“The essence of Mother Hecate’s womb,
The return to life from the past life’s tomb,
Rebirth of the blood and of the flesh,
The Initiate in the face of Death,
Must partake of the Act of Sex,
By word of mouth, Gnosis or text,
There comes the greatest blessing true,
Becoming One, whence three art two”
– by Jason Perdue, from “Hecate’s Womb and Other Essays”
The dark mother has been associated with many stages of human life. When associated with the Goddess Artemis, She plays as midwife … an aid in the birthing process, ready with Her copper knife to cut the umbilical cord or to open the womb. In the sacral part of Her etheric body is the chakra of swadisthana, just below where a bellybutton would be. Whilst this area is usually associated with sexuality, I have never experienced Hekate as a sexy Goddess; She is beautiful but in a terrible way which stills the heart and invokes fear. Her energy here is creative, slicing and dicing the obstacles which come into our path, keeping us from bringing dreams to fruition. She is Kourotrophos (“child’s nurse”), helping to bring ideas and inspirations into the world after it has incubated in our souls. Her knife is crescent-shaped, like a scythe… coppery and red as Her skin. With Her three heads, Hekate Triceps can see from the past at the present and into the future: She is the embodiment of the Fates spinning and cutting the threads of all Life. Her gift to us is more focused intuition, our ‘gut instinct’; although it is something many of us rarely do.
My gut has always been sensitive, too reactive to the foods and moods I experience. In my teenage years I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, with symptoms including diarrhea attacks and intense spasms in my lower intestines, which is controllable with diet and a low stress lifestyle. I had to do a complete shift in my life, cutting out dairy, many fruits and carbohydrates… the stuff I love the most; I also started meditation which took me onto a path I would never have imagined. Here had always been a passion for the unexplained, a love of mythology, and fascination with the occult; but meditation brought these theories and philosophies into the clear light of consciousness… it didn’t matter if these experiences were logical, they were profound enough for me to no longer believe but to KNOW there was more to spiritual matters than just going to church and reciting some prayers. I could leave my body if the concentration didn’t stray, candles and herbs could manifest miracles in the form of monetary gain or healing, my always intense dreams were beginning to spill over in my waking life as visions coming and going as daydreams. I worked magic on myself, healing and motivating my body to do yoga several days a week, daily meditation, and regular spell work with a small working coven I had formed with others not officially initiated into any particular traditional witchcraft.
Even then, Hekate was working on me and I didn’t even know it. I stayed far away from Her, seeing Her as an old Crone of dark magic, a deity with ties to the Dead (which I wanted no part of). I worked with the Buddhas, Hindu deities, and the magic within my own self; tapping into the energies already present in the Universe. I took advantage of the gifts I had been given, taking them for granted, and then I lost everything. It was as I rebuilt myself that I noticed my stomach problems began to worsen…my practice become less frequent, and I lost touch with those elements I found most precious. I was sinking into a spiritual depression and despaired. I tried several times over to revive myself, getting my spiritual heart pumping after being numb and dead for so long.
It was when I had the Cesarean section delivery of my daughter that Hekate’s knife cut open my belly and womb to bring out my little savior. Her pure form and wise eyes didn’t just look at me but through me…we had known each other before in several lives; I saw these visions as portraits through time we had together. The first was in ancient Egypt, we were painting our hair with henna and laying in the sun to let it bake on our heads like a clay helmet. The next was Mycenae or Crete, with our portrait being painted on a vase as we sat amongst peacocks and Minoan bulls. The last scene was a tin-type photograph, we were seated stiffly with rods at our backs to keep straight posture. In all three of these visions I saw the common theme… I had always been the Mother and she the Daughter. Knowing our destinies were so entwined, and that we had karmic work to get to, I was able to pull myself out of the dredges and continue climbing out of the sunken pit. My womb healed slowly and the crescent-shaped scar is still very prevalent; now it is the source of my inspiration. As She twists Her knife into my belly, contorting and freezing me in the pain, it only ebbs after I have written something deep and true to myself.
Hekate is the midwife of the muses…She inspires us all through pain when we don’t heed Her subtle hints. I was not being true to my art and allowing my depression to overtake the very things I loved and held most dear. It is still a struggle…but the flash of Her blade reminds me to take care of myself first and to be ever present, since this is the only time when it really matters.