The inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty reads “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”
These lines come from a poem called “The New Colossus”, which was written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 as a donation to help raise money for the base of the statue. The entire sonnet that was written reads as:
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Now, it’s rare that I will post about anything political on my blog, if at all, and I am still not going to, but this one is more about the simple humanity and the treatment of children. For the last few days I’ve been having this ringing in my ear to petition Hekate about the children being detained at the Mexican border without their families. Then upon waking this morning and reading a post on Facebook by fellow Witch, Mat Auryn, who had posted a prayer to Hekate concerning the same subject matter (as well as Emma Lazarus’ poem, which I saw after starting this post, coincidence, think not). At that moment I knew what I had to do. So, I lit her candles and spoke away. After reciting Mat’s prayer (with a few personal alterations), she gave me this message:
“We are all, I am all, go forth and stand behind my blade and I will light the torch of freedom.”
Although, I am a devotee of Hekate and much of my practice revolves around her, I don’t claim to be an expert or even come close to the knowledge, scholarly or otherwise that others may have. I let her guide me to where I need to be at particular times and when working with her it’s not until after that I find out that what she has guided me to is within tradition, history, and practice. She also tends to not let me sway from things that she wants me to do or needs me to do. Point in case the petition for the children being separated from their families, which has also led me to writing this post and how the Statue of Liberty can be seen as a modern depiction of Hekate in these distressed times we find ourselves. This of course is not to deter from the artists’ inspiration from the Roman Goddess of freedom, Libertas, but to help refocus our collective minds to Hekate’s message via common symbol of hope and freedom.
Over the years, I’ve come across a few mentions that the Statue of Liberty is reminiscent of the image of Hekate. Whereas, both carries a torch, are adorned with a rayed crown, and are dressed in a traditional Roman/Greek gown. The similarities are not only in appearance but in meaning as well. Hekate is known as a guiding light to those lost, the opener of doors, and as the guardian of the threshold, all of which is also can be seen in the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty as well. The Statue of Liberty was at the threshold of America, where she opened the doors to wealth and happiness and became the light to many in the search of freedom. This makes “Our Lady of Liberty”, Our Lady Hekate who “will light the torch of freedom”.
“Hail unto the many named mother of the gods whose children are fair!
Hail unto Hekate of the Threshold!
Kourotrophos, comfort the children!
Phylakê, watch and protect them and their families!
Propylaia, open the gates and cell doors!
Propolos, guide them back to reunion!
Enodia, ensure that the journey is safe!
Phôsphoros, unite your torch with Libertas’!
Damnodamia, oppress the oppressors and remove them from positions of power!
Brimo, show your wrath against those who would demand or enforce ripping children from their parents to put them in cages!
Hail unto the many named mother of the gods whose children are fair!
Hail unto Hekate of the Threshold!
Prayer Written by Mat Auryn used by permission.