This post is part of a blog challenge series, 30 Days of Devotion to Hekate. It’s day 28 and today I will be sharing a nice and simple ritual outline for beginners.
This post was not part of the original series list, but as you know I merged some of the days, so this is a bonus post to make up for the lack. This ritual will be simple, so that those who are truly just beginning can do this easily. However, it will include optional extras for those who want to do a little more. It will still be quite simple though, and you should be able to adapt this to suit your needs.
This will be similar to the more generic post I made on how to offer to the Hellenic Gods, but will include specifics for Hekate.
- Incense: Dragons Blood, Lavender, Patchouli or Frankincense, or whatever you have.
- Candle: Red, black or white. Birthday candles or tea candles are fine for short rituals.
- Hymn: Provided below, print or write out a copy.
- Bowl of water
- Sprig of dried herb or scented wood or leaf
- Food offering: Apple, or look at the offerings post for options. But apple is in most peoples homes. Make sure it is unblemished.
- A bowl or plate for food offering, if you are doing one.
- A pictorial representation of Hekate, if you have one. If you have a statue, obviously use this.
- Shower, or if you already have today, then wash your hands and face.
- Change into clean clothing if you can.
- Gather all your materials (don’t forget the lighter or matches). You can cut the apple into slices if you wish, or leave it whole.
- Place materials where you wish to perform the ritual, an altar or other clear space.
- Optional: If in your practice you do anything like building a shield, then you should do so here.
- Optional: Take dried herb/leaf/stick, light it on fire, drop it into the bowl of water saying, Xerniptosai (zer-nip-tos-aye-ee).
- Optional: Dip hands in the water (it’s Khernips or lustral water) and rinse your hands, sprinkle some on your face and on your work space – but not on the candle wick or incense.
- Begin: Light the candle.
- Light incense while beginning to recite the hymn
- Note: This ritual is mixed, so you can, if you wish, hold your left hand above you, palm to the sky/roof, right hand down by your side, palm facing floor. Alternative, hold hands in front of you, one palm up, one palm down.
Orphic Hymn to Hekate
Translation by Thomas Taylor
I call Einodian Hecate, lovely dame, of earthly, wat’ry, and celestial frame,
Sepulchral, in a saffron veil array’d, leas’d with dark ghosts that wander thro’ the shade;
Persian, unconquerable huntress hail! The world’s key-bearer never doom’d to fail
On the rough rock to wander thee delights, leader and nurse be present to our rites
Propitious grant our just desires success, accept our homage, and the incense bless.
- Optional: Place food in offering bowl
- Offer a personal prayer. If this is your first ritual to Her, I suggest an introduction more than anything. For example,
“Khaire Hekate! Great Lady,
I honour you, pray to you and offer to you
In the hopes of building a relationship with you
I pray I can be of worth, that in time You may help me
To gain wisdom, to see what needs to be seen, to grow in this life
- Insert your own desires as you choose, but realise, if this is a first time ritual to Her, it is best to not ask for anything immediately. Build a relationship with Her first, let Her get to know you as you get to know Her.
- Note: Khaire is a form of greeting, meaning alternatively Hello, Hail, Be Well, Rejoice.
- Offer thanks to Her for coming, even if you didn’t feel Her there, offer thanks anyway. Tell Her She is quite welcome to remain and join you in whatever you are doing next – it’s rude to just offer food and then kick someone out of your home.
- Extinguish your candle, or sit in contemplation while waiting for the incense to burn out, then extinguish the candle.
- Optional: If you end rituals a certain way within your practice, say dropping a shield, you should do so here.
After the Ritual
You may like to spend time after the ritual in meditation, contemplation, divination or simply journal about your ritual. You can do some house cleaning, which is something connected to Hekate. You can do some art or writing, or even watch TV. Whatever you choose, try to act like She is still there for a while after the ritual.
What about the offering?
If you offered food to Her in ritual, it is up to you what you want to do. Some people do eat what they have offered, but this is not part of traditional Hellenic practice and so I personally do not suggest it. The best options are to take it outside in the next 24 hours and leave the offering at a crossroad or alternative (so long as nothing in the offering is dangerous to animals). You could also bury it, anywhere you choose, as Hekate is a Chthonic deity, so this is okay to do. Or, if what you have offered won’t go bad, keep it in a container and leave it at a crossroads on the Deipnon. My post on offering to the Hellenic Gods has some other ideas of what to do with offerings.
I hope this ritual outline was helpful for those getting started. Don’t be afraid to edit it to fit your own practice, your own needs and desires.
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
7 – Names and epithets
8 – Variations on this deity (aspects, regional forms, etc.)
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
14 – Has worship of this deity changed in modern times?
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?
20 – A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with
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
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