six months of each year in the Underworld with Hades and the remaining six months should be spent with her mother, Demeter, assisting each with their respective duties during the time she was with them.

This is a multi-layered story. It gives us the myth of the seasons as Persephone’s return to her mother is reflected in the spring as Demeter then tends to her responsibilities and things begin to grow again. The fertility of the land continues to grow into summer but when Persephone returns to Hades, Demeter again begins to mourn and neglects her duties so things begin to die in the autumn and winter months. In this way, Persephone is the goddess of life, death and rebirth.

Another aspect to this story is of Persephone as The High Priestess with her role as the Queen of the Underworld. This is reflective of our subconscious and the secret knowledge that she holds as obtained from the information passed on to her through her communications with those entering the spirit world. The idea that we can learn more and develop our psychic abilities through times of physical hibernation thereby allowing us to be guided from within is also represented here. The importance and relevance of our dreams is pertinent as well.

The link to Persephone as the Queen of the Underworld is also a comment on the connection to the spirit world; sometimes it is an indication that we need to explore our fears and learn what is haunting us or what our own personal demons are. This is an acknowledgement of the darker side of life as being necessary to the light that we would otherwise hope to move in each day.

One of Persephone’s great strengths is that she did not dwell in the tragic situation that befell her. She was abducted as a Maiden Goddess and taken from her family in the midst of her innocence but instead of taking on the role of victim, she embraced the necessary aspects of this and rose to be queen over it all. This is a wonderful inspiration to those who have experienced pain, suffering or seeming injustice and Persephone can be a powerful ally to regaining your own personal strength. The point in the story where Persephone willingly (although in most versions of the story, unknowingly) partakes of the pomegranate seeds and then accepts her responsibilities and the consequences of her actions through upholding her marriage to Hades is another lesson that has great relevance and power. Her transition between Maiden and Queen of the Underworld symbolises power born from vulnerability and her message to us all is to accept all aspects of yourself.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Spell To Attract Garden Fairies

The task was to create a spell that used the herb thyme and this is the result...

Many fairies are friendly and their presence can enhance a garden by creating a feel of magic, charm, kindness and love, which will, in turn, permeate through the plants and flowers that grow there. If you wish to attract fairies to a garden, this spell can invite them but if you fill your garden with bright and interesting things, the fairies will also be more likely to stay.

You will need:
  • 12 rocks or crystals of approximately 1 inch diameter and one larger rock or crystal
  • 13 bright flowers, preferably ones that are from the garden where you are wishing to attract fairies to
  • Up to 13 small fairy statuettes or charms (can have less if necessary)
  • 13 sprigs of thyme
  • A protection amulet
This spell should be performed at dusk and works best at Beltane (31 October in the Southern Hemisphere, 30 April in the Northern Hemisphere) as this is when the veil between the human world and the fairy world is at its thinnest.

Choose a small area in your garden where you will conduct the spell. You will need to have a cleared area where you will be laying out the items listed above as well as a place for yourself that is in reach of this area.

Sit comfortably and take three deep breaths. Take your protection amulet and hold it in your left hand. Extend your right hand with your palm turned upwards and say:

As the time of dusk draws nigh
Tis soon a time when fae shall fly
Which may, I know, bring treats or tricks
One may not always sure predict
So in this charm I do direct
The power and purpose to protect
Ill-willed spirits cannot linger
Once I draw this symbol with my finger

Draw the symbol on the protection amulet in the air with the finger of your right hand or an invoking fire pentagram (from air to fire to spirit to earth to water to air) if there is no symbol on the amulet. Put the amulet on.

The next step is to form a circle on the ground with the twelve smaller rocks or crystals. Say the following for each of the rocks or crystals as you place them on the ground:

Fairies sit at a fairy seat
Soon the fairies here will meet

Place the larger rock or crystal in the centre of the circle and say:

The Fairy Queen presides within
Surrounded by her fairy kin

Next, place a flower on each of the rocks or crystals and say the following for each setting:

This fairy throne I now adornThe fairy spirit is reborn

A sprig of thyme should then be placed on each flower with the following words:

By thyme I call the fairy folkAnd fairy magic thus invoke

Take a few moments to sit peacefully and meditate on the fairy ring. Listen carefully for the fairy footsteps that may be heard on the leaves and in the breeze as the fairies start to dance closer and closer.

When you are ready, place a fairy statuette or charm on or next to a fairy setting in the circle and say the following:

A fairy ring this does resemble
As the fairies here assemble

Repeat until all fairy statuettes or charms have taken their place in the fairy ring. You may wish to meditate for a few more moments before saying:

Now the circle is complete
A welcome place for fae to meet
I bid you enter full of grace
To work good magic in this place

Stay by the circle until all of the light has gone from the sky then go quietly leaving the fairy ring intact.

In the morning, take each of the fairy statuettes or charms and place them throughout the garden, under plants and leaves, on top of rocks, hanging from branches etc.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


From the Latin word fluo or fluere meaning “to flow” or “to flux” and also known as fluorspar or fluor, fluorite is a stunning crystal found in many areas of the world including China, Germany, England, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Brazil, Canada, parts of America, Mexico and Russia. Fluorite has a hardness rating of 4.0 therefore is more suited to use in jewellery and ornaments however it also has industrial uses including being used as a flux (i.e. to remove oxidation from the metals to facilitate soldering, brazing, and welding), as part of the manufacturing process of opalescent glass, enamels and cooking utensils and to make hydrofluoric acid.

