• Uploaded by: jason
  • 0
  • 0
  • January 2021
  • PDF

This document was uploaded by user and they confirmed that they have the permission to share it. If you are author or own the copyright of this book, please report to us by using this DMCA report form. Report DMCA


Download & View Peter_haining_-_the_warlocks_book.pdf as PDF for free.

More details

  • Words: 25,940
  • Pages: 111
Loading documents preview...

THE WARLOCK’S BOOK Secrets of Black Magic from the Ancient Grimoires



Copyright © by Peter Haining Library of Congress Catalog Number 76-154000 Manufactured in the United States of America All rights reserved including the right to reproduce this book or quotations thereof, in any form except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. Queries for rights and permissions should be addressed to University Books, Inc., New Hyde Park, N.Y. 11040

Contents Introduction Preface The Black Sabbat The Black Magic Rituals Sex Magic The Ointments and Drugs of Black Magic The Ancient Secrets Afterword Appendix: The Initiation Ceremonies of Modern Black Magic Acknowledgments

13 19 21 31 51 67 79 93 99 109

To PETER HAWKINS for an idea, a Black Book, and a night in the ruins

Now shall they speak; For now I am bent to know, By the worst means, the worst. --William Shakespeare


Introduction On a chill November morning in the year 1654, a condemned witch, one Janet Haining, was burned at the stake before a small and silent crowd of onlookers in the rural Scottish village of Laight. There was nothing particularly out of the ordinary about the execution—Scotland had, after all, suffered only slightly less from her kind than Germany, “the most witch-plagued country in Europe” —and hadn’t Janet herself admitted to knowledge of “certain charmes and Spells” before the judges? Still, for a few, brief hours her name was on the lips of a hundred or so superstitious lowland farmers and crofters before it faded from memory to become just one more number in the ever-growing figure of witches put to death. For the people of the district, there was probably only one fact from Janet’s perfunctory trial that had any real significance, confronted as they were with such events week in and week out— that she had allegedly owned a “black boke of devil’s lore.” The book itself, however, was not produced at the trial nor was any trace of it ever found in the village. Janet, indeed, fought hard to deny its existence. But volumes were a rare enough sight in Scotland, and three of the witnesses were more emphatic on this point than any other: that they had seen the old woman poring over a manual of “strange symbols” in her tiny, dark cottage. As Janet—like so many of her time and disposition—could certainly not read or write, there may seem little point in pursuing further what could well have been another convenient invention on behalf of the prosecution to hurry the old lady to the pyre. But I am convinced the book did exist—that it was originally


the work of an Elizabethan warlock that had been painstakingly preserved through several generations by hand-copying—and was compiled in such a way that, with a little basic instruction from another practitioner, even an illiterate witch could devise from its symbols and codes the secrets of Black Magic. My evidence, certainly, is scanty. Only three other Scottish witchcraft trials at this period make any reference to books on the Black Arts—but one states with some fervor: “There have in our times been black bookes of spells passed among the witches and warlocks of this country and they all be the work of one Edinburgh warlock who did compose it from earlier works circa 1600." It is one of these, I believe, that Janet used and then hurriedly disposed of, or passed on, before she was seized by the authorities. If this was the case, we know with reasonable accuracy that the book contained “characters, circles, exorcisms, and conjurations” probably originally written on “twenty-three leaves of fair vellum bound in hide.” In fact, such a book exists in the British Museum, where it is described as An Elizabethan Devil-Worshipper's Prayer-Book. Of the author, there is naturally very little indication; but we can deduce that he must have been a man of some scholarship, as the rituals and spells he recorded had in the main been taken from earlier volumes not only in English, but also Latin and Greek. The result was a unique and extraordinary book, which in skilled hands could be used to perform a variety of Black Magic rituals for a better life in general and sensual pleasures in particular. It is remarkable, too, because, unlike most other grimoires, it is not just a list of high-flown spells for raising the devil and his demons and generally performing impossibilities. Rather, it serves practical (if not moral) purposes, such as overpowering women for seduction, drug-taking, the furtherance of one’s ambitions, and all the elements of well-being. It was, in a nutshell, the work of a practical man much more concerned with self-indulgence than concourse with the powers of darkness. So, with this in mind, and using the British Museum’s DevilWorshipper's Prayer Book as a starting point, I have endeavored


to recreate here that Elizabethan warlock’s Black Book which my distant relative sought to conceal with her life. Of course, while some of the rites which follow were undoubtedly recorded in the original volume, others may well not have been. The element of conjecture cannot be ignored. But all were known to be in use in England and Scotland at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and this has been my guideline in researching and compiling the work. The ceremonies - some of which can be seen to be rooted in common sense and clearly operable, while others should not be taken too seriously - were presented originally in a style not dissimilar to the one I have adopted here, without explanation or undue embellishment, mainly as a form of protection for the owner should the book be seized. It was reasoned, justifiably, that, if the authorities picked a spell at random to try, the chances of their selecting a highly colored but ineffective ritual were good, and thus the owner’s complicity with evil might not be felt to have been automatically established. It needs also to be said that most of the material herein has been taken from the original sources: handwritten manuscripts and volumes of the Elizabethan period now residing in museums and private collections throughout Europe. In some instances, too, I have actually excluded rituals which may well have appeared in the original volume because of their constant reprinting in modern studies of witchcraft and Black Magic. To this end, a great many of the details which follow have never been in print before (except, possibly, in privately printed papers or memoirs) and they undoubtedly throw a new light on the practice of Black Magic— as distinct from witchcraft—in one of the most widely discussed periods of occult history. At the dawn of the seventeenth century, both England and Scotland—under their respective rulers, Elizabeth I and James VI (to become James I of England after the unification of the two countries in 1603)—were going through an intense period of change. As Professor Thomas Spalding has put it in his study Elizabethan Demonology, “They were emerging from the dim


light of mediaevalism into the full light of political and religious freedom.” True as this was, blind prejudice and credulity were still rampant,* and in both countries this led to the most flagrant abuse of human rights. The Witch Trials, born out of hysteria and the church’s bloody drive to root out all opposition and gain complete obedience through persecution, were being conducted on both sides of the border with great frequency. Indeed, each country had its witchcraft acts, which recommended trial and punishment with the utmost severity. Scotland, of the two nations, put down its suspected practitioners with perhaps greater brutality and certainly with more bigotry. Rich and poor alike suffered from the “inquisition” run by the Presbyterian Church. Those of education and a scholarly bent probably suffered more than any—for, in the words of their prosecutors, they should “know better than to question the works of the Lord God.” Indeed with the notorious trial of the North Berwickshire Witches having run its savage course (seventy victims tortured and tried) and the publication in 1597 of King James’s Demonology, which attacked witchcraft—or anything thought to be witchcraft—with unreasoning fury, Scotland was a dangerous place for anyone of occult leanings to live. It was against this kind of background, then, that both Janet Haining and the original creator of the Warlock’s Book lived. The old man, as we have said, was a student of the dark arts primarily for immoral purposes. He sought excitement and carnal pleasures rather than summoning up demons and devils—in which, unlike his persecutors and a great percentage of the population, he probably did not completely believe. And, indeed, while other witches endeavored to call up the devil himself in human form (and sometimes thought they did!), our warlock conducted his Sabbat * Evidenced, for instance, by the tale recorded by Archbishop Thomas Cranmcr of a monk who preached a sermon at St. Paul’s Cathedral and told the following story as “in all aspects to be true”: “A maid of Northgatc Parish in Canterbury, in pretence to wipe her mouth, kept the host in her handkerchief; and, when she came home, she put the same into a pot, close covered, and she spitted in another pot, and after a few days, she looking in the one pot, found a little young pretty babe about a shaftmond long; and the other pot was full of gore blood."

A Scottish witch burned at the stake in 1654.

The Ellzabethan concept of a warlock (from a contemporary tract, 1592).


with a man or beast dressed as the Evil One, held a perfunctory “ceremony” of obedience to evil—doubtless to heighten the excitement—and then got straight on with the important business of feasting and sating lust. He sought instructions for his rites in the old manuscripts and volumes of others like himself, and from these grew his book of the black arts. In his hands, it was a kind of guidebook to dark pleasures. In those of the authorities, it was a “vile book of traffic with Satan” and constituted all the proof needed to condemn the possessor as a warlock and heretic to the stake. How we should view it today, you can now judge for yourself. Finally, I should mention that, in reconstructing the original manuscript, I have assumed that my reader has a basic knowledge of the practices of witchcraft and Black Magic, and in consequence I have not elaborated certain widely discussed points so as to avoid impeding the general flow of the book. For easier reading, too, I have Anglicized—and in certain cases slightly simplified—some of the rituals and spells, but all remain faithful in every other detail to the originals. The illustrations, also, have been exactingly redrawn from contemporary sources so that all the elements are clearly shown and aid a fuller understanding of the text. In conclusion, the reader should be warned of the danger inherent in a great many of the rituals and potions—and, also, that neither the compiler nor the publisher will accept responsibility for anything that happens should they be tried out! Peter Haining

Essex, 1971

Preface from the first page of a sixteenthcentury Black Magic grimoire believed to have belonged to a Scottish warlock and now lodged in the British Museum

Keep a book in thine own hand of write. Let brothers and sisters copy what they will but never let this book out of thy hand, and never keep the writings of another, for if it be found in their own hand of write they will be taken and tortured. Each should guard his own writings and destroy them whenever danger threatens. Learn as much as ye may by heart and when danger is past rewrite thy book. For this reason if any die, destroy their book if they have not been able to do so, for if it be found, ’tis clear proof against them. “Ye may not be a Warlock alone,” so all their friends be in danger of the torture, so destroy everything unnecessary. If thy book be found on thee, ’tis clear proof against thee; thou mayst be tortured. Keep all thoughts of the cult from thy mind. Say ye had bad dreams, that a devil caused ye to write this without thy knowledge. Think to thyself, “I know nothing; I remember nothing; I have forgotten all.” Drive this into thy mind. If the torture be too great to bear, say “I will confess. I cannot bear this torment. What dost thou want me to say? Tell me and I will say it.” If they try to make thee tell of the Brotherhood, do not; but if they try to make thee speak of impossibilities such as flying through the air, consorting with the Devil, sacrificing children or eating man’s flesh, say, “I had evil dreams. I was not myself. I am crazed.” If


ye confess aught, deny it afterwards; say ye babbled under torture, ye knew not what ye did or said. If ye be condemned, fear not, the Brotherhood is powerful, they may help ye to escape if ye be steadfast. If ye go steadfast to the pyre, drugs will reach thee and ye will feel naught. If ye betray aught—Beware—There is no help for ye in this life or in that which is to come.

The Black Magic Pentagram.

The Black Sabbat

Both witches and warlocks cared greatly for sensual delights. For them there was the sadistic ecstasy, the thrill of all the devilish rites and observances, the Baccanalian orgies of the great Sabbat, the social pleasure of periodic meetings with their fellows, the excitement of secrecy, danger and sin, the charm of all things horrible. —Douglas Percy Bliss

The Devil in Scotland

In many people’s eyes the Sabbat has been, since the Middle Ages, the very epitome of witchcraft. Widely illustrated in the most graphic and lurid details, constantly written about and discussed by student and layman alike, it has emerged as a confusion of half fact and half fiction, half reality and half illusion. Indeed, its whole existence has sometimes become the subject of doubt, and reports of the orgies of debauchery and concourse with the devil have been believed in one generation, derided the next, and then restored to general credence in a third. Should we, then, take the “black” Sabbat for a fact or an invention of overfertile imaginations? The secret manuscripts and Black Books which are the source of our material leave us in no doubt as to its existence and inform the practitioners not only of its rituals but also its “prayers” and observances. They paint a picture of a gathering held to honor evil, at which superstitious terror, general festivity, and carnality were mixed together to allow men and women an escape from the rigors of life for a few night hours. Examination of contemporary accounts of witchcraft between


the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries shows two diametrically opposed viewpoints: There were scholars who maintained that the Sabbats were nothing more than the drug-induced hallucinations of a few crazed old men and women. Others (notably the clergy) plumped for the actual existence of assemblies where the faithful not only indulged in the most obscene rites but caused the devil himself to appear with his cohorts, and all copulated together in a riot of vileness and debauchery. As we shall see, there is a little truth in either viewpoint— this often being the case where information is extracted from unwilling victims by torture. From the grimoires, we can recreate the “black” Sabbat as it was actually experienced by such warlocks as the writer of our original book. We shall see, too, that the confusion about the ceremonies was often engendered by the practitioners themselves, deliberately varying their rituals and allowing adaptation wherever it was felt appropriate. The black magicians we are considering gathered primarily to enjoy themselves, to shout a black prayer of defiance at authority, and to seek what man has so often sought of women: the joys of sex. Their ceremony was kept to a minimum—and what existed was aimed at encouraging, by fear if necessary, a vow of secrecy about what occurred. Despite what some authorities would have us believe, the black grimoires leave no doubt that many witches and warlocks of the Elizabethan era did not believe in the existence of the devil as a being. And, while they accepted the actuality of certain spirits who could be summoned for dark purposes, they merely addressed the devil, Satan, Lucifer—call him what you will—as a personification of the evil they wished to practice. Eliphas Levi, probably the greatest student of the secrets of Black Magic and the occult, wrote on this issue with some vehemence: “Let us declare emphatically that Satan, as a personality and a power, has no existence. The Devil, in Black Magic, is the Great Magic Agent employed for evil purposes by a perverse will.” 1 Levi’s research into the dark arts indeed opened a great many doors to later students in interpreting the scrolls and manuscripts left by

The Black Sabbat: witches and warlocks assemble for the ritual meeting.

