The Pathways of Shadows Tradition, TCS/PoST from its name in Portuguese (Tradição Caminhos das Sombras) is a Hecatine Tradition. A Hecatine Tradition is a tradition that is based on the multiple faces of Hecate. I think we can summarize the meaning of this in the topics below.
- Non-hierarchical relationship with the masculine. All the dianic traditions have in common a relation of hierarchy between the feminine and the masculine, giving primacy to the first to the detriment of the second. They are a natural reaction to patriarchy and its great religions, in which power relations demand submission from women. While this reversal of hierarchy is very beautiful and very commendable, it does not help at all and does not reflect the balance we see in nature. Diana is a Goddess who never had a consort, who never admitted the presence of a male consort. Hecate in turn had countless consorts, she accepts and celebrates the presence of the masculine at her side. The same goes for Tiamat and Isis. Our Hecatine path seeks to reflect this balance and the search for a healed and active masculine, the masculine of Osiris and Apsu. Will there still be a place in our tradition for the dianics and for women only circles and covens? Of course, but they should also seek to heal their relationships with the masculine, even if they choose not to worship him. And they will know that, although we see the Goddess as the sacred creator, her son and consort is no less important.
- Focus on magical development. Hecate is the Lady of Magic. There cannot be a Hecatine tradition that does not focus on this aspect. Is there a possibility of a priestly devotion only? Of course, but as long as the person knows how to act magically if necessary. There will be place in the TCS/PoST for those who choose to focus on their devotion, but there will be no place for those who do not know how to do magic and are not willing to learn.
- Focus on diversity. Hecate is the Lady of the Paths. A Hecatine tradition must have room for each person to walk his/her own way. Yes, there will be minimal training for the dedicants and initiates, but there will always be room for personal development, for personal choice. Dedicants will have a more or less fixed set of tasks, but they are free to perform these tasks in the way that suits them best. Initiates also have a series of tasks, but within this basic training, there will be room to work with the systems with which the person has more affinity. We will have Tarot magic for Tarot adepts, runic training for those who feel the call of runes. Those who want to dedicate themselves to the priesthood of a specific deity will find space and training in this priesthood. Those who want to worship a Goddess and a God different from each wheel as well. There will be space and training for those who wish to do magic with Dragons, there will be space and training for those who want to do magic with fairies.
- Focus on self-knowledge. Hecate is the Lady of the Masks. You have to know yourself to recognize your masks and those of others. There will be no room in the TCS/PoST for those who are unwilling to engage in serious self-knowledge work. How can you know if you want to serve this or that Goddess if you do not know yourself enough to know what you really want? How do you know what the Goddess expects of you if you do not know who you are? How to train other people and accompany them through the Dark Night of the Soul if you did not make that journey? We can only lead someone along paths that we ourselves have walked. Doing different would be a farce.
- Focus on the middle path. Hecate is the Lady of the Crossroads. She is standing at the intersections, showing us all the options and bringing us our birthright: choice. Let us then use this gift and this ability to choose balance, to seek harmony. We will not serve the Order, with its rigid discipline and hierarchy. We will not serve the Chaos that feeds and enhances conflicts. We will be like the shadows, which are part of the light and the darkness, living from both, feeding both and ensuring that the balance is maintained. In our lives and all around us.
- Focus on knowledge. Hecate is the Lady of the Portals. Nothing opens doors in the minds and lives of people more than knowledge. No knowledge will be forbidden to TCS/PoST members, those wishing to receive training in any form may request and if none of the elders know anything about it, we will learn together.
- Focus on ethics. Hecate is the Lady of the Torch. It guides those who lose their way or lose themselves. The TCS/PoST will then be a beacon to show the way to those who are lost and an example, that the next generations will follow. If we can live in and for Ma’at, live in integrity, honest, respecting our values and keeping true to what we believe, we will be paving the way for those who will follow us. If we train our dedicants and initiates with propriety, with coherence, respect and ethics, we will have new generations of initiators able to take our teachings to the four corners of the world and those trained by them will remain faithful to the seeds we plant.
- Focus on acceptance and individual freedom. Hecate is the Lady of the Key. We will open our doors to those who seek us, respecting the differences between people. But everyone should be aware of what we are looking for and what TCS/PoST values. We will not hesitate to lock out those who are unwilling to abide by our guidelines and beliefs. We value freedom, yes, but there are limits that should not be crossed if they violate what the TCS/PoST is based on.
- Focus on serving the Gods. Hecate is the Guardian of the Worlds. We will also be guardians for the Gods, we will keep their mysteries, their rites, their temples. We will be instruments for the Goddess and the God in the world and in the inter-worlds. And we will serve the Gods to the best of our abilities, for whatever tasks they have for us.