The Black Toad – Gemma Gary

black toad gemma garyThe Black Toad – Gemma Gary
Troy Books – 2012

I can’t remember what sparked my interest, but I have been meaning to read this book for a few years. The Black Toad is a collection of folk magic from South West England. There’s three sections in the book – a bit about general spells, a bit about spells that use plant materials and then a bit about black (bad) magic. I started off impatient to get to the naughty part, but in light of what I’ve read recently, I found some of the first parts quite interesting too.
gemma gary cup of toad tea.jpgThe book has some really cool pictures and photographs. I love a nice cup of tea myself.

It was only last week that I reviewed Dark Rites & Encounters with the Devil by Marcus T. Bottomley. I was rather critical of that book because I thought that the author had just made up a bunch of crap. Unlike the Solomonic grimoires I’ve read, very little prepatory work was discussed, and the author would instruct the magician to do certain things without any explanation as to why they were doing them. I didn’t think I’d be writing about that book so soon after reviewing it, but some of the stuff it contained was rather similar to the spells in Gary’s book.

The difference between these books is that Gemma Gary makes it very clear that she is writing about a specific type of magic. I’m not sure of the nomenclature, but I’ll just call this strain “folk magic”. Folk magic then, as far as I understand, is a mix of pagan, Christian and grimoire magic. Gary’s spells use parts of the Bible, the Sacred Book of Abramelin and loads of traditional British witchcraft. Gary also provides explanations of the spells she is describing. One thing that struck me as peculiar when I was reading Bottomley’s book was the inclusion of worn shoes in several of his spells. This seemed rather silly to me – what use is a smelly old boot going to be? Gemma Gary explains that shoes are potent in sympathetic magic because shoes literally lead us down the paths of our lives. I get it now. If you attack the thing that leads a person down their path, you can obstruct them. That makes perfect magical sense. There were a few other noticeable similarities between some of the spells in these books, and my general takeaway was that Marcus T. Bottomley’s book, although poorly written, was probably a far more sincere collection of folk magic spells than I gave it credit for. I want to take this opportunity to apologize for calling Mr. Bottomley an “awful wizard”.

I’ve probably written more about another book than the book I set out to review. Don’t worry; you can find more focused reviews of The Black Toad elsewhere online. I’m not a witch, but I found this book to be quite interesting. I have The Devil’s Dozen, another of Gemma Gary’s books, lined up to be reviewed real soon.

Dark Rites & Encounters With the Devil – Marcus T. Bottomley

dark rites & encounters with the devil marcus t. bottomley.jpgDark Rites & Encounters With the Devil – Marcus T. Bottomley
Finbarr – 2010

I was going to start off this review by saying that this book is black magic for stupid people, but that wording might imply some kind of similarity with those Complete Idiots Guide to books. No, this is not merely black magic for idiots; it is inherently and entirely idiotic black magic. These “Dark Rites” are unrelated, silly procedures that have no spiritual, philosophical, or logical reasoning behind them. Marcus T. Bottomley is an awful wizard and a bad author. I can and will do better than him:

Sinister Rituals and Rendezvous with Satan by Duke De Richleau

1. If you want a person to fall in love with you, soak their toenail clippings in your urine for a week and then bury them under a bush. You’ll be shagging in no time.

2. If you want to become rich, go into the forest at night and squeeze out a turd on a bed of oak leaves. Smear the feces into a circle, using anticlockwise motions. Stand in the center of the pooey circle until a black cat appears and tells you where his treasure is buried.

3. To ensure that you get the new job that you’ve been interviewed for, eat nothing but baked beans and vinegary chips for 3 days. On the third night, visit a graveyard at midnight. Once you have found a quiet spot in the graveyard, push out a fart into your cupped hand and breathe it in through your mouth. Hold the breath for as long as you can. When finally exhaling your own brown gas, whisper these words:
“Lucifer, I hath paid thy stinky toll. Delivereth unto me the job that I desire. So mote it be!”
If the Prince of Darkness does not immediately appear and provide further instruction, take this as a sign that your breath was not brown enough. Push harder on the next fart and try again.

If you actually go ahead and read a copy of Dark Rites & Encounters With the Devil, you might be surprised at how little I have exaggerated here. Absolutely no effort was put into writing this awful book of absolute nonsense.

The Necromantic Ritual Book – Leilah Wendell

wendell necromantic ritual book.jpg
The Necromantic Ritual Book – Leilah Wendell
Westgate Press  – 2005 (First published 1991)

Here’s a short and sweet grimoire of necromantic death magic. I was fairly surprised with this one. It’s probably the grimmest book of magic I’ve ever reviewed.

