Last year I attended the Temple of Witchcraft’s annual Feast of Hekate. Before the Feast was a workshop led by Temple co-founder Adam Sartwell. At the end of the workshop he led a journey to visit Hekate, but it was much more free-style when I say “led”. We were just journeying to the sound of drumming on our own to have an experience with Hekate. I have written about my experiences with Hekate in the past. (My Crooked Path to Hekate & Hekate, Who Works Her Will) This experience however, was much different. Usually she comes as a Titaness or a young maiden to me, not like this.
I found myself at the crossroads at night-time, before me was the towering figure of Hekate except she was much different. Her skin was the color of the Statue of Liberty, and instead of her beautiful face that I’m used to she had the head of a gorgon with snakes writhing from her hair. At her sides were two hounds and above her was a full moon. I drew closer and instinctively held out my hand. As I did so she drew a blade and sliced my hand. The blood poured from my hand and the hounds started howling at the moon. As my blood hit the ground purple flowers began springing up from the ground, a flower I now know is aconite (also commonly known as wolf’s bane). As the flowers sprang up the tone of the hounds howling began changing, as did their form. They went from domesticated hounds to the form of wolves howling at the moon which was now turning red. I took a look at my hands and realized that they too were beginning to grow fur as if I was turning into a wolf myself.
This experience bothered me for a while and I questioned whether this was Hekate or not. There were some similarities in the energy but overall it was completely different. In retrospect I’m fully convinced that this was Hekate, just a darker side that I’m not normally used to. While there isn’t a ton of ancient literature that I can find that associates her with wolves, The Greek Magical Papyri refers to Hekate as a “She-Wolf”. I also know that one of the spirits that attends to Hekate are underworld daemons called the Mormolykeia, which translates as the “terrible wolves”. As for the gorgon aspect, I can understand that, as there’s a lot of historical connections between Hekate and the gorgons, but that would be an entire post in itself.
Fast forward to earlier this month. I was in New Orleans with some friends from the Temple of Witchcraft, exploring and learning about the traditions of New Orleans Voodoo and Folk Magic. What’s so fascinating about New Orleans as a psychic and witch is that the spirits of the area are so different than those I’m used to in New England. There were spirits that I couldn’t identify as being ghosts, ancestors, land spirits, elementals, fae, deities, etc. They were something completely different that I couldn’t put my finger on.
I stayed at a bed and breakfast loft with my boyfriend and close friend and we didn’t realize until near the end of our stay there that we were only a few buildings down from Delphine LaLaurie’s mansion. If you aren’t sure who that is, think Kathy Bates in American Horror Story Coven. But the energy was super weird there, to say the least. Being a polite magickal visitor, I do not banish spirits in places where I don’t live and that haven’t been requested of me. However, one night it got to the point of having my head touched while sleeping after a restless night of nightmares. So being a polite magickal guest and also not being cool with this, I called upon The Fire Blessing of Hecate for protection in the pitch black room while my boyfriend and friend were sleeping. This is a technique in Sacred Fires that will be published in Devin Hunter’s upcoming book The Witch’s Book of Spirits.
It was then that something came up to my face and began growling and snarling. It wasn’t quite animal and wasn’t quite human. I had no idea what it was honestly, but I figured this wasn’t out of context as there were a lot of spirits that I was unfamiliar with. Weirdly the growling didn’t frighten me, it absolutely startled me as unexpected but I didn’t feel threatened by it. Shortly after I decided to go back to bed. The next day, not connecting any of it, I felt compelled to buy a couple of wolves teeth at a local New Orleans store, not really thinking anything of it but not being sure why I wanted them.
When I came back home, I was chatting with Bloody Mary, who is a Voodoo Queen in New Orleans and was an amazing guide through the city and the cemeteries and the swamps during our trip. I always enjoy chatting with highly psychic people such as Mary, because psychics can easily tap into information when talking to another open psychic. I was telling her some of my experiences and she started telling me about the Rougarou, protector spirits of the swamps down there in New Orleans that have the form of werewolves and have loud audible snarls. I told her about my experience with the snarling and she suggested that they might have been claiming me and protecting me. Something clicked internally for me about calling Hekate for protection and then having the snarl happening and then my vision from Feast of Hekate 2016.
A few nights later I was chatting with my friend and fellow Temple of Witchcraft student Lisa Bland, who is also a devotee of the Covenant of Hekate. She had a dream that involved me and reached out. As the conversation kept going we talked about protection and such and I told her about my experience with Hekate and the wolves. She directed me to an Invocation for Protection to Hekate Apotropaia. Apotropaia is an epithet which means ‘whom turns away / whom protects’. In it were the lines:
“Let your baying hounds drive fear into those who intrude
Fix your Gorgon Stare upon those set against me in this world or from another”
While that isn’t quite an ancient source, it was a sort of interesting validation of unverified shared personal gnosis. I still haven’t fully unraveled all of this or it’s full significance. However, I can feel in my bones that there’s a connection to Hekate and wolves and the idea of werewolves or as the Greeks would call them, the vrykolakas or the lykanthropos. While I can’t find a lot of concrete evidence for this connection, or even that much in regards to Hekate and wolves, I know there’s something to it. If anyone knows any further suggestions, leads or insights, please feel free to leave them in the comments.
Update: A friend recommended that I look into Georgi Mischev’s book Thracian Magic and the chapter on the She-Wolf for more connections to Hekate and wolves, which I will now be doing.