ROSARY OF THE FOUR ROADS MISTRESS

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is my intellectual property.  Do not use this to make rosaries to sell or sell the idea, even modified.  Thank you.

I have spent a lot of time surfing the web looking at all things Hekate.  I’ve visited uncountable Google image searches and I window shop at places like Etsy a lot.  In my wanderings I’ve found that virtually all pagan prayer beads, even if they are dedicated to a god or goddess, have no prayers to make the pattern in the beads make sense.  Basically, if you purchase a pagan prayer bead string you have to fit  your prayers into their design because basically what they’ve created is a work of art, a piece of jewelry, but not really prayer beads.  Well, that doesn’t work for me at all.  So far I’ve written two prayers, one complicated one simple, to go with my Hekatean prayer bead design to make a journey into the many names of Hekate in order to experience Her nature and get to know Her better.  I will use the pattern of the rosary to create new prayers in the future in order to uncover even more of her nature. So stay tuned.

I also do not use Hekate’s epithets in Greek in my prayers.  I find them distracting because the words are often difficult to pronounce and because trying to remember words that I’m unfamiliar with drains any magic from the exercise.  I do however, find the ideas behind the Greek words, very useful and important.  These ideas, these names for Hekate help us understand who she was to the ancients and who she can be to us today. They are a large chunk of what is known about her, but by far do no express all that she is.  She can be defined by her epithets, but not contained by them; this idea is even expressed in two of her eptithets: Azonos, without Borders and Azostos, Ungirt, without a belt.  So, in studying them, we get to know her better than we would if we only relied on personal experience and what little has been written about her roll in ancient times.  I get almost all of my information on her eptithets via Sara Nehti Croft’s blog Singing For Her.  I would suggest you print the list she’s created and study it.

Hekate of the Four Ways?

hekate_antalya5.jpgIf you hadn’t noticed in naming this rosary I did not stick to the traditional triple goddess imagery that one typically associates with Hekate. I have adopted the more obscure epithet that names her mistress of the four roads: Tetraoditis in order to support the design of this rosary.  I spotlight the number four in the naming of this rosary to call attention to this obscure but important epithet and to explore how it relates to her three-fold aspect.  I also use it to explore her more stable and solid nature, more like a rock than the flowing river implied in her Trivia epithet.  This imagery brings up the idea that she is the rock in the river; she is the river.  She is the mountain; she is the rain & wind.  She is the shore; she is the sea. (I will write more about this later.)

The combination of the use of her epithets for the numbers three and four is significant in this rosary for several reasons which I list below.

  1. When you open up the rosary and lay it out, visually you can see three paths with a 25520200_1668133163208781_601197982_ndoorway.  Allowing the Trivia imagery to pop out in our consciousness. Yet combine with the hidden idea that Hekate is also a quadruple goddess.
  2. It combines the solid, un-moving stability of the number four and the more fluid, and unstable balance of the number three.
  3. It also hints at the fact that the moon actually has four phases, not three: Waxing, Waning, Full and Dark.  (Future prayers created for this rosary may include this imagery and idea. )

Now let us explore the prayer in detail:

About the Journey of the Four Roads

Begin at the gate with the key.

key-hecate-1 (Pendant can be purchased from Maxine Miller)

Glorious Hekate, Keeper of the Keys to the Cosmos, please watch over me and guide me on my journey

Keeper of the Keys:

The Key at the beginning is very important.  One of Hekate’s most important and popular rolls is as Keeper of the Keys to the Cosmos, Pantos Kosmou Kleidokhos.  It is is here that you take up the key to Her mysteries and chose to walk her path and ask for her protection and guidance.

Protector:

Protection is another one of her rolls and is expressed in several eptithets, one of which we journey through in the prayer cycles: Hekate of the Harbor, Limenitikos. Other epithets that express her protective nature are Phylake, one who keeps guard; Medusa, protector; Episkopos, guardian, One who Watches Over, Overseer; and, is hinted at in Epipurgidia, on the Tower and Baridoukhos, skiff-holder, Barque-holder (both are boats that sail on the fickle sea.)

