JANUARY 1, 2019 BY CYNDI BRANNEN
For me, each month comes with a distinct energy reflected in Hekate’s many roles and epithets. In addition, each month holds the potential for using the dominant spirits and energies for my witchery. The lunar cycle is a wheel within the wheel of the year, as the wheel of each year is part of Hekate’s Wheel of Time. In this annual installment of Hekate’s Wheel of the Year, you’ll find the complete lunar calendar for 2019, tips for each month and other ways to practice Modern Hekatean Witchcraft.
The witch walks not only linear time but also the twisting, bending circular time that the ancient Greeks called kairos. Hekate’s Wheel, also known as the strophalos, represents the spinning wheel of time, moving forward and backward. Each wheel is connected to all the others, but spins on its own as well. Hekate’s Wheel is sometimes erroneously viewed as a flat object, when it is actually a multidimensional globe comprised of several circles. This is an excellent symbol on which to situate the Modern Hekatean Witchcraft Wheel of the Year.
To learn more about the strophalos in Modern Hekatean Witchcraft, read: Hekate’s Symbols: Wheel: History, Meaning and Uses
I’m determined to make a spinning Hekate’s Wheel accurately demonstrating its multidimensional nature. Watch this video for my latest attempt.
The story behind the Wheel of the Year can be read in last year’s annual summary here. I knew that something amazing was created when my sister brought to life my vision. I had forgotten how powerful it was until I reactivated the wheel for some New Year’s witchery, including using it for some bone throwing for my personal annual forecast. I’ll be writing about Hekatean osteomancy in January. I covered most of the months in 2018, so after each one for this year you’ll find a link to the existing article. The beautiful Wheel of the Year that my sister and I created is an amazingly powerful object that continues to inspire me and connect me with Hekate and her associated spirits, from plants to her sovereign goddesses. It’s also inspired the Ode to Hekate’s Wheel of the Year.
In the ode above, I included epithets and energies that reflect the seasonal and monthly dominant currents. For example, autumn is ruled by Hekate as the Witch-Mother, Underworld Goddess, Necromancer, and Psychopomp. Her deathwalking energy is in abundance at this time of the year. In November, she is Nykhia, Mistress of the Dead, connecting us to the departed and guiding us towards rebirth. Hekate is the eternal Dark Mother of witches, but she walks the seasons with moods reflecting the changing energy, such as energizing Ergatis during early spring. For me, the Wheel of the Year is deeply personal so my selections map onto the plentiful natural energies at each month and season.
Since I published the annual calendar for 2018, so many of you have been inspired to create your own based on what I shared. I absolutely love this! The Wheel of the Year, whether you’re a Hekatean Witch or not, should be something to which we are deeply connected. You can download a list of Hekate’s epithets here to personalize your Wheel and other witchery. A template can be downloaded here.
The moon cycle is viewed a bit differently by Hekate’s modern witches. Notably, the astrological new moon is seen as the dark moon and is the time for honoring Hekate. In this calendar, I calculated the Dark Moon using the traditional method of sundown as the beginning of the day, so that the Dark Moon occurs after moon rise (which is invisible) where the astrological moon falls within 24 hours. Read my article on Hekate and the Dark Moon to learn more. The New Moon occurs when the first sliver appears, roughly 24-48 hours after the astrological new moon. I have never understood why the astrological new moon is actually the dark moon. Who came up with this? Anyway, on the calendar below our Hekatean New Moon is appropriately dated. Read more about Hekate and the New Moon here. Check out Hekate and the Moon to learn more about her connection with the moon.
If you’re new to Hekate and Modern Hekatean Witchcraft, point your broom in the direction of A Witches’ Understanding of Hekate and next fly over to Modern Hekatean Witchcraft: A Short Introduction to learn more. Then come back here for ways to practice Modern Hekatean Witchcraft based on the dominant energies of each month.
For everyone who practices the Deipnon, the monthly leaving of offerings to Hekate at a crossroads during the Dark Moon, I suggest incorporating the monthly and seasonal energies, as well as your personal place in the Wheel of Time (i.e., if you are witchin’ up a new job or doing shadow healing work) into those rituals.
The Deipnon is the heart of my month. Here’s a video of me explaining how to practice this way for honoring Hekate from the crossroads of land, sea and sky where I usually go to express my gratitude. Speaking of being grateful, in The Witches’ Realm we have a monthly circle for counting our blessings on the third weekend of the month. Sometimes calendar based witchery can be just as powerful as that done using the magick of luna. I recommend building in a gratitude practice to your monthly plans.
