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(Which can also be done during any Dark Moon)Ritual* led by Janine Donnellan
When performing a Samhain ritual, many Witches invoke Hecate, as Samhain is a time when the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest. The living and the dead co-mingle, and we can talk to departed souls and learn the mysteries of Hecate's kingdom. For this is Her festival, just as the dead are her realm. Sacred to Hecate are fish and eggs. Hecate suppers were left where three roads crossed as gifts for the Goddess. Hecate, who leads us into wild places, blood rites, decay and death, howling wolves and the dark moon. At the ending of the year, old grievances should be resolved, debts torn up or paid, the slate wiped clean, ready for the new year. Hecate's tree is the willow which is also sacred to the Moon. The willow is the tree of enchantment. Owls are sacred to Hecate and screech their loudest in November and then are silent until February. They are messengers to Hecate and She has given them the gift of prophecy, hence their reputation for wisdom, the crone wisdom of the Goddess.
You can burn sage incense, cloves, cinnamon, or other incenses that correspond to Hecate and the season. You can burn mugwort and mandrake as well.
Cast the Circle either by using the one provided in this website or your own in the usual manner and then invoke the Goddess, Hecate, pounding the earth or floor. Whisper at first, then grow louder and louder........
Hecate, Hecate, Hecate, Hecate!
(Now howling, beating the ground, banging drums and wailing, bring up the Goddess from the land of the Dead.)
Sweet mystery, dark knowledge
Now sit in silence and see yourself sitting in a sacred circle out in the woods. There is a briskness in the air. In the middle of your circle is a fire burning and you can smell the burning of the wood and the heat from the fire. A cauldron sits hanging over the fire with a bubbling brew in it. The sweet scent of sage fills your nostrils. Everything is still....nothing moves. All you hear are the creatures of the night.
Suddenly, the energy shifts, and you feel as if someone is there. The air begins to stir, and you feel a slight breeze across your face. The dried leaves on the trees begin to rustle and then the wooded forest seems to open on its own accord.
Out walks three hounds. They seem wild, but something tells you not to be afraid on them. The hounds walk into your circle, and although they sit, they are forever watchful. Each one is looking in a different direction. The breeze really picks up now, and as you watch, out from the forest comes friends and family you have known from other lifetimes, and in this lifetime, but have passed over, and they come into your circle. Sit and wait to see if any of them come to talk with you, giving you a chance to clear things up, or to say the words that remained unspoken when they passed over. If nothing is said, do not worry. They are there to let you know that you are never really alone.
As you feel comforted at that, you notice movement from the corner of your eye that someone is coming out from within the forest. The trees seem to part on their own. You watch as as an old woman walks out from the forest with an owl perched on her arm. You are drawn to her eyes, which seem to be deep dark pools of wisdom. She walks with a cane made from a Yew tree with a crystal sitting on top of it, and feathers are hanging down the side. You know from the power that resonates from this woman that She is Hecate.
She lifts her arms, and the Owl leaves her to fly over to you. Listen to the words of wisdom of what the owl has to share with you.
After a few minutes have passed, Hecate approaches, and as She does so, her face keeps changing from maiden, to the mother, and to the crone, because there are many faces of Hecate, as She is the three and the one. As She stands before you, her face stops changing and rests the way you see Her. You look deep into her eyes and you see the key that unlocks the door to the mysteries. As you look deep within, you realize that it is the reflection of your own eyes that you see with the key and that you yourself hold the key to unlock those mysteries. You realize that it is you who has to look within your own soul for the answers.
She then takes your hand and leads you over to the big cauldron and motions for you to look into the deep pool of darkness to see what you need to see or need to know. Spend some time now to search for the mysteries that will be revealed to you. Hecate turns you around to walk back to where you were sitting, but as you do so, you notice that the forest has opened up once again and that everyone is leaving. The hounds are sitting at the edge of the woods waiting for their Mistress. Hecate smiles at you, and assures you silently that everything will be all right. You then realize that She has always been with you. She turns to leave and as She does so, She lifts up her arm and the Owl flies down to once again perch on Her arm. After She has gone, you sit and think of all that you have learned this very magickal night. You hear the howling of the hounds, and this awakens you from your meditation.
Do the libation to Hecate and and magick which you wish to perform on this most magickal night of the year. Then close the circle in the usual manner.
* This ritual is from Hecate's Cauldron