monsnoleedra wrote:I've been holding off responding to this thread as it seemed we were going off topic from the Strophalos in discussion and was wondering if maybe we didn't need to create a new thread again. But then I got to thinking if maybe that wasn't part of the issue when talking about the Straphalos, trying to keep it so narrowed that we were missing the larger influences that impacted upon it.
By the time of the Chaldean's Hekate clearly had two face's in society, that of the Queen of the dead and Witch Craft. Yet she also had the 3 or four headed face of the Chaldean's. Yet even within the Chaldean system there are 2 Hekate's, perhaps what might be seen as a High and a Low Hekate.
That does seem to tie into the idea that gets tied into the changing forms of Fire and Water, but also of the changing notion of Virginity and Purity. But like Artemis it also ties into relationships, not only between people but also between things or conditions or stages / unions of things.
Heavenly Sigils are a pain to be certain. They might work for a given day then not function again until a certain number of years have passed. What's bad is you might not actually realize that if you do not project it far enough out or are not familiar enough with celestial movements to realize it.
Then there are birth sigils for instants that work once but might work later if the conditions set up again but may or may not ever work again.
Similar to birth sigils but are more like prophecy sigils or identity sigils. I had one that was a birthmark sigil yet it is not the same as my identity sigil. yet I have one that is a combination of the two.
Riders, Drivers are two that drive me crazy. Being ridden is basically being horsed same concept just different terms. Drivers though I hate. Those are the ones who try to jump in and take short term control and run the show but don't try to possess you. Can get you in trouble though.
In some ways it's almost as if it is a puzzle I am meant to witness and in the witnessing of it am meant to be flustered by the realization that I can not realize the manifestation of its perfection. Yes, I will strive to attempt to achieve it as come as close to it in both a material sense and a psychological sense but understand I shall never quite perfect it either.
You know it's funny but of all the places Hekate has taken me the cemetery / graveyard is one she's never really had me sit out in. I've sat out in some desolate places, but never a cemetery or graveyard. Well not a human one anyway, been to some non-human ones where there have been quite a few animal bones.
I keep getting the idea of a musical type instrument at times for this. One of the images that came to me was the Sistern that is a type of devise you see used in Kemetic religions and associeted with Bastet.
Wanderer wrote: I concur, monsnoleedra, though I've found myself wondering how much of that is directly caused by Hekate's manifestations and insights within our respective worlds. She's been strongly present for me and pushing me to explore other avenues of magical practice as a means of coming to understand the Strophalos and other mysteries...this seems appropriate given her tendencies as an educator (at least within the context of my world).
Among those understandings has been the importance of light and shadow as an alternating pattern that creates trance states. There seems to be a lot of truth behind that specific tech, but the actual manifestation of that tech doesn't seem to matter quite as much as I initially thought it did.
There's probably some manner of legitimate strophalos out there that we've not stumbled upon or used effectively, and I hope to find it some day so that I can better understand Hekate's mystery around this object. Until such a time, I'm essentially taking the lessons as they come and I am very much enjoying the ongoing dialogue around her appearance and manifestation.
Even now, Hekate seems to largely be discussed only in hushed whispers and in private settings, which seems to be a kind of disservice to her. Speaking plainly about my experiences with her is quite refreshing, and I hope we eventually come back to a point of being able to do that with other deities too. For as much as magic has been a ridiculed point of interest and suspicion, there's a lot going on within those practices.
I imagine, too, that you're onto something when discussing the "why" for Hekate only being discussed in this way:
This Janus-faced nature of hers does seem to confuse others quite a bit, too, which speaks to our limited understanding of the multifaceted nature of beings such as she. These entities are not monotaskers, and they are infinitely complex. The older and more manifest they are, the more this holds to be true, but we as a culture seem to have some issues with God the Mother as a concept (speaking from a Western view).
The more I think on this, the more I wonder by extrapolation if the Strophalos as a concept is a kind of heavenly sigil. I mean, this might sound wild and crazy, but if we're certain that there was once a specific strophalos-concept-in-physical-form, why would this be incapable of changing so long as the base understanding and function of the item remain the same?
A knife is a knife is a knife. They all cut things, but how they do so and the ease with which they do so depends upon any number of factors.
