During the recent celebration of the Rite of Her Sacred Fires 2023 in the Sanctuary of Hekate Soteira here in Glastonbury, UK, I was reminded of just how powerful a simple song or chant can be in a devotional rite.
Our gathering was small, around 25 or so of us in total, but we were privileged to have Kassandra with us contributing the Orphic Hymn to Hekate in both Ancient Greek and English. Taking inspiration from the recording made by my friend Magin Rose, who prepared it for a Pagan Federation Open Ritual I facilitated a few years ago now. Magin took her inspiration from someone before her, and so it continues through the years. Music is like that, it has its own lineage and a life of its own.
If you are curious, you will find Kassandra's version (recorded for this website, not at the Sanctuary) on the page "Introduction to the Goddess Hekate" - scroll down to "Hymns".
We also had as a guest the artist and performer Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule who happened to be visiting the UK. Orryelle was one of the contributors to the Hekate: Her Sacred Fires book project in 2010 and has participated in the global rite on a regular basis through the years. His invocations of Hermes, at the start of the rite, and Hekate, combining prose, music and voice, evoked the primordial energies of the Gods perfectly (Check out Orryelle's new book Esezezus for more).
In the minutes before I opened the Sanctuary to my guests, while the ceremonial group were preparing themselves, I switched from the chant we were going to use in the ceremony and created a very simple new chant for the ceremony.
Hekate, Guardian of the Threshold
Hekate, Goddess of the Light
Hekate, Guardian of the Crossroads
Hekate, Goddess of the Night
Simple chants usually work best for group chanting, as not all of us are blessed with fabulous singing voices - and complicated words can end up in a muddle. After a little bit of a bumpy start, we managed to use this chant beautifully throughout the ceremony.
As there were a few experienced practitioners present, we were able to also invoke the Goddess for an Oracle, a role taken by Alison, one of the CoH Torchbearers (and whose work featured in Hekate: Keys to the Crossroads, way back in 2006!). It was a loving and yet firm oracle which took each of us on our own journey towards insight and revealed knowledge.
The main purpose of the gathering was - of course - the Rite of Her Sacred Fires, which we did - doing some of it as "call and response" as a way of including everyone present.
Do you have a favourite devotional song or chant that you use in rituals for Hekate? If so, post info, links and prose as a comment!
Many blessings to you all,