The first part of the book deals with “getting comfortable in Death’s presence”. It explains how the prospective necromancer must spend a night of contemplation in contact with a corpse. At this point, alarm bells were going off in my head. If this was just the preparation, what would the more adept rituals entail?

A lengthy portion of the text is spent describing how to make “a sculpted talisman for necromantic rites”, basically a physical body for a magical entity. Unlike the “anchoring base for an artificial spirit” from The Dark Arts of Tarantula, this talisman must be physically made by the magician; a Dungeons and Dragons figurine will not do. And unlike the Genies created in The Hallowed Genie, Wendell’s talismans must be composed of as much dead matter as possible. Oh, and they’re supposed to be life sized too, so Wendell suggests using an actual human skeleton as the frame. This frame is then to be covered in a thick paste of festering dead matter. Pulped roadkill and hideously rotten human remains are to be ground up with graveyard dirt for this task. Once this is done, the stinking mass of death sausage is to be wrapped tightly in a winding sheet that has been soaked with glue. This putrescent monstrosity is to be kept hidden, presumably in the shadows of the magicians house.

I mean, that sounds like the beginning of an amazing horror story, and I wonder if anybody has ever actually gone through with it. Imagine the stench. You’d probably contract all types of horrid diseases from in the process. Imagine having friends or family over and one of them finding your stinky friend. You’d end up in a mad house.

wendell necromancy angel of death
Ok, so after the creating a rot-golem section, I knew that Leilah wasn’t just your average witchy magician. She was clearly a real freak, but I was still a bit surprised at the end of the book.

In describing the culmination of an act of “high necromancy”, she explains that the magician will experience “an erection (in males) or sensuous expression (in females)”. She then instructs the magician, “At this point, do not suppress your desires. Give into them and follow their lead.” I ask you, my dear reader, how do you interpret that advice? It sounds very much to me like she is advocating necrophilia. In the following pages she seems to issue a solemn warning against doing so, but if you read this passage carefully, you’ll see that she only warns against having sex with a corpse if you’re not in love with death. She never says that it’s wrong for a true death lover to love the dead. Also, at the end of this book, there is an advertisement for another book of hers titled “Love Never Dies – The Journey of a Necrophile“. This book is described as “a collection of Leilah’s “personal” encounters with Death, via the dead.” It contains “necrophilic erotica, not for the squeemish” (sic). I found an interview with her in which she says that she draws the line at full-on intercourse with the dead, but she might just have been saying that to protect herself. Draw your own conclusions on whether or nor ol’ Leilah has ever ridden a corpse.

I didn’t expect the darkness and depravity of this book. I thought it would be a witchy manual for drawing magic circles in a cemetery. I’d like to read more by Wendell, but her books seem fairly rare, and I’d worry about ordering copies of her work to my house. I don’t know about the legality of owning necrophilia porn, and I’d be a bit apprehensive even looking up the details.

It just occurred to me that over the course of the past two weeks, I’ve published reviews of books on necrophilia, Satanic Ritual Abuse and Sadomagical techniques. I’ll be in big trouble if my mom ever finds my blog.

The Hallowed Genie – Basil Crouch

The Hallowed Genie – Basil E. Crouch
Finbarr International – Publishing date unknown

It seems that the standard of books being reviewed on here recently has declined in a pretty serious way. It’s sad to think of the few people who are dumb enough to buy this kind of rubbish, but it’s more depressing still to think that more than a couple actually put this crap out.

First off, this author’s name is Basil Crouch. That sounds far too similar to Basil Brush for me to be able to read this book without imagining the text being narrated by a snooty English fox. This was doubtlessly the reason for the author’s adoption of the slightly more mysterious pen name ‘Basil La Croix’ for some of his other works. 

basil brush

Anyways, ol’ Basil was either a moron or a swindler. The spells/rituals in here are so stupid that I hope he only put them to paper to relieve idiot Occultists of their expendable income. It’s either that or he was a mentally deficient teenager.

Build a little monster out of clay and then put him in a circle of candles. Tell him 10 times that you need some money, read him some Bible verses, and in no time at all, you’ll be a millionaire. The key to this ritual is the word ‘need’. Telling a Genie that you want something is useless; you have to tell them that you need it.

