I Give Up!

I’ve created a schedule for myself that is very demanding, which means it is also exhausting. I’ve been feeling guilty about many things that I haven’t been doing, including writing a blog post in several weeks.

The lessons of the Dark Mother have been on my mind as well (probably has something to do with working with Hekate and Ereshkigal). The main thing I’ve been hearing is “surrender”. It’s a theme I have cycled through before (a couple of times!).

In looking at The Power Path Monthly Forecast for March, I had a giggle: the theme of the month is SURRENDER!

Blessings,

Mary

Journey to Eleusis: Walking with Hekate

I’ve posted a few times already about my Journey to Eleusis this year, and I haven’t really talked about the Goddess I am working with yet. This year, I will be holding the energy of Hekate at Spring Mysteries Festival.

Temple of Hekate

“Hekate”
by Cassie Gendlek and Dusty Dionne
Model: Mary Malinski
Aquarian Tabernacle Church – ATC Intl.

Hekate is the patron Goddess of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. She is known by many names – Torchbearer, Keeper of the Keys, Goddess of the Crossroads, Mother of Witches, Psychopomp…

In modern paganism, a lot of people see Hekate as the Crone face of the Triple Goddess, the wise woman. Others see her as the hidden fourth face, the Dark Mother. To the Greeks she was a young woman, or the triple Goddess all on her own (Hekate Trivia). One thing Hekate keeps telling me is, “Just because I am ancient doesn’t mean I am old!”

Walking with Hekate, I’m seeing more patterns in the world.

“It’s all been done before.”

“There is nothing new under the sun.”

Hekate has been around for a very, very long time. I personally believe she is pre-Greek. I believe she was a Goddess of Place, local to the area that became Greece, long before the Olympian mythology. Not unlike Brigid to the Irish, she was popular enough among the people that the incoming (invading?) religion could not push her out. So they included her as one of the Titans, one who came before the Olympians.

After the Titanomachy (the overthrow of the Titans by the Olympians), Zeus divided up the rule of the worlds between all those who had assisted him. Hesiod tells us:

And she [Asteria, wife of Perses] conceived and bore Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honored above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honor also in starry heaven, and is honored exceedingly by the deathless gods. For to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich sacrifices and prays for favor according to custom, he calls upon Hecate. Great honor comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favorably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power surely is with her. For as many as were born of Earth and Ocean amongst all these she has her due portion. The son of Cronos did her no wrong nor took anything away of all that was her portion among the former Titan gods: but she holds, as the division was at the first from the beginning, privilege both in earth, and in heaven, and in sea. Also, because she is an only child, the goddess receives not less honor, but much more still, for Zeus honors her. Whom she will she greatly aids and advances: she sits by worshipful kings in judgement, and in the assembly whom she will is distinguished among the people. And when men arm themselves for the battle that destroys men, then the goddess is at hand to give victory and grant glory readily to whom she will. Good is she also when men contend at the games, for there too the goddess is with them and profits them: and he who by might and strength gets the victory wins the rich prize easily with joy, and brings glory to his parents. And she is good to stand by horsemen, whom she will: and to those whose business is in the grey discomfortable sea, and who pray to Hecate and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, easily the glorious goddess gives great catch, and easily she takes it away as soon as seen, if so she will. She is good in the byre with Hermes to increase the stock. The droves of kine and wide herds of goats and flocks of fleecy sheep, if she will, she increases from a few, or makes many to be less. So, then, albeit her mother’s only child, she is honored amongst all the deathless gods. And the son of Cronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Dawn. So from the beginning she is a nurse of the young, and these are her honors.

~Hesiod, Theogony

We see here that she had a great many roles and honors, more than some of the Olympians even!

I’ll leave you with the lovely Orphic Hymn to Hekate:

Hekatê of the Path, I invoke Thee, Lovely Lady of the Triple Crossroads,
Celestial, Chthonian, and Marine One, Lady of the Saffron Robe.
Sepulchral One, celebrating the Bakchic Mysteries among the Souls of the Dead,
Daughter of Persês, Lover of Solitude, rejoicing in deer.
Nocturnal One, Lady of the Dogs, invincible Queen.
She of the Cry of the Beast, Ungirt One, having an irresistible Form.
Bullherder, Keeper of the Keys of All the Universe, Mistress,
Guide, Bride, Nurturer of Youths, Mountain Wanderer.
I pray Thee, Maiden, to be present at our hallowed rites of initiation,
Always bestowing Thy graciousness upon the Boukolos.