Guide:

She is popularly known as a guide of of lost souls and the one who guided Persephone from the Underworld. At the key we call upon Her in this roll as guide.  There are a couple of epithets that name her as guide that express nuanced differences.  The first of those epithets names her as Propolos, She Who Leads, Guide, Companion; Propolousa, Guide, companion, servant; Psychopomp, soul-guide, Rixipyle, She who throws down the gates; and one that hints at the idea, Aregos, helper.

Flames RosaryThe Path to Hekate’s Gate: Illuminating Her Virtues

  • Compassion
  • Courage
  • Temperance
  • Justice
  • Wisdom
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Unknown but needed

After the Key on the rosary comes the tail of of flames that illuminates the pathway to the mysteries of Hekate via her virtues.  These virtues include Hekate’s virtues according to Covenant of Hekate and a couple others I felt needed to be added.  This is where you prepare yourself for the Journey ahead.  These flames represent Hekatean virtues and as you go through each one meditate on the idea of it and draw those qualities into you.

I felt it was important to add a flame that would represent the “Unknown but needed” virtue to help your subconscious work on finding a virtue you need to work on.  It may be revealed during your session.  You can also include a virtue that you are consciously working on at this flame.

As for the meaning of each virtue it is up to you to understand what each one means to you.  You are welcome to read about the five virtues from the Covenant.  They go into great detail about the nature of each virtue.  But I would suggest that your first journey start and end on the flame path.  Meditate on each virtue, write about what you discover make each illumination, each flame mean something to you before you even pass through the Gate.

gate rosaryEntering the Gate

Now you stand at the cross roads.  If you are lucky in your creation of your rosary you’ve been able to find a bead like those on Catholic rosaries that have three rings rosary-beadsto attach  your tail to the circle sometimes called a medal.  This bead represents Hekate as Gate Keeper.  She has several epithets that express her roll at the Gates.

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Visiting the Realms

Three realms rosaryNext I want to reintroduce to you the three realms that Zeus allowed Hekate to keep after the Titan war.  She was given dominion over the Land, Sea and Sky.  Which I personally believe was a way to allow her to keep those realms that were hers before the Greeks and the people of the lands of Thrace met and mixed religions.  Of course, my take on the myths are not to be confused with the truth of the words of the myths.  The myths themselves can be found at Theoi.com.

So, she rules all the realms of existence.  She is all of creation just as her epithets suggest. Pammetor, Mother of All; Pandoteira, All-giver, Bestower of Everything , Bounteous; Pasikratea, Universal Queen; Pasimedousa, Ruling over All; Klothaie: Spinner of Fate; Protistos: Primordia, the Very First;  and Zoogonos: Seed of Life.

Each of her realms speak of who she is.  She is the sea; the oceans of the earth and the expansive sea of the universe.  She is the earth, the deep nourishing loam wherein all plant life grows, and the depths of the Underworld and the Mysteries of the Universe.   She is the sky, the blanketing blue of day, the comforting black of night speckled with stars and illuminated by the hanging moon; and the great florescence of being that started with the expansion of a singularity..

 

Walking the Paths

The path rosaryOnce you enter the gate you begin your meditation on three distinct characteristics of Hekate: Savior, Lightbringer and Keybearer.  These characteristics are based on three popular epithets Sortiera, Phaesimbrotos (Bringer of Light), & Kleidoukhos (Keeper of the Keys).

 

The Rosary of the Four Roads Mistress

Please note that this is an image of the early version of the rosary and does not include some newer additions.

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Speak aloud the text in bold italics.

At the key say the following:

Glorious Hekate, Keeper of the Keys to the Cosmos, please watch over me and guide me on my journey

At each flame, say the following, meditating on how they connect with you, Hekate and your practice:

  • Compassion
  • Courage
  • Temperance
  • Justice
  • Wisdom
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Unknown but needed / or a virtue you want to include that day.

Gate bead

Hail Hekate Gatekeeper

White Bead: Hekate Savior

Red Bead: Hekate Lightbringer

Black Bead: Hekate Keybearer

Repeat two more times.

Sea Bead

Hail Hekate Mistress of the Sea

White Bead: Hekate Savior

Red Bead: Hekate Lightbringer

Black Bead: Hekate Keybearer

Repeat two more times.

