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Hecate offerings

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Hecate offerings

Postby GroundedDancer » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:42 pm

So, I've been researching the goddess Hecate extensively. I've tried narrowing down what things would be appropriate offerings on an altar dedicated to her, but it can get overwhelming what with all the apparent options.

Different sources state different things, but only one seems consistent? Onions.

Any ideas? Anything work particularly well for anyone else?
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Re: Hecate offerings

Postby Siona » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:39 pm

We know that other traditional offerings include leeks, garlic, fish, raw eggs, cheese, and bread/cakes. Now obviously this next one I do not recommend as was done in antiquity, but dogs, typically black, are actually another traditional offering, generally to remove impurity from a household or person - again, that doesn't really work in today's culture, so instead you might do it symbolically by making a figure out of black wax, or baking cookies dyed black shaped like dogs, and offering those. These are all traditional offerings that would have been made during the monthly deipnon on the Attic calendar, but they are appropriate at other times, as well. In addition to those, we know that sheep were offered, as seen in Metamorphoses, where Medea sacrificed two black lambs to Hekate. You might offer lamb meat, maybe cooked using traditional Greek herbs, or again instead, wax figures or cookies.

Honey, olive oil, wine (mixed with water), almonds, barley, beef, sesame cakes or sesame candy, figs, and pomegranates were also likely offerings. You might consider getting a real olive oil lamp (they are different than lamps that burn lamp oil), and using it as a devotional lamp or to light her altar. The olive oil burned in the lamps becomes an offering itself. (You can find olive oil lamps in Hindu supply shops online, or even sometimes bible recreation shops and such, which would be more like the Romans and Greeks used).

For votive offerings, keys are a big one. As are knives. Torches, of course. Small carvings of her sacred animals also work. Roses are probably not as traditional, but many of us have found they are enjoyed (with thorns still on). Dandelions, as well. Hekate is the only deity in the Orphic hymns to not have a suggested incense, but the traditional favorites would have included frankincense, myrrh, storax, aromatic herbs (rosemary, lavender, thyme, mint, for example) and any aromatic woods (sandalwood, for example).

Offerings of time are also appreciated. Hekate is a goddess of many things, but as an example, she is a goddess of the poor and those who society often overlooks or forgets, so you might volunteer at a homeless shelter, domestic abuse shelters, etc.

I don't know what your current pre-ritual purification is, but you might also look into making khernips (you should be able to find lots of info on Google, but in short it is a blessed water) to purify with, and maybe even the role barley played in purification of offerings and places. Hekate has many ties to ritual purification, so it can be good to learn about miasma and how it was cleansed in Greek culture, to get a better understanding of that aspect of her.
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