I Am Hekate; Sin-Eater, Darkness, and the Light That Guides the Way

(My new Hekate statue.)

You find yourself encompassed in the pitch black of a great cavern. Although you know you have your eyes open, you can see nothing. You feel a hard stone surface under your feet, jagged and rough, like a cave floor. Reaching out your hands in either direction, you expect to feel stone walls on either side, but they touch nothing but air. Even when you reach above you, the ceiling, for you feel certain you are underground, is distant and unreachable.

Uncertain, you walk carefully through the dark, feeling ahead of you with your bare feet. The cave floor is rough, but you find it even enough to walk comfortably along. You continue on for what feels like a long while, the darkness never breaking. There is no prick of light to indicate there is a way back to the world above. Only endless darkness. No matter how quickly you move through the cave, no matter what direction you move, it feels like you might as well have not moved at all. It occurs to you that you even might have been moving in a circle. Without light there is no way of telling, really. In a moment of despair you sit upon the floor, ready to give up. Then your hands brush up against something on the cavern floor. It makes a metallic sound as your fingers push it accidently across the stone. As you reach out, your fingers close around a large, circular piece of metal. You lift it up and feel the other pieces of metal that hang from it with your other hand. They are keys, large ones, on a metal ring. You feel them in turn, each different from the other. And that’s when you see it. It’s tiny, but it stands out in the unending darkness: a prick of light far in the distance. It flickers and sways almost like a tiny flame.

Clutching the keys in your hand, you hurriedly move toward it. The flame grows bigger, encouraging you to move faster, and soon you realize it’s not one but two flames, torches perhaps. And you realize the light is moving. Although you saw no walls before, now you clearly see a rough-hewn wall of black stone to your right. Whatever the light is, it starts to fade a bit as it begins to round a bend into another section of the cavern. Eagerly you pick up speed, no longer careful of your footfalls, not willing to lose the light.

Rounding the curve in the stone wall, you almost collide with the source of the light. They are in fact two torches. They are long and bronze, their flames emanating brightly, though there is no evident source of fuel. They are held by a woman, one in each hand. At first you had not noticed her at all, though now that you look at her it is impossible to notice anything else. She is quite clearly a woman; you can see the curve of her face framed with dark hair and the folds of the dark-colored robes she wears. But behind all that there is something else. Although you see the woman, another image overlays that reality. You see a black void, and you realize she is the source of the darkness. The void you see, with the vague outline of a woman, pulses and hums with its own kind of life. And you fear if you gaze at it too long it will suck you in, like the crushing gravity of a black hole. The woman speaks, and gladly you concentrate instead on the woman’s face and not the black depth behind and beneath her. She is young and ageless all at the same time.

“You seek me, yet you do not know why. You seek my help, yet you turn it away. You have wandered through the dark, thinking you were meant to escape it, when instead you must embrace it.”

You look down dubiously at the keys in your hands. There has to be a way out.

“I light the way, but I am the darkness. I am the sin-eater, I am the velvet void that devours, I am annihilation and deliverance. I am the void of space that is the night sky and the depths of the sea, and I stand watch at the heart of the storm within you. The keys unlock the things within you that you have buried away, the choices you refuse to look at. I am the keeper of many doorways, many crossroads, and there is no time left for you. You must choose. You cannot dwell in the dark forever.”

And for a moment you no longer stand in the cave but at the gates of a large city. A small nook next to a massive stone entranceway holds a small shrine. In it is a carved image of a woman holding two torches, with candles and offerings laid before the image. Then you find yourself standing at a crossroads, two dirt paths extending into a dark forest with the barest sliver of a moon shining above. Then you find yourself in the cave again, keys still clutched in your hands. You bring them to your chest and clutch them close, thinking of the things you fear to choose, the choices you wish you could avoid making.

“I am Hekate, I am the sin-eater, I am the darkness, and I am the light that guides the way. Do not avoid gazing at me, but know me for truly what I am,” she says, and you look into her eyes. They seem to be the torches now, bright fires that burn at the heart of the darkness. And you give yourself over to that void. You look into it now, no longer cringing. You let the things you have kept buried, the things you cannot bring yourself to speak, flow into it. And you feel the immensity of Hekate as well, an ancientness and vastness. We call her a goddess, a woman, a hag, a maiden, but now you feel the vast power she contains, and it is overwhelming. She is primordial, a force of nature.

