November 16th is the Night of Hecate, which begins at sunset. Her ability to see into the Underworld, or the “Otherwhere” of the sleeping and the dead makes her sympathetic to those who would generally be shunned out of fear and misunderstanding.
Other gods or goddesses might not feel at home roaming city streets at night, but Hecate is perfectly happy to walk amongst the disenfranchised, the addicted, the intoxicated and the mentally incapacitated.
Able to conjure prophetic dreams, phantoms and psychopomps, who knows what work she attends to on these torch-lit strolls? As Queen of the Night, she sometimes travels with social outcasts and dark entities.
In the past she would typically be accompanied by wild dogs, whose equivalent now would be urban foxes.
On November 16th Hecate’s Supper At the Crossroads ceremony consists of leaving food offerings to the goddess at a Y-intersection or 3-way junction.
“The Earth began to bellow, trees to dance
“And howling dogs in glimmering light advance
“Ere Hecate came.”
If the food is consumed by homeless wanderers or foxes, this is most appropriate, as these are the creatures under her protection.
You would always choose a 3-way junction in keeping with Hecate’s standing as the Goddess of the 3 Paths, and reputation for appearing in a triple-headed aspect.
Options for this ceremony include hanging a 3-faced mask at the spot, leaving lit candles or flaming torches and food such as milk and honey, fruitcake, pumpkins, fish or mushrooms.
When you have arranged your offerings, take a bite or a sip yourself, so that you share her supper, then walk away and do not look back.
I am leaving a bowl of milk and honey, some pumpkin and mackerel at the crossroads with 3 lit candles. Wednesday is the specific time for this ritual, but this is the Time of Hecate, and the ritual can be performed at any time this week.
At some point we will all need to walk the dark paths at night, so placating Hecate and indicating that you are open to initiation into her mysteries is a wise move.
“Hecate: O! Well done! I commend your pains,
And every one shall share I’ the gains.
And now about the cauldron sing,
Like elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.
Witch 2: By the pricking of my thumbs,
“Something wicked this way comes.”
A suitably powerful, dark cocktail to celebrate this night is the Black Magic – a version of the classic Black Russian with an added dash of sour lemon juice.
2 shots vodka
1 shot coffee liqueur – Kahlua is ideal
Pour the vodka over ice in a short, squat glass. Add the coffee liqueur and squeeze lemon juice into the mixture directly from the fruit. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel, and if you can find one, a small decorative key, as Hecate carries a set of keys to the Underworld.