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Noumenia News Issue 59                                        View this email in your browser


 

 

                                     Message from the Editor
 

Greetings fellow devotees!

I'm very excited to announce that the CoH Postcard Swap will be happening this summer! This will be the second round of the swap, which was very popular, and a lot of fun first time around! The details will be shared soon in the CoH group on Facebook, or you can email cohpostcardswap@gmail.com for more info.

Wishing you all the very best!


Lotus x
Torchbearer
She/her


Editorial Staff:
Editor - Lotus
Assistant Editor - Deanne
Proofers this issue - Deanne, Catherine & Cece 

                                      Message From the Assistant Editor

Happy Summer Solstice and I am happy you are here reading! Here where I live, we have already been experiencing close to or above 100 + degrees F, so it is easy to know we are in the Summer Solstice Season. For many, this is the season of abundance. May it be so for you!!!
 
Many blessings,
Deanne (Bendis)
Torchbearer & Keybearer
                            Devoted

Rite of Sovereignty 
by Deanne Quarrie

~ Done in the Season of the Summer Solstice ~


Have on your altar:
 

  • Candle for Hekate
  • Your own Hymn of Sovereignty
  • Keys (not worn)
  • Chalice with choice of beverage
  • Feast – something yummy!
  • Plate for offering
  • Your blade for casting and grounding
  • Bay leaves and a fireproof vessel for burning them
  • Crown of oak leaves
  • Symbols of the Elements for consecrating 
  • Rock 
  • Feathers 
  • Lit candle
  • Shell or chalice of water 

Casting the Circle

Casting the Circle from North to North (Either walk it or stand in the center depending on size of space.)

Mother of Mysteries, we cast this Circle, from North, to East, to South, to West, Beginning and Ending in the North, the home of our Ancestors.

[CENTER]

As within, so without.
Circumference and center,
Woven together,
To make the circle complete!

Chant:

Omni Amor Est. Omni Amor Est. Omni Amor Est. 

Invoke Hekate Kleidouchos

Hail Hekate Kleidouchos,
You are the Keeper of the Keys,
That lock and unlock all doors.
These doors open to new thresholds
Allowing us, as Seekers, safe passage through,
Entry into all Worlds
As we journey to know and understand.
All praises, Hekate Kleidouchos
Hail Hekate Kleidouchos!
 

Hymn

Read your personal Hymn of Sovereignty 

Now hold up your keys … 

You will perform the Kleios Rite.

Light your incense of bay leaves

The Kleios rite is a dedication rite focusing the Witch to the powers of Hekate’s Keys.  

Hold your keys and pass them through the smoke as you speak your own words of purification over it. Next, touch them to the stone and then hold over the flame of your candle. Next hold them over your bowl of water, touch them with a bit of water. Then say…  

Hekate Kleiodouchos 
Open the way, Keeper of Keys! 
Kleiodouchos, open the way. 
To thy Sanctuary! To thy Gates!
To all your mysteries! 
So that I might learn and grow
In thy service.
Khaire, Hekate Kleiodouchos! 

With these keys and my dedication to Her, I declare my own personal sovereignty bestowed upon me by my Beloved Hekate. With these keys, I open doors and thresholds within the Three Realms and all that is in-between. (hold up the keys)

I stand tall in my power. I claim my true voice and authority over my own life and at the same time, acknowledge my responsibility for all my actions. I release my intention into Your Hands, Dearest Hekate, may you always guide my thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Wear these keys, or carry them, or keep them on your altar as reminders of your own sovereignty.

Crowns

And now, crown yourself as an action of personal sovereignty!

Cakes and Ale

Life to Life,
Essence to Essence,
Creation to Created,
Blessing to Blessing.

From their Essence, the Gods have given us food to eat.

The chalice is shared first with the Goddess as a libation. 
The feast is first shared with the Goddess on an offering plate, then enjoy!

Closing

Now close your circle:

I stand in the center with my arms wide open in gratitude and offer our thanks to the Great Goddess Hekate…

Blessed Be!

(snuff candle)

I close the portals; first below and then above so that we may return to this world until next we should wish to travel.

Thank you ancestors, guardian spirits, and guides who travel with me in my dreams. May you stay near as I live my life as well as in my dreams.  Blessed be!

Mother of the Mysteries, you who nurtures all life, release the seal with the power. (draw counter-clockwise spiral above) 

I bless you with a kiss! 

From North to West, to South, to East, and returning to North, the home of our Ancestors, I open the Circle.

With this blade I ground the energy back into the Earth. (Touch the floor with your blade.)

I declare my Circle is open but never broken.

 

 

Introducing Marcel Schrei as a new Torchbearer! Congratulations Marcel!

This is his Torchbearer Essay!


 Hekate Psychopompos 

In this essay I'd like to explore Hekate's title and role as psychopomp and as guide of souls both living and dead in both ancient and modern understanding.  

But what does psychopomp mean exactly? According to Wikipedia, 'psychopompos’ (from  the Greek word ψυχοπομπός, psychopompós, literally meaning the 'guide of souls') are  creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort  newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife.' In the ancient Greek religion, this role is  mostly fulfilled by Hermes Chthonios (Hermes of the Underworld), but also Hekate. In  addition, again according to Wikipedia, 'in Jungian psychology, the psychopomp is a  mediator between the unconscious and conscious realms.' Psychopompos can also be understood as a guide to the mysteries in the mystery cults in  general. 

