Witchcraft has been around for a long time and has only grown in popularity. It's safe to say it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Even though it has grown and resources have become openly available, it is still an overwhelming (and exciting) journey to begin. With all the information out there it is still hard to determine where to start or how to do things "correctly".
How to do it "correctly'?
Gosh I really dislike that term. Witchcraft very rarely has an incorrect or correct way of performing magick. Now that doesn't mean that some traditions don't have a set practice or way of doing things or you won't accidently/intentionally (based on false information) insult a deity, have spell backfire, etc., but in general performing spells and casting circles is really up to you as the caster. It can be simple or it can be more complicated than grad students final thesis. I can personally say after 15+ years of participating in regional and coven events I have never stood or witnesses the same ritual twice. It doesn't happen. I think this is partially because energy moves and shifts so we have to learn to bend with it. Even if you are new or well practiced, I am sure you have heard time and time again "listen to your intuition" "follow your gut" "open your spirit to receiving". Doing this allows you to be present in the moment and experience what you need in that moment.
But learning how to do that ^^^ can be challenging. There's the internal hesitation because you don't know what you should be feeling. So how do you connect to something you have never experienced before??? Well, the good news is it's a simple solution, the bad news is it can be uncomfortable.
Trial and error.
We learn by doing, by practicing, by trying new things, asking questions and finding what works for us. Because what works for me might not work for you. My altar will never look like your altar. It may be similar but never the same. Our altars are an extension of ourselves and the way we connect with divinity or a particular deity. Let's say you are working with Hekate/Hecate so you decide to collect keys. Another witch might decide to collect wheels or both. Just depends on what stands out to you and how you resonate, honor and respect the energy around you. Both examples above are great ways to connect with the Goddess Hekate/Hecate.
Now learning that Hekate/Hecate's correspondences has keys and wheels requires research and I am not talking about the I saw it on tik-tok research. If you want to learn a god or goddesses correspondence you need to do actual research. Find out their myths, read their stories. Ask some basic questions:
- Where are they from?
- What is their story?
- Why are they remembered?
- What did they influence?
- What are their powers?
- What did they accomplish?
- How have they been honored throughout history?
These are simple easy questions that you can answer by researching a deities mythology. https://www.academia.edu/ is a great creditable resource. Type in "Hecate" or "Hekate" and pages and pages of well written, researched articles will come up.
Here are a couple I pulled:
Did you know that Hecate was a significate figure for Shakespeare? She appears in Hamlet, Macbeth, King Henry VI, A Midsummer Nights Dream, and King Lear.
The basic step to connecting with a deity is learning their story and why they have been or become significant. And then comes honoring their story and role. Hekate is a transformation Goddess or more commonly referred to as a dark goddess or underworld goddess. She is associated to keys because she is the key holder to the gates between realms. This association dates over 2000 years where she is referred to as Kleidoukhos, Keeper of Keys. She is also known for speaking to us through visions of her handing us keys, as we often find them in unexpected places. It also why you will find many of her shrines/altars in doorways and entrances. She is a guardian and protector of crossroads and liminal spaces. She can help you unlock mysteries that are hidden and locked away.
I know this blog post started with "How" and talked a lot about Hekate but it came to me and many of you have asked questions or have felt drawn to Hekate so I hope this post helps you on your journey.