Monthly Archives: October 2009

For my Father

When I sat down this morning to write, it was going to be an academic treatise on Cults and festivals of the Dead and how they relate to or can be adapted to working with the Lady Hekate, and perhaps I will write it still, although maybe not today. All things considered, today seems like a good day to muse upon those that have gone before.

I am not a Wiccan, nor have I ever been, and although my other great love is the stories and tales of the land we now know of as Wales, neither is my path specifically a Celtic one (although I actually hate using the word Celtic, because it doesn’t really mean much); that being said, this time of year has always held a special signifcance for me, it has always felt different and never more so than in the last decade since my father, my first mentor, passed on around this time.

He taught me many things (although at the time I am not sure I appreciated quite what he was teaching me), not just to walk and talk or to ride my first bike, he taught me the names of the flowers and the trees, to eat hawthorm leaves and call them bread and cheese, to gauge just right how many slightly under-ripe cob nuts I could eat without getting the colly wobbles, how to make cider, to garden, and even to knit, crochet and sew, he told me stories and tales some awe inspiring, some frightening, some just down right ridiculous, we used to laugh and call him our font of useless information, a talent I can now proudly say I have inherited.

He called himself a heathen, although he wasn’t one in the way most people use the word now, he didn’t know about fancy groups and troths, although he had a deep one with the land, he knew of course of the Aesir and Vanir for his knowledge of old stories was phenominal, but they weren’t his gods, to use his words, he worshipped only at the altar of the compost heap.

He was an honorable man, a quiet man, a gentle man, loved by everybody who knew him; he talked many times of his funeral in the years before his passing, he said he always wanted a Viking funeral, or failing that to be buried “face down and bum uppards holding a bottle of whiskey”. Of course such schemes were to never come to pass, although plans are in place, his ashes safely stowed for a future time, when he and my mother will be sailed out on a flaming balsa wood boat across lake windermere, one of his most favourite places in the world.

And as the sun goes down tonight, I shall light a candle and pour him a glass and think of all the gifts he gave to me and I never thanked him for.

Ask and ye shall recieve…

So a few posts ago, I posted about the plight of the british honey bee, and particularly how I viewed it from a magickal perspective. Imagine my delight whilst walking down the baking goods aisle in my local supermarket this evening to spy a slogan adorning Rowse’s Honey – Save the Honey Bee. Not only have they commited £100,000 to aid research, but currently if you buy a jar of Rowse’s honey you can register online for a pack of wild flower seeds to plant in your garden to, as they put it, grow more bee friendly plants in your garden. For details see here. Okay it may only be pennies in a fountain, but you know, pennies do add up, and so I bought a jar and have registered for my free pack of seeds, after all is it not better to take small steps in the right direction when you hit that crossroads, than just sit there discussing the journey?

What is the date today?

Anybody who has done even the smallest amount of research regarding the goddess Hekate will have heard about the Deipna Hekate or Hekates Suppers. Too often however the date for these is cited as being the 30th of the month.

The problem is that the ancient greeks did not have the same calendar as we did, in fact they didn’t have the same calendar as each other, which makes working out dates and times more than a little awkward. For example, the Attic calendar (which is the most complete version we have) started on the first day of the new moon after the summer solstice, the Boetian year didn’t start until the new moon after the winter solstice 6 months later.

The sighting of the new moon was of course subjective as well, so different areas at any point in time might be out by one or two days. So this leads to the question, if we would like to offer a Deipna Hekate, when would be the best time to do it?

Well, whilst I am a big advocate of research, I am not a reconstructionist, so in the first instance I would say leave out this offering on the night of the dark moon where you live. If you want to be a little more precise than just taking a look up into the sky at moonrise, then there are a number of excellent calculators online which will be a tad more specific,this is one I have used and you can even added to your FaceBook profile if you have an account. iPhone even has “an App for that”, or so my husband tells me.

And finally I would like to share is this excellent resource, which is being created and developed by a very dedicated group of Hellenic reconstructionists, Ive actually bookmarked it on my browser toolbar, so useful is it as a ready reckoner. You can find it here. And with that I shall wish you a very good last day of Puanepsion or first day of Maimakterion, depending of course where you live 😀