Hekate, by Maximilian Pirner, 1901

In addition to my participation in Wild Gods, I am also affiliated with the Wyrd Sisters, (usually) a trio of women who for the past four years have put together and facilitated ritual events in the Pacific Northwest. These events are small in size, but big in magic. This year’s event, A Magic Big Enough, focused on Hekate Soteira and on using magic to effect change in the world.

We chose and developed the theme before the U.S. national election on November 8th, but it turned out to be wildly appropriate. It’s not that the world didn’t have problems before, but the election brought some of them into stark relief. If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that more people are realizing that those problems won’t go away for being ignored.

Hekate is frequently syncretized with Artemis. Each sometimes appears as an epithet for the other, and they are often represented similarly; both are described as saffon-robed and sometimes depicted wearing a short chiton and high boots, both carry torches, both are associated with nighttime and the moon, both are associated with animals, and both are guardians of liminal spaces.

Large dish depicting Persephone’s return from the Underworld, 4th century BCE. Note the youthful figure following behind the chariot. Artemis or Hekate? Hard to tell.

It was that very liminality which appealed to us. Edge situations are the places with the greatest potential for change. In demonstrating the principle of the lever, Archimedes said, “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world.” This gave us the name for our event. A lever long enough; a magic big enough. Who else to entreat than Hekate, patron of sorcery, called savior (Soteira), described by Hesiod as both intimately concerned with human well-being and able to transcend all realms?

Magic, witchcraft, is one of the tools available to the unempowered and disenfranchised. Nor is it a one-and-done kind of scenario, any more than justice is. The work of A Magic Big Enough has not ended; it has begun.

Will it work?

Well, we’ll see.