Hekate, the Key

by Doyenne Rowan Nightshade

There is an event in Alameda called the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, held the first Sunday of every month. I’ve been living in Alameda for nigh on eight years at this point and I have never been to said Faire, not for lack of interest, but mainly because I am usually unwilling to commit to early morning activities on a Sunday, if I’m honest. Also, I certainly harbored a fear that I would be so tempted by all the treasures I might find there that I would either spend too much money, or just be sad. However, my friend and fellow clergy member, owl of love, was shocked and dismayed to learn I had never attended the antique fair. He’d lived in Alameda for several years himself, and insisted it was something I simply had to do; it was worth the early morning, it was worth the temptation, it was worth all of it.

So, last Sunday (Easter Sunday, in fact) owl and I went to the antique fair. We brought umbrellas since there was rain in the forecast, and owl drove his truck just in case we found anything large (!). The rain was only supposed to be intermittent and light, but it’s best to be prepared. And boy did it rain, as it turned out. There weren’t as many booths open because of that and because of Easter (I imagine), and the booths that were open struggled with tarps and wind and sogginess, so it wasn’t terribly crowded. It was, perhaps, not at its best that morning, but I enjoyed it anyway.

We walked through the mostly-empty aisles, peering at this oddity and that antique, and mostly, though I did see quite a few lovely things, I did not feel compelled to buy anything (other than a churro). At one point, however, we came across a couple of old padlocks with keys, and those were to be purchased. Definitely. (We’re both devotees of Hekate.) I did also feel strongly compelled by a scythe (marked down to $50!), but couldn’t really convince myself it was justifiable… At the very end, though, was a booth with old French keys, $2 each because of the rain and rust. Oh, they were beautiful. I picked over them for some time, digging through the rusty water and pulling out a few, then laying them out and deciding which ones needed to go back (repeat). Ultimately, I chose six keys.

Everything was rusty, of course, so that night I scrubbed them with steel wool to get off as much rust as I could, and rubbed them with oil to protect them from further rusting and keep them nice. I used linseed oil as my base; it’s commonly used to treat metal since it doesn’t turn rancid, being actually a liquid wax (like jojoba, but thicker and less expensive). I then added some of this 1000 Roses “beauty oil” I have (it smells amazing) and some Hekate oil made by my friend and fellow priestess Madame Hummingbird Rainbow (also a devotee of Hekate). Using a small, inexpensive paintbrush, I painted the oil into every crevice of the lock and keys, and let them sit for a while, then rubbed off the excess. The lock opened so smoothly, I felt quite satisfied.

The keys turned out beautifully, as well.

If the scythe is there next month, I may yet buy it.