It has been my own personal gnosis, and that of many other devotees of Hekate that She is a goddess of Motherhood. She is given the epithet of Eileithyia, birth goddess, and also given the epithet of Kourotrophos, protector of the young.
The torch of Eileithyia guides women through the burning pain of labour. As Kourotrophos, she is often depicted with a babe in arms.Other epithets associated with Her and Motherhood, particularly at the time of Childbirth include Hekate Enodia (of the Crossroads), Hekate Genetyllis (birth-helper, midwife), Hekate Lochias (protector of birth), and Hekate Geneteira (mother). Thank you to Mat Auryn for collating such a fantastic resource of Her many epithets, available here (http://matauryn.com/many-epithets-hekate/).
The epithets of her as both Hekate Enodia and Hekate Eileithyia were clear to me through my own birth experiences, as the crossroads of birth, and the initiation into being a mother. As a Witch, it was important for me to have my spirituality reflected within my birth experience.
Birth is hard, messy, [in my case] long, and above all – sacred. I chose with both of my births to have images upon which to focus so that my body could relax and I could allow each contraction to move over me and through me without fear.To do so, I created a labyrinth (or labour-inth) specifically for birth. You can buy one, and I have seen many of these used successfully for women in labour, however you can create your own if you have reason to.
Creating a labour-inth for sacred childbirth
Use and adapt as you so choose.
- Medium on which to draw (I used a piece of linen as I wanted something that would also provide a nice tactile quality)
- Pens, markers, pencils, paints
- Materials that you’d like to affix to the image if you wish
Gather your supplies and if it is a part of your tradition, create sacred space (magick circle, smudging, or going to a sacred place). Invite in your spiritual guides to create your labourinth for your highest good. Call upon the goddess Hekate Eileithyia to be with you as you create your image.
In the centre of your page, draw your labourinth. Connect with it as you do so, and set an intention that with each contraction, you will journey to the middle of the labourinth at the contraction’s peak, and back out again as it begins to subside. Set the intention also that Hekate Eileithyia will be with you on this journey inward, offering relief as the cool waters and rejuvenating energy needed in labour.
If needed you can find simple instructions on how to draw a labyrinth here: http://www.wikihow.com/Draw-a-Labyrinth
Once your labyrinth is drawn, draw a door at the entrance. This door is your gateway through the crossroads that you experience with each contraction. Around your labour-inth, you can add symbols, quotes, or other inspirational images and items that are sacred to you and will help you on your journey through childbirth. I drew a turtle, the sigil of the Covenant of Hekate (the waves at the top were reminding me of the waves of each contraction), a spiral (representing the spiral of life). I also wrote the mantras, “The way out is through”, and “Surrender, Relax, Let Go.”
Once created, call upon Hekate Eileithyia (or your chosen epithet) to bless your pregnancy and birthing of both baby and mother. You could write your own blessing, or use the following, which I have written specifically for this post:
Eternal mother, eternal midwife,
I call upon you to bring your blessings of childbirth,
Hekate Eileithyia, bring peace and safety, love and power to me!
Grant me your wisdom,
Grant me freedom from fear,
Meet with me in the labyrinth of my soul.
Hekate Eileithyia, be with me now,
Bless this pregnancy, bless this baby,
Bless me as I become a mother,
Bless the maiden left behind.
Io Eileithyia, Io Hekate, Io Eileithyia!
Raise energy as you see appropriate or as per your tradition, and infuse it into the image you have created. Ground yourself as needed and end your ritual/ceremony as per your own spiritual tradition.
Store the labourinth in a sacred space such as your altar or shrine to Hekate until the time of birth, and bring it with you. Pin this somewhere that you can see it during your labour.
Have you ever used the energy of the labyrinth in your workings with Hekate? How did you use it? What were the results?
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