Pagan Blog Project - T is for Torch

T is for Torch

When I think of a torch I think of a flicker in the night. A drop of brilliant light in a wall pitch black.  The light does not shows me new things, rather it just reveals what is already there.  Things that are right in front of me, but I cannot see.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Goddess Hecate has many titles. Dachouchos means torch-bearer while Phosporus  means light-bearer.  (From Hekate Liminal Rites pg 20) To me, these are very similar, what does a torch bearer do but bring light.

Historically Hecate is generally depicted with torches.  As early as 5 Century BCE she can be seen standing next to Kybele holding a torch in front of her and a vase shows her holding out two torches.

My hubby recreated this altar tile for me based on an image we found on the internet. You can see it here on my altar.  It shows a three headed Hecate with her torches on each side.  It sits on my altar next to my bronzed Hecate sculpture.

Photo Credit - Hecate Statue - Artist Renee Olson

Modern artists often show Hecate with her torches high.  Either in paints or clay these are very common images. 

The image below is used with the artist, Danielle Suplicki permission.  While researching for this piece I found this image while looking for art related to "The Torchbearer".  To me the stars shown in the sky in this painting remind me of Asteria (The starry one) looking down on her daughter, watching her and guiding her torch through night.  Seeking out those night wandering souls that are looking for entrance in to the underworld or perhaps the misguided looking for the correct path to continue their journey.

The halo around the body and drifts away into the dark shadows fall behind her as the torch lights the three paths ahead.  Truly stunning.

Photo Credit & Artist - Danielle Suplicki of HeartRoot Studio
If you're interested in contacting Danielle for custom work or would like to see what she currently has available in her shop check out her Facebook Page and her Etsy shop.

This is a piece I created out of wet clay.  Here the Goddess is shown in triple form, with a torch held on opposite sides of the sculpture.  Her midnight blue form showing under a bronze crescent moon joining with the torch light to guide her path. The back filled with a deep black to show the darkness left behind and the torches light up what comes ahead.

Photo Credit & Artist - Renee Olson of Sosanna's Closet

To me, one of the most specific things that speaks to me about torches and Hecate is the annual event I participate in called “The Rite of Her Sacred Fires.”  I've always been drawn to fire and as a child could easily get lost in the dancing flames.  I would sit for hours staring at the fire as it burned and burned.  At time it was almost as though I could see little movies playing in the embers.  To me that attraction and seeing those images in the fire make me believe that even as a small child, seeking out an answer in the flames, she was there for me.

Each year on the full moon in May devotees and followers of the Goddess Hecate join together in their own sanctuaries and around their own altars to complete a single right.  Spoken with one voice the chorus joins together to pay honor to the Hecate Dacouchos, the torch-bearer, Hecate Phosporus, the light-bearer.
Below is a recording shared on YouTube filmed by TaraSanchez in 2010 showing Sorita d’Este completing the Rite of Her Sacred Fires.

I believe that when you are open to answers they will be revealed to you.  Much like the way a torch opens up the darkness for you to see what is really already there in front of you.  Over the last few weeks I've been reaching out, searching for answers related to the paths I want to take next in my life.  I've been presented with roads that lead into directions that are worrisome and unknown.

When preparing for our last vending event, hubby commented that I was making too many *Hecate specific* items.  Over the weekend I had five or six people come in and mention her by name.  Others asking for items that could be related to her.  Keys, Owls and graveyard dirt.  I think of each one of these people came into my life in a moment of darkness, like that torch showing me the answer to my question.  I've decided that I put too much emphasis on some things in my life and not enough on others.

Over the next months, maybe years, I will be focusing on Hecate.  Learning as much as I can.  I plan to be more active in the CoH and begin to study at what I hope will lead to a Torchbearer role within the covenant. 

I am confident that if this is not the right path, the Mistress of the Crossroads will guide me with her torches to my right destination. 

Namaste & Blessed Be

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