Hekate, Liminal Rites

A Study of the Rituals, Magic and Symbols of the Torch-bearingtriple Goddess of the Crossroads

Despite the inference of a practical theme in the title; Hekate, Liminal Rites is written with the more academic Pagan/Magickal/Occult practitioner or afficionado in mind. If you are looking for a ritual based How To, or Spell book to follow slavishly you will be sadly disappointed. However, this is not to say that the book is some dry dusty tome that would cure even the worst insomniacs longest night, far from it. It is well written in a reader friendly almost reportage like format.

It is logically organised into subject specific chapters including topics such as her history as we understand it, an extensive list of literary sources, historical imagery, analysis of Hekates presence in the Greek Magical Papyri (PGM), a study of ancient defixiones (binding/curse tablets), hymns & invocations, Herbs & Poisons etc.

Whilst some of these topics have been covered by the likes of Iles Johnson, Von Rudloff, Rabinowitz and Ronan, this newest treatise on a very imminent and universal Goddess brings its own particular flavour to the table and as a result this work compliments rather than mimics other texts related to Hekate.

Also in addition to the above, there are a number of subjects which may surprise even the most well versed Hekate academic, including references to Hekate in early christian writings, possible occurances of the goddess in Jewish magic and the rather surprising conclusions the authors make regarding certain pythagorean references and fragments of Sophocles’ lost play, the Rhizotomi.

One chapter which for me particularly shone through is the authors obvious indepth study of the PGM which was made apparent not only in the chapter dedicated to the subject, but also in the preceeding topic discussing Voces Magicae, a chapter I personally would have liked to have seen expanded or perhaps incuded as part of the discussions on the PGM.

I would also have liked to have seen a more indepth discussion regarding the authors reasons for including certain PGM references where the connection is either a little obscure, totally obscure or more lacunae than charm, for example:

  • PGM IV 2241-2358
  • PGM VII 756-94
  • PGM VII 862-918
  • PGM CXIV 1-14
  • PGM CXXIII a-f

This shouldn’t however put a prospective reader off purchasing this book however, it is in my opinion a minor glitch in an otherwise content rich, well researched and well written book.

A book which is well worth its cover price and will happily compliment and stand the test against other books currently available on this subject and is a definite “must have” for any serious potential dedicant to the Goddess Hekate

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