I acquired an eBook of this work a few weeks ago after reading a review on a blog on a different site. (Tumblr, or Blogspot or something). Here on my thoughts on a very interesting tome.

 

The book itself was originally sold by the European website Ixaxaar, known for publishing rare works relating to the Left-Hand Path. "Queen of Hell" is no exception. This book was written by Mark Alan Smith, whose birth country is unknown to me, but his site says he currently lives in Southern Spain. His English seems quite normal, but English Nazis will notice the grammar mistakes. There are several black and white drawings in the book, many of which I find to be quite spectacular. I do not know if Mr. Smith drew these himself, if so I hope he plans on selling the prints themselves in the future.

 

This is the first of a trilogy of books, based on Mr. Smith's personal gnosis and theology. He calls himself a "Traditional Witch", although his practices and ideas don't seem to fit with any Trad Craft I have studied on. The book is 100% LHP, and Mr. Smith seems to be 100% theist. His personal beliefs are quite the mish-mash, mixing Greek Paganism, Luciferianism with influences from the Lesser Key of Solomon and Goetic grimoires, Wicca and Charles Leland Godfrey's "Aradia". He certainly fits the definition of "eclectic pagan".

 

This tome describes Mr. Smith's three primary deities, which he refers to as the "Trident of Witchcraft". Hecate, Lucifer and Belial. Hecate is described as a creator deity, who separated the light from herself and created Lucifer, mimicking the main story of "Aradia" almost perfectly. Hecate, as the creator deity of this work, is obviously revered by Mr. Smith as the Supreme Deity. Lucifer is seen as the Horned God of the Witches, but not the antlered-deity of modern Wicca, he has actual horns. Lucifer's personal appearance seems to be based highly off the classic view of Satan. Belial is the first child of Hecate and Lucifer, described as "Lord of the Earth" and physically resembling Hecate.

 

"Queen of Hell"s main theme is connecting with the goddess Hecate, mostly in her dark form. Although Smith views Hecate as "Queen of Heaven, Hell and Earth", this book is solely devoted to the Dark Queen. He starts with a little background info, some nice poetry and some drawings. The first chapter deals with acquiring "The Companions of the Circle", being the four traditional tools of the Witch, with some specific requirements as to how they should look, such as the chalice being green in color. There is a blessing ritual for the tools, which also includes an obsidian sphere as "The Eye of Hecate", some salt and water, a thurible, a censer, etc. Among other rituals are a circle rite, generic Guardian invocations, working with the Fates of Greek Myth, Cerebus, and a little info on Belial, Lucifer, Behemoth and some gnostic rites. One such rite involves the witch brutally sacrificing a toad, and crucifying it. This disturbed me, as I oppose animal sacrifice that is done like this. The toad must also be kept, since it will be used again in a future ritual in the sequel to this book.

 

The random mythological characters thrown together to create this "Traditional Witch's" pantheon can give one a headache. The Rite of the Toad Witch just disturbs me. Apart from that, this book is a solid grimoire, although I could not justify spending a few hundred dollars on eBay or Amazon for this. If you are fine with smashing a toad against a bush til it dies and working with random gods and demons, perhaps you will find the price acceptable. As a final note, the high price for this is because Mr. Smith only wanted 999 copies made, with 66 deluxe copies. Mr. Smith also claims to have ritually concentrated every book in his own blood over a series of several weeks, but I have doubts to this.

 

I have read an eBook copy of the sequel to this time, "The Red King". I am still sorting through ideas for the review and digesting the work. If enough interested is generated, I will try and post a review by Saturday night.

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I have this book as well and really like it. I've decided not to work through it until I get a better grounding in more basic stuff but I never plan on selling it. I'm usually pretty skeptical of works that claim to be the result of personal gnosis but I think Mark Smith is the real deal, even if some of his works seem eclectic or unorthodox.

While I understand people's concern about the Toad Rite, it is an important ritual in Traditional Witchcraft that dates far back. In one of the podcast interviews with the author he is careful to point out that the toad rite has nothing to do with sadism and should be performed as humanely as possible.

I have both books, limited addition (deluxe editions) with sigilisation.
Robert, I enjoy reading contemporary gnostic texts, and no, I haven't worked with the books. I collect books, and know their value ;)

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