The Sorcery of Hekate

The Sorcery of Hekate June 8, 2017

I first learned about Jason Miller from a teacher who recommended one of his books a few years back, though I don’t remember why. I picked up a copy of the Sorcerer’s Secrets and worked with it successfully, achieving great results. Due to that I ended up buying all of his books which sat on my bookshelf for quite some time. Then about a year and a half ago I picked up Protection & Reversal Magick off of my shelf and began reading. To my extreme delight the book was not only as good as the Sorcerer’s Secret but was centered around working with Hekate.

I eventually reached out to Jason and discovered that he’s a really down-to-Earth guy, knowledgable, friendly and innovative when it comes to his magickal approach – all qualities that I look for in a potential magickal teacher. When I discovered that he was teaching a course on sorcery surrounding Hekate so I asked around if any of my friends had taken the course. I found several who did and each and every person raved about how amazing the course was – including those who are in some of my current witchcraft traditions.

I couldn’t let this opportunity pass by and just had to join. I’m really glad that I did. I’ve had many metaphysical occult teachers throughout the years, some better than others. I will say with all honesty that I’m super impressed with Jason and his approach towards both Hekate and towards sorcery. So I decided to reach out to Jason to see if he’d be willing to talk about Hekate, his background and the course a bit.

Image Credit: Jason Miller | Used With Permission
Image Credit: Jason Miller | Used With Permission

How did you get involved with occult practices?

I have talked a lot about a series of paranormal experiences when I was 5, but of course that was just stuff that happened – not practices. Those experiences never left me though and sparked a real search when I got old enough to do so. I was EXTREMELY lucky in my connections. A teacher at my High School that was also a Rosicrucian saw me reading a book about Tarot and asked if I had cards. She bought me a deck and gave me my first protection and shielding instructions. I started reading everything I could from that point on and soon made acquaintances with a RootDoctor in Lakewood NJ, and a Ngakpa (Buddhist Sorcerer) that eventually became my most important teacher thus far. All before I was 20 years old, and all in central NJ – which is really remarkable when you think about it. So I guess how I got started is that I asked the universe for teachers and the universe provided them!

Your books and courses use the word “sorcery” a lot, why do you like “sorcery”? What does that word mean to you?

I use the term Sorcery for two reasons. The first is that it feels like it is somewhere between “magician” and “witch”. I value intellect and intuition. I employ folk magic and ceremony. Because of my early training, as well as training in the Himalayan magical systems, there is no separation in my mind between them, so Sorcerer is a better word to use to convey who I am.

The other reason is that the Sorcerer is clearly someone concerned with results. It is possible to call yourself a magician and be only concerned with spiritual development. It is possible to call yourself a Witch and be mainly concerned with seasonal rituals and religious observance. I have met people who call themselves magicians and witches that do not even believe in magic in the practical sense. That’s fine, but when we talk about a Sorcerer or Sorceress we kind of know that we are talking about someone who is mucking about with spells and influence. I still emphasize mysticism and growth, but the light of spirit gets reflected outward in terms of Sorcerous action.

What do you feel is the most important personal spiritual or magickal practice that you have?

Meditation. If I could only keep one, that would be it. Everything you know and experience, you know and experience through your mind. Having a handle on the mind is key for success in magic and life. Unfortunately getting magical people to meditate is not easy. Its everything that they hate. Magical folks want to shout names at the quarters – Meditation says sit down and shut up. Magical folks want to have visions and speak to the spirits – Meditation says if the spirits show up, tell them to go away for now.

Offerings would be a close second and if there is one thing my students report as the key game changer for them it is making regular offerings.

Detail from the cover of Sex, Sorcery and Spirit by Jason Miller - Used With Permission
Detail from the cover of Sex, Sorcery and Spirit | Used With Permission

How did these teachings from Hekate come into being? She appeared to you while you were studying Eastern teachings, correct?

Not just studying Eastern teaching, but actually on retreat in Nepal. I was meditating on the impermanence of life in Pashupatinath where they burn bodies on the riverside like they do in Varanasi. Suddenly I had a vision of a Goddess that bore two torches and was clearly not in Eastern dress. She told me I would be returning soon, and when I did I should go to the Barrens and offer her a supper and that she would reveal something important. I dismissed it as one of those weird things that happen when you are meditating at the time. I knew I would be returning to the States in a few months, so that was obvious. What I did not know at that point was that I would feel called to “return” to a wider magical practice rather than just continue my studies in Tibetan Magic, which was my sole focus for the previous 4 years or so.

When I came back to NJ I moved in with a friend that is also an Archaeologist who studied Greek religion extensively. After raiding his book collection I went to a three way crossroads in the Pine Barrens and offered some eggs, honey, and wine to Hekate and sang her Orphic Hymn. She appeared in a more elaborate form than she did in Nepal and started revealing other spirits and a specific style of working. It is not Tantra, but does use some elements of Tantric ritual, which is why I was ideal to reveal this type of arcana to.

