Crossing Thresholds

Originally we had planned to host an open Beltane circle, but when we couldn’t find a space in time, we pushed the open ritual plans back and, since it would just be our core group, decided to combine our celebration with an opportunity for one of our mentees to take the next step in her path and attempt a drawing down.

When she said she really, REALLY felt called to draw down Hekate, we were a tiny bit hesitant. First of all, Hekate and Beltane? And secondly, wouldn’t you like to try a nice, nurturing Goddess, like Isis or Aphrodite? But as a devotee to Hekate, she felt strongly, and we wanted to follow her instincts. She and I teamed up and cranked out a ritual.

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As she talked more and more about the Goddess, I was increasingly impressed with her knowledge base and with the intimate, personal connection she has with Hekate. I certainly learned a great deal, like that Hekate became one of Kore’s handmaidens in the Underworld, and is a torch bearer, leading Persephone back to the surface world in Spring to once again become Kore in the sunlight. And, actually, isn’t that kind of perfect for Beltane? Also, as a Goddess partial to Witches, doesn’t she sort of fit in at every Sabbat?

Instead of dancing a maypole this Beltane, we decided we would use the trusty pole to hoist up an effigy of Hekate, and then sort of use that as a lightening rod to attract the Goddess energy and direct it down into our drawing down vessel. Unfortunately for everyone, I made the effigy.

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“Don’t get strung out by the way I look.”

At least her hair is cool. Hoping that Hekate didn’t mind being represented by Dr. Frank-N-Furter, we pressed on. It would be dark, right? And as our drawing down candidate was going to be veiled in the ritual, we placed a shimmery translucent black veil over her face. That helped.

It turned out to be a night of growth for all of our mentees. Our newest mentee really impressed us with his call to the ancestors, in which he called on past worshipers of Hekate to aid the rite. Another, who has studied with us much longer, performed the invocation and led the chant (which was in ancient Greek, thanks to our Hekate devotees studies). we adorned the effigy while listening to “Hecate” by Wendy Rule, then raised her up. We attached long sparklers to her arms, that she might actually be a torch bearer, and though we all had doubts about how this would work, it turned out to be…well, let’s just say we think the Goddess heard and accepted us that night.

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Still horrifying, but in a good way.

The ritual was a great success, as was the delicious meal, heavy with cheese, egg, and garlic, that we shared afterwards. We made preliminary plans for the open circle we will host on May 31, and scheduled a Dedication ritual for our newest mentee and another drawing down for another. It’s going to be a full and wonderful summer.

Our Beltane celebration was a taste of what can happen when people with different interests, skills, and backgrounds come together and share their ideas and skills, and a theme of this summer is going to be building on that even more, with mentees taking on greater responsibility and giving more input as they prepare to move deeper into the mysteries of the Tradition. And we are doing our best to reach out to new seekers who have been expressing interest, and starting the cycle anew. What will they have to offer, how will they expand the wisdom and scope of who we are, as our current members have done? It’s an exciting question.

Another question we’re trying to answer is, how can we strengthen and better maintain our connection with our members who don’t live in Middle TN? This is a question that can only be answered by everyone, near and far, coming together to determine what will best meet that need. And what better way to answer exactly that kind of question?

Blessed Beltane and a Happy Beginning of Summer to all!

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