Hekate, Thea Deinos, I have been wronged
Come with the Furies and your entourage of infernal spirits
Bring righteous vengeance upon he who has wronged me
Hekate Brimo, terrifying Dread Queen of the Infernal Realms, bring swift justice
I ask for your aid to wreak vengeance upon my enemies and right the wrongs done against me
May he tremble before your awesome power and feel the wrath of the Three Formed Queen
Hekate, look upon me with favor and answer my prayer! The continuity of our relationship with God is facilitated by our prayer life. When we pray, we allow God to do His work in and through us because we are making ourselves vulnerable to Him. Praying also strengthens our connection to God. We learn more about a person through conversation and interaction. The same process takes place when we talk to God in prayer. Spending more time in conversation with Him is the surest way to become closer to Him. As it says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (NKJV). Many times in my own life, I have experienced the peace that passes all understanding when I have drawn near to God in prayer. Praying helps me center my thoughts on what’s most important. Praying gives us a divine perspective on life and is therefore crucial. A member of my youth group passed away suddenly. Finding effective ways to love and minister to our wounded students has been challenging. The power of prayer has sustained me through this difficult period. It has helped me communicate with God, hear His voice, and experience His presence while I grieve alongside my church and community. Be worried about nothing, but in everything, through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV). Praying puts us in a position to experience God’s peace, which is beyond our comprehension. Prayer keeps my mind on the things that are dear to God, both in the happy times and the bad.
The continuity of our relationship with God is facilitated by our prayer life.
When we pray, we allow God to do His work in and through us because we are making ourselves vulnerable to Him. Praying also strengthens our connection to God.
We learn more about a person through conversation and interaction. The same process takes place when we talk to God in prayer. Spending more time in conversation with Him is the surest way to become closer to Him.
As it says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (NKJV).
Many times in my own life, I have experienced the peace that passes all understanding when I have drawn near to God in prayer.
Praying helps me center my thoughts on what’s most important. Praying gives us a divine perspective on life and is therefore crucial. A member of my youth group passed away suddenly. Finding effective ways to love and minister to our wounded students has been challenging. The power of prayer has sustained me through this difficult period. It has helped me communicate with God, hear His voice, and experience His presence while I grieve alongside my church and community.
Be worried about nothing, but in everything, through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV).
Praying puts us in a position to experience God’s peace, which is beyond our comprehension. Prayer keeps my mind on the things that are dear to God, both in the happy times and the bad.
An Introduction to Worshipping Medeia
As a Hellenic witch, the worship of Medeia is an important part of my practice. She was a witch and priestess of Hekate, possessing nearly unparalleled knowledge of magic and poisons. I wanted to write this post to give some background on who Medeia is, her role as a witch and a priestess, and how I have come to honor her in my practice.
Who is Medeia?
Medeia (Μήδεια) is given mainly two parentages, either Aeetes, son of Helios, and Eidyia, daughter of Oceanus, or Hekate and Aeetes. Hesiod offers us a description of the first, writing:
“To the tireless Sun the renowned Oceanid Perseïs bore Circe and King Aeetes. Aeetes, son of the Sun who makes light for mortals, married by the gods’ design another daughter of Oceanus the unending river, fair-cheeked Idyia; and she bore him the trim-ankled Medea, surrendering in intimacy through golden Aphrodite” (Hesiod 31)
Alternatively, Diodorus names Hekate and Aeetes as her parents, explaining:
“Perses had a daughter, Hecate, and she excelled her father in her brazen lawlessness…She was a keen contriver of mixtures of deadly drugs [pharmaka], and she discovered the so-called aconite. She tested the powers of each drug by mixing it into the food given to strangers…After this she married Aeetes and gave birth to two daughters, Circe and Medea, and also a son Aigialeus” (qtd. in Ogden 78)
Either of these parentages could make sense, but I personally observe the first.
(Art: Medea by Frederick Sandys)
Medeia as the Witch Priestess of Hekate
One of Medeia’s most important roles in literature and myth is that she is a priestess of Hekate and a witch, being called “Medea of the many spells” (Apollonius of Rhodes 109). In most literature there is no way to separate these roles.
