Hecate’s Keys: The Only Spell You Need To Become A Powerful Lunar Witch

Practice this daily ritual to connect with the witch goddess Hecate and develop your talents as a lunar witch.

Every “intro to magic” book pretty much starts with the same ritual: an opening ritual that draws a circle while stopping to face each direction, typically in the order East, South, West, North, to call in a guardian and acknowledge the energies of that direction. This is almost universal in all magical currents.

The reason this is so popular is because it is fundamental to the act of magic. Casting a circle and calling on archetypes of the four directions (plus above and below) places you in the center of the universe (from your perspective, of course) and aligns you with the elemental powers and the three realms (upper, middle, lower) which construct our reality. By calling on them, and giving them honor, we gain access to their powers and protections.

Essentially, this pre-ritual act gives you the authority to work magic and, as you cast a circle, marks the bounds of this reality “bubble”, this space out of time in which such things are possible.

How you build your own understanding of the universe upon this cosmological framework is up to you, and totally open to interpretation. But the structure of it, what I call the “The Big 6”, (4 directions, Earth, and Sky) is a very useful framework to adopt regardless of where you go from there.

Over the years I’ve experimented with a lot of different opening rituals that I’ve picked up from here or there but none of the ones taught by popular esoteric frameworks (Thelema, Wicca, etc) really fit my cosmology.

Even the opening I was taught in my shamanic training isn’t something that makes sense to use in a sorcerous context. I actually do both in my daily practice. I open as I’ll describe below and then within that already cast circle, I’ll also give offering to the four directions, earth, and sky, in the manner I was taught during my shamanic training. Think of it as a “sub-ritual” (a ritual within a ritual).

For my sorcerous work I found myself lacking a suitable ritual for years and couldn’t find what I was looking for in magic books or grimoires and eventually I just rigged my own from bits and pieces I’ve accumulated along the way (compliments to Jason Miller, Gordon White, and the PGM).

Hecate As The Center Of A Lunar Practice

My work with Hecate has taken the center stage of my practice and effectively the tripartite lunar deity is at the center of my cosmology in general. I see Hecate as the connector of all things, the space in between and beyond, operating at all levels of our reality.

The mythology of Hecate shows her to possess a protective mothering instinct and to have the somewhat unique ability to move freely between heaven, Earth, and the Underworld. She is able to descend (without concern) into the treacherous land of the dead in search of the missing Persephone -and retrieve her.

From this we know that Hecate is powerful in the three realms we experience: heavenly, earthly, and infernal -and this is what defines her as both psychopomp and messenger to the gods. Through this myth, we can also see her assuming her traditional roles as witch, protector, and spiritual guide.

But the Moon has many faces and Hecate does as well. The witch goddess is most closely associated with New Moons, which is traditionally when you give the offering of a meal at a crossroads (Hecate’s Deipnon). But the opposite end of the Moon’s circuit each month, the Full Moon, is represented by Selene -a motherly lunar goddess considered the physical embodiment of the Moon.

And Demeter can be substituted for (or paired with) Selene, goddess of wheat, fertility, and the harvest. And this reveals the quintessential lunar trinity, we know so well: Maiden, mother, and crone.

This is the circuit of the Moon, from New to Full and back again, orbiting the zodiac again and again, as if retelling the same stories eternally. And this is the power of the Moon here on Earth, to bring us into synch with the cycles of time and life on this planet.

But the Moon is more than a timepiece…in astrology the Moon is referred to as the “lesser luminary” (in comparison to the Sun) but her importance is no less “great” as a result. The lesser luminary may be outshined by the light of the Sun, but rules the night sky and, due to her swift transit of the zodiac each month, she also visit each of the planets and fixed stars, conjoining them (sharing the same degree of the zodiac) for roughly a day each month.

Learn more about Hecate’s role in celestial magic in my post on Hecate and the Lunar Mansions.