Hail the new calendar year! As winter settles in, Hekate can seem distant but her energy resides deep within her cave during this season ruled by the element of earth. This is the season of bones and stones (which I’ll be writing about soon). However, her torches light the way up to the Starry Road of enlightenment. Hekate is the daughter of the stars and the darkness, while being our guide after the rebirth that occurred at the Winter Solstice. This is a month for reflecting and releasing what no longer serves.
This is a great time for divination and working on your psychic abilities. I’ve written a bit about Hekate and the Tarot, such as the Shadow Taming Hekatean Tarot Spread. I’m working on an article about osteomancy, reading those lovely bones and stones, as part of my monthly installment in Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft Almanac. Look for that after this article.
Spells for January include those for beginnings, especially earthy ones such as burial workings and freezing magick. Banishing, releasing and protection are well suited for Hekatean Witchcraft in January. Petition for her assistance as Hekate Chthonia (Underworld) and, always, Queen of Witches. There’s so many ways to do burial spells for banishing, including removing toxic people. A simple technique is to make a coffin by painting a small box completely black inside and out, then placing your written intention inside along with a symbol of what you are releasing. Burying it in a graveyard gives a boost, but any desolate patch of earth will do. Freezing magick is just as diverse as burial witchery. Collect snow/rain in a clear jar during the waning moon to use for banishing. In a freezer safe container, insert your written intention (or the name of the problem person), add the waning moon water and then freeze. Keep it in the freezer until the spell has worked it’s magick. Evoke Hekate to further enhance your spell.
Hekate turns her Wheel to February, increasing her torch light as Anima Mundi. I find this aspect of Hekate as the source and spirit of the material world to mesh perfectly with her role as Witch-Mother. As witches, we work with the natural forces that flow from her. It’s an excellent time to contemplate Anima Mundi with a sunrise ritual.
This is the month when the earth and animals begin to stir, so it’s an excellent month to delve into animal and stone spirit witchery. I’ve written an extensive article about Hekate’s Horde that includes ways to practice animal spirit witchery using her menagerie. I’ve yet to write a blog about Hekate’s Mine, but I’ve got it on my to-write list for this February. I have included bits about stones in various articles, such as in this waning moon energy grid.
Watch this video evoking Hekate’s Aviary
Evoke Hekate Enodia to help you with beginnings. There’s always a rush to launch into new things in January, but the wise witch uses that month to contemplate and plan. February is the time to get started. Enodia literally means “of the way.” This is Hekate as Guide along our Middle World journey. This is the time for focusing on physical wellness, job/career workings, and perhaps a love spell of attraction. The focus is on the material world which includes relationships.
Read Hekate: Goddess of Relationships for a long list of witchy ways to involve Hekate in all aspects of relationships, from loneliness to letting go.
Mighty March! She blows in with the fierceness of Hekate Brimo, then exhales into all living things, reinvigorating the natural world. Some practitioners fear the terrifying strength of Brimo, but I’ve learned to lean into the storms of life. As March births spring, Hekate Ergatis, the Energizer, can be petitioned.
With the season ruled by the element of air upon us, this is a great time to turn our attention to our breath. I know that writing about meditation as an important pathway for deeper witchery has been written about way too much. In fact, you might think I’m being a blowhard for bringing it up yet again. Take your understanding of Hekate deeper using breath-chanting instead of regular meditation. The refined energy of March is also an excellent time to write your own ritual using the epithets.
Learn the Hekate’s Breath Chant in this video
As Hekate turns her Wheel to Spring, the abundance of the natural world starts to return. I always do my annual prosperity spell around the beginning of spring. A simple prosperity bit of magick is to place a bowl of bay leaves and salt in the center of your home, or write your intention on a leaf and carry it with you. Bay has been associated with Hekate since the days of her most ancient cult.
Hekate Enodia walks the earth, while her role as Einalia, Goddess of the Sea, stirs life back into the land, sea and sky. April is such a complex month. I haven’t yet written an entry for Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft Almanac for this month, but I’ll get to it in 2019. April is a great month to connect with the life-death-rebirth cycle, this time contemplating the burgeoning life all around us. It’s a great month for exploring Persephone, one of Hekate’s companions, as she returns to the world guided by our Dark Mother. Hekate was Persephone’s guide, companion and mediator. For me, this best describes my relationship with Hekate as well.
Read my articles on Persephone:
Building upon contemplation of Persephone’s story and our own relationship with Hekate, it’s a great month to take your practice to the next level through evoking Hekate and communicating with her. Hekate doesn’t always speak in the most obvious ways, so this article on her messages may be helpful.
