||First of all it must be quite clearly stated that this book should comes with a Bibliophiles “Wallet Warning”, not specifically because of the price of the book itself, which is a very reasonably priced £10-ish from Amazon, but because I can confidently state that this book has been almost single handedly responsible for the population explosion of ancient texts in my already over crowded bookshelves.
When I first discovered this book existed I was more than a little excited to say the least; I had for sometime been working primarily with the more well known classical texts relating to Hekate; Hesiod, Apollonius of Rhodes and Virgil to name but a few. I was aware of the Chaldean Oracles but had never taken the time to study them in depth, let alone with a view of enhancing my work with Hekate.
I ordered the book from my local occult shop at the time as I am into supporting local businesses, and waited with anticipation for it to arrive. Whilst I am a well educated and well read woman, I have to confess to feeling just a little horrified when I finally picked the book up and flicked through it, on many pages the footnotes are larger than the body text itself, help I thought, I’m never going to manage that. So I put it on the dashboard of my car and there is sat for a few weeks.
It might have stayed there indefinitely (I’m rubbish at cleaning out my car) slowly fading and going yellow had it not been for a chance occurrence, a friend asked for a lift to a conference I was going to some 50 miles away, as I negotiated a roundabout, the book slid from the drivers side of the dash over, and my friend retrieved it, Hekate Soteira, thats a lofty and unusual title, and here is where I had to show my ignorance even more, I had to admit that I didn’t even know what the word Soteira meant, I assumed had it was yet another epithet, which of course it is, but not one I had ever considered before, their response – Hekate the Saviour, wow, that was a new one on me. My interest was piqued.
Ive read the entirety of this book now many times, although never chronologically, front to back, I tried, honestly I tried and there is no reason why somebody shouldn’t, the book is well ordered into subject specific chapters, such as her early nature, the Chaldean Comic Soul, Theurgy and Magic, Hekate and Magic to name but a few, but within a very short space of time, I realised that those dreaded footnotes that had shaken me so badly were actually a treasure trove of references and information, I would read a few passages and the subsequent footnotes which would lead me on a magickal journey of discovery of new texts and literature, and then eventually after many twists and turns back to this book for more fuel, but quite often, as is the case with any journey, you don’t always arrive back at exactly the same point from which you departed.
I’m particularly fond of reading the book backwards, yes odd I know, but the Appendix at the back entitled “Hekates Equation with the Soul” is actually a very good starting point for anybody approaching this subject for the first time. You might ask why this wasn’t included as a preliminary chapter, and the answer is simple, this book wasn’t written for witches, occultists or magicians, it started its life as a university dissertation and as such is a purely academic text, so if you are looking for a spoon fed style “How to work with Hekate” then this book isn’t for you.
That isn’t to say that this book isn’t full of magickal inspiration and instruction, it absolutely is, chock a block full, but it is up to the individual to glean that information themselves, or perhaps let the lady Hekate guide you to it, after all that would be very appropriate. Ms Iles Johnson even discusses how Hekates role was perceived within the Chaldean system and her opinion is that this very versatile Goddess was often evoked to guide and teach the practitioner, to aid them in their work as they strove to attain a higher state of being. An opinion I have to firmly agree with.