Hecate - The Cosmic World Soul

 For Samhain this year, I'm re-publishing a piece I wrote some years ago related to Hecate as the Cosmic World soul.

Hecate -  The Cosmic World Soul
By Renee Sosanna Olson

From the beginning of time, human beings have set out to answer a single question. Where did we come from?  This hasn’t changed in our modern world. Even with the advent of tracking devices, heart monitors and the ability to see the face of a human before they leave the womb we still ask this question.  People join together in groups circling in on the ideology or ideologies they find most comforting.  While many would say their belief, structure is driven by a combination of faith and historical evidence, we know as each scroll is unfurled that answer is elusive.  That in reality, we as human beings will always look to the stars to find our place in the universe to answer the question, why are we here?

Our relationship to ancient deities helps us make that connection. We want to believe that our presence on this planet isn’t some random accidental event that happened when just the right combination of light, water and temperature met.  We want to believe that we were created intentionally. We were first an idea which was fashioned into existence by the hand of a divine deity.  We were indeed born of the gods. 

Religions throughout antiquity have searched for the answer to this question. The devotees of Hekate are no exception.  In Chaldaean Oracles and Theurgy, Hans Lewy repeatedly identifies Hekate with Plato’s Cosmic Soul (Lewy, 1956, p. 6, 47,83, 95, 121, etc.), while in The Chaldean Oracles, Ruth Majercik points out the conflation of Hecate with the World Soul (Majercik, 1989, p. 4, 7).  While one could argue that in this case Hans Lewy was looking for the source of Hekate, and not so much our own creation, I believe we can see that as human beings, if we identify who created us we simultaneously validate our own intelligent design.  Does that mean that Hekate is the Cosmic World Soul and by confirming her place in the creations of everything also define us as a product of the divine?

Even scholars cannot agree, in the chapter ‘Plato’s Timaeus and the Chaldaean Oracles’ in Plato’s Timaeus as Cultural Icon, Luc Brisson objects: “We must abandon the universally admitted idea according to which Hecate is identified with the World Soul... Hecate is too high in the hierarchy to be the World Soul; instead, it is the World Soul that emanates from her" (Reydams-Schils, 2003, p. 119). - Plato's X & Hekate's Crossroads - Astronomical Links to the Mysteries of the Eleusis - George Latura

Here Luc Brisson argues that Hekate can not be the Cosmic World Soul, but instead she is the creator of the soul, making her the supreme creatrix of all life in the cosmos.  We can look back at the reference to the first and second father’s and Hecate being the womb in which the idea of the soul is planted.  This is explained in detail by the Melammu Project below.

From the Cosmic Womb, all began to stretch forth towards the place beneath the wondrous rays, i.e., to the hylic world, where genesis was completed when physical structures were created. Thus, Hekate played the same role as the Cosmic Soul in the Middle Platonic doctrines. The Oracles agree on such a being though never use the word Demiurge, but instead they speak of an artisan of cosmic fire or second mass of fire. In other words, after Hekate had received the Ideas in her womb from the Paternal Intellect (God, the Father), she then transmitted these to the Demiurge, who embodied them in the Sensible world. Because of her role in receiving and then transmitting the seed (Ideas) onward, Hekate/Soul was understood as the “Mother of the World.” – The Melammu Project - http://www.aakkl.helsinki.fi/melammu/database/gen_html/a0001385.php

As we learn more about the world around us, we understand that perhaps our ancient ancestors were trying desperately to explain things of which they had no real comprehension.  To them, things we look at as commonplace today would seem to be magical tools given to us by the gods.

If I said to our ancient ancestors, I have a light emitting oracle that can answer all the questions of mankind. This oracle can open your eyes to worlds you have never seen and allow you to see and hear the voices of your brethren around the planet and even expand out into our galaxies.  Our ancestors, and oddly even some people today would scoff.  However, this exists today in the back pocket of every teen attending middle school today.  The simple internet enabled cellular devices that have become a necessity in our daily lives, provides information from books, movies and yes even the cosmos at our fingertips.

It is my personal belief that humanity creates deities to explain the unexplainable.  We want to have someone to blame when things go wrong. Humans have a long history of not taking personal responsibility for their actions. That goes hand in hand with the goal of most people do become better at what they are doing. Be it acting in a moving, getting a good grade on a test or becoming a master painter. I have watched my friends praise all things above them when they create something wonderful instead of stepping back and saying, look at all the hard work I put into this and just look at it. It is fantastic.  Or the flipside, I worked on this and I failed.  Maybe the gods are crazy!

