Hekate has always been associated with the life cycle. She is known as The Great Mother from her earliest days, and her role as divine midwife is recounted in many tales. Our Dark Mother offers the dark, wet womb of her cave for those seeking transformation. Goddess of the moon that rises and sets within her cave. Witch-mother of the eternal sorceresses who await us around the cauldron, and ruler of her horde that stand guard.
This is a ritual of dismemberment and death leading to a powerful rebirth. It is through the intentional disembodiment of our present “shell” that we can find the means to release our truth. A powerful journey, for sure. Hekate has long been associated with both destruction and healing. She is the three-formed goddess of the crossroads, guiding our way with her torches, and protector against deleterious forces. Hekate is the Dark Mother of the Underworld, opening her cave as a haven from whence we can reclaim our power and explore the mysteries of her witches.
Hekate’s ancient cult held rituals in caves sacred to her. The cave has been associated with her, and her witches, for thousands of years. The ancients believed that the moon rose and set from such a cave. Her ancient witches cast their spells in caves sacred to her. They used their cauldrons, deep within such places, to grant life, death and rebirth to those brave – or foolish – enough to enter. The energy of the cauldron of rebirth lives on in the innermost chamber of Hekate’s Cave. Beware of the lessons of the past. Approach rebirth with deep sincerity or risk Hekate’s reproach.
Preparation for the Cauldron of Rebirth Ritual includes completing the previous two stations of the Holy Darkness Cycle. I’m offering this publicly, so it is entirely up to you how you proceed. This is oracular work that should be undertaken with gravitas. Of course, we can be called to do things according to our own spiritual needs. It is entirely up to you to decide. The only tool required for this working is a cauldron, or other open container in which you can place incense.
Altar construction: The goal is to create an energy grid that will open the entrance to Hekate’s Cave. A chthonic – low or on the ground – one with the usual symbols of her torches, keys and perhaps her wheel to represent the life cycle is best. Smoky quartz can be used to activate the entrance.
Offerings: Symbolic gifts to Hekate, her midwives and horde can be made. Place them on your altar. When you enter the Inner Chamber, give them your offerings. I’ve included a list of some offerings in the guide you can access using the link at the end of this article. Feel free to add your own.
Preparing body, mind and soul and space: The same techniques outlined in The Deathwalking Sacrificial Ritual can be used.
Be as close to the ground as possible during the ritual. Don’t forget your offerings. I recommend creating a protected space, either by circle casting or another technique. If you are feeling disconnected from Hekate, try the Evocation of Hekate Suitable For Any Rite to evoke her presence once you’ve created the contained space. Light the incense or turn on the diffuser about 30 minutes prior to beginning the ritual, before casting your circle. Extinguish it before moving into the incantation/petition.
Once your space is established, concentrate on your Underworld altar. Anoint your feet, heart center and crown with your chosen oil, tapping them three times. Your feet represent your emotional lower self, the black cord extends from them to the altar. The red of your heart center connects to the altar. Finally, the mystical, intellectual energy of the higher self is drawn into the altar when you anoint your crown. Envision the stone or symbol being used to signify the entrance to Hekate’s Cave opening as you pour out your energies. Once you are connected to the opening, extend the merged currents to the cauldron, creating a triangular portal between you, the opening sumbolon and the cauldron. Close your eyes and feel the opening. Leaving your physical body safely behind in the closed space, release your energetic being into the portal. Once inside, follow Hekate’s torches to the inner chamber. Your allies and guides may come forward to support you, and you can certainly evoke them.
You’ll come to an open entrance. Take note of the symbolism here. Hekate often leaves messages on the way we perceive her domain. Observe who is present for your rebirth ritual. New guides, deities, and spirits most likely will present themselves since they know why you are here. They are here to be your midwives, but you do the work. The cauldron will now appear. It’s helpful to read my poem, “Hekate’s Cauldron of Rebirth” a few times before creating your own portal to get into the energy of her cave and cauldron.
When you are ready, climb into the cauldron.
Hail Hekate! Mighty Underworld Queen,
I have come to enter your cauldron for rebirth.
I call upon the energy of the dark to protect me,
I draw down the moon for her protection,
I ask my allies and guides to attend this ritual.
I petition you to release your horde,
Extend them around me now.
Surround me with your wise goddesses of rebirth.
I enter into your cauldron of my own free will,
My intention is pure, my will strong, and my heart true.
See yourself climbing into the cauldron.
Through the smoke I am purified,
While the fire burns away all that no longer serves me.
I am washed in the truth of moon essence.
I wash my wounds,
I release the false skin of the past.
I cleanse my tired body,
Stripping away all that no longer serves.
Now all that remains is my soul which is my truth.
Climb out of the cauldron as pure essence, with your discarded former self cast round the cauldron.
Fierce Horde of Hekate,
I offer you all that I have discarded.
The creatures will consume what you have cast off.
Great guides, take the thread of my soul and weave me anew.
Your guides step forward and get to work at this point. Don’t rush through this. Feel the process as you are reborn. Every cell, muscle, organ, hair. All created from your true essence. Allow the process to progress gently, supported by your allies who are weaving your true body. When you are ready, proclaim:
Behold, I am reborn into my truth.
At this point, moonlight will emerge from the cauldron. She will infuse you, creating a robe of pure light and the darkest night. Step forward to Hekate on her throne. She anoints you with the red-fire of her torches, searing you with power. At this point, the three keys will appear in your hand. One for removal magick, one for spirit witchery, and one for the ability to perform transformation. You may also receive other keys, relevant to your witchery. Hekate may speak to you during this process.
I now keep my own keys,
The power to remove all that doesn’t serve.
The ability to call spirits,
The gift of transformative witchcraft.
Opening the gates of the mysteries,
And to the way forward.
Make your offerings that you have brought. Call them into your hands from their place on the altar.
I make these offerings from the deepest gratitude.
My allies and guides,
And to her Horde.
I go boldly forward into my new life.
Walk through the opening Hekate created, returning to your physical body. Take your time with this process. As you merge, notice the physical sensations. Move slowly upwards from your feet to the crown, disconnecting from the cauldron and your sumbolon for the cave. This dismantles the portal. Reconnect to the mundane world by feeling the floor beneath you, open your heart center to your material surroundings, stretch your crown back up towards the Starry Road. Take time here to balance, making corrections as necessary. Gently, when you are ready, open your space.
Guidelines for ritual aftercare and processing can be found in the Guide for the Holy Darkness Cycle.