The purpose of ritual is to change the mind of the human being. It's a sacred drama in which you are the audience as well as the participant, and the purpose of it is to activate parts of the mind that are not activated by everyday activity. We are talking about the parts of the mind that produce psychokinetic, telekinetic power, whatever you want to call it -- the connection between the eternal power and yourself. As for why ritual, I think that human beings have a need for art and [that] art is ritual [and ritual is art]. . . . It has seemed to me that much of the modern Craft and the Neo-Pagan movement lacks real music and real dance, in comparison to indigeneous Pagan religious movements. . . . I attribute this [lack of authentic experience] to our loss of skill in the use of music, rhythm, dance, and psychogenetic drugs. In the Irish tradition, music was essential to the success of the rites. . . . Another thing that was essential to the rites in ancient times was ritual drunkenness and sex. And I find this also lacking. We have to create those ecstatic states again. We have to offer people an energy source and a theological alternative, and we can only do this by offering real experience. We have to introduce real sacraments. . . . Much of Neo-Paganism lacks the same content [that] I've described before. The raising of power is an accidental occurrence among most of us at the present time. I find that difficult for my own self-esteem. It makes it difficult to work with people. I don't like going through empty ritual with anybody, especially my closest friends. [A]nyone who calls themselves a Witch should have the capability to deal with different ecstatic states.
Sharon Devlin, as quoted in~Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."