The number of times I hear someone say they’re sick and someone must have put a spell on them is astronomical. While I think that there is complete legitimacy in thoughts bring forth action and will creates reality, I do not for a second think that we should jump headlong into the magical when the mundane is the more likely the culprit.  While we may not want to believe that the right ecological state created the space for we humans to develop, we have to evaluate the evidence.  We cannot jump from the unknown to “Aliens”.  There may be many explanations in between.  If we did not come from a murky pool of water, it doesn’t mean that we were created by the hand of a deity on a potter’s wheel. 

In closing I would like to say that when I began my spiritual journey, my path was littered with the remains of an assortment of belief systems. I traveled each road looking for what everyone hopes to find in this journey. When I stumbled onto the crossroads, I found a powerful female presence that helped me see that not everything is as black and white as we would like them to be. There are many faces to the world and sometimes we need to understand that we will be faced with decisions that are right for today but may change as our energy ebbs and flows with the universe in tomorrow. We can look for that spark of life, the idea in the womb that brings forth the amazing energy that we use in our day to day dealings with others. That spark is there and it may show it self to the Christian as Jesus.  To the Muslim as Allah. Or to the Atheist as curiosity. To each, the message may arrive by a different method but it is the same message. It is upon us to see it, learn it and live it.


  • Chaldean Oracles
  • Chaldaean Oracles and Theurgy
  • Plato's X & Hekate's Crossroads - Astronomical Links to the Mysteries of the Eleusis
  • Melammu Project
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy
  • The Creation of Man from Clay

Note: The spelling of Hecate in this article is used as each source referred and as personal preference.

Connecting with the Ancestors - A Samhain Reading

Fall is my favorite time of the year. October is of course the best month as I feel more connected to, not only my witchiness but also to my ancestors. I love working with the dead more now than ever before in my life. As I begin to connect more with my Crone energy, I feel as though I am able to work better with the dead.  I sometimes start with an update to my ancestor altar.

Ancestor Altar

Samhain is traditionally the time of the year for working with the dead. This is the time of the year when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest, allowing us to make contact and work with them directly.

Me, Renee Olson & My Grandmother, Julia Smith
Julia Smith & Renee Olson

 The last ten years has been a real change for me as I lost my grandmother and a dear aunt that I was very close to. These are the energies I call on when I do my work with the dead. There is a strength there and a love that each had that resonates with me as I do my spell work. With intent and focus I call their energies into the room and look to them for information, answers or just energy to guide me through my work.

I look to Samhain as my new year. I treat it much the same way others treat January 1st. I take this time to shake off the old energies and connect with the new. I cut ties and begin new ventures. In recent years I've started doing a special oracle reading to help me get started for the new year.  I'd like to share this year's reading with you.

1. Past - What you've learned - The Direction Guardian tells us to choose our path. We look in all directions and evaluate our options. We trust our instincts to take us down the right path.

2. Past - What you've lost - The Summer card tells us to bask in the joy and light.  The world is a little less bright right now. The joy seems to have faded.

3. The Present - The Shaman tells us to trust in higher forces. Look within to find that inspiration, that force or energy to push forward.

4. Future - What you'll learn - The Snake tells us to shed old skin. Don't be tied down to things simply because it is the way its always been done.  You are not your job, your race or your religion. Change can be good.

5. Future - What you'll gain - The Magick Guardian tells us to unlock the magick within. We should look within ourselves for this is where the magick is.  Cards, wands and robes do not, the witch make. You are the magick. Own it.

I hope you've enjoyed this reading. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, leave comments if you'd like.  I have also added a message button to this page. You can click that and I'll respond as quickly as I can.

I hope you all have a save and blessed Samhain.



The Wild Goddess Oracle - A Review

Today I'm reviewing a new oracle deck called - "The Wild Goddess Oracle" by Amy Zerner & Monte Farber.

  • Deck Link
  • Author Link
  • Illustrator Link
  • Release Date - October 12, 2021

I'll start with a review of the physical book/deck.  This set comes as a cover/box type set. The deck sits in a square cutout on the left side and the softcover standard size book on the left.  I found this to be a bit annoying because each time I opened the cover the deck would fall out onto the book side. It seems without something to hold it in place there is no real way to keep this from happening. It may be a better idea for those creating these style boxes to put the deck on the right side to avoid this. The softcover book is held removable as the "box" is sort of a dust jacket style covering. The cover is beautifully illustrated and has a slight raise to the lettering. The title page is back to a normal size font and is completely legible. 

The book is simply a large version of the instruction booklet that comes with a set of tarot or oracle cards. Only this time, you can actually see all the cards and read the text that comes with the deck. The book starts with a view of all of the cards on the contents page which I found refreshing. Each one, though small, in full color and numbered. The author goes on to tell us how to use the cards and provides sample spreads.

