Regardless of the year, it seems that Hekate Rising has fallout of some kind. This is to be expected, since contact with a deity never leaves one completely unchanged. However, sometimes it catches one off-guard.

From my point-of-view the weekend was a success. Everyone seemed pleased, and good connection was made. I had the privilege of meeting a Sister in Hekate that I’ve known online for many years with whom I also share a more Goddess-centric Path view, though her roots are not Dianic. She was wonderful and brought great energy to the weekend. It is my hope that she’ll return next year. Our first baby blessing went wonderfully, as well as all the other rites and celebrations that were part of it.

The Mysteries seem to have brought some questions to the participants. It’s always a bit of a challenge for me when I get questions afterwards because I go into a deep trance state for the Rite, and I don’t remember what happens. I tend to get pieces of information for a while afterwards in dreams and little flashes, but nothing is ever clear for me. From the bits I’ve gathered here and there talking to a few participants, the messages from the Goddess had rather immediate impacts on some of their lives. My own dreams have been very fuzzy since then, so I wait until someone comes to me with her own information and put the pieces together.

Next year’s retreat is already booked. Each year I look forward to it, and I also question whether or not I can do it again. So far, the answer has always been yes. Next year will mark our ninth time, a magickal number. I’m curious to see what it will mean.



The next few days are going to get a little crazy. It’s now just over a week until I pick up one of the women who is flying in for Hekate Rising from the shuttle terminal in town. In those few days, I will: have drywallers coming in to do a second estimate after the first came in a bit steep; meet with my academic advisor and set my schedule for the next semester of school; go see my family for a reunion; do the last of the supply shopping for Hekate Rising; make the honey cakes for the Rites; order my college books; get my hair done; do all the packing and prepping to make sure that everything I need to take comes with me; go to the local bakery to get a quiche and some cupcakes; register my son for his junior year of high school; work several shifts at my job; and quite possibly meet with a music collaborator for a project. So in a word, whew.

I’m feeling just a bit overwhelmed with all that I need to get done, but writing it out honestly helps because I can see it and know how I need to schedule it. Tomorrow at 8am the drywall people will be here. Then I go to work. On the way home, I will stop at the bakery and order the cupcakes for pickup next Thursday evening. That night I will register my son for school. Friday morning I meet my academic advisor, then once I have my schedule, order my books and then come home to do more packing. Saturday I will work an extra shift I picked up so not working the day after Hekate Rising won’t hurt my next paycheck. Then we’re driving to South Bend to hang with my family for a while, grab some dinner, and have some quiet family time. Sunday it’s drive back and meet Nan here to do my hair, once that’s all done, I’m hoping to meet up with my music collaborator. Ok , going to stop now, feeling overwhelmed again…

Anyways, this next week is a bit crazy, but at the end of it all, oh so worth it.


Today I started actual prep for Hekate Rising. I’ve been planning, plotting, and possibly scheming my way through spring and summer to get to this point, counting heads and seeing what’s needed. However, today began the getting out of bags, boxes, and cases to carry the various accoutrements that come with me to the retreat as part of the portable Temple.

I’ve started sorting through altar cloths and other items to see which ones are needed. The candles and other items are getting wrapped and ready. The last item will be the Presence, a gorgeous piece of original art by Jeff Cullen which has been ensoulled and carries the energies of the Lady within. Until next Thursday night, the Presence will remain on the main altar in the Temple.

I’ve also been packing things for our other festivities including the Mothering Rite and the Baby Blessing. Little things like gifts for the new mother and infant, ritual items, and some fun bits and bobs are in neat stacks, waiting for their turn to go into the bags.

My ritual clothes have been freshly laundered and are hanging in the closet of the Temple, ready for my suitcase. I washed them last year after getting home, but I always wash them again prior to packing. I wear this outfit once a year, on one particular day, and at no other time, and one day I will wear it as my earthly remains are returned to the soil. There are no photos of me in this gown, and there never will be. It is only for the eyes of those who come to participate in the Mysteries.

It raises the sense of anticipation, all this prep work, and the desire for the next week plus to be over, so I can be with the Sisters and celebrate Her Mysteries as well as our shared community. My life has many high points, as well as general ups and downs, but Hekate Rising is the weekend where I feel most alive.




