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.
A Prayer for Healing and Protection from Fevers
The below prayer comes from Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power edited by Marvin W Meyer and Richard Smith. It was originally a long narrow peice of papyrus, folded and tied to be worn easily as an amulet. In this version, the prayer is used a petition paper, for a Southern Folk Magic style mojo bag.
♰ Flee, hateful spirit! Christ pursues you, the son of God and the holy spirit have overtaken you. O God of the sheep-pool, deliver from evil your servant NN whom (mother’s name) bore. ♰ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things where made through Him and without Him was not anything that was made. O Lord, ♰ Christ, son and Word of the living God, who heals every disease and every infirmity, also heal and watch over NN whom (mother’s name) bore, and chase away and banish from them every fever and every evil. Pray through the intercession of our Lady, the Mother of God, and the glorious Archangels, and the holy and glorious apostle and evangelist and theologian John, and St Serenus and St Philoxenos and St Victor and St Justus and all the saints. For your name, O Lord God, have I invoked the name that is wonderful and exceedingly glorious and fearful to your adversaries, Amen ♰
Directions to Prepare the Charm Bag
Soak the paper with 4 Thieves vinegar, praying Pslams 114 and 115 (Psalm 116 in KJV) as you do. Let it dry, write the prayer, praying it aloud as you write it. Fold 3 times toward you (in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit). Put in a flannel bag with dill seed, rosemary and hyssop. Breathe life into the charm bag, asking for protection from disease in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Tie up the bag with 7 knots, attach a cross medal (or alternatively one of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Archangel Raphael, St Sebastian or any other saint associated with healing) to the end of the yarn you use to tie off the charm bag. Feed the charm bag with a few drops of Flordia Water, carefully pass the bag through a candle flame to warm it, and then pass through frankincense smoke to fix it. Finally place the completed charm bag under an upturned bowl; dress a white candle with a Blessing or Healing oil, place the candle on top of the bowl and light it. Pray the Rosary, using the Glorious Mysteries; allow the candle and incense to burn themselves out. Carry and sleep with the charm bag for the next 7 days to attune it to you.
Sources: Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power edited by Marvin W Meyer and Richard Smith
Power and Success With the Pslams by Donna Rose
Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by Catherine Yronwode
The Art of Making Mojos by Catherine Yronwode
(Image: Get Behind Me Satan, Ilya Repin 1895)
To be performed on the standard Holy Rosary, to aid the goetic sorcerer in gaining the blessing of Christ; the greatest conjurer to walk the Earth, the King who conquered Hell.
[Alternatively; upon the Chaplet of the Dead, in remembrance of Our Lord’s 40 Hours in Hell]
Rosarium Christus Rex Infernus
Open with – the Sign of the Cross
On the Crucifix-
My Sovereign Saviour Jesus Christ, Son of the living God! Thou who for the salvation of all mankind didst suffer the death of the Cross; Thou who, before being abandoned to Thine enemies, by an impulse of ineffable love didst institute the Sacrament of thy Body; Thou who hast vouchsafed to us miserable creatures the privilege of making daily commemoration thereof; do Thou deign unto thine unworthy servant, thus holding thy Living Body in his hands, all strength and ability for the profitable application of that power with which he has been entrusted against the horde of rebellious spirits. Thou art their true God, and if they tremble at the utterance of Thy Name, upon that Holy Name will I call, crying Jesus Christ! Jesus, be Thou my help, now and for ever! Amen.
On the grouped beads – Immolated Lamb, be Thou a pillar of strength against the demons! Slain Lamb, give power over the Powers of Darkness! Immolated Lamb, grant favour and strength unto the binding of the Rebellious Spirits. So be it.
On the lone beads – Recite the ‘Offering of the Precious Blood’ followed by one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be
Offering of the Precious Blood
Eternal Father! we offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Jesus, shed for us with such great love and bitter pain from His Right Hand; and through the merits and the efficacy of that Blood, we entreat thy Divine Majesty to grant us Thy Holy benediction, in order that we may be defended thereby from all our enemies, and be set free from every ill; whilst we say, “Benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super nos, et maneat semper. Amen.”
Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be
(Indulgence of 100 days, Pope Leo XII, Oct. 25, 1825)
O Jesus, who dost live in Mary, come and live in Thy servants, in the spirit of Thine own holiness, in the fullness of Thy power, in the reality of Thy virtues, in the perfection of Thy ways, in the communion of Thy mysteries, – have Thou dominion over every adverse power, in Thine own Spirit, to the glory of Thy Father. Amen.
(Indulgence of 300 days – Pope Pius IX, Oct. 14, 1859)
Act Of Thanksgiving
Praise, honour, glory, and blessing be unto Him who sitteth upon the throne, who liveth for ever and ever. Amen.
“You should know, reader, that there are many creatures in which sorcery cannot penetrate on account of some prayer they might say everday at bedtime and as they rise.” – True Treasure of Black and White Magic; the Book of St. Cyprian, the Sorcerer’s Treasure translated by José Leitão
The open hours refer to particular moments in the day where the borders between the world of the living and the dead are most tenuous and spirits and demons are free to roam the earth. These hours are the four extreme moments of the daily trajectory of the Sun: Midnight, Sunrise, Midday, Sunset. In traditional folklore, not only do we find that it is at these times most forms of monstrous apparitions and otherworldly visitations appear, but that given their nature they have been traditionally elected as the most favorable for the performance of specific sorceries and maleficas.
The Luciferian Catholic could be said to draw their power from three sources; God, the Dead, and the Devil. As such the prayers for each open hour include one prayer for each.
Traditionally the prayers of the Trinities consist of 3 Hail Marys at Sunrise, to remind the faithful of the annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, and at Sunset, one third of a Rosary, that is one composed of five Mysteries. As such, we recommend Consecration to the Holy Mother at Sunrise, and the Rosarium Imperatrix Inferni at Sunset.
It is important that we also remember what St. Cyprian admonishes us of in the instructions attributed to him in the working book of Arthur Gauntlet:
“The Master must have firm faith And doubt not his work for he that Doubteth to obtain his petition Prayeth with his Mouth Not his heart.”
New Orisons for the Open Hours
For the Trinities (Sunrise and Sunset)
Prayer of the Open Hours of the Trinity
May the Holiest Trinity
Always accompany my steps,
And open friendly arms to me
In the hours of sorrow.
May the Eternal Father aid me,
And Jesus Bless me.
May the Spirit give me light
Against the Temptations of Hell
May I spend all of my existence
Always practicing good
And the Holiest Trinity
Guide me on Earth.
The Holy Trinity
Accompanies me my whole life,
Let it always keep me,
And have mercy upon my soul;
Oh Eternal Father aid me,
Oh Son bless me;
Oh Holy Spirit touch me
Protection, honor, and virtue;
Never let pride envy me,
Instead of evil let there be good
Accompany me always. Amen
Prayer for the Forgotten Dead
O merciful God, take pity on those souls who have no particular friends and intercessors to recommend them to Thee, who, either through the negligence of those who are alive, or through length of time are forgotten
by their friends and by all. Spare them, O Lord, and remember Thine own mercy, when others forget to appeal to it. Let not the souls which Thou hast created be parted from thee, their Creator.
May the souls of all the departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Prayer of the Open Hour of Midday
Oh Virgin of the Holy Heavens,
Mother of our Redeemer,
Who, among women, holdest the palm,
Bring joy to my soul,
That moans filled with grief;
And come and place on my lips
Words of pure love.
In the name of the God of the worlds,
And also in the name of the Beloved Son,
Where the supreme goodness resides,
Always be praised
In this blessed hour. Amen.
Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory
O gentle Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory, have mercy on them. Be not severe in Your judgments, but let some drops of Your Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames. And, Merciful Savior, send Your angels to conduct them to a place of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.