The next (and best) part of the book is the cards.  After all, that's why we're here! Each of the 52 cards is featured with a full page image of the card in question. We see the image on one side and then we are presented with the message that each card comes with.  The author provides a few paragraphs on the card and then either an affirmation, a tip, and in some cases even a spell that can be used to channel the energy of the wild goddess represented on the card.

The artwork is eclectic and beautiful. Women across body types, skin colors and cultures are represented in this deck. The cards themselves are a bit wider than a standard deck of cards, but not too tall which my small hands appreciate. The image side of the card has the photo of our Wild Goddess and then the number and name of the card below. The interesting thing about this deck is that instead of a standard image on the back, each card has a blurb about the goddess.  On The Mermaid, for example it says the following: "Look below the surface of your emotional reactions to know what is really going on, for things are not always what they seem."

Overall this set is a really nice set. It is a different approach to working with Oracle cards and I appreciated the change. Currently my working deck is Angels and Ancestors but I may give this deck a try as working through this actually called to me to check out what the Wild Goddess may have for me. I recommend giving it a try for yourself!

If you pick up this deck or have used this deck feel free to leave a message in the comments on your experience.


The Witch's Complete Guide to Self Care - A Review

 Today I'm reviewing - "The Witch's Complete Guide to Self Care" by Theodosia Corinth.

  • Book Link
  • Author Link - No link was located for this author however Quarto Knows did offer this : 

Theodosia Corinth is a practicing witch and writer born and living in Salem, Massachusetts. She writes and edits full time, and has worked as a professional tarot card reader. When she’s casting her spell on the world around her, she works with astrology, tarot, and the natural world to connect with her intuition and guide her writing. When she’s not writing, she’s busy tending to her overabundance of houseplants.

  • Release Date: October 19, 2021

I'll begin with a review of the physical book.  This is a larger book. It has a vibrantly illustrated blue cover front and back on this hardcover edition I was provided to review. Not the size to grab and go, but you could toss it in a normal sized book bag and take it on a bus or train ride as a traveling companion. In what seems to be a trend for this publisher, the title page font is miniscule. I would need to work with Sherlock Holmes to be able to read this page. The rest of the book is fine, just this initial page seems to be something that this publisher is sticking with in the books I've reviewed so far this year. The images in the book are fantastic, there are an assortment of styles from professional photography shots to simple line illustration the book's imagery is fitting and fanciful. The book has six fully load chapters with 168 pages that include an additional reading list, online resources and a decent sized index.

The author starts us on our magical journey by guiding us through our self care with an explanation of the roots of self care and how we should use this book.  Jumping right into body care, we're instructed on finding a way to use our bodies to practice. From dancing to stretches each movement we make is magical. Breathing exercises and meditation recommendations are not far behind. Closing out the chapter with cleanings baths and ritual herbs that can be used to help us provide our bodies with the nurture and care it so deeply deserves.

We then delve into the emotional waters of our self with a chapter (24 pages) dedicated to our emotional care. Mindfulness being front and center. The images in this section are stunning. I loved the section on goal setting and manifestation. This is something that every witch can work on and I found it to be quite rewarding. The following chapter on the Astrology & Tarot were well done and full of valuable information. 

Again with a focus on the self care aspect, the author takes us forward with how we work not only with our space and energy but also with those around us. Creating a support network and connecting with those like minded who we can share our path with. It his medically proven that having a support system in place leads to longer happier lives. Our familiars and our coven is just such a support mechanism that is powerful and rewarding. Finding yours should be something that is a strong foundation to build your practice. It may not been a group of 12 other witches that you meet with every full moon, but having someone around to call sister, and maybe have a cup of tea with from time to time will certainly help build that community.

The last chapter of this book is regarding magical communication. From how to use an altar to working with a spell book, we have an example of what working with these tools can look like. Then of course, we have the spells.  This book boasts of having well over 100 spells to choose from. The last pages of this chapter are dedicated to just that. From a spell for reflection to a spell for guidance, these pages include the materials required, the directions and then the step by step ritual to follow in order to manifest this spell into action. 

Overall I found this book to deliver exactly what the title promised. With follow up resources such as recommended reading lists and online resources this is a great gift for a beginner in the magical arts. The order of the chapters makes since and the dialog is clear and direct. I believe that this is a great resource for those exploring how to work with the magical tools they have to provide themselves with a positive, healthy way to care for themselves both physically and emotionally.



In Focus - Runes - A Review

 Today I am reviewing - "In Focus - Runes" by Jan Budkowski.

