Lady of the Crossroads
One on three
which way to go
a second stood
Darkness about clasped
with snake and lion and
thin veins under leather
untouched by time
with eyes of heaven.
One on three
take a step
I will be with you
silent when needed
A fury when you
Face the Moon
I will be here.
At Samhain, our thoughts turn
toward the memory of our ancestors, the mysteries of death and rebirth, the
practice of divination. We decorate our altars with blacks and oranges,
photographs of those who have passed on, and we commune with the Lords and
Ladies of the Underworld such as the Greek Goddess Hecate.
the Thracian Goddess of the moon, absorbed as a Titan by the Greeks and
worshipped at crossroads, for She has the ability to see past, present and
future pathways. Though most commonly perceived as a Crone Goddess, Hecate can
also appear as a Maiden, terrible and beautiful to behold.
She is the
dark Goddess, the Lady of the Wild Hunt and keeper of occult knowledge and
wisdom. Known as the “Goddess of Witches” and the “Patroness of Priestesses”,
Hecate stands at the gateway between life and death, such is Her role as Queen
of the Underworld and the Lady of Spirits. She is also the changer, the one who
destroys in order to cause rebirth and regeneration.
Hecate’s roles are
not solely tied to the “darker” aspects of life however. She is also the midwife
who blesses new life in the world, the teacher who guides seekers and the
witness who aides with decision-making and determining truth, the giver of
courage and strength. She is intuition and psychic ability, the Lady of dreams
and nightmares who helps us see the deeper, shadow-side of our psyches. She is
the Wise Woman who sees all and knows all, and who will willingly share Her
knowledge and wisdom with you, if you but ask.
Hecate’s colours are deep
reds, purples and black, and She rules over all wild animals in particular
dragons, dogs, frogs, horses, reptiles, toads and snakes. Her trees are willow
and yew, most commonly seen in graveyards, and She can be found in the tarot
cards the Hermit, the Moon and the High Priestess.
You can invite Hecate
into your life by mixing an oil for Her (add 10 drops cypress oil, 6 drops
patchouli oil and 4 drops sandalwood oil to 20ml of base oil) and including it
in a ritual or meditation dedicated to Hecate. Alternatively you could make an
incense blend to honour this Goddess try the following recipe:
½ part mandrake root
½ part mugwort
2 parts willow
1 part lavender
4 parts myrrh
A few drops of cypress oil
drops of myrrh oil
You can also work with Hecate in ritual; She can be
invoked to aid in inner exploration, dream-work, divination, healing, spells of
all kinds, banishings and the release of negativity, communicating with the
dead, and meditations and journeys to your inner self.
Hecate can be called upon to focus your intuition when practicing divination on
this night when the veils between the world are thin. She can be invoked for
help in spell workings and the making of charms, or to help in soul-searching
Most often, though, Hecate is invoked at Samhain to aid in
honouring and contacting our Beloved Dead, those who have passed from this
physical life before us:
Decorate the altar with blacks and oranges. Use
flowers of the same colours, and fruits of the season (pumpkins, root
vegetables). Light orange and black candles if possible and use a mixture of
cedarwood and sweetgrass incense — cedarwood for purification, sweetgrass for
Assemble on your altar pictures of your ancestors and
mementos you may have received from them.
Cast circle in your usual way.
“Hecate, Goddess of the Realm of Spirits,
stands at the crossroads,
Seer of past, present and future,
all Witches and Lady of the Dark,
I ask you to come forth into my
And stand with me this night
Hail and welcome!”
come into your circle. Sit with your altar and slowly focus on each of your
ancestors. Speak aloud of their life and their impact on you. Ask Hecate to
acknowledge your reverence of those who have gone before, and ask that your
ancestors know of your love and thoughts.
Take your time and do not be
afraid of the emotions which may come to you; embrace them and welcome them into
your circle. As you speak of your ancestors you may feel them draw near from the
Summerlands; do not be afraid — instead, feel touched by their presence and
thank them for all they mean to you.
Thank Hecate and your ancestors for
their presence and say goodbye. Blow out the candles and take up
Have a Blessed Samhain!
Martha, and Dorothy Myers Imel. Goddesses in World Mythology: A Biographical
Dictionary. Oxford University Press: New York (1995).
Goddess Meditations. Llewellyn: Minnesota (1998).
Conway, D. J. The Ancient
and Shining Ones. Llewellyn: Minnesota (1993).
Franklin, Anna. Magical
Incenses and Oils. Capall Bann: Berkshire (2000).
Marashinsky, Amy Sophia.
The Goddess Oracle: A Way to Wholeness through the Goddess and Ritual. Element:
Sjöö, Monica & Mor, Barbara. The Great Cosmic Mother:
Rediscovering The Religion of the Earth. HarperCollins: San Francisco (1991).
Zell, Morning Glory. “Manifesting Hecate”, SageWoman # 60 (Winter 2003).
Blessed Bee: California (2003).
About The Author: Heathwitch is a
Witch, teacher and author. She runs courses and workshops on energy work,
healing, Witchcraft and magic. High Priestess of the Circle of the Moon coven, Heathwitch lives in Cheshire, England.
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