Today’s draw brings great harmony and deep connection with Ancestors (which is actually the subject of today’s #30DaysofHecate by the way). The way the charms fell is stunning today. The arrow of bright and brilliant thought is enmeshed in the crown and pointing at the crown worn by Tara Sermo Sonam Tobche, the Great Golden Lady Who Increases the Power of Merit, She Who is Impeccable Virtue. And the Karma Coin is at the roots of our Ancestral Tree, our lineages. We are working out and off ancestral karma as well as our own, and everything is connected over generations. Even if you don’t like your people or don’t know them, you are affected by their lives and actions. How we live our lives matters; the choices we make every day matter. It’s important to keep the sacred fires of the self lit, and to move in the direction of making your dreams a reality. Continue to move inward along your journey of development, following the path in the dark with your lantern held high (this is another nod to Hekate, the lightbringer–She carries the lantern and brings light to the darkness).
Today’s prompt in the #30DaysofHecate “Sacred Pause Welcoming Hallowmas” is about imagining what Hecate looks like to me and how I would recreate Her artistically. It’s really interesting that this is today’s prompt because last night I had a great conversation with a very powerful witch and priestess of Hekate who told me many things about Her, how She is worshipped and perceived and where She comes from. She is most often portrayed in Her culture of origin as a Maiden goddess, the Lightbringer and Torchbearer and Guider along the pathways. I love that about Her, and I love that She’s a psychopomp, a guide of souls to the lands of the dead. I would write about Her youth and beauty and how it contrasts with the darkness and death around Her as She walks in the underworld, and I would write about how light shines from Her as if She herself is the torch. I don’t know Hekate myself, except as She is spoken of by others. I love thinking of Her as a goddess of crossroads; I think of Her whenever I see a y-shaped branch or twig that’s fallen from a wayside tree. I look at the fallen branch or twig and see which way it’s pointing, and use that as a guide or signpost to answer any questions I might have about which direction to take. I used to be afraid of Her because I believed what I had been told about Her as a goddess of evil and dark magic. I laugh about that now because those things I was told about Her were stories invented by men. Fear does not define a goddess. Hecate/Hekate is defined by the light She brings, by Her own magic and the witches who worship Her with their whole hearts. I hope to someday know Her better.
Hecate is at the crossroads, watching as I approach. I’m scared because of course I’m scared. I have no idea which way to go from here; I only know that going back is not an option. I must go forward but I have no idea what I’ll find when I get there, what I’ll need to help me when I get into trouble, what monsters there are and what heroes, who the Gods are of the new place and if They’ll like me, and worst of all, if I made the right decision in leaving everything behind.
I’m thinking of my ancestors right now, how they must have faced the same questions as they came to the United States from Ireland, for some of them (most of them) never to return, or even see the homeland again. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about moving out of the Bay Area because it’s insanely expensive to live here, and I don’t know if I can afford to live out my life in this place. What’s killing me is that my people on my mother’s side are all buried about fifteen miles from where I’m sitting right now, and if I leave, I’ll be leaving them behind. My ancestors from Ireland must have thought the same thing, maybe only briefly as they boarded the ships to come here because grief over the welfare of the dead is a luxury when faced with the grief over the welfare of the living. But then it occurs to me that migration is a trait of all beings on this planet: we all wander around trying to find the best places for ourselves and our families, and when we run out of room or resources (or both), we move on. We’ve left our dead buried all over the place over the last 150,000 years or so, so wherever I end up, chances are good there will be ancestors there for me to meet and revere, to aid and bless and honor and connect with.
I bring this all to Hecate as I approach her, and I notice now that I’m weeping. I can’t help it. Leaving has never been easy for me; I’m such a child of place and stable belonging that moving on is always a rough go. I remember moving-in day at college when my Mom drove me up to the freshman dorm, and right as the car pulled up to the curb and the young man waiting to help us unload the car grabbed for the door, I whispered, “Take me back. I’ve changed my mind.” So now I give this to Her, and I pray that She’ll help me focus forward, on the new life beginning, on the dawn at the edge of the hill up ahead of me. Help me have the strength to move on.