You blink and it is all gone. You no longer stand in the cave but at the old crossroads, two dirt paths going deeper into a wood in either direction. The moon lights a wooden sign post. Below it other travelers have left out offerings to Hekate. You kneel down and leave the only thing you have to offer, the key you still grasp from the underworld.

You hear the goddess’s words on the breeze: “There is no more time left. Choose.” And you do. Without another thought, with fear no longer coiling around your heart, you choose one of the paths and begin walking down it.

(End of the month with Hekate at my altar to her.)

A Ritual to Purify Miasma

Originally shared here – Hecate History, Theology, Mythology - #20 by starborn – but I found the copy directly from the book, so here it is as written:

Miasma is a difficult concept to wrap our minds around. It is similar to sin, but not at all the same concept. It can be an impurity of a person through their actions or something that infects and has sway over a community from the actions of many. In the Greek context it can even be the deeds of one’s ancestors that causes the miasma and not one’s own sins as it were. In this context we will look at it as “pollution.” Whether you feel guilt over something, feel shame, have been around people who make you feel “polluted,” or feel like the negativity of others around you is starting to rub off on yourself, these are all good times to purify.

Greek ritual practice often involved washing, particularly to wash off the impurity and dirt of the day’s labors. We will use a similar concept here to purify. It does not need to be done as a full ritual, but it can be something you use in daily or monthly practices in conjunction with honoring Hekate.

You Will Need:

  • Large bowl
  • Water
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Wine or another offering to Hekate

Create sacred space in your usual manner. Call quarters or cast a circle if you wish. Invoke Hekate in whatever manner feels correct to you. Place the bowl on the altar. Pour the water into the bowl and lay the sprigs of rosemary in the water. Say,

Hekate, sin-eater
Hekate, Night-Wanderer
Older than the gods themselves
I call to you for purification
I wash my hands clean before you
I wash my soul of all that pollutes it
I wash away the troubles of the day
Hekate, cleanse me
That no pollution may touch me
That the pollution of others may not be upon me
Cleanse and protect me, mighty Hekate!

See a bright light filling the water; see it as the purest, most sparkling water possible. Use the sprigs to sprinkle the water on your body. If working with a group, have one person move around the circle using the rosemary to sprinkle the water on participants. Afterward, wash your hands in the water, seeing all that “pollutes” you washing away with the water and flowing away. Thank Hekate and leave her the offering you have brought. I prefer to use wine, but you can leave whatever offering feels correct to you. After the ritual, pour the water outside or down the drain; do not use it for anything else.

– The prose and ritual are from Dark Goddess Craft: A Journey through the Heart of Transformation (Amazon US)


Oh wow she’s gorgeous Ive looked at the exact same kind of statue but they are expensive but well worth it. She’s breath taking I know our mother is honored :grin: :hekate_wheel: :triple_moon_goddess:


I feel like I was there and my fear just fell away. Then I could see the light.
This is beautifully written :purple_heart::heart::blush:


What an amazing entry and ritual. :hushed: Reading through it gives me the chills and transports me to another place.

Love love love your altar, your Hekate statue is stunning and is perfect with your other well-chosen altar items :black_heart: :black_heart: :black_heart: :black_heart:


Just love all of this. Fabulous :sparkling_heart:


She’s beautiful!


@starborn great both the statue and the ritual! :pentagram: :pentagram: :pentagram:


Starborn those were beautiful words. Thanks fir sharing.


Thank you all~ :black_heart: The narrative from the book is really inspiring me to get back into writing. And all your kind words, too, of course. :smile:

I can’t believe I left the best part of the ritual out, though. :scream:

The offering of tawny port I gave to Hekate was in a bottle that required a bottle opener, but I don’t have one. So I spent half an hour with a serrated knife, trying to dig into the cork and maybe, hopefully, twist it out or push the cork into the bottle.

I ended up achieving the latter. However, the displacement created by the cork caused the port to come spraying out of the bottle. I got covered and had to change some of my clothes before continuing. :sweat_smile:


Ooooo that sounds lovely! Made me remember I really enjoyed visiting the Port wine cellars in Porto, Portugal. Reminds me that I need to get a bottle for the house.

Oh no!!! :laughing: Sounds like something that would happen to me!


I got shivers in the best way - this was a delightful journey to go on :old_key: :pray: :heart:

Thank you for sharing this version of the ritual too, it really is a lovely one! Miasma is fascinating to think about, and how it might us and our minds :cloud:

Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.

She looks right at home - fits in perfectly with your beautiful aesthetic. May you feel Her love and protection everytime you see your lovely new statue! :hekate_wheel: :sparkles::blush: