Hands Off, Laws Off: Hekate Invocation for Reproductive Rights

michaelmhughes
5 min readMay 15, 2019

Adapted from Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2018)

Drawing of Hekate from a lead curse tablet found in the Agora at Athens. Courtesy of the American School of Classical Studes.

UPDATE May 3, 2022: Well, what we all feared has happened, with the seemingly inevitable overturning of Roe v Wade by the Trump-packed, Christofascist-led SCOTUS. This ritual, and others aimed at protecting reproductive rights, are more necessary than ever.

I have also made the language more inclusive, in light of the fact that those assigned female at birth (AFAB), nonbinary, and transgender individuals—not just women—are also affected by the end of Roe. Thanks to my friends in the LGBTQ community for their feedback.

IT’S TIME TO FIGHT BACK WITH EVERY TOOL AT OUR DISPOSAL

Perform this ritual in response to anti-choice votes or initiatives, to protect clinics under siege, or during the dark moon. Do this ritual at night, never in the daytime. You may want to do it during your menstrual period, if you have one.

This is a spell for the protection of women’s (or AFAB/anyone with a uterus’s) reproductive rights. It can also be done for protection of reproductive health clinics and their doctors and health care workers. As with all ritual magic related to social justice issues, you can do it simply to recharge yourself for activism and recommit yourself to the work.

Components

  • Red candle with the words Hands off inscribed into on one side and Laws off inscribed onto the reverse. Use a pin or a nail.
  • Your menstrual blood (if during your cycle) or consecrated oil of your choice
  • Incense charcoal
  • Cauldron or ashtray
  • Bay leaves and myrrh
  • Photo or name paper of politician, representative, judge, preacher, or other figure opposing a woman’s right to choose; or the printed logo or photo of an antichoice organization, anti-choice members of your state legislature, etc.

UPDATE May 2, 2022: In light of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion, you may want to use images of Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito Jr., Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coathanger Barrett.

  • Piece of red cloth large enough to wrap around the candle
  • Image or statue of Hekate (optional)

Preparation

If it is during your period, you may want to anoint the candle with your menstrual blood. It is an extremely potent magical substance, so you only need a tiny bit spread across the surface.

At your altar, dress the inscribed candle with your menstrual blood or any consecrated oil. As you’re doing so, see and feel your fingers transferring your personal power into the wax while repeating in a whisper:

My blood, my life, my power.

Dab your blood or the oil onto the photo, name paper, or logo of your target. Feel your energy overpowering your target.

Set the candle on your altar, with the target paper in front of it.

Perform the Centering Ritual* or cast a circle or consecrate space per your tradition and begin.

(*found in Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change, page 154)

Ritual

Light your charcoal. Light the prepared candle. Say the following prayer:

I call to thee, Hekate of the Crossroads
Queen of the starry cosmos
Lady of the dogs
Guardian of the realms of the dead
Come to me from the deserted places of the night
I call you to my sacred chant
Please accept my gift of incense
And hear my prayer
Of Protection

Drop bay leaves and myrrh onto charcoal. Watch the smoke as it rises to please Hekate.

Pick up photo, name paper, or logo in your left hand and hold it in front of you, just below eye level. Say with passion, ferocity, and strength:

Keep your hands off my body
Keep your laws off my body
Only life that is wanted
Shall we carry into this world
Only life that will be loved
Shall be brought forth from our bodies
Whenever the choice must be made
The choice shall be mine
My body is not your property
My body is not your domain
My body is not your god’s
My body is my own
Hands off
Laws off
Hands off
Laws off
Hands off
Laws off

Light the target paper on fire from your candle and say,

Not your choice

Say with all of your focus and will,

MINE!

Drop paper into cauldron and let it burn. When the paper is burning, say the words of power (see note):

AKROKODÊRE MOUISRÔ CHARCHAR ADÔNAI ZEUS DÊ DAMNAMENEUS KYNOBIOU EZAGRA

When the paper has burned completely to ash, say,

The spell is cast.
My body is protected.
The bodies of all humans capable of giving birth shall be protected.

Throw more bay leaf and myrrh onto the charcoal. As the smoke rises, say,

I give praise and thanks to thee, Hekate of the crossroads. Go in peace, carrying my prayer. So mote it be.

Extinguish the candle. Clap three times to end the ritual.

Wrap the candle tightly in the red cloth. Keep it stored in a safe, secret place, as a ward to protect your body and your choice and ready to be used again if the need arises.

Be sure to ground yourself after the ritual by shaking your body, jumping up and down, and having a bite to eat (chocolate is an excellent choice).

Notes

Pronounce the “barbarous” words of power, which are drawn from an ancient ritual of Hekate, phonetically to the best of your ability. If you’re feeling ambitious, look up ancient Greek pronunciation. We really don’t know exactly how all the words were pronounced, so just say them with passion. The goddess will get the message. (Edit: found this very helpful link)

You may also want to change the words “my/mine” in the ritual to “ours” to include all women/AFAB. And as with all of the rituals I offer, please feel free to alter to suit your particular needs or traditions.

BONUS POINTS: Donate to Abortion Care Network, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights, or other organizations fighting for reproductive choice.

Michael M. Hughes is a writer, speaker, and magical thinker. He is the author of Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change as well as numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction, and he speaks and teaches classes on magic, tarot, occultism, and more.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, CNN, The L.A. Times, Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, Wired, Elle, Vox, Cosmopolitan, and even the ultraconservative The American Spectator, which wrote: “He may play footsie with the devil, but at least the man has a sense of humor.”

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