Hekate, triple goddess of magick, witchcraft, the moon, ghosts, necromancy, crossroads, herb work, and the keeper of the keys. The divine mother of witches, and guider of the lost; and the one who called me, but was sent to voicemail.
You see, as a lifelong witch and pagan, I am no stranger to the call of the divine. Whether it was tea with Cernunnos in kindergarten, or learning of herbal healing with Cerridwen in late elementary school, I knew to answer the call when it came through. But like most people, there would come a time when I would send an important call to voicemail out of arrogance. A pigheadedness and need to "go against the grain", would cause me to ignore a divine message from the dark goddess, delaying my work with her until much later.
I was fifteen years old when one night in, ritual, a deity, cloaked in darkness and sprinkled with starlight, would speak to me, "I am Hekate, goddess of witches, and you are my child. Come to me, and walk the path of mysteries and I will teach you, and guide you towards your divine purpose". I was taken aback by her presence, she came without evocation and stood with such power in front of me, that I could barely grasp what had happened. I was awash with emotion and a sense of confusion that I had never felt before, so I sat in silence.
After the ritual had ended, Hekate did not ascend with the other energies and gods that had been called, instead choosing to follow me for the coming days. I knew of Hekate, how could I not, every teenage girl who watched the craft or charmed was a "pagan" and held Hekate as their "matron goddess! Like, omg she's so dark and so cool!", and a part of me resented that. I had been pagan my entire life, I spent years learning and growing as both a pagan and a witch, being taunted and bullied because I was perceived as wicked and evil. And now every Brittney and Ashley who'd once tormented me was a charmed one wannabe because they thought Hekate was cool. In my teen angst, a part of me blamed her, the goddess, for causing this, and so I cried out, "Go away! I am not one of those basic cheerleaders! I don't want to be seen as a wannabe because now you are "cool"! NO!". Hekate tilted her head slightly, "as you wish my child, but if you should ever have need of me, I am only a call away", she said softly before fading from sight.
As the years went by and adolescence turned to adulthood, the Brittney's and Ashley's went back to their Christian churches and I continued to study further and settled in angst. After taking my third degree vows, I traveled the spiritual world, guesting with many groups and learning of many traditions before finally returning home and founding my beloved Covenant of the Rose, and working therein. But a part of me still felt a calling, like a notification your phone sends you when you have an unopened voicemail; unfortunately, it would be quite sometime before I was ready to open it.
As the Covenant grew, and more members came and shared their practice and beliefs with us, the great mother was ever present. Even while guesting with other groups and traditions, she was there, waiting. By this time, my arrogance and pride had faded; the reason I could not call on or approach her wasn't that I was fighting a current, no, I was simply too ashamed.
You see, throughout my life, I have learned more about myself and the world than can accurately be expressed. The main things being that it is okay to like popular things, it isn't cool to reject them out of an insecurity towards conformity and fear of being lost in the crowd, and most importantly, when you have made a mistake, even towards the divine, you must make amends. "But how does one apologize to the goddess? Will she be angry with me? Will I be punished? What do I do?", I thought; "don't think, just do" my soul answered back.
In preparation for my apology, I spent days meditating and looking at my existence, seeing issues, and letting go of that which did not serve me. I banished the feelings of insecurity around my practice, I addressed why I felt that way, and then worked through my issues before banishing that negativity as well. And then began the planning. If I were a goddess, and was to be given an apology, what would I like to receive? What would be a sign that the person apologizing was truly remorseful?
I decided to go all out, I picked baskets of lavender and hung them around my sacred space, I lit a charcoal and allowed Myrrh to simmer on top, I painted a portrait of the great lady and her ravens, and added a photo of my familiar, a dog, to the altar adorned with sparkling fabric, mead, and sacred stones. It was time; I called my quarters and blessed my circle, and finally, I knocked on her spiritual door, "Hekate, I evoke thee! Please bless me with your presence!", I called out three times. No sooner had I finished the third call, and there she was, as glorious and powerful as the first time.
Hekate smiled a soft smile, "My child, you have come back to me! Are you ready to answer the sacred call?". I bowed my head, "Yes, but that isn't why I called you here today. I must apologize for the way I acted in my youth. You were the go-to goddess for anyone who just discovered paganism and the craft, and I was terrified of being seen as basic. I didn't want to associate with you out of fear that I would be grouped in with those I disliked; it had nothing to do with you, and I take full responsibility for my arrogance. I am sorry goddess, I am so sorry, and I will understand if you no longer wish me to walk your path, but I would very much like to know your mysteries".
The goddess suddenly laughed; I was so shocked by the mirth from her, that my jaw literally dropped. "Oh my child, I knew of your reasoning, and I know of your remorse, but no matter what you say or do, you are my child. And I am your mother. The call to my mysteries was never a one time offer, but an open one, yours to answer whenever you are ready. And Now you are! And I could not be happier. You need not apologize to me, though your apology is lovely and accepted. Come, let us walk together...".
That night transformed me, like a phoenix arising from the ashes I was invigorated on my path towards divinity. The goddess has called me, and I was finally ready to answer, finally after all these years. And so dear reader it is my hope that you too have learned things, let my mistakes guide you. Follow your heart, and answer the call; do not care what anyone else thinks because your craft is your own. You are a uniquely spiritual being, follow the path that speaks to you, and be the best pagan and/or witch you can be!
Lady Wynnie is the ArchPriestess and founder of Covenant of the Rose. She is also a talented writer who will be blogging about the coven and it's happenings!