Ave, Magna Deum Mater! The Rites of the Goddess Kybele, Then and Now

Go to the Phrygian shrine of Cybele, to her groves

Where the voice of cymbals sounds, the tambourines rattle,

Where the Phrygian piper sings with the deep curved pipe,

Where Maenads wearing ivy throw back their heads,

Where they practice the sacred rites with sharp yells.

Where they flutter around the goddess’s cohort:

It is there we must go with our rapid dances.

–Catullus, Poem 63 (circa 60 BCE)

When we think of the Ides of March, naturally, our minds as postmodern Westerners turn to thoughts of the assassination of Julius Caesar in the year 44 BCE (Before Common Era). But the ancient Romans left us a far greater legacy than the anniversary of a sordid murder. This time of year was a very holy one in the Classical Mediterranean world. Aside from celebrating the Feast of Anna Perenna, the Goddess of Timekeeping, on the banks of the Tiber River and in a sacred grove between the Flaminian and Salarian Roads, the ancient Romans kicked off a multi-week Festival in honor of the Great Goddess Kybele (Cybele), a Phrygian Mother and Mountain Goddess/Lady of the Beasts as well as order-upholding Goddess of the Polis, She Who was known for Her ecstatic Mystery cult (featuring Her slain and reborn consort, Attis) and for granting the Romans victory in their demoralizing and horrendously protracted Punic Wars (264 – 146 BCE) against the Carthaginians. Continue reading


Broadcasting the Mighty Dead: Thoughts on My Magick Radio Chicago Interview and the Legacy of Lady Olivia Robertson

Last September at Chicago Pagan Pride, I came across an old acquaintance in the Chicago Pagan community whom, I discovered, runs a weekly AM radio show (streamed online via Que4.org) called Magick Radio Chicago. I was asked about the idea of consenting for an interview with other Chicago Fellowship of Isis members to discuss the organization and our thoughts on Chicago’s Pagan communities (I prefer the plural term because the scene is highly fragmented). I tucked the show host’s business card into my pocket and told him I would get back to him in a few weeks…which turned into four months, when he, to my surprise, attended the La Santa Muerte workshop I hosted at Alchemy Arts bookstore last month and he brought up the idea of the radio interview again. The show’s host, named Drew, was under the false impression that the Chicago Fellowship of Isis community, which is comprised of active members grouped into autonomous and individual Lyceums, Iseums, and Temples, had a “senior officers” roster akin to the leadership found in esoteric initiatory traditions ranked in one sole group, but we don’t as our sense of organizational structure is very different (and much more minuscule). It’s really my Archpriestess-Hierophant friend Demetria (who heads the Lyceum of Alexandria-Mishigami) and I serving as the “mouthpieces” for the tight-knit stellium of small groups. Hence it was she and I who sat in the control booth for the live radio broadcast of episode 127 of Magick Radio Chicago on Saturday night, February 10. Continue reading

A Strange Dream of Deity Possession

It’s been a while since I’ve experienced any disturbing dreams but the one I woke up from at 5:05 this morning (it’s still pitch black at that time in Chicago’s late-winter skies) still has me reeling and viscerally experiencing its effects in my chest: there’s a sensation of tightness and literal heaviness in my heart chakra area and I’ve got an elevated heart rate (116 BPM). I dreamt that I had gotten possessed by none other than the goddess Kali-Ma; the scene switched from its original location and had me in my living room of my childhood home, where my dead grandmother on my mother’s side was speaking to me until she saw my possessed state and became terrified of me and backed herself up against the south wall of the living room, screaming in horror. I was horrified because the part of me that was still “me” in my consciousness was incapable of stopping any of it.

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New Devotional Necklaces for Sale on JackalMoonDesigns!

I’ve had a spate of creativity with my hands lately, and I’m pleased to announce that I’ve uploaded 5 listings of gemstone bead devotional necklaces to my Etsy site, JackalMoonDesigns! Check them out: devotional necklaces to Macha, Hekate (my pieces in honor of Her sell out quickly!), Odin, and Cernunnos! And a spiffy copper pentacle necklace with turquoise and amber rounds out the offerings.

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Tempest in the Desert: A Devotional Group Ritual to Set

For a long time, it was the conviction of scholars that the fact that one and the same deity might display divergent and sometimes even contradictory qualities could best be explained by assuming that such a god had resulted by a historical process from several simple deities. This train of thought is based on a rationalistic misunderstanding and a failure to appreciate the nature of religious experience. In essence, each important god comprises all possibilities. Gods can not be sorted out like buttons.

–te Velde, Herman. Seth, God of Confusion: A Study of His Role in Egyptian Mythology and Religion. Leiden, The Netherlands: E.J. Brill, 1977. pp.101-102.

Tempest in the Desert: The Ritual

(c) 2015 A. Applegate / aka Katakhanas


Opening Song in Egyptian

Reҳ hᾱᾱiu                                                                    I rejoice

Ma a-ᾴ paut neteru                                                   May I look upon the company of the Gods.

Nuk ut’a tep ta ҳer Rᾱ mena-a nefer                      I am strong upon the earth before Ra,

Ẋer Ausȧr                                                                   May my arrival be happy before Osiris

Nuk t’a pet                                                                  I have sailed over heaven

Nuk ȧȧh                                                                       I am the moon

Ba-ᾱ pu neteru bai u en neheh                   My soul is the Gods, who are the Souls of Eternity

Au-ȧ ab kua neteri-kuᾴ                                              I myself am pure, I am mighty

A net’-hra-k Neter Set Ankh Ka                                  Homage to Thee, Set of the Living Ka

A net’-hra-ten nebu heh                                               Homage to Thee, Ye Lords of Eternity

Nuk ab per em seҳet                                          I am the pure one coming forth from the field

Ȧn-na en Ɵen netersenƟer                                          I have brought you incense


Tu a Suti                                                                          You are Set

Urt-Hekau                                                                       Mighty One of Words of Power

Ta-k-na uat seś-a em-hetep                                    Grant to me a way that I may pass in peace

Ȧn-na kert ᾱb-kua                                                          I am silent, I am pure

Ĺ-nᾱ, ҳerk-k neb Ra                                                       I have come to Thee, O my Lord Ra

Reҳ hᾱᾱiu                                                                        I rejoice

Reҳ hᾱᾱiu                                                                        I rejoice


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Prayer for Healing to La Santa Muerte Azul

I’m so excited I can’t stand it! Tonight at 7 at Alchemy Arts Bookstore in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, I’ll be presenting a workshop and leading a prayer ceremony in honor of La Santa Muerte. Based on the online registration plus what the store’s proprietor said to me on the phone last night, it’s going to be a packed house, which has me giddy as I’m very much looking forward to sharing my love for La Santísima with so many people eager to learn about how they can cultivate a devotional relationship with Her. Continue reading

The 12 Days of Yuletide: A Heathen Carol

Do you love to sing, especially at this time of year? Or does your system require a little “liquid courage” to belt out those familiar tunes? Perhaps it would help to sing something  a bit friendlier to your spiritual sensibilities? To that end, I’ve composed a Heathen Yuletide carol, which is sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” I dedicate it to my Heathen friends and to the God Bragi, Whom I invoked during my own group’s Winter Solstice celebration last night. If you sing my song or share it, please respect my copyright–that’s all I ask. Oh, and sing it with gusto with some mead, please! Enjoy and have a blessed Yule!

“The Twelve Days of Yuletide: A Heathen Carol”

© Anna Applegate 2017


On the first day of Yuletide, my true love gave to me…

A rune set carved from a pine tree

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