Today was about staying on track, both personally and as a Priestess. This started with me taking a couple days off since my husband just returned home from a long business trip, so I could give him all my attention and reconnect. This was essential for me to refind center, and so he could adapt to the various changes in routine due to the approach of Hekate Rising.

First was letting him know about the diet restrictions. While I don’t hold either him or my son to my restrictions, they are both sweet enough to adhere to them as well, at least when I’m present, to make it easier for me and to smooth such things as meal planning. Since the restrictions vary from year to year, and this year is fairly strict as compared to others, it was a bit for him to process. Fortunately, he did return home basically in the home stretch, so he’s only going to have to be a good sport until the end of next week.

I also let him know about the writing, and informed him that I wished to get back to it, because it does help me keep focused during this preparation time. It’s fine to want to chill on the sofa together in the evening and have a bit of us time, but my spiritual practice is important to me, and that includes keeping up the writing. I value this time near the end of my day to reflect and think about how my sacred life and mundane life intersect and co-mingle. Today they intersected mostly in my reminding my spouse that my spiritual work is a priority, even when he’s home.

The final piece of the balancing puzzle came with work. As a home-care nurse, I can be called and asked to pick up work at all hours, and have families asking me if I can come in on days when I’m normally not available. My giving nature makes me want to say yes, but if I said yes every time I was asked, I’d never see my family, and my spiritual practice would get lost in the work shuffle. I’ve done that before, and I nearly lost myself in the process. So one of my sacred challenges as an active Priestess is learning to say “no” and preserve the balance between the needs of my patients and my own needs. It’s easy to feel guilty when saying “no” to a patient’s mom who wants time to go work extra hours, or go to a family event, but it is part of making my connection with Hekate a priority in my life.

I did my devotee dedication and pledged myself as Her priestess many years ago, and it’s not something I take lightly. It’s why, when I teach students who wish to follow this same Path, I let them know right off the bat that it’s a commitment that must be taken seriously. It’s more than possible to follow a Pagan Path and be devoted to a deity without taking on the commitment of being a Priestess or Priest. In fact, if you don’t have the time or the energy to commit to the study, then you definitely don’t have time to commit to the Work.

Give Me Shelter

Today we were supposed to get a little orphaned kitten to foster. Got up to animal control to find out the little guy already had a pending adoption application. While this was great news, it did leave my son and I a bit flummoxed. However, it turned into an opportunity for another kitty.

While I was busy talking with the staff at animal control, my son had been busy making the acquaintance of a juvenile Maine Coon cat in the bottom cage. My son likes cats in general, but he and this one truly bonded within a matter of minutes, to the point where he had started calling him by a name, Leo, and the kitty was responding to it. So this kitten, who is about a month older than Leeloo, ended up coming home with us to foster.

The entire trip home, he was cheebling and chirping at Tadziu the way Maine Coons do, and as soon as he was out of the carrier, he made himself at home. My son is pleased by the way things turned out, and Leo’s already fitting in with the other cats quite well.

We’d been planning on giving comfort to one refuge cat, and though the cat changed, we are fulfilling the Divine Obligation of hospitality with another wanderer of the fringes. A cat, who until 3pm didn’t have a name, and was just listed as young male Maine Coon, unaltered. A name is a big thing, but especially with cats, who tend to not come to a name unless they choose it. Leo was coming to his name before we even left animal control. I’m not sure if Tadziu picked him, he picked Tadziu, or they just recognized kindred spirits in one another. In this case, I don’t think only Hekate took a hand in helping Leo find a place to be, but Pan, my son’s primary deity, was in on it as well. Tadziu wasn’t originally going to come with me to get the kitten, but changed his mind almost at the last minute, and if he hadn’t come, it’s likely Leo would still be there.

There seems to be a conception in non-Pagans, and even in some Pagans, that when the gods speak to us it’s usually an ostentatious thing. But it’s often a gentle prompting, an urge, a feeling that something is supposed to be. While Hekate prompted me to step forward and offer shelter to a homeless cat, Pan is the one who decided who that cat would be.