Book Review – The Temple of Hekate

Book Review – The Temple of Hekate May 10, 2016

The Temple of Hekate, by Tara Sanchez.

The Temple of Hekate is a vibrant and exciting collection of modern rituals and practices exploring the mysteries of the Goddess Hekate. In this book Tara Sanchez draws together her knowledge of ancient practices and literature merging it with her personal experiences and ideas. Thoroughly modern, but steeped in history, this is a book of rituals, meditations, divinations and other techniques through which the reader is invited to explore the magick of this ancient goddess of the crossroads, sorcery and witchcraft. 

The reader is introduced to essential practices such as keeping a magickal journal, setting up the altar, ritual purification, sacred space, preparing incenses and making a ritual robe; as well as more advanced practices such as ritual gestures, sacred vowels and dream incubation. Other techniques covered include knot magick and phylacteries, psychic development and the use of banishing rituals. 
The exercises in this book present the beginner with everything they need, and the experienced practitioner with a new and fresh perspective. Divination is a very popular area of study amongst those interested in modern witchcraft and magic, and this book presents a unique Hekatean approach to using and interpreting the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Through drawing together ideas from ancient literature and applying it to modern works, the author has created the Oracle of Her Sacred Fires. This oracle is a system of divination by dice and draws on the writings of dozens of modern priests, priestesses and mystics who contributed to the anthology Hekate Her Sacred Fires (d’Este, 2010) – a wonderful blend of old and new! 

The comprehensive appendixes provide additional reference material which can be used to enhance workings with the Goddess Hekate. They include material on Hekate and the other Gods, herbs, plant and animal correspondences, other spiritual beings such as daemons, the winds and the four elements – as well as techniques for reduction sigils and planetary hours. Filled with a blend of ancient and modern wisdom, ritual, technique and theory – this book is essential reading for complete beginners, intermediate students and experienced hands who are looking for relevant 21st century insights and ideas, which also honour the past – and in the process it opens up entirely new ways through which to explore the magick of the Goddess Hekate today.

This book is at once wonderful and disappointing.

Disappointing because it is far more about practising Witchcraft with Hekate in mind.  Which is great really, but not what I am after.  Personally, I am a Hearth Witch and, I think, will be for as long as my children live with me, at the least and perhaps longer.  Ritualistic Witchcraft is not really my province any more.  When it comes to “working with” Hekate, it is far more about the religious side of things and, I suppose, the mysteries, knowledge, wisdom aspect than anything to do with magic.

But it was also a wonderful book.  For Witches who are interested in working with Hekate, this book would be of great value.  It looks into the history of Hekate and of Witchcraft practices and tries to merge them together, adapt them to each other – to make a good modern Hekatean Witchcraft Practice.  I think it does a good job with what it is trying to accomplish.

For myself, I particularly enjoyed the appendix about associations/symbols. Now of course you can find that information anywhere and everywhere, but what this book does is actually try to explain why these things are associated with Hekate and the source texts that the information comes from (or other, if it wasn’t a text that was sourced).  And while you can find all of that information for yourself, it is nice to have the list readily to hand when you need/want it.

Some parts of the book are still quite valuable to someone who is not looking for Hekatean Witchcraft, but just Hekate… stuff…

There is a section on visualisation and how to practice this and achieve it, which I found very nicely done – much better than many others I have read (admittedly I haven’t read any Witchcraft 101 information in a long while, so there surely would be other good ones out there I know nothing of).

There were some handy incense recipes in this book too. Again something you can find easily outside of the book, but it’s always handy to have such things within easy reach without having to sort through the chaff on Google.

There was a nice section on ritual gestures, which is something I haven’t really seen very often, so that too was quite nice to read, as well as informational of course.  There is even a section on creating your own ritual robes, chitons of course, since Hekate is a Greek Goddess. But I like chitons, so it was a fun section to read through.

I think my favourite part though was the section on ritual knots including creating a phylactery.  Now there is something I will happily use and my brain is tinkering away in the background trying to figure out how/what sort of ritual knotting I may do soon.

Overall Assessment

There is nothing wrong with this book, it’s a great piece of work, a great resource for Hekatean Witches, or potential Hekatean Witches.

On the other hand, it’s a mediocre resource for those who not looking into Witchcraft, but are just expanding and refreshing their general Hekatean knowledge.  But this in no way makes the book in any way bad.

So, it’s a fantastic book for its purpose.

Recommend it for

Hekatean Witches – Old and new, even old hat you may still find some use in this book – even if it just that everything is compiled in a single book instead of 20 different ones.  It’s a fantastic book for the newbie though.

Hekate Devotees – Old and new, or seeking.  Mostly of newbies and seekers, but as with the Witches, we older devotees can still learn (or relearn) a few things from this book.

Interested – Anyone interested in Hekate, historically and Her role in modern times.

Witches – In general, especially newbies, may find this to be of use as well.  Especially since a lot of covens and groups do call on Hekate, it’s a good idea to get to know Her even if only academically.

I got this book in ebook format from Amazon Australia

You can also get it from the following

Book Depository paperback
Amazon US paperback
Amazon US Ebook

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