I know just what you mean. Its been a long time since I was last -driven-, per se, but being ridden happens quite frequently with the spirits I trust. These are, however, beings that I've known for twenty+ years, however, so I'm less concerned when they do so. That kind of trust desperately needs to be present if we're to allow a being to take complete control, as they're not going to be held responsible for the after-effects. Those after-effects can be profoundly world-shaping in their natures, and this ties in some to the idea of how to integrate the revelations and practices into our practices, as you discussed.
I mean, in a very real way, the things that I've watched be performed with my own two hands have at times been entirely new to me. Weird contraptions, carvings, sigils, oil mixtures, herb blends, and even acts used in rites that I've never seen before have occurred while being ridden, horsed, and driven, and there are points at which I've tried to emulate some of those things.
When I do so, there's power there, but it can at times be something you don't want to replicate because it can be "too much", for want of a better description. They are tools, yes, but most of these things cannot or should not be integrated into regular practice.
I know just what you mean. You're not able to replicate it exactly, and there is indeed a fear of not getting it right. Especially when things that come from it are so manifest...these moments create these massive ripples in the Universe, so those had best be correct and well-executed if we want to avoid some serious blowback.
Might be worthwhile, but I'd ask her about it before you do so. It could be that the nature of the application of our respective practices is just different enough that such an "attunement" with thanatoic energies would be a bad idea for you. Hard to say, though, as I can only really be witness to what Hekate does with me along those lines.
I've never sat out in a non-human graveyard, but I have attended them and worked in them.
Funny that you should mention that, as I got pushed by Hekate to look into Kemetic religious and magical practices recently. Bastet was one of the beings I've been told to seek out, and I've been drawn to the use of a horn in magical practice of late. Its not the same musical instrument, I imagine, but there's a definite aspect of sound being incredibly important.
I can't imagine a horn would go over well with a cat-related worship ceremony, however...loud noises aren't their favorite.
This concept of shadows moving and attaining life is exactly what Hekate INSISTS upon with me when I ask her about this. She insists that I do something to obscure my view of the flame or light source because its that obscuration and the repetition of the movement behind it that is sacred and manifest and pertinent. Without that, there's no magic associated with the Strophalos in her words.
monsnoleedra wrote:Hekate pushes me to explore other magic's but she also pushes me to explore other conflation's more. It's like the magic's are important in understanding her but the conflation's between her and other goddesses and how those other goddesses have been equally conflated are more important.
monsnoleedra wrote:Yet in those conflation's I really cross into the idea of light and shadow and alternating patterns and boundaries. Not just physical boundaries but psychological boundaries that separate them but also tie them together. It's like most people are pretty familiar with the Selene - Artemis - Hekate conflation yet not to many delve into the Bastet - Pakhet - Mafdet - Sekhmet conflation which ties Artemis & Hekate together with them. Especially given that Bastet & Pahket are heavily tied to Artemis for instance. Then you have the Luna - Diana - Triformus - Juno conflation with the moon influences. Which for me keeps going back to shadows, light, transitions, movements and rotations.
I tend to agree. I think there might even be multiple ones actually.
Not only hushed and private settings but also lop sided discussions. It often seems to come across as either this or that and the sides never meet. She's either the MMC of the Wicca conviction or this evil dark goddess of the Left Hand Path influence with an occasional ceremonial / Chaldean type persona tossed in. TO scary for some or to loving for others, the foreboding wicked witch of the east or Glenda the good witch of the North.
It's like it surprises me how few people have actually joined in these discussion we've been having on her in any capacity.
I think that Janus faced nature also crosses into the complex nature of the Chaldean cosmos as well. But it also crosses into the Strophalos concept as well, given it is a two faced or two wheeled construct where one wheel exists or functions within another. We assume or presume they turn in accordance with each other but what if they turn opposite to one another or counter to one another? Basically like a Janus-Head where they face opposite to one another or away from each other? Suggesting opposing operations or countering operations.
I've always wondered if it wasn't some sort of heavenly sigil or concept. In some ways I've always wondered if it didn't in some capacity connect to the two streams connected to the girdle located about the waist of Hekate. Like a horn of plenty, noting the tip of the stream and the mouth opening showing four points. But it wouldn't be a maze about a core yet the core would denote the body of Hekate around which the streams would be hung or suspended. Depending upon how it is supported you might have rings supporting it as an inner support and outer support. That or a feeder like tube coming into the streams over her shoulder and coming down appearing as a tube from above. Just something I got an image of a few times and reminded me a few times of the idea of her being enveloped by serpents that are not actually serpents.
