Hekate as Brimo is Her most terrifying aspect. As the Queen of Rage She is associated with the chaotic, horrible and transformative storms of life. Whether we need Hekate’s help with the chaos of our lives, to channel our own anger or to help us weather a nor’easter, the gifts of Brimo energy are plentiful. I know I’ve learned the most about myself and magick by exploring and embracing the horrible chaos of life’s storms. Now, when the shit hits the fan or I need to be at my most fierce, I say “Brimo it on!”
I’ve been writing about the Holy Darkness since the beginning of November, so I’m not going to restate my case for the benefits of underworld energy in our own lives and witchery here. Up until now, I’ve been yammering about underworld energy that is more of a slow boat out of darkness, like healing from trauma and taming your shadow self. In this blog, I’m talking about the full-on force of Brimo energy.
As the Winter Solstice draws near, I want to take some time to discuss a couple of other aspects of personal underworld energy in the context of Modern Hekatean Witchcraft as we progress out of the holy darkness towards the lighter days ahead.
In the next blog, I’m going to review the benefits of being stuck in a liminal zone in your life, but, for now, let’s move onto the ferocity of Hekate as Brimo. Like I wrote at the beginning of this article, Hekate as Brimo is the mighty Queen of Rage, bringing up all the anger, horror and chaos that is part of the underworld. In this aspect, She may well bring certain events into our lives that terrify us. If She does this, then it’s to give us the chance to learn and grown. Then there’s the times that we need Her as Brimo to help us through difficult times. Finally, we can tap into Her as Brimo when we need to get fierce ourselves.
Confession time: somewhere along my journey with Hekate, I picked up the idea that one of the translations for Her epithet Brimo was that it meant Bringer of Storms. I have no idea where I got this notion, but it sure has stuck with me. Whenever there’s a storm – literally or within my life – I think that it’s Hekate bringing on yet another chaotic event. Perhaps you’re wondering why I started out by saying that I was making a confession, maybe you already know. Here’s the thing: Brimo as an epithet has nothing to do with actual storms. Hekate isn’t associated with the weather in any direct way. My forecast was inaccurate…or was it?
That’s my youngest son, Aidan, standing on top of high cliffs near our home. It was a blustery day to start with, but then these 80 mph gusts came on. That’s the surf cresting these 100′ + cliffs. He got out of there in time! He’s grown up on these cliffs, so he knows how to read the sudden changes that can occur. Hekate as Brimo brings up the terrifying chaotic energy of the storms of life.
A Bit about Hekate as Brimo
Brimo was an epithet given to deities associated with the Underworld, specifically those that were angry and fierce. Besides Hekate, Demeter, Kybele and Persephone were all called Brimo in ancient texts to refer to their terrifying selves.
“Hekate Brimo…hearing his words from the abyss, came up…She was garlanded by fearsome snakes that coiled themselves round twigs of oak; the twinkle of a thousand torches lit the scene; and hounds of the underworld barked shrilly all around her…”
– Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3.1194
You get the idea. Terrifying. Nasty. Fearsome. Just like a storm.
The Brimo Energy of Storms
Storms are terrifying events that show us the fierce power of nature. They are full-tilt destructive brimo energy. Hekate is the bringer of these events in the natural world. The chaos associated with brimo energy is a vital part of the natural cycle of the earth, the destruction is necessary for maintaining balance.
Living here on the north Atlantic coast when the winds howl, the rain pours, and the sea swells, I am blessed to bear witness to this cycle in action. Sometimes, the hurricanes and nor’easters cause great damage to the built environment, however much nature requires them. This is, of course, horrible for the people who suffer loss after an event. Nevertheless, nature will have its way. Hekate Brimo will bring the storms with Her arrival, whether storms in the physical environment or in our personal lives.
Brimo is Not Out to Get You
These terrifying things seem to come straight out of the underworld because we often interpret them as purely malevolent. “This thing is out to destroy me,” is a thought I’ve had many a time. I have raged against hurricanes, floods, illness, job loss, broken relationships and unexpected loss. I’ve got to admit that none of these activities helped me deal with the destructive situation, even though venting has, at times, been all that I could do in the moment.