Blessings,

Mary

Hecate, Torchbearer, Guide Me

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re approaching a crossroads? Like whatever you decide next will have a major impact on the shape of your life moving forward? Yeah, that.

I am (once again) off work (mostly) for the summer. Even though I’ve technically been off since the beginning of the month, because of my trip to see my family and other obligations, I only feel like my time off is starting now. It feels different, somehow, than other summers. I feel like I’m being called to make a choice.

Two cards have been coming up in my tarot readings for other people a lot lately. Not every reading, but often enough to make me notice. I was taught that when a card comes up frequently in readings, that is my lesson. Apparently my lesson is The Chariot and The Tower. Some of you are familiar with the tarot, and have your own meanings for these cards, and some of you are not at all familiar with the meanings. I’ll share what they mean to me.

The Chariot, from The Robin Wood Tarot

The Chariot, from The Robin Wood Tarot

The Chariot: I’m feeling pulled in two different directions. Both of them are things that I want, things that are important to me. However, I’m not able to make much progress with either because they are not going the same direction. It’s time for me to take the reigns, and not be led along at the mercy of others, or these conflicting desires. When the question is either/or, the answer is both. When I can get the two working in alignment, I will make progress a lot faster.

The Tower, from The Robin Wood Tarot

The Tower, from The Robin Wood Tarot

The Tower: There’s a lesson coming around again that I haven’t fully learned yet. Or that the Universe is testing me to see if I have truly learned it. It’s been around often enough that I can likely see the patterns, if I’m aware. However, it’s also been around often enough that it has the potential to turn my life upside down. Our lessons get tougher if we don’t learn them well! The Cosmic 2×4 is headed my way, so it’s time to sharpen my senses, open my mind and see this pattern for what it is – an opportunity to grow, or be forced to grow.

Other messages have made themselves known to me recently. Astrologically, Venus is retrograde right now.

When Venus is retrograde, it provides lessons in evaluating the real worth and value of people and things in our life (Taurus-Libra issues)…

It is NOT a time, however, to act upon any unfavorable awareness. It is purely a time of evaluation rather than direct action. As little frictions and disagreements crop up, they serve to remind you that the relationship is not perfect. Under the retrograde influence, you must assess the severity of the problem and the “cost-benefit” of the relationship. Only after Venus turns direct should you initiate any alienation if this is deemed necessary.

-Lynn Koiner, Venus Retrograde for 2015

And from a book I just read:

Almost every woman I know has waded right out into the river and has been overwhelmed. Almost every woman I know is too busy. She is into this, studying that, driving in a car pool to this and to that, working hard on some big project, racing around until she is ragged. She needs to be quiet, to approach the vastness of life’s responsibilities in a more orderly manner, to do one thing, take one crystal goblet at a time, concentrate on it, and do it well. Then she may move on to other things.

-Robert A. Johnson, She: Understanding Feminine Psychology

So. It is time to evaluate. Be aware, watch for patterns, pare things down.

HecateHecate, Torchbearer, shine your light brightly that I may accurately assess the options that are before me. Stand before me at the crossroads to guide me on the path that is for my highest good and the highest good of all. Help me to stay focused on the task before me, and let me not be led astray by the shiny distractions that tempt me. Hecate, grant me the key to serve my community in a healthy way. Blessed be.

Blessings,

Mary

It is my pleasure to serve

I am exhausted. I really just want to crawl back into bed and sleep for about a week. And at the same time I am charged up and energized from the work I did this weekend.

I just returned from Hekate’s Sickle, one of the two major festivals my church puts on every year. Last year was my first year attending, and this year I was honored to be invited to participate as one of the ritual presenters.

Hekate ShrineIt wasn’t a large role, and yet it was important in that I was truly able to serve both the people attending the festival and the other ritual presenters. I was welcomed warmly even though I was not able to be present for any of the pre-festival rehearsals.

I arrived on two hours of sleep (plus what little rest I was able to snatch in the front seat of the car). We went straight to work when I arrived on site, and didn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning. Then it was up early to do more the next day, with only about 3 hours of sleep. The most interesting thing to me is that I was not as wiped out as I would have expected (though I certainly am feeling tired now that I am home).

Realization hit me when my mentor and friend came down the path for part of the ritual on Saturday night. She stopped and thanked me for my sacred service. And I answered her, “It is my pleasure to serve.”

It truly is! To be able to facilitate transformation and healing for other people, to give of my presence in a loving and supportive way, to be able to contribute to my community – all of these bring me great joy. I am repaid in compliments and appreciation and love, as well as being able to spend time with some of the most amazing people. The act of serving in love and joy brought me energy.