Watch Invoking Hekate
Who doesn’t love a great egg spell? Eggs are often included in the Hekate’s Suppers offered to her during the Dark Moon, but they have so many other wonderfully witchy uses. April is a good month for reinforcing the wards around your home, and eggs provide excellent protection. There’s many ways to do this from planting eggs in the earth at each of the four corners of your home to grinding egg shells and sprinkling them around the perimeter. I always keep ground egg shells at the ready for adding to incense and potion.
The Witches’ Grand Sabbat occurs on May Eve, Hail the Queen of Witches as she guides us to the mystical Witches Realm where we can chat with our witch ancestors and feel at home. Some celebrate Beltane, although it makes me a bit cranky. Hekate in May reveals herself as The Great Mother with the natural world exploding all around.
Something I have noticed every May is that many of us start to feel the call to do deep healing work. Part of this is certainly based in our own mother wound being re-opened because of Mother’s Day, but I think that the shift to more daylight hours throws light into our own shadows. Healing and growth are the witches’ work, we’re never done. We’re always becoming, sometimes that means getting into the bindweed before it chokes off all the beautiful witchery we are capable of. Turn your attention to pruning weeds, healing work and a shadow check-in.
I want to write more about healing others, incorporating energetic techniques such as Reiki and Quantum Touch with Hekatean Witchcraft. Look for that in May, 2019.
Fertility is very much the energy of May. Hekate has had many different companions, and is sometimes a mother. Hermes, in particular, was associated with her in ancient times. Modern practitioners often associate Hekate with Lucifer (or other light-bringing horned gods). If you’ve never cast a spell petitioning Hekate with a male companion, May is the ideal month for doing so. Other fertility themed spells that focus on union, whether mystical or physical, are well-suited for May. Take a deep dive in alchemy during this month, exploring the alchemical marriage if you’re up for a challenge and your mother wound is fine.
Turn your attention back to the difference between Anima Mundi in the winter and now when the world is ablaze with life. The subtle, quiet pulse of Hekate as the World Soul you felt back in February is now a thundering heartbeat. This is Hekate as she flings the gates of all creation open wide. It’s a fantastic month to claim your witch power and sovereignty.
If you always do your magick under Hekate’s pale moonlight, try a sun ritual instead. Harness the power of abundant life to unleash your inner witch on the solstice. Be a bit bolder in all your workings for this month as the season ruled by the element of fire unfurls.
Botantical witchery season is nigh by the end of this month, so this is the time to begin to collect plants for use in spells. Hekate’s Garden is full of marvelously magickal plants, especially the poisonous kind. Write a spell this month evoking plant spirits into your working and experiment with making different incenses to really set your spells in motion. I love, love, love botanical witchery. I often include ways to incorporate plants into spells and rituals in articles.
Here’s a short guide for botanicals to open your third eye.
Hail Kleidoukhos, Keeper of the Keys! Hekate’s keys have unlocked all the gates of the natural world and in our lives by the time her Wheel tilts to the height of summer.
July is an ideal time to contemplate all of your keys, both magickal and mundane. Take stock of what you’ve learned so far this year and plan for what’s to come. I typically spend this month furiously finishing up projects so that I can take vacation in August. It’s probably the month when we are most likely to go on holiday from witchcraft, too. However, we know better. Take Hekate’s Key Journey to reveal a new key and revitalize your practice.
The guide to Hekate’s Key Journey (includes guided journey audio) can be downloaded here.
Watch The Witches’ Hour of Power to learn how daily practice will transform your life.
KEYS! This month charge a key for use as a talisman, relinquish a no-longer-necessary one to Hekate as an offering or incorporate them on your altar. Basic technique for creating a key talisman for mystical journeying: cleanse the key by resting on a bed of sea salt under the waning moon. On the new moon, activate it using an oil infused with mugwort, lavender and sage. Petition Hekate for her blessing upon it. Wear during your trance and journey work for extra power.
Hekate has been associated with abundance and the harvest since Hesiod extolled her virtues in blessing all those involved in food production, from farmers to fisherman. August features a modern night celebrating her on August 13. Another blessing of Hekate’s, children, are protected with a ritual to her as their guardian, Kourotrophos during this month.
August is the month that Hekate’s energy dramatically increases, with formal celebrations for the harvest, storms, witchcraft and children. This is the month to get your ritual on. With so much going on this month, I developed the Ritual of the Nine Keys to consolidate all these energies. You might also find yourself on holiday, so check our my list of essential titles in Hekate’s Library.