She was extremely devoted to Hekate, Apollonius of Rhodes stating that “as a rule she did not spend her time at home, but was busy all day in the temple of Hecate, of whom she was priestess” (116). Euripides also writes that Medea says “I swear it by her, my mistress, whom most I honor and have chosen as partner, Hecate, who dwells in the recesses of my hearth” (Euripides 13). Clearly, the relationship between her and Hekate was very close, and it was said on occasion that she even learned magic from Hekate, Herself. Apollonius of Rhodes writes that “[t]here is a girl living in Aeetes’ palace whom the goddess Hecate has taught to handle with extraordinary skill all the magic herbs that grow on dry land or in running water” (123). Diodorus also claims this, but adds an interesting addendum that attributes to the character of Medeia:
“They report that Medea learned all the powers of drugs from her mother [Hekate] and her sister [Kirke], but her own inclination was the opposite. For she continually saved the strangers that put in from dangers” (qtd. in Ogden 79)
(Art: Medea the Sorceress by Valentine Cameron Prinsep)
Regardless of the origins of her powers, they were no doubt incredible. Apollonius of Rhodes explains that “she can put out a raging fire, she can stop rivers as they roar in spate, arrest a star, and check the movement of the sacred moon” (123). In one instance Apollonius states that “the beautiful Medea spell through the palace, and for her the very doors responding to her hasty incantations swung open of their own accord…From there she meant to reach the temple. She knew the road well enough, having often roamed in that direction searching for corpses and noxious roots, as witches do” (148). This is clearly an indicator that her powers are incredible, but what is even more awe-inspiring is what Apollonius says happens next:
“Rising from the distant east, the Lady Moon [Selene], Titanian goddess, saw the girl wandering distraught, and in wicked glee said to herself: ’So I am not the only one to go astray for love, I that burn for beautiful Endymion and seek him in the Latmian cave. How many times, when I was bent on love, have you disorbed me with your incantations, making the night moonless so that you may practice your beloved witchcraft undisturbed!” (148).
Medeia is said to be able to actually banish the moon Herself from the sky, an unimaginable feat. This is indicative of the degree of power she possesses, having sway over nature itself.
She is most known to have used her knowledge and powers repeatedly to help Jason, her husband, on his quest for the Golden Fleece. The first instance of this was that she made Jason an ointment which would make him invincible. Apollonius describes this in length, writing that:
“She had twelve maids, young as herself and all unmarried…She called them now and told them to yoke the mules to her carriage at once, as she wished them to drive to the spending Temple of Hecate; and while they were getting the carriage ready she took a magic ointment form her box. This salve was named after Prometheus. A man had only to smear it on his body, after procreating the only-begotten Maiden [Hekate] with a midnight offering, to become invulnerable by sword or fire” (131-2)
He continues, detailing the ritual of how she obtained the plant she used to make this ointment:
“Medea, clothed in black, in the gloom of night, had drawn off this juice in a Caspian shell after bathing in seven perennial streams and calling seven times on Brimo, nurse of youth, Brimo, night-wanderer of the underworld, Queen of the dead. The dark earth shook and rumbled underneath the Titan root when it was cute, and Prometheus himself groaned in the anguish of his soul” (132).
Here we see a process that is depicted often, the bathing of Medeia and her ritualistic harvesting of herbs. We also see her here call on Brimo (Βριμω), an epithet of Hekate, in Her role as nurse of the young (Kourotrophos/Κουροτρόφος), night-wanderer (Νυκτιπολος/Nyktipolos), of the Underworld (Χθονιη/Kthonia), and Queen of the Dead (Ανασσα ενεροι/Anassa Eneroi), indicating the importance of Hekate to her witchcraft.