Afterlife and Death/the Dead in Antiquity 

To understand Hekate's relationship to the dead, we need an overview of the ancient  Greeks' belief regarding the afterlife in general. There were multiple, sometimes  contradictory ideas of the afterlife, fluidly changing over the centuries and from location to location. These ideas include the following: 

Souls of the departed were seen as shadows in a state of eternal boredom or  unconsciousness, being without pain but also without joy or hope. They were thought to be staying in the house of Hades, which is either located on the edge of the world or under  the earth, in any case separated from the mortal world by one (Okeanos) or more rivers  (Styx, Lethe, Acheron). The river or rivers could be crossed by a boat piloted by the  ferryman Charon. The entrance to the House of Hades was marked by a gate and guarded by the three-headed dog Kerberos, who lets all souls inside, but usually not back. 

Other possible locations for the souls to dwell were thought to be the Asphodel Meadows  and Elysian Fields for those heroes loved by the gods, in later interpretation for all 'regular' dead. There was also the abyss called Tartaros, where the Titans were imprisoned by Zeus, as well as mortals who had sinned against the gods (for example Tantalus and Sisyphos).  

Interestingly, an alternative or even simultaneous idea was that the souls would be  dwelling in or beneath their grave and be able to receive offerings, bestowing blessings upon the living in return. 

Certain heroes like Herakles, Perseus and Andromeda were thought to be put as  constellations amongst the stars. 

There were also several mystery cults which wanted to prepare or make sure their initiates would reach a favorable afterlife by performing certain rites. 

Philosophers such as Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus as well as mystery cults like Orphism  taught metempsychosis or transfiguration of the soul, that is reincarnation. Lastly and for this essay most importantly, we have the so-called lost souls who were lingering between the worlds, and because of their state of being out of place (that does not belong to any category of either alive or really dead) were thought to be a dangerous  source of trouble for the living. 

There are four categories of departed souls that were believed to be unable or unwilling  to cross over the rivers to the realm of Hades for the following possible reasons: 

  • Those dead before their time, those who died young and could not enjoy their full  life span. 

  • Those dead by violent causes like battle, execution, murder or suicide. 

  • Those dead before they could marry and/or have children, especially women. 

Ghosts of these categories were usually thought to have not been able to achieve their goals in life and thus could not continue to the next stage of existence. It was also understood that they might be angry and jealous of the living. 

The fourth category were those who did not have a burial according to the customs and  thus could not achieve a peaceful rest. They were also assumed to be unable to cross  over to the afterlife.  

Hekate as Guide of the Dead 

Sources regarding Hekate as guide of the dead start with the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.  Hekate not only witnessed Persephone's abduction (hearing her screaming) and assisted  Demeter on her quest of finding her daughter. She ultimately became Persephone's guide, attendant, and even friend on her annual voyage between Hades's realm and the upper world. If we assume Persephone as also being a metaphor for the human soul in the Eleusinian mysteries, Hekate would be THE guide of our individual souls between  the worlds. In this regard she even shares the epithet Chthonia, of the underworld, with  Hermes Chthonios, who also was thought to guide the departed souls to the next world  and was worshiped in this aspect during the annual spring festival Anthesteria. 

On the last day of the lunar month of the Attic calendar, the Deipnon (supper), a rite of  purification and protection was performed. This included the offering of food to the lost  souls to statues of Hekate at the crossroads outside of the city as an apotropaic practice to keep aforementioned lost angry spirits away. Although according to Johnston it is uncertain if this was a general custom or only performed in time of need. 

This apotropaic part most likely also led to the view of Hekate being the Queen of Ghosts,  because a deity who can keep the angry dead away is also capable of refusing to protect  against them, or even of sending those spirits to haunt the living. Also, being generally a goddess of the liminal, of transcending as well as protecting the borders, gates, and thresholds  between the (safe, living) city and the (dangerous, potentially deadly) wilderness, connects Hekate with those dead souls which were considered to dwell in the liminal between life and death.  

Hekate is called in quite a number of necromantic spells in the Greco-Egyptian grimoires  called today the Greek Magical Papyri (or PGM). These are often love spells which call  upon Her to send the souls of untimely dead to haunt the desired person, causing 

madness. Here Her different epithets connected with the underworld, death, the dead, but  also destiny are used. She is also conflation with other goddesses like Selene, Artemis,  Persephone-Kore, the Fate, the Erynes, and is set alongside other chthonic gods like  Hermes, the underworld rivers Acheron and Styx, Anubis, but also Apollon-Helios. 

Another source for this are the curse tablets which were found in or near graves, as  Hekate is the deity most often called in these spells. 

Other sources for Hekate's connection to the dead include Euripides play Helen which  mentions Hekate as being able to send ghosts. The Hippocratic text 'On The Sacred  Disease' (probably meaning epilepsy), while rejecting an actual divine cause, mentions the common belief that this disease was caused by ghosts sent by Hekate. The Orphic Hymn to Hekate calls Her 'raging among the souls of the dead'. 

But since our modern 21st century (neo)paganism movement is usually focused on this  world, how is Hekate as guide of the dead important for us today? 

The philosophical question of how much ancient religion we should incorporate in our  practices and beliefs today can not be answered in this essay. Yet I deem it important at  least to know and respect the customs and beliefs our spiritual ancestors held. 

My own work in honor of Hekate is very much focused on remembering and supporting  the souls of the lost, helping them see Hekate's comforting light as She has shown me in  visions. Other devotees of Hers both in and outside the CoH feel a similar connection and  do similar work. This can be found on social media but there's also the example of Andrea  Angelos's work for the lost souls in Chile, as she has explained in her own contribution to Hekate Her Sacred Fires.  

