8 - The Weird Ways Of Witchcraft
From the weird sisters in Shakespeare's Macbeth to Walt Disney's Evil Witch in his Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the witch has always been caricatured as some beak nosed old hag riding broomsticks, casting evil spells on her enemies, wearing tall pointed hats and generally raising hell wherever she fives. The Wizard Of Oz, both book and movie, continued the caricature. A 16th century attorney by the name of William West had this to say:
"A witch or hag is she which being deluded by a league made with the devil through his persuasion, inspiration, and juggling, thinketh she can design what manner of evil things soever, either by thought or imprecation, as to shake the air with lightnings and thunder, to cause hail and tempests, to remove green corn or trees to another place, to be carried of her familiar (which hath taken upon him the deceitful shape of a goat, swine, or calf, etc.) into some mountain far distant, in a wonderful short space of time, and sometimes to fly upon a staff or fork, or some other instrument, and to spend all night after with her sweetheart, in playing, sporting, banqueting, dancing, dalliance, and dovers other devilish lusts and lewd disports, and to show a thousand such monstrous mockeries."
What the Church has chosen to call Devil Worship or Satanism is merely the worship of those deities that existed before Christianity. The Papal Bull of Pope Innocent VIII in 1484 declared war on all aspects of witchcraft calling it a heresy. There were Black Magicians who made pacts with the devil, who truly believed in the power of evil. The 17th century Italian chronicler of demonology, Francesco-Maria Guazzo, describes eleven steps that the initiate Satanist must go through:
The Satanic Oath
1. A spoken denial of the Christian faith.
2. Re-baptism in the Devil's name, the novice given a new name to replace the Christian one.
3. Symbolic removal of the baptismal chrism (consecrated oil mixed with balm) by the Devil's touch.
4. Denial of godparents and gaining new sponsors.
5. As a token of submission, obedience, novice makes a gift of clothing to the devil.
6. While standing in a magic circle the novice pledges an Oath of Allegiance to the Devil.
7. Initiate's name is included in the "Book Of Death."
8. A promise to sacrifice children to the Devil.
9. A promise to pay annual tribute to the Devil (black-colored gifts etc.)
10. Marking the initiate with the Devil's mark ... a strangely shaped area on the skin which became insensitive.
11. Vows of special service to the Devil, which included destruction of holy relics, and most importantly, not revealing the secrets of the sabbat.
The Black Mass
The Black Mass is still celebrated today. However, just as all Churches have updated their dogma, streamlined their theology, the Black Mass has also undergone modern revision. The classic Black Mass was performed by an expelled, unfrocked or renegade priest. His acolytes or assistants were female and dressed in church vestments. One dressed in red was a prostitute. The other dressed in white a virgin.
The Host was black instead of white, often made up of body wastes, with markings or images considered blasphemous by the church. Not infrequently it had an image of Satan stamped on it. The chalice was of either wood or metal and preferably the skull of a dead criminal. Instead of wine the chalice contained blood, and sometimes urine. The altar was covered with a black cloth, sometimes just a slab on stone on which were placed the candles, skull, bowls.
The candles were made with human fat, mixed with sulphur and were black. The candle-holders represented the zodiac and were made of ebony. The incense was a mixture of sulphur, alum, asafoetida and herbs, often foul-smelling. The High Priest sometimes wore black vestments with a white silk cape emblazoned with fir cones. Other times he wore purple or scarlet robes. The crucifix is turned upside down and so is the Bible when used. The latter was supposedly bound in the skin of an unbaptised infant who died.
There were 7, 9 or 13 candles usually arranged to form an inverted triangle ("Holy Trinity"). In the more debauched of the Black Masses the blood of a sacrificed child or female was mixed with the wine and given to the celebrants. The Black Mass begins by an Invocation to the Devil. The Lord's Prayer is recited backwards. Then there's a mock confession. The Sign of the Cross is made with the left hand but done in reverse.
