A trip to the Sierra Nevada to honour the goddess during the Perseids.
For quite a few years now I have made a day in August special to Hekate. Normally choosing a date sometime during the Perseid Meteor Showers. The reason for doing this is primarily that not only do some sources believe that Hekate’s father Perses presided over the constellation of Perseus from which the Perseid Meteor showers appear to originate, but also her mother Asteria can be associated with meteor showers as her name quite literally means falling star.
These meteor showers occur every year at approximately the same time starting around the 9th and finishing around the 16th, with the climax varying anywhere between those dates. They are known as some of the most prolific meteor showers that we know with a frequency that can be in excess of 60 meteors an hour at their peak. This may not seem like an awful lot but believe me, with a clear sky away from light pollution this is more than enough to make for a particularly spectacular event.
I find it rather ironic that the peak for the storm this year is predicted to be around the 13th as it is a date I normally shy away from. I have discussed this aversion before but I think it serves to revisit it again. And it all boils down to a failure by many to understand how the Attic (and other historical Greek calendars) actually work.
Basically the simplest way to explain it is that on the 16th day of Metageitnion, there was the Sacrifice of Kourotrophos, Hekate , and Artemis. This month falls roughly between July and August but due to the Attic calendar being one that depends upon the lunar cycle rather than set dates, the actual date for the 16th day of Metageitnion can vary and does as a result sometimes fall on the 13th of August. Somewhere along the line somebody did the research found the festival, worked out that the 16th day that year was on the 13th, wrote it in their book and thus history was made. And far be it from me to stop Hekate from getting herself a new festival, just as long as we recognise that it is a new festival. And this is where I become unstuck, too many people now approach it as historical fact, so hence my desire to avoid it because I feel sometimes I am propagating and lending support to a myth.
But this year I am excitedly venturing into the fray of a new feast day, even if it is no longer movable. And I’m also embarking on a great adventure, I am going to be travelling through France and Spain stopping enroute at various sacred sites to arrive in time to join one of the Covenant of Hekate (http://hekatecovenant.com) Torchbearers at her Sanctuary to partake in a Perseids rite which we are working together to create and hope to share with the community in the days to come so that if any others wish to join us we can all look up to the same sky, and know we are all staring at the same falling stars with the same purpose in mind , how wonderfully delicious.
In our ritual we will of course be invoking Hekate, Asteria and Perses, but more on that tomorrow 😉
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