As for the contemporary Hellenic re-constructionist movement in Greece, I found that  the Athens-based community LABRIS uses a hymn to Her as part of their rites of funeral and  remembering the dead. 

Hekate as Guide of the Living 

When talking about Hekate being a psychopomp also for the soul during life, the Chaldean Oracles are the first that comes to my mind. Here She acts as the world soul, connecting the realms of the gods, the mortals and the dead and is described as the origin of all individual souls.  

Due to Her connections to the Eleusinian Mysteries as well as probably other mystery cults on the islands of Samothrake and Aegina, we can see Hekate as initiatrix into the mysteries. Remembering Her role as guide of souls between life and death, She most likely also was present as the initiatrix of the mystai. The ancient mystery cults no longer exist however. Their mysteries are forgotten and the last priests and initiates died long ago. Still Hekate calls to many individual souls and offers Her guidance. 

Hekate does seem to have a connection to outcast, lost and disenfranchised, or at least we can interpret some stories from antiquity in this sense:  

Let’s first return to the custom of Deipnon. Not only can we again see a connection  between Hekate and the lost souls, but (according to a modern interpretation I dearly  agree with) also Her care for the marginalized living, in particular the poor in this case.  Aristophanes tells us, quite sarcastically, in his play Plutus: 

"Ask Hekate whether it is better to be rich or starving; she will tell you that the rich send  her a meal every month and that the poor make it disappear before it is even served."  

In these times, surely only the desperately hungry would dare to steal sacred offerings,  especially those that were deemed impure due to the miasma of being dedicated to the  dead. We need to note that of the offerings of the public cult to the Olympian deities  usually only a part was burnt, and the rest was shared and eaten by the participants. This is in contrast to the offerings to the chthonic deities and spirits, that were either burned as a whole or otherwise left untouched by the living, due to the miasma. So, in conclusion, I  believe it was a sign of her compassion towards all in need that she made the (more)  wealthy support those in bitter need, using the offerings to Her. 

When Herakles was born, his mother’s friend Galinthias prevented Hera’s effort to hinder the birth, so Galinthias was turned 'into a deceitful weasel (or polecat), making her live in crannies and (given) a grotesque way of mating.' Hekate felt sorry for this transformation of her appearance and appointed her a sacred servant of herself (Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 29, between 100 CE and 300 CE). 

The story of queen Hekabe of Troy, who after the Greeks’ victory was turned into a hound and also taken as sacred servant by Hekate (Lycophron, Alexandra C3rd BCE), may hint to Hekate’s compassionate view towards ‘underdogs’ – we have to realize that the Trojans were defeated by the Greeks. A similar story is that of Iphigenia: she was chosen as a human sacrifice to Artemis, but instead ‘turned into Hekate’ (Hesiod's Catalogue of Women, quoted by Pausanias). 

In my observation, Hekate seems to be quite popular among LGBTQIA* pagans. Even if  the fact of sexual orientation/identity might not be the point in the ancient myths, Hekate is  a goddess of the liminal, of crossing boundaries. Her possible affiliations with the outcast,  lost and disenfranchised mentioned above seems to be felt even today by many  LGBTQIA* persons who frequently cross boundaries themselves, as they don’t fit in most  modern societies’ ‘traditional’ boxes regarding gender and/or family. 

We have seen Hekate's connection with those ghosts that drive people mad, Her ability to  send them as well as to protect the living from them. Initiation into Her mystery cult was said to heal from madness by asking Hekate to call back those ghosts (Johnston, Restless Dead,  p.144). Thinking about this and Hekate's liminality and compassion to souls alive and  dead, calling on Her to help cope with mental illness sounds like a good idea to me. 

A Personal Vision: Hekate's Temple at Acheron's Shores  

As we have seen above, Hekate is said to be attended by the lost souls or night-wandering spirits who are stuck between this world and the next. Giving them comfort and light is never explicitly stated in the sources we have from antiquity, and yet it is something She has shown to me in multiple visions and asked me to share with the community. 

So, as an addition to this essay and as practical exercise, I created a guided meditation to  open a path to Hekate's temple between the worlds at the shores of Acheron, which  includes a description of my vision.


Appendix I: Sources 

  • Betz, Hans Dieter: The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, University of Chicago  Press, 1992 

  • Burkert, Walter: Greek Religion, Blackwell, 1985 

  • d'Este, Sorita: Circle for Hekate Vol. I, Avalonia, 2017 

  • d'Este, Sorita & Rankine, David: Hekate Liminal Rites, Avalonia, 2009 

  • d'Este, Sorita (ed.): Hekate Her Sacred Fires, Avalonia, 2010 

  • Faraone, Christopher & Obbink, Dirk (ed.): Magika Hiera, Oxford University Press,  1991 

  • Johnston, Sarah Iles: Hekate Soteira, Scholars Press, 1990 

  • Johnston, Sarah Iles: Restless Dead, University of California Press, 1999 

  • LABRIS: Hellenic Polytheism Household Worship, self published, 2014 

  • Ogden, Daniel: Magic, Witchcraft and Ghost in the Greek and Roman Worlds,  Oxford University Press, 2009 

  • Homeric Hymn to Demeter, translated by Gregory Nagy, https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/5292 

  • https://www.theoi.com/ 

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/

 

Appendix II: Hekate's Temple at Acheron's Shores – a Guided Meditation
 

Time: Anytime, preferably after nightfall and when the moon is waning. 

Place: Anywhere quiet and undisturbed, preferably outside after nightfall or in a dark room. 