Earth Bead

Hail Hekate Mistress of the Earth

White Bead: Hekate Savior

Red Bead: Hekate Lightbringer

Black Bead: Hekate Keybearer

Repeat two more times.

Sky Bead

Hail Hekate Mistress of the Starry Sky

Hail Hekate Mistress of the Earth

White Bead: Hekate Savior

Red Bead: Hekate Lightbringer

Black Bead: Hekate Keybearer

Repeat two more times.

(Hear you can chose to leave, moving back through the Gate and down the path, or to continue on.  The Prayer in parenthesis below will lead  you out.  To continue on the longer journey, skip this part.)

(Gate Bead

  • Hail Hekate, Gatekeeper
  • Unknown but needed/ Chosen Virtue
  • Integrity
  • Honest
  • Wisdom
  • Justice
  • Temperance
  • Courage
  • Compassion

Key)

Gate bead

Hail Hekate of the Path

White Bead: Hekate Savior

Red Bead: Hekate Lightbringer

Black Bead: Hekate Keybearer

Repeat two more times.

Sea Bead

Hail Hekate of the Harbor

White Bead: Hekate Savior

Red Bead: Hekate Lightbringer

Black Bead: Hekate Keybearer

Repeat two more times.

Earth Bead

Hail Hekate Mother of All

White Bead: Hekate Savior

Red Bead: Hekate Lightbringer

Black Bead: Hekate Keybearer

Repeat two more times.

Sky Bead

Hail Hekate Light of the Night

White Bead: Hekate Savior

Red Bead: Hekate Lightbringer

Black Bead: Hekate Keybearer

Repeat two more times.

 

 

Hekatean Wheel of the Year

By Melody Dickson (inspired by Cyndi Brennan’s work)

After studying Cyndi’s Hekatean Wheel of the Year I took her up on her invitation to create my own.  Cyndi’s template, using Hekate’s epithets inspired me to find epithets that fit with the seasons as well as myths.  I decided that it would be good to include Persephone, and will probably add her to more monthly celebrations in the future.  I kept Cyndi’s seasonal epithets only changing them slightly and some of her wording may remain.

I also added some defining aspects of each season.  Winter and Summer focus on light and dark.  Fall and Spring focus on the cycles of life and death.  Moon phases were added to this list as a way to understand how the phases of the moon can mirror the power of the sun.  The moon representing Hekate through the modern age can be compared to Hekate’s more hidden connection, via “light”, to the Sun.  These connections can also be seen in the realms She rules: Sky, Earth and Sea.  If she rules the sky, she rules the stars, the moon and the sun.  The mirror aspects of the sun and moon can be thought of as a way to harness the power of the sun and moon together to create great works of Magick.  For instance a very powerful time to manifest something would be mid-summer on a full moon.

Each month uses two epithets in order to capture the full meaning and power of that time of year and how it relates to Hekate and to deeply connect Hekate to that seasonal moment.  There was a minor change to Cyndi’s use of Hekate as Gatekeeper.  I chose to invoke the gatekeepers at the spring and autumn equinoxes instead of the fall equinox and during February.  It just seems more consistent, and it links her gatekeeper epithets, and through them Her, to the equinoxes.

imagesWINTER – HEKATE SOTIERA

Waxing Sun

Transition: Darkness to Light

Peak Moment: Darkness

Lunar Phase: Dark Moon

DECEMBER – PHAESIMBROTOS

Hekate Lamp
This is an ancient lamp which is Hekate carrying a torch.

(Winter Solstice/Yule)

“Bringer of Light”

Celebrate Hekate as the Bringer of Light on Winter Solstice.  We could honor Her as the Great Florescence of the Universe (Big Bang), as bringer of literal light via the growing length of the days and as Persephone’s guide and teacher.  I seem to remember that in some myth (could have been modern) that Hekate was the one who counseled Persephone to take the 3 seeds so that she could stay with Hades, thus creating the way for the seasons.  What a great time to celebrate the coming changes of seasons!  If Hekate hadn’t shown her a way to come back to the Underworld and guided her back to the Upperworld the light would have never grown and the seasons would never have existed.  Some science: Hekate is commonly associated with the moon.  If the moon didn’t exist our seasons would be erratic and life would never have evolved beyond microbes.  So Hekate’s existence as our moon literally creates the seasons.

