This post is part of a blog challenge series, 30 Days of Devotion to Hekate. Day 20 and we’re look at quotes, poems or writing that I think Hekate strongly resonates with. And let’s not talk about the mistake in the title and url.
Quotes, poems and writing. Another one I have to be careful with, don’t want to step on copyright toes. I am not a big reader of poetry unfortunately. I do have a few books and I once wrote/typed out some that called out to me – some of which I remember would fit this post – but the Gods only know whats happened to the books and my notes! I figure my notes got lost when my laptop hdd failed a couple years back and the books are probably hidden somewhere nice and “safe” for homeschool purposes.
However, I tend to read fantasy, even what some call bad fantasy and I still love it, because I am a terrible person – so poems and folk songs are part for the parcel. So the poem I am choosing for this post is from a fantasy book, one that many people love to hate. But I have no shame.
Song of Shadow Wood
From Dragonlance Tales 3 – Love & War, by Margeret Weis and Tracy Hickman.
A poem from a short story, called Hunting Destiny, about the stag that leads the Dragonlance heroes through Darken Wood. I don’t know why it makes me think of Hekate, but it does. Set in this darkening forest, includes men who guard the boundaries of the forest, a hunt of sorts, has ghosts and a curse. It has this darkness to it, a dusky or dusty sort of darkness, and that sort of darkness always makes me feel Hekate.
[…]King Peris’s men were duty bound,
To guard the wood from fear.
The king, in pride, set sword aside,
To bargain with the deer.
“There is no hunt for me,” said he,
“Of any creature born,
Unless I could in Shadow Wood
Hunt down the unicorn.”[…]
[…]The king was slain, his body lain
Among his dying men,
But they were told ere they were cold
To rise and hunt again.
“For every wraith who breaks his faith
Must wander without cease
And, cold, perform what he did, warm,
And never rest in peace.[…]
I can’t post the entire poem, copyright and all – plus it’s quite long. But you can read a copy of it at Krynn Woman.
The Shepherd’s Dog
Joyce Marsh, from Ghost Stories, chosen by Robert Westall.
This is not a poem, but I guess it’s a piece of writing – it’s a short story from a book of ghost tales. I read this story a long time ago, I reckon 15+ years ago and it has stuck with me since. I think I connect it to Hekate because it’s about a dog, protecting kids and includes a bit of ghostness. It is also about being misunderstood, and Hekate is certainly that.
I can’t post the story here obviously, but I will give a quick run down of what it’s about. The story itself is from the dogs perspective, so this run down is not exactly how you would read it.
An old man dies and leaves behind, alone, his pet dog. This dog goes through it’s own little adventures and hardships, living basically wild, trying to steal scraps to survive, even killing off sheep to eat. So it’s eventually seen as a bad dog, a thief, menace and pest, even dangerous. It gets chased off and attacked by humans, and does react in kind. One day a man sees the dog trying to attack his little boy and in his panic he attacks the dog and throws or pushes it off a cliff to die.
Then his wife points out that the dog was herding the little boy away from the cliff, saving his life. He regrets what he did, but shrugs it off and makes excuses, pretending the dog is better off now anyway. The story ends with the ghost of the dog meeting up with the ghost of his human, and they wander along the beach happily.
It’s one of those stories that haunt you for life, and so it has for me. It pops into my head surprisingly often, for seemingly no reason. I think in part it has helped to shape the person I have become, making me less prone to make assumptions, so that I try to gather different perspectives about everything before making any judgements (if I make judgements at all).
But to be honest, it really has nothing in it that shouts Hekate, I have certainly read other stories that probably do that better. But to me it whispers Hekate, which seems to be far more insidious than any shout.
30 Days of Deity Devotion
1 – A basic introduction of the deity
2 – How did you become first aware of this deity?
3 – Symbols and icons of this deity
4 – A favourite myth or myths of this deity
5 – Members of the family – genealogical connections
6 – Other related deities and entities associated with this deity
7 – Names and epithets
9 – Common mistakes and worst misconceptions about this deity
10 – Offerings – historical and UPG
11 – Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity
12 – Places associated with this deity and their worship
13 – What modern cultural issues are closest to this deity’s heart?
15 – Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?
16 – How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?
17 – How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?
18 – What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire? And find the most troubling?
19 – Art and music that reminds you of this deity
21 – Your own composition – a piece of writing about or for this deity
22 – A time when this deity has helped you, and refused to help
23 – How has your relationship with this deity changed over time?
24 – Something you wish you knew about this deity but don’t currently
25 – Any interesting or unusual UPG to share?
26 – Bonus: Hekate in popular culture – TV, movies, plays, fiction books
27 – Bonus: Hymns to Hekate
28 – Bonus: Beginners Ritual Outline
29 – Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?
30 – Bonus: Resources and Sources about Hekate