This ritual evokes Hekate in three of her most commanding roles: guardian of the vulnerable, healer of healers and guide to the departed, in addition to banishing, protecting and blessing the witch performing the rite.
The Blessings Of The Dark Mother
Those of us who know Hekate seek her magick, medicine and mystery because her torches burn bright within us during the darkest times. Having experienced our own, we have leaned into Hekate for our own healing and transformation. Our rituals, thus, call out to her to shine her torches, whether for our own journeys or to help others. In my experience, Hekate’s witches are always committed to being of service to the greater community, as a reciprocation of her blessings bestowed upon us as individuals.
Hekate is the dark mother to us. She teaches that we are never truly alone, she lights our path through even the worst times. As the dark mother, she encompasses the power of creation and destruction. She brings blessings that are sweet and bitterness that is difficult to swallow. She is the source of wisdom that guides our intuition so we know what must be spit out and what we need to consume. How difficult it is when the medicine is harsh, and our fears threaten to override our trust in her guidance.
The Power Of Hekate’s Crossroads
Yet, still, we are her chosen who abide, like her, at the crossroads. Herein we see the fears within us, and those of the broader world. We sense, because we are mighty perceivers, the fear that is rampant in these times. The vulnerability of those who cannot protect themselves, such as children and the marginalized, the weariness of ourselves and other healers, the confusion of the recently departed.
Guardian Of The Vulnerable, Healer Of Healers And Guide To The Departed
This ritual evokes Hekate in three of her most commanding roles: guardian of the vulnerable, healer of healers and guide to the departed, in addition to banishing, protecting and blessing the witch performing the rite and her beloveds.
Kourotrophos: Guardian Of The Vulnerable
Since antiquity those who know Hekate have petitioned her blessing over the vulnerable. In her role as Kourotrophos (Kor-o-tro-fos), she is expressly a protector of children. In our modern times, Hekate is experienced by many as a Guardian of the Marginalized. She is the dark mother who meets the weakest, offering respite and comfort.
Paionios: Healer Of Healers
Hekate as Paionios (Pay-own-ee-os), meaning Healer, is one of her most ancient roles. To the long-ago witches, her role as healer was understood quite differently than how some view healers today. This is a complex discussion best left for another time, yet I want to make one point. Healers, the truest ones, know the darkness. They know Hekate, even if her name is unfamiliar. To eschew the necessity of going into the dark for healing is a symptom of an ignorant approach. She is the light in the darkness. We, her healers, perform a parallel role.
One of her most healing roles, recorded by scribes on tablets two thousand years ago, is as a guide for the departed. This important aspect is evoked through her title of Psychopomp (Sigh-ko-pomp; ko is like “row”). The journey to the other side can be perilous, certainly for those whose death comes unexpectedly and without the presence of loved ones. Such as the incomprehensible number of those lost to COVID-19.
Ritual Of Hekate During COVID-19 For The Vulnerable, Healers And The Departed
Originally performed within the Keeping Her Keys Coven on the dark moon in April, I am sharing it here in my blog as an offering of the dark mother’s medicine during COVID-19. This ceremony has been adapted for use by solitary practitioners. Best performed on the dark moon.
Sigils of Hekate from left to right: sigil of guide to the departed, sigil of protection of the vulnerable and sigil of blessing for healers.
I am sharing these sigils freely so that you may recreate them on your own candles, on paper or by creating talismans. They should be placed on the altar if possible. If you aren’t able enliven the sigils these ways, connect with their power using the video shared below. Honestly, use what you have, whether it is one candle or three stones you find during a walk.
A fourth candle or stone should be used to invoke your power as a kourotrophos, paionios or psychopomp.
Personal cleansing of the body and mind should be undertaken before performing the ceremony.
Plants of protection such as sage and juniper for Guardian of the Marginalized, of healing such as yarrow or lavender, and for guiding the departed such as poppy (seeds) and dittany can be used to amplify the power of the summoning.
Included on the altar is a large piece of smoky quartz that serves as a portal for connecting and releasing the powers of the sigil and Hekate’s blessings.
You can make an offering to Hekate, although performing the ritual is sufficient.It is most help to undertake the Unifying The Three Selves Meditation prior to beginning.
Performing The Ritual
Standing in front of your altar, place your hands on your root, pointing down (about the pubic bone), say:
“I banish all that blocks and binds, I enter into this ritual with sincerity and trust.”
Take time to unfurl your roots into the ground beneath, releasing all that harms while tethering yourself to the earth.
Now place your open hands at heart center:
“I am protected from all harm.”
Allow your heart center to open, connecting you to the natural world.
“I bless myself, my beloveds, and this ritual.”
You can ignite any incense at this point. Place both hands pointing up with thumbs on the forehead. Stretch up your branches to the Starry Road above, connecting to the energy of the cosmos.
When you are ready, move onto the petition:
Hail Hekate, Guardian, Guide and Keeper of the Keys,
Torch Bearing Dark Mother,
I call upon you now,
Attend my ritual.
Allow her presence to awaken within you, let any visions come forward as she wills. After a few moments in this sacred place, express the purpose of your summoning:
Mighty Mother, Unconquerable Queen,
I stand in your presence to petition your blessing as
Kourotrophos, Guardian of the Vulnerable;
Paionios, Healer of Healers;
Psychopomp, Guide of the Departed.
It is most helpful to pause after saying each title to permit her presence to come through accordingly.
Kourotrophos, Guardian of the Vulnerable,
End the suffering of those most at risk,
Those who cannot protect themselves,
Protect them, guard them, keep them safe.
Light the candle of Kourotrophos or place a stone on the altar.
Paionios, Healer of Healers,
Bestow your comfort and strengthen upon the healers,
Those that labor to ease the suffering of others,
And shine light into the darkness of these days.
Light the candle of Paionios or place a stone on the altar.
Psychopomp, Guide of the Departed,
Safely walk those who have died to the other side,
Show them your benevolence,
Offer your comfort.
Light the candle of Psychopomp or place a stone on the altar.
Hekate, Dark Mother,
Reveal to me my role,
Guide me to be a light in the darkness.
Light your candle or place a stone on the altar. This candle will be blessed with your specific role, be it as a kourotrophos, paionios or psychopomp.
Spend time in her presence, allowing her visions and messages to come through. When you are ready, pull down your higher self branches using closed hands over your forehead, then proceed to the middle self with closed hands over the heart center, and, finally, a similar procedure over the lower self, pulling up your roots from the earth.
It is recommended that you light the candles each day to further spread the blessing of Hekate.
May you be well blessed by my sharing of this ritual.
Join the Keeping Her Keys Coven for free. Learn more at keepingherkeys.com