November 16: Hekate’s Night And The Death Walking Ritual of Release

November 16: Hekate’s Night And The Death Walking Ritual of Release November 13, 2018

Night of Hekate of the Underworld is November 16.

As the Dark Mother and Queen of the Underworld, Hekate presides over the dark womb from which all life comes and to which we all return. Entering her realm allows you the opportunity to better understand your own journey, find healing and let go of the shadowy parts of yourself in order to find rebirth.

The Mother Who Nourishes

We are nourished by Hekate. Our spiritual umbilical cord connects us to her in ways that defy mundane understanding. She is our Mother who sustains us along our journey. We are eternally hers, and each incarnation is part of the cycle of life and death. We walk her wheel, that serpent of life, the true cord, that creates and destroys. At the heart of the wheel is the Underworld, the womb. Like all children, we have our own lessons to learn.

Hekate is a good Mother, who lets us gain wisdom through experience. At times, we accumulate spiritual gunk that doesn’t nourish us. Fortunately, Hekate awaits for us to give this to her. However, we can become accustomed to living off this sort of spiritual junk food so much so that we can’t consume the nourishment she offers through those keys of hers. Enter into her Underworld chamber to let your junk food habits, whether they are painful memories or dysfunctional relationships, go. This junk fuels our shadow self, while our truth goes malnourished. Once these things die, we can now dine on her medicine.

Giver Of Life And Eater Of Filth

Hekate teaches that without death, there is no life. Without release of what harms, we will not be nourished. She is the Mother who gives life and destroys it. She gladly welcomes our miasma, so that we may feast on her bounty.

Hekate is Borboraphorba, the Eater of Filth. She takes all that defiles her children willingly. Evidence of this is found in the ancient practice of releasing miasma, what spiritual filth was called by the ancient Greeks, onto the ritual sacrifices and then disposing of the resulting waste as an offering to her. Today, we are unlikely to transfer our miasma onto a sacrificial puppy, but we can keep the spirit of the ancients by giving her our own miasma. Like all good mothers, we doesn’t want us to be dining on junk. This bad diet of ours can cause horrible problems, from physical dis-ease to an inability to connect to her.

Giving The Mother Our Filth: The Necessity Of Spiritual Death

As modern Hekateans, the process of spiritual death is central to the practice of Hekatean Witchcraft. November 16 has become known as the Night of Hekate of the Underworld. This is a perfect time to perform the Death Walking Ritual.

To Hekateans, the underworld represents the home of our Mother. Our birthplace. The nourishing womb to which we return to honor her and ourselves. The womb from which we can be reborn. Before rebirth into our beautiful wholeness, it is necessary to give her our filth, from bad habits to negative self-talk. All these things are evidence of spiritual toxicity. We are dining on spiritual junk food instead of feasting at her table.

The Journey of Spiritual Death Walking

The Death Walking Ritual is designed for us to enter her underworld and offer Hekate all the shadowy parts of ourselves that we are ready to toss out; all that longs to die within us. It is a somber occasion, of letting go of past pain, ways of being, and falsities. The release of relationships is often required. The Mother pushes us always, to become all that she sees in us. She yearns to nourish us, and she longs for our miasma. It is our choice alone to enter into her sacred Underworld.

We are different, those of us who follow the Witch Mother’s torches. Actively pursuing transformation. Our journey is that of beautiful becoming, and we know that it is in the depths where it is often found. The dirt, the pain and the fears, in these lie the release of that which no longer serves. The underworld is sacred. We descend to find our nourishing medicine, but we can only consume it after we release the miasma that keeps us full of shit.

Entering The Underworld

November 16 is a night for deep spiritual work, of offering Hekate Borboraphorba our internal refuse so we may work toward healing our shadow and beginning the process of rebirth. Hekate welcomes her chosen home, but the profane will be banished. Seek her out of sincerity, or risk her fierceness. This ritual will open you to the spirits of the Underworld. Participants have received messages from departed loved ones, animal allies, and Hekate’s companions. Persephone, in particular, often meets those who perform this rite.

In the same way we leave offerings at a crossroads for Deipnon, during this ritual, we need leave our spiritual junk, the miasma, in Her underworld, and we don’t look back. We offer her the toxic parts of ourselves that we are ready to let go of, in order to make space for our rebirth, space to take up her keys and move forward as sovereign, fire-walking, truth-weaving witches.

Read The Holy Darkness is Nigh

Death Walking Ritual of Transformation

To descend into the Underworld willingly is an act of radical personal transformation. The ritual below focuses on offering an emotional sacrifice to Hekate. It requires walking into your shadow zone, finding what longs to die and then offering it to Hekate. Actions, thoughts or behaviors that served you in the past may be ready for sacrifice. Coping mechanisms and skills that allowed you to survive up to this point in time. Perhaps it is time to recognize that new actions, thoughts or behaviors are necessary to level up into a spiritual awakening.

Or maybe you are in the midst of a spiritual awakening and are already realizing that these old ways of being are no longer productive. This ritual provides the opportunity to honor where you came from while giving yourself space to move forward into a new beginning.

More about November and Hekate can be found here.


To get ready for this ritual, you’ll need to determine what you need to release, choose a symbolic offering representing it and do ritual purification.

