I am ordained to three Goddesses, one of whom is Hecate. I don’t worship her. I work with her when she asks and when it is time she is there. I’m going to be doing it again very soon. It is an honour to be asked to priestess the death of a friend. I just wish it didn’t hurt so much. Life is full of pain and anyone who works with Hecate is a warrior. You have to be to face the veil. Being a warrior is painful, you have to suck up your pain and face it and go through to do what you need to do but you also have to acknowledge that it is hard and you really don’t want to do it because you know what the outcome will be and it’s a bit selfish because you don’t want to lose the person you love so much.
But you have to do it, she will not be in pain any longer. She will not be alone in her head anymore because that is all she has left. She will not have to struggle to communicate what she needs. But yet again her partner and we, her fellow priestesses have to find our way without her except as a memory or as a thought or presence when we plan anything without her from now on. We know she will be there but losing her hurts like a son of a gun.
It’s not the first time I will do this and it won’t be the last and I won’t be doing it alone. I will be doing it with Di and I know Laura will be standing waiting for Mary on the other side. She will never be alone except when she passes through the veil. There are only two times we ever are truly alone in our lives, when we are born and come through the veil to this existence and when we die and leave this plane but on either side there are people who are waiting to greet us.
Working with Hecate is not for the faint of heart. The day she claimed me I realized she had always been there. Death has been a companion all my life but the day she appeared to me stands out and it always will.
We were up at the West Coast Women’s Music Festival in Yosemite. When all the witches around me and myself started to feel this awful feeling that I still can’t quite describe and it was clear that person was dying and was terrified. A bunch of were distressed enough to call a friend from the pay phone that we knew had AIDS and we were sure it was him. What we got was a really pissed off high priest who was not dying and berated us mightily because that would not be the way he was going to go.
We were thoroughly chastened and still feeling whoever was broadcasting and broadcasting at the top of his lungs, there were 6 of us who decided to do a circle up at the campfire while everyone else was down at main stage. We sent my Catholic lover at the time away. She couldn’t figure out what the hell we were by that time crying about and was annoying the hell out of all of us. So the six of us went up and sat, 3 empaths and 3 grounders. We sat every other one so every empath had a grounder on either side and we grabbed each other’s hands. We started singing “We all come from the Godddess” to try and get some sort of connection and when we started the verse about Hoof and Horn we got the picture. Two gay men had gone off the road in their car somewhere in the mountains near us. One was dead and the one that was left was screaming to high heavens and every sensitive around could hear something. So we kept singing every soothing chant we could think of and sending energy and peace as much as the 6 of us could. All 6 were very experienced priestesses and that was a lot of energy. By nature grounders do not generally see things, they tend to sense but not see. The three of us empaths looked up and SAW. The campfire area was on the edge of a cliff. It was straight down into a gorge on the other side from where we were sitting and we looked up and saw a hooded woman in black from there. She came toward us and we knew who she was. She came towards us stopped and nodded in a slight bow of acknowledgement and turned and disappeared over the cliff edge. All the energy she we had raised and sent was gone and the broadcasting stopped. Every bit of energy we had was just gone but we knew we had done something special and sacred. It took us a long time to get together enough energy to get back to our campsite. Kate took my lover aside and explained what we had been doing. My lover besides being a staunch Catholic was also a scientist and her scientist brain went into overdrive. She wanted us to do it again so she could see how it worked. That was the minute I decided it was over and I was never going to date a non-pagan again.
The next morning we talked to all the pagans and witches we knew that were there. They had all felt it and some had gotten terrible headaches because of it but we 6 were the only ones to do something about how we felt.
For weeks afterward I searched the news but a car going off the side of a mountain is not big news. I happens every weekend down here in the Angeles National Forest and I can’t imagine it’s any different up in the Sierras. Most of the time unless it’s a really slow news day you never hear about it and I never found anything but it was pretty much pre-internet so it wasn’t going to be easily findable anyway.
That experience was why I became on call hospice clergy at the Pasadena AIDS Service Center.
Hecate has me when she needs me and this Samhain, she will really have me and stuff is already happening at home. Samhain can be so much fun.