Being ridden happens quite a bit I agree. Sometimes it occurs in such an off hand way that it's more like having some one looking over your shoulder and is like a small voice in the back of your head. One thing I noticed for me anyway is that quite often when I have a rider is that I get 3rd eye visions of things that come across almost like I am watching a movie in a theater. Sometimes it will be like I am observing from a 3rd person perspective but other times it's more like a 1st person vantage perspective.
It's interesting because it's not like 3rd eye scrying though it has some of the same imagery affects / effects.
This one gets interesting as whether it's be due to being ridden or driven what has been revealed in the physical or mental / psyche have been complete processes. On a few situation its involved both processes at the same time so the experience has been experienced in both the physical sense and mental / psyche sense as a duel experience. I recall one instance where it was basically a situation where it ended up being an inbody and out of body tethered experience which was surreal.
I had those but they are usually more shamanic in nature and many times involved dismemberment of some sort. They often start in dreamtime or journey and continue into the awakened state with your guide as sort of a shadow presence. Yet it's not uncommon to have some sort of physical marks on your body such as rashes, welts, bruses where you were ripped, torn or bitten.
Other times it's more due to shape shifting type things where you come out and retain sensations of body parts that are no longer there such as claws, displaced eyes, wings, talons, body distortions, etc.
Sometimes it's like getting a chemical set and you have a success and want to recreate that success but don't recall exactly what you added to get that success. Part of it is ego for you got praise for that moment of success yet you also got a lot of warning because it was blind luck you got that success vice blowing up the lab. So you know the teacher is now starring at you because you showed some skill but is also worried you might be dumb enough to try on your own and kill yourself for not listening to them.
I asked her once about doing the graveyard / cemetery thing and all I heard / got the impression of was "Are you stupid or something!" Which was strange because like I said I've sat out in non-human grave yards and have done formal crossing over rituals for animal spirits that went over a week in duration. Got called on multiple times to act as a spirit keeper but never asked or even suggest to sit in a graveyard.
The closest I ever did to that was did a projection with a chunk of tombstone and that ended badly. The tombstone was from a man's grave who was murdered and the women didn't tell me that part. Double murder in fact and his body was tossed down a mine shaft but got hung up near the top of the mine shaft and recovered, the other man's was not. You don't want to know what was down in that mine shaft or how many other murder victim's had been tossed down there.
There's a long stemmed horn that made an interesting sound that I found in some references to both Bastet and Pakhet. Bastet and Pakhet are both strongly connected to Artemis. Bastet via the Upper Nile and Pakhet via the Middle Nile. Both are also associated with Hellene influences into Egypt but at different time frames. Word of advice Pachet is a name confused for Bastet due to a translation error for Ubasti the city of Bast. It has nothing to do with Pakhet which is a Middle Kingdom period goddess from The Spiro De Artemios or Grotto of Artemis near Benni Hassen from the 22nd dynastic period if I recall correctly.
Something I find interesting and just an observation on my part, for me the idea of shadows and movement gets shown a lot in water (mist / fog / rain / water itself) I see movement and flow via the concentration of light / density through the reflection / refraction / difussion of light as it passes through the element of water in its various forms. Water is also a prime element for me from the notion of my birth planet (Neptune) , to my zodiac (Pisces) to my calling (Navy), even to my place of solace (around water), heck even my primary mythological creature is a dragon (water element in oriental lore), Clan is Wolf which water).
You say you must obscure the flame yet your seeing through the flame. Even if it is the reflection or product of the flame via the smoke or consumption. Wonder if that means something.
Wanderer wrote: I have noticed the same within the context of my work with both Hekate and Ol' Horny, as both are interested in the patterns and overlaps because its in those areas that we find most all truths. Both of them have, in unison and separately, pushed me to understand that most of what we believe we understand about various magical and religious "truths" as they're taught in structured religions are all limited by their individual points of view.
It is where those teachings overlap and come to an agreement that the potent magical understandings and truths are found, as the rest is all essentially window dressing. There's a curious logic to it too, as our shapes are really only in existence on account of the blending that occurs from billions of atoms congregating and shaping us into existence. We are literally the sum of that bleed effect that occurs where the edges meet, and so too should our magical understandings be a reflection on this.
