Night time is the right time to honor Hekate and no month has more dark hours than November. Well, maybe December might if I was to add it all up, but it seems less dark because of that whole Winter Solstice thing. It’s like Samhain ushers in an underworld vibe that lasts until at least the end of November and Hekatean energy is at an annual high point. And despite all Her other epithets and roles, Our Lady is The Dark Mother beyond any other title or responsibility.
In honor of this high holy month, I’m going to be focusing on aspects of devotion, dealing with personal darkness, and getting a bit into the creepy side of things for the next few weeks. But, first, let’s talk a bit about The Dark Mother and The Holy Darkness.
The Dark Mother
There’s different ways that I understand Hekate as The Dark Mother. There’s the “dark night of the soul” when she comes to me to see me through. I wrote about how She often comes to Her devotees for the first time when they are suffering the most. The side of the Dark Mother is as a guide. Her symbols are usually keys, crossroads and a lantern. Be on the lookout during the weeks ahead for signs that Her energy is nigh – dropping keys and unexplained lights in the darkness are two examples.
Our Personal Underworld
The side of The Dark Mother is also useful when we want to delve deep into our personal underworld. November is the ideal time to pierce the internal veil and do shadow self taming work. It’s a time when we can deep dive into that darkness where our hurts and fears live. I’m going to be writing more about this in the weeks to come.
If you’re going through a difficult time or have shadow work to do, I’ll be posting The Three Keys Ritual for Healing later this month as part of my personal expression of gratitude to The Dark Mother. By sharing this powerful healing ritual, I am honoring Her for all the times She’s pulled me through.
Queen of Creepy
Then there’s thoroughly creepy Hekate. She’s the Psychopomp, Disheveled Night Wandering Mistress of the Dead. Et Cetera. Not for the timid. This aspect of The Dark Mother can be very appealing if you’re a fan of things that go bump in the night (like me), but it can be dangerous to seek this sort of Hekatean energy if you’re not ready. I’ve spent lots of time wandering around in the metaphysical underworld and lived to talk about it, so I’ll write some about ghosts, daimons, hellfire and other problems at some point this month.
Whether you’re connecting to Her because your going through personal dark times or you’re a fan of the spooky side of Hekate, November is the perfect time to explore either or both points of reference for personal growth, doing witchcraft, or honoring Hekate.
The Holy DarknessI love the dark. My favourite time is when the Deipnon falls on a foggy night when the ocean is calm. It’s like my entire world is surrounded by a black velvet blanket that safely cradles my family in our little coastal home. The Deipnon is the night of the Dark Moon (the astrological new moon) when there is no moon visible in the night sky. This is the holiest night of the lunar cycle for devotees of Hekate. It’s when we express our worship through offerings, words and deeds (like charitable work). In ancient times, it was referred to as Hekate’s Supper when a meal was often left out to honor Her. Currying Hekate’s favor this way was believed to keep all the bad things away.
In this way, Hekate as the Dark Mother is the keeper of the Holy Darkness. She can be our guardian through personal long nights and protect us from metaphysical nastiness. We come to Her to seek her protection and comfort during the night.
The Holy Darkness is the time when we can explore our own fears while honoring the Dark Mother.
Dark Holy Days
Besides all the darkness and the monthly Deipnon, November features two different special days for expressing my devotion to Hekate. The first festival is Hekate’s Night which is held on November 16 and the other is on November 30 when Hekate of the Crossroads is celebrated. You know, when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and our thoughts turn to the unbearable lightness of Christmas. Maybe you think those are the truly “dark” days, but not in the same healthy way that the long nights of November can be.
The festival on November 16 is all about Hekate as The Queen of the Underworld. It’s a time to express our gratitude for Her seeing us through our dark days, for showing us the way out, for maybe helping us learn a thing or two. Or we can honor Her as the Queen of the Underworld and perhaps do some mediumship of our own.
November 30 is for honoring Hekate of the Crossroads. I love that this falls at the end of November because it’s like the crossroads from my month of Dark Mother devotion and work into lighter times where I focus on other aspects of Hekate.
If you’re new to devotion to Hekate, I’m going to be posting a couple of articles about creating sacred space in the lead up to the two holiest days of November. One will talk about altars and shrines and the other focuses on creating ritual space.
I’m so excited it’s November! Time to delve into the darker mysteries of myself and the Dark Mother.