Prayer for the Open Hour of Midnight
Oh angel of my guard,
In this hour of terror,
Free me from terrible visions
Of the terrifying Devil;
Let God make my soul alert
From the dangers of temptation,
Away from me all bad dreams
And the oppressions of the heart.
Oh angel of my guard,
Ask the Virgin Mother on my behalf
To keep me from danger
While I live. Amen
Prayer for la Anima Sola
O languishing soul! The loneliest and most abandoned soul of Purgatory! I feel thy pain, I feel compassion upon hearing thy moaning and suffering, abandoned in this hard penitence, and I wish to relieve thy suffering and longing by offering thee all the good and decent works I may perform during my life, and all the pains I have endured, endure now and will endure in this life, so as thy faults may be paid to God and He may give thee His grace, and I hope that thou will do me the great help of requesting that His light clear my judgement so as I may follow His law, loving Him above all things and my fellow man like unto myself, so as in that way I may deserve His divine majesty and infinite mercy and salvation. Amen.
At Each Open Hour
The Prayer of the True Grimoire
ASTRACHIOS, ASAC, ASACRA, BEDRIMULAEL, SILAT, ARABONAS, IERAHLEM, IDEODOC, ARCHARZEL, ZOPHIEL, BLAUTEL, BARACATA, ADONAI, ELOHIM, EMAGRO, ABRAGATEH, SAMOEL, GEBURAHEL, CADATO, ERA, ELOHI, ACHSAH, EBMISHA, IMACHADEL, DANIEL, DAMA, ELAMOS, IZACHEL, BAEL, SCIRLIN; GENIU DOMOS!
O Lord God, Who art seated above the heavens and Who regardest the Abysses beneath, grant unto me Thy Grace I beesech Thee so that what I conceive in my mind, I may accomplish in my work: through Thee O God, the Sovereign Ruler of All, Who liveth and reigneth unto the Ages of Ages. Amen.
Commentary on the New Orisons
The Prayers of the Open Hours are sourced from O Grande livro de S. Cypriano ou thesouro do feitceiro as translated by José Leitão and are the inspiration behind this post. In his commentary to the book, José notes that given the place where these prayers are presented in the Book, that he believes they are meant to be practiced on a daily basis as so one may be spiritual fit and protected for the orisons and exorcisms that follow.
The Prayer for the Devil is from the Grimorium Verum, and is an interpretive reconstruction by Jake Stratton-Kent. Jake notes that this prayer is absolutely central to the system, intended to be recited multiple times a day in the lead up to the ritual conjurations. The times stated for these recitations are the open hours and are thus included here.
The Prayers for the Dead and Anima Sola The importance of these prayers is anchored in the traditional Roman Catholic eschatology that many of the Dead await the end times in Purgatory, stuck there until the remission of their sins or the second death of eternal damnation on the day of Judgement. Prayers said on the behalf of the souls in purgatory are a good work and show the virtue of caritas. The traditional prayer for anima sola contains an interesting clause and condition, that all the good works and prayers of the one praying it be given to the loneliest soul in Purgatory, thus essentially promising Anima Sola that you will take their place, but on the condition that once elevated that soul would extend prayers to God on your behalf. As we ask the saints to pray for us, now and in the hour of our death, so do we ask that of the rest of the Dead, whether in Heaven or in Purgatory.
For a deeper understanding of why this would be of benefit to a goetic sorcerer or Marian diabolist, we turn again to the Book of Saint Cyprian. Under the heading “Why God permits that the Devil torments His creatures” we find eleven reasons, the final is the most appropriate to this topic:
“So that these creatures may have their Purgatory in this world, and be confounded, seeing as from their evil so much good can be accomplished.” Occult Powers; the Book of St. Cyprian, the Sorcerer’s Treasure translated by José Leitão
These things together imply that prayers said on behalf of the Dead, whether known, forgotten or lone, preserve the soul of the sorcerer against the dangers their work exposes them to, because the very nature of their work, the conjuring and pacting with infernal spirits subjects them to the pains of Purgatory in this life. Thus irregardless of having given up their good works to the soul of another, they may still in good faith work towards their own salvation by the torments of the Devil.
