Modern Hekatean Witchcraft is an emerging movement characterized by devotion to Hekate, practicing witchcraft and a commitment to personal development.
Gather a handful of devotees to Hekate and we’ll all express different forms of worship and witchcraft. However, there are common threads that run through the practice of what I call Modern Hekatean Witchcraft. Being a qualitative researcher, I naturally collect data and look for themes. I’ve been doing this about all things related to Hekate for about a decade. In addition, I’ve read and studied ancient and modern writings about Our Lady for several years. I’m not proposing a new tradition so much as organizing what people are doing and saying about Hekate.
Perhaps She’s even blessed me with a bit of special insight. I know for certain that Our Lady led me to a place in my life where I can devote my skills and energy to writing about Her. I also know that my daily prayer for this blog is to make me Her vessel. So, here’s a summary of Modern Hekatean Witchcraft that is a compilation of qualitative research analysis, my beliefs, and Her guidance.
Come One, Come All
One thing I’ve found over and over in my research is that Modern Hekatean Witchcraft is not an exclusive club. If you feel called or are seeking Hekate in a sincere way, then you are welcome to hop on the bus. You can be a monotheist like me or worship as many deities as you see fit, you can be focused on one aspect of Her or a scholar of Her many epithets, you can be in the broom closet or a pentacle-wearing Gardnerian priestess. Come one, come all.
One final thought – Modern Hekatean Witchcraft isn’t about high priced courses, commissioned statues or owning an impressive library. Her love don’t cost a thing.
The Three Keys of Modern Hekatean Witchcraft
Modern Hekatean Witchcraft is devotion to Hekate, the practice of witchcraft and living a modern life. Yes, I realize that these three terms are about as vague as possible, but that’s part of the strength of MHW – there’s room for personalization based on your own beliefs, experiences, practices and relationship with Hekate. While there are some common themes, guidelines and structure, for the most part there is radical acceptance of doing your own thing. You do you.
Key #1: Modern
Modern Hekatean Witchcraft is firmly rooted in the present, although many of the practitioners are students of the ancient writings. The difference is that we aren’t attempting to reconstruct the past, but we adapt historical documents and practices for use in the 21st century. We often start from scratch, making things up as we go and working on divine inspiration. The modern interpretation of Hekate as Maiden, Mother and Crone is an excellent example.
Commitment to Personal Development
We are creatures of modern life, and as such are interested in things that define that era in which we live. For me, being a psychologist, personal development is the main focus of my private devotion and witchery as well as my public teaching and writing. I would argue that modern psychology is at the heart of MHW – many practitioners focus on things like living an authentic life, being a better person, healing from trauma, improving relationships, career advancement and other similar very modern concepts.
One other modern concept that distinguishes MHW from other forms of devotion to Hekate is that it has a such a strong progressive social agenda that I seriously considered calling it Progressive Hekatean Witchcraft. I’ve made my case that Hekate is the Guardian of the Marginalized previously, so I’ll resist a similar rant here. I will state this: practitioners of MHW are committed to making the world better for themselves, their loved ones, and the vulnerable. The evidence is found in the countless posts, blogs, articles and other sources advocating for social justice in Her name. Examples range from making donations to charities as an act of devotion to public activism.
In addition, like I wrote above, MHW is about being accessible to anyone who feels called. There’s no room on the bus for misogyny, bigotry, homophobia, racism or any other sort of hatred. However, we stand against intolerance and injustice with a ferocious voice. Hekate needs us to be Her army.
Key #2: Hekate
At the core of MHW is, of course, devotion to Hekate. This devotion typically starts out by Her beckoning us. Becoming a devotee of Hekate is serious business. If you’re new to Hekate, maybe check out the link in the last sentence for my suggestions. As experienced followers will attest, She is a rather demanding deity. Hekate chooses Her children because She knows that they can serve Her well. Like the old adage, to whom She gives much, much is expected. Within MHW this expectation is operationalized as scholarship, inspiration, sharing knowledge, devotional practice, community service and living a virtuous life.
