On Hermes and Hekate

Well, I said I was going to write about Hermes, and Hekate, and that time is now, so. Strap yourselves in, this might get long and rambly wooo. My posts generally get a bit long and rambly when I try to explain how I met a god because I started writing A Thing, and there is a lot of backstory to this, so. :D?

*grumbles about how this isn’t even the first time being a god’s scribe is hard u guise*

Also, I think I’ve covered everything, but if I’ve missed anything important along the way, I’m sure I’ll post about it later. :D?

So. I think I’ve mentioned before that I started this weird AU fanfic, which I referred to as an astrological dystopia because reasons, and it was this weird universe where there was this polytheistic Greek city in the middle of the desert where fate ruled everyone’s lives, and it was about this kid who fled, unable to believe what the Seers were telling him was the truth. Along the way, he met Hermes, some mad Seers, and they found their way to a Roman city instead, where they were meant to lead awesome lives.

It began life as some 750words.com entries, and over the course of a month or two, that’s pretty much how it was written. It consisted of five 1st person POVs, because I am terrible, and I think I managed to get it to about 23k by the time I was done with it. And then I sat it aside, because I got stuck with it. I mean, what do you even do with five separate 1st person POVs anyway, right?

I always liked what it was about, and always wanted to do something more with it, but I just didn’t have the inspiration for it. And then Apocalypse Big Bang turned up late last year, and I was totes into that shit, and thought, what the hell, let’s rewrite this weird astrological dystopia because, well. Maybe I can do something with it this time. I kept the main narrative arc, and started from scratch, hoping to do something better with it.

I switched to third person, and let the characters become their own, letting it live as a piece of original fiction, unfettered from any canonical ties. Much as I loved some of the internal stuff in the 1st person pieces, there was no coherent way to turn that into a complete story, so third person had to be it. But I still focussed on my boy, and his story, and began to build the world up from scratch. I started again, and let the story shape itself into something great.

The main character, Andreas, is a petty thief, and prays to Hermes often for success in his raids. He was run out of the city when he was seven because he had a bad fate; he was going to become a thief, and the Seer said he was going to die in prison when he was in his thirties. He did come back into the city after that for a while, trying to fight against his fate, but the city had turned against him, and he left for good when he was 11.

Now 21, he was taken in by a couple of African women, belonging to one of the desert tribes, who adopted him and raised him as their own son. (I believe I decided that their tribe’s origins came from the Egyptian Siwa oasis, and their religion, gods, and language evolved from the Egyptian into their own idiosyncratic thing. Also lionesses. IDK.)

In the face of the lack of piety and sacrifice from the rest of the city, Andreas’ devotion to Hermes stands out, and Hermes decides to save him when Apollon, patron of the city, decides He’s had enough of the hubris and disrespect and decides to flatten it and send it back to the sands. And so Hermes ends up being a companion on this journey, and that was how I came to meet Hermes the god, as much as I met Hermes the character. He’s been hanging around more or less consistently since February, encouraging me to write this story of His.

He’s an interesting god, and I feel like I’m getting to know Him as I write. I also suspect there are other gods lurking out there in that story, the foreign gods of the tribe who’ve somehow come to life. Like Masrai the Lioness, Warrior Queen, and Seteni, Lord of deserts, hunting, and wild places.

And of course, as a god of commerce and trade, I’ve prayed for work, and asked for help with the business. I did a job spell in late May to Him, and nine days later, I heard I had been rec’d for a job going at my mum’s work. By the 25th of June, I had an interview, and then, a job offer. And it’s been a good job. With good pay, and good people to work with. Now I’m using the same spell to help me keep it, and have a permanent job, so I can begin to save and make long-term plans. Temping sucks for trying to do anything more than a month or so ahead of time.

Hekate’s been hanging around for different reasons. I’m still not entirely sure how this sort of came about, but perhaps that first spell caught her attention. I have never been a big magic caster. I hated Wiccan ritual structures, so I never bothered with it there, though I did do a few spells back in the day, and they all appeared to work, so I figured there must be something there. And as a Kemetic, I never quite knew how to do magic, and it was very hard to learn it, particularly as a solitary. It just was never a big part of Kemetic Orthodoxy, save for execrations. Magic – heka – wasn’t really talked about much, but my memories might just be sketchy there.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do magic; I just didn’t know how. Back then, no one seemed to have any coherent idea about Egyptian heka, save for execrations, and the other alternatives were Thelema and chaos magic, if I wanted something that wasn’t Wiccan. I was drawn to folk magic, low magic, but that was also hard to work with in terms of finding things that would help me start practicing.

It took a long time to find anything that might work, and it began with Hekate coming into my life. ‘All my children are witches’, She told me this morning, and coming into contact with other Hekatean devotees introduced me to Her magics. It took a while, and watching a lot of pagan youtube videos, to finally get something to gel in my head. And I did find some people who did things in a way I found intriguing. I found myself inexplicitly drawn to other Hekatean witches, and I didn’t think this was a coincidence.

The final kick was picking up, almost at random, Mrs B’s Guide to Household Witchery, which described exactly the kind of witchcraft I wanted to practice. And now I finally have herbs everywhere and I don’t feel like I don’t know what I’m doing anymore when it comes to magic. I’m still trying things out, of course, and listening to my instincts, but magic finally doesn’t feel terrifying or complicated or unachievable. And Hekate seems pleased by this, and seems intent on nurturing this new magical interest, which is fine by me.

So now She has a separate shrine on my bookshelf next to my main shrine, where She looks after my herbs and other stuff. I’ll grab some photos later, as it is nearly 10pm, and I have work tomorrow. But I wanted to get this entry done for now, so I could cross it off my list. Now, to bed, and to sleep.

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2 comments on “On Hermes and Hekate

  1. Lisa says:

    I think it’s fascinating how Hermes came to you through your writing. Interestingly enough, it’s through my own writing that I came to know more about the Ancestors and their importance. I suppose the Divine shows up wherever we have given a lot of our attention.
    I never heard of Hekatean magic until this post. Given the similarity between Heka and Hecate/Hekate, was She originally an Egyptian goddess the Greeks borrowed?
    I hope all goes well with your job. I must look out for Mrs B’s book. Sounds like a good read. 🙂

    • Sashataakheru says:

      Nah, the Heka (Egyptian personification of magic/heka)/Heqet (Egyptian frog goddess associated with childbirth)/Hekate thing is rubbish; I can’t remember exactly where She is said to have come from, I don’t have any of my books to refer to as I’m at work, but it’s Anatolia or Cypress or one of those inter-related Greek-ish/Middle Eastern places, and She was adopted from there. The similarity in names is just coincidence. She’s not Egyptian.

      And, IDK, I don’t necessarily perceive of Her magic as being anything particularly separate from other kinds of magic, but it’s more the flavour of it than anything else. It’s hard to discern precisely.

      I was a bit surprised Hermes turned up at all, but writing isn’t exactly surprising, though. He’s interesting to work with, and His energy is quite different to Djehuty/Thoth. Hermes has a stronger trickster streak than Djehuty. There is something about writing for and about the gods that brings them through. It brings them to life, perhaps, the way we bring characters to life, and if that’s a way they can reach us, so be it.

      I picked up the book at this little pop-up shop in the city, right next to where Gloria Jeans used to be in the Murray Street Mall. It literally has a wall of pagan and new age books, and some divination decks (tarot and oracle). Worth checking out for cheap books, at any rate, and you might find Mrs B’s book there. It only cost me $13. :D?

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