(Art: Jason and Medea by John William Waterhouse)
A similar harvesting of herbs and roots is seen in fragments of Sophocles’ play The Root-Cutters. What we have of the play states that “She [Medea] covers her eyes with her hand and collects up the white-clouded juice that drips from the cut in bronze jars…the covered chests conceal the roots, which this woman reaped, naked, with bronze sickles, while crying out and howling” (qtd. in Ogden 83). Hekate is then said to be “crowned with oak branches and snakes” (qtd. in Ogden 83). Then the women chant “Lord of the sun and holy fire [Helios], sword of Hecate of the roads, which she carries over Olympus as she attends and as she traverses the sacred crossroads of the land, crowned with oak and the woven coils of snakes, falling on her shoulders” (qtd. in Ogden 83). In this short but incredible fragment we see that Medeia calls on both Hekate and Helios, her grandfather, to bless their ritual. We also see a repeat of incantations to harvest magical herbs, and an introduction of her association with bronze.
Another one of Medea’s feats was charming the snake that guarded the Golden Fleece into a slumber. In the Argonautica, Apollonius of Rhodes writes:
“The monster in his sheath of horny scares rolled forward his interminable coils, like the eddies of black smoke that spring from smoldering logs…But as he writhed he saw the maiden take her stand, and heard her in sweet voices invoking Sleep [Hypnos], the conqueror of the gods, to charm him. She also called on the night-wandering queen of the world below [Hekate] to countenance her efforts…the giant snake, enchanted by her song, was soon relaxing the whole length of his serrated spine and smoothing out his multitudinous undulations…Yet his grim head still hovered over them and the cruel jaws threatened to snap them up. But Medea, chanting a spell, dipped a fresh sprig of juniper in her brew and sprinkled his eyes with her most potent drugs and as the all-pervading magic scent spread around his head, sleep fell on him.” (150-1).
(Medea and the Dragon by Maxwell Ashby Armfield)
She was also said to have killed the giant Talos, a gift given to Zeus from Hephaistos, with her witchcraft, specifically the Evil Eye. In this more horrifying passage, it is said that:
“[W]ith incantations, she invoked the Sprits of Death [Keres], the swift hounds of Hades who feed on souls and haunt the lower air to pounce on living men. She sank to her knees and called upon them three times in song, three times with spoken prayers. She steeled herself with their malignity and bewitched the eyes of Talos with the evil in her own. She flung at him the full force of her malevolence, and in an ecstasy of rage she plied him with images of death” (Apollonius of Rhodes 192).
In this passage, she calls on the Keres, and with them is able to use the evil eye to bring immediate death to a direct creation of the gods. This is a horrifying feat, not only for the power it must require, but for her ability to kill in an instant.
Finally, she also is said to have rejuvenated Jason’s father Aeson. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Jason pleads with Medea to take years of his own life to give more to his father, but she rejects him saying that Hekate will not allow such a thing to take place. Instead, she offers that through her witchcraft, instead, if Hekate is willing to help her, she may rejuvenate him. Under the full moon, Medeia performs the ritual. She calls on Hekate, Night, the Moon, and Helios to aid her in her task (126-7). A chariot drawn by dragons appears to her and she takes it to gather herbs harvested with her bronze scythe. After nine days and nights, she returns to Jason to perform the ritual. The ritual is extensive and is essentially repeated in full. She builds two altars, one to Hecate and one to Hebe. She also digs two ditches on sacrifices a black sheep into the ditches, also pouring wine and milk into them. She also calls on the “deities of the earth” which may mean deities of the land or chthonic deities, and Hades. Once she appeases these gods and goddesses, she spells Aeson to sleep on a bed of herbs and tells Jason to leave her to perform her magic. She then dips sticks into pools of blood and lights them with the flames on the altars, then purifying the man once with fire, three times with water, and three times with sulfur.
She then adds many herbs, roots, and flowers to her bronze cauldron as well as “hoar frost gathered under the full moon, the wings of the uncanny screech owl with the flesh as well, and the entrails of a werewolf which has the power of changing its wild-beast features into a man’s. There also in the pot is the scaly skin of a slender Cinyphian water-snake, the liver of a long-lived stag, to which she also adds eggs and the head of a crow nine generations old” (Ovid 129). Then, she slits the throat of Aeson and replaced his blood with her potion, finally rejuvenating him.
There is more descriptions of Medeia’s magical feats throughout literature, but these are simply some of the most detailed and famous. She is clearly a very powerful witch and a significant figure within the history of Hekate worship. With her bronze cauldron and chariot of dragons, she is quite awe-inspiring.