Basil blames wants for a great deal of the world’s ills. He claims to have medical evidence to show that women who experience an unsatiated desire during pregnancy are likely to give birth to a mutant.

medical curiositiesThe above “medical curiosity” was actually a woman named Rosa Plemons. She suffered from muscular atrophy. She was supposedly kidnapped when she was 19 and put in a freak show. Her tale is more tragic than curious, and I don’t know why she was included in here. I don’t know anything about the bendy lad at the bottom.

Basil makes his ridiculous claim about wants and needs halfway through the book, but it’s only on the last page that he includes images of the resulting ‘medical curiosities’. This is just one of several examples of how disorganized this text is. Certain paragraphs explain that the next section of the book will discuss a certain issue, but that issue won’t actually be mentioned until pages later. Also, it seems as if Basil decided to pad out his text with a few lengthy Biblical Psalms in order to reach his desired page count.

the book of knowhowMe on the bus to work in the morning.

When I started this blog, I read just about any occult-related material I could get my hands on. I quickly realised that most of it is airy-fairy, white-people-with-dreadlocks nonsense. I then focused my attention on black magic and Satanism. I haven’t read or reviewed much that doesn’t at least touch on the darker side of Occultism, so I must have been expecting something of that ilk when I decided to read this. Unfortunately, this book has no badness in it. There’s nothing interesting about it other than the author’s sheer incompetence. This is pathetic.

Note: Since writing this review, I came across a thread about Basil Crouch online. Apparently he was a well respected magician, and there’s curious tales about people destroying his books because they were too “tempting and Dark”. I have managed to track down pdf copies of a few more of his texts, and even though the Hallowed Genie is absolutely awful, I have grown curious and will doubtlessly read and review his other works at some stage. Stay tuned.

The Dark Arts of Tarantula

the dark arts of tarantulaThe Dark Arts of Tarantula – Tarantula
MolochSorcery – 2010

Do the people who write this crap believe in it themselves, or is it just a transparent attempt to take money from simpletons?

This 59 page, poorly formatted piece of garbage might be a contender for the worst drivel I’ve ever reviewed. This is seriously bottom-of-the-barrel stuff.

The physical book is hideous. This looks and reads like like a half-assed high-school project. The cover is ridiculous, and the text inside is an absolute mess. I thought that this was a result of the book being digitalized (as in book to .doc), but on closer inspection, the PDF copy I was reading was actually a scan (as in book to jpg). If I had paid the cost price of 25 dollars for a hard copy of this piece of utter shit, I would hang myself out of shame.

The lad who wrote this nonsense claims that he is able to put the spirits of demons into Dungeons and Dragons figurines. According to him, he keeps these little plastic toys in fancy boxes and feeds them his own cum in return for magical favours. I’m not making this up.

sigil of serylythThis is the sigil that Tarantula created for his demon. I didn’t edit this.

He claims that a member of his occult order ended up having his neck broken by some of these spirits because he wouldn’t feed them enough of his cum. The lad’s friends only found out that demons did it because they were able to chat with his spirit after he died.

Towards the end of the book, the author describes his experience of being bitten by a huge spider and soon thereafter meeting a spiderheaded woman in a crystal castle. The woman’s husband shows up later using a pair of crabs as jet-skis and gives the narrator the power to speak to insects.

The author claims that he has been involved with an occult order for more than 30 years, so it can be assumed that he is an adult. It’s not surprising that he uses a pseudonym.

dark arts of tarantula back

I again pose the question: do these authors actually believe their own rubbish? There’s no coherence or sense to any of this crap. The stuff in this book is so childish that the only adults capable of believing it are the kind that need to have their nappy changed three times a day.

The Infernal Texts: Nox and Liber Koth – Stephen Sennitt

the infernal texts nox and liber kothThe Infernal Texts: Nox and Liber Koth – Stephen Sennitt
New Falcon Publications – 2004 (Originally published 1997/1998)

This book is comprised of a collection of essays about different esoteric orders (Nox) and a grimoire for summoning Lovecraftian entities (Liber Koth). The essays, as far as I can tell, were taken from Stephen Sennit’s occult zine, Nox. These essays are split into three sections: one on the Order of the Nine Angles, one on Nikolas Schrek’s Werewolf Order, and one on mixed bag of weirdos that Sennitt Groups together and refers to as The Nameless Sodality.