This, and the Moon’s mythology, describe her other role as celestial intermediary, as well as psychopomp and guide in the Underworld. Indeed, in the PGM prayer I’ve incorporated into the ritual below, you’ll notice the the lunar goddess is described as being able to traverse the boundless chasm between the realms of Earth and Olympos (heaven).

The lunar goddess is our sponsor, our matron which provides us access to the celestial powers, and the witch goddess who literally is and gives us access to magic. She rules the sublunary space from Earth to the Moon, eso-and-exo-terically, and acts as our intermediary to both the chthonic powers below and the celestial ones beyond.

And it is for this reason that Hecate sits at the center of my practice and my ritual begins and ends with devotions to her and she effectively presides over all my other magical work (with local spirits, celestial powers, everything).

Daily Lunar Praxis

The PGM’s “Prayer to Selene for any spell” takes you through the changing states of the moon, from New to Full to New again, in a sense, between the polarity of Hecate and Selene. This makes it perfect for a daily ritual -and as it says in the title, it’s “good for any spell”.

Which is why the “Prayer for any spell” is the basis of my daily praxis. It serves many purposes and is constructed in a way that highlights the polymorphous nature of the lunar goddess -and, as such, Hecate in particular.

The rest of my daily ritual follows the typical format:

Opening / Casting a circle

*Invocation (Prayer for any spell)

Offering / Petitions

Open space to do other magic…

License to depart / Closing the circle

I am including a step-by-step description of my daily lunar praxis in case you’d like to use it to inspire your own ritual. You can perform this ritual during the hour of the Moon for bonus points but I find timing is less essential in rituals you repeat every day -particularly sub-lunary ones (not stellar or celestial).

If you do repeat this ritual every day, like I do, I expect that you will find Hecate a willing participant in the magic you want to work (in fact you may find that you’re here because she’s calling you).

I’ve worked most of the best magic of my life with this framework. It’s deceptively simple but actually quite profound. Once you’ve memorized the ritual and it flows naturally while you’re in ceremony, you will find that the myths that it draws upon reveal a great deal more upon deeper reflection (to that end you may want to read my other post “Spirit Communication Is A Skill”).

And that’s why I say this is the only spell you really need to become a powerful lunar witch; from my own personal experience, it’s a gift from the witch goddess that just keeps giving.

Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Example Lunar Ritual

First you begin by setting the outline of your magic circle in candles (at least 1 for each direction).

Stand facing the east, and say:

Hekas, Hekas, Este Bebeloi
Aktiophis, Ereshkigal, Naboutosoaleth

Raise your arms (and your gaze) to the heavens, and say:

Hecate Ourania above

Bow down low, with your hands stretched out to the ground, and say:

Hecate Chthonia below

Rise and place your hands on your heart, and say:

Hecate Panopea, within..

Extend your arms outwards, sweeping to your sides, and say:

..and without.

Now say:

I call forth the winds and rivers, Eurus and Cocytus, in the East

Take your wand or finger and make an equilateral (even armed) cross before you, and say:

Attend me at the break of day

Take your right pointer finger and mark just the first couple degrees of an arc moving up your left side at waist height.

Now point to the center of the cross you drew in front of you and mark a circle going to the South.

Now say:

Notos and Phelegeton, in the South

Take your wand or finger and make another cross, and say:

Attend me at the zenith of the Sun

Take your right pointer finger and draw an arc from your left waist over your head and finishing with your finger pointing directly above you.

Now point to the center of the cross you drew in front of you and mark a circle going to the West.

Now say:

Zephyrus and Styx, in the West

Take your wand or finger and make another cross, and say:

Attend me at the close of day

Take your right pointer finger and draw an arc from your left waist, over your head, and down to the right (at waist height).

Now point to the center of the cross you drew in front of you and mark a circle going to the North.

Now say:

Boreas and Acheron, in the North

Take your wand or finger and make another cross, and say:

Attend me in the dead of night

Take your right pointer finger and draw an arc from your left side to your right side and then continue to draw a circle until your finger is pointing straight down between your legs.

Now point to the center of the cross you drew in front of you and complete the circle, back to the starting point in the East.