(Art: The Sorceress by R. Willis Maddox)
One of the issues we run into with Medeia’s mythos is her defamation and portrayal as a child-murdering and vengeful woman. She is indeed vengeful against Jason, and rightfully so, for he bade her to leave her homeland, murder her brother, and constantly had her aid him with her witchcraft, only to abandon her for another. However, Euripides’ tale of her brutally murdering her children has some criticisms from scholars who note that there are other versions of the tale.
One such tale is that from Apollodorus who writes that “Another tradition is that on her flight she left behind her children, who were still infants, setting them as suppliants on the altar of Hera of the Height; but the Corinthians removed them and wounded them to death” (1.9.28). In the modern era, a scholar named Sarah Illes Johnston, author of Restless Dead and Hekate Soteira, also writes that Medea prays to Hera Akraia to make her children immortal, and Hera either declines or breaks her promise to fulfill this task, leaving the children to die (62-3). Johnston denies the implication of Medea in her children’s death, instead attributing it to circumstances outside her control or by the hand of another.
These different tellings of Medeia’s story fits with the Colchian princess who aids Jason in a much more believable way than the suddenly spiteful women who murders her children. This variation is less popular, the other being popularized perhaps to demonize magic and women of power.
(Art: Medea by Eve De Morgan)
Now that Medeia’s character and mythological status has been discussed, I think it’s important to talk about how I actually go about worshipping Medeia. I worship Medeia in both divine and ancestral ways, which I suppose could be attributed to methods of hero worship in Ancient Greece. Worshipping Medeia can be done alongside Hekate and/or Helios, as well as alongside Kirke. If you observe the Mighty Dead or Witch Ancestors, she could also be worshipped alongside them.
Offerings for Medeia can include wine, frankincense, milk, honey, food, poisons, sacred plants, bronze artifacts, candles, snake parts or figurines and dragon figurines, artifacts of witchcraft, and even Hekate iconography. One could also offer her blood, but that is up to your personal discretion.
Names and Epithets
Names/epithets I call Medeia include ‘Of the Many Spells,’ ‘Vengeful Maiden,’ ‘Witch Priestess of Hekate,’ ‘Medea of Poisons,’ ’She Who Knows All Herbs,’ ‘Giant-Slayer,’ one that could also be said of Hekate, ‘Princess of Colchis,’ ‘Granddaughter of Helios,’ ’Daughter of Sun and Moon,’ one I use to indicate her relationship to Helios and her devotion to Hekate, and Medea Pharmakeia, or Medeia of Witchcraft/Magic.
Sacred plants of Medeia could include any poisons, juniper, olive, and aconite specifically. Sacred animals include dragons and snakes. Bronze is also sacred to Medea, as are cauldrons of any kind.
Medeia can be called upon for justice and vengeance, especially for spells of justice and vengeance, witchcraft of any kind, to bless herbs, for gardening, for aid in Hekate worship, for the downfall of your enemies, for protection from harm, for protection from snakes, and for guidance in magic.
Prayers to Medeia
Prayer for Medea’s Aid in Witchcraft
Prayer to Medea for Vengeance
In conclusion, while Medeia may not be a part of the usual canon of hero worship, or worship in general, if you are a devotee of Hekate or Helios, worshipping Medeia might be right for you. Likewise, any witch who observes the Hellenic pantheon should give serious thought to venerating Medeia in their practice.
Medea by Euripides
Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Ancient Greek and Roman Worlds by Daniel Ogden
The Voyage of Argo by Apollonius of Rhodes
Theogony by Hesiod
The Library by Apollodorus
The Metamorphoses by Ovid
“Corinthian Medea and the Cult of Hera Akraia” by Sarah Illes Johnston
Medea Medea worship hellenic polytheism hero worship witchcraft witch paganism Hekate hecate hellenic witchcraft hellenic heroes
Prayer to Hekate as the Witches’ Goddess
Oh great Witch Queen Hekate,
Mother and teacher of Kirke and Medea, great witches of myth
Oh wise one with knowledge of all drugs and herbs of the earth
Speaker of great spells and enchantments
Immortal matron of enchanters and witches alike
Hearken to my prayers
I ask that you grant me the true knowledge of the witches’ craft
And shine the light of your torches on the crossroads of wisdom
Oh great goddess of the heavens and the underworld,
To you I pray
I ask that you look upon your loyal devotee and witch and grant me my requests
As I adorn your statue and shrine with offerings of food and blood
Please grant my requests and bestow upon me the true power and wisdom of the witch.