  • Book Link
  • Author Link - I was unable to locate any link directly to this author's page. If you find something, feel free to message me and I'll update the page.
  • Release Date - November 30, 2021

I'll start with a physical review of the book. The book is a great backpack sized hardcover book with a vibrantly colored and well illustrated cover.  It has a standard index and glossary in the back of the book but does offer a reference wall chart for the reader. I'll go back to my last review from Quarto Knows to say that again the font on the title page is very small.  The color of the page, combined with the font size makes this page very difficult to read.

This ten chapter book is not short on information. The author begins our journey into the magical world of runes by giving us a history lesson. Pages eight through twenty give us the history of runes and their origins. Including a simple (and short) explanation of the Aesir Gods and the Vanir Gods and how they relate to one another. Included in this is a table that outlines a few of the gods and their associated rune.

From there, our author takes us on a look at some of the Nordic Mythology. We are guided through the tales of Odin, Aesir & Vanir, The Norn and the nine worlds of Yggdrasil.  Each broken down with basic information on location, residents and descriptions. Finally this chapter ends with three of the legends including the story of Ragnarok. Condensed, but an well written explanation of the tale. 

Next we're taken into the main object of this book.  Runes!  The author breaks down the runes into Freya's aett, Hagal's Aett and Tyr's Aett and provides meanings, key ideas and images for each. The rest of the book is focused on our runes and how we interact with them. From cleansings to readings the book takes you through a step by step processing on the creation and care of runes. From a single draw to large spreads the author shows how we can conduct our own rune castings and run magic.  

Overall this is a great book for the novice and learned practitioner a like. Even with my experience with runes, there was new information in this book that I found interesting. I feel the section on the Nordic Mythology as well as how the rune sets are broken down was extremely interesting. While a high level look at the history of runes, I believe it does provide a solid look at the tool and is worth the read. And the 18X24 wall chart isn't bad either!


In Focus - Divination - A Review

 Today I'm reviewing - "In Focus: Divination" by Steven Bright.

  • Book Link
  • Author Link
  • Release Date - November 30, 2021

I'll begin with the physical book.  I have reviewed other books in the In Focus series from Quarto Knows and they are all well made.  This hardcover edition comes with a lovely cover design as well as a 18X24 inch wall chart. It is full of illustrations and charts that provide a great deal of information, however I felt the font could be just a little larger on the title page. This book offers an well organized index, giving readers the ability to find information based on divination method or by object.

I have read several books based on divination.  Each had the typical methods that we all know. Mirror scrying, palmistry or firemancy to name a few.  This book delves off the beaten path by offering some methods that I had not heard of.  While including such topics as Tea Leaf Reading, Elder Futhark Runes, Reading colors and the I Ching; the author also includes some interesting chapters that I'll go into below.

Witches Runes - Based on incomplete text from the middle east, witches runes are said to be thirteen images that held power for the people of those times. According to the book, these runes are easier to read than some other types of runes based on their basic shapes and their limited number. The sun for example is a simple line drawing of the sun.  The same is the case for the star, the moon and the crossroads. The author provides a table with the runes and corresponding interpretations when the runes appear in pairs.  A pull of the man rune and the moon rune is said to indicate a secretive male.

Reading Shells - (Conhomancy) This type of divination is used around the world and according to this book they are central in practices originating in West Africa and is used in Santeria, Umbanda and Candomble religions. The author instructs the reader on how to choose a shell, the shapes and styles of shells and then breaks down each.  An Abalone for example is associated with peace, love and compassion. The way the shell falls can indicate its meaning, the dull side up would be a lack of these qualities, while shiny side up would be an abundance. 

Reading Flowers - (Floromancy) This type of divination is typically a handed down tradition kept within families with hand drawn images and meanings that are then interpreted by the reader with their own experiences added.  Some flowers have a widely accepted meaning that goes outside the magical community such as the red rose as being a symbol of love while the yellow a symbol for friendship.  The divination beings with the practitioner placing a group of flowers in a vase or on a table and the client picks one using their own intuition.  The reading is delivered based on the meaning of the flower chosen. Though typically meanings are kept within the practitioners lineage, the author has provided a simple chart with a list of flowers and their meanings for the reader. Gardenia equates to secret love, yellow carnation to rejection and the daisy to innocence or hope.  The author goes on to outline the parts of the flower and their meaning and give a detailed overview of flower scrying.  Over all one of the most interesting chapters for me in this book.

This book comes with so much more information. With over fourteen chapters, the author takes us on a journey of divination from around the world. PLUS a huge wall chart included!  I found it to be informative and entertaining. I believe this would be a great book for even the most experienced diviner as it offers a look into some not so common methods.  I highly recommend taking the time to check out this book.