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by Nancy Thurston

32 Hectate

Illustration by Khara Scott-Bey













I know Nancy signed her name to this blog, but mind you she wouldn’t be speaking today if it wasn’t for me—Hectate. I’ve been at her side all her life, but she didn’t notice me.  She was sweet, nice and very helpful.

A few years ago I took hold of her ovaries, woke her up and she’s been rising every since.

Let me introduce myself. Straight-laced as Nancy was, she always had her little flare so she messed with my real name. When she first noticed me, she thought I was Hestia, the goddess of the home and the sacred fires. Nope. I was Hecate, wild goddess of crossroads like birth and death—those big paradoxes that make most humans quake in their boots. As much as her Texas roots have embarrassed Nancy, she was clear that I was the sort of strong-willed woman she recognized, like Sue Tipps Mathys, her native Texan mother. And, good as she is with words, she’s a lousy speller. My Greek name is Hecate. Nancy called me “Hectate.”

That works for me. All I wanted to do was to wake up good girl Nancy, light the flame of her heart and send her strong and clear into the world. Women have been on the sidelines for far too long. These midnight times for our Earth—the planet, people and creatures—are hopeless without the rising of feminine wisdom. Nancy’s always had that, but it was tamed and flimsy.

I like women who stand up and take charge. Women who lasso the lies of our culture and fan the flames of clarity. You women have been fed a pack of lies that now bounce around in your head. Quit hating your body, trying to fit into an airbrushed ideal. Life is too short and you are too beautiful.

Start thinking with your heart and your gut. All of that good head learning you got in school is still there, but balance it with your body’s smarts. Quit limping around with just part of your clarity.

Life isn’t a forced march. Quit trying to do everything all at once. Listen for what is yours to do next, then do it.  Simple as pie.

Smash any box that tries to contain you or your thinking. Life is always bigger, broader, deeper. Keep the boundary of your heart soft and subtle so it can grow and grow and grow.

Remember what we are all here for—to live justly, joyfully and equitably—to build a world for ourselves today and generations yet to come. Keep your focus there.

Let your emotions flow. Anger. Delight. Sadness. Joy. Grief. Disappointment. They all have something to tell you. Ride their waves; dive deeply underneath to see the treasures they hold. Then let them go and act from the wisdom they gave you.

Pay attention. Quit being disrespectful in your words and stop tolerating disrespect from others. Check out your assumptions.  Honor yourself and the others enough to treat everyone with respect.

Drop those scales over your eyes. Your experience isn’t everyone’s experience. Jump outside your own skin regularly and listen carefully. We can learn from the world’s diversity.

Be too much. Too loud. Too excited. We need to be respectful of those around us, but holding it in all the time leads to a constipated life.

Know who you are—the stuff you love about yourself—and do well. Your questions. Your burps. Your “good” and “bad” habits. Wrap your arms around the whole shebang. Then there is no need to be reactive or offended when someone says something about you. Either it is true or not true. You know. Quit quaking in your boots.

Sometimes you say or do something that looks like the messed up behavior in our crumbling world. We have millennium of crazy behaviors around stuff like money, skin color, genitalia, brain smarts and religion that has seeped into us all. When you get caught, notice it then change. When it just looks familiar to that smelly stuff, but isn’t, know the difference and keep moving forward.

Maybe you weren’t as far gone as Nancy was. Either way, I hope my little tidbits were helpful.

Now I’ll let Nancy say a few words.

Hectate came and never left. In my wildest imagination, I’ve always wanted to stand with billions rising for justice. Hectate stepped in and used her kick-ass ways to teach me how to do that in every cell in my body. Thank you, Hectate.

Nancy M. Thurston



Nancy and silver tree croppedNancy Thurston’s roots run deep in West Texas natural gas fields, yet she is committed to sustainable resources; she was born with white skin and worked for fifteen years as a physical therapist but didn’t fully land in her own body until middle age; she immersed herself in the past to learn to be present. Nancy lives in Portland, Oregon, but knows her neighborhood is global.  Big Topics at Midnight: A Texas Girl Wakes Up to Race, Class, Gender and Herself is her first book.   www.nancymthurston.com



Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily representative of the opinions of Hedgebrook, its staff or board members.



Thank you to everyone who submitted stories for this week’s blog: Shirleyanne Thom, Mary Adams and Nicole Cohn!


Nancy Thurston
About Nancy Thurston

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