In the AODA (Ancient Order of Druids in America) one of the first things we are taught is to do a daily protection ritual called the Sphere of protection.It is a protection ritual that utilizes the 6 elements to induce balance within the individual and strengthen the subtle bodies.
The ritual itself is very fluid is John Micheal Greer often encourages members to adapt the ritual to their own use. As a matter of fact he often says “There is no wrong way to do the Sphere of protection. Use what works for you”. For the longest time I did this ritual daily as written. I personally believe that you should master a ritual in it’s original form before you go about deconstructing it and adding changes. So for years I did this ritual, and pretty much hated every second of it. It just did not resonate with me.
One of the components of the ritual is to call upon 4 deity’s (traditionally Welsh), however the individual practitioner is encouraged to find 4 deities that work with him/her best. Since I’m more and more becoming a “Hekate only” type of guy they only deity I want to invoke is her! This idea to make a completely Hekatean version of the SoP came to me in vision one day when I was trying to work with the 4 druidic totem animals (Hawk, Stag, Salmon, Bear; yes I still do Druidic work despite my belly aching about it). Hekate completely hijacked my rite that night (which was dedicated to the Horned One initially) and the 4 totems I had invoked melted away and were replaced with a bull, horse, snake, and dog! This is reminiscent of the following passage from Steven Ronan’s book The Goddess Hekate (page 96):
From whence they [the Chaldean tradition] hand down the mystical doctrine concerning the four elements and four-headed Hekate. For the firebreathing head of a horse is clearly raised towards the sphere of fire, and the head of a bull, which snorts like some bellowing spirit [daimonion], is raised towards the sphere of air; and the head of a hydra as being of a sharp and unstable nature is raised towards the sphere of water, and that of a dog as having a punishing and avenging nature is raised towards the sphere of earth. Attributed to (Text: Kroll p. 30 n I – Lydus De mensibus Icd. Wunsch] Leipzig 1898. pp 41,
Thus I decided to create a completely Hekatean version of the Sop, replacing the god names with her epithets and replacing the 4 Druidic totem animals with her own totems. Thus it serves as not only a protection ritual to balnce the elemenets within ones self, but a form of extended prayer to her as well. It’s a work in progress. I chose the epithets I thought most went with each element, but I’m open to suggestions and changes to make it better. I share it here with you.
See light descend from the heavens to focus at center of your forehead. Touch forehead and say:
Hekate Ouranian above me
Etend the light down to your solar plexas and further into the earth and say:
Hekate Khthonia Below me
Extend the light from your midsection through your extended left arm off into eternity and say:
Hekate Enodia to my right
Extend the light from your midsection through your extended right arm off into eternity and say:
Hekate Propolos to my Left
Fold your hands into your chest and say:
May I be enfolded in the arms of the dark mother and may she guide and protect me always.
Now see a sphere of light form at your solar plexus. It expands and encompasses you completely. You can make it as large as you wish. Now proceed to the invoke the 6 elements. For each element you will want to draw a symbol of the element in the air. The AODA uses the Welsh Cantrev’s for this, however it just doesnt feel right for me in this version of the ritual. Instead I use the Arostotlean 4 elemental symbols.
- By the power of* the raging and snorting bull who power enlivens my mind, I call upon the powers of Air in the name of Hekate Apotropaia (the evil-averting). May I receive the blessings of air!
- [Then banish by drawing the symbol in reverse] With the aid of Air I banish from within me and around me all negative aspects of the powers of air. I thank the powers of air for their blessings.
South: Fire [Draw in the Fire before you in red flame and say:]
- By the power of the horse who’s nostrils emit searing flame to quicken my spirit, I call upon the Powers of Fire, in the name of Hekate Brimo (angry one). May I receive the blessings of fire!
- [Then banish by drawing the symbol in reverse] With the aid of Fire I banish from within me and around me all negative aspects of the powers of Fire. I thank the powers of fire for their blessings Fire.
- West: Water [Draw in the air before you in blue flame and say:]
- By the power of the flashing and darting serpent who’s venom enters my veins and stirs my soul, I call upon the powers of Water in the name of Hekate Drakaina (She-snake). May I receive the blessings of water!
- [Then banish by drawing the symbol in reverse] With the aid of Water I banish from within me and around me all negative aspects of the powers of water. I thank the powers of water for their blessings.
Earth [Draw in the air before you in green flame and say:]
- By the mournful cries of the howling dog who strength empowers my very bones and sinew I call upon the Powers of Earth in the name of Hekate Krataiis (strong one). May I receive the blessings of Earth..
- [Then banish by drawing the symbol in reverse] With the aid of Earth I banish from within me and around me all negative aspects of the powers of Earth. I thank the powers of earth for their blessings.
Spirit Below [draw an orange circle on the floor below you and say]
- By the subterranean depths of the Earth’s core and in the name of Hekate Chthonia (of the underworld) may I receive the blessings of spirit below.
Spirit Above [Draw a violet circle in the air above you and say]
- By the power of the celestial realms in all of their glory and in the name of Hekate Phosphoros (light bringer), may I receive the blessings of spirit above.
Spirit Within [see a white sphere within you grow and suffuse your entire body with live giving energy
- By the six powers here invoked and here present, in the name of Hekate Kleidoukhos (keeper of the keys), may I receive the blessings of spirit within.
I thank the Hekate for her blessings.
[Proceed to circulation of the light as described in the original ritual. Basically you rotate the sphere around you in three different directions, horizontally, vertically, and side to side>
I personally then like to finish with the Orphic Hymn to Hekate:
I INVOKE YOU, beloved Hekate of the Crossroads and the Three Ways
Saffron-cloaked Goddess of the Heavens, the Underworld and the Sea
Tomb-frequenter, mystery-raving with the souls of the dead
Daughter of Perses, Lover of the Wilderness who exults among the deer
Nightgoing One, Protectress of dogs, Unconquerable Queen
Beast-roarer, Dishevelled One of compelling countenance
Tauropolos, Keyholding Mistress of the whole world
Ruler, Nymph, Mountain-wandering Nurturer of youth.
Maiden, I beg you to be present at these sacred rites
Ever with a gladsome heart and ever gracious to the Oxherd.
(For a completely different Hekatean banishing ritual you might want to check out The Sphere of Hekas from Jason Millers book Protection and Reversal Magic. It’s my favorite and the one I use most often. As a matter of fact it gets better every time I perform it. I feel the entire price of the book is justified just for that ritual alone.)