Queen of the Seven Crossroads by Humberto Maggi, is a work of sorcerous devotion dedicated to this Queen of Quimbanda, a Brazilian magico-religious system that emerged in the first half of the 20th century. The aim of this treatise is to provide a conceptual background for a better comprehension of the identity and role of the Queen of the Seven Crossroads, enabling the devotee to develop a consistent practice of work and communion with this elevated spirit.
Humberto Maggi weaves together history and myth, taking the reader on a journey from ancient Greece and Rome, to early modern Europe through the Inquisition, to Africa, and finally to Brazil showcasing the power of oral tradition. This is an in-depth survey of the historical developments that influenced the creation of the concept of the Queen of the Seven Crossroads, comprising about 80% of the text. Maggi traces the roots of this complex spirit, introducing readers to the cycle of magic into myth into magic through the lore of Greek witches like Medea and Circe and how one sees echoes of this mythical theme in the lore of Maria de Padilla, and how the Latin myth of the witch reflected in the likes of Erichto and Sagana evolves into the Witch of Evora. We learn how these European concepts; are imported into Brazil through the prosecuted witches of Portugual, and how these beliefs came to meet African concepts about the orisha Exu, over time evolving into what we now call Quimbanda, a witch’s cauldron that gave birth to the spirit known as the Queen of the 7 Crossroads. This is a well researched text, with ample footnotes and plenty of source material listed for the devotee to further their own research. Indeed the sections on the Witches of Evora and Martha Who Is In Hell alone sent me on my own quest, something that delayed this review as the working method Maggi describes of the Witches of Evora proved to be ripe for experimentation.
The remainder of the text is small grimoire for developing a relationship and working with the Queen of the 7 Crossroads. It is short and concise, exploring her iconography, the meanings behind certain offerings, works of sorcery, ponto cantos (sung points) in Portuguese and English, and several ponto riscados (scratched points) including the author’s personal ponto riscado and his methods of working with her.
This book will interest not only students of Quimbanda, but also traditional witchcraft. The historical sections alone gave me so much to think about and to explore. This begs the question of how applicable the sorcerous work is for those who are not students of Quimbanda, which is an initiatory system. I myself am not initiated into Quimbanda, I have received my consulta and know my personal Exu and Pomba Gira, but this certainly does not qualify me as any sort of an expert on such matters. You will certainly hear conflicting things online, so my recommendation is that if this work does interest you and truly speak to you… seek it out.
You can purchase Queen of the Seven Crossroads, as a hardcover, paperback, or eBook; here.
If you are interested in learning more about Quimbanda, I would suggest checking out An Introduction to Brazilian Quimbanda taught by Jesse Hathaway Diaz, Tata Apokan of Wolf & Goat; and Introduction to Kimbanda: Perspectives in South America offered by Emmanuel Leidi of Sorcerous Tarot,