Lucia was born in 283 to a noble family in the city of Siracusa, Sicily. Her father was a Roman, but he died when she was 5 years old. Her mother, Eutychia was of Greek origin. When Lucia’s mother became ill, she went on a pilgrimage with her mother, in 300, to Catania, to St. Agatha’s tomb to seek a cure for her.
Her mother was cured, and when Lucia saw this, she became a Christian, and took a vow of virginity, vowed her life to Christ, and gave away her dowry to the poor. Her mother, not aware of Lucy’s vow, offered her hand in marriage to a pagan young man. The groom became offended when Lucia turned him down, and took his case to Paschasius, the Governor of Siracusa, claiming Lucia was a witch. Paschasius tried to convince her to marry her groom, but she refused. Then he ordered her to be carried to a brothel, but she became so heavy that even oxen could not move her. Later she was tarred, put on the stake to be burned to death, her eyes were removed by the executioner, and she was stabbed with a dagger, yet she did not die. When the priest was called, she finally took her last breath. (Another legend says she plucked out her own eyes because a suitor admired them.)
Other than that, not much is known about her life. She believed in God and she died for her beliefs. In the 6th century, she was declared a saint, patroness of the blind and those with eye trouble.
Her name comes of the Latin word lux, which means light; therefore she is also remembered as a “bearer of light”. That is why her feast day was placed on December 13th, which at the time was the shortest day of the year. (With the change of calendars from the Julian to the Gregorian in 1582, several days were added, so that the solstice now occurs on December 21st or 22nd). Lucy the Lightbringer rules that longest night. It is considered an optimum time for magic spells, divination and spiritual activity. In Austria, Lucy’s Light is a folk name for second sight—psychic ability.
Was Lucy a martyr or a witch? We remember her as both, but in some folklore she is considered mostly a witch.
Her feast day is important during Advent but also popularly appears amongst several different folkloric accounts involving werewolves and witches. In Sweden the Santa Lucia’s night originated in an older tradition of Lussinata, the beginning of a 12 day period ending on Yule whose nights were haunted by the Lussi, a nocturnal demon or witch who would punish and snatch ill behaved children or disappear anyone caught outside on her nights. Likewise she was joined on these nights by the Lussiferda, a host of trolls, goblins and restless spirits who wandered about with her.
Her feast is one of the Ember days of the liturgical calendar, which according again to Honorius (or the anonymous author of the magical manual of attributed to this pope) makes her feast an apt time for the conjuring and binding of demons. In Christendom the Ember days are weeks set for fasting and prayer occurring seasonally. Given the prerequisite of devout prayer, confession, and fasting prior to conjuration that is called for in many of the grimoires there is little reason to wonder why these particular weeks would be chosen for the timing of such magical workings. The ritual tasks of the necromancer would not appear suspicious or out of place, given the context of the liturgical calendar and popular observances.
The other Ember days include one in the spring, typically beginning the first Sunday of Lent, one in the Summer after Pentecost, one after the Exaltation of the Cross in September and finally after St. Lucia’s feast. Another interesting appearance of the Ember days appears in the confession of the 17th century Livonian werewolf, Thiess of Kaltenbrun. Thiess, an octogenarian at the time of his confession and trials claimed that on three nights a year: Saint’s Lucy’s, Pentecost, and Saint John’s, that he and others he called the “Hounds of God” would become werewolves and descend into Hell to return with grain and livestock stolen by the Devil and his witches. When their battles were won the werewolves would ensure a bountiful harvest, but on the years where they suffered losses, it assured famine. Thiess’ account, along with the account of the Benandanti of Friuli (see Night Battles by Carlo Ginzburg) is believed to show a rare glimpse into an ancient agrarian cult that at on point was possibly common across central Europe, and preserved by a few in their observances on these now Christian holy days. For more on the connection between werewolves and witches in popular, and historical record, see the works of Claude Lecouteux, particularly Witches, Werewolves and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages.