The chalice is then passed around and the celebrants drink the wine mixed with blood and sometimes urine. The High Priest elevates the Black Host (and often one taken from the Catholic Mass itself). He then stabs the host with the same knife used in the blood sacrifice. He spits on it and then throws the host on the ground, and the celebrants, with screams of exultation, trample it underfoot. After this the contents of the chalice are poured over the desecrated and dissected host.
The weird witchcraft ritual that followed was this: It was believed that anyone who got a piece of the bloodstained host could then and there hold it up and call out the name of his chief enemy cursing him and wishing him injury or death. It was believed that this would hurt his enemy and perhaps kill him. The ending of the Black Mass was usually an orgy where everyone ate, drank, became drunk, indulged themselves in all lands of sexual acts ... that is, those who weren't either too full or too drunk to do so.
There are many variations on the Black Mass. The modern Black Mass generally eliminates the obnoxious features such as drinking blood, urine, human or animal sacrifices etc. And as for orgies or sexual license the Black Mass isn't needed for that! The Black Mass and the Witches Sabbath are closely interrelated, though not necessarily one and the same. Generally they are celebrated in the nude, everyone holding hands and dancing around the altar with their backs turned. The sexual orgies followed, far from being a Christian abomination, were really throw-backs to the primitive origins of most religions, phallic worship, its evidences still revealed in modern churches. It was the veneration of the creative power represented by Linga and Yoni.
Two of the witches I interviewed performed the Black Mass. But they did it out of contempt for Catholicism and all its rituals and not out of any sense of evil, and they certainly didn't believe in any of the superstitions connected with Middle Age witches, e.g. intercourse with the devil, kissing his backside, flying on brooms or sacrificing innocent for the sake of satanic power.
According to the Bible since Satan was allowed to enter Paradise he could not be considered the absolute antithesis of God. He was merely the being called upon to perform the more unpleasant deeds of God, Here he is seen trying the patience of Job.
They consider black witches such as Catherine de Medici, who was responsible for the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and who employed an apostate priest who was a black magician to help her in her sorcery, as someone who was criminally insane. Her use of wax images of people she hated to torture them was in the realm of witchcraft. But when she had an innocent young child dressed in white prepared to receive the Holy Communion, and then had her sorcerer chop off his head, this was murder.
The bleeding head was placed on a black host and both placed on an altar with burning lights. Her sorcerer recited incantations and demanded that the devil speak through the lips of the severed head. It has been recorded that they did hear a strange voice but not what was said. Anyway this ritual was performed to save the dying king of France, Charles IX. He died anyway.
The son of Catherine de Medici, Henri de Valois, continued the practice of black magic and the Black Mass in the turrets of his castle in the Bois de Vincennes. After he died a whole collection of Black Mass and black magic items were discovered. There were two silver satyrs turning their backs on the cross and with large crystal bowls behind them. These were used for potions, drugs, libations. There was also the dressed skin of a child, black candles, and other weird objects used La sorcery.
Psychiatrists have pointed out that many neuroses and even psychoses stem from an unresolved conflict, especially with parents. People go through life re-enacting the same emotional traumas with other people in adult-hood that they experienced as children. Since many children have at one time or another wished that one or both of their parents were dead after feeling rejected, if a parent should die, the child grows up burdened by an unbearable guilt.
No matter how irrational it may sound he believes that he was responsible for the death. Wishing made it so. And if he doesn't really believe this he still is punishing himself by this overwhelming sense of guilt because of his childish hostile wishes. The parents of the past still live in most adults whether physically dead or not. If there was conflict, hostility, hurt, or hatred during the formative years these remain within the person and act as disruptive elements in all his relationships. It may take anywhere from months to years of analysis, at $25 an hour on up, to eventually affect a release, hopefully a catharsis.
