Hidden by the shadowy overgrowth of dying vines and dry, lifeless trees she stood at the crossroad, the borderlands where the realm of the living mingled with the world beyond. An edgewalker of these realms and crone seer of the dead, the goddess Hekate turned her face to the west, the place where the sun sets, for just a moment as if to say goodbye to an old friend, and then she turned to face towards the north, where the cold winds blew.
This dark night was lit with a bright gibbous moon above and the cold winter wind whistled and blew, causing her to shiver. She burrowed deeper into her furs made of big cat, wolf and bear, feeling the chill in her ancient bones. Hekate closed her eyes and waited. Beside her, the two black dogs whined, sensing the many unseen spirits that were moving past them, making their way back and forth. She touched the dogs lightly on the head with each of her aged, gnarled hands and they immediately fell silent.
Above her, in the black sky, a million stars blinked on and off in the atmosphere while they watched the goddess begin to cast her spells.
Hekate reached into her robes to retrieve the herbs that she had brought and along with some crystals and stones she carefully knelt down low to sprinkle them into the earth. Both dogs let out a whimpering sound when the wind picked up, but they soon settled down, finally getting used to the drafts and the ghosts and the magic.
Winter to Spring
and flesh to bone
by the powers that be
I call you home!
Eternal day turns now to night
make Venus and moon
be hidden from sight!
And just as the last words were spoken, she dramatically raised her thin arms way up to the sky—and the moon suddenly disappeared without a sound, except for the steamy hissing of some startled stars and the whistle of a rerouted meteor that was passing by. Venus who had been the evening star for six months, now found herself traveling at great speed down into the underside of the planet, where once she stopped would then emerge as the morning star. Her head spun with the velocity of the descent and if one listened carefully, they might hear her delicate and self-possessed protest—ever the lady she was.
Without so much as a shriek the shocked moon landed unceremoniously at Hekate’s feet, bouncing just a little as it wobbled itself steady, settled and stared up at her, clearly upset.
“O, for the love of your mother Nyx, who is the goddess of night; how many times you have you dislodged me with your incantations—plucking me from the sky, leaving it moonless just so you might practice your beloved magic in the dark”, said the moon as it rolled a safe distance away from her.
Busy with her preparations, and without so much as a glance in the moon’s direction, she answered, “Selene, dear orb, be still, be quiet now—there is so much to do”.
The moon, feeling rejected, turned herself so that only her dark side showed. She hoped that this would in some way catch the attention of the goddess, as it was her favorite side, but it did not, so busy was Hekate with her work.
The wise goddess suddenly stood and released herself from her furs, and they fell to the ground. Standing skyclad, naked, her skin began to glow with a cold bluish light as she murmured sacred words and special prayers…then she said aloud;
O, longest night, and darkest sky
Hear me now, for it is I; the
oldest witch and Goddess most High
Long have I lived and long shall I still
I call upon thee to do as I will!
And just then, four great winds blew in from the north, the south, the east and the west, disturbing the dogs so much that they began to howl and keen and no one could stop them, not even Hekate herself. The moon rolled herself closer to a large tree for protection from the gusts and hid there hoping for it all to cease.
Somewhere deep in the center of the cosmos, where all things met to become one, an incredibly large and unfathomably ancient wheel began to turn, causing many events to go into motion; time began to move towards the beginning as if being reset by an unseen hand, and speeding up it sucked the darkness of winter into the center of itself, while at the very same moment a bright white light began to shine from the outer rim of this great circle. The solar winds of the sunstar picked up and the aurora borealis snapped and crackled, displaying itself all across the sky, dazzling those below. The souls of the dead, mute and wordless, made their way effortlessly to either the upper or lower worlds and the souls of the living felt a sudden and familiar ache at the center of their chest as all of the emotions from the past year slowly leaked away, wiping the slate of their hearts clean. An almost imperceptible waft of nostalgia came over them, along with a tender feeling of affection and longing…and also a sense of anticipation, and a feeling of hope.
Hekate gathered all of her strength now, and although her bones were very weary and her body was very old, she mustered up so much power that she was able to wrench the dying year from its hold upon time and send it flying into the center of the spinning, ancient wheel. In its place, the new year was born, making its way headfirst into the middle, earthly world just as the wheel began to slow down, ticking off time more naturally, minute by minute.
Hidden by the shadowy overgrowth of dying vines and dry, lifeless trees the great goddess Hekate turned from the place of the crossroads, the borderlands where the realm of the living mingled with the world beyond. An edgewalker of these realms and crone seer of the dead, she walked silently away, but not before she looked up at the bright gibbous moon above, replaced without a scratch.
The cold winter wind whistled and blew, causing her to shiver. She burrowed deeper into her furs made of big cat, wolf and bear, feeling the chill in her ancient bones. Hekate turned her face to the east, the place where the sun rose, for just a moment as if to say goodbye to an old friend, and then began to walk towards the south, where the warm winds blew.