April 2, 2013

Hekate Liminal Rites

Hekate Liminal Rites
A Historical Study of the Rituals, Magic and Symbols of the Ancient Triple Goddess of Crossroads
By Sorita d’Este and David Rankine

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At the crossroads of life, death and rebirth stands the Goddess Hekate. Honoured by men, women and gods alike, traces of her ancient provenance reach back through the millennia providing clues about her nature and origins along the way. Depictions of her as three formed facing in three ways, sometimes with the heads of animals such as the horse, dog and snake hint at her liminal nature, as well as the powers she holds over the triple realms of earth, sea and sky. The sorcery of Medea and Circe, the witchcraft of the women of Thessaly, the writings of philosophers such as Hesiod and Porphyry all provide glimpses into the world of those who honoured her. Her magical powers were considered so great that even King Solomon became associated with her, she was incorporated into Jewish magic, and merged with other goddesses including Artemis, Selene, Bendis and the Egyptian Isis. Whilst for some she was the Witch Goddess, for others she was the ruler of angels and daimons, who made predictions about Jesus and Christianity. Wherever you look, be it in the texts of Ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantium or the Renaissance, the Greek Magical Papyri or the Chaldean Oracles, you will find Hekate. The magical whir of the strophalos and the barbarous words of the voces magicae carry her message; the defixiones, love spells and charms all provides us with examples of the magic done in her name. She was also associated with the magic of death, including necromancy and reanimation; as well as prophetic dreams, nightmares, healing herbs and poisons. The temples dedicated to her and the important role she played in the mysteries of Eleusis, Samothrace and Aigina all provide us with clues to her majesty. The popular shrines at the doorways of ordinary people, offerings left at the crossroads and guardian statues of her at the entrance ways to cities and temples all attest to her status in the hearts and minds of those who knew her mysteries. In this book the authors draw from a wide range of sources, bringing together historical research which provides insights into the magical and religious practices associated with this remarkable Goddess. In doing so they provide an indispensable guide for those wishing to explore the mysteries of Hekate today.

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Extracts from Reviews:

“I found ever chapter interesting but my favourites were ‘Hymns’ which includes Prayer to Selene for any operation,’Invocation’ which includes a description of a summoning of Hekate, ‘Defixiones’-a detailed description of binding curses and ‘Charms from the PGM’ which includes a list of charms in the Greek Magical Papyri’. There are some great mini-chapters regarding Hekates followers including Medea,Circe and The witches of Thessaly. I only wish some of the chapters had been a bit longer though it does contain an extensive bibliography which has introduced me to some books on Hekate that i had not discovered before.” C Norris, Amazon Reviewer

“‘Hekate Liminal Rites’ is a truly fascinating read. The authors’ writing is extremely well researched, and draws upon both accurate and historical material throughout this work. However, unlike so many other historical studies, this little book also manages to evoke such a presence of Hekate that it is almost experiential; and I found it impossible to continue reading without first lighting a candle (or three!!) for this deity.” Vikki Bramshaw, author of Craft of the Wise

“As with other works by these authors it is clear that their intent is to illuminate the subject for the reader. The book is clear and intelligible but does not seek to simplify the subtleties of history nor to disguise interpretation as truth.” Magin Rose, Artist and Amazon Reviewer

“It seems like someone should have done a book like this before, but the thing is they have not. The research goes into areas that other books on Hekate does not, and its clear that the authors must have been familiar with the other key works and instead of producing something to rival it they produced this book, which clearly compliments the work presented in the other books. It focusses on the areas of spiritual and magical practice, therefore making this a perfect book not only for scholars and students interested in learning more about the Goddess Hekate, but also for practitioners of magic today who want to be able to take inspiration from the ancient practices.” Scarlet River, Amazon Reviewer

“I say “excellent” in my title as if I’m comparing it to something else or have the authority as a historian. I’m not a historian, but I appreciated the historical representation of Hekate in this book. It uses mostly sources written from the Greek Classical period into Antiquity (the Christianization of Greece) to delve into Hekate’s functions, symbols, rites of worship, and relevance in Greek society.” Mica Simonian, Amazon Reviewer

“Hekate is often called a three faced or three headed goddess. THe head in many of the illustrations were animals heads such as a dogs head,goat head or a snake head to name a few. Hekate is also unique in that she is named in charms that invoke Hebrew names for deity and also angels and king Solomon. This is indicative of a crossover between Greek and Jewish Magic.This is one incredible book one that I strongly advise getting” S Cranow, Amazon Reviewer

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