Items: A white or red or beeswax candle, a vessel containing water for purification, a  vessel containing red wine or fruit juice mixed with honey, a larger vessel to receive  libations if indoors, a bay leaf or rosemary sprig. Additional candles, decorations and  offerings, incense, an icon of Hekate are nice, yet optional. 

Preparation:  

Prepare like you usually do for a ritual, including your usual purification. Set an altar with the  described items. Sit comfortably in front of your altar and calm your mind. Perform the  initial breathing practice from the Rite of Her Sacred Fires (touching heart, lips and  forehead etc.), then light the candle. To create blessed water for purification, light the bay  leave or rosemary sprig in the candle flame, extinguish it in the water vessel and proclaim:  

“I am about to start a voyage between the worlds and do so pure and unhindered. Whatever baggage I carry, I leave it behind!” 

Drizzle some water on your forehead, lips and heart, also both palms, knees and feet.  Doing so speak: 

“Ekas ekas este viveli, begone begone impurity” 

Close your eyes and begin the journey. 

Katabasis 

You stand in a beautiful lush garden, full of flowers and old trees. In front of you, you see  the tallest of those trees on a small hill. As you approach the tree, you notice a well at its  base. Stone steps spiral down inside. A cloaked figure sits on the well's railing, holding a  lantern. They greet you: 

'Hail wanderer. My name is Aspree. Our Lady sent me to be your guide on this journey. I  will always be right behind you, my lantern will light our path. Anytime you wish, you can  say my name and I will bring us back here.' 

Aspree points towards the downward spiraling stairway. 'After you.’ 

You take a deep breath, inhale – exhale, and step on the first stair. You take your time and  take one step with every single breath. Count your breaths. 

Inhale – exhale. Step. 

Inhale – exhale. Step. 

You see the gray stone of the wall, partly covered in moss. You see the light of your  companion's lantern shimmering on the surface. 

Inhale – exhale. Step. 

Inhale – exhale. Step. 

As you count your 99th breath and the 99th stair, you reach the well's bottom. It is covered  by a calm and mirror-like water surface. Aspree speaks to you: 

'We can return to the garden now if you wish. Or you can step into the waters and see  what is on the other side.'

Stepping into the water, your surroundings suddenly change. Instead of a pool on the  bottom of a well, you stand on the shore of a broad river of black quickly flowing waters.  You look around you. The sky is dark and feels far away. The shore is made of grayish  dunes of sand and small pebbles and seems to stretch endlessly. You hear no sound but  the river and wind, rustling in the sparse tufts of grass. The entire scenery is filled with  shadowless twilight. 

Aspree stands next to you. Again, they point to a certain direction. 'This way. And remember: I can bring us back to the garden at any time, should you wish.' 

You proceed your way along the river bank, sand, and occasional shells crunching under  your feet. After climbing a larger dune, you observe the following: 

A number of hills and dunes like the one you stand on surround a large flat area right at  the water's edge. A structure like a round Greco-Roman temple dominates the view. It is  made by a round base of three steps which are topped by a number of columns standing  in a circle, but it has no roof. A pillar of light emerges from the temple's center, reaching for the far sky. It twists and turns, the reflections on the stone columns and on the ground  appear like a flower of fire. Seeing this you feel calmness and warmth. Shadow-like  figures are gathered around the temple. 

'This is Her temple between the worlds on the shores of river Acheron' Aspree explains to  you. 'The lost souls who cannot cross to the next world gather here, to find a moment of  rest in Her light. We can stay for a few moments. Just say my name when you want us to  return to the garden.“ 

When you are back at the place you started, take three deep breaths and open your eyes.  

Purification, Offerings and Closing 

If you want to take notes about your particular journey, which is advisable, do so now. When you feel ready to finish the rite, slowly stand up (take care not to fall after sitting this  long), take the wine or juice and pour three libations on the ground or in the offering  vessel.  

With the first libation speak: 

“I give thanks to My Lady Hekate, Guide of Souls and Soul of the World” 

With the second libation speak: 

“I give thanks to Her servant, the spirit who was my guide today” 

With the third libation speak: 

“To the restless souls, may you find peace, however brief” 

Put down the vessel. Calm your mind, take three deep breaths. When you feel ready,  proclaim: 

“I have finished my voyage between the worlds and return pure and unhindered. Whatever baggage I carry, I leave it behind!” 

Drizzle some water on your forehead, lips and heart, also both palms, knees and feet.  Doing so, speak: 

“Ekas ekas este viveli, begone begone impurity” 

Perform the closing breathing practise from the Rite of Her Sacred Fires (touching heart,  lips and forehead etc.). Dispose the purification water (and the poured libations if inside)  and do not use the purification vessel for mundane things.

Hekate’s Phiale and Torch
by Jen Stanley

Since time immemorial the veneration of springs has occurred at the sacred dwelling places of the spirits who provide life source to the lands, peoples, plants, and animals. Living waters flowing from several springs and streams, 300 meters southwest of Hekate’s sanctuary, were a source of water to the site at Lagina in the Yatağan district of Turkey. There is material evidence of a shrine honoring the springs from the Karian clans and tribes from the area who used passageways to the established communities between the Akdağ and the Aladağ mountains more than 3,000 years ago (Williams, 2021). 

