Sorita d’Este – Goddess of the Mysteries

Sorita d'Este, at the Temple of Zeus in the Valley of the Temples, Agrigento.
Sorita d’Este, at the Temple of Zeus in the Valley of the Temples, Agrigento.

Sorita d’Este has been exploring occult subjects since childhood, going on to explore a variety of religious traditions as a teenager and devouring every book on metaphysical topics she could find. None of these made much sense until she happened upon modern Initiatory Witchcraft, which opened pathways for her towards the Western Esoteric Traditions and Goddess-centric traditions (including the Fellowship of Isis). In November 2000 she co-founded a study circle in London which was dedicated to Hekate in her role as Propolaia (Psychopomp, or Guide / Companion); and a decade later in November 2010 the foundation of the Covenant of Hekate (www.hekatecovenant.com) an international society of people dedicated to exploring Hekate  together in the 21st century, with a focus on Hekate Soteira.

She has written on a wide variety of subjects including the history of magic and witchcraft, mythology, folklore, medicinal and therapeutic uses of plants, palmistry, numerology, healing traditions and contemporary pagan spiritual beliefs and practices.

Sorita lives on a hill in Glastonbury, Somerset (UK) with her son, partner and a growing collection of herbs, roses and other fragrant plants. She is a full-time writer, giving occasional lectures at international events and workshops to select students.  In 2005 she founded the independent esoteric publishing company Avalonia, continuing the name of a community website she facilitated since the late 1990’s.

She is the author/co-author of around 20 books on magic, mythology and folklore, including:
Circle for Hekate – Volume 2: Devotion and Theurgy (2018)
Circle for Hekate – Volume 1: History and Mythology (2017)
The Cosmic Shekinah, with D. Rankine (2011)
Hekate Liminal Rites, with D. Rankine (2009)
Visions of the Cailleach, with D. Rankine (2009)
Practical Qabalah Magick, with D. Rankine (2009)
Practical Elemental Magick, with D. Rankine (2008)
The Isles of the Many Gods, with D. Rankine (2008)
Wicca Magickal Beginnings, with D. Rankine (2008)
Practical Planetary Magick, with D. Rankine (2007)
Artemis: Virgin Goddess of the Sun and Moon (2005)

She also compiled a number of anthologies, including
The Faerie Queens (2012)
Hekate: Her Sacred Fires (2010)
Priestesses, Pythonesses and Sibyls (2008)
Horns of Power (2008)
Hekate: Keys to the Crossroads (2005)

Her work has also been featured in many journals, magazines and part-works.

You can visit her website at www.sorita.co.uk or The Covenant of Hekate www.hekatecovenant.com and  Avalonia www.avaloniabooks.co.uk

 

Goddess of the Mysteries
While some contemporary traditions continue the centuries-old tradition of oppressing Hekate, trying to force the Goddess to conform to limited attributes highlighting her so-called darker aspects – her association with the dead, nocturnal creatures, witchcraft and scapegoating rituals at the crossroads. These are of course all aspects of Her long and incredibly varied history, however viewing these roles in isolation only continues to perpetuate and create further misunderstandings of who or what Hekate is.

Hekate was never limited to just one geographical region, nor to only one form or depiction.  Evidence for her worship can be found not only in modern Greece and Turkey but also in North Africa, The Balkans, Italy and even in Egypt, Russia and Afghanistan.

This talk will seek to address common misconceptions about Hekate’s history, with an overview of her most essential symbols and some of the goddesses she was conflated with. Understanding Hekate’s symbols allow modern devotees to better understand and contextualise the vital role she had in the Mystery Traditions of the ancient world, but also to understand and interpret their own visions, dreams and experiences in a more meaningful way today.