Lead Me Not into Temptation: Hekate, Spellcraft and the Virtuous Life

Lead Me Not into Temptation: Hekate, Spellcraft and the Virtuous Life October 19, 2017

“I just want to show up in my own life, ” I typed into the chat box. I was tired of feeling like I was mostly standing outside my own life and that something else was forcing me to do some pretty messed up things. This shadow me was brilliantly skilled at leading the real me into temptation. What she craved more than anything else was dysfunctional relationships with sorry guys, and she used her wiles to convince me that, somehow, this time and this guy would make it all better. Powerless to resist, I’d yield to her temptress’s promises. It was time to stop, but her siren song was strong. This time it was in the shape of a Keith Urban look-a-like, complete with the flat-ironed hair, graphic t-shirt, and low-slung guitar.

Yielding to Temptation

The real me wanted to resist temptation this time, but the shadow me was used to getting her own way. Real me was having a hard time. Real me prayed to Hekate to grant me one year of celibacy that night. It’s seems both desperate and ridiculous now. But that’s where I was at that point in my life.
I said this prayer after the “show up in my own life” conversation, but before inviting my wannabe rock star suitor to a blue moon witchy thing. What happened isn’t really the point of this story, but I know that curious minds want to know. Our night of raucous witchery ended with me driving a pantless him home. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, except to say that the sex was great, we fought like rabid raccoons and everybody got hurt in the end.

Shadow-run Spellcraft

I want to write two things: that I didn’t do anything to bring this into my life and that this little story was the last time I yielded to temptation, but both be lies. Let’s start unpacking the first statement: intentionally causing myself harm. Not only did I do this on a mundane level, but also in my magick. Let’s be clear about one thing: the shadow can cast highly effective spells. Mine certainly excels at it, especially in using witchcraft to attract those losers that I used to love. It’s a bit complicated – I am very good at using magick to get what I want whether it’s the real me or my shadow self running the ritual. Shadow-run spellcraft focuses on the things that are ultimately destructive and lead us further from the virtuous life. For me, it was about my addiction to harmful romantic relationships.

Shadow Spells

That night I may have petitioned Hekate for celibacy, but I wasn’t ready to do the work to actually achieve the goal. I kept on with this pattern of self destruction via romantic relationships for a few more years. I went through a real period of shadow driven living, including my spell work. I finally broke free from the shadow after a truly traumatic experience. If you’re reading this and wondering if you’re shadow is in control of your life and your magick, I urge you to figure it out. Is your spellwork focused on getting things that you think will bring you instant happiness? Then that’s probably your shadow speaking. Do your spells have a theme – like manifesting the perfect man, job, home, etc.? Then that is probably shadow magick.

Virtuous Magick

If your focus is on meeting real needs through right-minded thinking, feeling and behaving, then that’s your virtuous authentic self. For example, a spell that sets the intention of manifesting a career change needs to be done in conjunction with a plan and action. This is contrary to the shadow’s casting spells that emphasize a miraculous outcome that requires little-to-no work on part of the practitioner. A virtuous life requires spellcraft that focuses on achieving the desired objective through the alignment of our feelings, thoughts and behaviors with our witchery and devotion to Hekate.

The Virtuous Life

Devotion to Hekate includes a commitment to living the shadow-killing virtues of compassion, temperance, courage, justice and wisdom. By working on these attributes, I’ve learned to resist my shadow’s temptation while honoring Hekate. I needed a period of abstinence to do so, but I was really struggling with the temptation. Again. FYI – living a virtuous life has nothing to do with celibacy unless effed-up romantic relationships are what fuels your shadow. I eventually achieved my goal of being celibate for a year (and counting).

Hekate, Collector of Shadows

I like to think of Hekate as the Collector of Shadows. By giving them up to Her, we can be reborn into our virtuous authentic selves. The thing is that we have to learn to resist the shadow’s temptation, She’s not going to go “poof” and it’s all better. That’s not how Hekate works. Expecting Hekate to solve our problems for us is the work of our shadow. A virtuous life requires responsibility for our actions in all areas of our lives, from the most mundane to the magickal. When we resist the shadow’s temptations we honor both ourselves and Hekate. It takes real time and effort. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s worth it.
Hail Hekate, Collector of Shadows.
Hail Hekate, Sovereign of Wisdom.
Hail Hekate, Queen of the Witches.
I offer you willingly my shadow self.
Help me to live a virtuous life
That honors You and my true self.
And I commit my spellcraft to work that
Does the same.
Hail Hekate, Collector of Shadows.
Hail Hekate, Sovereign of Wisdom.

Hail Hekate, Queen of the Witches.

Picture: I can’t tell the story of my Keith Urbanite without thinking of this picture, so I thought I’d share it. That pic is of me during the blue moon festivities. The urbanite added all the bottom stuff and the moon. He said that the little man was him, scratching his head over my antics. I’ve come to think of the little man as my shadow self, tiny and confused now that I no longer feed it.

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