The Black Sabbat feast.


the evil magicians. It also helped establish the purpose of the Sabbat, when so many others wished to dismiss it as fantasy, pure and simple. From the grimoires we can see that there was no specific day or days on which the Sabbat should be held and, also—again contrary to general opinion—no stipulation about the exact location. (Obviously isolation was of some importance, but it was hardly felt necessary to stress this.) The witches and warlocks attended in their normal clothes and rarely—despite the stories—brought their young children. Nor did they practice what has become known as the “Black Mass,” the offering of a human sacrifice to the devil and the parody of a Christian Mass. This was a much later invention of a group of French nobles in the seventeenth century.* At the center of the clearing chosen for the meeting would stand the black altar. A sixteenth-century manuscript describes it thus: A large stone be best, but a wooden table will suffice. On it stands two candles of human fat set in black wooden candlesticks like the feet of a goat; a magical sword with a black handle; a copper vase containing blood; a censer holding perfumes, namely, incense, camphor, aloes, ambergris and storax mixed together with the blood of a goat, a mole and a bat; four nails taken from thecoffin of an executed criminal; the head of a black cat which has been nourished on human flesh for five days; the horns of a goat and the skull of a parricide.2 Of course, not all these items were essential, and it was not imperative, for instance, for the candles to be made of human fat or for the skull to be that of a man who had killed his mother or father. But the details were sufficiently chilling to overawe the newcomer and deter the intruder. Just behind the altar would sit the “goat figure” representing the Devil. According to the grimoires, this could either be a goat tied firmly upright in a chair with a lighted candle placed between its horns, or a large black cat with its head shorn and a cloak thrown over its tightly restrained body. A huge, erect phallus was * See The Affair of the Poisons by Frances Mossiker (Knopf).


usually placed between the legs of this figure. On either side would sit two beautiful “witch maidens,” the symbolic “brides” of the devil, who would disrobe and join the general festivities after the initial “service” of adoration. When the company arc assembled in a semicircle facing the altar, the designated “high priest” (wearing a simple black cloak with the Black Magic pentagram on the back) steps forward to the goat figure and presents a black turnip with the words, “Master help us.” (The stories that an animal was sacrificed have little foundation. However, the use of live birds or beasts in spells was a different matter, and this we shall come to in later sections.) The man then pauses, takes a further step forward and repeats: I will come to the altar. Save me Lord Satan from the treacherous and the violent.3 Next follows the “Prayer to Satan,” which is read from the Black Book and can be repeated after the priest by the assembly: O Satan, thou who art the shadow of God and of ourselves, I speak these words of agony for thy glory. Thou who art Doubt and Revolt, Sophism and Impotence, thou livest again in us and round us, as in the troubled centuries when thou didst reign, blood-stained with tortures, like an obscene martyr, on thy throne of darkness, shaking in thy left hand the abominable sceptre of a bloody lingham. Today thy degenerate sons are scattered, and celebrate thy cult in their hideouts. Thy traditional pontiffs are blind shepherds, vile jades, presumptuous magis, poisoners and pariahs. But thy people have increased, and Satan, thou canst be proud of the multitude of thy Faithful ones, as false as thy will has desired. This world which denies thee, thou inhabitest it, thou wallowest in it as on the dead roses of a mouldy, smelly midden. Thou hast won, O Satan, though anonymous and obscure for a few more years yet; but the coming century will proclaim thy revenge. Thou shalt be reborn in the Anti-Christ. The science of mysteries, spurting suddenly in a black wave already quenches the thirst of the curious and the uneasy; young men and women see themselves mirrored in these waves of illusion which intoxicate and madden. O charming Satan! I have torn off thy mask of voluptuous


gluttony, and I have fallen in love with thy tearstained face, beautiful as an eternal and defeated grudge. O hideous Satan! I have uncovered thy ignominy to reveal thy wildness. If thy involuntary torment has the noble appearance of being irrevocable, and is illumined by the honour of becoming a redemption. O scapegoat of the world, thy beating heart of a dead man covets the immense, the final depth—thou utterest the sobs of a Messiah, but thou corruptest and degrades like a damnation. Therefore I will tell of thy infamy, and thy attraction, I will sing of thine infinite lament. Thou art the last ideal of fallen man; but if thy cherub’s wings seem to be impregnated with heaven, if thy woman’s breast drips a soothing pity, thy scaly belly and thy animal’s legs exude stinking idleness, forgetfulness of courage, and consent to abjectness. O holy and impious Satan, symbol of the degenerate universe, thou who knowest and sufferest, may thou become, according to the word of the Divine Promise, the atoning genius of Expiation! 4 This prayer, which can be found in slight variations throughout Europe and must be of considerable antiquity, leads naturally into the initiation of new “disciples,” if such there be. This ceremony contained probably the most obscene element of all, for the new member was required to bring with him or her a liquid made from the flesh of a child. (Authority has it that it was possible to duplicate this fluid without much difficulty, and consequently many false potions were doubtless presented.) A sixteenth-century manuscript relates how the liquid was made: Those to be called to the Devil’s service lie in wait for children. These are often found dead by their parents; and the simple people believe that they have themselves overlain them, or that they died from natural causes; but it is we who have destroyed them. For that purpose we steal them out of the grave and boil them with lime, till all the flesh is loosed from the bones, and is reduced to one mass. We make out of the firm part an ointment, and fill a bottle with the fluid; and whoever drinks with due ceremonies of this, belongs to our league, and is already capable of bewitching.6 Armed with a vial of this liquid, the initiate is brought naked and blindfolded into the assembly, “he being made to pass between


great fires and alarming noises to test his character,” according to one report. “And when his face was uncovered,” it goes on, “he found himself in front of a monstrous goat and must drink his potion in salute.” Next the initiate must affirm his belief in Black Magic and, from a manuscript of the same period, we find a list of the promises the new recruit had to make, each being echoed back by the assembly after he had spoken: I denie God, and all religion. I cursse, blaspheme, and provoke God with all despite. I give my faith to the Devil, and my worship and offer sacrifice to him. I doo solemnelie vow and promise all my progenie unto the Devil. I sweare to the Devil to bring as manie into his societie as I can. I will always sweare by the name of the Devil. This completed the ceremonial. All that remained was for the new adept to perform the osculum obscoenum, a kiss on the goatfigure’s backside. This done, he was allowed to copulate “with whichsoever maid there present did take his eye, and to the delight of all the company.” The rituals now over, the legendary banquet or feast began, at which wine, meat, broth, bacon, and bread were consumed. Some authorities have stated that no salt was allowed, but this seems merely a convenient invention, as one black book records that “they did indulge themselves on any viands and drink which pleased them.” 7 Talk of eating human flesh is also without foundation, but the suggestion that the food and drink were “spiked” with aphrodisiacs is almost certainly accurate. In Scotland, it is noted, whiskey was drunk in large quantities and no doubt contributed to the reports that the feasts and orgies of the Scottish witches “surpassed all others in the kingdoms of Europe.” For those who wished, dancing took place—during which those who were still dressed took off their clothes—and the shout went up: “Ha, ha! Devil, Devil! Dance here, Dance here! Play

The notorious Satanic “back-to-back” dance.

Witches receiving instruction in the Black Arts from an old Scottish warlock ( 1650) .


here, Play here! Sabbat, Sabbat!”8 At some gatherings the outlawed “back to back” dancing was encouraged whilst at others we find reports of the game—played Black Magic style—which we know today as “Blind Man’s Buff.” (This game, now the preserve of small children, was created by the witches, who would play it naked with a young warlock [also naked] blindfolded and set loose among them. Whoever he caught hold of, he was free to make love to. Needless to say, the men always hoped to “catch” a young girl, as sex relations were obligatory with the witch he caught, regardless of her age or disposition!) Drugs, potions, and ointments were, naturally, much in evidence, and we shall be examining these individually in a later section. Also, the conducting of certain spells and rituals, which are best dealt with separately. Of the sex acts, most followed traditional lines. In the cases of women who claimed intercourse with the devil or demons, all can be ascribed to the use of an artificial phallus, while the popularity of sodomy may be put down to the fact that in many European countries it was regarded as a crime punishable by death, and this doubtless gave it an added attraction to those dedicated to evil. An Elizabethan manuscript in the British Museum also notes that those witches and warlocks not totally overcome by their frenzy for each other recited the following chant to prolong their orgasms (it was, apparently, only operable at the Sabbat!): Ofano, Oblamo, Ospergo. Hola Noa Massa Light, Beff, Clememati, Adonai, Cleona, Florit, Pax Sax Sarax Afa Afca Nostra Cerum, Heaium, Lada Frium.* The remainder of the proceedings continued as the witches and warlocks chose, but they were required by common consent to disperse by daybreak, making sure before they left to eradicate all traces of their activities. To some, the high point of the evening would be the oppor-


tunity of consulting the “Black Books” brought along especially by the more senior members. These would be available for copying to the trusted (and literate, of course) member; and from them would grow yet another handwritten Black Book. Their rarity is due primarily to the fact that so few people at this period in history could read or write, and, although no member could deny another access to his work (which he had himself copied from some earlier hand), there were few who could take advantage of this fact. But those who did carefully copy down the notes and instructions left the Sabbat with a unique textbook on Black Magic which could, undoubtedly aid them in many nefarious activities. The kind of instructions they received constitute the sections of this book which now follow. REFERENCES 1. Transcendental Magic. 1856. 2. Sloane Ms. British Museum. 3. De Magia Vereum. Frankfurt, 1686. 4. Seventeenth-Century Ms. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. 5. Grimorium Verum. Ms. 1517. 6. Discoverie of Witchcraft. 1584. 7. De Natura Demonum. 1581. 8. Rawlinson Ms. British Museum. 9. Sloane Ms. British Museum.

The Black Magic Rituals

If you wish to make contact with hell, select a lonely place where the conjuration may proceed undisturbed. Old ruined castles are excellent, for spirits like decayed buildings; a remote room or basement in your house may do equally well.

—Sanctum Regum

For the practice of Black Magic, secrecy has always been essential. From the very earliest grimoires, instructions are explicit that it is important that no interference should be risked during the ceremonies, as these could prove dangerous to both the adept and his assistants. Whether the rites are conducted in some lonely spot or in a house is not important—although those who wished to summon up spirits believed that they would come more easily if conjured in the open air—but a close and exact observation of all instructions is emphasized time and time again. Although many scholars have come to regard the practitioner of Black Magic as primarily a “loner,” most grimoires stress the need for two assistants—male and female—to assist in the special circle during the conjurations. These must be people of a strong resolve like the master, and not subject to panic as the rites progress. The clothes and equipment they need are clearly laid down in the following Elizabethan grimoire: Their garments they compose of black cloth, black cat skins, or swine’s skins; The linnen because of its abstract quality for magick: The skins by reason of the Saturnine and Magical qualities in the particles of these beasts; Their sowing thread is of silk, cats-guts, mans nerves, asses hairs, thongs of skins from Men, Cats, Bats, Owls, Moles, etc: Their needles are made of Hedge-hog prickles, or bones of any of the above-said animals: Their Writing Pens are of owls or ravens, their Ink of man’s blood: Their oyntments mens fat, blood, Usnea, hoggs-grease, Oyl of Whales:


Their Characters are ancient Hebrew or Samaritan-. Their speech is Hebrew or Latine. Their paper must be of the Membranes of Infants, which they call Virgin-parchment, or the skins of Cats or Kids: Beside they compose their Fires of sweet wood, Oyl or Rosin: And their Candles of the Fatt or Marrow of Men or Children: Their Vessels are Earthen, their Candlesticks with three feet, of dead mens bones:1 Their Swords are steel, without guards, the poynts being reversed. If we examine this text and some of the other grimoires more closely, we can define exactly what garments were required for the most important rituals, for changes were often prescribed to insure the efficiency of the various conjurations. For the primary purpose of Black Magic, a seamless and sleeveless robe of black linen should be worn with a cap of thin lead which is inscribed with the signs of the Moon, Venus, and Saturn and the words ALMALEC, APHIEL, ZARAPHIEL. The tiara to be employed must be made of vervain and cypress, while the perfumes burned should be aloes, camphor, and storax. If the ceremony is to be directed to bring misfortune or death on somebody, the vestments must be black or dark brown, while a necklace of lead is worn at the throat. The adept must wear a ring set with an onyx, and the head garlands should be twined of cypress, ash, and hellebore. The perfumes required are sulphur, scammony, alum, and assafoetida. For vengeance, the robes must be the color of blood, flame, or rust; a belt made of steel for the waist; bracelets for each wrist; and a simple ring set with an amethyst for the small finger of the left hand. It is important for all these accessories to be made of the same metal. The tiara must be woven of absinthe and rue and bound with gold. To work sex magic, the vestments must be of sky-blue, the ornaments of copper, and the crown of violers. The magic ring must be set with a turquoise, while the tiara and clasps are made


of lapis lazuli and beryl. Roses, myrtle, and olive are the symbolic flowers if required. In the harmless areas of white magic, which we are not particularly concerned with here, the robes should be white for most ceremonials, with the occasional use of green. A necklace of pearls and hollow glass beads enclosing mercury should be worn about the neck, if knowledge of the future is sought. Of course, it must be added that sometimes the warlock could not afford to obtain all these items, in which case he would depend on his simple black vestments with the Black Magic pentagram embroidered on it in an orange-colored silk. The old works also indicate that there were certain days of the week most propitious for the various forms of magic: Saturday for general Black Magic; Tuesday for causing misfortune, vengeance, or death; and Friday for sex magic. Being now ready on the most suitable day and in the right garments, the warlock can proceed to prepare his magic circle. The instructions for this are given specifically in the most famous of all Black Books—The Great Grimoire-. When the night of action has arrived, the warlock shall gather up his rod, goatskin, the stone called Ematille, and shall further provide himself with two vervain crowns, two candlesticks, and two candles of virgin wax, made by a virgin girl and duly blessed. Let him take also a new steel and two new flints, with sufficient tinder to kindle a fire, likewise half a bottle of brandy, some blessed incense and camphor, and four nails from the coffin of a dead child. All these must be carried to the place chosen for the great work, where everything hereinafter laid down must be scrupulously performed, and the dread circle must be described in an accurate manner. You must begin by forming a circle with strips of kid’s skin, fastened to the ground by means of your four nails. Then with the stone called Ematille you must trace the triangle within the circle, beginning at the eastern point. A large A, a small E, a small A, and a small J must be drawn in like manner, as also the sacred name of Jesus between two crosses. By this means the spirits will have no power to harm you from behind. The Warlock and his assistants may then fearlessly proceed to their places within the


A contemporary drawing of the Black Magic Circle.

triangle, and, regardless of any noises, may set the two candlesticks and the two vervain crowns on the right and left sides of the triangle within the circle. This being done, the two candles may be lighted, taking care that there is a new brazier in front of the Warlock, piled with newly consecrated charcoal. This must be kindled by the Warlock casting a small quantity of the brandy therein and a part of the camphor, the rest being reserved to feed the fire periodically, in proportion to the length of the business. Having punctually performed all that is mentioned above, the chief operator may repeat the following prayer: “I present thee, O great ADONAY, this incense as the purest I can obtain: in like manner, I present thee this charcoal prepared from the most ethereal of woods. I offer them, O grand and omnipotent ADONAY, ELOIM, ARIEL and JEHOVAM, with my whole soul and my whole

THE BLACK MAGIC RITUALS • 37 heart. Vouchsafe, O great ADONAY, to receive them as an acceptable holocaust.'’’