Travel to the Starry Road during the dog days of summer when many of us are gifted with the appearance of the perseid meteor shower. I love planetary magick, especially combining Hekate’s epithets with the archetypal energy of those seven wandering stars. Look for a blog about this during August.
Download this Planetary Hymn here.
Glorious September! The time when so many of us get back to work and school. Hail Hekate, the torch bearer as she prepares to descend into the Underworld, but first celebrate the harvest of all that you’ve accomplished through her keys – and keeping them.
September is very much the month of getting down to business, whether at work, school or home. A proper energetic cleanse of the house around the time of the fall equinox is in order. Petition Hekate for her blessing as the matron of your home. Establish a threshold shrine, clean/refresh/redesign your altar space, and wash away all toxic energy. September is about getting ready for the massive Hekatean wave that is coming our way after the equinox.
Craft a cleansing potion to use for cleaning all the miasma – both literal and energetic – from your home by creating full moon water (a couple of cups of living water charged under the full moon) with lavender and a dash of vodka. Use in a spray bottle. Chant the potion to life as you clean: witch each spray, I wipe all harmful energies away. Sounds corny, but sometimes simple is best. When you are done cleaning, sage your entire house while offering Hekate the miasma and seeking her protection. You want to get your house in order before October arrives. Trust me on this. The Modern Hekatean Witch is very, very busy for the next three months. It’s also a great month for employment spells.
Hail the Witch-Mother in all her dark glory! I get excited about October just typing the words. Hekate is Chthonia during the autumn. This is the season of the element of water, when we turn to our emotional depths and reach down into our witchery.
So much witchery to be done this month! This is the time to turn our attention to a deeper deathwalking practice, although working with spirits throughout the year ensures that we are always connecting to this truth of Modern Hekatean Witchcraft. Early October is optimal for connecting with a new spirit guide to walk with you through all the death witchery to come, while Hekate lights the way. Honoring our witch ancestors, the mighty dead, and departed family members are well suited to the energy of this month. For the October Deipnon, focus on Hekate as your Witch-Mother.
Mediumship, psychopompery and necromancy – all forms of deathwalking – provide opportunities for casting spells with the spirits of the dead during October. Petitioning Hekate to send you a spell help mate, such as one of her eternal witches, Kirke or Medea, is another approach. I find the latter to be less taxing than the former. Working the spirits of the departed, such as getting them to do your bidding as servitors, is challenging. Master simpler spirits, such as some plants (sage is typically an easy spirit to work with), stones (clear quartz) and animals (Hekate’s hounds are often up for assisting in spells), before progressing to more complex entities unless, of course, you have such a spirit that you are very close to.
The end of October marks the passage into a new witch year. It’s also time to prepare for the Holy Darkness and other deathwalking witchery by crafting the Deathwalking Oil.
The Holy Darkness is fully upon us in November, Hekate’s month. We descend into Hekate’s Cave deeper, seeking her guidance and mysteries.
I’ve written a complete guide for the Holy Darkness. Read the free ebook here.
There are two nights honoring Hekate during November. On the 16th, she is honored as the Underworld Goddess that she is and at the end of the month we come to her crossroads.
The energy of Hekate is at an annual high during November. There is so much darkness for her witches to weave their spells under the moonlight. If you don’t regularly cast spells drawing down the moon, this is the month to explore the different available lunar energies.
We’ve finally reached the end of the calendar year. Hekate’s energy remains visceral until the Winter Solstice. I wish I could come up with another explanation besides all the darkness, but I haven’t…yet. Some people find her ancient role as Soteira difficult to reconcile with Modern Witchcraft, but I believe she saves us by guiding us to the truth of who we are. Her torches shine for us, but we must choose to do the work. December is an excellent month for a deep dive into the Poison Path.
Watch this video featuring my poison altar.
Rebirth is the theme for December. Proceed with caution this is heavy work.
Release. That’s it. Let go, burn, bury or shred whatever no longer serves you. Offer the corpse to Hekate as part of your Deipnon ritual.
New Moon Rising: Time to Say ENOUGH
Thanks for making it all the way to the end of this guide! Holy Hekate, I’ve revised it down to the bare bones, but it’s still more like a book chapter than an article. Keep in mind that all my suggestions are just that, you practice Modern Hekatean Witchcraft your way. I hope you make your own Wheel of the Year and guide. Please share with me if you do! I love all the Wheels of the Year that you’ve been sharing with me.
Here’s to 2019!
May Hekate’s torches light your journey through this turn of her wheel!
Yours in Hekate’s Witchery,
Thank you SunKat.
The author Cyndi Brannen is really great!