Updated: Apr 8
The rite of Her sacred fires is an annual gathering at the full Moon in May each year to celebrate and honour Hekate. The Torchbearers of the Covenant of Hekate create within the Sanctuary the annual celebration, but it's open to all to celebrate should they feel moved to.
Sorita d'Este founded the international society of the Convent of Hekate in 2010. Sorita is a well known an author, researcher, and practitioner in the fields of esoteric spirituality and pagan practices. The organisation as an international community to bring together devotees of the ancient Greek goddess Hekate, providing them with resources, networking opportunities, and support.
Her personal experiences with Hekate and her passion for the study of the goddess in both historical and modern contexts inspired Sorita d'Este's vision for the Covenant of Hekate. The founding of the Covenant of Hekate was an effort to create a global network for those interested in Hekate and her associated practices, encouraging a diverse range of approaches and promoting understanding and cooperation among practitioners.
Sorita d'Este in 2009 published "HEKATE Liminal Rites — A historical study of the rituals, spells and magic of the Torch-bearing Triple Goddess of the Crossroads". She co-authored this book with David Rankine, exploring in-depth the historical and mythological aspects of Hekate, and delving into her role as a goddess of liminal spaces, magic, and witchcraft.
Since its inception, the Covenant of Hekate has grown into a vibrant and active community, with members from around the world participating in online forums, local gatherings, and international events. The organisation supports the sharing of knowledge, research, and experiences related to Hekate and her worship, and encourages its members to explore their own unique connections with the goddess.
Who is the Covenant of Hekate?
The Covenant of Hekate is an international community of devotees dedicated to the worship and veneration of the ancient Greek goddess Hekate. Hekate is a goddess associated with magick, witchcraft, necromancy, and the crossroads, often depicted as a triple-formed goddess or holding torches.
The community encourages a diverse range of approaches to Hekate, allowing its members to explore their own personal connections and practices related to the goddess. Members of the Covenant of Hekate engage in a variety of ritual work, research, and community building. The group also organises events, workshops, and conferences to foster connections among its members and promote the study of Hekate in both historical and in modern contexts.
Covenant of Hekate holds five virtues they consider significant. These are: Compassion, Courage, Temperance, Justice, and Wisdom. We might consider these virtues in the following ways:
Compassion: As a goddess associated with healing and protection, Hekate embodies compassion. Members of the Covenant of Hekate endeavour to practice compassion towards themselves, others, and the world around them.
Courage: Hekate is a liminal goddess, standing at the threshold between worlds, and she is often called upon for protection and guidance in facing challenges. Courage is a virtue embraced by her devotees, who seek to face their fears and overcome obstacles.
Temperance: As Hekate is a goddess of boundaries, crossroads, and balance, it makes sense that her followers would seek to cultivate temperance in their lives.
Justice: They might also strive to uphold ethical principles in their spiritual practice and to seek balance and harmony in their relationships with others.
Wisdom: Hekate is associated with wisdom and knowledge, as she is a goddess who stands at the crossroads, guiding those who seek her wisdom.
Of the five virtues expressed on the Covenant's website it's the seeking of Wisdom from Hekate that probably speaks to me the most. If my experience of the Goddess has taught me anything, then it's how much I'm yet to understand and how ignorant humans are of the psychic reality.
While these specific five virtues may vary in emphasis among members and their practices, I'd also add to these:
Will: Hekate is a powerful figure in magick and witchcraft, and the will is an essential element in working with these forces. A Witch seek to develop a strong will to manifest their intentions and desires suggests to me that this is an inherent virtual of the Goddess.
Perseverance: The path of Hekate is not always easy, and those who follow it must show perseverance in their dedication to personal growth and spiritual development. Hekate as a guide for those who walk the path of the Witch may act as the initiator who transforms and provides self-discovery through perseverance, a key to this journey.
Integrity: Hekate is a goddess of boundaries and crossroads, and maintaining personal integrity is an essential aspect of working with her energy. Any Witch seeking personal development will embrace integrity in their thoughts, words, and actions.
Balance: we often see Hekate as a goddess of balance, standing at the intersection of life's many transitions and sometimes act between opposing forces. Cultivating balance in life, is how a Witch embraces both the light and the shadow aspects of their own nature.
A Witch's development of these virtues can provide a foundation for the spiritual and personal development and especially for those who choose to walk the path of the Witch.
Tempering and testing your metal
Temperance might seem an archaic concept to modern Witches, but as one of the five virtues that Covenant of Hekate lists as important, let's take a look.
As any Tarot reader will tell you Temperance is the 14th card among the major trump cards. Temperance is actually an old alchemical and metallurgy term. The process of tempering of metal is done by repeated heating and cooling to produce either greater toughness or more elasticity, depending how it is done.