Determine Your Offering

The ritual requires an offering to Hekate symbolic of what you are letting die, an emotional sacrifice. For example, you could offer a ring that represents a past relationship or keys to a former home. Something that you cling to in spite of its need to die. This is a deep cleaning of your soul. Your intuition will guide you, take some deep breaths and turn all the way inward. What is it that you need to offer as an emotional sacrifice? Remember that our shadow resides in our internal Underworld. Ask yours what burdens she longs to release.

For guidance on what miasma you need to release, turn to the Dark Mother Tarot Ritual.

Symbolic Offering

This ritual requires a token of what you are offering to Hekate. It can be a piece of jewelry, a photo, clothing, etc. Whatever represents what you need to release. The miasma that is holding you stuck. It is feeding your shadow, keeping you full of the junk. Feed it to Hekate, and you’ll be able to nourish your true self from her feast.

Create Your Altar

Once you have selected your offerings, plan your altar for the ritual. I suggest a chthonic – low or on the ground – one with the usual symbols of her torcheskeys and perhaps her wheel to represent the life cycle. A simple one with a candle can be just as powerful a portal for evoking Our Mother. 

The Sacred Pharmakoi: Death Walking Oil

The Death Walking Oil can be used for the anointing that occurs during the ritual. You can also use lavender essential oil. Nine drops in 1/4 cup carrier oil, such as olive. Read the full technique and journey here.

Aster flowers can be purchased or wild harvested during early autumn. If not available, substitute pennyroyal. This oil is not to be consumed, but is generally safe on the skin. Useful for anointing statues of Hekate, Persephone, Demeter, Circe and Medea.


Feast of Hekate

You should prepare a truly nourishing meal or snack that is ready for after our ritual. You can make this part of your offerings as well. The traditional meal offered by ancient Hekateans would include eggs, garlic, fish, cheese and bread.

Combine thyme, used for sacred rites by ancient Hekateans, with goat cheese and honey to make a traditionally inspired cheesecake. Surround with pomegranate seeds. Make one for an offering and the other for your feast.

Purification And Protection

I strongly encourage you to cleanse your mind, body and soul through bathing.

Black Salt Scrub

Prior to doing the ritual, I suggest a powerful ritual bathing incorporating a black salt scrub in the shower. This will bring out the toxicity in your body, mind and spirit making it easier to offer the emotional sacrifice. Mix 1/4 tsp activated charcoal powder with 1 cup high quality sea salt, cover with olive oil and blend. You can add appropriate Underworld botanicals like lavender and rosemary. Warning that you’ll end up covered in black sludge, but it washes off easily with soap. This will work with just the salt, but the charcoal adds next level protection and purification. Black is the color to be worn for the ritual if you choose to be clothed.

Craft a sacred black salt scrub for purifying your mind, body and spirit.

The Ritual

You’ll want to sit, lie or otherwise be as close to the ground as possible during the ritual. Don’t forget the object(s) that represent your sacrifice. Cast your circle as you usually do to ensure that no unwanted energies are attracted to your working. I find salt is great for this. You can make death walking oil to anoint yourself while evoking Hekate. Another oil can be substituted. You want to activate your emotional Lower Self by anointing your feet, knees and root chakra. As you do so, allow your roots to dig deep into the earth. This will really boost your ability to connect with her and perform your emotional sacrifice. Remember that this is a gift she welcomes. Through her all that we need to let die will be transformed and reborn.

Hail to the Darkness within and without.
Hail Hekate, Chthonic Goddess of the Underworld.
You hold the torches and guide my way,
I honor you with this sacrifice.
I willingly let die this that no longer serves me.
Through death, I find life and I will be reborn.
To the darkness within me
And the Sacred Darkness that is you.
I offer this…

Describe the offering you are giving her and why.

Accept my sincere offering,
Mighty Queen of the Night and Goddess of Witches,
I walk with you through the Underworld,
Seeking the wisdom of your keys,
May I open the gates of my own truth,
And understand your mysteries.
I honor you and the darkness within myself.
I am grateful for my shadow for it protects me.
My weaknesses are my strengths,
And my failures are my greatest teachers.
Hail to the Underworld.
Hail Hekate Chthonia.

After this petition, stay in this space while you release the emotions connected to the sacrifice you made. Feel them go deep into the earth where Hekate presides. During this process, Hekate and other allies may come forward very strongly with messages and you will likely experience visions.

When you are finished with the ritual, balance yourself by connecting to your other two energies centers – the heart and mind. Pull up your earthly roots gently, stretch out your energy from your heart center into the world around you, stretch up towards The Starry Road. Take your time doing this. Go easy on yourself afterwards, and make sure you record your messages that came through.

The next step of the rebirth process is Soul Retrieval.

Learn more about Hekatean Witchcraft: Witchcraft Is My Medicine

May Hekate be well pleased with your offerings,
May you take up the keys she offers you,
And may you be blessed with truth and power.
Together, we rise.


Check out this episode of the Cursed Podcast talking about Our Lady Of The Underworld.

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About Cyndi Brannen
Cyndi Brannen, PhD, is a healer, teacher and author focusing on personal development, spirituality and true magic. Founder of the Keeping Her Keys Mystery School, she teaches and writes about the true magic of healing and personal power. You can read more about the author here.

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