Modern witchcraft has borrowed the techniques of psychoanalysis, applied and has affected remarkable "cures" combining the elements of psychiatry, Catholic exorcism and mental witchcraft. Here is one of them:
If you have guilts over a dead parent, husband, wife, child; if you have strong emotional reactions to anyone who has hurt you, whether living or dead; if you want to free yourself once and for all from the chains of a bad emotional memory; if you want a way in which you can be avenged for the wrongs done to you by someone; if you want to be totally free of the influence of any person, dead or alive, this is the way to do it:
Visualize the person who has hurt you, or the person you hate, in your mind. See him (or her) clearly. Take a dagger and stab him in the heart. Take his body and place it in a coffin. Close the lid. Dig a big hole in the ground. Push the coffin containing the body into the hole. Cover the coffin with dirt. After the coffin is fully covered with dirt say this: "Peace be unto you. Peace be unto me. I'm free."
Those of you who may think that the above is horrid consider this: Most of the unhappiness in the world is caused by repressed hostility, resentment, aggression, hatred. If you express this hostility openly there will be reprisals. If you suppress this hostility, there will also be reprisals ... you direct this anger towards yourself. It's a case of you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. It's precisely because you didn't give vent to your hatreds that they're eating you up alive. It's precisely because you go through life thinking of yourself as a victim of injustice, unkindness, meanness and worse) that you can't at the same time think of yourself as a victor.
It's either one or the other. You can't be a Winner and a Loser at the same time. It's this victim psychology that breeds crippling resentment and resentment always hurts the one who has it no matter how justified. In reality it means that the people who originally hurt you are still hurting you through your own resentments and hostilities. Far from being free of them you are still their slave ... even if dead they are still controlling you from the grave. They still live in you and make your life a living death.
If you're a religious person and shocked by the idea of mentally killing someone, especially already dead, whether mother, father or spouse, your shock and any resulting guilt is absurd since they're dead. What you do is kill the psychologically destructive elements that remain in you. Another point: If you say you believe in God then why try to usurp His power? Why credit yourself with life and death powers that belong only to Hun?
If you are not directly, or deliberately responsible for someone's death (not that you may not have wished the person dead) then why the guilt? Why play God? After all if wishing could make it so why did these people live as long as they did? And while on that subject just how many wishes have you made in your life, good or bad, expressed or repressed, conscious or unconscious, that actually happened?
Suppose you're an atheist or an agnostic. You don't believe in Witchcraft, an afterlife, mysticism, or anything dealing with the occult. To you it's all superstitious foolishness. Taking it from your own point of view and since you pride yourself on your rationality, then you have an obligation to be rational even concerning those things which you dislike or reject. You are subject to the same hurts, heartaches, injustices, influences and disappointments as anyone else. And if you have not resolved a psychological conflict, a deep-rooted resentment, towards someone in this life you are just as controlled by the person you hate as the God-believer.
You especially, since you don't believe in another life after the grave, then you can't possibly have any guilts about mentally killing a dead person who has wronged you. But you can free yourself of the self-destructive and unresolved hostility about this person by getting rid of him mentally. Since you don't believe in Witchcraft anyway what the hell do you have to lose?
Supposing you practice the Psychotherapeutic Witchcraft on a living person. The whole point is that this mental ritual is not so much to kill him (If thoughts could kill!) but to kill his influence on and within you. You give vent to your hatred, your hostility, your resentment, you become avenged, justice is done in your own mind. You are not doing this so much against him as you are doing it for yourself.
Whether he's living or dead this ritual will at least make him dead to you. Supposing you practiced this mental ritual and the person you hate actually dropped dead? So what? As long as you didn't physically kill him Where's the problem? Why feel guilty over something that you wanted? Again ... if you say you believe in God are you now claiming that your power is equal to or superior than His? The physicalisation of the thought against another is in His hands.
Assimilation with the devil can be seen in Pan's horns and the hindquarters of a goat.
If you're going to feel guilty over your own thoughts then just remember the guilt is only justified concerning these thoughts. It is not applicable to deeds not directly caused by you.