Now that the Black Magician and his two assistants are prepared and their circle completed, they can proceed with whatever ritual they have selected. Since time immemorial, it has been considered necessary, firstly, to appease the “spirits of darkness” before asking for help from the black powers, and most Elizabethan warlocks took their text for this work from The Key of Solomon:* In many operations it is necessary to make some sort of sacrifice unto the Demons, and in various ways. Sometimes white animals are sacrificed to the good Spirits and black to the evil. Such sacrifices consist of the blood and sometimes of the flesh. They who sacrifice animals, of whatsoever kind they be, should select those which are virgin, as being more agreeable unto the Spirits, and rendering them more obedient. When blood is to be sacrificed it should be drawn also from virgin quadrupeds or birds, but before offering the oblation, say: — "CAMIACH, EOMIAHE, EMIAL, MACBAL, EMOII, ZAZEAN, MAIPHIAT, ZACRATH, TENDAC, VULAMAHI; by these Most Holy Names, I conjure thee (whatever animal it may be) that thou assist me in this opera-tion, by God the True, God the Holy, the God Who hath created thee, and by Adam, Who hath imposed thy true name upon thee and upon all other animated beings.” After this, take the Needle or other convenient Instrument of Art, and pierce the creature in the vein which is on the right side; and collect the blood in a small vessel over which thou shalt say:— “Almighty ADONAI, ARATHRON, ASHAL, ELOHIM, ELOHI, ELION, ASHER, EHEIEH, SHADDAI, O God the Lord, immaculate, immutable, EMANUEL, MESSIACH, YOD, HE, VAU, HE, be my aid, so that this * Scholars have noted how persistently the name of God—the Christian God —is employed in witchcraft and Black Magic rituals. They are agreed that, be­ cause He was believed to be the most powerful of all deities, any command given in His name could not be ignored by inferior spirits. Those who dabbled with the powers of darkness also considered His name a protection against danger from any entities that might be evoked. It could further be argued that the Black Magician not wholly dedicated to evil was also trying to build up store in both heaven and hell!


blood may have power and efficacy in all wherein I shall wish, and in all that I shall demand.” Perfume it and keep it for use. When it is necessary, with all the proper Ceremonies, to make Sacrifices of fire, they should be made of wood which hath some quality referring especially unto the Spirits invoked; as juniper of pine unto the Spirits of Saturn; box, or oak, unto those of Jupiter; cornel, or cedar, unto those of Mars; laurel unto those of the Sun; myrtle unto those of Venus; hazel unto those of Mercury; and willow unto those of the Moon. But when we make sacrifices of food and drink, everything necessary should be prepared without the circle, and the meats should be covered with some fine clean cloth, and have also a clean white cloth spread beneath them; with new bread and good and sparkling wine, but in all things those which refer to the nature of the Planet. Animals, such as fowls or pigeons, should be roasted. Especially shouldest thou have a vessel of clear and pure fountain water, and before thou enterest into the Circle, thou shalt summon the Spirits by their proper Names, or at least those chief among them, saying: — “In whatsoever place ye may be, ye Spirits, who are invited to this feast, come ye and be ready to receive our offerings, presents, and sacrifices, and ye shall have hereafter yet more agreeable oblations.” Perfume the viands with sweet incense and sprinkle them with exorcised water; then commence to conjure the Spirits until they shall come. This is the manner of making sacrifices in all arts and operations wherein it is necessary, and acting thus, the Spirits will be prompt to serve thee.2 Of all the rituals recorded in the grimoires, probably the blackest of all is The Rite of Sacrifice or “Method of Honorius,” as it has become known. This was certainly much practiced through the Middle Ages, and its terrible profanity has caused widespread discussion among scholars. As accurately as possible, this was how the rite was known and recorded in the sixteenth century:* * In hindsight, the ritual’s sole purpose seems to have been to test the warlock’s dedication to the Hlack Arts through repeated affront to the symbols and litany of Christianity.


After the Consecration of the Emblems, the Magician shall recite the following prayers, kneeling. Prayer “My Sovereign Saviour Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Thou who for the salvation of man 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 has vouchsafed to unworthy creatures the privilege of making daily commemoration thereof; do deign unto Thy 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. Help me now oh thou Salvation of men in my desires. Amen.” After sunrise, a Black Cock must be killed, the first feather of its left wing being plucked and preserved for use at the requisite time. The eyes must be taken out, and so also the tongue and the heart; these must be dried in the sun and afterwards reduced to powder. The remains must be interred at sunset in a secret place; a cross of a palm in height, being set upon the mound, while at each of the four corners the signs which follow must be drawn with the thumb:

On this day the Warlock may drink no wine, and will also abstain from eating meat. On Tuesday, at the break of day, let him place the feather, taken from the bird, upon the altar together with a new knife. The signs hereafter represented must be inscribed on a sheet of Virgin Parchment or Paper with wine which is the Blood of Jesus Christ:

They should be written upon the altar, and, at the end of the sacrifice, the paper should be folded in a new veil of violet silk,


to be concealed on the morrow, together with the oblation of the sacrifice and a part of the consecrated Host. On the evening of Thursday the Warlock must rise at midnight and, having sprinkled holy water about the chamber, he must light a taper of yellow wax, which shall have been prepared on the Wednesday and pressed in the form of a cross. When it is lighted he shall then begin the Office of the Dead with great veneration to the Living God. He shall recite Matins and Lauds, but in place of the versicle of the ninth Lesson he shall say: “Deliver us, O Lord, from the fear of Hell. Let not the demons destroy my soul when I shall raise them up from the Deep Pit, when I shall command them to do my will. May the day be bright, may the sun and moon shine forth, when I shall call upon them. O, Lord, deliver me from those of dread visage, and grant that they shall be obedient when I shall raise them up from hell, when I shall impose my will on them.” After the office of the Dead, the Warlock shall extinguish the taper, and at sunrise shall cut the throat of a male lamb of nine days old, taking great care that the blood does not gush forth upon the earth. He shall skin the lamb, and shall cast its tongue and heart into the fire. The fire must be freshly kindled, and the ashes shall be preserved for use at the proper time. The skin of the lamb shall be sprinkled four times every day with holy water. On the tenth day, before the rising of the sun, the lambskin shall be covered with the ashes of the heart and tongue, and with the ashes also of the cock. On Thursday, after sunset, the flesh of the lamb shall be interred in a secret place where no bird of any kind can come, and the Warlock with his right thumb shall inscribe on the grave the characters here indicated: Moreover, for the space of three days he shall sprinkle the four corners with holy water, saying, Prayer “Christ Jesus, Redeemer of men, who, being the Lamb without spot, was immolated for the salvation of the human race, who alone was found worthy to open the Book of Life, impart such


virtue to this lambskin that it may receive the signs which we shall trace thereon, written with thy blood, so that the figures, signs, and words may become efficacious; and grant that this skin may preserve us against the wiles of demons, that they may be terrified at the sight thereof, and may only approach them trembling, through Thee, Jesus Christ, who reignest through all ages. Amen.” The Litanies of the Holy Name of Jesus must then be repeated, but instead of the Agnus Dei, substitute: “Immolated Lamb, be Thou a pillar of strength against the evil spirits. Slain Lamb, give power over The Power of Darkness. Slain Lamb grant power, favour, and strength unto the binding of Rebellious spirits. So be it. Amen.” The lambskin shall be stretched for eighteen days, and on the nineteenth day, the fleece shall be removed, reduced into powder, and interred in the same place. The word VELLUS shall be written above it with the finger, together with the following character and words: “May this which hath been reduced into ashes preserve against the demons through the name of Jesus”

Also these signs: Lastly, on the Eastern side, the skin must be set to dry in the sun for three days, the ensuing characters being cut with a new knife: This being accomplished, recite Psalm IXXI. Then cut the following characters: The figure being thus far completed, recite the verses “Af-


ferte Domino, Patriae gentium” occurring in Psalm XCV: Cantate Domino Canticum Novum, of which the seventh versicle is: “Offerte Domino, Fillii Dei,” and cut consequently these characters: Next recite Psalm IXXVII, “Attendite popule meus, legum meam," and complete the following figure:

This being accomplished, recite “Quare fremuerunt gentes et populi meditati sunt inania?” Then make the figure as doth follow:

And recite Psalm CXV. “Credidi propter quod locutus sum.” Finally, on the last day [on the last day of the month] a Mass shall be said, for the Dead. The prose shall be omitted and also the Gospel of St. John, but at the end of the Mass the Warlock shall recite: “Confitemini Domino quoniam bonus.” In honour of the Most Holy and August Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen.” One can imagine from the complexity of this ritual, and the time involved in carrying it out, that real dedication to evil was required. It was said that no practitioner could expect success in his later experiments without having first fully and carefully observed this rite—and once having accomplished it could regard himself as truly having joined in league with the powers of darkness. All hough in recent centuries a great deal of skepticism has


been directed at the claims of witches and warlocks that they could raise demons and spirits, there can be no doubting that some of them did try very earnestly. One alleged method of calling a spirit to obtain any wish by way of making a pact is carefully recorded in several manuscripts under the title of The Grand Clavicle:

The Grand Clavicle is the conjuration of a spirit with whom it is sought to make a pact. Conjuration

Emperor Lucifer, Master of the revolted Spirits, I entreat thee to favour me in the adjuration which I address to thy mighty Min­ ister, Lucifuge Rofocale, being desirous to make a pact with him. I beg thee also by the Power of Tetragrammaton O Prince Beelzebuth, to protect me in my undertaking. O, Count Astorat, be propitious to me, and grant that this night the great Lucifuge may appear unto me under a human form, free from evil smell, and that He may accord me in virtue of the pact which I propose to enter into, all the desires I make. O Grand Lucifuge, I pray thee now to quit thy dwelling, wheresoever it be, and hasten hither to speak with me. Otherwise will I compel thee by the power of the strong Living God, His beloved Son, and the Eternal Holy Spirit. Obey promptly, or thou shalt be eternally tormented by the power of the potent words of the Grand Clavicle of Solomon the King, wherewith by the Power of Magick he was accustomed to compel the rebellious spirits, to receive his compact. Then straightway appear, or I will unhesitatingly torture thee by the virtue of the Great Words of this Clavicle. Aglon, Tetragram, Vaycheon, Stimulamaton, Ezphares, Retragrammaton, Olvaram, Irion, Estiyon, Existion, Eryona, Onera, Orasym, Mozm, Messias, Soter, Emanuel, Sabaoth, Adonay, te adoro, et te invoco, Amen. Manifestation of the Spirit

Lo I am here. What dost thou seek of me? Why dost thou disturb my repose? Answer me.

Reply to the Spirit

It is my wish to make a pact with thee, so as to attain my de­ sires, at thy hands immediately, failing which I will use the potent words of the Clavicle to thy detriment.

44 • THE WARLOCK’S BOOK The Spirit's Reply

I cannot comply with thy request except thou dost give thyself over to me in twenty years, to do with thy body and soul as I please.* Thereupon throw him your pact, which must be written with your own hand on a sheet of virgin parchment, written in the following words and signed with your own blood: “I promise the grand Lucifage to reward him in twenty years’ time for all the bounties he will bestow upon me. In witness thereof I have signed myself, .................." In order to enforce his obedience recite the Supreme Appellation, with the terrible words of the Clavicle. The Spirit will then once more appear and address you: “Why dost thou torment me further? Leave me to rest, and I will confer upon thee the nearest treasure, on condition that thou dost set apart for me one coin on the first Monday of each month, and dost not call me oftener than once a week, to wit, between ten at night and two in the morning. Take up thy pact; I have signed it. Fail in thy promise, and thou shalt be mine immediately and everlasting.” The Magician replies to the Spirit as follows: “I agree to thy request, subject to the delivery of the nearest treasure which I can at once carry away.” Follow the spirit without fear, cast your pact upon the hoard, touch it with your rod, remove as much as you can, return into the circle walking backwards, place the treasure in front of you and recite the Discharge of the Spirit: “O Prince Lucifer, I Am, for the time, content with thee. I now leave thee in peace, and permit thee to retire wheresoever it may seem good to thee, so it be without noise and without leaving any evil smell behind thee. “Be mindful, however, of our engagement, for shouldst thou fail me, even for one moment, be assured that I shall eternally smite

‘A great many authorities have discussed the validity of this aspect of the pact and the idea that Lucifer expected to receive the body and soul of the adept after the twenty-year period was up. As the Black Magicians in the main did not believe in the devil as an actual being, it seems likely that this element was introduced as camouflage or coloring for the ceremony. And indeed, whether or not the ritual did cause the minister of the Fiend to appear, only a conscientious and careful reconstruction could hope to establish!

A warlock with his male and female assistants In the Black Magic Circle.


thee with the Blasting Rod of the great Adonay, Eloim, Ariel, and Amen.” 4 This same manuscript made allowance for the adept who might have difficulty in raising “Lucifuge Rofocale,” and went on with further instructions that would hasten not only his appearance, but that of any other “wicked and disobedient spirit” the warlock was trying to raise. Speaking in a loud voice, the practitioner must continue: O, thou wicked and disobedient spirit, [name], because thou hast not obeyed, or answered, or regarded the words which I have commanded, the Glorious and Incomprehensible Names of the True God, I, by the power of these Names, which no creature can resist, do curse thee into the depths of the Bottomless Pit, to remain until the Day of Doom, in the Hell of unquenchable fire and brimstone, unless thou shalt forwith appear before this Circle, to do my will. Come therefore quickly, and peaceably, by the names, Adonai, Zebaoth, Adonai-Amioram, come, come, Adonai, King of Kings, commands thee. Now if he delays his appearance, write his Name on Parchment; put it in a black box, with brimstone and other stinking perfumes: bind the box with Iron Wire, hang it on the point of your sword, hold it over the fire of charcoal, which shall be placed towards that quarter whence the spirit will come, and say first to the fire: I conjure thee, o fire, by Him who made thee, to torment, burn, and consume this spirit [name] everlastingly. Jehova.

To the Spirit

Because thou art disobedient, and obeyest not these, my commands, nor the precepts of the Lord, thy God, now I, who am the servant of the Most High, and Imperial Lord, God of Hosts, Jehovah, having His Celestial Power, and permission, for this, thine averseness, and contempt, will destroy thy name, which I have in this box, will burn them with unquenchable fire, and bury them in unending oblivion, unless thou comest immediately, here, before this Circle, within this Triangle, assuming a fair and comely form, without harm to any creature, but giving reasonable answers to my requests, and performing my desire in all things: If he appear not at this point, say as follows: “Thou art still pernicious, willing not to appear and informing me upon that which I desire to know, now therefore, in the Name and by the power and dignity of the Omnipotent and Immortal Lord, God of Hosts, Jehovah, Tetra-


I do hereby curse and deprive thee of all thine office, power, and place. I bind thee in the deepest depths of the Bottomless Pit, there to remain until the Day of Judgement. May all the company of Heaven curse thee, may the sun, the moon, and the stars, the Light of the Hosts of Heaven, curse thee into fire unquenchable, into torments unspeakable, and even as thy name and seal are bound up in this box, to be choked with sulphrous and stinking substances, and to burn in this material fire so, in the name of Jehovah, and by the power and dignity of the three names, Tetragammaton , Anexhexeton, Primematum, may all these drive thee, oh thou disobedient spirit [name] into the Lake of Fire, prepared for the damned and accursed spirits, remembered no more by that God, who shall come to judge the quick and the dead.” Set the box in the flame. Thereupon he will speedily appear. When he comes, quench the fire, and make sweet perfumes. Shew unto him the Pentacle on your vestment and then say: — “Behold thy confusion, if thou be disobedient to man or beast.” The Magician then puts the necessary questions and demands to the spirit.


