Hekate the Distant One
‘Distant’ doesn’t have entirely positive connotations. We might take distant to mean detached, cold, uncaring. We might wonder, how to connect with Hekate, when her very name, ‘distant one’ suggests a state of not being ‘with’ her at all?
I think the answer lies in how we view the term distant, and how we answer the question ‘Why would she be distant from her own devotee?’
Hekate may be called the distant one, but she is also Hekate Soteira- Saviour, Hekate Phosphorus, the light bringer and Dadouchos, the torch bearer. She is Hekate Enodia, of the way. She is the guiding one, the keeper of gates and bestower of keys.
She is distant because she leads us- bidding us to delve deeper, climb higher, explore further.
She is distant because she lights the path, showing us how to progress, to reach further than we have gone before.
She is distant because she walks ahead, calling us on, checking the road for dangers and warning us through her gifts of divination and prophesy.
She is distant because she stands at the gates before us, offering us the correct keys.
Since Hekate has been present in my life, she has asked me to take many risks, but has never lead me into true danger. She has called me on, unrelentingly, asked me to expand my limits, be better, reach further. The risks she has asked me to take have been primarily emotional- ‘step outside your comfort zone, take singing lessons, open an Etsy shop, learn a new skill, try this, learn that- be more’. She has not asked me to stand at the top of a physical cliff and lean into the wind, but she has asked me to trust myself, my resilience, risk failure, risk embarrassment, risk rejection. She has asked me to trust the dark and what may lurk in its shadows, to do things which have uncertain outcome, to trust that if I misstep I will not fall too far or too fast to save myself.
Distant One she may be, but she cannot lead by standing beside me and merely holding my hand, neither can she beckon me forward by walking in step with me. She cannot suggest the right path when I reach each crossroads if she has only walked with me, rather than ahead.
For me, her distance is her greatest expression of love. Not for her is the cosy throne surrounded by those who worship her. Not for her is the warmth of the temple among a throng of her priestesses. She who leads, leads alone, and she leads as the star of Bethlehem, blintering bright in the coldest sky.
Hail Hekate, our distant Goddess.
This Article first appeared on Strophalos Rising – a blog about Hekatean Witchcraft in a modern and urban context, by Jade Alcestis, a modern Hekatean Witch living in London, UK. Jade Alcestis also makes a podcast, Hekate Today which you can listen to on Spotify or Youtube
If you want to pick up some unique witchy wares, including hand-made pagan prayer beads, while also supporting the author in her work, you can visit her etsy store Bath, Book and Candle
You can find her on twitter under @stropholasR for witchy writings and @bathbookcandle for witchy arts and crafts.