Updated: Nov 2
Hi all! Welcome to this new segment, I will be interviewing devotees of Hekate from all around the World.
This is the first of those interviews and I had the pleasure of speaking with Marcel Schrei, Torchbearer from the Covenant of Hekate who leads the Hekate Psychopompos Sanctuary. Please, let me know your thoughts in the comments!
(The cover picture is from the Hekate Psychopompos Sanctuary).
E: How did Hekate enter your life?
When did you first hear about Her?
M: OK, so I first read about her in a book about "all kinds of mysterious things" at my grandma's when I was 12 or so. She was just shortly mentioned as the goddess of witches and ghosts.
E: And what did you feel when you first read that?
M: later, in my early 20s, I was drawn towards the general archetype of "dark goddess". So I read a lot and tried to compare deities like Cerridwen, Kali, Hel, and Hekate until finally I found out it was Hekate who had been calling me.
E: That's beautiful! How did you find out Hekate's call?
M: At this point, not much. It was 15 years later when all the puzzle pieces clicked into place. During my research, I found our CoH KB Florian Schlie's website about Hekate. I contacted him; he suggested a few books I read during a longer stay in the hospital. I was hit with too many omens of black dogs, snakes, and such. She also was so kind to appear in a dream and make Herself known.
E: Amazing! Hekate tends to make herself be "seen" and felt very strongly. Do you remember which book amongst those that Florian recommended you liked the most?
M: She does, although it might take some time until we are ready to understand Her.
M: The German language book "Hekate die Dunkle Göttin" (Hekate the dark goddess) by Thomas Lautwein gives a nice overview for starters about different facets of Hekate, both historically and how She tends to reveal Herself even in modern media.
Temple of Hekate by Tara Sanchez is more about actual worship but cites sources mentioning offerings and plants. Both books were equally important to me at the beginning
E: Thanks for sharing! So, from that moment onwards... how did you start a "relationship" with Her? (Through daily devotions, for example).
M: Yes, daily devotion. I added a picture of Her's to my house altar and later made an altar exclusively for Her. I started by lighting a candle and reading Her orphic hymn every morning. Things evolved later, but in general, a daily devotional routine brought me closer to Her.
E: How do you feel your practice has evolved through time? How did you feel making those daily devotions?
M: by changing the hymns I read (like the hymn to Selene from the PGM but also modern prayers I found online), I think my knowledge about Her symbols expanded. She also guided me to follow Her path of Psychopompos, the guide of lost souls. One thing that changed a lot over time was that I tried to get my worship closer to ancient Hellenic practice. I think this brought me closer to our predecessors in faith.
For the second question, it is difficult to put the feeling in words. The relationship with Our Lady became deeper over time.
E: Thanks for bringing up Hellenic practice, is that the "tradition" you are currently practicing? Is there anything related to this tradition that includes Hekate in your practice?
M: Well, I take a lot from Hellenic practice, like the orphic and Homeric hymns, the (vegetarian) offerings I give, the sacred days I observe. But I do not consider myself a traditionalist or reconstructionist. We live in the 21st century and should adapt our worship to modern needs and surroundings.
E: I wholeheartedly agree! Do you celebrate Deipnon?
M: As for Hekate, yes. I still recite Her orphic hymn. I celebrate the monthly Deipnon, I changed the candles on Her shrine to oil lamps and use earthware vessels for offerings instead of glass ones.
Yes, the Deipna are an important part of my worship. According to the ancient Athenian calendar, the last day of the month was sacred to Hekate and the dead. It was a day of purification (physically and spiritual) and the offerings brought to the crossroads were not so much in worship of Hekate, but to appease the wandering souls of the dead - to bribe them so they would stay away from the city. In my view, Hekate's "reign" over the restless dead is a sign of Her compassion towards those lost souls. So, to honor Her and Her compassion for the ultimately lost, I celebrate Deipnon and try to bring the offerings to a graveyard (time and occasion permitting)
E: Wow! Is there any reason for those changes?
M: no particular reason. Just felt the right thing to do.
E: And on another note, why you decide to become a member of the CoH? And become a Torchbearer?
M: To become a member of the CoH was due to my desire to learn. I had hoped to connect with different ppl and learn different points of view - which, thank Hekate, happened.
E: Amazing! The CoH is a great place to do just that.
M: becoming a TB, again, felt like the right thing to do to give back to the community. Hekate told me in a dream that I should share my knowledge with others, so here we are 😄
E: Thank you so much for sharing about your practice, devotion, and relationship with Hekate ❤️
Is there any specific subject about Hekate that you are especially interested in? I believe you mentioned her Psychopompos characteristics, that's also the name of your Sanctuary, right?
M: That’s right! As I said, Hekate's compassion for the lost souls, both dead and alive, is the main motivation in my worship and work. I wrote an article about this subject for Noumenia News in 2022, btw. It is also on the sanctuary’s website (https://hekatepsychopomposcoh.wordpress.com/hekate-psychopompos/)
E: Amazing! Thank you so much!!!
Is there anything else about yourself, your practice, or your Sanctuary that you'd like to add?
M: As a TB in the CoH and caretaker of the Sanctuary of Hekate Psychopompos I do perform regular commemoration services to lost souls on their day of death as part of the sanctuary's daily devotion rites and the monthly Deipna If someone wants me to add a name to these rites, they can contact the sanctuary via email or its social media:
E: That is a great service, thank you so much for sharing and for giving me the opportunity to interview and share your views with the world!
M: you are very welcome, thank you for the opportunity!
E: This was so awesome!! You are truly a source of inspiration and information!