License to Depart

Depart, I say, and be thou willing and ready to come whensoever exorcised, and conjured by the Rites of Black Magic. I now conjure thee to withdraw, peaceably and quietly, and may the peace of God continue for ever between thee and me. Amen. From study of the grimoires, it becomes obvious that, once a warlock had proved himself daring enough to tackle such difficult spirits, he could progress into the dark area of necromancy: the raising of the dead. The purpose of this rite was to consult with the spirit of a dead man about the future and on particular matters concerning the living. In a manuscript of the same period as The Clavicle, we find the following dramatic instructions: It is indispensable for he who would summon the dead first to assist at a Christian Mass. As the Host is raised, he must bow down and say in a low voice: Exurgent mortui et ad me veniunt, “the dead rise and come to me.” After this, the necromancer must leave the church and go to the nearest graveyard. At the first tomb he shall say:


“Infernal powers, you who carry disturbance into the universe, leave your sombre habitation and render yourself to the place beyond the Styx River.” After a few moments of silence, he adds: “If you hold in your power him whom I call, I conjure you, in the name of the King of Kings, to let this person appear at the hour which I will indicate.” Next, the conjuror takes a handful of earth and spreads it like grain, murmuring all the while: “May he who is dust wake from his sleep. May he step out of his dust and answer to my demands which I will make in the name of the Father of all men.” Bending his knee, he turns his eyes to the east. Thus he must remain until the gates of the sun open, whereupon he gathers two human bones and holds them in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross. Then, leaving the yard, the magician shall toss the two bones into the first church he encounters. Afterwards, walking towards the north and having made exactly four thousand and nineteen hundred steps, he lies down upon the ground, outstretched, his hand on his legs, his eyes raised to heaven in the direction of the moon. In this position, he summons the deceased, saying: “Ego sum, te peto et videre queo.” The spectre will appear readily and answer whatsoever is put to it. It is dismissed with the words: “Return to the Kingdom of the chosen. I am happy about your being here.” Leaving the spot, the necromancer returns to the grave, where his experiment began, and with his left hand he traces a cross upon the stone.5 In the case of this ritual, the adept is cautioned: “Do not forget the slightest detail of the ceremonial as it is prescribed. Otherwise you would risk falling into the snares of hell.” Although not many of the grimoires record it, there was also a prayer which the adept was urged to repeat after his experiments with spirits to insure that they departed. It is, in effect, both a prayer to the Christian God to be once more placed under his protection and a threat to the spirits of the dark world that God is more powerful than they and all commands given in His name should be instantly obeyed: Prayer to Dismiss Spirit O Omnipotent God, who has created all things for thy scrv-


ice and the convenience of men, we return thee most humble thanks for the benefits which, in thy great bounty, thou hast allowed us to experience this night, of Thine inestimable favours, wherein thou hast granted us according to our desires. Now O Almighty God, have we realised all the scope of thy great promises, when thou didst say to us: Seek and ye shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened unto you. Do now then compel the spirit [name] here before this circle, in a fair and comely shape, to return whence he came and without hurt to me. And that if he do not obey then command him by the Most Holy and Glorious Names, Adonai, El, Elohim, Elohe, Zebaoth, Elion, Eschence, Jah, Tetragrammaton and Sadai, which will most certainly cause him to depart in great fear and trembling. So be it. Amen” 6 A primary motive of many Black Magicians at certain periods of their lives was the “spelling” of enemies or bringing retribution down on some person who had offended them. The power to achieve this successfully was certainly one of the main causes of the great hatred—and fear—directed against the practitioners by the populace in general. The warlock, as always, needed only to turn to his Black Book to find the most apposite method of fulfilling his evil desires. One handwritten manuscript dating from the sixteenth century describes a spell which has continued to be used until quite recent times: Take some earth from a grave newly dug. Then do rob a corpse of a rib bone and burn it to ashes most carefully. Mix these with a black spider still alive and the sap of the elder tree; this being the cursed tree from which the cross of Christ was made. Do mould this mixture into the shape of a frog or toad to represent the person to be spell-bound and into it put pins or thorns as you will. By the ninth day after he or she will be dead.7 This particular spell was reputed to be most effective against men, but the warlock who sought to attack a woman had merely to compose a wax effigy and melt it over the brazier in his con secrated circle reciting: “O commanders and friends, I conjure and command you to obey this order wirhout hesitation: consecrate this figure in the name


of................... [victim’s name] so that you may draw from her the life which is so detestable to me. Thus go forth and do my bidding in the fear of His name.” 8 To insure death, it was essential that the adept thrust at least one pin into the heart and head of the effigy. To simply cause illness, the implements could be placed in the torso or limbs at the most suitable spot (bearing in mind any particular illness to which the victim was prone). The effigy made of red wax “about a span long and three or four fingers broad” was said to be most effective, but doubly so if a little human fat was added. Little woollen and linen dolls have also been recorded, but with these it is essential to combine hair and nail parings belonging to the victim for real success. However, should these simple rites fail, the warlock had a further selection of more elaborate formulae to which he could turn. These notes are taken from a book which was widely used in Scotland and through the eastern counties of England: These spells may be performed in several ways, but whether with Waxen Images or some other instrument, the particulars of each must be diligently and faithfully observed, to ensure success. Should the day and hour fail thee, proceed by preparing the Image or other instrument proper to this effect in the order and manner thereof. Fumigate with the necessary perfumes, and if writing be required on the Image, let it be done with a needle. Next recite the following words once over the Image: “ Visor, Dilapatore, Tentatore, Coficitore, et Seductore. O all ye ministers and companions, I direct, conjure, constrain and command you to fulfill this behest, willingly, forthwith to consecrate this Image, which is to be done in the Name of that as the face of one is contrary to the other, so the same may never more look one upon another.” Deposit the Image in some place, perfumed with evil odours, especially those of the planet Mars, such as Sulphur, assafoetida. Let it remain there for the space of one night, having duly asperged it, observing the proper hour and time. Do likewise when the experiment is performed with Characters and Names by the Art.


But when the experiment is made by giving something to be eaten, the same must be performed on the day and hour proper to this work. All things being prepared, place them before you and say: “Where are ye Soignatore, Us ore, Dilapidatore, and Dentore: Concisore, Divoratore, Seductore, and Seminatore? “Ye who sow discord, where are you? “Ye who infuse hatred and propagate enmities, I conjure you by Him who hath created you for this ministry, to fulfil this work, in order that whensoever...................... [victim’s name] shall eat of the like things, or shall touch them, in whatsoever manner, never again shall he go in peace without my authority. Give then whatsoever you please to the person designated, and so will your aims be satisfied.” 9 The rites of punishment and death on enemies invariably seemed to conclude the section in the grimoires devoted to ritual Black Magic. Indeed, the practitioner who had worked his way through the ceremonies of sacrifice, the raising of spirits and of the dead, and the “spelling” of antagonists, was well prepared to indulge in the lower types of magic which came next. For here were more basic things: the procuring of compliant women for sex, the creation of mind-expanding drugs and potions, and the chance to experiment with the secrets of the ancient magis. The passport, as always, lay in the close and careful observation of the secret rules. REFERENCES 1. Sloane Ms. British Museum. 2. Harleian Ms. British Museum. 3. From Lansdowne and Sloane Mss. British Museum. 4. Sloane Ms. British Museum. 5. De Effectibus Magicis. Naples, 1647. 6. Sixteenth-Century Ms. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. 7. Sloane Ms. British Museum. 8. Compendium Maleficarum. n.d. 9. Booke of Wizards. 1661.

Sex Magic

I. Warlocks I did know a warlock that had two holy wafers inscribed with magical characters which he used for debauching innocent girls and betraying them to men. —Paulus Grillanus Tractatus de Hereticis et Sortilegiis (1547)

Sex, of course, was a most important factor in Black Magic— perhaps in hindsight the most important of all—and its attainment drove warlocks and witches to the heights of ingenuity and inven­ tion. The ceremonies, rituals, and preparations which they devised for attracting and subduing the opposite sex were in the main conceived in lust, observed in passion, and, if successful, carried out in the wildest frenzy. Probably the most widely used ritual among the warlocks employed two wax images, considerable skill, and no little amount of patience: Make you two wax figures, one in the form of yourself and the other in the form of the woman you desire. The latter must be made in the kneeling position, her hands tied behind her. Your figure must be standing over her pointing a pin at her throat. Onto the limbs of the woman carve the names Astaroth and Asmodeus and then thrust 13 bronze needles into her head, eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet, buttocks and private parts. As you thrust in each needle recite the words, “I pierce..................... [the woman’s name] that she may think of me.” The two figures must be secured on a metal plate with a piece of string containing 365 knots and then buried in the grave of someone who died while still in youth or


who met with a violent death. Then do you recite this prayer: “I place this charm down beside you, subterranean gods, Kore Persphone, Ereschigal and Adonis, Hermes, the subterranean, Thoth and the strong Anubis, who hold the keys of those in Hades, the gods of the underworld and demons, those untimely reft away, men, women, youths and maidens, year by year, month by month, day by day, hour by hour, I conjure you to awaken at my behest, whoever you may be, whether male or female. Betake yourself to that place and that street and that house and bring her hither and bind her. Bring ........................ [woman’s name] hither, whose magic stuff you have, loving me. Let her sleep with none other, let her have no pleasurable intercourse with any other man, save with me alone. Let her neither drink nor eat, nor love, nor be strong nor well, let her have no sleep except with me, because I conjure you by the terrible terror-striking name of him, who, when his name is heard, will cause the earth hearing it to open; the demons, hearing his fearful name, will be afraid, and the rivers and the rocks, hearing his name, will burst.” And straightway the woman will come to you and you may enjoy your desires. Or if she is restrained you may go to her and her passion on seeing you will be such that no earthly bonds can hold her.1 If the complexity of this ritual proved too much for the warlock, a similar, but less arduous, alternative was available—developed, apparently, by Roman witchcraft practitioners and said to be greatly effective on “maidens in their first bloom,” Obtain a small hand mirror, and taking the mirror from its frame write the name of the girl you desire three times on the back. Having returned the mirror to its frame, then find two dogs that are copulating and hold the mirror so that they are reflected in it. Hide it then for nine days in a place which the girl passes and afterwards carry it on your person. You may at any time after approach the girl and wonderously she will agree to your every desire. The theory behind this performance was that it created a “magical link” between the man, the sex act “captured” in the mirror, and the girl. Again, though, the ritual demanded patience and strict observance of the appointed tasks—enough, indeed, to cool lust hastily engendered. A simpler ceremony dating from


the Middle Ages and found mainly in Europe promised quicker results—as long as the warlock was already in possession of some body hair from the girl he wanted. Take the hairs of the woman whose love you desire and at night, just before the sun rises, do as this. Then with thine own blood, write thine own name and her name in virgin wax on parchment, and burn the hair and letters together to dust on a red hot fire, and give it to her in meat and drink, and she shall be so much taken with thee that she will take no rest until you have copulated together to your heart’s content.2 Inducing secret items into the desired person’s food or drink figures prominently in many magical spells, and obviously apart from his skill at preparing the amore vite, the warlock needed to be adept at stealth and deception. Among the plants with supposedly aphrodisiac qualities are lettuce, endive, purslane, valerian, jasmine, crocus, coriander, fern, and pansy. Cyclamen was very popular in England, and instructions said it should be burned and the ashes marinated in wine and formed into little balls which could then be concealed in soups and stews. (Cyclamen was also employed throughout all society as its roots were much used as pessaries.) This same preparation could also be used with poppy seeds and deadly nightshade—but, rather than inducing desire, they left the woman drugged and helpless to any approach. The more subtle warlock could achieve his desires still more simply by pressing upon the desired girl an apple: Write on an apple before it fall from the tree, Aleo + Deleo + Delato +, and say, I conjure thee apple by these three names which are written on thee, that what woman or virgin toucheth and tasteth thee, may love me and burn in my love as fire melteth wax.3 The crab apple was reputed to be particularly good for this purpose and, if several were eaten (especially with cheese and cucumber), would induce erotic dreams and strong sexual stimulation. Matters could be insured by preparing the crab apple thus: Cutt an apple in IV parts, and on every part write, Sathiel + Sathiel + Obing + Siagestart, and say I conjure thee that thou


shall not stand still until I have the love of the woman which shall eat of thee.4 The younger warlocks might, of course, be bold enough to make a direct approach to the maid of their choice—but magic did have two suggestions to assist in success: Place Vervain in thy mouth, and kiss any maid saying these words, “Pax tibi sum sensum content in amore me” and she shall love thee.5 Take the tongue of a sparrow and close it in virgin wax under thy clothes for the space of four days, and then take it and keep in thy mouth under the tongue and kiss the woman thou lovest. Letters written on the hand were also said to be just as effective: Write the letters, N.A.P.A.R.A.B.O.C.L.P.E.A. in small squares on the right hand with thine own blood, before the sun rising, or after the sun setting, and touch the parties flesh and say “Ei signere me et stat in vaniet tibi."

