Ritual – Dark Moon

[Created by Louise Greentree, Nidge Kendrick, Caro HL, Shay Skepevski, Hazel, Sarah Burns and Tina Georgitsis on behalf of the CoH, 2013]

Dark Moon Ritual Note:

The Dark of the Moon is on the last day of the lunar month, the night before the New Moon. The Rite of the Dark of the Moon is focussed on evoking Hekate and performing a ritual in Her name remove negative energies, leaving offerings of food and drink and ask for blessings in in Her name. The following ritual can be adapted to suit personal needs and the location of the    ritual.

1. Personal Preparation:

Take a ritual bath or shower and dress in a clean robe or other ritual attire. Anoint yourself with any oil (olive oil will work if you have no other preference), focusing on crown chakra, forehead, heart, solar plexus, and the soles of the feet.

2. Altar Preparation:

Set up, if you don’t have a permanent space, your devotional shrine to Hekate. This can be as simple or elaborate as you wish for it to be. It should, however, contain:

  • A red candle
  • A plate of food offerings for Hekate’s Deipnon. Traditional offerings include garlic, onions, cheese, eggs, fish, bread, and cake. The plate used for these offerings should never be used by the living.
  • A goblet or chalice containing a libation, which can consist of wine, honey, olive oil, milk, or purified water, among other things.
  • A receptacle to receive the libation, if you won’t be performing the ritual in a location where you can pour it directly into the earth.
  • Aundle of herbs for purification, and either a censer to burn them on or a bowl of sacred water to asperge with. Recommended herbs: bay, rosemary, sage, mugwort, hyssop and mint.

3. The Ceremony:

Light your red candle.                                                                                                                              Place both your hands on your heart (three heartbeats), your forefinger and middle finger of your dominant hand to your lips (three heartbeats), and then to your brow (three heartbeats). Now enclose your thumbs within both your hands (in fists) and raise both your arms to the heavens. Open your hands and with palm upwards in your left hand, bring your right arm to your side palm facing downwards.                                                                                                           Recite (or read) your personal Hymn to Hekate.                                                                                       [Take three deep breaths, in through your nostrils and out through your mouth, make sure you are comfortable, repeat if need be].                                                                                                          “May my heart burn with desire for understanding” (touch heart)                                                         “May my lips speak words of illuminated truth”  (touch lips)                                                                   “May my visions be filled with divine knowledge”  (touch brow)                                                             [Take three deep breaths, in through your nostrils and out through your mouth, make sure you are comfortable, repeat if you feel it necessary]

4. Evoke the Goddess:

“Dark Maiden Hekate, who carries the keys to the realm below and leads the indwelling souls’ way.                                                                                                                                                           Great Mistress, who guards the gates of worlds between.                                                                         By the Stars of the Dark Heavens and the Shadow of the Moon!                                                              By your Mysteries held in the depths of Blackest Night!                                                                            Still within this place of Darkness, I evoke you, Torch-bearing lover of Shadow!                                   Rise up from the Underworld, with spectral hound and haunting Shade,                                                To receive your Deipnon and wander the blessed Night!                                                                               Bestow your gift of nocturnal wisdom upon the brow of your devotee!                                                       Guide my earthly feet along your moonless road, that I may know clarity and strength of soul.              As restless spirits gather at the crossroads, I entreat you, Tender-Hearted Hekate,                                To graciously pour down your blessings that we may carry your protection,                                        And reveal your secrets that keep the promise of hope within the darkness.”

5. Protection:

To protect against and dispel both literal harmful spirits which may be passing your way and unwanted or negative aspects within yourself, use a simple ritual gesture:                                    With fingers on your lips, expel with a heavy breath out, visualizing the negative forces rising up through the body and leaving out of the mouth.                                                                                   To further activate the magical working, recite the following while focusing on what you want to dispel:                                                                                                                                                              “O Nyx, whose darkness holds all the mysteries in shade,                                                                          O flame lit stars, whose golden rays with Luna light float near,                                                            Black Queen who knows the untold desire that works our will, Ekate Apotropaios                            Grant us your protection this night from harm & malevolence as we give honour to you.”

6. Deipnon:

At the liminal space/doorway, offer a Deipnon (an offering of a meal) to the Goddess at the front doors of your home or by a local crossroads, in the hopes that She may, in passing, confer Her blessing.                                                                                                                                            “Great Hekate of the Crossroads I honour you at this time of the dark of the moon                                  Accept these offerings as thanks for the blessings you have bestowed on me                                             May I be purified and protected                                                                                                                       Hail Goddess of the Darkness!”                                                                                                               Slowly stand up and walk away in silence, without looking back. If not at a crossroads, walk        directly into the home, closing the door, without looking back.

7. Fumigation:

In the home, take your bundle of purification herbs, and either burn them on a censer or dip them in a bowl of sacred water to asperge with. Use these herbs to purify both your home and yourself. While doing this, say: “Ekas, Ekas, este veveli!” (in Greek: “Εκας Εκας εςτε βεβελοι”)           [Translation: Far, Far from this place be the profane]

8. Closing:

In the temple space, face the west and in a ritual gesture raise your goblet/chalice to the heavens, then to your forehead, and lastly to your heart before pouring the libation to the Goddess, to the dead, and to the powers of the Underworld.

The libation may be poured directly onto the ground or, if you are inside, into a receptacle that you can later take them outside to pour onto the ground. While pouring the libation, recite the following:                                                                                                                                                       “Pass into the Earth and be drunk by the restless dead… be received by the rivers of the                        Underworld…be spilled upon the feet of our Goddess.”

Farewell to Hekate

Bid farewell to Hekate as you are moved.                                                                                              Perform the closing as usual i.e. extinguish the flame, then place both your hands on your heart (three heartbeats), your forefinger and middle finger of your dominant hand to your lips (three heartbeats), and then to your brow (three heartbeats).                                                                        Open your palms reaching towards the heaven, then reach down and touch the Earth.