Shrines for Hekate

The Temple of Hekate at Lagina Caria, Turkey

We get to decide, every single day, what kind of a person we want to be. I want to be the kind of person that honors my debts, and so I’m compiling a list of the debts I have that need to be paid. There are the financial ones that we’re all well acquainted with, the social ones (when’s the last time you called your mother, eh?) and the spiritual ones. By necessity the spiritual ones must come first, because the gods must come first. Hey, I don’t make the rules.

First and foremost, I owe a debt to Hekate. I swore to Her that if She helped me start all over and learn magic, Her magic, I would build Her shrines. I swore to Her that if She would help me write, I would build Her shrines. I swore to Her that if She would bless my house, I would build Her shrines.

I owe the Lady an awful lot of shrines.

I have my household shrine to Her, of course, but that isn’t sufficient. When I promised Her I would build Her shrines, I KNEW this meant a multitude of them. It meant a lot of work, a lot of time, and probably an ongoing funnel of my money. But damned if She isn’t worth it, and damned if She isn’t showing me up by upholding Her end of the bargain.

Our relationship has been ongoing for a number of years, but still feels so new. I contact Her infrequently, shyly, like a teenager flirting in the halls. Check yes or no if you’ll accept worship from me. I want Her attention, Her love, Her companionship. It’s not coming easily to me. I can’t fake or half-ass my way through this, She sees right through me every time. How do you win the love of a goddess? How do you win the love of a TITAN?

I want the world to know. I want everyone to know about this amazing deity I love, so Her shrines have to be something special. They have to be accessible. You have to be able to easily reach out and touch them, as effortlessly and as ingrained into your daily habit as a Catholic reaching for a rosary. A small roadside shrine that you kill yourself to get to in rush hour traffic isn’t going to cut it. I don’t want something the lawnmowers and kudzu vines of the world will claim. Not for Her.

So much of my money is going into fixing past mistakes, into making myself better for Her. I don’t have a lot of resources, I can’t sculpt statues of marble or build world wonder temples, but damn it all, if I can sneak sodas at work and nickle-and-dime myself into poverty, I can give up a few little pleasures to make Her happy.

I bought some Sculpey. It’s not much, especially not in the hands of a writer like me, but I’m hoping love will inspire me. I wanted to make something grand, something She would be proud of, but it’s beyond my skills. What could I do for Her? I thought of making a portable bothros…a glorified bowl to drop offerings into, in lieu of bone-choked pits in the woods. It wasn’t enough. It was a good idea, had promise, but it wasn’t enough.

Then I was reminded by Her of the pillars hung with gorgon-like masks that stood at the crossroads in the old times … how simple they were, but how powerful. I thought, I could make pillars. I could make small masks to place on them. I could make them small enough, light enough, sturdy enough, that they could be carried with you wherever you went.

I am going to keep my promise.

[Written by Ashley Nicole Hunter.]

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