Amidst increasing Greek colonization and Roman imperialism, veneration of the sacred site contributed to limited political battles in the surrounding Marsyas valley and Oyuklu hills (Van Breman, 2010; Williams, 2012; Williams, 2021). At the north entrance of the temple, a sculpture panel or relief now at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, depicts Hekate offering a phiale or libation bowl to a Greek warrior and an Amazon (Herring, 2020; Williamson, 2021). This has been described as exceptional, being the only archaeological depiction among the Greeks of Amazons not in battle with them (Williamson, 2021).

It is important to not romanticize the role of Hekate and bypass an opportunity for clarity on why the Roman empire promoted civic ceremony centering Hekate in ritual to convey political dominance in public space and obtain social cohesion (Van Breman, 2010; Williamson, 2013). The kleidophoros, the key bearers, were used to serve the authority of the elite colonial priests for the political and economic interests of the Roman empire by the late Hellenic period (Williamson, 2013; Williamson, 2021). The priest’s daughters would carry the key, displaying the symbols of the Karian goddess, to communicate who was in power within the colonial social hierarchy. The procession began at the north gate of Stratonikeia through the necropolis, the city-states cemetery, on an 8 km procession using the ancient sacred road passing through the surrounding communities and their ancestral tombs to the temple and back to the polis (Williamson, 2013; Williamson, 2021). While the priest's daughters would give out money and oil during civic ceremonies and festivals to local peoples the primary purpose of the state sponsored processions were not to honor Hekate or venerate the springs, the life-giving spirits of the waters, or Karian ancestors (Williamson, 2021).  

   
                                                                                  Perspectives from the Turkish team of archeologists from the Selçuk University of Konya are important to consider the socio-historical contexts of Hekate in Karia to have a deeper understanding on the significance of her phiale and torch. The Stratonikeia coin depicts Hekate holding a phiale in her left hand and a torch in her right (Herring, 2020; Williamson, 2021). The Lagina sanctuary’s relief, in addition to the libation bowl blessing to the Greek warrior and Amazon in the north, Hekate is on a temple relief in the West holding a torch in battle like an Amazon assisting the Olympians in the gigantomachy (Herring, 2020; Williamson, 2021). Both the coin and reliefs depict the phiale and torch.

The duality of projective/receptive or fire/water forces stands out when considering the Greek and Roman gaze on “civic” Hekate’s healing water phiale and battle torch in context to the portrayed harmony as depicted by “cordial relations, shaking hands and clasping shoulders” between the male Greek warrior and female Amazon of origin to the Karian region (Mayor, 2014; Williamson, 2021, p. 279). When considering the oral myths, ancestral lore, and folk memories of the Amazons from the myriad of non-Greek ethic groups and cultures from beyond Greek control, community narratives center on women winning battles with men and celebrating women as leaders as well as hunter, horticulturist, and other non-rigid gender roles (Mayor, 2014). Unpacking the limitations of romanticizing colonialism civic practices creates space to expand understanding on Hekate’s mediating role between heaven, earth, and sea. Spirits of water and fire are connected to the sovereignty of the land and accompany the phiale and torch bearing Hekate. Being in right relationship with the peoples and ancestors of place embodies this form of Hekate Soteira.

References

Mayor, A. (2014). The Amazons: Lives & Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Van Breman, R. (2010). The Inscribed documents on the temple of Hekate at Lagina and the date and meaning of the temple frieze. Hellenistic Karia. Pessac: Ausonius Éditions, p. 483-503

Williams, C. G. (2012). Sanctuaries as turning points in territorial formation. Lagina, Panamara and the development of Stratonikeia, BYZAS, 13, 113-150.

Williams, C. G. (2013). Karian, Greek or Roman? The layered identities of Stratonikeia via the sanctuary of Hekate at Lagina. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 25(50), 1-6.

Williams, C. G. (2021). Festival Networks: Stratonikeia and the Sanctuary of Hekate at Lagina.

Urban Ritual in Sacred Landscapes in Hellenistic Asia Minor, 196, p. 241-330.

                     Regular Features 

                                                   Hekate Inspires
                                                           By Stacy Mathias

I am feeling inspired to discuss what it means to be devoted. How do we show devotion? Let’s start with a definition.
Devotion, a noun: 

A: religious fervor: PIETY
b: an act of prayer or private worship —usually used in plural during his morning devotions
c: a religious exercise or practice, worship of a congregation
2a: the act of dedicating something to a cause, enterprise, or activity: the act of devoting
the devotion of a great deal of time and energy
b: the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal
These are the dictionary definitions of devotion, but I am hoping by reading what I write below, you will look at devotion differently.

When we all joined the COH, we agreed to strive towards living a life guided by the five virtues of the COH, which are Compassion, Courage, Temperance, Justice, and Wisdom. It would then make sense to say that incorporating these ideals into our everyday life would be a way of living a life of devotion, would it not? Recent personal events have brought this to the forefront of my mind. I had to ask myself, do I hold myself to these standards in all aspects of my life? These concepts are not meant just for how we conduct ourselves within the context of the COH, but as a guide for living. If I am being honest, I have to say I found myself lacking at my last check in. I fixated on justice, without weighing it with compassion. When faced with what we feel is injustice, it is difficult to find compassion sometimes. We find ourselves filled with what we believe to be righteous anger, sometimes even hate. I know in my case I had to dig deep to find that compassion, which was lacking. I had to realize that compassion isn’t just something you have for others, you must also have compassion for yourself.

 I had to realize that it is not a burden I need to carry. I had to surrender all my anger, all my feelings of injustice, and trust that our Goddess would light my way out of that darkness. You see, devotion is not just prayers, rituals, and offerings, it is trust. By building my relationship with Hekate over the years, I have been able to trust that she would help release the burden I had been carrying. A burden I was never meant to carry. I was able to be vulnerable and surrender it all to her. She lifted that weight from me, but she could not take it from me until I was willing to let it go. I was only able to let it go, because I was able to trust that once I let it go, she would guide me through whatever came next. 