The Dried-Up Lemon
Another popular modern witchcraft ritual practiced against enemies is the following: You cut a lemon in half. You write in red ink the name of the person you hate or want harmed on a white piece of paper. You fold this up very tightly and place inside the halved lemon. As the lemon juices begin to slowly evaporate so will the blood of the hated person. When the lemon has totally dried up the hexed person's blood will dry up too. He will shrivel up and die. Or he will suffer an accident with a great loss of blood. Or he will get a disease that will slowly eat away into the fibres of his body until he is nothing but bones.
One witch who uses the above method told me: "No, I don't believe that what I do will actually make it happen. Of course it doesn't hurt to let the person know what you're doing. But it gives me great consolation to do it, to imagine that it's working. It's a lot better than committing any kind of criminal act. However, the whore who stole my husband away from me finally got cancer of her breasts and had to have them removed. Serves the bitch right And I like to think that my lemon ritual helped in loping off her lemons." She laughed delightedly!
Fighting Witchcraft With Witchcraft
In my book How To Prevent Psychic Blackmail: The Philosophy Of Psychoselfism I write the following: "Voodoo, witchcraft, black magic, hexing, crossing powders and all the rest feed on two things: guilt and fear. This is a perfect example of how people are psychically blackmailed by negating their own minds by attributing 'special powers' to black art practitioners as an escape from self-responsibility. This is done as a defense against their own guilts. Psychoselfism has fought these, frauds many times.
The only power any person has over your life is the power you give him. The evil trinity that makes such things possible is fear, faith and fraud... sometimes backed up by force. The belief in 'evil spirits' is a confession of this. The only way they can assuage their own guilty consciences is by projecting unto the unseen that which lies within themselves. No healthy, thinking person is ever bothered, let alone believes, in such a thing. And even if this was remotely true these believers are forgetting something: Like attracts like!
Myrna was involved with a married man. His wife somehow found out about the affair and began telephoning Myrna at all hours of the night, saying, "I've just stuck a needle through your stomach. Do you feel it? You will. Tomorrow you'll suffer terribly. I have the power to put you in your grave and I will." Myrna really got sick, had terrible stomach aches, and couldn't function. I told her: "Myrna, use your head.
You're punishing yourself because you feel guilty about your relations with this married man. You're using his wife as the spokesman for your own conscience. Of course her witchcraft is working: Your guilty conscience is the fertile soil in which she can successfully plant her witchcraft. If she has such power why does she have to let you know about it? Why couldn't she have used it silently even before she found who you were, and affected a break-up between you and her husband then? Your battle is with yourself. There's only one way that you can win. Break off with Joe.
Your Catholic upbringing is working against you as long as you go on this way. Now here's what you do: Fight fire with fire, or more precisely, fight witchcraft with witchcraft. When she calls again keep her on the phone. Tell her: "You can have your husband. Who wants second-hand merchandise anyway? By the way: How do you feel? Had any stomach cramps lately? Not sleeping well? Don't worry ... it'll get worse. I'm sticking a needle in your wax image. I've got one of your hairs from your husband's suit.
When I get through with you we'll see who's the better witch. Then hang up." After a couple of tunes of this the wife stopped calling. Whether she believed in her witchcraft or not, or whether she was just working on Myrna's guilt, Myrna's new found self-confidence, and the fact that she let her know that "I can do anything to you that you can do to me by witchcraft" ended the wife's "fun".
Obeah And Voodoo
Voodoo, from vodun or vodoun comes from the West African word vodu which in Togo and in Dahomey means "spirits" or "gods". It is the popular religion of Haiti's peoples; a mixture of Catholic saints and native loa. It is also known throughout the West Indies and in South America by the names of macumba and candomble. Obeah is the West African ancestor of modern voodoo.
It comes from the name Obi, the snake-God, a word also meaning the "Spirit Of Evil". African slaves imported to the island of Santo Domingo brought their native religion with them. These rites include the blood sacrifice of fowls and goats, and at one time a young boy or girl. White Voodoo will only sacrifice white fowls or goats. Red Voodoo openly advocates human sacrifice.