Detail from the cover of The Sorceror's Secrets | Used With Permission
Detail from the cover of Protection & Reversal Magick | Used With Permission

I find it interesting that there’s an emphasis on Hekate’s epithets from the Greek Magical Papyri such as Erishkigal, Aktiophis and Nebotosoaleth in both your book Protection & Reversal Magick and in the course. Why did you choose those for the course?

Betz’s translation of the PGM is probably the most important book for occultists to come out in the last 100 years. I didn’t so much choose it as Hekate did. When I started to receive the teachings she was clear that I was to stick to historical sources for her, and to avoid any modern iterations. Not because those modern iterations are bad or wrong, but simply because they would muddy up the transmission. My course draws upon historical research but certainly doesn’t confine itself to it. I have no interest in reconstruction. The names in the PGM associated with Hekate are potent keys that open doors. Just as they are used in different contexts with in the PGM itself, they can be used outside of it.

There seems to be a popular embrace of Hekate as dark goddess while ignoring her other historical properties. Why do you think that is? Do you think that’s a healthy approach?

Its really not a healthy approach at all. Really as with all things Hekatean you have three main levels to see her on. There is the main idea of Hekate where she is a goddess of opening gates, guiding, crossroads, magic, etc. There IS that darker more atavistic Hekate as well, but there is also a quite transcendent and luminous form of her in the Chaldean Oracles.

Sadly people lately are instantly attracted to anything labeled as “dark”. And most of the time that is exactly what it is – a label. I once made an April Fools joke about a new course called “Strategic Sorcery Dark”, that was exactly the same course but in red font on black background, lots of upside down pentagrams and the word “dark” inserted before Sorcery throughout the course. I actually had people ask for it…

I am all for a gothic aesthetic if that is your thing, and darkness, wrath, death, and everything has its place in any authentic magical practice. But to emphasize it at the exclusion of all else seems just as bad as any fluffy bunny one could imagine.

How does Protection & Reversal Magick differ from the Sorcery of Hekate?

Protection and Reversal Magic is first and foremost a book about Protection and Reversal Magic, The Hekate focused rituals are there as examples of the type of magic you would employ at that stage in an escalating situation. People from other traditions will want to do something similar but with powers that they are familiar with. Times of difficulty and danger are not usually the times to form new alliances. The spells in the book are from this teaching transmission though, albeit from 10 years ago which was still early in the transmission. I kept wanting to do a book on Hekate and Hekate kept saying no. I am very glad that she did, because it ended up needing to be expressed as a training program.

Detail from the cover of The Sorcerer's Secrets | Used With Permission
Detail from the cover of The Sorcerer’s Secrets | Used With Permission

How have these teachings from Hekate changed or impacted you? How have you seen it change or impact others?

Oh goodness they have effected me deeply and actually re-framed my understanding of my own spiritual goals. I view things now less as a journey towards some static enlightenment but as a never ending push to move further and further beyond. Beyond what I am and even what I can conceive. Yet she shows how one does not abandon the ego or this world to transcend it. It is all still there and you remain active in it. This is how a Goddess that is cosmic in scope can still be called upon for the small, even sometimes petty, needs expressed in a defixiones tablet.

Students have reported results ranging financial spells, influence, health etc. It is really the students a teaching has to work for, so I was very happy that it has been so well received. Many people I think get impacted simply by having real skin in the game in terms of a commitment that is magical and financial. So much out there doesnt ask anything of anyone, or just tells people to do whatever feels right, that engaging a system that demands something can be a shock and an eye opener. When people have a few visions or contacts with Hekate early in the course and I tell them to basically ignore them and keep to the work, it is sometimes the first time someone has ever suggested that. The idea is to cut through that surface level experience and go deep.

As I am writing this answer a student just posted this to the group: ” I find myself listening and contemplating some lessons metaphysically like am glimpsing in a cosmology I knew existed but now its alive.”

Detail of Painting by Nada Cat Commissioned by Jason Miller | Used With Permission
Detail of Painting by Nada DeCat Commissioned by Jason Miller | Used With Permission

How long do people still have to sign up? When is the tentative next round of this course?

I let people jump in for about two to three weeks in. I don’t know why but as the energy builds with each new cycle it seems to draw people that were maybe on the fence or didn’t know about the class before. The next cycle will open around New Years.

What books would you recommend a beginner interested in Hekate?

The reading list you put together is quite exhaustive, I would tell people to start with Hekate in Ancient Greek Religion by Ilmo Robert Von Rudloff for an overview, The Goddess Hekate by Stephen Ronan for a deeper look into bother her main form and how she manifests in the Oracles and The Greek Magical Papyri edited by Hans Dieter Betz for a glimpse at ancient ritual forms.

What other courses do you have coming up? Do you have any new projects in the works?

Well, lets see….

Strategic Sorcery and Take Back Your Mind courses now have rolling admission. My Level Up Course where I get into the really spacey Weird magics opens up for a third cycle at the end of the summer. I am also working on a new book called Elements of Spellcrafting that I am writing for New Page Books.

After all that… Who Knows?

You can learn more about Jason and his courses by visiting his website at Strategic Sorcery.

You can learn more about the Sorcery of Hekate course by clicking here.

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