“Strange and unprecedented times,” we hear the refrain all too often these days. Though we are faced with daunting challenges, an objective look at the history of humanity suggests our ancestors encountered their own “strange and unprecedented times.” The truth is each generation knows its own crises and calamities. And each generation is charged with finding the keys to overcoming, healing, and progressing as a society. But, what a formidable task, to come together, of one mind, and one body and heal all of humanity! The secret, as the shadow path with the Torch Bearer reveals, is to first heal ourselves. One thing we may currently lack is compassion. In a world that grows increasingly cold, disconnected, and divisive, the harmonious resonance of kindness could be a salve for many wounds. As She Who Carries the Light, Hekate has much to teach us about compassion. Known for aiding Demeter in the search for her daughter and giving Hecuba or Galinthias new life as animal familiars, Hekate, its Mother of All, guide of the lost, and healer of humanity. Perhaps there have been so many attempts to villainize the goddess because Hekate doesn’t advise a self-sacrificing form of compassion, which fits so nicely into patriarchal societies and religions. The message of Our Guide is clear, you must honor yourself first. This includes extending grace inward before it can be extended outward. For many, this could be their fount of power. The compassion they share with themselves can be a source of strength, dignity, and reconnection to their divinity. Of all the deities that boldly display their might and majesty, Hekate is known to stand in the shadows, on guard should we become lost or face harm, but ultimately waiting, willing, and urging us to first show the depth of our own endurance, the breadth of our own gifts, and the force of our own power. And, in a world where more people need to take responsibility for themselves and re-establish at least a modicum of duty to their neighbor, fellow citizens, and humanity, what better beacon of hope and empowerment than the Bearer of the Light? Hekate is the embodiment of both balance and mutability. She teaches us about letting go of what must perish while giving breadth to what must be borne, unifying our shadows and our light, the continuity between life and death, and how to assimilate past and present. By doing so, she instructs us about the wholeness of our nature, love, wisdom, and humanity. As Goddess of the Crossroads, she teaches us to embrace what we have, who we are, and in turn, how to extend this grace to others. As we begin to enter the post covid era fraught with distrust, misinformation, anger, fear, and mourning, not just for those we have lost but the innocence and ease which we may never return to, who better than the bearer of the keys of truth, wholeness, and healing to help us navigate this crossroads at which we find ourselves? At times simply called the Darkness, she spurs us forth to encounter our fears, anger, wounds, and grief, knowing the only way out of the darkness is through it, recapturing pieces of ourselves once thought lost to the pain of repression and denial. We can all benefit from seeking Hekate’s keys and the light of her torch. As the World Soul, she knows just what magick and medicine are needed to manifest a healthy, happy, safe, sane future. Her love is a poultice for the hearts of healers and the hurts of the wounded.
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