Haiti's dictator-president Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier not only believes in voodoo but he is a "papaloi" ... a voodoo high priest. Most newspaper readers are unaware of the origin of his popular nickname "Papa Doc". A voodoo high priestess is called a "Mamaloi" or popularly mambo. Duvalier's dreaded secret police, the Ton Ton Macoute, is the militant right-arm of this "Black" magician. When the United States cut off aid to Haiti in disapproval of its policies, and in particular of "Papa Doc" Duvalier, the latter put a curse on President Kennedy and all the Kennedy clan. He takes full credit for the tragedies that have befallen them.
Voodoo is a religion, a way of life, an expression of faith. Trances, possessions, clairvoyance, communication with "Spirits", powerful suggestion aided by beating torn toms, highly specialized rituals, prayers, pictures and all sorts of religious icons are used in their ceremonies. Children indoctrinated into voodoo from birth are just as fanatical and firm in their faith as any other religionists. Sometimes this fear-faith combination leads to murder as many newspapers have reported throughout the years.
Many of the early American black slaves brought with them their knowledge of voodoo and this, has been passed on to succeeding generations. Voodoo is the indigenous religion of the black man, especially the slave in the New World. It was and is an underground religion in opposition to Christian oppression. There was a furor in the town of Wetumka, Alabama in 1959 when the principal of the Cathmagy Elementary School, Mrs. Francis Webb Smith, was forced to resign her post after an investigation about numerous complaints that she taught "voodooism."
The Baron Samedi Cross
The Baron Samedi is the Master of the Cemeteries and is involved in black magic ceremonies. This cross is used in voodoo funeral rites.
Just this past year the New York Public Health service issued a warning against the importation and the buying of voodoo dolls. Sold primarily as novelties they pointed out that these dolls were capable of producing a poison-ivy type of rash and that they could be fatal to infants. In 1962 Newsweek Magazine reported: "The day's bargains included bat's blood, graveyard dust to counteract a charming, and death-to-thy-enemy candles.
The market, however, was not a trading post in the African bush, but a stall in New York City's steaming Harlem. Alarmed by the open and growing sales of do-it-yourself voodoo kits ... usually hawked alongside Madonnas and religious medals ... the New York Market Commission ordered a crackdown."
I can assure you that, crackdown or not, on leads given to me by friends, clients, and witches themselves, I visited some of these stores in Harlem, East Harlem, the lower Eastside of New York, upper part of West Manhattan and in Chinatown. In the Yellow Pages of the Manhattan Classified Phone Book there is a full page and a half of listings under the heading of "Religious Goods." The correct name for these stores is Botanicas. Most of them are legitimate, catering to orthodox religions. Others have voodoo paraphernalia "under the counter." Of course you have to know what to ask for. Then again since many Christian idols, medals, statues, candles and pictures are used in voodoo rituals the stores have no knowledge of their usage. I asked one owner about this. He shrugged and said "What they do with it is their business. I'm here to sell."
I have steadfastly refused to be horrified by the worse stories of voodoo and black magic when I also remember how thousands of slaves were torn from their families, and were beaten, chained, and starved, and how thousands died on the slaveships and their bodies were thrown overboard. Also, the stories of the deliberate breaking up of families by slave-traders in an attempt to "break their spirit", to prevent unity and strength do not horrify me. Or the plunder, rape and massacre of thousands of Aztecs, Incas and Mayans by the Spanish Conquistadores.
It's all the more amazing that the ancestral religion survived in the face of such brutality and deliberate genocide. But unbeknownst to the slave traders and the Plantation Owners they had also imported Obeah priests. Toussaint l'Overture, the son of an African slave of royal blood, was taught reading, writing and Catholicism as the son of a household slave. His father taught him African medicine, magic, the use of herbs, and his ancestral religion, Obeah.
The Maroons, bands of runaway slaves, united in their pride, and quest for freedom and voodoo, eventually became the nucleus of Toussaint's army. He became the Black Liberator of his people. An idealist, he agreed to negotiate peace terms with France, but was captured and imprisoned by Napoleon who didn't dare kill him but sentenced him to a damp dungeon cell with little food or clothing.