In its pure form, fluorite is clear, however, it is common for fluorite to appear in various shades thereby earning its reputation as the most colourful mineral in the world. The colours of fluorite include purple, blue, green, red, pink, yellow and black often with more than one colour present in a single specimen.

Another interesting quality of fluorite is hinted at in the relation to the word fluorescent. Due to natural impurities that occur in fluorite, such as the presence of europium ions or yttrium, some specimens of fluorite fluoresce under ultra violet light. Depending on the impurities and the region in which the fluorite formed, the colours and intensity of the fluorescent glow (and sometimes phosphorescent glow, which is the continuation of the glow once the UV light is removed, and thermoluminescent glow, which is the ability to glow when heated) can vary.

Fluorite is popular for carvings due to its interesting and varied appearance as well as its versatility in healing and magic. Fluorite can be used to absorb and neutralise negative vibrations and can also enhance the characteristics of other stones, particularly when harmonised with the colours of the particular piece of fluorite being used.

Sometimes referred to as the Genius Stone or the Third Eye Stone, fluorite is used in meditation, placement or spell work relating to the mental plane. It is an excellent aid to increase concentration, decision making and also works with your higher self and can help to bring the knowledge gained in such interactions into the mundane world.

Fluorite corresponds with the astrological signs of Capricorn and Pisces and with the elements of air and water. Magical uses include:
  • Assists in meditation
  • Brings order to chaos
  • Cleanses other stones and crystals
  • Clears blockages
  • Clears communications
  • Clears the aura
  • Clears the mind
  • Enhances mental processing
  • Healing
  • Heightens intuition
  • Protects from physic manipulation
  • Releases negative energy
Fluorite can assist with the following physical conditions in conjunction with appropriate medical treatment:
  • Bone problems
  • Dental problems
  • Disorganised thought or Attention Deficit Disorder
  • DNA
  • Eye, ear, nose and throat problems
  • Infections
  • Intestinal problems
  • RNA and cell damage

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Spell for Dealing with Painful Contact from the Past

This is a spell that I wrote last year following a request from my sister who had been contacted on Facebook by an old friend. She'd had a pretty traumatic friendship with this person in her teenage years and the contact message she received brought up a lot of painful memories. She admitted to having a kind of morbid curiosity to find out what this other person had been doing but didn't know if she wanted to open the old wounds any further. After my sister performed this spell, she said it gave her the peace and clarity to decide what she would do, to wish the other person well and to then move on.

You Will Need:
  • Malachite (cleansed before use)
  • Lavender (can be the flower from a real sprig of lavender or lavender essential oil, lavender bath/beauty product etc infused on a piece of cloth or whatever you have handy)
  • Small bag/pouch (only needs to be big enough to put your malachite and lavender in)
  • Three candles - one red, one white and one green (birthday candles are ideal as the spell calls for you to burn each one in turn and wait until they burn out)
  • Lighter
Performing the Spell:

Sit comfortably.

Place the candles in front of you with the red candle on the left, the white candle in the middle and the green candle on the right.

Hold the bag, lavender and malachite in your hands.

Ground and centre.

A message from the past received
From one whose words I once believed
Now knowing how I was deceived
When all the tangled webs were weaved
While I’m strong I’m still unsure
How deep the scars that I endure
But my intentions here are ever pure
To find a place where I'm secure
So bring me love and bring me light
Through these words as I recite
Set boundaries with what I invite
And protection onwards from this night

Place the bag in front of the red candle and say:

This bag will hold all that I need to carry away with me tonight.

Place the lavender in front of the white candle and say:

With lavender I will find love, peace and healing.

Place the malachite in front of the green candle and say:

With malachite I am protected.

Focus on the red candle and say:

This candle symbolises the pain of my past relationship with .

Break the red candle in half, return the upper half to the candle holder and place the bottom half next to it. Light the upper half of the red candle and say:

As this candle burns and melts away, so, too, do the painful memories of this time. It was my choice to hold on to these memories and in this flame I choose to release them.

Focus on the flame of the red candle and recall past hurts, humiliation, regret, hatred and all negative feelings and experiences with this person. Allow them to surface but to only exist within the flickering of the flame like you are watching them from afar and they are separate to who you are.

Once the red candle has burnt out, light the white candle and say:

This candle symbolises purity and healing. In the light of its flame I will accept the full enormity of my own self worth and will be able to see the where the past was a reflection on others, not on myself. I will understand that I am responsible for my own actions and not those of other people. I will accept that my experiences may have been a result of the pain and self doubt of others and choose for their only impact on me to be that of knowledge and understanding of the human spirit and of my own personal strengths. I will have the grace to wish well for others and through this I will be healed myself.

Focus on the flame of the white candle and feel pure love and healing.

Once the white candle has burnt out, light the green candle and say:

This candle symbolises protection and my own strengths. In the light of its flame I will be reminded of my resilience and all that I have overcome. Through this knowledge I will be protected from the negative affects of others actions, past, present and future.

Once the green candle has burnt out, pick up the bag and say:

This is what I carry

Place the lavender in the bag and say:
This is healing

Place the malachite in the bag and say:

This is protection. Blessed be.

If possible, leave the candles where they are until the next morning.

Carry the bag with you until you take the required action or until you definitively decide that you do not need to take any action at all. After that, place the lavender in the garden, cleanse the malachite and leave the bag out on the night of the full moon to cleanse it after which time it can be used again if needed.