In every tarot card lives a promise and a warning. In the Pixie Colman Rider-Waite tarot, The Fool - the first card in the deck - represents freedom, originality, new beginnings and so much more. On the card the figure, shown with fine clothes, a small bag slung over their shoulders, a flower in their hand, and a small dog at their side appears to be walking off the edge of a cliff.
The Fool’s Journey is universal. Some of us grew up watching epic tales of this journey in movies like The Wiz or Star Wars. In these stories, we see a person who for one reason or another is set apart from community. Some are pushed out. Some are set apart because they are called to be greater than their current circumstances. At this level “the call” is slippery. It lives in the grey waiting to be found, defined, and made sense of.
The warning of The Fool is very clear. We see the cliff, we see their foot lingering over the precipice. Even the dog is trying to warn them. But they see nothing (or so we think). In some decks, The Fools’ eyes are closed, further reinforcing the idea that they do not see the dangers ahead.
Then there’s the promise. The desire for a new opportunity. The leap of faith we are sometimes forced to take after being turned out. Some of us never answer the call. We hear and don’t hear it at the same time. We build our lives around not answering this call because we sense the danger. For others, the call is so great that it propels us out of the “world of the known.” We venture out for something better even if it means tangling with monsters and villains along the way. This choice is worthy, but it can be exhausting, especially for Black witches.
And this is where I found myself not so long ago. Set apart from without and within. But I wasn’t standing on the edge of a cliff. Or was I? I was at the crossroads with a sack full of “was any of this worth it” slung over my shoulder.
I was at the crossroads with a sack full of “was any of this worth it” slung over my shoulder.
And this is where Dark Goddess, The Mother of Witches, The Keeper of the Keys Hecate/Hekate found me. And like Persephone, I began to follow her out of the underworld.
Preparing to work with Hekate
When working with a Deity it's important to come with an open heart and a true desire for connection. Immediately asking a Deity to “deliver” is not the best way to build a relationship. I learned this myself after approaching Deities in this way. I have mainly been a solitary witch so most of what I know now is through trial and error. Many errors.
I began (and continue) to research Hekate’s herstory. I listened to popular stories like the one about her and Persephone, watched Youtube videos to get book recommendations, and even investigated how other witches connect with her on Tik Tok. I researched while setting up her altar. First, I meditated to make sure the altar was in the right place in my home. I placed her picture, quartz crystals, black obsidian, and three black candles (representing past, present, and future as she sees in all directions) and dressed them with mugwort, witchy oils, rose, and lavender on her altar. I also have a dog pendant (her familiar), and witch-inspired tarot cards. And no altar to the Goddess would be complete without a cauldron, a wooden owl, and keys keys keys. I am currently on the hunt for a statute to replace the picture that is there now.
What The Work Looks Like
Working with Hekate in the morning appears to be the best for me. I light her candles, close my eyes, and begin to meditate. I usually feel an overwhelming sense of peace and power starting at my toes and going to the top of my head. Lately, the power has started extending out of my fingertips filling up my room and making me feel connected to everything around me. Once I'm connected, I do things like singing her songs, adorning myself with witch oils, making her mugwort tea, or writing down a spell that came to me the night before in my grimoire. I also write down any messages I receive from her. And sometimes I just listen. On one occasion, Hekate requested snakeskin. Snakes often represent regeneration and are seen as the guardians of the mysteries of childbirth. “Where am I gonna get snakeskin???” I thought to myself.
A week later, I was at my new favorite witch shop and snakeskin was right there on the shelf. I couldn’t believe it. It was even in a cute little bottle, so I didn't have to take it out if I didn't want to. When I told the checkout person about my meditation she said, “Humph we usually don't carry that we just got it last week ago.” Magic. Pure magic. I love when the spirits show up and show out like this. These are the experiences I can look to as “proof” when my logical mind takes over and I start questioning.
I have been motivated to write down strokes of genius, insights, dreams, and messages from my tarot readings more than ever before. And my readings are…chef’s kiss lol. I have more energy than I've had in a while. I've been able to put things into practice that I've been putting off. I'm quicker at getting back to people making doctor's appointments, centering myself, and taking my well-being more serious. I even turned to very old hoodoo practices to clean my home. I've also been offered new work opportunities and I just feel like a “better witch.”
Has it all been sunny??? No! Deep-seated fear and shame have shown up. I’ve had some hard days. One morning, I was at the altar... just talking about the experiences that I had and how they held me back, and how unfair I felt it was. I was just sitting with her, and this wave of sadness and then rage came over me and I started telling her about the abuse that I have experienced in my life, and I was naming names. And then it occurred to me that I was a witch.
And then it occurred to me that I was a witch.
It occurred to me that I didn't have to sit in sadness and powerlessness. It occurred to me that I could do shit to shift the energy. And then, I heard this very certain and powerful voice say, “So what do you want to do about it?” It was scary. I knew what that question meant. I knew what she was asking me. Did I want to do revenge, or nah? I had to be honest with myself in that moment. I always told myself that I would never do certain things. But at some point (around George Floyd, then again after the Buffalo shooting, then again after Roe v. Wade) I had to ask myself did THEY create the provision against revenge to separate us from our power? Was this created to make us scared to do unto others as they continue to do unto us?
Ultimately, I decided this wasn’t the day to fuck around and find out. I made my request and was given a clear and concise working. I made the witches' brew, used it as instructed, and I felt better. Hekate gave me a momma’s talking to-then she gave me a remedy. And now I look at magic differently.
In magick we trust,
Zoë Flowers is an author, content creator, and healing practitioner whose work can be found in several anthologies, journals, and interviews. In 2004, Zoë interviewed survivors of domestic and sexual violence. From Ashes to Angel’s Dust: A Journey Through Womanhood is the book that emerged from those interviews. Her second book In Praise of The Wytch was published in 2022.
As a Healer, she facilitates individual and group healing sessions, retreats, and workshops from New York to Ecuador. As an Artist, Zoë creates films, theatrical productions, and books that invite audiences to explore social issues, healing, and spirituality. Her work has been presented at, The Black Women’s Arts Festival, Alternate ROOTS, The White House’s United State of Women Summit, Bergen Community College, Bowie State University, Yale University, The State University of New York Adirondack, Smith College, Brown University, and conferences, theaters, and community- based organizations across the US.
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Zoe supports: Black Women United – For the Protection and Advancement of Black Women and Girls.
New Women Space
Poetic Theater Productions