My work as a shamanic practitioner is, I suppose, non denominational. It does require an understanding that all things possess spirit, that we communicate and are guided by spirit, and a belief in non ordinary reality. But other than that… well, you know what I mean. My gods don’t have to be your gods. You don’t have to have any gods in fact, and shamanism will still work for you. But I personally am a priestess of Hekate and it does affect my work because it affects the way I look at the world.
I think the words ‘priestess’, ‘shamanic practitioner’ and ‘witch’ can in some ways be seen as interchangeable. Certainly that is the case for me. They are all a path of healing, magic and service, and for me that service is carried out in the eyes of the gods. So recently when I looked at my Hekate altar and realised that it needed a bit of a revamp, I thought I had perhaps slipped in my work with Her. But of course so much of my work is my work with Her. Much of my existence is. Clearly though I haven’t been talking about Her nearly enough in public of late, so I am moved to big Her up in a blog post. Next week, I’ll be posting a healing meditation I created a couple of years ago about the world soul, which will be of interest to any healers who do soul level work and/or like to work with Hekate. Today though, I thought I’d share a short excerpt from my essay published in the book ‘Hekate: Her Sacred Fires’ by Avalonia Books. I hope it will explain a little bit about why I feel Hekate is such a relevant deity for shamanic practitioners and healers today. Yes, I know there are other relevant aspects of Her that are just as relevant for shamanic healing, maybe more so, and I discuss that in the book. I’d love to hear what you think about Her role as a guide in this work though – what aspects of Hekate do you work with, and why? And, as always, I welcome any questions about Hekate so if you want to know more then please let me know.
All of my soul retrieval work is dedicated to Hekate, but there are other aspects of soul healing to consider when working with Hekate, and one idea in particular has been of great importance in my own self healing. In shamanic healing there is the important concept of the interconnectedness of all things, the Web of Wyrd. Every thought, word and action reverberates along the threads of the Web of Wyrd, affecting the whole of our reality. In Reiki, though the influence is far more from the Buddhist perspective, this idea that all things are connected is essential. For example, in Western Reiki it is often suggested that the distant healing symbol used is like a bridge we can use to connect us to people far away from us so we can heal them at distance. In face the symbol is intended to bring about the desired state of mind in the practitioner to make distant healing effective, this state of mind is the understanding that there is no distance, no time, there is only this moment and the interconnectedness of all things. It is a state of oneness – of course we can heal people at distance, because all people are one.
Considering these ideas of interconnectedness and oneness, and how essential they are in energy healing, helps us to see the importance of Hekate Soteira in healing work. In the Chaldean Oracles Hekate was equated with the Cosmic Soul – the soul of all things are contained within Hekate. Think of the importance of accepting that all souls are connected, and part of Her, in terms of the need for forgiveness when approaching soul healing. Soul wounds and soul loss almost always come from some kind of interaction with another person. Part of what hinders healing at this level is holding on to anger and grief; a lack of forgiveness both for other people and for ourselves. Understanding that we are connected to all people and all things assists us in that forgiveness. Understanding that we are at one with all people helps us to live our lives in a different, more positive way. It helps us understand that our healing work, our magical work and all of our behaviour shapes our reality and the lives of others at a deeper level than we may have realised.
If we understand Hekate as the soul of the whole world, we must also not limit ourselves to thinking about people. The soul of every animal, the energy of every plant can be seen as a part of Her, therefore if we consider ourselves a part of Her priesthood we see all these things as sacred. If we are to live our lives and practice our spirituality as devotees of Hekate, the importance of treading gently on the earth and having compassion for all living things should not be overlooked. Being a healer is not about facilitating specific healing work for others, or even for ourselves. Likewise, being a devotee of Hekate is not just about performing ritual devotional acts. Both of these things are a way of life and, if we are embodying these roles truthfully and authentically, every aspect of ourselves and everything we do will be carried out as a healer and a member of Her priesthood. As we move through our lives, understanding Hekate Soteira as the World Soul, we try always to understand that every soul we come into contact with in our spiritual, magical and mundane lives is a part of Her. And so are we.
Find out more about my work as a writer.
To learn more about the Sacred Fires project – an amazing book with contributions by Hekate devotees all over the world, and an annual rite performed by thousands of people – visit sacredfires.co.uk
Visit Avalonia Books to see their wonderful and huge collection of titles, including Hekate Her Sacred Fires and Hekate: Keys to the Crossroads (both include contributions from myself and the lovely Magin Rose) and a new book by Tara Sanchez called The Temple of Hekate
Don’t know who Hekate is? Learn stuff on wiki and theoi.