Balance is something we all want in our lives and witchery. But, what exactly does balance mean? And what are the ingredients of a balanced life? Using Modern Hekatean Witchcraft, I’m embarking on a nine week journey exploring balance. I’ve started the project by creating a Balance Altar containing a scale and the various concepts that I will be examining. This project will end with the Spring Equinox, when my intention is that balance will be achieved in the nine areas of focus. If you’re interested in exploring balance with me, you can join me by following my weekly blogs and maybe starting your own journey, either of your own creation or using the tools I’ll be presenting.
Like I wrote back at the beginning of January, a new year is a time to look back upon the past while anticipating the future. Reminiscing too long or focusing only on what’s to come causes us to miss out on the present. We need to be balanced between these dualities in order to fully experience the present. Being present has taken on a new meaning in our times – it means to be fully focused on the moment. Not to be wrapped up in our stuff. It means to be balanced.
The Meaning of Balance
What exactly does balance mean? Technically, the definition is about being in a state of equilibrium between two opposing forces.
There’s balance in the moment when we choose to consider both sides of concept rather than rely on our initial reaction. Balance also exists across periods of time. I’ve written about my commitment to being a day walker after years of hanging around in the underworld. Over time, I believe this will provide balance between these polarities i the arc of my life. We talk about balance in our lives – especially the work/life kind. What exactly does that even mean? It’s probably something different for everyone.
My Balancing Act
Like I wrote above, balance for me these days equals pursuing a “lighter” path in all areas of my life, including witchcraft and devotion to Hekate. This began with welcoming in Hekate Soteira with the winter solstice. That’s a big part of my balancing act right now. As part of this exploration, I’m learning to accept having an angel for a spirit guide.
Another concept that I’m unexpectedly exploring is gender. This got started when Cernunnos invited himself into my home on the winter solstice. Literally. A dear friend pulled him out of a bag and plunked him on the coffee table. Well, then. Masculine energy in my home? Now don’t get me wrong – I have two sons, so there’s lots of testosterone running around. I’m talking about in my spiritual space. Oddly, he seemed right at home. Maybe it’s time to explore masculine energy in my witchery. Now I’ve got two concepts to explore in my quest for balance – light/dark and feminine/masculine. What else needs to be explored?
Nine Aspects of Balance
I’ve spent the last few weeks contemplating the areas of my life (including witchery, of course) where I wish to explore balance. After making lists, reading, and even praying, I’ve narrowed the list down to nine dualistic concepts. During the weeks between now and the Spring Equinox, I’m planning on examining each of the following constructs in terms of what they mean, what I can learn from them, and how to incorporate them in my life as I work towards personal balance.
Each Tuesday between now and the Spring Equinox, I’ll be writing about my exploration of one of the concepts. I’ll include my thoughts and research on the topic, along with the things I’ve done to help me in my quest like rituals, spells and journeys. I’ll also write about correspondences and symbols that can be helpful when examining each duality.
Balance and the Modern Hekatean Witchcraft Wheel of the Year
I recently outlined a Modern Hekatean Witchcraft Wheel of the Year. In the Wheel, I chose epithets to represent the months of January, February and March that are useful in my quest for balance. January is the month of Hekate Amphiprosopos. In this form, She is the all-seeing two-headed Soteira from the Chaldean Oracles. I’m using this epithet to connect with the energy current of balance in general but especially for cultivating a practice of examining both sides of each of the constructs on my list.
Hekate Amphiprosopos and BalanceIn the remaining three weeks of January, I’ll be exploring dark/light in life and magick, the divine feminine and masculine, and approach/avoidance. A bit more about the last construct – approach/avoidance is a duality that I’ve worked with a lot in my professional and personal worlds. In case you’re not familiar with these ideas, in a nutshell it’s the notion that we have to basic orientations to anything. You guessed it – we either approach it or avoid it. As I’ve been going through my angelic situation, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. How do I manage my own tendencies to avoid certain things? What should I change? I’m curious to examine approach/avoidance using magick.
Hekate Nyssa and Balance
Hekate Nyssa is the aspect of focus during February. As Nyssa, She is the bringer of beginnings. This is the perfect energy to work with as I seek to achieve balance because doing so undoubtedly entails leaving some things behind while starting new ones. Being the keener that I am, I’ve gotten a head start by accepting my heavenly spirit guide and welcoming in the energy of Hekate as Soteira. The concepts I’ll explore in February include control/chaos, love/fear (you know what week this will happen on), and spending/saving.
Hekate Lampadios and Balance
Then onto March, the month of Hekate as Lampadios, one of the Her Torch Bearer epithets. The energy of Hekate the Torch Bearer is that of shining light into dark places. I’ll use this force to help me search out dark corners of areas where I don’t want to explore – like truth/deception, creation/destruction and acceptance/resistance.
The Journey from Winter to Spring
Winter is the perfect season to explore what balance means. It’s a season when many of us retreat indoors because of the weather. We might be in an introspective frame of mind given that our bodies are wrapped up in layers rather than taking in the sun. Better days are ahead, but the balance of light and dark of the spring equinox is weeks away. This provides a powerful energetic source to draw up as I seek to understand what balance means to me. Balance is returning to the earth just like my intention to find the same in my life.
On the Spring Equinox, the day when light/dark are balanced, I’ll honor Hekate for Her guidance through my journey to balance.
Balance Using Modern Hekatean Witchcraft
Beyond the Modern Hekatean Witchcraft Wheel of the Year, there are other aspects of this framework of devotion and witchery that can be applied to the balance project (as I’m calling it). I can use the Deipnon, the day of the dark moon, to offer up to Hekate things that no longer serve me as I move through my exploration. Fortunately, such offerings are highly appropriate to Hekate given that decaying and dead things are of special meaning to Her. They represent a relinquishment of something that once had great value, a sort of sacrifice of pieces of me that I can either hang onto and stagnate or release and grow.
I’ll also be incorporating symbols of Hekate into the rituals that I do in my examination of each concept, including the colors of black, white and red. In addition, I look to the ancient texts about Hekate for insight in each area. Finally, I’ll seek Her direct guidance through each part of this journey.
Creating a Balance Altar
The first step of my balance project was to figure out what to explore. Once I did that I decided to construct an altar that represents each of the nine constructs. Now I love to make things out of found objects, especially sticks and stones. My “scale” is just such a creation. It took a while but I managed to create a base out of rocks. Honest – they are just stacked – no adhesives were used! I used my little besom I made last fall to represent myself and the power of witchcraft. Next, I used three old keys from my old house for a counterweight. Finally, I included representations of each theme.
In future blogs, I’ll discuss all these bits and pieces in more detail. While I was creating the scale and selecting each item, I contemplated the meaning of each piece. After my creation was finished, I did a little ritual to solidify the whole deal, asking my new guide and Hekate to watch over me during this journey and to activate my intention to achieve balance in these areas by the Spring Equinox.
Whenever I write about something I’m doing, I always hope that it will inspire someone to do something, too. What balance means to me – and the constructs I’ve identified – may not be exactly the same for you. If these ideas resonate with you, I invite you over to my Facebook page to learn about how you can explore balance using Modern Hekatean Witchcraft.