Having been a solitary witch for several years, when I finally found teachers I was willing to learn from, I asked no questions.
If I’m honest, I’ve never really looked for a group to join. Having started out a ‘book witch’, learning all I could from DIY spell manuals and practicing through trial and error, I later started attending open rituals and groups, and found virtually no one to look up to and respect, and certainly no one I could visualize as my teacher. When I met, miraculously not one, but two people I could see as friends, mentors, and above all, real witches, I jumped at the opportunity to join their group. I’d gone through the obligatory tests and found them easy enough for me – book witcheries hadn’t failed me, and years of trial and error certainly taught me to solve problems unaided. But it never occurred to me to put them through tests. I trusted my instincts and turned up for a dedication ceremony that was to bring me formally into the group.
I prepared a present for the group, dressed mystically and took extra care with my hair. After all, I wanted to make a good impression.
Upon arrival, I was told to sit down and meditate on Hekate.
I’ve never heard of her before, and the name didn’t even reveal which pantheon she might belong to. So I just sat down. When I shut my eyes, images started flooding in. There she was, a majestic goddess, holding the leashes of three enormous, black dogs. Unceremoniously, all of them started chasing me up a mountain. The vision was dark and cold, and I was terrified. Why was this goddess rejoicing at my fear? And what’s the deal with the dogs? There she was, explaining the vision. The goddess was pledging to ‘frighten me all the way to the top’. Those words stuck with me for the five years that followed, when she diligently scared me until I reached the top of my profession, and my ambition, and then without an extra word, surpassed it.
I asked her if there’s anything she wanted in return, and she asked for blood. At that point I really started to worry – what did I get involved with here? I vowed to give her blood, but had no idea what she wanted it for, and how I was meant to give it.
That, I hasten to remind, was only the meditation before the ceremony.
During the ritual I experienced wonderful emotions. I felt I belonged there, and I felt accepted, which are not natural sensations for me. One of the messages I got, which I smoothly ignored, was to ‘use my looks’. I never thought of myself as a particularly fine-looking woman, and resigned myself to listening to the messages that actually made sense, and focusing on the challenging vows I took.
I soon found out that Hekate will not be ignored.
When leaving home for work the next day, I found a mirror outside my house. I’d have taken it in, just that I was late, so I left it there, only to find it still there twelve hours later, on my way back. I took it in and fixed it to the wall in one of the bathrooms.
The next day, the same happened with another mirror, a smaller one that was duly taken into the other bathroom. I thought it might have something to do with Hekate’s suggestion to ‘use my looks’, but I hadn’t thought of it as an order. Yet.
Yule soon followed, and at a friend’s seasonal ceremony I volunteered to invoke Fire in the South. When placed in the south, I realized I’ll be invoking towards a mirror. And when we all lucky-dipped for our random Yule presents out of a velvet sack, can you guess what I got? A string with 11 double-sided mirrors suspended on it.
After Yule I went to visit my family in Israel. Blood donations are a matter of routine over there, and when I asked my Dad to find out when I can donate in our small town, he made one phone call and notified me that the blood team only operate once a fortnight for two hours. If we hurry we can make it. With that blood, my deal with Hekate was sealed.
You can’t turn a frog into a princess overnight, but over the coming few years I learned to honour my physical appearance more. It served me well as I complied for myself the longest media CV for any psychic in the UK. I’d written the stars for fashion magazines, appeared on many TV shows and even did a bit of Pagan modeling, and always held Hekate as the reason for it.
A year ago, when the man of my dreams emerged out of the mists to my amazement, I asked my grandfather in spirit for confirmation. My dead granddad is surprisingly helpful with dating advice. He assured me that this was the man for me, for the rest of my life, and that’s all the confirmation I needed. But Hekate, who had my blood, was not going to miss a chance to have her say.
On holiday in Barcelona, when my partner and I had just finished discussing moving in together, three large, dark brown dogs approached us. My love, who had been bitten by a dog in childhood and dislikes the larger varieties, stepped back, whereas I carried on forward, baby-talking to the trio. One of them approached my love, and bit him once on the ankle. Thus Hekate had his blood too.
Of late, I’ve been trying to sell my flat. My efforts have been largely unsuccessful, and because I’d spent a couple of years experimenting with devotions to different gods, I was confused and didn’t know who to pray to.
I tried them all, including, embarrassingly, Jehovah, thinking to myself ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’. All that time, mirrors around me kept breaking. That string of 22 mirrors lost three of them when doors slammed on it, a gift mirror from a friend broke clean into a hundred pieces, and a novelty mirror with the word ‘goddess’ etched on it, also from a friend, kept falling and chipping corners.
When I started offering devotion to Hekate again, she wasn’t totally convinced at first.
We’re rebuilding our relationship, with my love joining in by buying a silver Hekate brooch for me to protect us from vicious dogs in future. She now accepts my offerings, and I’m confident my flat will sell soon if she’s in charge.