Devotional DiversityServing Hekate has many diverse forms, just like She does. Her many epithets and roles provide a rich source of information for practicing devotion and witchcraft. Her role as Queen of the Underworld is particularly important within MHW because it demonstrates Her commitment to the darkness within each of us.
Beyond Her Underworld aspects, many practitioners of MHW connect with other epithets such as Triformis (good for personal transformation), Enodia (for your personal journey), and Kourotrophis (Guardian of Children).
Practitioners of MHW recognize Hekate as The Cosmic World Soul and Pammetor (Mother of All). We believe that she is omnipresent, omnipotent, and all powerful.
Finally, it’s important to say that MHW practitioners have a personal relationship with Hekate. Although the nature of the relationships vary greatly, the common theme is that devotion requires work but that there are incredible benefits.
Key #3: Witchcraft
Speaking of the benefits, the final key of MHW is the active practice of witchcraft. This can take many forms, but the common element is that we seek Hekate’s energy to help us manipulate the natural forces of the world in order to achieve a desired goal. Thus, one of the hefty perks of practicing MHW is the development of highly effective witchery. Specific activities can include spells, rituals, meditative journeying and prayers. The common focus is petitioning Hekate to lend her favor to our desires.
Another theme I’ve noticed is that many practitioners use practical magick that is relies on initiative, effort and using what’s on hand rather than relying on prescribed spells and ornate tools.
Within MHW, I’ve noticed that witchcraft tends to reflect the modernity of the tradition. There seems to be a collective focus on using witchcraft to help us solve our own problems. This is contrary to types of magick where the practitioner seeks to have the entity of focus actually do the work for us. I like to think of it this way: Hekate can not do for us what She can’t do through us. MHW reflects this motto. We seek to be better people, make wise decisions, and ask for her guidance rather than sit on our hands and expect Her to do our dirty work.
Flexibility and Change
In addition to the Three Keys, another central theme of MHW is that just like we change, so does Hekate and so does our witchcraft. As such, there is an energy of learning that permeates practitioners across the globe. The more we learn, the more we grow. Hekate is a reflection of Her children – She, too, has changed since the beginning of time. As practitioners, we must be flexible in our beliefs and ways – rigidity doesn’t serve Our Lady or ourselves well at all. It also blocks us from sincere devotion and vastly limits our witchcraft.
There’s much more to write about the Three Keys of Modern Hekatean Witchcraft, but I think I’ve covered the most common themes I’ve found except for the last one about our shared humanity.
We’re All Just Bozos on the Hekate Bus
I’m concluding this summary of MHW by talking a bit about one of the personality characteristics I’ve noticed in practitioners – humility. Yes. We’re not a group of high brows looking down on the mere mortals. There’s an acknowledgement among us doing MHW that we are all just bozos on the Hekate bus. None of us are better than anyone else. Part of living the virtuous life is being humble.
The Holy Darkness is Nigh
I recently wrote about November as the Holy Darkness, a time for special attention to Hekate because of the multiple celebrations in Her honor during this month and because of the long nights here in the Northern Hemisphere. The Holy Darkness extends to the entire age that we are living in. I feel the tremendous interest in devotion to Hekate right now is a reflection of Her rise to energetic prominence that we are currently experiencing. Her Holy Darkness is spreading all over the world – across cultures, languages, genders, etc. I can’t explain it, but I can feel it. Modern Hekatean Witchcraft has emerged just when it’s most needed. It’s almost as though Hekate guided us to create it in order to meet the need for teaching new initiates and for healing ourselves and the world.
I feel privileged to be writing about Modern Hekatean Witchcraft, and even more so to be a practitioner of it. I’ve tried to present the common themes I’ve found in my analysis of what’s being done and written about Our Lady within this perspective. I know I’ve missed things. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this emerging tradition.
Keep on Keeping Her Keys and Hail Hekate!
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Watch me giving a talk about Modern Hekatean Witchcraft.