Warlocks of all ages were equally urged to suggest telling a woman who was desired her fortune and “make her look deeply into your eyes.” When this is done and you are both in the same position, you are to repeat the words, “ K a f e , Kasita non K a f e l a et publia filii omnibus suis.” These words said you may command the female and she will obey you in all you desire.6 It was sometimes suggested that this approach could be further aided by having the woman drink a special liquid prepared thus: Take a spider within his web, whole, and see it breaks not and shut it inside two shells of a nut. After this, boil it in oil in a silver spoon called cochlearia and give part of the webbe to drink. It makes the party who drinks to love him so long as the spider be shut up in the nutshell.7 Certain warlocks must have found some of these spells and potions worked too well for, having successfully had their way with the desired women, they discovered they could not get rid


of them! However, high magic was soon to the rescue, providing means of either insuring they got a woman who would leave on command or else instructing them in how to drive the unwanted lover away. The most widely used formula for the latter course was as follows: To cause her to depart you must take the egg of a black hen and boil it in urine and give half of it to a dog and half of it to a cat and say, “As these hate one another so may8hatred fall between [the female’s name] and I.” In one sixteenth-century English grimoire, we even find a specific rite to obtain a “mistress unto your needs” who will “come unto you when your wife is not healthy or meet with you in a low tavern or hedgerow for your pleasure.” Take a piece of virgin parchment as broad as your hand, and make on it two images, the one of thyself and the other of the woman or maid you will take to mistress. Then, with the blood of the little finger of thy left hand, write on thine own image thine own name, and on the other her name. Betwixt the images write Sathan, Lucifer, Donskton. You must make it so that when you close the parchment the images may be right over one another. Make thine own image on Friday, the first hour that Venus governs, and the other the Friday following, in the same hour. This done, put the images under your foote three times a day, and then removing it to the other foot. In the morning, the first hour of the day after 12 o’clock at noon, and at night before it be dark, say the conjuration: “Sathan, Lucifer, Donskton, which are princes which expelled Adam and Eve out of Paradise, I charge you to go to her named, and suffer her not to sleepe, nor to take any reste, nor to drinke, nor to stand, nor to sit, nor to lie quiet, until she hath accomplished and done my will whatsoever I request her to do.” Then you must have five pieces of golde, to be sent to her in the time you begin your work before it be ended, and she will be your mistress as long as you desire it. Once having a woman such as this in his power (and having paid for her, to boot!), the more lusty warlock might feel it necessary to insure further that her sexual drive was strong “so that


she could couple with him as oft as he desires.” The same grimoire suggests the following: Make an image of her in virgin wax, sprinkle it with holy water, and write the name of the woman on the forehead of the image and thy name on her breast. Then take four new needles and prick one of them on the back of the image and one on the front and the others in the right and left sides. Then say the conjuration. Then make a fire in her name and write on the ashes of the coals her name, and put a little mustard seed and a little salt upon the image, then lay up the coals again, and as they leapeth and swelleth so shall her desire be kindled to red heat. Not surprisingly, after a while some of the warlocks grew tired of normal sex, and not a few manuscripts detail unusual variations: It [sex] will greatly improve if you do give a maiden to wear a girdle which has been annointed with the oil of the St. John’s wort plant. Do hang a girl’s shoe over the bed where you lie with her and if you fill it with rue leaves your love making will be marvellous. Take four young swallows and cook them in a pot. After this, look for the two birds which lie closest together and taking them, dissolve them in oil of roses. If this potion be now applied over the girl’s breasts and privy parts she will do all your wishes in any manner you choose. Go to a hill top by moonlight and there cause two black dogs, male and female, to copulate. Root out then from their genitals the sperm they have passed and then you and your maiden eat this stuff for it will produce in each person a prodigious strength for love.9 Another charm, less nauseating, suggested that a piece of the girl’s underwear burning in a pottery lamp would heighten sensations if the words “Halosin Halosin Alosin Alosin Alosin Sru'in Sru'in” were spoken before love-making began. There were also various medallion charms, such as the Seal of Venus, which the maid hung between her breasts and when touched by her lover “drove her to great passion.” A still more powerful aphrodisiac consisted of “the navel string of a boy, new born, dry and powdered and given in drink.”


The Venus Pentacle.

Of course, not all warlocks looked for insatiable women, but neither did they want to run the risk of the women in their power bestowing their favors on other men. A sixteenth-century English manuscript provided the safeguard: If thou wilt that a woman be not vicious nor desire men, take the private members of a woolfe and the haires which doe grow on the cheeks or eyebrows of him, and haires which be under his beard, and burn it all, and give it to her to drinke, when she knoweth not, and she shall desire no other man. The man had also to be prepared for the occasional rejection from his mistress, and the same manuscript prescribed: It is said when a woman desireth not man, then let him take a little of the tallow of a bucke Goat, meane between little and great, let him anoint his privy members with it, and do the act of generation. She shall love him, and shall not doc the act of generation afterwards with any other man.


In the British Museum is a unique Black Magic grimoire which has in one section a most unusual suggestion for the palate jaded by too much sex. As a diversion, it proposes conjuring a girl who will appear in the confines of a private room and perform a strip-


This extraordinary divertissement is headed “To Make a Girl Dance in the Nude” and reads: Write on virgin parchment the character of Fruitimeire you see here with the blood of a bat.

Then cut it on a blessed stone, over which a Mass has been said. After this, when you want to use it, place the character under the sill or threshold of a door which she you desire must pass. When she comes past, she will come in. She will undress and be completely naked, and will dance unceasingly until you remove the character from its secret place. The grimoire notes that this display is not likely to arouse much lust in the watcher as the girl dances “with grimaces and contortions which cause more pity than desire.” (This same work also contains a novel method of discovering whether or not a girl was still a virgin. Lily-pollen had to be pulverized and slipped into the girl’s food or drink. If she is no longer a virgin, maintains the grimoire, she will be seized with an irresistible urge to urinate!) Finally, if the warlock has no success at all with human beings, he can always turn to the traditional “comforter” of the witches, the Succubus, a devil in female form. These beautiful


beings are supposedly sexually insatiable, but icy-cold to the touch. Nonetheless they were at the beck and call of the dedicated Black Magician and, from a German manuscript of the seventeenth century, we learn that he had to do no more than construct his magic circle, offer his sacrifice to the spirits, and call for his “lover” with the words: “Komm Raster under Knaster mie.” II. Witches

There are also love potions which the witches who know them minister to whomso they will, and are in consequence loved by them.” —Seventeenth-Century Manuscript

The witches, too, had their armory of rituals and potions which could be employed to attract a reluctant man. The beauty of the younger practitioners and their easy abandonment to sensual pleasures both at the Sabbats and from day to day was often the only spell they required, but for the older women still anxious for the joys of the flesh, the aid of Black Magic was essential. The grimoires and secret books were not wanting in suggestions. Possibly the oldest-known ritual demands that the woman or girl strip naked and run around her village or group of houses without being seen by anyone. If she achieves this and then cries out three times, “Heosin, Heosin, Lauder, Lauder," touching her breasts and pubis each time, she will win her man. The rite can be carried out at night, but the woman who undertakes it in daylight and succeeds “will assuredly obtain to herself great love.” Nudity is also a part of several other witch charms, but none demands quite the same daring as our first example. For instance, a sixteenth-century manuscript in the British Museum instructs the witch to discover where the man of her choice is sleeping and then prepare herself as follows in an adjoining room: First do recite these words: “Kay o kam, avriavel. Kiya mange lel beshel” and strip yourself naked. Then do steal into the room where the man lies asleep and clip from his head one lock of hair.


Do not disturb his slumber or cause anyone else in the house to rise and discover you. Then take this lock and wear it in a bag or on a ring and he will be yours to command. The instructions in this case warn the woman that should she be discovered on her mission—or cause the man to awaken while she is in his room—the charm will work in reverse. Which would seem, in fact, to suit her purpose just as well! Another grimoire advises on how to get foreknowledge of a lover by going to a river or lake at midnight and stepping naked into it—when his face will be reflected on the surface. If the simplicity of this fails to inspire confidence, the book suggests a rather unsavory alternative: At midnight, unseen, do steal to a dung heap and stand yourself upon it. Having brought with you a piece of cake (and it be said the Christmas Cake is best) put this in your mouth. When the time of midnight is struck a vision of him to be yours will arise wonderfully for a while.10 From another manuscript of the same period comes this rather erotic rite to achieve the same result: To see the form of her lover a girl must go on the night of St. George to a cross road. There she must undress, first comb backwards the hair on her head and then likewise with that on her privy parts. Then pricking the little finger of her left hand she must let three drops of blood fall on the ground while saying: “I give my blood to my loved one, whom I shall see shall be mine own.” Then will the form of a man rise slowly from the blood and fade slowly away.11 A rider is added to the instructions that the dust and blood must be carefully gathered up afterwards and thrown into the river “or she will die within the space of one year.” Not every witch, of course, was able—or willing—to go through such ceremony, and as an alternative there were prescriptions available for a great many love potions. Whole books have already been compiled listing these brews and their contents, so here we shall content ourselves with just those associated with

An old warlock seducing a young girl with the aid of his Black Book (1660).

An old crone and the young man she has bewitched into making love to her (1651).


Black Magic. (Bear in mind, too, that many of those we have already discussed in the section devoted to warlocks worked equally well for the witches.) A famous mediaeval grimoire lists this short but “most greatly powerful” spell: Put the ashes of a burnt undergarment which has been wet with perspiration and has perhaps hair adhering to it, into a man’s food or drink.12 Another manuscript is equally succinct and unsavory: The yellow roots of the Orchis maculata are dried and crushed and mixed with the woman’s menses and put in the food or drink of the man to win his affections.13 Effluence from the body features in a number of other spells, the following being recorded in a privately owned seventeenthcentury manuscript: Do then take a very hot bath and after it, while perspiring fulsomely, do cover yourself with flour. When this flour be well wet, brush it off from your body with a virgin white linen cloth and do put it in a baking bowl. Then cut your finger nails and those on your toes and add to these hairs from all parts of your body, even unto those of your private parts. Then do burn them all to a powder and mix the ashes with the flour. Finally, add an egg to the mixture, and do bake all as a cake. Serve to the man you desire and his love shall be yours. Once having attracted a man, the witch will probably want to insure his continuing devotion and love-making. She may do as follows: Bury the foot of a badger newly killed beneath the bed where you lie together and it will awaken great love in his loins.14 Or else, take the following two alternatives: The red toad which lives in briars and brambles is full of sorceries and capable of wonderful things; there is15 a little bone in its left side, which if bound to a man, it stirs up lust. This is a most powerful philter to cause love; there is a little piece of venomous flesh, about the size of a fig, and black in


colour, which is in the forehead of a colt newly foaled, and if it be powdered and mixed with some of your blood16 and given to him in drink, it will stir up a mighty passion for days. The grimoires were realistic enough to believe that, even with all this secret black science at her control, the witch might still run into problems. With a faithless lover, for instance: If you be deceived by him and he lies with another, light a candle at midnight within the magic circle and prick it several times with a needle saying, “Thrice the candle’s broke by me— Thrice thy heart shall broken be.” 17 The same manuscript goes a step further, should the misguided man actually marry another woman. It suggests that the girl should mix the broken shell of a crab in his food, or else hide one of his hairs in a bird’s nest, “for this will make the marriage unhappy and the husband will constantly pine for his neglected sweetheart.” Of course, it is just possible that, in her absorption with all this sorcery, the practitioner may have overlooked establishing whether or not the man of her attentions was already married. A sixteenth-century broadsheet has a conjuration to right that situation: Go to a cemetery and there break a new laid egg over a grave and say “I conjure you, luminaries of heaven and earth, as the heavens are separated from the earth, so separate and divide ................. [man’s name] from his wife,......................., and separate them from one another, as life is separated from death, and sea from dry land, and water from fire, and mountain from vale, and night from day, and light from darkness, and make them depart from one another, that they should not comfort one another, swiftly and quickly.” To conclude, the secret works invariably devoted a paragraph or two to the matter of pregnancy. As a final way of ensnaring a man if all else had failed, the “condition” could be insured according to the True Grimoire in the following manner: Betake yourself to a graveyard and there cat from a grave


in which a woman with child is buried one handful of grass. And do recite these words: “Dui rika him mire mine, Dui yara hin leskro kor Avnas dui yek jelo Keren akana yek jeles.” —and you will forthwith become with child. The work also had advice for the witch who wanted to avoid conception and instructed her (not without a sense of the romantic) : After you have enjoyed yourself in copulation, do wash yourself all over with rose water and then pour the water over a rose bush. This will surely bring on the menses. For the women who felt there was a little too much levity in this process for it to be taken seriously, another manuscript written

The special Black Magic “sex symbol”: half male, half female.


just a few years later suggested taking precautions beforehand by “drinking some bloode of ye ram or ye haire” and making sure to be “not free with your lover more than thrice a day”! All in all, the secret Black Books could offer the witch woman or maiden an answer to all her prayers! REFERENCES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.

Grimorium Verum. Ms. 1517. Sloane Ms. British Museum. Fifteenth-Century Ms. Bodleian Library, Oxford. Rawlinson Ms. Bodleian Library, Oxford. Sloane Ms. British Museum. Sixteenth-Century Ms. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Sixteenth-Century Ms. Bodleian Library, Oxford. Magica seu. 1557. Des Sorciers et des Devineresses. 1489. The Boke of Mervayles of the World. Sixteenth Century. Grimorium Verum. Ms. 1517. Clavicles de Salomon. The Book of Sacred Magic by Abraham the Jew. n.d. Sixteenth-Century Ms. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Magic and Astrology. Seventeenth Century. Ibid. Sloane Ms. British Museum.

The Ointments and Drugs of Black Magic

The devil teacheth them to make ointment of the bowels and members of children and of diverse drugs whereby they accomplish all their desires. —Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584)

As most people will appreciate, today’s drug takers are continuing a human tradition which dates back to the earliest times— a tradition which has also been much employed by witches and warlocks. Their secret manuals and manuscripts contain details of the preparation of numerous drugs and potions which can in some instances be credited with having provided the basis for the stories of witchcraft’s “unearthly” power. In this context, probably no subject has come in for more comment than that of the “Witch Ointments”—and in particular those which allegedly gave the witches the ability to fly. While a great many early demonologists were convinced that witches could fly after rubbing themselves all over with their special ointment, the Black Magicians employed this same salve for exactly what it was intended: the creation of hallucinations. That some of the adepts rubbed their naked bodies with oily potions to make them difficult to grasp if their Sabbat was raided by the authorities is undeniable, but the majority utilized the potion for the same form of “escape and enlightenment” as today’s LSD “trippers.” The witch or warlock applied the salve, lay down, and soon slipped into the realms of unconsciousness believing themselves to fly, partake in ritual ceremonies, and even indulge in sexual


orgies. If it was not possible actually to be present at the Sabbat, the “Witch Ointment” was undoubtedly the next best thing. Reginald Scot, one of the first great chroniclers of witchcraft, recorded what was traditionally held to be the recipe “whereby witches ride in the air” in 1584. Take the fat of young children, and seeth it with water in a brasen vessell, reserving the thickest of that which remaineth boiled in the bottome; this they laye up and keep, until occasion serveth to use it. They put hereunto Eleoselinum, Aconitum, Frondes populeas, and Soote. Or do they take Sium, acarum vulgare, pentaphyllon, the blood of a flitter mouse, solanum somniferum and oleum. They stampe all these together, and then they rubbe all parts of their bodies exceedinglie, till they looke red, and be verie hot, so as the pores may be opened, and their flesh soluble and loose. They joine herewithall either fat, or oil in stead thereof, that the force of the ointment maie the rather pearse inwardly, and so be more effectuall. By this means in a moonlight night they seeme to be carried in the aire.1 Scot’s reportage is remarkably accurate for an outsider, as we shall find if we turn to the black grimoires. Here, indeed, there are three distinct formulae and, armed with them, we can examine the ingredients of the potions and the effects they would have. The first of these consists simply of aconite, boiled with the leaves of the poplar tree and parsley, and mixed into an ointment with soot and fat. Aconite is the important item in this recipe, for it is a powerful poison and the root contains about .4 percent of alkaloid (onefifteenth of a grain of alkaloid is a lethal dose). Rubbed on in the ointment, it produces a tingling sensation, which is succeeded by numbness on the part of the body on which it has been applied. The fumes derived from the other ingredients lead to light-headedness and visions. The second recipe consists of water parsnip, sweet flag, cinquefoil, bat’s blood, and oil. The water parsley was more than likely cowbane or water hemlock, a poisonous herb, and its combination with the other


items would cause great excitement when rubbed on the skin— indeed it might well lead to delirium. The bat’s blood is quite innocuous. In the final recipe we find the nororious fat of an unbaptized child. Although this had absolutely no effect at all, it is widely recorded in these formulae. The instructions read: baby’s fat, juice of water parsnip, aconite, cinquefoil, deadly nightshade (belladonna), and oil.2 Belladonna is, of course, a strong poison, and fourteen of its berries will produce death. Half that number will cause wild excitement and delirium. (The plant’s active principle, atropine, also has a powerful effect on the eyes.) It is possible the fumes produced by the other constituents would have some effect on a susceptible person, but in the main they are provided to add mystery to the otherwise very simple concoction. Experiments right up to the present day have proved the effectiveness of many of the black potions found in the witch grimoires and manuscripts. However, in this category probably more than any other, the adepts guarded their secrets with extreme care, frequently writing down the formulae in symbols or codes known only to themselves. Some of these it has been possible to decipher, others are unfortunately lost to us, as no “keys” to their secrets were left by the composers. Attempts at interpretation have also been of no avail. As a number of the potions contained highly dangerous substances, there can be little doubt that the practitioners of the black arts were well versed in the ways of poisoning. But still, with the armory of skills at defeating enemies and enforcing their own will, it comes as something of a surprise to learn that the Black Magicians might have had to resort to simple poisoning on the odd occasion. But they certainly did—using their skill, however, to conceal the poison from both the victim and from any inquiring authorities who might afterward seek out the cause. Not wishing to encourage experiment in this particular area of devilry, let it suffice to say that those we know of were all ingenious and no doubt most effective!


