We have forgotton that there is a purpose to the night


Out of the Broomcloset.

“The things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster, you forget you’ll need them again…” Margo Channing, in “All About Eve.”

While Bette Davis’s character is speaking about “feminine” wiles, this observation fits most situations in life. In pursuit of the shining future over the hill, around the corner, or wherever one believes it to be, skills are no longer learned, older ways of living are discarded as outdated, or ignored. As a culture, we have forgotten that there is a potential and purpose to the night. I’m not suggesting that we turn back the clock on incandescence, but do we really need to see every blade of grass in every neighbor’s yard at 2:00 a.m.? Light pollution (as much as noise pollution) is disruptive, and bad lighting can so often mean that someone’s going home alone; but I digress.

I suppose it depends on personality types, or what phobias seem most appealing; popular genres, such as slasher films, reinforce some hard-wired ancestral memory we carry of a time when the dark contained our potential doom. Whether your point of reference is, the Big Bang, Genesis, or Hesiod’s “Theogony,” the light which so many spiritual paths hold so dear came forth from the darkness. This did not empty the dark of all power; it allows us to dream, to put aside those concerns which ran us ragged during the day, and opens another channel into the heart of magic.

And who can we call upon, in the dark, in the night? Without any further delay, let’s turn down the lights and introduce our star for this evening, Hekate Triformis, the original Queen of the Night, who started out in Turkey, flourished in Greece (being the only one to tell Demeter, that instructress in the art of civilized living, that her daughter Persephone had run off with Pluto).

Long before the Church formed the notion to scare the bejesus out of the common folk with their newly developed paper tiger (Satan), their chief target of scorn, derision and Canon Law was Hekate and her nocturnal following, to which she taught the magickal arts.
Unlike many other Deities, Hekate is one of those who is not constrained to a small orbit of attributes, interests and responsibilities. Her domain not only spans the past, present and future, she also rules over those places where things come into contact with each other, boundaries and edges (and between which she may effortlessly move).

This is the sort of Deity you want to have your back in a tight spot. However, don’t expect her to put up with needy whining, or for her to enfold you in her forgiving arms. Instead, she’ll bitch-slap you so hard that you, too, will see the past, present and future simultaneously.
Her temporal domain is surprise, the outdoors, as far away as you can be from habitation. The most efficacious time to engage her attention is during the Dark of the Moon, those two nights before the New Moon or during the full Moon, when her persona overlays it. Any secluded locale will do, but the most appropriate is at the crossroads (or more correctly, where three roads meet; a T intersection will do in a pinch).

Be very specific in your requests: this Goddess helps best those who first help themselves. As an offering, plates of bread, eggs, soft round cheeses and almonds mixed with pennyroyal or mint would be perfect; a plate of dog shaped cookies wouldn’t be amiss, being one of the animals most dear to her. As these plates are going to left behind, unglazed flower pot dishes would be appropriate.

If you wish to employ and incense, two powerful mixtures are either a combination of lavender, myrrh, willow bark, or one of frankincense, bay laurel, myrtle, cinnamon, ground fruit pit and dried fox grapes. These are ground together with a splash of red wine and honey and molded into little balls.

After everything is set out, you should turn and return home, without looking back. Hekate will soon make an appearance, torches in hand, accompanied by the baying of her hounds. Or you can look out the window at your neighbor’s lawn, wondering what their pets are going on about.


Out of the Broomcloset.

“The things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster, you forget you’ll need them again…” Margo Channing, in “All About Eve.”