Hekatesia Ritual

by Hekatatia

This ritual honouring Hekate and Artemis at the full moon is listed at different times of year. Some place it in the month of Metageitnion (August-September) and others in Mounukhion (April-May). It can be celebrated at either/both or you can adapt it for monthly use.

The evocation of Hekate is from the PGM IV 2520-2569 (Betz translation). I used this piece to write the evocation of Artemis in the same style.

Before the ritual you will need to set up the altar. I recommend using statues or images of the Goddesses if possible. You’ll also need khernips and offerings. I usually offer small candles, incense, wine and flowers as a standard in most rituals. For this festival I like to offer the traditional cakes with little candles – small cakes with silver or white birthday candles set all around the outside work well. If you use a charcoal block for incense be sure to light it before starting because most take a long time.


When everything is ready, take a few moments for contemplation. Then begin with a procession. Formally approach the sacred space carrying the offerings with you. Present the offerings to the Goddesses and place them on the altar. You do not need to speak to do this but may say a few words as a statement of purpose if you are inspired.


Each participant should wash their hands in the khernips. At this point you may state, “Let all that is profane be gone.”

Honoring Hestia

Many like to make the first and last libation to Hestia, as some ancients did. If so, you can recite the Homeric Hymn to Hestia and pour a libation for her now.

Honoring Hekate and Artemis

Light the candle for Hekate and speak:

“Come to me, O beloved mistress, Three-faced Hekate
Kindly hear my sacred chants.
You arm your hands with dreaded, murky lamps,
You shake your locks of fearful serpents on your brow
You sound the roar of bulls out from your mouth.
Fierce dogs are dear to you, wherefore they call you
Hekate, many-named, Mene, cleaving air just like
Dart-shooter Artemis, Persephone,
Shooter of deer, night, shining, triple-sounding,
Triple-headed, triple-voiced Selene
Triple-pointed, triple-faced, triple-necked,
And goddess of the triple ways, who hold
Untiring flame in triple baskets,
And you who often frequent the triple way
And rule the triple decades,
Unto me who am calling you
Be gracious and with kindness give heed,
You who protect the spacious world at night,
Before whom daimons quake in fear
And Gods immortal tremble, Goddess who
Exalt men, you of many names, mother of Gods
And men and Nature, Mother of all things,
For you frequent Olympos, and the broad
And boundless chasm you traverse. Beginning
And end are you, and you alone rule all.
For all things are from you, and in you do
All things, Eternal one, come to their end.
Hail, Goddess, and attend your epithets,
I burn for you this incense,”

[place incense on the charcoal]

“Dart shooter, heavenly one, Goddess of harbors,
Who roam the mountains, Goddess of crossroads,
O nether and nocturnal, and infernal
Goddess of dark, quiet and frightful one,
O you who have your meal amid the graves,
Night, Darkness, broad Chaos: Necessity
Hard to escape are you;
You’re torment, Justice and Destroyer,
O you with hair of serpents, serpent-girded,
Who bring death and destruction,
Who devour those dead untimely,
And you strike the graves,
And spread madness, come to my sacrifices,
And bestow your blessings upon me/us.”

Light the candle for Artemis and speak:

“Come to me, O glorious mistress, Shining Artemis
Kindly hear my sacred chants.
Armed with deadly bow you run wild
Over the mountains and unleash deadly arrows.
You sound the chase and lead the hunt
Encouraging the hounds until land and
Beast tremble and cry out before you
O mistress of wild places.
Shooter of deer, night, shining,
The white brow is yours, radiant light-bringer,
And swift sandals you wear too.
Laurel-Maiden who leads,
Bear, deer, lion and all animals are your companions
And your charge. Children you also nurture
From the first pangs of labor to the
First moments of adulthood.
Fiery virgin of the bay laurel,
Who leads the dances shining amongst the
Muses and Graces who sing your praise.
Unto me who am calling you
Be gracious and with kindness give heed,
Artemis Ephesia, savior, protectress,
Torch-bearer, you make a circuit around
The mountain to watch over the dead.
You are punishment without mercy,
Death-bringer, plague-sender,
Ever upholding the respect of the Gods.
Hail, Goddess, and attend your epithets,
I burn for you this incense,”

[place incense on the charcoal]

“O Daughter of Zeus and Leto.
Far roaming amid the cedars and woody peaks,
Dart shooter, heavenly one,
Who roams the mountains, come to my sacrifices,
And bestow your blessings upon me/us.”


Present the offerings to the Goddesses. If you have not already done so, light the mini-candles on the cakes. Give any other offerings. Pour a round of libations for each Goddess in turn. If you are celebrating with a group everyone should have a chance to make the libations.

Blessing request

If you have a specific blessing request you should state it now. I like to pour a small amount of wine into a glass and ask the Goddesses to bless it before I drink. In a group we pass the cup. I may also have a ritual meal of the same food offered, in this case a cake like those given to the Goddesses. The food can be blessed at this time and consumed now (if solitary or a small item) or after the ritual (for groups and full meals).

You may sit in contemplation of the Goddesses as the candles burn low on the cakes. Or you may prefer to finish the ritual.


When you are ready proceed with the ritual. Be sure to thank each Goddess for her presence and blessings.

If you made a first offering to Hestia the last should be made to her as well, saying something like: “Hestia, yours was the first. Yours is the last. We end as we began.”