This unique prayer book, compiled and edited by Rev. Yuri McGlinchey, contains a wealth of Marian themes and texts in a format patterned after the Liturgy of the Hours in honor of her obscure medieval title, the Empress of Hell. Prayers included for Lauds, Vespers, and Compline; with morning Angelic prayers, evening prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, St. Bonaventure’s Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a unique Rosary devotion, and Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Empress of Hell.
“My children,” Mary seems to say, “when the enemy assails you, fly to me. Cast your eyes on me, and be of good heart. Since I am your defender, victory is assured to you.” In this way, turning to Mary is a most secure means to conquer all the assaults of hell. For she is even the queen of hell and sovereign mistress of the demons, since she is the one who tames and crushes them. St. Bernardine of Siena expresses the thought this way: “The most Blessed Virgin rules over the regions of hell. She is therefore called the ruling mistress of the demons, because she brings them into subjection.” —St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary
This is a version of the Holy Rosary I employ as a devotion for Maria as Empress of Hell, which replaces the Credo with the oldest surviving Marian prayer, Sub tuum praesidium (Beneath Thy Protection). While some may see this as heretical, I don’t particularly see it as a heresy, if anything it makes it more Marian. The Sub Tuum also predates the Credo. The rosary as we have it now went through centuries of change. It’s no more heretical than using the rosary as another chaplet for which there are many. The goal when constructing this devotion was to make it applicible to both orthodox Marian devotees as well as goetic sorcerers.
How can devotion to Mary be of use to the goetic sorcerer? For this I turn to my friend and practitioner of Marian diablerie, Maria Miles.
Not only does the Glorious Virgin provide refuge from the attacks of the spirits, but unconditional forgiveness for those who fall into sin by trafficking with them. We find this in the account of Saint Theophilus the Penitent, whose tale is traditionally attributed to have inspired the legends of Faust and his pact with the Devil. Her threefold ability to dominate evil spirits, protect and absolve those who invoke them make her the quintessential patron of any who practices Goetia. Given this knowledge of her, it makes sense what is said by Pope Honorius (in the Grimorie of Honorius) that the eves of her feast days, nineteen in all, are most propitious for the conjuring and binding of devils.
Her mystic title of Door is just as meaningful, as the liminality inherent in this title is vital to the calling forth and the manifestation of spirits in the Goetic arts. The use of the rosary for me is tied to initiating trance states where I am able to perceive and communicate with spirits more effectively by enhancing my mediumistic talents. Her association with the Moon, whose sphere disseminates the rays and virtues of the other six planets upon the sublunar Earth, is another demonstration of her title of Porta Coeli, or Gate of Heaven. The moon likewise is the only planet of primary import and consideration in the planning of conjurations, and whose timing is vital to Goetic praxis.
Mary can be appealed to when a pact has gone wrong or been unfulfilled, her aspect of Undoer of Knots being called upon for intercession when a sorcerer has become too entangled in their workings.
To the witch and practitioner of Marian Diablerie, it is an important key to remember that Christ is but a hollow mask for the spirits of Infernus. There is no image more famous or more adequate a synecdoche for human suffering than that of the crucified Christ. For this reason, that image is beloved by these spirits for misery is their sustenance, but Mary is the root and gate of this mystery. Just as she is mother of us all, so is she a mother to Devils. Mater Lamiae, radix et porta Inferni et Coeli.
Rosarium Imperatrix Inferni
Begin by making the Sign of the Cross
In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
On the Cross – Sub tuum praesidium
Sub tuum praesidium confugimus,
Sancta Dei Genetrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus nostris, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.
On the Lone Beads – Pater Noster
Pater Noster, qui es in cælis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie. Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.
On the grouped beads – Ave Imperatrix Inferni
Ave Maria, Mater Domini Nostri,
Regina Cœli, Domina Mundi, et Imperatrix Inferni. Dona Nobis Pacem, Nunc et in Hora Mortis Nostrae.
De Mysteriis Imperatrix Inferni
I – Adam Novam videndum in Calvariae loco
II – Corpus ipsius portandum ad sepulcrum et in inferno imponendum eum
III – Videndum super sepulcrum vincendum ipsius
IV – Ipsius liberatae peccato dormiscendum
V – Ipsam coronandum Novam Evam
End with the Memorare
Memorare, O piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo, quemquam ad tua currentem praesidia, tua implorantem auxilia, tua petentem suffragia, esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia, ad te, Virgo Virginum, Mater, curro, ad te venio, coram te gemens peccator assisto. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere; sed audi propitia et exaudi. Amen.
The Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Sub tuum praesidium
Under thy protection we seek refuge, O Holy Mother of God;
In our needs, despise not our petitions,
but deliver us always from all dangers,
O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.
Ave Imperatrix Inferni
Hail Mary, Mother of Our Lord,
Queen of Heaven, Lady of the World, and Empress of Hell.
Grant us peace, now and at the hour of our death.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
The Mysteries of the Empress of Hell
1.) Beholding the New Adam on the Hill of the Skull
2.) Bearing his Body to the Sepulcher and placing him in Hell
3.) Witnessing his Triumph from the Grave
4.) Her Falling Asleep free from Sin
5.) Her Crowning as the New Eve
Ave Maria mater Domini nostri Iesus Christi regina cœli domina mundi imperatrix inferni misere mei & totius populi Christiani Amen.
–Antiphon from the Saltair Mhuire, attributed to Domhnall Albannach Ó Troighthigh, in manuscript dated 1477.
Hail Mary, mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, Queen of Heaven, Lady of the World, Empress of Hell, have mercy on me and the whole of Christian people.
To speak of Mary as Empress of Hell may sound surprising and even confusing. But St. Alphonsus explains.
“Not only is the most Blessed Virgin the queen of heaven and of all saints. She is also queen of hell and of all evil spirits. For she overcame them valiantly by her virtues. From the very beginning God foretold the victory and empire that our queen would one day gain over the serpent, when he announced to him that a woman would come into the world to conquer him: “I will put enmity between you and the woman. . . . She will crush your head” (Gn 3:15). And who could this woman, his enemy, be but Mary, who by her fair humility and holy life always conquered him and beat down his strength?”
The most famous and enduring example of this, and possibly the source of the Queen of Heaven/Empress of Hell dichotomous terminology, is variations on the Theophilus legend. This is especially interesting because Theophilus is the forerunner to one Herr Doktor Faustus. In this legend/miracle story, Theophilus makes a transaction with the devil for the rights to his soul. Near death, he comes to regret his decision, and begs Mary to help him. As Mary is infinitely merciful, she does. She girds her loins for battle, descends into hell, and steals back the charter conveying Theophilus’ soul to the devil!
Possibly the most interesting part of this miracle story is Mary’s mission to hell is portrayed as warfare. The tales evoke the devil’s anger, and use language of violence and theft to describe Mary’s actions. In her guise as empress of hell–that is, more powerful even than Satan–she is not the mother of mercy, she is the “queen of vengeance.”
“To return to witches however, although there are obvious similarities with some of the modern magical practices carried out by Wiccans, most of the methods and techniques used by the old-time witches bear little resemblance to those used by today’s neo-pagan witches. Often the cunning folk practised dual faith observance and the charms, amulets, prayers and incantations they used invoked Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the Trinity and the company of saints. Psalms were used for magical purposes as spells and they still are in some modern traditional witchcraft circles. With the coming of the new faith of Christianity and the suppression of the ancient pagan religions, objects such as crucifixes, saints’ medallions, the host and holy water were widely used by folk magicians because they were believed to possess ‘virtue’ or magical energy and inherent healing power.
Christian symbolism was used in folk magic rituals involving psychic protection, counter-magic snd healing. Many of the old pagan charms were Christianised and some of the saints took on the earlier attributes of Pagan gods and goddesses. Sacred springs previously dedicated to goddesses for
instance were re-dedicated either to the Virgin Mary or to female saints such as Winefrede or Bride.
Healing charms replaced the names of pagan deities such as Woden, Loki and Thor with those of God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Many of the grimoires used by witches and the practitioners of folk magic also inevitably contained Judeo-Christian symbolism.
Some modern traditional witches still follow dual faith observance using the psalms for magical purposes, working with the company of saints and employing Christian imagery, symbolism and liturgy, often in a heretical and subversive way. The neo-Pagan witch speaks of ways that harm none, while the modern traditional witch – in common with the witches and cunning folk of the past – can both cure and curse as the need arises. Here the magic, while Christian, is undoubtedly authentic
rather than a romantic revival. Similar practices can be found in Vodou, Hoodoo, Santeria, Macumba, Ju-ju and Obeah in the Americas and in Africa. A Catholic model of the universe, including heaven, purgatory and the underworld, influenced Congolese acceptance and use of Catholicism in their magical practices, such as Palo Mayombe. It is just as useful in Western necromancy.”
– from the Testament of Cyprian the Mage by Jake Stratton-Kent
The Testament of Cyprian the Mage review by Frater Acher