This is the only month where only one epithet is used so that we focus only on the miracle of the coming of the light and with it the seasonal changes that support life.

a6ff288bd89f0a49946c3ac97d3aa05aJANUARY – TRIPHTHOGGOS TRIVIA TRIMORPHOS

“Triple-voiced, Having three voices”, “Of the Three Ways” and “Three formed”

This is the only month that uses three epithets which is significant in that all three epithets have to do with Her triple aspect and its significance in the transition from what secular year to the next.

Hekate speaks of the Road Taken, the Road Ahead and the Road Not Taken.  Your silent Center balances what has been with what could come.  Celebrate balance in motion.

FEBRUARY – LAMPADIOS PROPOLOS

(Candlemas/Imbolc)

“Torchbearer, lamp bearer” and “she who leads, guide and companion”

This is a time to thank Hekate for burning her torches to help guide us and sustain us through the darkness.  I heard part of Persephone’s mythology indicated that she soothed the sorrows and loneliness of the souls of the dead (but a quick search on line doesn’t show anything).  We could honor Persephone for this roll as well.  According to Homer she carried out the curses of the living upon the dead.  Maybe part of the ritual could be to appease her and clear the effects of curses and bad deeds of our ancestors.  This could be a good time to do ancestor work.

f81f1b8a43ae0d1df2db38ca4c8c8b3c--greek-underworld-hecate-goddessSPRING – HEKATE PAMMETOR

Spring Equinox

Transition: Death to Life

Peak Moment: Waxing Light

Lunar Phase: Waxing Moon

 

 

MARCH – AUTOPHEUS ZOOGNOS

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“Sacred Abyss” becomes “Seed of Life” – the strophalos.

“Self-begotten” “Seed of Life”

Celebrate the creation of life on earth through Her powers to create life from base elements, The Sacred Abyss.   Hekate as Pammetor, Mother of all, generated the power inherent in the elements to create life from a barren earth.

APRIL – EMPYLIOS EILEITHYA

-AT THE GATE-

(Spring Equinox/Oestara)

“At the gate, nurse of childbirth”

The guardian of the gates returns as Midwife to help transition from the season of decay to the return of life.  Hekate becomes Her own midwife, assisting Her own birthing of life in the world, coaxing it to grow and become.  We can celebrate her here as the One who assists us in birthing our own true natures into the world; and Her assistance as midwife to us as life forces us through the process of our own life. This is also when the Eleusinian Mysteries is celebrated in modern times through the Aquarian Tabernacle Church.  This can be when we personally celebrate Persephone’s return and the Mysteries as well as we can.

MAY – EROTOTOKOS GENETEIRA

“Producing love, Who bore love, Bearer of Love” and “Mother”

pexels-photo-235941.jpegThis is the time to celebrate love in all its forms including the love that brings all beings together in celebration of the creation of life.  Love drives humans to couple and often reproduce.  Love can also be “lust” or that animal instinct that drives all beings to couple and reproduce.   We can also celebrate Hekate as Mother by examining her epithets and learning from them how She is mother to us all and how it affects Her.  We can also celebrate mothers who sacrifice much to care for their off-spring.  We can celebrate Hekate as lover and beloved, as the one who gives us all that drive to create and the ability to connect with other beings.   She is Mother, She is Lover, She is Beloved.

SUMMER – HEKATE PANTOS KOSMOU KLEIDOKHOS

pexels-photo-761149.jpeg“Keeper of the Keys of the Cosmos”

(I chose the full title so that we can express Her full power.)