Her patronage over sight and the eyes makes her an excellent saint to call upon in to aid in the ability to see the unseen, as well as the ability to heal diseases and afflictions of the eye, including that of the Evil Eye. Here we close with a novena to this blessed saint. Beginning on the night of December 4th on a clean space draped in white, ideally with a cross and icon of Saint Lucia, offer a white seven-day candle and frankincense alongside the orison we have included below along with the recipe for a psychic vision oil. This is a time to ask for her intercession and protection as well as to make magica materia, such as the Holy Vision oil, to be consecrated and blessed by the devotion of these nine nights of vigil held in her honor and by the power of her spirit descending upon it by the grace of the Holy Trinity and Queen of All-Saints, the Blessed Virgin. On the 8th night prepare a dough for a traditional sweet bread made for her night, to be baked and offered on the 9th and final night of her novena.
May the Lord and all his saints keep you in health and high spirits, and in this time of year when night predominates, may the fire your eyes burn bright and all the shades and horrors of winter be dispelled by the light and majesty of Saint Lucy!
Salve! Sancta virgo et martyr beatissimus, ora pro nobis.
Saint Lucia’s Holy Vision Oil
You will need:
- Frankincense resin
- Myrrh resin
- Star Anise
- 2 blue Evil Eye charms
- Olive oil
Crush and macerate the Frankincense, Myrrh, and Eyebright in some olive oil. Place this in a glass container and pour in more oil, enough to cover the crushed mixture. Let this sit for the duration of the novena on the altar of Saint Lucia.
In a new container place a few pieces of Mugwort, Wormwood, Star Anise, Frankincense, Eyebright, Myrrh and two blue Evil Eye charms. Strain the oil from the first container into the new one with the whole herbs and resins. The result should be rich-colored oil with a fragrant scent with a few pieces of resin, root, and herb.
The Orison of St. Lucia
Oh Saint Lucia thou preferred to have thy eyes gouged and torn than deny thy faith.
Oh Saint Lucia the pain of having thy eyes torn was not greater than the one of denying Christ. And as an extraordinary miracle He gave thee new eyes, healthy and perfect, to reward thee for thy virtue and faith.
Protector from illnesses of the eyes I plead to thee to bless this oil, to grant the second sight and to protect from the Evil Eye, so as thou may protect my sight and heal the illness of my eyes.
Oh Saint Lucia protect the light of my eyes, so I may see the beauty of creation, the light of the Sun, the color of the flowers, the smiling of children. Protect also the eyes of my soul, of my faith, through which I can see my God and learn His teachings so as I may learn with thee and always refer to thee.
Saint Lucia protect my eyes and preserve my faith.
Saint Lucia protect my eyes and preserve my faith.
Saint Lucia give me light and discernment.
Saint Lucia give me light and discernment.
Saint Lucia pray for us.
Here is a recipe for a traditional holiday bread for St Lucy’s Night:
“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
My interest in the traditional witchcraft and folklore of the Balkans began a few years ago, when I was blessed to stumble upon Balkan Traditional Witchcraft by Radomir Ristic. In the book, Radomir describes what is very much a living tradition, one that had evolved and adapted over time yet nevertheless maintained very ancient roots. While I cannot claim to practice the traditional witchcraft of the Balkans, the concepts and lore I discovered from reading what little is available (mainly the works of Radomir Ristic, and Thracian Magic by Georgi Mishev) has inspired my own practice greatly, particularly the concept that another person doesn’t make you a witch, rather the spirits themselves do. One such being found within Balkan folklore is the zmaj, a kind of dragon spirit entirely unlike the beasts slain by St. George and St Michael. Very little is said of the zmaj in the works of Radomir Ristic, the newest release in the Guides to the Underworld series from Hadean Press aims to address that.
