The Nine Day Rite by Jack Grayle

The 9 day rite, a self initiation into the mysteries of Hekate, is the first section of Jack Grayle’s grimoire “The Hekataeon” and is also offered as an online course available from the Blackthorne School. I finally managed to get a copy of the book after a year or so of trying and was immediately captivated by the contents and eager to begin working my way through it. That’s when I came down with COVID followed by another respiratory virus and and two months of full time napping interrupted only by fits of coughing. But as I began to recover, the new moon rolled around again and it was time for me to start the 9 Day Rite. I enrolled in the class even though I had the book, knowing that Jack is a really great teacher having taken two other courses of his. The price of the class ended up being more than what I paid for the entire grimoire but having the support of Jack, the supplemental videos, and course readings made it even more engaging and I’m glad I was able to do so. Each of the nine days builds upon the previous day, grows the daily practice a bit, while also engaging a different magical task and concept bringing you closer to Hekate. It culminates on the final day by signing and sealing a pact with Hekate and leaves one ready to begin the work ahead in the grimoire.

The first ritual, eight days before the new moon, you explore the sigil of Hekate as developed by Jack Grayle. It is made from an “x” as the crossroads and location of the practicioner with two tridents extending through the middle upwards to the heavenly realm and downwards to the underworld.


Each night includes a spoken hymn and a visualization as part of the rite. None of the rituals are overly complex and cumbersome which is great. A few candles, cinnamon, incense and some pen and paper is most of what is needed throughout. You also need a bowl to catch some ashes as you burn the sigil each night and save them for a project that follows in the second part of the grimoire, the construction of the strophalos. My experience on day one was one that brought me to an acceptance of my name and heritage, though that isn’t something explicitly stated as being part of the rite. It also led me to have a dream encounter which I now believe to have been Perses the Destroyer, father of Hekate. So in exploring the sigil of Hekate, I connected to Hekate through her lineage as I explored my own.

Day two or rather night two as I was performing these all at midnight gave me the chance to once again experience something new to my practice despite it not being part of the rite. I usually do all my work outside or in my space above the detached garage so I’m never anywhere near anyone else. For the first time I had to do a working with someone sleeping in the room above me and it made me a little unnerved but once I started it faded from my thoughts. In the end there was something satisfying knowing I was finally able to do the work with someone else present. This night was an exploration of the Titanic nature of Hekate. The Titans were not so much gods of or over a thing, but are the primal thing itself (i.e. not the god of the sea but the sea itself). As such, the Titan Pontus, the sea, is ruled by the god Poseidon and likewise other Titans were under the rule of other gods. But Hekate alone among the Titans was beholden to no god. She is not just the Goddess of liminality but liminality itself, the space between all things, the threshold we are perpetually crossing, is Hekate. There is a great ending to this nights hymn that reads “Emprosthen sou pantes oi theoi tremousin: Before you all Gods tremble…As do I.” Something about this night was quite peaceful and I had no apocalyptic dream like I did the previous night. Something I immediately liked about the visualization of the sigil was that the color was a blue energy, blue flame. It was just a needed change from all the other Hekate work out there with its red flames and heavy metal vibes that had grown a little tiresome for me.

The third night is focused on nine different roles or functions of Hekate and how they might be helpful to you in your life. As I thought about what I was looking for, I ended up working through the epithets but also working through what was actually the cause of an issue in my life. This night you contemplate, make a choice and face your fear. One great thing about Jack Grayle’s work and teaching is that it’s flexible enough to make it personal and it’s historical foundation is solid but also usable for a modern practice. This night I added a small offering and prayer to Perses at the end based on my dream from night one. Other nights I added a chant, made use of some oils, improvised a substitution for a tool and it all worked out fine. I mentioned my changes to Jack via the Facebook group and he was supportive and encouraging of us to make these rites personally meaningful and use them as a framework not scripture.

Things became intensely personal for me on night number four. This was a a look at the forms and formlessness of Hekate. It’s challenging to share and review these things without being too much of a spoiler. Most of what I experienced was really just for me this time anyway but I did have an odd dream that put it all into proper perspective. It basically came down to how I often use humor to conquer fear in my life. It works for me when telling myself to be courageous just fails right out of the gate. There’s always another way. Sometimes its being lighthearted and laughing at power as it tries to hold you back. Nothing like a bit of mockery to dull the barbs of fear. Each night an additional reading was provided in the online course that you can use to help guide your dreams by looking it over before bedtime. I knew I was tired and wouldn’t make it through so I read it earlier in the day. It was the “Hymn to Demeter” which recounts the tale of Persephone’s abduction by Hades. Having read it earlier I drifted off to dream time instead by listening to the album “Persephone” by Wendy Rule which also tells Persephone’s story and well worth a listen if you haven’t heard it.

Night Five is a working to sharpen your five senses, your perception, to be able to better recognize the presence of Hekate. You work through your senses and ask for them to blessed and strengthened. Most experiences of the divine are for most people fairly subtle and not so grandiose like in the movies. This helps with that and encourages the use of all of your senses to recognize that Hekate comes when called. Sometimes it’s a barking dog, or a sound in the distance. Perhaps a scent when there’s no incense buring or a tingle of your nerves. Maybe the feeling of warm breeze when there is no draft. All sorts of things might be an indication of a presence but you need to be open and receptive to it and sometimes its internal instead of external. The accompanying visualization for this night is a far reaching, and celestial one.

Two thirds of the way through, day six was a favorite of mine. It’s where you learn a song to consecrate space, attune yourself, and call in helpful spirits. I’ve been using it as part of my daily practice fairly often even though I’m not gifted with a singing voice. My favorite lines from it are:
“See within the circle three black dogs,
See them lift their muzzles to the black moon howling,
howling down your favor and love…”
It’s an easy song to learn and I’ve found it a satisfying way to consecrate space and sometimes use it as a substitution for asperging or incense if I havent got any on hand and want to do a quick devotional prayer or offering.

You will make and consecrate an oracle on day seven out of three black and three white stones. Then on day eight you use the oracle to see if you progress to the final night. What is so interesting about this is you give Hekate a say in whether or not now is the time for you to progress on this path. If you draw the one stone you go forward, if you draw the other, now is not the proper time. You can then use the stones to look for guidance as to what you might need to consider before trying again and doing the rite over on the next new moon. I had never encountered this type of use of an oracle before and it added a nice bit of depth to the whole process. Happily I drew the stone that told me it was time to move forward, so on the dark of the moon I finished the rite. As the ninth ritual ended, I signed and sealed the pact, I stepped outside wearing only the cold night air, gave a howl to the shimmering sky, and at that moment, to the west a star did fall. Hail Hekate!

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@peter3 Wow! That sounds amazing :hugs::heart: Thank you for sharing your experience! I hope it continues to serve you well! :blush:

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@Sivonnah I was really energized after the doing the project for all nine days, too. The one coming up in the next chapter is working with the epithets of Hekate for a month, haven’t started it yet though.

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Hekate Ourania Einalia Cthonia


Image produced using Bing Image Creator 12/30/23

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Sounds like an incredible experience, thank you for sharing

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Peter,
I see the strength, to create too thanks for this energy :battery: received!
Jeannie

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