Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Hekatean Pathworking



In this post, I will do something a little different. I’ll move away from scholarly pursuits for a while and give you something more practical. A hymn for evoking Hekate as well as an intermediate-level pathworking designed for contacting and interacting with Her. Note that this requires prior experience with pathworkings as well as a working relationship and familiarity with Hekate.

Originally, this was supposed to be a submission for the Hekatean Prayerbook, a project by Skyllaros of The Crossroads Companion. Since, however, the project seems to have been abandoned (or, at least, placed in a long hiatus), I’ve decided to publish my submission here (I’m clearing my backlog material) and should the project restart in the future, I can submit something else.

Hymn of Evocation of Hekate


Khaire Hekate! Hail Goddess of the Mysteries, Key-bearer of the Inner Gate! I call upon you, upon your infinite names, Mistress of the In-between, You who guides us in the path of self-discovery! Hear my words, Hekate, and attend my rite. Skiaia Anassa, Potnia Mysterion, Pneuma Aniketon, Great Goddess of the Crossroads, You who wields arcane power without end. Come to me, Hekate, allow me to feel your presence and commune with you. Hekate, Queen of the Witches, Lady of the Restless Dead, stand by my side! May your favour always be with me. May the honour I offer satisfy you. May you grant me, Hekate, gifts unparalleled. Genoito!

Terms

Khaire = Welcome, Hail (“Χαίρε, pronounced “KHE-re”)
Skiaia = Shadowy One (“Σκιαία”, pronounced “skee-E-a”)
Anassa = Mistress, Lady, Queen (“Άνασσα”, pronounced “AH-nah-ssa”)
Potnia = Lady, Queen (“Πότνια”, pronounced “POH-tnee-a”)
Mysterion = of the Mysteries (“Μυστηρίων”, genitive case, plural, pronounced “mee-stee-RHEE-on”)
Pneuma = Spirit (“Πνεύμα”, pronounced “PNEV-ma”)
Aniketon = Invincible, Undefeatable (“Ανίκητον”, pronounced “ah-NEE-kee-ton”)
Genoito = May it be, so mote it be, (“Γένοιτο”, lit. may it become, pronounced “YEH-nee-to”)

Hekatean Pathworking


Purify yourself in your preferred manner or in the methods of your tradition. Sit comfortably, ideally against a wall. Close your eyes. Begin performing the four-fold breath exercise: while inhaling, count to four, as fast or slow as you prefer. Don’t exhale immediately – instead hold your breath while counting to four again. Then, begin exhaling and, at the same time, count to four again. Hold your breath once more and count to four. Repeat as many times as needed to allow your body to relax and your mind to concentrate. If breathing exercises for entering light trance don’t work for you (or you have a medical issue that renders them unwise), you may use any similar methods you prefer. The goal is entering a mild trance state.

Once you have focused on your breathing and relaxed enough, visualise a dark-coloured cloak. Feel the cloak in your hands, see it in your mind’s eye. Wear the cloak and spend a few moments visualising yourself wrapped in it. The cloak will help shield you from unnecessary distractions. If, at any point, you feel the pathworking slipping, focus on the cloak and spend a few moments visualising it again. That should reaffirm your hold on the pathworking itself.

Once you have worn the cloak, look around you, always with your mind’s eye. You’re in a shadowy place, you cannot see anything – only yourself. Start walking. Notice how the shadows and darkness begin to dissipate after a while. You see a dirt road beneath your feet. Look around you. The road is surrounded by endless lines of trees. It’s a road running through a mighty forest.

Walk further ahead. Soon, you come across a crossroads. You look at the roads that spring from it – there’s no destination in sight. Your destination is the crossroads themselves. Now is the time to commune with Hekate Herself.

Recite a hymn or invocation of your choice. You can prepare one beforehand, you may use the one I have provided above or allow inspiration to guide you while in the pathworking. Once you have recited the hymn, chant Hekate’s name repeatedly. Keep doing so until what you experience in the visualisation changes. At this point, the results will vary among individuals. Try to approach Hekate in whatever way She might manifest Herself in that crossroads. This is a good time to mention any requests or voice questions you might have.

Should Hekate not manifest is some discernible way, repeat the hymn or say a small prayer (heartfelt is always best) urging Her to appear before you in what form or way She sees fit. Should that fail again (make sure you keep trying for a little while), end the pathworking in the way I have given below and try to figure out the lack of contact through divination (or, perhaps, appease the Goddess through offertory rituals).
Once you have finished your business with the Goddess, you may begin your return. It is not advisable to explore any further, neither the forest nor the other roads. This realm is Hekate’s own crossroads, the incarnation of all liminality and progress. To intrude further in this domain is to challenge the Goddess Herself; if nothing else, it’s hubristic. If you feel you can explore further or Hekate Herself tells you to, so be it; just be aware of the risks.

If you choose to exit the pathworking, retrace your steps. Follow back the road you came from until you find the dark place again. Untie your cloak and let it fall or vanish from your shoulders. Focus on your breathing (or other preferred method of exiting trance) and slowly ease yourself back to normal consciousness. It’s best that you get up and move around a bit, reaffirming your connection with your body and the physical plane. You may also eat something solid to further reinforce the return, especially if you’re feeling light-headed. Salty foods are the best for this due to salt’s natural grounding properties.

Note that this particular pathworking requires a moderate degree of experience with pathworkings. If you’re inexperienced in pathworkings – also called meditational journeys or extensive visualisations – you might want to try a few others first. Otherwise, you can perform this pathworking, minus the invocation part, a number of times until your grasp on the visualisation is satisfactory (i.e. the pathworking is flowing comfortably without you forcing it to develop).

2 comments:

  1. This is really wonderful and a great look at a pathworking. I'm still a hard reconstructionist, but I'm as I'm learning more about the Greek way of "magic," I'm becoming more interested. If nothing else, it sure sparks fantastic debate. :)

    The mini glossary was helpful. I've known many of the words for some time, but this is the first I'm hearing/reading of "genoito." I'm still reading through all of your posts, but if this is any indication, I think I'll be learning a lot. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. I'm glad you liked this and thanks for the kind words! A good deal of my practice, especially the magical kind, is not strictly Greek. In fact, I am heavily influenced by "Neopagan" Witchcraft (and don't mind saying so!). I was never a reconstructionist - I prefer "historically informed" - so be warned, you might find quite a bit that doesn't follow a reconstructionist approach. :)

      "Genoito" (I opted for the literal transliteration as opposed to the phonetic) is a word I've used as a prayer ending for years, although I've also seen people use "esto" (έστω - meaning "become" or "do happen" in an imperative sense) or even nothing at all.

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