Hecate’s Sickle

In the collection of Helen Klebesadel

The second piece I’d like to present is this broom, also from her Sweeping Changes show. It is in the collection of Helen Klebesadel. (click on images for larger size)

Hecate's Sickle in Sweeping Changes Show

Hecate’s Sickle in Sweeping Changes Show

This broom is a tribute to the Greek Goddess Hecate, whom Rae honored as a goddess of both birth and death, beginnings and endings.  This piece concentrates on the endings part.  The top of the piece is the namesake, a sickle, a tool o9f reaping, or the harvest, symbolic of the ending of life, so that a new life can begin from the bounty of the old.

The stick is a single ironwood sapling, including one broad buttress root, the whole thing turned upside down, with the root making a right-angle.  An actual iron sickle blade is inserted into this, and the wood carved in the shape of a raven’s head, holding a silver fish.  Both Raven and Salmon are Celtic totem animals, and played a part in Rae’s personal pantheon.  Here it is before and after:

sickle_headhecate_top

The skirt is a combination of Red Osier Dogwood, Apple, willow, and dogwood twigs, some paineed black, with black string binding them to the stick, and a few black feathers mixed in.  The whole thing is almost 7 feet high, on a short pedestal, and 34″ in diameter.

hecate_detail

Rae installing Sweeping Changes, Hecate's Sickle in foreground

Rae installing Sweeping Changes, Hecate’s Sickle in foreground

And finally, from Rae’s “Besom rant”:

“The broom is used as a means to guide or confound souls, friends, enemies, and luck.  The Hecate Priestesses of the Ancient World cared for both birthing and dying, they supposedly had a ritual of following behind a funeral process from the home to the burial site (or fire) and sweeping the path clear so the soul would be unable to read its trail home and haunt the family.   However when they arrived for a birth, the duty of the young Priestesses in training was to sweep clear the door step and path so the new soul would arrive unhindered and with their own fate to follow.  Greek and Italian Grandmas or crones can still be found sweeping the streets at night in front of their homes in a ritualistic fashion in older communities.”

 

 

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One Response to “Hecate’s Sickle”

  1. rbolan36 says:

    great piece,,,, its nice to see her pieces again…. she is missed very much,,, math keep in touch,, you will always be family ,love ya…

    Richard