What brings you joy? What fills you up? Find a way to do those things, even if they do not pay you monetarily. The rewards go far beyond any financial compensation.

Blessings,

Mary

Riding an Emotional Roller Coaster

Last week was pretty emotional for me. I was up and down (mostly down) all week. Strong emotion is exhausting. Even as I am writing this now, I would rather be taking a nap, though that could be because I just got home from my 7 year old’s birthday party.

roller coasterIt’s possible that I was reacting to the energies of 12-12-12 leading up to the Winter Solstice, aka the end of the world. I’m taking that with a healthy dose of skepticism. While there is definitely a part of me that would like to be more sensitive and psychic, there is also a part of me that doesn’t want to be associated with all the fluffy, head-in-the-clouds type new age girls.

Another factor in my extreme emotions last week was physiology – namely, PMS. The ‘pre’ part didn’t really apply, but my moon cycle hit me much harder this month than it has for a very long time.  I don’t know if that is because it coincided with the actual moon cycle being dark. All I know is that I cried a lot last week, even at work when there wasn’t really anything to cry about.

Then there are the stresses at work, and I’m not even going to mention the horrific events that happened around the world on Friday.

The biggest factor was financial stress. December is an expensive month for me. My husband’s birthday is at the beginning of the month, my youngest son’s birthday is at the Winter Solstice, and then of course there is the consumerist holiday… I mean, Christmas itself. Yes, we still celebrate giving gifts at Christmas, mostly because of the children, and partly because I haven’t gotten out of the habit. I would celebrate Yule, except that I feel it is more important for my son to have his birthday, so we celebrate Yule on the 25th.

And this year, my parents are coming out for a visit. I’m really looking forward to that, because I haven’t seen them since my grandmother died a few years ago, and they haven’t seen the boys for even longer than that. And it adds a little more stress to the household finances.

I pride myself on being a positive person. While I am not completely immune to fear, I can generally move past it pretty quickly. Once in a while, though, I stumble and fall hard. Last week was one of those times. I succumbed to fear for a few days.

Thankfully, I have an amazing partner who helped me move through the fear without pushing or ridiculing. I also honored Hekate by celebrating her Dienon (ritual dinner) on the night of the dark moon. Here’s a link to the beautifully written ritual I used. This particular ritual includes blessing a non-perishable food item and donating to the local food bank.

For good measure, we also “sacrificed” a goat to Hermes. Before you freak out, sacrifice in my world means “to make sacred”. I made a donation of two shares of a goat on Heifer International. Heifer gives the livestock to families around the world who need a little extra help, and trains them how to sustain themselves with the animals. For example, using the goat’s milk to help feed the family.

Both of these contributions helped remind me that I really do have a lot, and there are so many people out there who have less than I do. It helped me move from fear back into gratitude. And a little caffeine and sugar boost didn’t hurt my mood either!

Blessings,

Mary

Working With Hecate

HecateHecate is the patron Goddess of my church – The Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada. I never felt called to work with her, until I went to visit the Mother Church (aka The Tab) in Washington last June.  Then, it was like she tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You’re finally here. Good. Follow me.”

And when a Goddess taps you on the shoulder like that, it is usually a good time to give her your attention.

I’m working on a meditation featuring her right now. I had actually written one several years ago, but my computer ate it. I only had the very beginning – no real journey, no closure. I guess She didn’t like it. So I’m starting over. Only, I’m having a hard time getting started. I think I have added one paragraph in the last 24 hours. Which is why I am writing about it, and Her, here – to get the inspiration flowing.

When I was at The Tab, I read a poem to Hecate that really touched my imagination and inspired me. Perhaps re-typing it now will help inspire me with the meditation.

Daily Prayer for Guidance

Blessed Goddess Hekate
Please continue to show me the path I am meant to walk
And alert me to choices open to me along the way,
So that I may fulfill my own chosen destiny
And make the most of the skills and talents I’ve been given.

Please continue to guide me,
Through symbols and dreams,
Intuition and synchronicity,
And keep me safe and strong,
Healthy and inspired
So that I may follow you, serve you,
And learn whatever you would teach me.

Please keep me under your watchful eye,
And your divine protection,
Lighting my way with your torches
Surrounding me with a shield of light,
That I may walk with confidence,
Knowing that you guide me and guard me,
Now and always.

~Krysta S Roy, Bearing Torches, A Devotional Anthology to Hekate

Where do you turn for inspiration when your creativity isn’t flowing? Share what inspires you in the comments below.

Blessings,

Mary