Face East, raise your hands and face to the heavens, and say:

Hecate Ourania above

Lower your hands to the floor.

Hecate Chthonia below

Bring your hands over your heart.

Hecate Panopea, within and without

Sweep your hands outward in an arc

Move to your Hecate altar, light 3 candles and recite the Prayer To Selene For Any Spell…

Come to me, O beloved mistress, Three-faced
Selene; kindly hear my sacred chants;
Night’s ornament, young, bringing light to mortals,
O child of morn who ride upon fierce bulls,
O queen who drive your car on equal course
With Helios, who with the triple forms
Of triple Graces dance in revel with
The stars. You’re Justice and the Moira’s threads:
Klotho and Lachesis and Atropos
Three-headed, you’re Persephone, Megaira,
Allekto, many-formed, who arm your hands
With dreaded, murky lamps, who shake your locks
Of fearful serpents on your brow, who sound
The roar of bulls out from your mouths, whose womb
Is decked out with the scales of creeping things,
With pois’nous rows of serpents down the back,
Bound down your backs with horrifying chains
Night-Crier, bull-faced, loving solitude,
Bull-headed, you have eyes of bulls, the voice
Of dogs; you hide your forms in shanks of lions,
Your ankle is wolf-shaped, fierce dogs are dear
To you, wherefore they call you Hekate,
Many-named, Mene, cleaving air just like
Dart-shooter Artemis, Persephone,
Shooter of deer, night shining, triple-sounding,
Triple-headed, triple-voiced Selene
Triple-pointed, triple-faced, triple-necked,
And goddess of the triple ways, who hold
Untiring flaming fire in triple baskets,
And you who oft frequent the triple way
And rule the triple decades, unto me
Who’m calling you be gracious and with kindness
Give heed, you who protect the spacious world
At night, before whom daimons quake in fear
And gods immortal tremble, goddess who
Exalt men, you of many names, who bear
Fair offspring, bull-eyed, horned, mother of gods
And men, and Nature, Mother of all things,
For you frequent Olympos, and the broad
And boundless chasm you traverse. Beginning
And end are you, and you alone rule all.=
For all things are from you, and in you do
All things, Eternal one, come to their end.
As everlasting band around your temples
You wear great Kronos’ chains, unbreakable
And unremovable, and you hold in
Your hands a golden scepter. Letters ‘round
Your scepter Kronos wrote himself and gave
To you to wear that all things stay steadfast:
Subduer and subdued, mankind’s subduer,
And force-subduer; Chaos, too, you rule.
Hail, goddess, and attend your epithets,
I burn for you this spice, O child of Zeus,
Dart-shooter, heav’nly one, goddess of harbors,
Who roam the mountains, goddess of crossroads,
O nether and nocturnal, and infernal,
Goddess of dark, quiet and frightful one,
O you who have your meal amid the graves,
Night, Darkness, broad Chaos: Necessity
Hard to escape are you; you’re Moira and
Erinys, torment, Justice and Destroyer,
And you keep Kerberos in chains, with scales
Of serpents are you dark, O you with hair
Of serpents, serpent-girded, who drink blood,
Who bring death and destruction, and who feast
On hearts, flesh eater, who devour those dead
Untimely, and you who make grief resound
And spread madness, come to my sacrifices,
And now for me do you fulfill this matter.

Source: The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, Hans Dieter Betz

Next, light a candle for the restless dead and send them peace and pray for Hecate to bring them to their resting places.

Then give your offerings of gratitude, prayer, eggs, bread, honey, milk, flowers, wine, etc.

Finally, state your petition or conduct whatever other magic you need to accomplish.

When you’re done, say the following:

Thank you Hecate for your presence and blessing, I give honor and praise to your name I give thanks to the restless dead and send them recognition and peace I give thanks to your the retinue of spirits that surround you I give honor and praise to my ancestors and to the spirits of this place May all be please, may all be at peace. So mote it be.

Give a last thanks to the goddess, snuff out your candles in reverse (counter-clockwise) order, and depart.

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