To me this is what living a life of devotion is all about. Yes, I make offerings to Hekate. Yes, I hold rituals in Her honor. Yes, I perform various acts of service to Her. But at its core devotion is about loyalty, and if we are loyal to Her, She in turn will be a loyal friend, companion, and guide. May Her torches continue to burn brightly and guide all in need!

                                                                  Devotions
                                                        by Deanne Quarrie, D. Min.

 

Hymn to Dadaphorous

Hail Hekate! 
Hail Hekate Dadaphorous!
Torch Bearer, whose two torches illuminate the Darkness.
Were these not the weapons
That defeated both the Titans and the Giants?

And yet, these Twin Torches
Also draw Seekers toward you
Who in their discovery,
Become your devotees, Your Hounds.

We invite you to be with us.
Bring your Torches.
Bring your light
And stand with us in Solidarity.

We are your Servants
Oh, Queen of Witches!

Hail Hekate Dadaphorous! 
Hail Hekate!
 

Hymn to Thea Deinos

Hail Hekate!
Hail Hekate Thea Deinos!
Fearful one! Deathly One!
You see all my limitations.

You are a necessary facet of the Great Jewel 
Who is Hekate.
Those who know you,
Both love and fear you.

Dearest Grave Goddess,
This fear is a Great Motivator.
So great is my need
To learn more of you.

Because I recognize you
As the Bender of Proud Necks,
You break through my complacency
And reinvigorate me 
With wonder and awe!

Hail Hekate Thea Deinos!
Khaire Hekate!

Hymn for Hekate Azostos

Hail Hekate!
Hail Hekate Azostos!

I call you, as agent of change,
You who travels against the flow of time
Unrestrained, Unbound, Free.

You hold Sovereignty over Earth, Sea and Sky,
Traveling over mountain tops, through seas, to the Moon and Stars.
I call to you, as facilitator of Fate
Set me free, Azostos!

I spin and spin and spin.
Unclad, removing anything binding my Spirit,
Be it spiritual, mental, psychic or emotional.

I spin chanting, Azostos! Azostos! Azostos!

Hail Hekate Azostos!
Hail Hekate!

Credit for inspiration The Hekataeon by Jack Grayle


Hekate in Pop Culture
by Marcia C. Silva
 
          The Goddess Hekate in the Assassin's Creed video game series

Assassin's Creed is an open-world1 action-adventure stealth2 video game series first released in 2007. Available for multiple game platforms, the series won awards and has sold over 155 million copies worldwide.

The game features a fictional millennia-old battle between Assassins (fighters for peace and free will) and the Templars (defenders of peace through order and control). The game's world is composed of a mixture of fiction with historical events and figures, which is the case of Hekate.
In Assassin's Creed: Origins (2017), a shrine of the goddess appears, but her main participation is in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (2018), where she is mentioned in two virtual representations: "Heart of Stone" and "One Bad Apple". In the episodes of "The Fate of Atlantis: Fields of Elysium" (2019), she is a very important character.

In this game, Hekate is an Isu revered as a goddess. The Isu is an ancient and highly-advanced species of humanoid beings. Hekate lives in the realm of Elysium, ruled over by Persephone, her oldest friend in the underworld. She is associated with magic, ghosts, and necromancy. Her main plant is aconite. She is called by the epithet "The Hidden One".

There is a triple statue of Hekate holding torches in the Shrine of Whispers, located inside a cave. In front of it, there is a fire pit, a vase, candles, fruit offerings, and an inscription: "Hekate the Hidden One: You who have power over the heavens, earth, and sea. Daughter of the Titan Perses. Protector of the wild places, goddess of the crossroads. Gatekeeper between the worlds. The son of Cronos honors you above all and shared his divine gifts with you. Grant us your protection and wisdom3." This statue was based on a 2nd or 3rd century AD Roman marble statue of the goddess. In this shrine, Melitta, a Greek woman, serves the goddess as her priestess during the 1st century BCE.


Figure 1. Whole view of Hekate's Shrine. Reproduction: Assassin's Creed: Origins, Shrine of Whispers (Ubisoft, 2017).


Figure 2. Front view of Hekate's Shrine. Reproduction: Assassin's Creed: Origins, Shrine of Whispers (Ubisoft, 2017).


Figure 3. Hekate's Statue. Reproduction: Assassin's Creed: Origins, Shrine of Whispers (Ubisoft, 2017).

Hekate has long white hair and green eyes. Her skin has shining lines. She wears a black dress with golden jewelry and sandals. You can see all of Hekate's scenes by searching on YouTube for "Assassin's Creed - Fate of Atlantis Episode 1: All Hekate Cutscenes".


Figure 4. Hekate in Assassin's Creed. Reproduction: Assassin's Creed: Fate of Atlantis, episode 1 (Ubisoft, 2019).


Figure 5. Hekate's face close up. Reproduction: Assassin's Creed: Fate of Atlantis, episode 1 (Ubisoft, 2019).


Figure 6. Hekate and Persephone. Reproduction: Assassin's Creed: Fate of Atlantis, episode 1 (Ubisoft, 2019).

To learn more about Hekate in Assassin's Creed, visit https://assassinscreed.fandom.com/wiki/Hekate. Also, check out the CoH project by Hazel about Hekate in Pop Culture at http://hekatecovenant.com/devoted/the-witch-goddess-hecate-in-popular-culture/

Notes:
1 Open-world: A virtual world where players can explore and approach objectives freely.
2 Stealth: This game genre allows players to remain undetected by hiding, sneaking, or using disguises.
3 To watch the gameplay of this shrine, search for "Assassin's Creed Origins One Bad Apple side quest" or "Shrine of Whispers Assassin's Creed" on YouTube.
 
                                                      Cards of the Season
                                                                  by Sosanna

In this issue, our reading is a past, present and future reading for the upcoming quarter, based on the Wild Goddess Oracle by Amy Zerner & Monte Farber.


Past: The Truth - This card represents the past. It tells us that the truth is here regardless of how we feel about it. It sits behind us watching and waiting. It is there, behind every word we speak or move we make.  The truth is there, though some may not choose to see it.  The truth cannot be forced upon someone. Only those ready to hear the truth can truly see it, accept it and act upon it. The truth is strong and is not afraid to be questioned.

  
Present:  The Higher Self - This card represents the present. This is our ultimate place of knowledge. It is where we are when we are at our best. It represents all that is known and connects us to all things. It is our source of unconditional love and acceptance. It is this place that binds us with the ethereal realm. Today we have the opportunity to connect with that higher self and rise above the issues of the day.  This higher self is positive, happy and full of the wisdom of the ages to guide us through what we see as the troubled waters of daily life. 
  
Future: The Wounded - This card represents the future. We are all wounded. From antiquity humans have been horrible to one another. We spend our days trying to get ahead which sometimes puts us at odds with those around us. We fail to show compassion to those who need it. Or love to those who are lonely or a simple smile to those who are sad.  Our human ability to relate to others is unending. Each of us has been wounded and we should take care to provide that sense of stability and love for those that are in need at this moment. 
  
What has this past season meant to you? How does the Truth card relate to your past experiences? Does it represent what has happened to you?  What is it saying about how you have grown and changed?  What is the Higher Self saying to you today?  Are you able to connect to that energy and bring it into your daily life?


Our future card says so much about what we are experiencing on so many levels . We’re seeing deaths from wars and pandemics and we are indeed wounded, both figuratively and literally. This pull tells us that we have the wisdom within us to accept the truth and provide compassion and love to those who have been wounded by us or through no fault of our own. As humans we have an amazing capacity for hatred but also for love and growth. Let’s use this next quarter to pull in the virtues of Hecate to bring healing to the world around us.

                                                      linktr.ee/sosanna
              Adverts & Sanctuary Updates

                                         New Torchbearer Sanctuaries!
 

Sanctuary of Hekate Hegemonen
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Language: Portuguese (Br)
Francine Derschner, Keybearer & Patricia Elizium,
Torchbearer
http://santuariodehekatehegemonen.com
covenantofhekatebrazil@gmail.com

The Sanctuary of Hekate Hegemonen is a membership sanctuary and is located in São Paulo, Brasil is focused on the research and study of the History of the Goddess Hekate as part of the journey to get closer to her mysteries. Our rites and practices are modern, inspired by Western Mystery Traditions as well as Hellenic Polytheism. We are always seeking, through historical bases, to make Goddess worship accessible to the needs of modern devotees. We choose the epithet Hegemonen, which means “Guide”, to name our Sanctuary, for just as Hekate guides Persephone on her journey from the underworld, each of us was brought and guided by the Goddess Hekate to answer her call. As Hegemonen guided and illuminated our steps, we wish to be a light for new seekers willing to know and experience the Goddess Hekate.


Sanctuary of Hekate Pyrtania-Zootrophos
Torchbearer: Stacy Mathias
Location: Sparrows Point, Maryland – USA
Contact: flowerchild1779@yahoo.com

The Sanctuary of Hekate Pyrtania – Zootrophos is a sanctuary within the Covenant of Hekate and is dedicated to Hekate-Pyrtania (Queen of the dead) and Hekate-Zootrophos (nourisher of life), as such we recognise the importance of honouring the dead, and celebrating life with all it has to offer. We strive to embody the five virtues of the Covenant of Hekate at all times.

Services/Commitment: We offer monthly Deipnon rituals, a yearly ritual for Hekate’s night in November and the annual Rite of Her Sacred Fires. Rites will be available both online and in-person to those wishing to participate. Members and attendees are welcome to leave prayers, petitions and blessings on the shrine of the Sanctuary or send them via e-mail to be placed on the shrine by the torchbearer on their behalf.

 
Sanctuary of Hecate Brimo
Keybearer: Renee Olson
Location: North Carolina
https://www.hecatebrimo.org/

The Sanctuary of Hecate Brimo will be a virtual first sanctuary where I will provide support and guidance for those looking to walk with Hecate along the middle path. We will honor the five virtues and conduct our days in line with the goddess. We will focus our energy to help those in need, protect those who cannot protect themselves and lift those who have fallen.
The physical sanctuary will be located in Seven Springs, North Carolina on a small 3.5 acre plot near the Neuse River. When possible we will conduct rituals for the dark moon and solstices.
 
Our work for the community will consist of supporting those who are less fortunate by supporting our local outreach groups. Blessing Box of Goldsboro and Furever Paws. We will be a public sanctuary open to members and non-members of CoH.
 

                                              Membership Centres
 

The Covenant of Hekate has six sanctuaries run by Keybearers that are now also membership centres. Rather than applying for membership as it was in the past, and having everything filter through one person, we are now sharing that joyous responsibility.  You will see the Membership Sanctuaries listed below and you may contact any one of your choosing. Best it be one close to you. Also, best to select one by the language you speak. If, however, one does not mention your language, write to one of us, using an email address below and we will help direct you.

