DESCEND TO THE REALM OF HECATE
In this trance journey through the deep earth , you will discover the realm of Hecate, the Crone Goddess of Wisdom. She is the dark face of the goddess, and many fear her. It is Hecate who attends women in childbirth, and it is she whom we will face at the end of our life’s journey. Take this opportunity to name and face your fear. Is it advanced age? Death? To create positive change, you must honor her with respect to receive her blessing and aid.
• You are standing in a vast and empty field. The last of the harvest has been cut and gathered and stands drying in the barn . In the distance, an orchard of apple trees stands fruitless, save for the last few fallen apples of the season that rest on the ground as if the very wind has made an offering to the earth mother.
• You face the setting sun, which sinks lower in the sky, illuminating the painted leaves that rush by. A strong wind from samhain the east is at your back, and the tumultuous journey of the swirling leaves echoes a feeling from deep within your soul.
• You feel the earth start to tremble. It is as if you are standing on a fault line and the tectonic plates have begun to shift . You experience a sense of exhilaration, as if a mighty change is about to occur. Your intuition proves to be absolutely correct.
• You watch in amazement as the earth opens before you. What began as a rumble , then a crack emanating from the very place where you stand, turns into a deep chasm. You peer inside, noticing the vast network of roots still clinging to the earth from stalks long since cut.
• You take a step into the gap in the earth. You notice small tunnels made by burrowing insects and small animals. A family of chipmunks huddles together, bracing for the coming cold. You feel no fear, only curiosity as to the secrets of the dark earth.
• You are compelled to go further. You step carefully, loosened rocks tumbling on ahead to unseen realms. You notice the colorful striations in the rocks as you descend. Pockets in the matrix reveal glittering crystals, so perfectly formed they look as though they had been deliberately placed along your path.
• Light begins to fade as the surface of the Earth retreats into the distance, but you forge ahead, led by the sensation that a great mystery is being revealed to you. You feel the pulsating rhythms of the Earth itself and a great truth is affirmed for you. The earth is alive and teeming with life. As it is above, so it is below.
• You are enveloped in the darkness, when, strangely, you begin to perceive a light . This seems as strange and fantastic as the journey you are presently undertaking. The faint light of a gently glowing ember guides you along your path until you find yourself unexpectedly facing a woman. Her hair is long and white, and her face is etched with the songs and stories of a thousand lifetimes. You recognize her instantly. She is the grandmother of all, the ancient crone of your imaginings.
• You stop and stand before her in awe. At her feet is a large black cauldron. Beneath the cauldron is the fire that led you to her. Without speaking, her voice appears in your mind and she asks you why you have come to her. You reply, “I seek to learn the mysteries of the earth and to honor you with respect.”
• She nods and stirs the cauldron and asks, “Who are you?” You pause because you know her question is more profound than it seems. She is not asking your name. She is asking you to name the desire of your soul, to make a connection between yourself and the divine, to acknowledge yourself as an integral part of the earth you have chosen to penetrate and explore.
• You answer wordlessly, “I do not know.” She stops stirring the cauldron and bids you to gaze into its depths. You do not know the liquid that it contains, but it swirls around as though she was still stirring it.
• You see your own face reflected on the surface, and as the surface churns, your appearance begins to change. You see yourself as a very young person, full of energy and vitality. Then the image begins to change again before your eyes. You see yourself as a mature person, fulfilled and happy.
• Another spiral sweeps this vision from your eyes and you are revealed this time as an old person with the light of a lifetime dancing in your eyes. You look up into the eyes of the crone and you hear a voice inside your head. You are not certain if it is your own voice or that of the manifestation of the goddess before you, but you cannot argue with its message: “I am the Maiden, seeker of Wisdom. I am the Mother, giver of Wisdom. I am the Crone, keeper of Wisdom.”
• You understand that this truth has been revealed to you through the woman standing before you. She is the woman you will one day become, just as surely as the reflections in her dark cauldron are aspects of yourself as well. By approaching her with honor and respect instead of fear, you have enabled yourself to embody this truth and you know it is now time for you to leave the underground realm of darkness and mystery.
• You now realize that in the span of your own lifetime, however long or short, you have already learned many things, taught many things, and have much still to learn. As the maiden, you learned how to navigate through all of life. You began life as a helpless infant and learned independence. At the same time, you taught your parents how to nurture and ultimately how to let go. As the mother, you nurtured dreams of your own and shared your wisdom with others . As the crone, most of your lifetime lies behind you. You own all of your achievements, triumphs, and trials. And there is still more that you desire from life. You have already died and been reborn many times within this one lifetime.
• With this realization, you face her one last time. Her visage vanishes before your eyes, as does her cauldron and its reassuring glow. You are alone and standing in near-total darkness, yet you feel a comforting warmth about your shoulders. You turn around and see that the glowing embers that lit the cauldron have been replaced by the waning rays of the setting sun, seemingly miles away, dancing on the surface of the Earth as you remain far beneath.
• You begin the slow ascent back up to the surface of the world. You pass by the glittering gems hidden deep within the matrix, a tangible testament to the power of change. Years of pressure and temperature changes have yielded something unique and beautiful in a purely natural state, a treasure meant for your eyes alone.
• You climb higher and notice again the colorful striations in the compacted soil and marvel at the intricate network of deep roots that penetrate the dark earth, as complex and thick and sturdy as any oak branch that weaves its way through the sky. The earth is living all around you, home to insects and small animals and all kinds of plants, forming delicate connections never seen by light of day or by the light of the moon.
• You emerge just as the sun makes its final descent below the horizon, bathing the field in the magical purples of twilight. The brightest stars are becoming visible now. You notice that the wind has shifted and now blows from the west.
• You smile as you stand among the swirling leaves that come rushing towards you. Your change has come.
Provenance Press’s Guide To The Wiccan Year: A Year Round Guide to Spells, Rituals, and Holiday Celebrations
Judy Ann Nock