I find the Order of The Nine Angles quite interesting. Some people know of them as the occult order that actually advocates human culling, and these people probably assume that it’s a hoax or an urban legend or something. I am not now, nor even have been, part of the O9A, but I was once in contact a person involved with the order who committed some truly reprehensible acts. He’s now in prison. (While some of these weirdos are actually quite dangerous, it is worth emphasizing that despite their delusions, they’re far more high-school shooter dangerous than Sauron dangerous.) Obviously the independent actions of a few weirdos shouldn’t necessarily tarnish the reputation of a whole group, but this group’s philosophy is rather sketchy and acts like a magnet for pieces of shit looking to justify their shittiness.

nox infernal texts

It’s hard to know how seriously the stuff on the Werewolf Order should be taken. I had read about this order before in relation to Radio Werewolf, the order’s musical faction. I enjoyed Radio Werewolf’s hilarious appearances on the Hot Seat with Wally George (part one, part two) so much that I wanted to like their music. (Schrek’s later, more serious, appearances on Bob Larson‘s talk show were less entertaining.) Unfortunately, Radio Werewolf’s songs are absolutely awful. Seriously atrocious shit. I have tried listening to their albums just for the sake of the lyrics, but the accompanying music is so lame that I don’t think I’ve ever made it through a full song.

This Order’s philosophy, as put forth in Nox, the same philosophy which Schrek founded Radio Werewolf to propagate, is cringeworthy. It’s just Church of Satanism edginess pushed half a step further. Members of the order are expected to be warriors, not worriers; Pagans, not pious; predators, not prey; and Beserkers, not Bankers. Lame. From Schrek’s lyrics and willingness to be interviewed by Wally George, it is apparent that he had a sense of humor, and if this the stuff in Nox was written as tongue-in-cheek promotional material to draw attention to Radio Werewolf’s awful music, fair enough, but from the interviews with Schrek that I’ve read, I get the sense that there is an underlying sincerity to his nonsense. Part of the act is clearly satire, but the ratio of satire and satanic sincerity is quite unclear. Read with that in mind, this stuff makes the Werewolf Order come across as a shower of plonkers, Schrek in particular coming across as an absolute arse. ( I chose the word “arse” instead of “ass” deliberately here. I’m not comparing him to a stubborn, uneducated donkey. I’m comparing him to two fleshy, hairy bumcheeks with a tinted brown anus nestled ‘tween.)

The essays from the “Nameless Sodality” are forgettable garbage, crap about Zombie Meat and other rubbish. Don’t waste your time.

cthulu nox koth

Liber Koth is a grimoire of Lovecraftian Chaos Magic. I’m not a magician, so I can’t speak to its efficacy. Just reading it might be moderately enjoyable if you were to imagine yourself as a character in one of Lovecraft’s stories who has stumbled upon some dark tome of eldritch secrets, but I didn’t have the pleasure of doing so because I read it while sitting on a crowded, smelly bus home from work. It was a pretty shit experience.

Most of this book was pretty crap, but at least it was short.

Daemonic Magick- Seleneicthon

daemonic magick seleneicthonDaemonic Magick – Seleneicthon
Mi-World Publishing 1987

I don’t buy many occult books anymore. They’re usually overpriced, silly and extremely boring. I have loads on my bookshelf that have never been read but are a little too big or a little too old for me to want to take them to work. (My commute is my only chance to read these days.) While I feel like I’m more sensible than I used to be with money, I still enjoy reviewing this crap. Fortunately for me (and you, my dear reader), there are countless occult texts available online in PDF form. I’m actually starting to prefer this format to real books. It’s cheaper, more convenient, and it takes up less space in my apartment.

The obvious downside to reading PDFs is that the selection, while large, is still considerably smaller than that of printed texts. Instead of hunting down a specific text, it’s more of a lucky dip situation. I download a bunch of stuff and then see what’s included. Some of it is truly fascinating or at least leads to other interesting discoveries, but plenty of it is boring, uninspired shite.

This text definitely falls in the latter category. It’s a grimoire of ceremonial magic, updated for the late 20th century mage. It tells you how to draw magic circles, burn candles and summon “Daemons” to bring you good luck.

Seleneicthon, the author, acknowledges that this crap is all imaginary but insists that it still works. Aside from the rhyming spells of evocation/invocation/banishing, the text is written in modern English. At one point it promises to make the magician feel like “a Magickal Badass”.

It’s called. “Daemonic Magick”, and there’s a picture of a rather devilish fiend on the front, but this book warns against black magic. I know all the old grimoires did that too, but this warning actually seems sincere. Fuck that. When I read a book with a picture of an evil looking Demon on the front, I want malicious, Satanic spells to destroy my enemies!

Whatever though, this was short. It’s a pamphlet rather than a book. Apparently the author wrote several others. I will not be seeking them out.