Personal Climate ControlUnstoppable Hekate Brimo comes to us without warning and without beckoning. This is very different from situations where I’ve created a mess out of something and then have to suffer the consequences. That’s like climate change. We did this, so now it’s time to pay up. Brimo energy will come no matter what we do, but we can make it much worse by constructing circumstances that amplify the terror, like with our human driven global warming.
I’m trying to get better at not creating conditions that will make the storm worse in my personal life. Avoiding situations that induce drama into my life, severing ties with toxic people, and, most importantly, working on my own psychological state of being. By keeping my own climate under control, I am better prepared for the arrival of Hekate Brimo, who, in Her eternal wisdom, knows that the terror brought to us is necessary for our own personal development.
The Benevolent Queen of Rage
As with all gifts from Hekate, brimo energy is delivered with the intention that we will figure out what to do. She, above all else, is not about to solve my problems – self-created or those terrors She sends – although She is a benevolent guide when I earnestly seek Her help. Like the built environment after a catastrophic storm, we can be completely devastated. Looking back on truly horrific times in my life, I can reflect that I was often like a house constructed on the shore without regard to the inevitable storms. I wasn’t prepared – spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, financially.
Being Prepared for Life’s Storms
I still get freaked out by brimo energy, although I have learned to be more prepared. For me, this has required a mindset shift away from viewing the disaster as devastating to viewing it as an opportunity for growth. Like the shore after the storm, I can be transformed instantly. The beach can be wiped clean of debris and rot, so can I. A strongly rooted tuckamore will remain, so can I. The properly constructed house will endure, as will I. The deer will find her way, so shall I. If I choose to or I can be destroyed like a poorly constructed house. The cost of rebuilding is far higher than the cost of building a proper house. Rebuilding is far more expensive if we are doing with inefficient tools and going about it wrong.
Using the Gifts of Hekate Brimo
Having a growth mindset gives us the right tools and the ability to weather brimo energy in a beneficial way. A growth mindset emphasizes how difficulties give us the opportunity to demonstrate, and hone, positive characteristics, like grace, strength and tenacity. Hekate Brimo gives us the necessary storms to learn. I recently ended a relationship that had grown quite brimo-like. I am choosing to work through this with grace rather than fear. Getting to this point has required a shift in my witchcraft and relationship with Hekate. I’ve turned away from magicks that focus on manifesting a glorious stress-free life to witchery that emphasizes being more capable at handling the inevitable storms.
Another thing that I’ve stopped doing is begging Hekate to not bring Her brimo aspect into my life. Instead, I’m learning to be grateful for these challenges. Asking Her for guidance rather than avoidance. In addition, sometimes it’s necessary to show up with my hair full of snakes in full brimo mode because I need to be the fierce storm bringer.
Brimo it on!
She can “brimo it on.” I will welcome the storm, knowing that I possess all that I need to weather it and that She is there willing to provide help if I turn to Her. The benefits of brimo energy far exceed the costs. By learning from the storms, we deepen our witchcraft and strengthen our relationship with Hekate. This initiate has paid her dues and now reaps the benefits.
“Brimo. Brimo. Enter the holy meadow. For the initiate has paid the price.”*
Prayer to Hekate Brimo
Hail Hekate Brimo,
Hail Hekate The Terrifying.
May I be prepared for the storms of life,
May I honor You through my actions,
May I learn from your gifts.
Guide me through life’s storms,
Remind me that I am strong beyond measure,
As I weather the chaos.
Grateful I am
For the terrors You send my way,
As I grow wise and fierce.
Hail Hekate Brimo, Storm Bringer
Hail Hekate The Fierce,
Hail Hekate The Terrifying.
*– 1st 4th century BC Orphic Leaf from Pherae, in Bremmer, Jan N. “Divinites in the Orphic Gold Leaves: Eukles, Eubouleus, Brimo, Kybele, Kore and Persephone” in Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik 187 (2013) 35-48.