In the area of drug-taking we need not be so reticent, and the grimoires indicate that three types of drug were most favored by the devotees: opium, henbane, and thornapple. According to a French text, a number of warlocks in England, Scotland, and Europe were “opium eaters,” and it gave the following as their means of imbibing: Each does when it suits him take two grams of the dried juice from the unripened capsule of the poppy flower and powders it finely. This he mixes with wine and water and enjoys it to the full.3 The manuscript also informs us that some of the warlocks took as much as twenty grams of opium a day and “this will illustrate why some are said to be wasted before their years.” Henbane (Hyposcyamus Niger) was probably the most popular of all drugs with the devotees, and some reports have it that it was used in the conjuration of demons and the art of prophecy. When taken as a crushed powder dissolved in drink, it creates a feeling of pressure in the head as if a heavy body is resting on it. The eyelids are also slowly forced to droop and, while this occurs, sight becomes vague and all objects seem to be stretched lengthwise. Hallucinations also flare up in front of the eyes while they are still open, and authorities believe this accounts for the reports some practitioners gave of being accosted by hideous night creatures. When the subject finally drops off to sleep, “he is surrounded by fantastic apparitions,” says one report, “and may also see events in the future.” Thornapple (Datura Stramonium) was employed more by the practitioners as a weapon against others than as a stimulant. The seeds of this remarkable plant when swallowed by the subject will “deprave and delude his mind to such a degree that anything can be done in his presence without fear of his remembering it on the following day,” says a seventeenth-century medical report. “This madness of the mind lasts for twenty-four hours and you can do what you like with him; he notices nothing, understands nothing, and knows nothing about it on the next day. In demonology this plant has played a more important role than the layman ever suspected.”

An old witch anointing a new followor (1630).

A young witch dreams she rides naked to the Sabbat.


Not surprisingly, thornapple became known as the Magic or Devil’s Herb, and the roots were often burned at the Sabbat orgies to delude and excite those who were present—also to cut down the risk of loose tongues spreading the story the next day. It is known, too, to have been used to overcome women for sexual pleasures. Another plant which has become engraved in witchcraft history is the mandrake (Atropa Mandragora). Apart from the root having an uncanny resemblance to the human body and therefore —according to one twelfth-century scholar—“being more ameniable to the influence of the Devil and his wiles than other plants,” it is also highly poisonous. The mandrake is remarkable, too, in that it can be classified as “male” or “female.” The “male” is white mandragora, which has a thick root and is black outside and white inside. Its leaves spread out close to the ground and it has heavily scented blossoms and yellow berries. These berries, if eaten—the grimoires tell us— have a soporific effect. The “female” mandragora is black right through and its root is forked. Superstitious people through many ages regarded the plant as half vegetable (it is one of the potato family) and half human, and indeed believed that it “screamed” when pulled from the earth. (Shakespeare referred to it in Romeo and Juliet thus: “Shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth, that living mortals hearing them run mad.”) A system was even devised whereby the man who sought a mandrake would loosen the earth around the plant, attach a string to it, tie this to a dog, and have the animal do the work. The seeker was advised to stop up his ears with wax beforehand, as “when the dog do release the plant from its sheltering earth a great shriek will go up which will cause the beast to fall down dead.” Black magicians seem to have paid little regard to this superstition—perhaps they even encouraged it to insure their own supplies!—but they did believe it was important to collect mandrakes by night (just before sunrise) and on a Friday being the best time of all. After collection it had to he washed in wine and stored in a red or white silk cloth until required.


Although the mandrake was attributed with many ludicrous properties such as being able to “reveal hidden things, future events, and win you the friendship of all men”—even increase your wealth —the warlocks used it primarily for its narcotic juices. The juice squeezed from the root and distilled in wine produces visions and hallucinations—although the quantities must be carefully regulated, as more than a small spoonful of the juice in a large bottle of wine can lead to delirium, insanity, and even, in extreme cases, death. In the secret books we also find recipes for a number of perfumes with hallucinatory effects. Most of these are of a very ancient date and were probably first used in the ceremonies of primitive man to appease the gods. To cause a man to see Visions in the Air and elsewhere, take coriander and henbane and the skin which is in the pound-garnet [pomegranate | and grind together and the fumigation made will show you all manner of marvels.4 A somewhat more powerful version of this required the following ingredients: Take root of cane reed and the root of fennell, with the skin of pound-garnet, henbane and red saunders, and black poppy.5 Some authorities attribute this mixture with being able to raise “spirits and ghosts together” if fumigated “about tombs and graves of ye dead.” Doubtful as it seems, the fumes are certainly potent enough to make anyone “high.” So, too, is this next formula: Anise and camphire mixed cause to see secret things called spirits. Fumigate with cardamons and eat thereof. It causeth gladness and gathers spirits together.6 The great occultist, Albertus Magnus, was deeply interested in this particular area of Black Magic and recorded details of how to effect a number of hallucinations in his work, The Secrets of Albertus Magnus (1525). If, for instance, the adept wished to see “men appear in the shape of animals,” he was to prepare a candle as follows: Take the eye of a shrike owle, and the eye of a fish, and the


gall of wolves. Break them in thy hands, and mixe they all together, and put them in a vessell or glasse. Then, when thou wilt worke it, take the fat of any beaste thou wilt, that this may be made in the shape of it; melt it and mixe it pertfitely with that medicine, and anoint the match candle weeke, or whatsoever thou wilt with it. After, kindle it in the midst of the house, and the men shall seeme in the shape of that beaste whose fat thou didst take. Magnus also provides an alternative candle which would “make men seeme in the Shape of Angels,” but one can hardly imagine that would appeal to the practitioners of the dark arts! Perhaps, though, they might care to be able to “see green men and men of many shapes, and infinite marvels, which are not discerned for their multitudes”: Take Vermillion and the stone Lazalus, and the Peniroyall of the mountains, and beat it all to a powder, and sift it. Mix it with the fat of a horse and make graines or cornes after the fashion of seeds, and drie them in a shadow. Perfume it with what thou wilt and it shall be done what is said. In another particularly intriguing instance, the master occultist records how to create a liquid which, when burned in the presence of women, will cause them to do “marvellous things.” He leaves the experimenter to find out exactly what! Take the bloode of a hare and the bloode of a turtle dove and the bloode of the turtle male, equal to the half of it. Then put it in a weeke of a lampe, and lighten it in the midst of the house in which are women and a marvellous thing shall be proved. Magnus further notes two other strange potions which he discovered “in the secret writings of those who be witches.” The first instructs in how to “hold fire without hurt,” and one can imagine its value to the practitioner: Take white great mallows, or Hollyhocke, mixe them with the whites of egges, and anoint thy body with it, and let it be until it be dried up. And after anoint thee with alom, and afterward cast it on small brimstone, beaten into powder: for the fire is enflamcd on it, and hurtcrh not. And if thou make upon the palme of thy hand, thou shalt be able to hold the fire without hurt.


A warlock and his witch companion making secret potions.

The second preparation must have been particularly useful, for it enabled one to “See Deep into Water, read books by night.’’ Anoint thy face with the blood of the Keremouse or Bat; and thou shalt doe as I say. Turning to other sources, we find there were still more suggestions as to how one could conjure up visions of the future in the mind. In one manuscript, the following ingredients ground together were said to be most effective: Fumigate yourself with linseed and seed of psellium, or with violet roots and wild parsley and you will see future events.7 The senses were also believed to be heightened by making, “little balls of the bigness of peas” in this manner:


Take nutmeg, aloes, wood, mastik, saffron, cinnamon, myrtle, mixed with rose-water, clove, olibanum, frankincense and myrrh, amber, bdellium, red storax [styrax] and a little ambergris and musk. All these made into a body and then into little balls which should be cast into an earthen pot over a clear charcoal fire. After they be hardened they can be stored and8 when taken in the mouth as the choicest food will have great effect. Finally, we find in the grimoire of a Scottish warlock a recipe for the “Devil’s Ale” which “will guard against insanity and cause you to enjoy all the hours of the day.” As a cocktail served at a twentieth-century party, it could hardly be anything less than sensational! Ale hassock, lupine, carrot, fennel, radish, betony, wateragrimony, marche, rue, wormwood, cat’s mint, elecampane, enchanter’s nightshade, wild teazle and garlic. REFERENCES 1. Discoverie of Witchcraft. 1584. 2. Ecstasy of Witches. 1615. 3. Undated Manuscript (probably seventeenth-century) Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. 4. Rawlinson Ms. British Museum. 5. Ibid. 6. Leechbook. n.d. 7. Phantastica. n.d. 8. Leechbook. n.d. 9. Undated Manuscript (probably seventeenth-century) Edinburgh University.

The Ancient Secrets

Read these exorcisms advisedly and you may be sure to conjure them without crossings; and if any man long for secret things, this only book can best fit him. —Devil's Incarnat (1596)

There were few powers that the witches and warlocks strove more determinedly after than that of invisibility. To them it was a supreme achievement, the proof that they had mastered the very darkest secrets of their craft. The ability to dissolve slowly into mist and then magically reappear was held by many of them in higher esteem than being able to raise demons and spirits, conjuring the affections of men and women and even communicating with the dead. It was felt to demand the most conscientious devotion to evil, the most careful observation of ritual detail and—most important of all—provide the witch or warlock with the most fearful power he could hope to possess. A malicious or spiteful neighbor -even a member of the secret art—would surely think twice before incurring the anger of a man who could revenge himself at any time and not even be seen doing it! Various formulae for invisibility are recorded in the earliest grimoires and manuscripts, and they make an ideal starting point for this final section devoted to the ancient secrets of Black Magic. As might be expected, the rituals are both gruesome and demanding—take this one from the sixteenth century, Grimorium Verum, for instance: Collect five black beans. Start the rite on a Wednesday before sunrise. Then take the head of a dead man, and put one of the


black beans in his mouth, two in his eyes and two in his ears. Then make upon his head the character which follows here:

When you have done this, bury the head, with the face upwards, and for nine days, before sunrise, water it each morning with excellent brandy. On the ninth, when you return, you will find that the beans are germinating. Take them and put them in your mouth, and look at yourself in a mirror. If you can see nothing, it is well. Test the others in the same way, either in your mouth, or in that of a child. Those which do not confer invisibility are to be reburied with the head. Some earlier spells than this were much simpler, but apparently were little regarded by the practitioners of Black Magic. One anonymous writer of a fourteenth-century manuscript had little time for the idea that a person could become invisible merely by carrying the heart of a bat under the right arm. But, on the other hand—by practical experience perhaps?—he placed great store on the wearing of a specially constructed ring on the little finger of the right hand. It was called the “Ring of Gyges” and made of “fixed mercury into which is set a little stone to be found in a lapwing’s nest.” Around the stone must be engraved the words “Jesus passant + par le milieu d’eux + s’en allait.” The instructions then went on: “You can then become visible or invisible at will by just turn ing the stone inward or outward.” Two hundred years later, a famous magician and alchemist Cornelius Agrippa recorded a further ceremonial as follows: To goe invisible. Take a piece of lead and write thereon, “Athatos, Stivos, Them, Pantocraton,” and put it in thy left shoe. Then can you goe abroad unseen.2


