RealPagan- Paganism for the Real World

Picture yourself walking safely along a dark, gravelled path on a quiet, clear autumn night. It is late, and as you look to the east, you see a waning moon rising slowly over the tree line. The sounds of the night are quiet and calm, and you can hear the crickets singing off in the distance while the mournful hoot of an owl drifts to you. You walk confidently forward, enjoying the solitude and companionable sound of the crunch of the gravel beneath your feet, your breath makes little puffs of white steam in the chill of the evening air.

 

Up ahead, you can see a flickering light. It is a torch mounted to the post marking the crossroads, and as you make your way closer, you can make out small offerings of food left neatly at the base of the signpost. Others have been here to honour Hecate before you. There is a small basket of apples, a plaque depicting the triple Hecate, and a few loaves of bread. Someone has left what appears to be a small jar of honey. Your hands tighten on the small wrapped bundle of homemade bread that you carry. It may be a humble offering, but sometimes simple is best. As you approach the crossroads, a breeze picks up and a swirl of autumn leaves rushes through the crossroads. You stop for a moment to take in the captivating scene and approach the torch-lit area as quietly as possible and with a calm reverence.

 

You prepare to leave your gift and offer up a quite prayer to Hecate. While you are very aware of your surroundings and perfectly comfortable alone this night, there is something in the air that makes you stay on guard. You turn your head this way and that, trying to account for the sense that something is happening. Suddenly the sound of howling digs shatters the peaceful evening. The breeze that sent leaves playfully dancing has now whipped up into a much stronger force. A rush of dramatically colder air swirls past you, accompanied by a whirlwind of rustling leaves. Birds awaken and begin singing in the middle of the night; it is a beautiful but eerie song. As you push your hair out of your stinging eyes and look around you, a rumbling noise is growing in its intensity. You feel the earth tremble beneath your feet, and you instinctively make a grab for the signpost as you try to keep yourself upright.

 

As quickly as it began, the maelstrom fades, and the night falls to silence once more.

Shaken, you right yourself and realise that you have dropped your offering. Concerned you hunker down to pick up the little cloth-wrapped bundle and carefully brush a few dead leaves from the wrapping. As you look around you realise that the other offerings once arranged so neatly are now in disarray. Without a thought, you immediately begin to straighten them back out. You lean the plaque against the signpost and return the apples quickly to their basket. A trio of old-fashioned keys catches your eye. Intrigued, you pick them up and admire their shapes and textures. Carefully, you place the keys on the little jar of honey. Pleased with the results, you look around for any missed items and prepare to rise to your feet.

 

A prickling at the base of your neck is the first indication that you are no longer alone. As you turn slowly to look behind you, a large black dog comes barrelling out of the darkness and is running straight at you. There is not time to be afraid. Your eyes widen, and the next thing you know, the dog has knocked you flat on your back and is affectionately greeting you. Your initial shriek of alarm  gives way to helpless laughter as you vainly attempt to get the dog off your chest so you can sit up. After a few moments of laughing struggle you manage to collar the dog and sit upright again.

 

“Where did you come from?”, you ask your new canine friend. As an answer, the large dog barks again at you in a friendly way an sniffs you all over. You sling an arm around your new friend and wonder who the animal belongs to. As you give the dog’s ears a good scratch, he suddenly goes on alert and sits rigidly still, seeming to be at attention. You look up to see what has captured the interest of the dog and notice a woman is silently approaching you. Her sandaled feet are noiseless on the gravel path, and she is draped from head to ankle in a richly textured, black hooded cape.

 

As she approaches, an owl swoops down from the tree line and lands gracefully on the top of the sign post as a sentinel. It blinks its wide eyes at you and ruffles its feathers. Your heart is hammering in your chest as you quickly rise to your feet to greet the lady. You bow your head and murmur a greeting. As she walks into the flickering light cast by the torch, you look upon her face to discover that she is a stately middle-aged woman wearing a silver crown. The next moment, she appears as a young woman dark and beautiful, then an elderly woman with a mass of wrinkle and a shock of white, wild hair. Back and forth, her image shifts and flows from one into another. The one thing that is constant is her eyes; they are ageless: a deep jet black, sparkling and with a kindness and wisdom that radiates outwards. No matter which face she shows you, her eyes and expression in them remain the same. Her hands rise to her hood, and she pushes it back so you can fully look upon her. Pay attention to how Hecate appears to you.

 

“Greetings”, she says softly, in a voice that rustles like dry leaves. “I thank you for caring for my sacred place.” She nods toward the items that you have just straightened out. You smile, and she looks at you carefully. “You have no fear of me.” This is a statement, and it pleases her. She continues by saying, “Many who are unprepared for my mysteries are afraid. They believe I am the one who brings death. But they are mistaken, for I do not. I am the midwife who assists you into the world and the wise one who escorts you into the next.”

 

Hecate holds out her hand, and the three old metal keys that you were admiring appear in her palm. She silently hands them to you as her hair whips around in the cold wind. Honoured, you silently close your fist around them.

 

“I leave you with three gifts my child,” she tells you quietly, “Knowledge, intuition and magic. Hold these close to your heart, and if you ever have need of me, know that I will be there.”

 

You clasp the keys to your chest, and a curious warmth is coming from inside your own body. You bow your head and whisper your thanks. Hecate holds up a hand, and the owl silently leaps from the signpost and flies over to circle over the goddess’ head. With a single call, the owl swoops off and into the darkness. Hecate then pulls up her hood and smiles at you one last time. As she turns to leave, the dog leaps to her side and follows her down the path. A mist rising from the ground seems to swallow them up as they disappear from your view.

 

Look around you now, and focus on your image of the sacred crossroads. Keep this visualisation in place; should you ever wish to return here, it will be waiting for you. Fell the warmth of Hecate’s gifts of knowledge, intuition and magic burning bright within yourself. Then take a deep breath, ground and centre and begin your journey home.

 

Come to awareness, and stretch out.

 

Now go and eat a light snack, and afterwards take a brisk walk. Be sure that you are reconnected to the earth plane and are well grounded.

 

Tags: Guided, Hecate, Hekate, meditation, pathworking

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thank you for this wonderful journey I will try it myself.

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