 

The Sanctuary of Hekate Hegemonen
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Language: Portuguese (Br)
Francine Derschner, Keybearer e Patricia Elizium, Torchbearer http://santuariodehekatehegemonen.com/ 
covenantofhekatebrazil@gmail.com

The Sanctuary of Hekate Hegemonen located in São Paulo, Brasil is focused on the research and study of the History of the Goddess Hekate as part of the journey to get closer to her mysteries. Our rites and practices are modern, inspired by Western Mystery Traditions as well as Hellenic Polytheism. We are always seeking, through historical bases, to make Goddess worship accessible to the needs of modern devotees. We choose the epithet Hegemonen, which means “Guide”, to name our Sanctuary, for just as Hekate guides Persephone on her journey from the underworld, each of us was brought and guided by the Goddess Hekate to answer her call. As Hegemonen guided and illuminated our steps, we wish to be a light for new seekers willing to know and experience the Goddess Hekate.

The Sanctuary of Hekate Polymorphos
Coventry, United Kingdom
English Language
Kenn Payne, Keybearer
hekatepolysanctuary@gmail.com
https://kennethpayne1983.wixsite.com/hekatepolysanctuary/cohmembership

The Sanctuary of Hekate Polymorphos, based in the West Midlands, United Kingdom, seeks to facilitate and support a growing community brought together in celebration of the Goddess Hekate in Her many forms and names, helping individuals to find their way along the Paths to Hekate, meeting in fellowship, a spirit of understanding and learning from each other.

Sanctuary of Hekate Propolos
Location in Austin, Texas
English language
Deanne Quarrie, Keybearer
coh.membership.propolos@gmail.com
https://sanctuaryofhekatepropolos.com

 The Sanctuary of Hekate Propolos, was created in the month of July 2019, to provide a space in Austin, Texas for those who honor Hekate or who would wish to know more about Her. We do this by offering occasional rituals to the public as well as “meet-and-greet” meetings to form community around the Sanctuary. Our vision is to widen awareness of Hekate and to offer opportunities for the community in ways to honor Her. We serve as a membership Center For the Covenant of Hekate in Texas.

This site maintains a shrine where you may leave prayers, petitions and blessings.  Information about the Covenant of Hekate is available there as well as about the Sanctuary of Hekate Propolos.

For those who wish to study may do so with us at the Liminal Thealogical Seminary.

Sanctuary of Hekate Propylaia
Located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife , Spain
English and Spanish
Contact: Giovanna Diaz, Keybearer Languages
santuariodehekatepropylaia.coh@gmail.com
https://santuariodehekatepropylaia.wordpress.com/

We honour Hekate as the world soul and the guardian that stands at every entrance to the crossroads of the mysteries. We hold daily devotions, rituals, workshops, classes, reading and formative activities for all members as well as having communal rituals in the Hekatean modern festivities. 

Sanctuary of Hekate Trioditis
Location: Athens - Greece
Languages spoken: Greek & English
Christina Moraiti, Keybearer
https://sanctuaryofhekatetrioditis.wordpress.com/ 
trioditihekate@gmail.com

The sanctuary located in Athens, Greece is focused on historical evidence of Hekate's worship and the learning of the Greek language as part of the path towards her understanding and worship. The sanctuary organises tours and trips in the archaeological sites of Attica where Hekate had been worshiped among other Gods or on her own. 

Sanctuary of Hecate Brimo
Keybearer: Renee Olson
Location: North Carolina
https://www.hecatebrimo.org/

The Sanctuary of Hecate Brimo will be a virtual first sanctuary where I will provide support and guidance for those looking to walk with Hecate along the middle path. We will honor the five virtues and conduct our days in line with the goddess. We will focus our energy to help those in need, protect those who cannot protect themselves and lift those who have fallen.
The physical sanctuary will be located in Seven Springs, North Carolina on a small 3.5 acre plot near the Neuse River. When possible we will conduct rituals for the dark moon and solstices.
 
Our work for the community will consist of supporting those who are less fortunate by supporting our local outreach groups. Blessing Box of Goldsboro and Furever Paws.
We will be a public sanctuary open to members and non-members of CoH.
 

Covenant of Hekate Merchandise available at https://ethereal-grind.creator-spring.com/

Assorted styles of shirts with CoH logo on the front and a custom design by Ethereal Grind on the back.

Do you have an update you'd like to share about your sanctuary? Or do you have witchcraft wares you sell or services you offer such as cartomancy or spells? Advertise here! Email noumenianews@gmail.com for more information.
                                Become a Columnist! 

Is there a particular aspect of spiritual, magical or creative work with Hekate you are passionate and knowledgeable about?  Do you want to develop your writing skills, and perhaps your portfolio?  Maybe you just sincerely want to see the CoH community grow and develop?

Noumenia News is looking for columnists - individuals who can commit to writing 300-600 words on a Hekate related topic for each edition (4 a year).  We've had some wonderful new columnists join us but we definitely have room for more! Here are some suggested topics we could still use columnists for:
  • Astrology, symbols etc.,
  • Crafts & recipes.
  • Study of the PGM, Orphic Hymns etc.,
  • Interviews with CoH members.
Want to be involved?  Email your proposal to noumenianews@gmail.com!

We are also ALWAYS interested in individual submissions! Feel free to submit your art, written pieces, photographs and anything else that reflects your path with the Goddess.
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