Agrippa was also familiar with the first rite we recorded from the Grimorium Verum and suggested a slight variation if it failed to work: Take a bean and put it into the heart of a black cat being reddy roasted, then bury it in a dunghill and when it be ripe carry it about, and thou shalt be invisible. The simplest secret of invisibility to undertake was the recitation of the following prayer while standing inside the duly consecrated magic circle. It was in the same pattern as certain other Black Magic practices, in that it threatened the “master of invisibility” with punishment by Him “Who is God and Man”—in other words, the Christian God—unless he obeyed the command: Athal, Bathel, Nothe, Jhoram, Asey, Cleyungit, Gabellin, Semeney, Mencheno, Bal, Labenenten, Nero, Meclap, Helateroy, Palcin, Timgimiel, Plegas, Peneme, Fruora, Heart, Ha, Ararna, Avira, Ayla, Seye, Peremies, Seney, Levesso, Huay, Baruchalu, Acuth, Tural, Buchard, Caratim, per misericordiam abibit ergo mortale perficiat qua hoc opus ut invisibiliter ire possim. O tu Pontation, Magister invisbilitaris cum Magistris tuis, Tenem, Musach, Motagren, Bries vel Brys, Domedis, Ugemal, Abdita, Patribisib, Tangadentet, Ciclap, Client, Z, Succentat, Colleig, Bereith et Plintia, Gastaril, Oletel, conjuro te Pontation, et ipsos Ministros invisibilitatis per ilium qui contremere facit orben per Coelum et terram, Cherubim et Seraphim et per ilium qui generare fecit in virgine et Deus est cum homine, ut hoc experimentum perfectae perficiam, est in quaecumquae hora voluero, sim invisibilis; Iterum conjuro te et tuos Ministros, pro Stabuches et Mechaerom, Esey, Enitgiga, Beilis, Semonei, ut Statim venais cum dictis ministris tuis et perficias hoc opus sicut scitis, et hoc experimentum me invisibilem facit, ut nemo me videat. Amen. Of course, not every adept of the Black Arts could expect to achieve invisibility, but there was at least one alternative which would help in the performing of activities which had to proceed undetected. This was the “Hand of Glory,” a gruesome appendage which could paralyze those to whom it was shown and was apparently much used in the commission of robbery. An eighteenthcentury grimoire gives the formula for making the hand and is


based on manuscripts that were at least two to three hundred years old at that time: Take the hand of a felon who is hanging from a gibbet beside a highway; wrap it in part of a funeral pall and so wrapped squeeze it well to remove the blood. Then put it in an earthenware vessel with zimat [ verdigris ], nitre, salt and long peppers, the whole well powdered. Leave it in this vessel for a fortnight, then take it out and expose it to full sunlight until it becomes quite dry. If the sun is not strong enough put it in an oven heated with fern and vervain. Next make a candle with the fat of a gibbeted felon, virgin wax, sesame and ponie [horse dung] and use the Hand of Glory as a candlestick to hold this candle when lighted, and then those in every place into which you go with this baneful instrument shall remain motionless.4 This same manuscript also noted a way for those who might be subjected to the “Hand of Glory” on how to defeat its power: Rub the threshold or other parts of the house by which those who carry the Hand of Glory may enter, with an ungent composed of the gall of a black cat, the fat of a white hen and the blood of a screech owl, and it will have no effect. A not dissimilar candle with extraordinary powers was also noted in a number of other black grimoires. This secondary “Magic Candle” could help the owner to find buried treasure— a pursuit to which a great many witches and warlocks were devoted. (As students of witchcraft will know, there is a widely recorded ritual ceremony for summoning a demon to “reveal where buried treasure be hid”—but this candle seemed to make all that paraphernalia unnecessary, apart from being less dangerous.) You must have a big candle composed of human tallow and fixed into a crescent-shaped piece of hazel-wood. And then if this candle, being lighted in a subterranean place, sparkles brightly with a good deal of noise, it is a sign that there is treasure in that place, and the nearer you approach the treasure the more will the candle sparkle, going out at length when you are quite close. Those anxious to know of other ways to locate hidden wealth are directed to any of the several dozen scholarly works on witch-

Black Magic practitioners surrounded by the symbols and accouterments of their art.

The ancient style of illustrating the Black Magic Pentagram complete with skull and crossbones and two “Hands of Glory.”


craft, where they will find them recorded in profusion, but from the annals of Black Magic we could not pass on without mentioning the remarkable fourteenth-century charm “To make money spent to return.” Make a purse of mole’s skin and write in it “Belzebub, Zetrn Caiphas," with the blood of a batt and lay a good penny in the highway for the space of three days and three nights. And after put it in the purse and when you give it say, “Vade et Vine” and on the next day do look in the purse and it will be returned.5 Nothing seems to have been too adventurous for the black magicians, and one can imagine the excitement which a new devotee must have experienced on turning to the page in his secret book which contained the heading, “To Make Two Living Manikins”: Take a large, clean vessel made of crystal and pour into it one measure of the purest May dew collected when the moon is a crescent. Add two measures of blood drawn from a healthy young person. Let the mixture stand for a month by which time it will separate into a reddish clay under clear water. Draw off the clear water into another bowl and add to it one drachm of animal tincture. Let the reddish matter in the first bowl stand for another month, meanwhile applying a continuous gentle heat. There will then form a sort of bladder covered with a fine network of little veins and nerves. Sprinkle this every fourth week with the fluid from the second bowl. At the end of four months there will be noticeable a peeping sound and movements of life. In a while there will appear a boy and girl about six inches tall, a most beautiful pair. They can be kept alive by feeding them with two grains of animal tincture once a month.6 According to this remarkable formula, the pair can only be expected to live for about six years, after which the air in the glass assumes a blood red color and everything inside is changed into a “fuming mass.” And, the report concludes, “If the vessel is not very strong it explodes causing great damage.” Even if the above formula for the creation of life is tried and found to be somewhat less than perfect, one can still sec the


beginnings of the experiments in creating life which are now so absorbing our scientists. As we have seen, the practitioners of the dark arts have never been afraid of tampering with human life and, indeed, were doubtless the first to attempt transplant surgery and revival of the dead. Just as they were interested in creating life, so the warlocks and witches—like the alchemists and mystics of old—searched for the elixir of life—the precious liquid which preserved man’s existence as long as he chose. Some of their grimoires claimed they had found it, and one detailed the actual constituents to restore youth, health, and strength: A retreat of forty days must be made once in every fifty years, beginning during the full moon of May in the company of one faithful person only. It must also be a fast of forty days, drinking May-dew—collected from sprouting corn with a cloth of pure white linen—and eating new and tender herbs. The repast should begin with a large glass of dew and end with a biscuit or crust of bread. There should be slight bleeding on the seventeenth day. Balm of Azoth should then be taken morning and evening, beginning with a dose of six drops and increasing by two drops daily till the end of the thirty-second day. At the dawn which follows thereafter renew the slight bleeding; then take to your bed and remain in it till the end of the fortieth day. On the first awakening take the first grain of Universal Medicine. [See next reference.] A swoon of three hours will be followed by convulsions, sweats and much purging, necessitating a change both of bed and linen. At this stage a broth of lean beef may be taken, seasoned with rice, sage, valerian, vervain and balm. On the day following take the second grain of the Universal Medicine. On the next day have a warm bath. On the thirtv-sixth day drink a glass of Egyptian wine, and on the thirty-seventh, take the third and last grain of Universal Medicine. A profound sleep will follow, during which the hair, teeth, nails and skin will be renewed. The prescription for the thirty-eighth day is another warm bath, steeping aromatic herbs in the water, of the same kind as specified for the broth. On the thirty-ninth day drink ten drops of Elixir of Acharat [see later reference] in two spoonsful of red wine. The work will be finished on the fortieth day and the aged man will be renewed in youth.7 Among those who claimed to have used this formula with


some success was the eighteenth-century mystic, Count Cagliostro, probably the greatest, if most shadowy, figure in occult history. And it is in his writings of magical operations that we find a formula for the “Universal Medicine” referred to in the above instructions: It is necessary to first take some mercury and purge it with salt and with ordinary salad vinegar, to sublime it with vitriol and saltpetre, to dissolve it in aqua-fortis, to sublime it again, to calcine it and fix it, to put away part of it in salad oil, to distil this liquor for the purpose of separating the spiritual water, air and fire, to fix the mercurial body in this spiritual water or to distil the spirit of liquid mercury found in it, to putrefy all, and then to raise and exalt the spirit with non-odorous white sulphur—that is to say, sal-ammoniac—to dissolve this sal-ammoniac in the spirit of liquid mercury which when distilled becomes the liquor known as the Universal Medicine and can be made into grains by heat if so desired. The complexities of this preparation are immediately apparent to anyone with even the most basic knowledge of science—but the secret of life is not easily won, and the other elixir, Acharat, is also not without difficulties in its preparation: It consists of calomel, gentian, cinnamon, aniseed, nard, coral, tartar and mace, and all carefully mixed with red wine over a fire when the moon is high and full. Armed with this information, no reader should now have any difficulty in preserving himself indefinitely for, as the writer of the Mediaeval grimoire, De Magia Veterum, says, “This is that worldrenowned medicine, whereof so many have scribbled, which, notwithstanding, so few have known.” Another obsession of modern science—and a much more justifiable one, too, in comparison with the search for immortality— has been the quest for a cancer cure. At least one Black Book compiled by a seventeenth-century warlock from the County of •Yorkshire has the answer: For this certain cure of cancer take a pound of brown honey when the bees be sad from a death in ye house, which you shall take from the hive just turned of midnight at the full of the moon.


This you shall set by for seven days and on that day you shall add to it the following all being ready prepared afore. One ounce of powdered crabs’ claws, well searced. Seven oyster shells well burned in a covered stone or hard clay pot, using only the white part thereof. One dozen snails and shells diced while they do powder with gentle rubbing and the powder of dried earth. Worms from the churchyard when the moon be on the increase but overcast, which you will gather by lantern which you must be sure not to let go out while you be yet within the gate or their virtue be gone from them. All these make into a fine powder and well searce, this being ready, melt the honey till it simmer then add three ounces each of brown wax, rossin and grease of a fat pig and when all be come at the boil divide your powders to seven heaps and add one at a time. Do not shake your paper on which the powder hath been put but bury it at some grave as there be among what be left some dust of ye worms which have fed upon ye dead. So boil it till all be well mixed and then let cool and if it be too stiff add swine grease till it work easy. When you would use it warm a little on a silver spoon and take without drink. It is as well to use it each day until no more pain is felt.8 Writing in his manual, the warlock adds that “this hath been tried many times and on different folk and hath done wonderous cures when all else failed them.” This “miraculous cure” is just one of the many pseudo-medical preparations which evolved under the aegis of witchcraft. Not surprisingly, witches and warlocks of all ages searched for cures for all their ills, and not a few of their remedies were said to have been imparted by the devil himself. In a collection such as this, specifically devoted to Black Magic, it is not my intention to list these cures—most of which, in any case, have been fully documented in other works on the occult. Indeed, a great many are best categorized as “white” witchcraft (dealing with the removal of warts, the curing of indigestion, and the alleviation of all manner of minor pains) whilst the remainder, though making use of some quite sinister compounds, are hardly definable as “black” magic. Still, our cunning and devilish warlock did occasionally sprinkle his grimoires with “cures”—and we find them almost monotonously linked with sex.


In his nineteenth-century collection of occult rituals and spells, The Magus (published in London in 1801, and probably the most famous work of its kind and certainly one of the most important books on the secrets of witchcraft), Francis Barrett lists a number of such items: Take the eyes of a frog, which must be extracted before sunrise, and bind them to the breasts of a woman who be ill. Then let the frog go blind into the water again and as he goes so will the woman be rid of her pains. Let a naked woman take the heart out of any animal and bind it to a patient suffering from fever and it takes it away. To protect yourself against all disease do you and your wife go naked and plough a single furrow around your house and this will form a charmed circle over which no ill can pass. If there be drought do as this. A maid must be stripped naked and covered with flowers and leaves leaving only her head visible. If those of you then present do pour water over her the drought will end the next day. And so on. In fact, less credence can be placed on most of Black Magic’s “health cures” than any other area of the art. They seem merely contrived to delight and satisfy the warlock’s craving for fetishism and the erotic. Delving still further into the areas of the unlikely, we can read of incantations which were supposed to enable the witch or warlock to change themselves into animals or birds. In the main, the black grimoires from which we have drawn our material tended to treat these matters—if at all—with considerable skepticism. Indeed, in one work, the claim of a Scottish witch, Isobell Gowdie, that she could turn into a hare by merely reciting: I sall goe intill ane haire, With sorrow, and syeh, and mickle caire; And I sall goe in the divell’s name, Ay whill I com home againe. was derided as “cant foolery.” However, in at least two manu­ scripts, the following ritual to turn into a werewolf is repeated:


He who desires to become a werewolf let him seek in the forest a hewn-down tree, repeating the following incantation: On the sea, on the ocean, on the island, on Bujan, On the empty pasture gleams the moon, on an ash-stock lying In a greenwood, in a gloomy vale. Towards the stock wandereth a shaggy wolf, Horned cattle seeking for his sharp white fangs; But the wolf enters not the forest, But the wolf dives not into the shadowy vale. Moon, moon, gold-horned moon Check the flight of bullets, blunt the hunters’ knives, Break the shepherds’ cudgels, Cast wild fear upon all cattle, On men, on all creeping things, That they may not catch the grey wolf, That they may not rend his warm skin! My word is binding, more binding than sleep, More binding than the promise of a hero! Then he springs thrice over the tree and runs into the forest, transformed into a wolf.9 Unfortunately in these instructions—as so many others—there is no advice given on how to return to human form after the fun is over! Finally, we turn full circle to the witch, Janet Haining, and the secret book which she allegedly consulted. Like so many old widow-women through history, she had few friends and obviously a great many enemies. For some years before her arrest and eventual execution, she must have lived in fear of attack—if not from her neighbors then from others also labeled as witches. And, while she knew the attack of her fellow townspeople would more than likely be sudden and direct, she could not possibly have known how or when malice might be directed at her from members of her own secret order. If she did need to prepare for such an eventuality, the Warlock’s Book had the last word: To combat the power of a witch take three small necked


stone jars, place in each the liver of a frog stuck full of new pins and the heart of a toad stuck full of thorns from the holy thornbush. Cork and seal each jar. Then bury each in three different churchyard paths seven inches from the surface and seven inches from the porch. While in this process repeat the Lord’s Prayer backwards. As the hearts and livers decay, so will the witch’s power. Should this fail to bring the required result, there was always the ultimate spell: the bringing of death on an enemy. Even the grimoires referred to this ritual with some trepidation and warned that, unless it was carried out because of continued and hateful oppression, it might well rebound on the practitioner: Procure first some urine of the person you have sworn to kill with an implacable hatred. Then buy a hen’s egg without haggling over the price and go at night, on a Tuesday or a Saturday, to some distant field where you will not be discovered. When you have found the right place make a hole at the broad end of the egg and pour out the white fluid leaving the yolk. Do then fill up the egg with the urine of the hated person, call out his name, and close the hole with a piece of wet virgin parchment. Now secretly bury the egg in the field where you be and return home without once looking back. Then as soon as the egg begins to rot, so will thine enemy be attacked by jaundice. No remedy can cure him until the egg is withdrawn from the earth and burned by the same hand that buried it. If the egg be allowed to rot10 completely, he that is your enemy will die within the twelve month. Postscript: Probably with justification, those who dabbled in the black arts feared that they would not lie easy after death unless careful instructions were left about their burial. From a parchment lodged in the secret case of the British Museum, the following instructions from a warlock to his friends have been copied: Sew up my corpse in the skin of a stag; lay it on its back in a stone coffin; fasten down the lid with lead and iron; on this lay a stone, bound round with three iron chains of enormous weight; let there be psalms and masses said to allay the ferocious attacks of my adversaries. If I lie thus secure for three nights, on the fourth day bury me in the ground; although, I fear, lest the earth,

92 • THE WARLOCK’S BOOK which has been so often burdened with my crimes, should refuse to receive and cherish me in her bosom. REFERENCES 1. Sloane Ms. British Museum. 2. Booke of Hidden Philosophy or The Magical Ceremonies by Cornelius Agrippa. 3. Le Secret des Secrets. Rome. 1750. 4. Secrets Merveilleux de la Magic Naturelle et Cabalistique du Petit Albert. 1722. 5. Sloane Ms. British Museum. 6. Magica Divina. 7. Sixteenth-Century Ms. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. 8. Ms. Folklore Society, London. 9. Sloane Ms. British Museum. 10. Le Livre des Secrets de Magic. Ms. in Bibliotheque de l’Arsenal, Paris.

