In ancient times, the Greeks felt inhibited and terrified to pronounce the name of the Lord of the Dead, as they believed it was a bad omen. Along those lines, they referred to this god by the name of his kingdom, the Hades, because nobody knew (or dared to evoke) his real name. For centuries, Hades has been marginalized, demonized, and only summoned when desperate measures had to be taken. People would invoke the King of the Underworld to claim justice for a crime against their deceased loved ones, especially regarding defamation, homicide, and kidnapping; or to ask for someone’s smooth transition into his kingdom. Modern witches, however, understand that death is also part of life, the end of a cycle, and as such, it should also be respected. We also understand how misunderstood he’s been over the centuries. That’s why we want to remove the stigma around his figure, tell you more about him and show how you can benefit from working with Hades.
If you’re starting deity work or want to learn about it before getting into it, don’t miss out on our How To Work With Deities and Ancestors and How Do I Know If A Deity Is Calling Me? posts. As you do your research, you may find you want to work with Hades, but also, that there are other spirits, such as Hekate, Thanatos, or Anubis, that share similarities with him. So, how are you to confirm that it’s him? Keep reading to find out!
As with other deities, the primary sign that this deity is reaching out to you is that you feel drawn to them, their mythology and their essence. For instance, with Hades, it could start with an interest in necromancy or the Afterlife, or even feeling the need to do shadow work. Moreover, he could show up in dreams or in the astral plane as a large man with a black beard —according to popular opinion.
Associations with Hades
Associations with the Lord of the Dead include skulls, bones, the helmet of invisibility, the bident (a two-pointed spear), Cerberus or dogs in general, snakes, sheep, black wolves and horses, chariots, narcissus, mint, cypress tree, white poplar, iron, the color black, keys, pomegranates, and the planet Pluto.
Most of his signs are correspondences of either his figure, his mythology, or his domain. And some of them are related to other spirits’ myths that are somehow associated with him. For example, pomegranates correspond to his wife, Persephone, and her time as a victim of Hades’ abduction; and the keys open the doors to the Underworld.
Alternatively, coins or money in general, cinnamon, and the cornucopia, as all are associated with the symbolism of wealth, which is Hades’ second domain. You can also experience a sudden increase in your salary or amazing discounts on things you’ve had on your wishlist for so long.
How do I confirm it’s Hades?
Being aware of his mythology and what his job entails will help. As I mentioned, some of his signs are related to other spirits he’s been involved with —Persephone, Sysiphus, Heracles, Hermes, Zeus, et cetera— which is useful to validate his presence and not confuse him with other deities ruling over their respective Underworld.
Doing deity confirmation Tarot readings is one of the most basic ways. The cards that represent Hades are Death, in connection with Pluto —the planet of changes, renewal, and transformation— and The Judgement, in relation to his role in the Underworld. Contrary to popular belief, Hades isn’t the God of Death, but the Dead, as he takes a role in judging the souls that come to his kingdom, assigning them a place in the Elysian Fields, the Asphodel Fields, or the Tartarus pit; and imparting a fair punishment on those who caused damage when they were alive. Because of the latter, Hades is often invoked to ask for justice for innocent victims who have passed in the hands of criminals, murderers, and rapists. Remember to ask further questions related to his story. For instance, the six of swords (Rider Waite-Smith deck) can represent his ferryman, Charon, and the nine of swords, his association with wealth.
How are signs from deities received?
Signs can appear in many different ways. But you’ll know in your heart that what you’re perceiving is a sign because of the frequency and the vehemence in which you receive them. You can notice these signs through your clair senses (clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairalience) or dreams; or you can see his imagery, symbols, and correspondences in social media, in nature, in your house, or even another person can reach out to you on his behalf.
How to start working with Hades?
Even though the Lord of the Underworld usually reaches out or favors people with depression, necromancers, or Scorpio Sun witches, you can also choose to have him as your spiritual mentor.
If you decide to answer his call, you can expect him to be gentle, patient, and respectful of your boundaries. Hades will never see you as broken or damaged, for he understands what it feels like to be lonely and cast as the villain. You can certainly expect him to help you get through shadow work, especially if you want to work through trauma and abandonment. What’s more, in association with necromancy, he can help you communicate with the deceased. It is said that you can ask him to have a loved one who has passed show up in your dreams or get rid of nightmares. In regards to money, as the ruler of wealth, he can assist you in managing your funds and expenses.
In case you're working with Persephone, don’t be surprised if Hades reaches out to you as well, as you cannot have one without the other. If you’re not working with her yet or wonder if she’s trying to contact you, don’t miss our blog post on Signs Persephone Is Calling you.
What offerings are suitable for Hades?
As the God of Wealth, it is safe to assume that Hades has it all and that material expensive offerings aren’t that appealing to him. He appreciates dedication, care, and devotion. Anything worthy of his approval is a good offering. You can give him imagery or elements he’s attributed with, you can do good deeds, such as helping the poor, donating to charity, volunteering in animal rescue shelters, cleaning tombstones, honoring the dead, leaving coins at the entrance of a cemetery for the lost souls, visiting and decluttering rivers, and many more. At the end of the day, it's your relationship with him. You can ask him what he would like as payment in return for the favor granted to you.
What should I be careful about working with Hades?
As with any other spirit, remember they come from the Higher power, he’s superior to humans. So, treating him as your friend or an equal would be disrespectful. Moreover, ever since modern witches started to work with Hades and educate others about his true nature, people began to refer to him in childish ways, which lead to disregarding his authority as king and his power as a god. Furthermore, making foul comments toward his spirit allies, especially Persephone, can cause his wrath.
If you work with multiple deities, try setting up his altar or placing his offerings near spirits’ he gets along with, like Thanatos, Hekate, Hermes, and obviously, Persephone; and away from those he’s not very fond of, such as Lucifer, who he’s believed to have had feuds with.
As always, working with spirits shouldn’t be taken lightly, as they’re ancient beings who, like people, have their limits and moods. Remember to be respectful of these boundaries, no matter the gender or title of the entity, and to take your time before agreeing to bond with them. Do your research, check your protections and think hard about what working with this entity would mean to you and how it can help you align yourself with the Universe.
What other deities or spirits should we write about? Let us know in the comments!