liminal: (adj) 1) relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process, 2) occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.
I drew a bath today when I got home from class. I lit two votive candles and sank into the steaming water, thinking of the goddess Hekate.
Fall is a liminal season—sloughing off the warm sheen of summer and dipping leafy toes into winter. It exists in between worlds, entering its transition in unique grace every year.
Imposter Syndrome, simply put, can be described as the overwhelming sense that one does not belong. It is like watching the world play out from under water. Ironically, this feeling of disconnect with others is born out of a disconnect with the self. It is to exist between the world and the ego, shapeless, anxious, directionless. It comes and goes in waves, a liquid paralysis emphasizing feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.
Consider, then, the goddess Hekate, sometimes called “the virgin goddess” in Greek mythology. Known as the goddess of crossroads, Hekate is associated with witchcraft, torches, a black dog, a black cat, entranceways, ghosts, necromancy, and herbal knowledge, to name a few. She exists on the periphery of the world of Greek gods and goddesses, quietly worshipped as a provider of prosperity and as a protective force.
She is a liminal being: not quite Olympus-worthy, but respected and revered by humans. Exploring the relationship between life and death, magic and the mundane, she is literally the goddess of thresholds.
Do gods ever feel out of place? It seems Hekate made a home out of that feeling, created magic in that darkness, torches blazing as she forged a new path. I think this is why she is so beloved and continues to have a following today.
Tomorrow, I will enter the fall day and observe the world at the threshold of winter. I will smell the crisp air as leaves ruffle my feet and feel the thin blanket of autumn sun on my shoulders as I drift to class.
The truth is, we are all—every organism, at any given moment—on the threshold of something, or at least have the potential to be. Every moment is a doorway, apt for whatever turn we feel compelled (or are fated) to make. Sometimes this knowledge overwhelms me, sometimes it inspires. This all depends on where I am in the ocean of myself in that precise instant.
At a low moment in my life, I left little offerings to Hekate, praying to the goddess to guide me. It is my belief that she showered me in gifts and brought me to many mentors on this path I tread. The point is, she is a goddess I can relate to, whose miracles I can see around me. Zeus’ power feels very foreign to me in its centrality.
If you have the inclination, I recommend starting your own altar. And consider Hekate, goddess of all liminal beings, bearer of light in the dark.