I began my observance of the Hekatesia a day early. Was slow waking up, getting around, with little to do in the early part of the day except to get ready for the night. Felt distracted. Even the weather was restless, with a storm kicking up. It intensified into a frenzy for just minutes, but long enough; the wind seemed so brutal that I went out to check on my plants, only to find this…
It is hard to explain the significance of this in a few words. My dearest san pedro. A gift, a teacher, who has become a symbol of my deepest love, my deepest grief, even my current struggle with meaning, and my journey of the last 4 years. She will be all right. In a slightly different form, perhaps, not unlike me. But I still cried for her. (Again. But our history is a whole other story…)
I went dancing, alone. I remember feeling like my dancing was taking on new purpose. Certainly it’s changed it’s tone. (Are my ballroom days over? I’m still working that out.) But it was more like I was making doorways for the dead and the spirits. Stomping ethereal ghost tunnels into the dance floor. (Oops?) Let it be said, wise or no, I did it with gusto.
I was drawn into being social with strangers. The conversation quickly turned to entheogens. Not my doing, though no doubt I encouraged it.
More dancing. Waltz of the light fish.
When that was over and I was home again, I packed up some offerings and took a walk (umbrella in hand for the drizzle of rain), keeping an eye out for whatever crossroads looked best. I found one and knelt down at a tree. Lit a candle, a stick of incense. Left a plum, a fig, wine, sweets. Called upon Hekate. In my spontaneity, in my tired and tipsiness, I didn’t quite know what I was going to say, so my words were clumsy. “My fear is… nothingness. My fear is… meaningless.” Hearing my own words I chuckled. “Well, that’s true. Everything has a double meaning, doesn’t it? Or a triple one.”
Not looking back was difficult, but I did not.
The next day I had to work, but I didn’t feel quite finished. I went to my pithos, finally. For I had done an elaborate ritual to bless it long ago but for some reason had held myself back in using it. Other fears, here, perhaps? So now, I said a prayer to Hekate and drew a devotional activity. “Take a meditational walk and look for omens.” Yes, I could do this.
On my break, I went walking around the outside grounds of my work at night. I’d never quite explored it, but turns out it’s pretty damn spooky and full of little crossroads. I saw at least 10 lizards, and heard others I couldn’t see. And each time I reached a crossroads I’d watch the lizards’ movement and go the direction it indicated. If I was unsure there was often another to reinforce it. The uneasiness I felt in some of the darker areas came as a surprise to me, because I didn’t think there was much left in me that was afraid of the dark, or the unknown. On one of my last passes before I had to head back, I passed a streetlight which suddenly went out as soon as I walked up to it. I turned towards the now darkened streetlight and my breath caught as a realized I could see not one, but 3 shadows of myself before me. I pondered these and turned around to see that I had stopped (without realizing) at the top of a T of another crossroads.
Once I continued, another streetlight went out. I acknowledged, with an odd sort of appreciation, that I have more fears that I have still to uncover, though I may not be able to name them yet. I saw a stone that almost looked like a toad. I picked it up and left it at the the point where I started, before going back inside.
Aridela Pantherina is a Dionysian and polytheist of no particular consequence (or perhaps too many consequences). Her passions are changeable but generally include music, dance and hierobotany. She currently resides in the deserts of the Southwest and she looks forward to being struck by lightning.