That's what I've been pushed to understand, anyway. The mileage of others may vary.
Exactly! Many of these beings can be separate yet related while still being distinct entities unto themselves, and they also represent and "channel" specific patterns of energy back into the manifest universe as a part of their existence. In a way, they are Archons of that particular Archetype, and they're a means of getting to know that archetype better just as much as they're individually distinct entities unto themselves.
The same can be said for astrological signs and their manifestation. We're all distinct individuals, but we're also patterned according to how the stars reflect us. If we understand that in a magical sense, then it becomes more intelligible.
That isn't to say that the spirits are meaningless or anything of the kind, as they are anything and everything BUT that. That does not, however, mean that they're not also some manner of expression of basic elemental truths within the Universe.
I would agree, as I've been hearing the phrase "strophaloi" when I ask her about them. That's a distinct plural, meaning that this too might just be a means of expressing a Divine Truth.
Well stated and I agree. There's something about her that really challenges people and pushes their buttons, same as Ol' Horny. Those that embrace either of them often do so because they're pushed to one fringe or another, and those nearer to the center of their social group are a bit less comfortable with the idea of working with a being that's nearer to the center.
Its kind of curiously amusing to me, too, as it seems that people are intimidated by a Goddess who has more than one mood, despite that making her more accessible and more relateable. I've always had substantially more difficulty in connecting with those glossed-over beings who are portrayed as being specifically _______. That whitewashing removes the connection and the power, so treating beings like Hekate as legitimate, living deities with likes and dislikes and interests and passions is a far more realistic, useful practice.
I'm hoping, too, that people who read these conversations will pop in more and partake. We were all novices at one point in time or another, and that's often the best time to jump and interact. We don't bite....much.
And I'm of the mind that the latter idea is actually more correct and ultimately more useful, as everything in the Universe requires some manner of balance unto itself. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so recognizing that the axiom As Above, So Below applies to ALL things is a huge part of coming to understand the infinite complexity of the known Universe.
We cannot have extreme evil without extreme good, but we also cannot have little evil without little good. If we did, the Universe would have a conniption and seek to rectify this because that's a Base Truth that has to be observed for this existence to continue.
Now THAT is really rather interesting, as I've been getting the serpent that's both a serpent and not a serpent mental connection in an ongoing fashion. It has been coming up as a repeated area of discussion and conceptual hold. I'm reminded of the serpent and the egg motif in which the serpent is wrapped about the egg (see the omphalos).
Here again we have that striping factor in which there's an alternation between textures as a means to magical potency, too.
I hadn't considered this idea of getting a vision as an aspect of being ridden, but that does make a lot of sense given the experience and its nature. I've had identical experiences in addition to having beings hop on for the sake of more or less autonomous interactions. Framing each of these interactions as being related to being ridden actually createst he means through which we can more readily cultivate that kind of connection, since it reforms the kind of barriers we choose to create.
This does, too, correlate with something I'd noticed prior: protection work does tend to insulate oneself from such instances of spiritual connection. If protection is focused on keeping that kind of intersonal spiritual interaction from occurring, then visionary experiences, too, would be limited in their scope.
This concept could well be seen as a blending of essence from two beings as a means of achieving growth and spiritual development, as that would make a whole lot of sense in this context. That could well be a part of the mystery of the strophalos, thinking this through.
I suspect you are correct, and in those instances sometimes the instructor is the one that caused you to do whatever you did, so the act of determining whether or not you can recreate what they just did using you is a test unto itself. Hekate seems to love that process with me, and I enjoy it equally as it shows me where I am less skilled, less able, and more in need of greater internal change & more instruction.
In this regard, I hold Hekate in a place of utmost respect. She is many things, and an excellent teacher is very much on that list.
That is indeed a rather interesting response from her, considering the circumstances and the rather volatile nature of the energy associated with a murdered man's tombstone. Particularly given the circumstances you'd described, though frankly none of this comes as a surprise to me.
I've had similar experiences in working with the angry, dispossessed, wronged dead, and they are definitely crazy in their own right. The places in which such deaths occurred, too, are traumatized by their very nature.
That kind of experience changes you, and not often for the better.
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