November 16th was Hecate’s Night. This eve honors the goddess of magic, the crossroads and mist. Among her goddess aspects are guiding souls to the Underworld – think of Persephone – and protection against harmful spirits.
On Hecate’s Night, I was unable to take time to honor Hecate in the way that I had planned due to a family matter. Instead, I shifted gears and thought, “my spirit allies want my time, gratitude and service” more than a ritual. They want a relationship based on mutual respect and reciprocity. This idea has always been the backbone of my personal spiritual and intuitive practice.
I took a few minutes to quietly thank Hecate for appearing in my dreams in early summer, for working with me through summer and fall, and for her presence as an ally. I expressed that our relationship is important to me.
Later that night, my older son came into my room. He said “Mom, I just had sleep paralysis. I think there is a spirit in my room. I was getting goosebumps on my leg” I went into his room, and sure enough there was the spirit of a teenage girl. Half asleep, I mentally told the spirit to leave my son alone. I had a feeling that the girl was still present but hoped that we could get to the morning, when I would attempt to transition her spirit.
My son is aware that I am a psychopomp – also called a rescue medium, soul or spirit rescuer, or deathwalker. A psychopomp is a healer of the restless dead. Soul rescuers guide earthbound spirits into the Light – the portal that takes them to the Heavens, Land of the Ancestors, Summerlands or higher spiritual plane.
So how did my son know that there was possibly a restless spirit present? Because my son has been inadvertently learning about spirits through our conversations over the years. He knows that there are certain signs when a restless spirit is present but also that there is nothing to fear.
After all, earthbound spirits are simply human souls that were captured by their intense unresolved emotions, attachments or confusion at death, causing them not take the Light. They are not evil or bad – they are only human.
The symptoms of an earthbound spirit that my son experienced were:
- Sleep paralysis
- Waves of goosebumps on his legs
- Uncomfortable feelings and imagery
Now just to be clear, earthbound spirits do not cause sleep paralysis itself. It is a biological function that prevents us from sleep walking when we are dreaming. But the dream world is part of the astral planes where earthbound spirits reside and sometimes restless spirits interact with the living during dreaming. They create frightful or uncomfortable images, sounds and feelings to feed off the emotional energy of fear produced by the living person. When this happens, it can cause a person to become conscious, (but still immobile) in their dream state, as the amygdala (the part of the brain that registers danger) recognizes the presence of another as an intruder.
Waves of goosebumps are also not always earthbound spirits – but they are spirits. Sometimes goosebumps are guides or ancestors – but sometimes they are restless souls. You will notice that I say “waves of goosebumps” which is different from regular goosebumps produced by the cold. My son experienced them on his legs, a common place to have these waves when it is a minor or earthbound spirit. In this case, it was both.
Later that night, my son came in again and said that he felt the spirit pull his hair and he could sense the spirit at the head of his bed. I was awake at this point and went about trying to help the spirit.
I closed my eyes and immediately saw a majestic stag with fire lit on each point of his antlers, like candle flames. Then three women in headdresses appeared holding lights, followed by many young women holding similar lights. I immediately thought of Hecate, a triple goddess. I felt she had appeared in her triple form to help the young teenage girl to transition.
I was curious whether Hecate was associated with stags and found that in certain mythologies – she is a triple goddess with Selene and Artemis (also known in her Roman form as “Diana”). Artemis is the goddess of the Hunt and one of her symbols is the stag.
It was not lost on me that I had been working with the “Wild Hunt” (a Samhain to Yule supernatural event) since before Samhain for the mass transition of earthbound souls. Artemis-Diana appearing seemed both connected to Hecate’s Night and to my work with “the Hunt.”
Artemis is known as the protector of maidens and is described as being accompanied by a band of maidens nymphs. In my vision, the three goddess-like women were followed by a group of young women holding lights.
I then connected to the young teen girl’s spirit to see why she was earthbound. I instantly felt that she did not trust men. She showed that she had gotten a tattoo on her arm without her father’s permission. When he found out, he broke her arm. She continued to tell me more about her abuse. My heart went out to this beautiful young girl and I knew that Hecate/Artemis had appeared to help this young maiden finally find peace.
Artemis is the maiden form of the Hecate triple goddess of Artemis-Selene-Hecate (maiden, mother and crone) and was present to bring an energy and spirit of protection of maidens – I believe to make the teenage girl feel safe. All the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
I offered the young woman healing and opened the Light. I watched Artemis help her onto a stag. The band of spirits rode off into the Light.
I may not have had time for the ritual I had planned to Hecate, but by offering my gratitude and my service, I was able to be a part of helping a beautiful young woman find the peace that she deserved after a traumatic life. I wanted to share this experience to honor my relationship with Hecate and Artemis, and hopefully to impart the message that it’s ok if life intervenes in our plans. Our spirit allies understand life is busy, sometimes hectic and chaotic, and what is in our heart is more important than a perfectly planned ritual or remembering an offering. Relationship is what our spirit allies desire – our companionship, reciprocity and gratitude for their presence in our lives.