Pagan Portals – Temple of the Bones: Rituals to the Goddess Hekate, by Jennifer Teixeira
Moon Books, 1789042828, 112 pages, June 2021

Pagan Portals – Temple of the Bones: Rituals to the Goddess Hekate author Jennifer Teixeira has been a practicing witch for over two decades, and in 2009 went forward on her priestess path with The Starflower Coven and The Amazon Blood Mothers of San Francisco Bay Area in California. Beyond being a practicing witch, the author’s specific relationship with the Goddess and experience leading ritual dedicated to Hekate more than qualifies her to educate on the specific rites and rituals presented within these pages.

At just 112 pages, the book is compact and reads as a literal handbook for developing and maintaining a relationship with Hekate, specifically as a group. The writings are in large part the actual public rituals of The Temple of Bones, a group dedicated to Hekate that meets in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

The book begins with a Foreword written by Rowan “Briar” Rivers, one of the Temple of Bones leaders, who begins by telling the story of how they came to be a dedicants of Hekate, and how the group came to be formed. Rivers goes on to explain some of the many symbols and signs that Hekate may use to call upon and invite you to also enter into a relationship with Her.

Hekate is known for having many names (I’ve read in places that there are hundreds at least) and we are shown more than a dozen of them in this book. The Temple of Bones chooses one epithet to work with each month, and the chapter titled “Epithets of Hekate” gives us the exact format that is used to facilitate Her monthly prayer circle where each month another of Her names is called upon for community healing and protection.

The ritual format continues to be explained in the following chapters, “Casting the Circle in the Temple of Bones,” “Elements of Hekate,” “Ancestors of Blood and Affinity,” “Calling the Goddess,” and “The Ritual Working.”

These chapters are succinct and direct with instructions given for leading these portions of the ritual.

The chapter titled “The Bone Oracle” goes into great depth with the Temple of Bone’s “Bone Divination Guide.” Having next to no knowledge of reading or “throwing” bones, and also having an interest in lithomancy (fortune telling by reading crystals and stones) I was thrilled to see that the Temple’s “bones” include crystals, stones, shells, bones, herbs and other interesting, assorted items including alligator claw, coyote claws and teeth, a fossilized stingray barb, and an iron nail. The guide explains the meanings attached to each item and how to use them in divination.

The pages following are a virtual recipe book of offerings, spells, incense formulations, potion recipes, flying ointments, and rituals for the phases of the moon. There is a simple recipe for Florida Water, which I happened to be looking for and delighted to find (and thrilled to realize how simple it is to make!)

The Chapter “Hekate’s Garden” lists the herbs used by the Temple of Bones and explains a bit of history and usage for each. This chapter, as well as the “Bone Divination Guide” are worth the price of the book alone as a reference for working with Hekate.

“The Temple of Bones Ritual Pit” gives the outline for the public ritual of the Temple of Bones and is wonderfully complete in its instruction and would be useful for anyone desiring to lead a Hekatean ritual.

The book wraps up with suggestions for further reading.

I would recommend Pagan Portals – Temple of the Bones to anyone who is interested in working with or learning more about the Goddess Hekate. It is a lovely addition to my own small Hekatean library and I’m sure I’ll use it often in the future at the very least for its lists of herbs, explanations of specific “bones”, incense formulas, and of course for that wonderful Florida Water recipe.