Temperance, as part of Hekate's virtues, includes the practice of moderation, self-control, and restraint in one's thoughts, actions, and desires. It is often associated with the ability to balance and harmonise different aspects of life, such as emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. In a spiritual context, we can see temperance as the cultivation of inner balance and harmony, leading to a more fulfilling and centred spiritual life.
In one's relationship to Hekate, we may view temperance as an essential virtue for those seeking to deepen their relationship to walk Her path. This particularly relates to Hekate as a goddess of boundaries, crossroads, and balance, it makes sense that her followers would seek to cultivate temperance in their lives. In other words, practicing temperance can help devotees maintain equilibrium, allowing them to navigate the liminal spaces Hekate is associated with and to better integrate the various aspects of their spiritual practice.
A question asked by the Covenant of Hekate when joining was "How would you describe Hekate to someone who knew nothing about Her?"
This provided a unique opportunity to think more deeply about my relationship to the goddess Hekate, as well as drawing on some historical fundamentals.
While Hekate is an ancient Greek goddess with a rich and complex history, I began my description with one of her most distinctive features, that of her triformis guise, her three faces to the world.
Triple Goddess: Hekate is often depicted as a triple goddess, with three faces or three bodies, representing various aspects of her nature. This triple form is sometimes associated with her roles as a goddess of the moon, earth, and sea or as a guardian of transitions, particularly birth, life, and death; and the three parts of time itself: the past, the present, and the future.
Crossroads and Liminal Spaces: Hekate is strongly associated with crossroads, boundaries, and liminal spaces. She is seen as a guardian of the threshold between worlds, guiding souls through transitions and transformations. This connection to liminal spaces also associates her with the realms of the living, the dead, and the divine.
Magick and Witchcraft: Hekate is a powerful figure in the world of magic, witchcraft, and the occult. She is often invoked by practitioners for her wisdom, guidance, and protection. She is especially considered a teacher of magical arts and a patroness of witches.
Light-bringer and Torchbearer: Hekate is depicted holding torches, symbolising her role as a light-bringer and guide through darkness. This imagery emphasises her role as a goddess of illumination, both in a literal and metaphorical sense, guiding individuals towards wisdom and self-discovery.
Protector and Guardian: Hekate is also known as a fierce protector, particularly of women and children. She maybe invoked for her powers of protection and healing, and she is often associated with safeguarding the home and hearth.
Connection to the Underworld: Hekate is linked to the underworld and its rulers, Hades and Persephone. She has a role in guiding souls through the afterlife and is sometimes considered a psychopomp, a guide for the souls of the dead.
Chthonic Deity: As a chthonic deity, Hekate is associated with the earth and its mysteries. She has connections to the realms beneath the earth's surface, including the underworld and the hidden aspects of the natural world.
In summary, Hekate is a multifaceted goddess, reflected in her depiction as triformis. She is a goddess of crossroads, liminal spaces, magick, Witchcraft and protection. Depicted as a triple goddess and torch bearer, as a reference to her nocturnal nature. Followers of Hekate, seek to honour and explore her many aspects, working with her energy to guide them on their spiritual journeys.
Hekate as the transformer
While I cannot speak for everyone, I can offer some general insights into how my relationship with Hekate transformed my life and my likely inform yours.
Spiritual growth and self-discovery: Connecting with Hekate may lead to a deepened sense of spirituality and a greater understanding of one's inner self. Her guidance at the crossroads can help individuals navigate the challenges and transformations of their lives, leading to increased self-awareness and personal growth.
Empowerment and personal strength: As a goddess associated with magic, witchcraft, and personal power, Hekate can inspire her followers to tap into their inner strength and resilience. This empowerment can lead to increased confidence, self-reliance, and the ability to overcome obstacles.
Connection to the divine and the natural world: A relationship with Hekate may foster a deeper connection to the divine in the natural world. As a chthonic (underworld) deity and a guardian of liminal spaces, Hekate can help her followers explore the mysteries of the Underworld and the hidden aspects of existence.
Development of magical and psychic abilities: Working with Hekate can lead to the cultivation of magical and psychic abilities, as she is a teacher of these arts. Her followers may experience increased intuition, enhanced magical skills, and a deepened understanding of occult knowledge.
Increased compassion and understanding: As a goddess of healing and protection, Hekate can inspire her followers to develop greater compassion for themselves and others. This increased empathy and understanding can lead to improved relationships and a more fulfilling life.
Balance and harmony: As a goddess of balance and crossroads, Hekate can guide her followers towards a more balanced and harmonious life. This might involve integrating light and shadow aspects of the self, or finding equilibrium in relationships and personal pursuits.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of examples of the potential transformations that you may experience, but perhaps the real question left to ask is "what will be your experience of the goddess Hekate?"
For further information about Covenant of Hekate — http://hekatecovenant.com