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An Introduction to Crossroads Altars

An Introduction to Crossroads Altars



Historically Hecate is a goddess of luminal spaces and is said to wander the crossroads. Often offerings are left for her there. This document will serve as an introduction to creating an altar at a crossroads.

You will need:

  • Location

  • Image

  • Incense & dish

  • Torch

  • Offerings

Location

Traditionally, Hecate is a goddess of the three ways or three directions. The crossroad would be a Y intersection. A spot where there are three directions to take. Choose a spot away from the main part of the road where it is safe to set up the space and where it will not be a nuisance to passersby.

Image

An image for Hecate – Depending on the size of the altar set up, the image can be a simple statue or a large pole with masks (faces) mounted on it to gaze into three directions.


Incense & Dish

Types of incense can vary based on accessibility and preference. Many use frankincense and myrrh for Hecate. I prefer to use white sage simply because I like the clean smell it gives my ritual space. Formal recipes can be used to create incense specifically for Hecate. If you wish to do this, take the time and add this to your altar. Be mindful that this will be left outside. In fire-prone areas, it makes sense to bring the incense back inside with you and not leave it outside unattended.


Torch

Candles, garden torches, or other items can be used to represent a torch in this setting. Again be mindful of the natural surroundings. If fire is a concern, refrain from leaving unattended flames outdoors. An alternative to a live fire may be to pick up a few solar-powered driveway or garden path lights and use those instead.

Offerings

Typically the offerings left at the crossroads altar would consist of the elements of the Deipna or supper. These include mullet, garlic, eggs, leeks, and other items. The sweepings of the house are often dropped at the crossroads as well. This is said to remove the negative energy or any energy that may have displeased Hecate from the house. The offerings should be taken out to the crossroads as part of the entire ritual and left without turning back. Be mindful of the offerings if the crossroads chosen is not one’s own property. Leaving food will, of course, attract animals.


Using the Crossroads Altar

Generally, the Crossroads altar is used for leaving offerings to Hecate. As mentioned in the offerings section, be mindful of what items are left behind. Fire hazards, dangerous foods, and any items that could cause a distraction to traffic should be avoided.

Each individual rite may vary. This is a simple way to use a crossroads altar.

The day prior to Hecate’s Supper, sage the entire house and complete a ritual cleaning. Use the sage smoke to cleanse the air, pick up a broom, and sweep around the ritual space as well as the entire house. The sweepings should be tied up in a small bag and placed next to the inside working altar.


Cleanse the area and create a sacred space at the working altar on the night of the supper. Use the means that best fits your practice to create this space. Ask for blessings and prosperity over the next moon and display the offerings on the altar.


After the ritual is complete, collect the bag, and the offerings and walk to the crossroads altar. Recite any spells, chats, or incantations that are desired here. Leave the offerings along with the bag at the crossroads and return to the house without looking back.

Summary

Every persona will set up an altar in a different way. Take the time to think about the purpose of the altar and what needs should be addressed. If it is to be a public altar where rituals will be held, be mindful of neighbors and traffic that could be impacted.


Originally published on blogger - 2/27/15 9:00 AM

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