By the moon, the torch, and the three ways, I ask that you answer my prayer.
Oh great Hekate, blessed be thy name, and blessed be thy will!
Hekate Hecate witchcraft witch Hellenic witchcraft magic prayer
Prayer to the Many Faces of Hekate
Prayer to the Many Faces of Hekate
hekate hecate hellenic polytheism hellenismos hellenic witchcraft
Hellenic Witchcraft and Magic Reading List
Apollonius of Rhodes. Voyage of the Argo. Trans. Emile Victor Rieu. 2nd ed. N.p.: Penguin Classics, 1959. Print.
Bracke, Evelien. “Of Metis and Magic: The Conceptual Transformations of Circe and Medea in Ancient Greek Poetry.” Doctoral thesis. Maynooth, 2009. Print.
Clark, Brian. “The Witches of Thessaly.” N.d. MS.
Collins, Derek. Magic in the Ancient Greek World. N.p.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. Print.
D’Este, Sorita. Hekate: Liminal Rites. N.p.: Avalonia, 2009. Print.
Euripides. Medea. Trans. Rex Warner. Rep Una ed. N.p.: Dover, 1993. Print. Dover Thrift Editions.
Faraone, Christopher A. Ancient Greek Love Magic. N.p.: Harvard University, 2001. Print.
Flint, Valerie, et al. Ancient Greece and Rome. Ed. Bengt Ankarloo and Stuart Clark. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania, 1999. Print. Vol. 2 of Witchcraft and Magic in Europe. 6 vols.
Gager, John G. Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World. N.p.: Oxford University, 1999. Print.
Griffiths, Emma. Medea. N.p.: Routledge, 2006. Print. Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World.
Johnston, Sarah Iles. Ancient Greek Divination. N.p.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. Print.
- – -. Hekate Soteira: A Study of Hekate’s Roles in the Chaldean Oracles and Related Literature. N.p.: Oxford University, 1990. Print.
- – -. Restless Dead: Encounters between the Living and the Dead in Ancient Greece. Reprint ed. N.p.: U of California, 2013. Print.
Lucan. Civil War. Trans. Matthew Fox. N.p.: Penguin Classics, 2012. Print.
Luck, Georg. Arcana Mundi. N.p.: John Hopkins University, 2006. Print.
Ogden, Daniel. Greek and Roman Necromancy. N.p.: Princeton University, 2004. Print.
- – -. Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds. 2nd ed. N.p.: Oxford University, 2009. Print.
- – -. Night’s Black Agents: Witches, Wizards, and the Dead in the Ancient World. N.p.: Bloomsbury Academic, 2008. Print.
Ovid. Metamorphoses. Trans. David Raeburn. Reprint ed. N.p.: Penguin Classics, 2004. Print.
Penman, Elicia Ann. “Toil and Trouble: Changes of Imagery to Hekate and Medea in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.” Doctoral thesis. Queensland, 2014. Print.
Rabinowitz, Jacob. The Rotting Goddess: The Origin of the Witch in Classical Antiquity. N.p.: Autonomedia, 1998. Print.
Seneca. Medea. Trans. Frederick Ahl. N.p.: Cornell University, 1986. Print. Masters of Latin Literature.
Spaeth, Barbette Stanley. “From Goddess to Hag: The Greek and Roman Witch in Classical Literature.” 2014. Daughters of Hecate: Women and Magic in the Ancient World. Ed. Dayna Kalleres and Kimberly Stratton. N.p.: Oxford University, 2014. 41-70. Print.
Turkilsen, Debbie. “Magic in the Ancient World.” N.d. MS.