Summer Solstice

Waning Sun

Transition: Light to Darkness

Peak Moment: Brightness

Lunar Phase: Full Moon

JUNE – THEA DENIOS KLOTHAIE

(Summer Solstice/Litha)

“Dread Goddess, Weaver of Fate”

pexels-photo-678633.jpegIn the safety of the light and amongst the life that surrounds us in mid-summer we contemplate the Laws of Nature and the things that we cannot change or bend to our will.  We celebrate the wisdom of nature and Hekate as the Keeper of the Keys of the Cosmos, the holder of the Great Mysteries of Life and Death that we cannot, as humans and mortals, comprehend.

pexels-photo-826388.jpegJULY – EINALIAN PHOTOPLEX

“Sea goddess, who strikes with light”

In July the thunderstorms begin.  This heralds the promise of the end of the heat of summer, which if left to eternally increase, would ruin the harvest.  Yet this promise is dampened by the lightning-created wildfires that destroy and renew.  Tropical storms also bring hurricanes and tornadoes, washing away the old and creating places for renewal.  Hekate is celebrated as the bringer of life-giving water and offerings are given to appease Her in hopes that She will avert disaster.  We can invoke Her as Alexeatis, Averter of Evil during this time.  Hekate as the Universe has to work within Her own laws, but if we call Her attention to our plight She might be able to bend those rules to help Her children.

AUGUST – ANASSA PANDOTIERApexels-photo-730423.jpeg

(Lammas/Lughnassad)

“Great Queen, All-giver, bestower of Everything, Bounteous”

This is a time to celebrate Hekate as the Queen of the Harvest.  We take time to be grateful for all She has given us through the year.  She is the All-giver.  It is a time to celebrate the good things that the Great Mystery, the Keeper of the Keys, can bring from the chaos of the universe. It is time to celebrate what we have as gifts from Her, not as something we earned or created ourselves.  It is a time to be grateful to the Great Queen and celebrate her generosity.  It is a time to celebrate the miracle of Her giving nature and the food and shelter She provides with her body and blood.

Artemis_torches_Chiaramonti_Inv1432.jpgFALL – HEKATE ANASSA CHTHONIA

“Queen of the Underworld”

Fall Equinox

Transition: Life to Death

Peak Moment: Waning Light

Lunar Phase: Waning Moon

 

SEPTEMBER – PROPOLYA PROPOLOUSA

-AT THE GATE-

(Fall Equinox/Mabon)

“One before the gate, Guide, Companion and servant

Guardian of the Gates returns as guide, companion and servant to help us through the dark times.  It is a time to honor her for her protection and guidance in the coming decline. Note that this epithet, Propolousa, describes Hekate as “servant” but a similar epithet used in February focuses more on Her power and ability for direct action.  This epithet is Propolos, and means She Who Leads. She is not just a guide, but a Leader in this epithet. And that leader is who we celebrate in the middle of winter. This time of year in the beginning of autumn we need a part of Hekate that can be our servant as well as guide.  We will need her help more than ever as we descend into the darkness, we’ll need the part of Her who focuses on our needs and protection as we focus on the descent.

OCTOBER – NEKYIA PSYCHOPOMP

pexels-photo-211358.jpeg(Samhain/All-hallows Eve)

“Mistress of corpses, guider of souls”

She is death and decay, the releaser of souls who guides all the dead to the Underworld and regeneration in the hands of Her companion and co-ruler Persephone, who brings hope and comfort.  This is a time to honor Her as the remover of obstacles and the bringer of death and regeneration.  Focus on all the things that hold you back, that keep you from participating in the cycle of life and travel to the Underworld to as Hekate to take them into Her body and transform them into what you need to grow.  Celebrate Her ability to create death.  Ask yourself why death (endings) is important to this Universe and what would happen existence without it?  Celebrate the lives of all our kin who have come before including the stars, the long-gone species on earth.  In the Underworld visit them, honor them and bring the memory of them back in your heart.

 NOVEMBER – AGIA BYTHIOS

strophalus
The “Seed of Life” now becomes the “Sacred Abyss”.

“Sacred Abyss”

This is a time of dormancy and renewal.  This is the time when souls spend time under the healing and regenerative touch of Persephone. This is a time out of time, where Hekate steps back as Goddess and becomes who She really is: the Sacred Abyss from where all life comes and where it returns at death.  Spend time in the arms of the Great Unknown.  Light candles and burn fires to hold back the darkness, to invoke the protection and guidance of Persephone and to honor the stars that light our way.  We can honor Asteria, the great unknowable from which Hekate came.

Note: Bythios “can also mean “of the sea” but scholars have typically interpreted this as reference to chthonic powers in this context”

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