February: Devotional Month of Purification
Created by Torchbearer Florian Schlie
In many modern magical traditions February is a time for purification. I have designed this rite as devotional ritual that can be performed on a regular basis during February. For example on a daily basis, several times a week or once a week. In Antiquity Hekate was strongly connected with purification of persons or the household- and in this ritual we will address Hekate in her roles as a Goddess of purification- but also in her aspects as the Goddess who has powers over the spheres of earth, sea and sky and who is the ensouler of the cosmos and the shining great saviour.
You will need
- A devotional shrine to Hekate with a picture, image or statue of the Goddess.
- Two candles to illuminate the shrine
- One white, red or yellow pillar candle
- An apple or pomegranate (as offering)
- Three bowls
- Garlic, Onion or an egg
- Water (if possible source water)
- Lavender, basil, rosemary or hyssop
- Incense (for this rite with cleansing properties, for example pine resin, sage, lavender, olibanum,sandalwood- you can use smudge sticks for example).
Prepare the devotional shrine for Hekate; the statue/image/picture of the Goddess should be in the background centre of the shrine. Put a candle to the left and right side of the statue/image of the Goddess; put the apple/pomegranate in front of the image of Hekate. Put the white/yellow/ red candle in front of the apple/pomegranate. And arrange the three bowls in a triangle around the candle. Fill one bowl with the spring water and put a little bit of the herb (lavender/hyssop/rosemary/basil) into the water, fill the other bowl with the garlic (or onion/egg) and use the third bowl for the incense (fill it with sand if you use charcoal incense or put the smudge stick into the bowl)
Part 1: Lighting the flames
Light the two candles that are on the left and right side of the statue/image of Hekate on your shrine. Speak:
“I light these divine flames in the name of the great Goddess Hekate, may her divine fire be present on this shrine, and may her light bring protection and blessings.”
Focus for a moment on the flames see and feel the light that the flames create. Watch the fire. See and feel the atmosphere that the fire creates on your shrine.
Close your eyes take three deep breaths and relax.
Calm down Imagine the stars burning bright above you in the sky (even if it is day- the stars are there).Imagine that their silver light flows down into your body and fills you out. You begin to shine in silver light. Imagine the depths of the earth below you. Imagine a golden shining serpent that crawls up to you. This serpent is pure life source- the serpent is climbing in coils around your body and the life force of the earth fills you out. You begin to glow in a golden light.
Imagine and feel the ouranic fire of the stars and the chthonic serpent power filling you out. Imagine that in your breast a spark begins to shine, the light of this spark gets brighter and brighter until a radiant sun burns within your breast.
Open your eyes and see the shrine before you.
Hold your hands over the shrine and imagine that the ouranic and chthonic powers flow through your hands into the shrine. Imagine that they begin to shine. Speak again and again the Ephesian letters: Askion, Kataskion, Lix, Tetrax, Damnameneus, Aisia.And imagine that a sphere of light surrounds you and your shrine. The shrine is the centre of this sacred sphere. The divine fire of your shrine flames is filling this sphere around you.
If you feel it is enough bring your hand back to your breast. And stop to speak the Ephesian letters.
Part 2: Inviting the Goddess
Burn some incense and say:
“I burn this incense for the great Hekate, may this smell welcome her on this shrine.”
Close your eyes… Relax and imagine a beautiful young maiden. She wears a pure white dress with golden ornaments; on her feet she has golden sandals. Her hair is brown but shines with a light of gold and an aura of light is around the Goddess. On her head she has a shining golden diadem. And a saffron coloured veil is around her shoulders. In her hands she holds long burning torches. Around her neck is a necklace with a gold key.
Imagine that she stands behind your shrine. So that the candles on the shrine burn in front of her.
Raise your hands up to the sky. Begin to whisper again and again- Io Hekate, Io Pasikrateia… whisper this again and again with closed eyes. Imagine the Goddess standing on your shrine while you whisper this again and again. Let your words get louder and louder (or as loud as you are able to speak them in your home) and when you feel it is enough, open your eyes and speak:
“Hekate Pasikrateia- great and powerful Goddess,
heavenly, earthly, underworldly,
Key holding queen of the cosmos,
ensouler of life,
bearer of divine fire,
you who have power over earth, seas and sky,
Be here on this shrine,
and bring your protection, blessings and love!”
Let your hands sink down pointing towards your shrine; touch your shrine with your hands.Open yourself to her presence. Focus on your inner view of Hekate and watch the shrine with your physical eyes (you can speak again and again Io Hekate, Io Pasikrateia- until you feel her presence on her shrine- but that is optional)
Part 3: Offering to the Goddess
Burn again some incense and take the incense into your hands and let it circle three times over the shrine and let the smoke touch the image of the Goddess. Speak: “I offer you this incense Io Hekate, Io Pasikrateia.”
Put the incense back to the shrine.
Take the apple/pomegranate into your hands, imagine that the apple begin to glow in your hands, shining like gold. And speak:
“Hekate shining maiden, bringer of light, torch bearing queen
accept these offerings. Be gracious to my rite. “
Put the apple/pomegranate back to the shrine.
Part 4 Purification Spell
Pray to Hekate and ask her to help you to clean yourself from all negativity and harmfull influences.