The zmaj are dragons descended from the stars in the form of meteors and lightning bolts, transforming the animals, spirits, and landscapes they embrace. The zmaj is not only a powerful protector of the people but a mythic ancestor. They are known for their legendary lust, they marry young virgins, teach them witchcraft, and sire offspring known as the zmajevit: humans with zmaj souls. Syncretized with the Nephilim and protected by the Prophet Elijah, many of Serbia’s most distinguished tsars, princes, and knights are counted among their ranks, with songs of their zmaj heritage still sung to this day. Author Katarina Pejovic brings this lore to English speaking audiences for the first time. While short, she weaves together a fascinating overview of the folklore, granting a rare insight into a culture where witchcraft and belief in the spirits never died.
It is said much of the genesis of the Dragon Book of Essex was inspired by Andrew Chumbley’s friendship and magical work with Radomir Ristic, that the work is to an extent built upon zmaj lore. While I cannot confirm this, I can say that this booklet will give lore to consider. There are no workings, no rituals, and no spells in this work. A relationship with the zmaj is a highly personal one as the lore shows.
Of course, we are outsiders to this culture, we cannot simply barge in and demand access to their magic. However there is much lore to consider involving the zmaj and certain saints. The Balkan peninsula is a heavily Orthodox Christian region, here Christanity sits side by side with a belief in spirits and witchcraft. Perhaps through certain Saints, one may gain a glimpse of these magnificent spirits. To that end, Katarina has graciously shared a traditional Balklan prayer and spell to St. Marina.
A Prayer to St Marina
Oh, holy great martyr Marina, you were a living fire of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and because of this faith you joyfully and fearlessly died and stood up to receive the wreath of martyrdom from the Lord Himself. With your holy actions, you have shown for all time that the greatest enemy of our salvation can be overcome – the body and the devil. Therefore, the Lord has rewarded you with a great power to help us in our many troubles, especially in the battle against the evil demonic forces. For this reason, we who are full of sin and helpless approach you, Holy Marina, and we ask your gracious help. Help us to overcome our body, which inflicts us in countless ways and which, at every turn, is making us to err and sin. Through our prayers, the Lord makes us stand up from the muddy clay in which we roam and purify ourselves from all physical impurities through deep and sincere repentance, so that we can walk enflamed along the path of salvation.
But we even beg you to help us in this difficult and bloody, invisible struggle, which we fight against the demons of evil and who deceive us and lead us into sin, even though we are often not aware of it. Therefore, with all the holy prayers from the heavenly heights, drive away all the demons who engulf the pitfalls around us and take us out of the path towards salvation. With their malice and cunning they sowed in us the pride, selfishness, hatred, envy, evil, power, pity, and all other passions that have come to us in our midst.
Therefore, with your fiery prayer, Martyr Marina, chase out all those passions that have stumbled upon us and help us rise against them reborn through the Church of Christ, through repentance, through virtuous and pious life. Help the unbreakable fire of the love of God to burst into you, with which you so burned so intensely, to tremble over every part of your mind and to encircle your soul with constant prayer and divine ecstasy. Then the demons will flee from us with fear and will not be able to do much harm to us. May your holy prayers so revive until the end of earthly life stretching to the Upper World.
And once as souls we move through the realm of spirits, let us pass through the evil Satanic armies and enter into the light of the Empire of Heaven, where all the armies of the angels and all the saints, among whom you illuminate with your flame, the holy Marina, The Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever in the ages of the ages. Amen.
One balkan spell involves drawing a black dragon (not a zmaj but the usual european dragon with the lizard body and wings) and writing on it all the things you wish banished that are constricting you, usually in the belly. Then you pray the above prayer and as you pray the portion about her inflamed with fire while she was inside the dragon, you anoint yourself and the image with the sign of the cross in holy oil and burn the paper.
Prayer translated and spell provided by Katarina Pejovic
Purchase Balkan Folk Magic: Zmaj here.
O Immaculate Holy Mother!
Live in me, act in me, speak in me and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind.
Love through my heart.
Give me your disposition and feelings.
Teach me, lead me and guide me to the Morning Star.
Correct, enlighten, and expand my thoughts and behavior.
Posses my soul, take over my personality, and replace it with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration.
Pray for me and through me.
Let me live in you and keep me in this union always.
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.”