Hellenic Witchcraft Hekate Hecate Medea Circe Kirke Hellenic Magic witchcraft magic
Hekatean Home Protection
The Goddess Hekate’s most popular ancient role was likely that of a protector. She was called on as Hekate Apotropaia (or Apotropaios), an averter of evil, and Hekate Propylaia, Hekate before the gate, as a protector of thresholds. This post is a list of things a Hekate devotee or Hellenic polytheist can do to ask Hekate to protect their home.
The first is the most traditional method, which would be to set up a Hekataion, or a threshold shrine to Hekate. These were present throughout Ancient Greece and were thought to win the goddess’ favor and help protect the home. Constructing one of these can be simple or elaborate depending on preference and means. They can range from an image of Hekate placed outside the door or just inside the home by the door, or a full shrine to Hekate. It can be whatever suits your worship, but what’s important is to leave offerings to Her and give Her prayers there asking Her to protect the home. One thing to do is to always have a candle lit on the shrine (safely, of course) so a torch of sorts always defends your threshold.
Another thing one can do is craft a charm or talisman by asking Hekate to imbue an object with the power of protection. To do this, find a piece of jewelry, a key, or even an animal talisman made of bones of Her sacred animals, and anoint it with a Hekate oil. Leave an offering of incense for Hekate and then say:
“Goddess Hekate, She who guards the doorway, I call upon your aid. Averter of evil, bless this talisman so that it defends my threshold and shields me and mine from all harm. She who stands before, in between, and within, lend to this charm your powers of protection.”
A third method to call on Hekate to protect the home is to make a powder to sprinkle across thresholds. I mix poppy to confuse enemies, garlic for protection, and common sage (not the white kind) for health and good fortune. To this you could also add crossroad dirt or brick dust. Burn some of the powder as an offering to Hekate on a charcoal disk and ask Her to bless it:
“Goddess Hekate, I call upon you as I burn this offering for you. I ask you to bless these herbs from your sacred garden and lend to them your powers of protection. As I burn a portion of this powder for you, please grant to me your favor and imbue this it with the strength to shield my home.”
Lighting a candle dressed in an aromatic or Hekate oil before the threshold can also serve as a means to protect the home. Sprinkling some of Hekate’s sacred herbs onto the candle can add some extra power to it. Light the candle and say:
“Goddess Hekate, Bright One, I light this flame in your honor. Just as this candle burns bright, so may your torches never be extinguished and guide us eternally. Please look upon the home of your devoted follower with favor and protect it from all harm and misfortune”
Once the candle burns completely, save any wax remnants and place them in a small charm bag. This can either be buried on your property (preferably by its entrance) or hung above or by the door.
The final, simplest thing to do is to give Hekate offerings in coincidence with this prayer:
“Hekate Propylaia, She who stands before the threshold, I place these offerings before you and ask for your blessing. Please guard my home and all that reside in it. May all things dangerous and harmful be denied entry, and may your blessings take their place. May these doors be always protected by you, and may they never cease to shield us from all that is evil in the world. Great Hekate, averter of misfortune, look upon your devoted follower with favor and grant me safe shelter.”
Using one or all of these as a way to protect your home should put up a significant barrier between you and anything that might do you or your home any damage. These can be repeated as regularly as desired, and it’s probably wise to fortify them and redo them at least once a year, if not more often.
prayer to have money
I pray for Justice, Liberty, and Victory.
To come up, rise and be our salvation.
Sweep aside those who do violence to the souls of children
Who chain them as hostages
For paltry ends or grand designs alike.
Let the world descend upon these foulnesses
That sit upon the Hill
And crush them with your blessings and virtues!
O Goddesses who stand for Righteous Acts.
Hear our pleas and save us from this wickedness.
Hekate Megiste, Pammetor,
I have sworn my oaths in Your Names,
I have built Your altar, given offerings in Your honor,
My work has been dedicated to You,
Let loose Your servants into the dreams of those who harm the children,
Let terror fill their dreams until Justice comes upon them,
Let the gates of the camps be thrown open and families be brought together once more!
Unto You have I sworn my oaths,
Hear my pleas now,