Take the garlic/onion/egg out of the first bowl and hold it in your hands. Imagine that all negative energies flow like a dark energy out of your body, aura and soul into the garlic/onion/egg and that it draws all negative influences out of you. You can focus on specific topics that you want to banish- for example fear, sadness, illness or you can just focus on everything that is negative no matter if you brought it over you yourself- or others (no matter if with intention or not). Let all negativity flow into the garlic/onion/egg and speak again and again: “IO Hekate Io Chtonia”. When you feel it is enough say in your own words that you free yourself from all negative influences in the name of Hekate Chtonia.
Take the water into your hands. Ask Hekate Einalia in your own words to bless the water. To fill it with her love and light. Imagine that Hekate holds her burning torches into the water and the water begins to glow into a wine-red light. Sprinkle the water again and again over yourself and speak again and again: Io Hekate Io Einalia. While you do this imagine that the water cleanses you and the love of the Goddess fills you. When you feel it is enough ask Hekate Einalia to clean you and to bless you and put some water unto your brow and bless yourself in the name of Hekate Einalia.
Now take the incense out of the third bowl and pray to Hekate Ourania to bless and clean you. Smudge yourself with the incense; imagine that you begin to glow and to shine and that all remaining negativity leaves you. Speak again and again:” Io Hekate Io Ourania”. When you feel it is enough smudge yourself a last time with the incense and bless yourself in the name of Hekate Ourania.
Now take the red/yellow/white candle and light it on the flames of the other candles. Hold it in front of you- so that the reflection of it light can reach you. Now ask Hekate Soteira to clean you with her light. Imagine that the Goddess stands with her torches in front of you and she puts her burning torches into your direction, the fire of her torches begin to clean you, to bless you, to heal you and transform you. Imagine that her fires are burning within you and you are shining like a bright star in the darkness- blessed by her burning torches. While you imagine that speak again and again: “IO Hekate, Io Megiste, Epiphanestate, Soteira. Let her divine fire transform you. When you feel it is enough open your eyes and look into the fire. Pray to Hekate Soteira and ask her to bless her with her divine fire of love, truth and belief. Imagine again that her fire burns bright within you. Then put the burning candle back to its place. The divine fire of Hekate burns now surrounded by the symbols of earth, sea and sky on your shrine.
Part 6: Thanking and ending the rite
Now you can meditate, enjoy the presence of Hekate, do divination, play instruments, dance or do other devotional acts to Hekate. Or thank her and close the rite.
Thank her with your own words. Ask her to guide you with her light. To protect you and your home and to bring her blessings into your life.
Imagine that she disappears from the shrine- but a spark of her presence, power and energy stays connected to the statue/image and in the flames on your shrine.
Imagine that the sacred sphere around you begins to fade away; it flows into the flames on your shrine and into your heart.
Touch the ground with your hands and imagine that all energy that is too much flows down into the earth
The Epithets that I use in this rite:
The Epithet Pasikrateia means the all-powerful one or the almighty one. The epithet comes from the Greek Magical Papyri. Chtonia, Einalia and Ourania are connected to Hekate´s power over the earth, sea and sky. The Epithets are used in the Theogony of Hesiod and in the Orphic Hymn to Hekate. Megiste means the greatest. Epiphanestate means the most manifest one or the most shining/bright one. Soteira means saviour. These were the main Epithets that were used in the temple of Lagina for Hekate. In this temple Hekate was worshiped as a local form of the Anatolian Great Mother- similar like Kybele or Atremis of Ephesos. Together these Epithets mean the greatest most shining saviour.
You can do this ritual on a daily basis during February or as often as it is possible for you. But the ritual is designed for a regular basis and will build up power and energy with each repeating of the rite.
You have to give Hekate the apple/pomegranate just when you do the rite the first time and can let it stay on the shrine. When it begins to get bad you have to bring it to a crossroad and use a new apple/pomegranate that you have to offer her now again. So you just have to do the offering the first time when you do the ritual or if you have to exchange the offering after some time. Several Hekateia (statues of the three-formed Hekate) had apples or pomegranate in her hands.
Rosemary, lavender, hyssop and basil have a long history as healing herbs. And are still used in folk magic a lot as cleansing herbs.
Garlic, onions and eggs
These have a long history in purification rites and healing folk magic. You can use for each rite one bulb of garlic or one egg or one onion. Or you can use the same onion/garlic/egg several times until you feel that it is full. Bring the egg/garlic/onion to a crossroad and leave it there. When you leave the crossroad don´t turn back. You can also leave the remainings of the incense on the crossroad. And the water that was used during the rites.
Love, truth and belief
These were the three virtues of Hekate in the Chaldean Oracles.
It would be wise to clean your home during this month of purification- you can use the incense that you have used during the rite. And you can sprinkle the blessed water in all rooms of your home. You can also use eggs/garlic/onions as magnets for negative energies in your home.
Do devotional walks and feel the elements and get in touch with them. For example when you bring the remainings of the ritual to the crossroad. Pray on the crossroad to Hekate Chtonia- geht in touch with the earth and give all negativity to the earth in her name.
Do nightly walks and watch the stars. Imagine that the purificating fire of the stars flows into you and cleans you from all negativity. Pray to Hekate Ourania to clean you with her star-fire.
Visit the sea and clean yourself with the sea water or visit sources and clean yourself with the fresh water that flows from the womb of the underworld. Pray to Hekate Einalia.