Disclaimer: This post deals heavily with spirit-guided gnosis, mystical experience, and conjecture.
It might seem weird talking about “beyond” the Mysteries of Hekate-Despoina, when the book isn’t even completed. Yet, having finished the rites of the Three Stages, I do have to ponder: what’s the next step? The easiest answer to that is the Remembrance Cycle. The Remembrance Cycle is the name and form the Mysteries of Hekate-Despoina take after the mystēs has gone through the entire three-stage procedure once and fully. Every year after that, on the anniversary dates of the original three rites, the practitioner must perform simple rituals that commemorate the journey and spiritual transformation experienced during the exploration of the Mysteries. The name “Remembrance Cycle” pays tribute to Mnemosyne, the Goddess of Memory, whose blessing upon initiates allows them to fully absorb and retain all gnosis received and experienced during mystical processes. Memory and remembering play a major role in the Mysteries, echoing the mystēs’ affirmations that they are fully cognizant of their ineffable experiences and the divine origin of their souls.
But is that all? For many, yes. The Mysteries of Hekate-Despoina, including the Remembrance Cycle, are a self-contained, entire system of mystery practice. One can be entirely content and fulfilled in terms of spiritual and mystical experience with the tradition as-is. However, from early on I was given glimpses of further, potential paths to follow after the Mysteries procedures were completed, including a “fork in the road” which is still largely unknown to me. Part of that potential ahead was clarified somewhat during the Second Stage of the Mysteries, the Sidereal Journey. Coupled with admitting that the presence of magic (theurgic, hieratic magic) is something I can neither deny nor avoid when it comes to this mystery tradition, I realized that a path branching off from these Mysteries will be heavily magic-oriented; much more than the Mysteries rites are.
Unlike the clear instructions and gnosis received after each Stage was completed, which illuminated the next Stage, I’m only getting what can be described as flashes and very fragmented information. My assumption is that I need to coax these fleeting specters of gnosis through my tried-and-tested rituals for such matters, in order to clear up the path ahead. The only certainty, based on the crucial sign I received by Hekate on the culmination of the Third Stage, is that the path ahead branches off thrice, not unlike the rune Algiz in shape (I am only referencing the rune because of its design, not because of its meanings or any other reason). The magic-focused branch is one of the three but that’s the extent of what I can figure out right now.
Since the book is still a work in progress, I don’t plan to focus too much on that future path and its branches. I have the first iteration of the Remembrance Cycle ahead of me in the meantime, and finishing the book is the foremost priority. I do want to explore a little bit though, if only to shed a bit of light and figure out some of these nebulous pieces of gnosis.
Another thing that has been preoccupying me, related to the future and entirety of the Mysteries, is the tradition’s name. “Mysteries of Hekate-Despoina” is fine, albeit a roundabout way to refer to it, but it is also strongly tied to the book and the practices till now. The parts of the path ahead give me a strong sensation of being different, even if they are directly related and a continuation of the journey started with the Mysteries. I am thoroughly unsure what to call the tradition as a whole. If any of you have a flash of inspiration, do let me know. The Gods inspire all of us and messages that answer our questions often come from other people.