Last month I had the honor of aspecting the Goddess Hecate, as Bone Mother, for a joint Harvest Ritual with my coven and another of our Tradition. Aspecting is a form of divine embodiment practiced by my Tradition. In the weeks leading up to the Ritual, and in the weeks since, Hecate Bone Mother and I have shared many conversations and She has impressed upon me Her desire that I share some of those conversations here. When that Lady “impresses upon you Her desire…” well, I learned a long time ago not to argue with such “requests”. I am going to comply eventually anyway. Life is easier if I dance to the Music the Gods are playing. And I learn more effectively when I don’t waste time avoiding the lessons. That being said, it is unusual to invoke Hecate in that aspect, especially at the first Harvest. The Sun, while waning, is still strong. The light is still long. The Summer heat is at its greatest. Green growth is abundant and full. She was thrilled, to be invoked, and to have the pleasure of being in a body, even one with the limitations mine possesses, at this season, so full of Life. The first thing she imparted to me was this;
“You have work to do Witch, get off your ass and get started.”
She was referring to the spell I work to bless my grandchild. I had just learned that my second grandchild is expected in early December, but not having done any witchcraft to manifest the child, as I had before my first was conceived, I had not yet begun to work the spell. Next was a discourse on the Magick of Bones. (Which of course would include a spell to manifest a child in Strength and Beauty among other blessings). The importance of our bones, the strength of them, the way they are the vehicle by which we move in the world.
“You need to move yours more.”
And She is right, to keep this body useful, and strong, I do need to move more. Specifically, I need to dance, and often.
“You are not yet ready for a nap in the Boneyard, you are not yet ready to be dust. You have living to do, you have work to do, and you need to get to it.”
I get tired sometimes, like everyone else, I get weary. The troubles of the day are more than sufficient, some days they are overly abundant. But I am indeed not dead yet, nor am I ready to turn to dust. I still have living to do, I still have work to do, I still have loving to do.
“Every bone has its purpose. Some are for walking and climbing, some are for stitching with a needle, some are for embracing loved ones. Just as every essential part of us has a use, none of them are without purpose. None of our Bones are to be disowned. None of our essential selves are to be either.”
Those parts of ourselves that we despise, that we desire to abandon, are in fact necessary. They are our very Bones. They are the structure that helps us stand and move and they are the parts of us that will remain longer than any other. They are quintessentially us. Even more than our Blood, which will turn to dust in the blink of an eye. The Ritual was about the Sacrifice of the Harvest. She wanted those present to offer to Her their Bones. To offer a part of themselves, to release something of themselves that She could then give back to them as a new thing, as a magickal tool to help them grow, to be used upon their journey in the future. Now, in aspecting a Goddess for a group ritual, especially such a One as She, I would have expected Her to express Herself with some solemnity, some mystery, some poetry even but, that is not what She chose to do. Rather, She used my repertoire of swear words, such as it is, (evidently, I need to expand my vocabulary a bit) and She spoke quite bluntly, no pulling punches, no dancing around things. Truth be told, I spent a few days afterward worrying about it. And the conversations continued.
“…and why is it any concern of yours? I choose what words and what manner of speech will serve me in the moment, and it is not your worry how I choose to present myself. You only need to be strong and flexible and to keep your heart open so that I may touch those who need Me to in they way that they need Me to.”
It took a few days but, I thought about how she received each person’s sacrifice. How She did so with such compassion, and respect and reverence. She truly valued each Bone She was offered. And She gave to each person love, blessing and magick in turn. And that was my hope as a priestess in that Ritual, to serve Her well, so that She could bless those present. Once I was able to let go of my worries over how my service to Her was perceived by others, She pointed out that I had yet to make my own sacrifice to Her. Indeed, I had not been able to choose. (Sometimes the immediacy of Ritual can help force us to choose, and in that moment, we discover what we need most.) I had time, too much time perhaps. I thought about what I remembered of the sacrifices She had been offered by others, many were surprisingly repeated over and over again. So many human Bones are shared among us. But I eventually discovered what my sacrifice was supposed to be. I was discussing with her my worries about becoming an old woman, especially my concerns regarding my eventual loss of vision, and the fact that many things that I had hoped for in this lifetime were no longer possible. I decided to offer to her those hopes, the hopes of a young woman for blessing that life can hold for a young woman and that eventually become the safety and blessings of an old woman. And then She did the most magickal thing.
“You do not need to give up this thing.”
She was correct. I had lumped one thing into that sacrifice that was not “something that is no longer possible”. And so, She gave it back to me. It is not ‘a thing that will happen” but it is “a thing that can happen” if I choose to make it so. I have a blessed life, and it is good to know that if I choose, I still have time to manifest a dream from my youth. I can make that a part of my life as an “old woman”. Hecate Bone Mother is now Someone with whom I have relationship. She even chose a gift from among my possessions. A necklace of black and amber beads with a fossil of a nautilus shell that was given to me by one of my Elders at my third degree initiation. Although I liked it very much, I had never worn it, nor had I given it away, I did not know why. But almost two years later, it was still among my things. She chose it immediately upon being asked if she would like a gift from me. I suspect we will have many more conversations in the future, and some She may wish for me to share with those who choose to read this blog. In the meantime, I am not dead yet, I am not ready to turn to dust nor to take a nap in the Boneyard. I have work to do and I need to be busy about getting to it. Blessings from the Bone Mother. Blessed Be.