I blogged a while ago about a festival in Kerala, a monthlong festival that begins in Kumbha (February-March) and finishes in Meena (March-April). It’s . . .the annual gathering for thousands of largely lower caste, practising oracles (among whom women appear to lead) from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. At the Bharani, old oracles offer themselves to the goddess again and new ones are chosen.
Here's an interesting discussion of the cultural issues inherent in the festival.
And, some additional information about the festival:
The festival is also unique for its ‘Bharani pattu’ – sexually explicit songs, meant to appease the Goddess. These songs deal with the sexuality of the Goddess and humans and emphasises sex as part of natural life, while deriding sexual hypocrisy – especially of upper caste women. The songs make it clear that sexuality is not only natural, but is also present everywhere. In a place like Kerala, with itfrighteningly crude mechanisms of sexual repression, the Bharani provides a venue for people to be freed of the need to pretend that the sexual does not exist.
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 . . . ."