When a Goddess Calls

I was standing in the antique store when something tugged at my sleeve.

Well, I guess nothing physically was tugging at my sleeve, but something was certainly niggling at my ear, and on the inside of my head. My internal compass was going crazy. Something was on the other side of the antique store, on a shelf, nagging at me to go find it. This particular trip to this store was a couple years ago, around the time when I started to listen to my intuitive self, instead of dismissing it as imagination. I started to finally address my intuition for what it was and was actively testing its strength and boundaries.

On the shelf across the room was a glass case, full of small trinkets and knick knacks. Inside the glass case was what was calling to me: a bundle of antique skeleton keys, 15 in total. I had no idea why these inanimate objects were calling to me but I had to have them. I’ve never had a particular affinity for keys or skeleton keys, as items or symbols, but in that moment I had to have them. I’ve even worn one around my neck every day since.

This supernatural pull to these keys, this urge to have them in my possession and work with them magically, was something I recognized as a piece of my funneling process - the fact that I’ve felt like I’ve been funneled, or guided, throughout life. I was curious enough to ask Janelyn, a friend I’d recently made through a series of classes, what the keys were about. I didn’t get the sense they were haunted, I just got the sense they were part of a larger message. As soon as I got outside in the car with them, I had to send her a picture. Janelyn was someone who had a larger interest and far more experience in the world of practical witchcraft, or magic.

Why, out of all the friends I could’ve reached out to, was it Janelyn? I’m not sure if she claims to be a “witch” but from conversations I’d had with her I knew she had a large amount of experience and interest in the matters. I reached out to her before I even thought of searching on the internet for the symbolism and mythology of keys. And as soon as she said the word “Hekate” it felt like something large slipped into place, almost as if I gained a piece I didn’t know I was missing.

It felt like home.

Up to this point, I’d been pulled to the Runes and Norse spirituality. That felt like home, and now it felt like I had a different home altogether! Or my home just got bigger all of a sudden. My days and studies and practices up to this point had all been around the Runes, and they’ve laid the foundation to my spiritual life. This Hekate thing, this thing with the skeleton keys, felt like it was a new home and something completely new, completely alien.

And that’s when I realized that my spiritual growth, my spiritual journey...now that I’d accepted it and stopped fighting against the rollercoaster, but ride with it...would grow and change at a pace that would make me feel like the Earth shifted beneath me. And that’s what it felt like - like the Earth shifted beneath me. These weren’t any normal skeleton keys, this wasn’t any normal sort of nudge or hunch, this was a full-blown flashing neon sign telling me to pay attention to it.

I came home and told Isaac about Hekate potentially reaching out to me and his first response, right off the cuff was “Of course you’d be a Hekate kid.” He knew about her and if I’d ever heard of her, I’d forgotten all about it.

Hekate, according to mythology, is the Queen of the Witches. Mother Witch. Great creator goddess, a Titan from the time of Kronos, the only Titan allowed to retain her original power and status after the Olympian gods gained control. A goddess renowned and worshiped by Zeus himself, the god philanderer. She is the Greek goddess of witchcraft, magic, and ghosts...the moon, the night itself, and necromancy. She is mostly seen as the three-faced goddess, holding a key, a lamp, and a snake. She is the goddess of crossroads and of seers, and as Queen of the Night she had the ability to see in the Underworld. She is often accompanied by her sacred dogs and an owl.

I was confounded, as the Runes and Norse practices had made sense and felt right, mostly because I felt a connection through my genetics and DNA. It wasn’t until recently that I had a DNA test confirm that I have a large portion of Southern European DNA, and as the empire of Greece so widespread, it would make sense that Hekate had an impact on my genetics. There is a hunch I have that Hekate had something to do with the runes (and maybe even Algiz specifically) and as the Runes are thought to come ultimately from the Tuscany area of northern Italy, it would make sense that the runes and that religion would bump into Hekate and hers.

The situation continued to make even more sense, and another reason why Hekate felt like home - darkness. Ever since I can recall being a conscious human being, I’ve always been drawn to the dark, the occult, the underside of life. Fascinated with vampires and ghosts and werewolves and witches since I can literally remember, Halloween is my favorite holiday. When I welcomed Hekate into my life, or she welcomed me into hers, I had sudden understanding that just because something was Dark didn’t necessarily make it evil. In the Christian society I had grown up in, it’s very easy to associate darkness with evil. Darkness isn’t evil, though evil is certainly dark. Darkness...is just the absence of light.

I’ve spent the months since studying her, thanking her, working with her. It’s been made quite apparent to me over the past few months that I’m supposed to do more than provide intuitive guidance via psychic readings. I’m supposed to craft amulets and spells for myself and for others. I’m supposed to move energy. I’m supposed to heal people.

Interestingly, there’s a large correlation between Nicnevin, the Scottish Queen of the Fairies, and Hekate - basically they’re the same goddess. Both goddesses of the underworld. Hekate also has associations with Demeter, Diana, and Isis. And that in and of itself is a fascinating connection, as it might explain the incredible amount of four-leaf clovers I find. 97 so far this year. I don’t have a large amount of Irish heritage but an incredible amount of Scottish and English - and somehow the four-leaf clover connection feels right. It’s always felt like something was reaching out and saying hello.

Not only have I began to seriously study spellcraft, I’ve even started practicing with the Tarot again, and have had amazing messages come through the cards. When I did a spread asking about the powers and energies trying to interact with my life and who they were, I pulled three cards as an answer and the High Priestess presented herself to me. Again, it was Hekate presenting herself to me. Not only do I feel an affiliation with this goddess, I love the symbolism of a key, the gaining of entrance into a new state. Thresholds, of which Hekate is a goddess. It represents that I should be always unlocking my potential. It speaks to me as a symbol that not only do I wear a skeleton key around my neck, I have a tattoo of a key on the inside of my left wrist.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been feeling as if something has been watching me from afar. I’ve been feeling, especially while meditating outside, that I’m the subject of something’s interest, and that something major is coming to interact with me. I haven’t been afraid, really, just more apprehensive than anything. It didn’t feel evil or malicious...but that doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t going to be when it made itself known to me.

I’ve been waiting and I believe the other day I had my answer.

I went to Boston last week to see Florence + the Machine, and before the show I went to see a psychic outside of the city. I just found a cool looking store and took a shot in the dark. I’m so happy I did.

One would think that in my line of work - providing psychic readings and mediumship - that I’ve encountered a lot of genuine psychics. I haven’t. I’ve had more psychics ask me questions like “Who’s getting married?” (no one) and “Tell me about your wife.” (I can’t, I’m married to a man.) So that’s why I was refreshingly surprised when Renee at Zuzu’s Healing Arts turned out to be the real deal. I intentionally wore a long sleeved shirt to cover up both of my wrist tattoos as to not give anything away to her. Along with telling me many things she had no way of knowing, the first question she asked me after seeing me for ten seconds was:

“Do you work with Hekate?”

I told her I did and she said “Okay, she’s standing right behind you.”

For 30 minutes, Renee delivered a message that rang true for me on many levels. It was some new information and a few reminders that I needed. I have some plans for the upcoming Samhain evening, and even though I invoke her and work with her a lot now, I’m going to further my relationship with this goddess as best I can. Whatever this energy is, whether it’s an actual deity that formed from the primordial ooze of our Universe or it’s just a force that’s been humanized from our worship of it, I can only tell you that it is real. That Hekate is real.

And she has plans for me.

Josh Simonds