Afterword Indeed if it is discovered that somebody has a grimoire in his house he is incontinently set down as a warlock. The old gossips say that once a man has possessed himself of such a book of spells and charms he will have a hard task to disburden himself of it, do what he will. The book invariably returns in some mysterious manner to its place on his shelves. He may throw it into the sea, he may tear it to pieces and scatter them to the four winds of heaven, he may burn it and stamp the ashes to dust; for all that, the book, I ween, will reappear on the shelves, an ill-omened, fateful thing. There is only one sure way of getting rid of it: let the owner bury the book deep in a newly-made grave in consecrated earth where lies some good and blameless body, and let him read in solemn, measured tones the Burial Service over it. Or let him hand the book to the priest, who will sprinkle the leaves with holy water and sign it with the redeeming sign before burning it in the fire with litany and prayer, and so shall it perish and its power. —Montagu Summers

Witchcraft and Black Magic

The Pentagram of Modern Black Magic.

The Modem Satanic Circle of initiation and operation.

A Black Magic coven meeting in secrecy in rural England.

A High Prlestess begins the initiation of a young Warlock.

A High Priestess of the Satanic Coven pronounces a spell. In the foreground is the cult’s Black Book of ritual magic.

Members of the coven dancing naked around their altar.

Appendix THE INITIATION CEREMONIES OF MODERN BLACK MAGIC There recently came into my possession from a highly reliable British source a handwritten copy of the two initiation ceremonies performed by today’s practitioners of Black Magic and Satanism. As, to date, no accurate description of these most secret rituals has appeared in print, I believe there is a place for them in this volume on two counts: (1) They show that, like our Elizabethan warlock, today’s practitioners are still as dedicated as ever to sex and eroticism, and (2) they show how certain elements of the ancient worship of the Dark Forces have been preserved in the chants and prayers. In studying these ceremonies, it should be noted that the first stage, or basic initiation, is attended by just the Priestess and the neophite, while the second part involves all the members of the Satanic cult.


Initiation Ritual of Novice to That of Witch or Warlock This is the complete initiation ritual of a young novice, male or female, to the rank of Priesthood in the Satanic cult by a Priestess of the same cult. Ritual The Priestess and the novice first bathe together in warm water, and then enter the place of the initiation stark naked. The Priestess now enters the Grand Magic Circle alone, leaving the novice outside of it. She redraws the Circle using her Athame (Ritual Sword) and leaving a doorway. On next coming to the doorway she lifts her Athame in an arc, and completes the circle. She circumambulates three times sunwise with a dancing step, calling on the Mighty Ones of the EAST, SOUTH, WEST, and NORTH to attend, then, dancing around several times in silence, chants: Eko: Eko: Azarak, Eko: Zomelak Bagabi Lacha bachabe Lamac cahi achababe Karrellyos Lamac lamac Bachalyas Cabahagy sabalyos Baryolos Lagoz atha cabyolas Samahac atha famolas Hurrahya The Priestess now leaves the Magic Circle by way of the doorway and approaches the young novice, saying: As there is no other brother here, l must be thy sponsor as


well as Priest. I am about to give you a warning. If you are still of the same mind, answer it with these words: Perfect Love and Perfect Trust The Priestess now presses the point of her Athame to the novice’s heart, saying these words: O Thou who standest on the threshold, between the pleasant land of men and the domains of the dread lord of evil, has thou the courage to make the assay? For I tell thee verily, it were better to rush on my weapon and perish miserably than make the attempt with fear in thy heart. The young novice now answers the Priestess thus: I have two passwords: Perfect Love and Perfect Trust. The Priestess now drops the point of her Athame, saying: All who bring such words are doubly welcome. Then, going behind the novice, she blindfolds him, next clasping him from behind, with her left arm around his waist, and pulling his right arm around her neck, and his lips down to hers, says: I give you the third password: A kiss! The Priestess now pushes the novice through the doorway into the grand circle, with her breasts against his chest and her pudenda against his genitals, and closes the doorway behind them by drawing her Athame across it three times, joining all the circles. She now leads the novice to the South of the Altar, saying: Now is the ordeal. She takes a short piece of cord from the Altar, and binds it round his right ankle, leaving the end free, and saying: Feet neither Bound, nor free. Then, with a longer piece of cord, also from the Altar, she binds his hands firmly behind his back, tying the cord around his neck, so that the novice’s arms make a triangle at his back, leaving the end of the cord hanging in a cable turn in front. With the end of the cord in her left hand and the Athame in her right, the novice is now led


Sunwise round the circle to the EAST, where she salutes with the Athame, proclaiming thus: Take heed, O spirits of the Dark [speaks name of novice] properly prepared, will be made a Priest and Warlock. The Priestess now leads him in turn to the SOUTH, WEST, and NORTH, where similar proclamations are made. Then, clasping the novice around the body with her left arm, the ATHAME erect in her right, she makes him circumambulate three times round the circle with a half-run, half-dance step. He is then pulled to a stop at the South side of the Altar, and the Priestess strikes eleven strokes upon a Bell, then kneels at his feet, saying: In other religions, the postulant kneels, as the Priests claim supreme power. But in the Black Art we are taught to be humble, so we say. Blessed be thy feet that have brought thee in these ways. —kisses his feet. Blessed be thy knees that shall kneel at the sacred Altar. —kisses his knees. Blessed be the Organ of Generation, without which we would not be. —kisses his phallus. Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty and in strength. —kisses his chest. Blessed be thy lips, which shall utter the Sacred Names. —kisses his lips. The novice is next made to kneel at the Altar, and is tied by his cable turn to a ring, so that he is bending forward. Now his ankles are tied. Then the Priestess strikes the Bell three times, saying: Art thou ready to swear thou wilt always be true to the Satanic Art? Novice: I will. The Priestess now strikes the Bell seven times, and says: Thou first must be purified. The Priestess takes up the scourge from the Altar and strikes the buttocks of the novice first THREE, SEVEN, NINE, then TWENTY-ONE strokes in all, and saying at the end of the strokes:


Art thou always ready to protect, help, and defend thy brothers and sisters of the Black Art? Novice: I am. Priestess: Then say after me: “I [name of novice] in the presence of the Evil One do of my own free will most solemnly swear that 1 will ever keep secret and never reveal the secrets of the Art, except it be to a proper person, properly prepared, within such a circle, as I am in now, and that l will never deny the secrets to such a person, if they be properly vouched for, by a brother or sister of the Satanic Art. All this I swear and may my weapons turn against me if I break this solemn oath.” The cords are now taken from his feet, the blindfold is removed, but his hands are still bound. The Priestess now kneels before him again, and says: I hereby consecrate thee with oil. The Priestess now touches the phallus, the right breast, the left breast, and the phallus again. A triangle is thus formed. I hereby consecrate thee with wine. The Priestess now touches with wine, first the phallus, then the right breast, then the left, then the phallus again. A triangle is again formed. I hereby consecrate thee with my lips. The Priestess now touches with her lips, the phallus, the right breast, the left, and the phallus again—completing once more the sign of the triangle. She rises, and his hands are loosened. She continues: Now I present thee with the working tools of a warlock. She picks up the sword from the Altar and, motioning him to touch it, says: First the Magic Sword. With this as with the Athame, Thou canst form all Magic Circles, dominate, subdue, and punish all rebellious Spirits and demons. With this in thy hand, thou art the ruler of the Magic Circle. The Priestess now kisses the novice, and says:


Next I present the Atbame. This is the true Warlock's weapon, it has all the powers of the magic sword. The Priestess again kisses the novice, and says to him: Next I present the White-Handled Knife. Its use is to form all instruments used in the Art. It can only be properly used within a Magic Circle. She again kisses him, and says: Next I present the Censer of Incense, this is to encourage and welcome all spirits. Again a kiss by the Priestess: Next I present the Scourge, this is a sign of Power and Domination, it is also to cause suffering and purification, for it is written: “To learn, thou must suffer and be purified.” Art thou willing to suffer and learn? Novice: I am. Again a kiss: Next and lastly I present the Cords, they are of use to bind and to enforce thy will. Also they are necessary in the oath. Again a kiss, and the Priestess says: I salute thee in the name of Satan, Newly-made Priest and Warlock. They both now circumambulate the circle, and the Priestess proclaims at the four quarters: Hear ye, Evil One, [name of newly formed Priest] hath been consecrated Priest and Warlock. This is the end of the ceremony, and the novice has duly become a Priest of the cult. It is customary for him to enjoy sex with the Priestess who has initiated him, and this should now be done. It should be noted that this ceremony is operable for a witch or a warlock, but it should not be undertaken unless the initiate is properly prepared and the right circle and equipment arc ready. To undertake it otherwise is to risk plunging to the utter depths of hell.


II Initiation Ritual of Priest to That of High Priest Ritual This ritual is the same as the initiation ritual of the novice—up to the proclamation by the High Priestess to the Evil One. The Priest is now bound as before but not blindfolded, and the High Priestess says: Hear ye Evil One [name of Priest] a duly consecrated Priest and witch, is now properly prepared to be made a High Priest of the Black Art. Again he is made to run around (led by the cable turn), circumambulate, and be bound to the Altar as before in the Ritual of novice to Priest. The High Priestess now says: To attain this sublime desire, it is necessary to suffer and be purified. Art thou ready to suffer and learn? Priest: I am. High Priestess: I prepare thee to take the Great Oath. She now strikes the bell Upon the Altar three times, then lifts the scourge, and strikes him lightly as before three, seven, nine, and twenty-one strokes in all across his buttocks, and says: I now give you a new name [new name]. Repeat thy new name after me saying: I [new name] swear upon my mother's womb and by my brothers and sisters of the Satanic Art, that I will never reveal to any at all, any secrets of the Art, except it be to a worthy person, properly prepared, in the centre of a Magic Circle such as / am now in. This I swear and I devote myself to utter destruction if I break this solemn oath. The High Priestess now kneels, placing her left hand under his knees, and her right hand on his head, and saying: I will all my power into thee.


The feet of the Priest are now loosened, and the cable turn from the Altar, and he is helped to rise as before. With her thumb wet with oil, the Priestess touches his phallus, then the right breast, across to the left hip, across to the right hip and down to the phallus again. Thus marking him with the inverted pentagram of Black Magic, she says: I consecrate thee with oil. She now dips her thumb into wine, and makes the same sign as before, saying: I consecrate thee with wine. Then, dropping to her knees, she kisses the places she has marked with the oil and wine, following the same sign as before (the reversed pentacle), and saying: I consecrate thee with my lips, High Priest and Wizard. The High Priestess, now rising from her knees, unbinds his hands, saying: You will now use the working tools in turn. She next prompts him to take the Sword from the Altar and redraw the Magic Circle around them (she kisses him). Now she prompts him to take the Athame, and do the same (then another kiss). Prompted, he takes the White-Hilted Knife, and inscribes the pentacle of Black Magic on a candle (again a kiss). Again prompted, he takes the Wand and waves it to the four quarters (again a kiss). Prompted, he takes the Pentacle and exhibits it to the four quarters (again a kiss). Prompted, he now takes the Censer and circumambulates the circle with it (again a kiss). The High Priestess now takes the cords from the Altar and prompts him to bind her, as he was bound, then says: Learn in Black Magic thou must ever return triple. As I scourged thee, so thou must scourge me, but triple. Where I gave thee three strokes, give nine, where seven, give twenty-one, where nine, give twenty-seven, where twenty-one, give sixty-three.


After this is done, the High Priestess will say: Thou has obeyed the law, but mark well, when thou receivest good, so equally art thou bound to return good threefold. Prompted, he now releases the High Priestess. Taking up her Athame and he carrying the sword, he is led round the Circle, and she proclaiming at all quarters: Hear O Evil One and Spirits [name of new High Priest] has been duly consecrated High Priest and Wizard. The new High Priest and his Priestess may then enjoy sex as it pleases them and, indeed, they should do so before the other members of the cult to show their obedience to the Satanic Art. This ends the initiation ceremonies of Black Magic. They are secret, and should be kept in a place where other eyes may not see and read them.

Acknowledgments A great many people have devoted time and energy to assist in the compiling of this book, and I would like to record particular thanks here to the library assistants at the British Museum, London; The Bodleian Library, Oxford; The Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; The Leipzig Museum, Germany; and the Universities of London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Cologne for their many favors in helping to locate manuscript material. I have also received advice and guidance from numerous authorities on Witchcraft and the Black Arts, plus access to several private collections of occult papers. All these people, who wish to remain anonymous, have contributed greatly to any success I may have achieved at my task. Apart from the various sources quoted in the text, I have also made use of the following rare volumes during my research, and details of them may be of use to the student. De Praestigiis et Incantationibus Daemonum. Paris, 1568. Okkultismus und Sexualitat. Leipzig, n.d. De L'Imposture et Tromperie des Diables. Paris, 1579. Les Sortiers. Paris, 1579. Flora Magica. Antwerp, n.d. A Discourse on the Subtle Practices of Devils by Witches. London, 1587. Disquisitionum Magicarum. Louvain, 1599. The Anatomy of Sorcery. London, 1612. The Mystery of Witchcraft. London, 1617. Commentarius de Maleficis. Cologne, 1622. Natural Magic. London, 1658. A Perfect Discoverie of Witches. London, 1661. Doctrine of Devils. London, 1676.


The Displaying of Supposed Witchcraft. London, 1677. Proceedings of the Scottish Justiciary Court for 1684. Edinburgh. Satan's Invisible World Discovered. Edinburgh, 1685. The Certainty of the World of Spirits. London, 1691. A Complete History of Magic. London, 1715. Les Veritables et les Fausses Messes Noires. Paris, n.d. De Cultibus Magicis. Vienna, 1767. De Divinatione et Magicis Praestigis. Munich, n.d. L'Orgie Satanique. Paris, 1804. Collection of Rare and Curious Tracts on Witchcraft. Edinburgh, 1820. The Darker Superstitions of Scotland. Edinburgh, 1834. Leechdoms, Wortcunning and Starcraft of Early England. London, 1864. Jean Wier et la Sorcelerie. Paris, 1866. Le Sabat des Sorciers. Paris, 1882. Les Incubes et les Succubes. Paris, 1897. Witchcraft Literature of Scotland. Edinburgh, 1899. Witchcraft and Superstitious Record of the Southwestern District of Scotland, Dumfries, 1900. I have purposely not listed the works on Witchcraft and Black Magic published during this century which have been used in my study, as they will, in the main, be familiar to students of the subject. Finally, I must also thank George Underwood for his wonderfully evocative illustrations, Michael Busselle for the photographs of a modern coven, and the Curator of the New York Public Library, who so kindly allowed me access to the important unpublished material on Scottish witch trials which is in his keeping. Peter Haining

More Documents from "jason"