So as stars do streak across the sky,
Asteria speaks to her daughter,
Bearing your torch, holding it high,
The Keeper of Keys will not falter.
I wrote the above contemplating the myth and beauty of the Perseids meteor shower. Starting just prior to Lammas, we reach its peak near the Feast of Hekate on August 13th. A ritual to her under a dark sky, with her mother’s stars to guide you, can be a powerful experience that changes your perception of what darkness and light can mean in your spiritual practice.
I will note, this is a fairly modern way of celebrating and honoring Hekate. Bekah Evie Bel did an incredible amount of legwork on the historical context, so please check that out. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/hearthwitchdownunder/2017/08/investigating-hekates-night-august-13.html
Below you’ll find my thoughts, weaving the connections between myth, personal experiences, and modern Hekatean Witchcraft.
What are the Perseids?
The Perseids are an abundant meteor shower that cross the sky in early August, hailing from the constellation Perseus. At it’s peak (around the 11th to 14th of August) the storm reaches peaks of 60 meteors or more per hour! While they are visible anywhere in the world, the primary field is in the pre-dawn hours of the Northern Hemisphere.
I was out last night (12th August) to watch them, and I saw 25 within a 30 minute window. Each year that I watch these I am reminded of the vastness of our universe, or connection with it all, and paradoxically, or insignificance. I am reminded of the quote “Be humble for you are made of dung. Be noble for you are made of the stars”. The research I’ve done doesn’t lead beyond Guy Marchie referring to this as a Serbian proverb in the 70’s, but that’s not well validated, and I don’t know any Serbians who can verify that it is indeed a proverb.
What’s the Connection to Hekate?
The connection to Hekate takes a winding road, and is best connected to Nemoralia, a celebration of the Roman Goddess Diana Trivia. As linked above, Bekah really pulls this out. Loosely, this Feast also links to Hekate through her father (Perseus), and her mother Asteria (which means “starry one” or “falling star”) – while this is a loose connection, for me all of these small connections link to a deeper knowing that this time of year celebrated Her.
I work with the Feast of Hekate honoring her as the goddess of the Crossroads, and of Witches. It is usually an oracular working, along with devotional rite for myself and coven members. One devotional working with Hekate was a devotional hymn created with members of the Covenant of Hekate. I include the graphic of this hymn below, with the permission of those involved in it’s creation. Please send your support to www.hekatecovenant.com if you enjoyed this devotional working.
“Hail Asteria! Hail Hekate!
Eternal Goddesses, Star-Born Queens!
Mother and Daughter of the Mysteries!
Brightest Asteria, daughter of Coeus and Phoebe,
Titaness Goddess of oracles and prophetic dreams,
Who with Perses birthed Hekate,
Raising her only child above her starry realm
Thus igniting all of creation.
Timeless Hekate, Cosmic World Soul
We are your adoring children,
Of the mysteries of the starry night.
Asteria, the original earth-bound star,
Quail her chosen form,
Birthed the island nursery for sister Leto’s
Fair twins, Artemis and Apollo,
Bold and noble companions to Hekate,
To whom her righteous mother entrusted
The role of the wise midwife and protector of children.
Behold Hekate’s owl, symbol of her wisdom,
Whose midnight cries signal the dead
And hearken rebirth.
As the quail’s brave flight brings courage under the stars.
O’ Goddesses Nocturnal and Shining,
Guide us through the starry night
With your magnificent shining rays,
And your feathered messengers.
Asteria, you are the first of the falling stars in the night,
Hekate, you are the star fuel of creation
That lives in us all.
Bright shining mother and daughter!
Great Starry Goddesses guide us, your children,
May we be blessed be in the darkness
And our souls enlightened by your eternal star flames.
Hail Hekate! Hail Asteria!”
Written by Anonymous devotees, Cece, Bernardette, Mabh, Marcel, Iris and Lisa.
Celebrating Hekate’s Feast
Celebrations can be solitary, or larger community events (in person or online), for example like the Temple of Witchcraft oracular rites, which are contributing to a growing body of experiences of Hektae within modern witchcraft.
The Feast of Hekate is usually an oracular working for me. Friends gather in a small group here in Nova Scotia to do this working. Myself and two other priestesses will get into trance, and share visions and messages from three aspects of Hekate.
Reciting this hymn would be an excellent way to honour them both on the 13th.
I hope this blog is helpful for you in understanding this Witch’s perspectives on celebrating at the Feast of Hekate, and what you might incorporate.
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