I’m not as clever of a writer as some people are, so I hope I am able to convey this clearly.
I have been thinking about tonight’s Deipnon* and how it is such an important one. Before I get to why I feel this is such an important night, I need to explain how I look at the Deipnon and what it is.
I view it as a somewhat complex celebration with many layers of meaning. It is in honor of Hekate, as a Goddess of the crossroads, a Lighter of the Path, and of a Goddess of increase. I hate to put it in those terms, “a Goddess of”, but I don’t know of another way to explain it.
On one level, the cross-roads are about the division between this world and the next. As is Her role of Lighter of the Path. She is one who guides spirits of the dead on the path to Hades. On another level, She is the bridge (or perhaps tunnel) between humans, the Olympian Gods, and the Chthonic Gods.
But let’s look again at the signifigance of the three-way crossroads. Hecate IS the crossroads of decision. So I see the Deipnon as a time to look at the decisions you have made (the path behind you) and the split in the path ahead of you (that makes three paths). If you allow Her to light your path for you (to seek wisdom) then She sets you upon a path of victory and increase.
In order to make a good decision, you need to clear out all the garbage. You do this literally with cleaning out your house and removing all garbage. You do it figuratively by cleaning out your mind (ordering your thoughts) and cleaning out your heart (have you kept your oaths to family and friends? Are you true? Who is kept in your heart and who needs to be released?)
The offerings to Hekate on the Deipnon reflect all of this. There is a meal that is offered to the spirits and Hekate at a three-way crossroads. (once you place it there, you don't look back at it) People even offer some of what is swept out of thier house as an offering at the crossroads. There is food offered to those who are poor (this is not left at a crossroads, no one would eat food left for the dead!). The meal for poor is set out because Hekate is a Goddess of Increase. She can increase strength, victory, flocks of animals, profit by the sea - all of that as it is Her portion - land, sea, and air. Giving to the poor to increases thier fortune and your own.
OK. Now that I have gone through that, let me get back to why tonight’s Deipnon is so important.
We are at a crossroads. Individually, as a Nation, and as a people on this planet. Can’t you feel how we are at a tipping point? How we are leaving the past path and are ready to take our first steps in a new direction? It’s not just the economy, although that is part of what is pushing us to make painful decisions we would rather put off. It is a nuclear Iran, shifting alliances worldwide, a different view of how we interact with our environment, social differences, how we interact with our government, and yes, the economy. We are going to live through a time of great upheavel. I don’t want to make it sound too dire, our country has been through times of upheavel before, some good some bad. I don’t want to exclude non-Americans, but the USA is the country I am most familiar with.
Our President has picked his choice of the path that he will move our country down. It doesn’t matter if you agree with his choices (for the record, I don’t agree and will continue to say when I don’t agree and will point out solutions I feel would be more successful) or disagree – I think we all hope that he sought wisdom in picking a direction. I think we all want him to be right. I know I will be pleased to be proven wrong.
So tonight, I will be making a special offering to Hecate. I am increasing the amount of aid I give to the local food shelf. I am promising to create and devote a garden to growing food for my neighbors in need and to do it in Her name. Tonight I ask for Her blessings on us all and asking for guidence for our President. Asking for Her to Light our Path and grant us Increase and Victory.
* Tonight is the Deipnon for me, the sliver of moon won’t be visible for me until tomorrow night. Some of you may have already celebrated it.