He died on April 17, 1803. Six months after his death the black army led by his chief general Dessalines, defeated the French and established the first Black Republic in the Americas, Haiti. It wasn't Christianity, the white man's religion, that made this possible, but Obeah, the black man's bond of brotherhood, practiced in secret, the unifying force that enabled them to overthrow their masters.
Though Voodoo accepts one Supreme God it believes that His power is expressed through hundreds of loa, spirits or lesser gods, each one with his own characteristics. Thousands gather annually on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for their public ritual to the Sea Loa. They plant candles in the sand, sing, and many go into trances or dance. Some become possessed of the loa, scream, cry, crash, and fall into a dead faint.
They give presents to the Sea Loa, Iemanja, anywhere from a bouquet of flowers to bottles of champagne and perfume. To call up the various loa by name they draw very precise images in the sand, called veves, ceremonial emblems, representing the Haitian Guede family. The one of death, Baron Samedi, features a cross and a skull.
A voodoo priest is a hungan or papaloi and the priestess a mambo or mamaloi. A hunfo is a voodoo sanctuary, a place of worship. A boko is a sorcerer or black magician. The tontons macoute, though now applied to Haiti's secret police, is the name given to wandering voodoo herbalists. The great voodoo gods of African origin are called rada the name itself a derivative of the ancient capital Dahomey, Arada.
The petro gods are the newer ones discovered in the Caribbean and the name comes from Don Pedro, a powerful voodoo priest (who lived in the early days of Haiti's colonialism.) Some of the most important voodoo gods are Legba. His symbol is the crutch which is hung in all voodoo sanctuaries. He is the Protector of hearth and home, and guardian of gates, fences, doorways, and meeting places. Under the name of Maitre Carrefour (god of the cross roads) he is the patron saint of sorcerers. Damballah-wedo is depicted as a big snake.
He is the patron of rain, rivers, springs and all watery places. Zaka is the patron of crops. Agwe is god of the sea. Sailors pray to him for a safe voyage. Gifts are sent to him in a boat. If the boat returns it means Agwe has refused the offering. The Guede are the spirits of death, the most notorious being Baron Samedi, who rules both the cemetery and its graves and sexuality in all its aspects.
In his book Les Zombis French writer C.H. Dewisme tells about a voodoo murder that happened during the American occupation of Haiti in World War 1. A voodoo priest cast a death spell on an American lieutenant who commanded the police department. This was in Port-au-Prince. The hungan let the lieutenant know that he would die by week's end.
The latter laughed it off. But on the night before the seventh day one of the officers returned to the station dead-drunk and in a combative mood. The lieutenant bawled him out for his improper behavior. At this the drunken officer pulled out his gun and shot the lieutenant ... dead!
Animism, totemism and fetishism are integral parts of African Witchcraft. Initiates into Witchcraft in the Toma tribes undergo years of study, are taken away from then: parents at birth, and when ready must submit to the torture of having a hundred fifty cuts on their bodies, without anesthesia or sterilization, forming a definite design, which markings make them full-fledged witchdoctors ... if they survive the ordeal! Gri gris, dolls, fetishes, herbs, animal skins, claws and teeth, herbs, poison and mind-magic are taught.
The "Divine King" of the Bakuba retains a special witchdoctor called the Yumi whose function it is to rub red pepper in the eyes of his many wives who become Unruly! The plate-lipped Ubangi came about because their husbands inserted large wooden discs in their lips to make them unattractive to the Arab slave traders. Today there are only seven of them left in Africa and they live in a tiny village in the African Congo, near Lake Albert.
Though legally outlawed cannibalism is still practiced as part of a religious witchcraft ritual. Eating the heart of a brave man guarantees the same courage and strength. Eating his brains insures his wisdom. Years ago old witch doctors would eat young children in the hope of becoming young again. Among the Ngongo it is the man who goes through the labor pains when his wife is giving birth. He screams, yells, rolls on the ground, and holds his stomach.
What's more it's not the pregnant wife who goes to bed but the husband! He is attended by male friends who fan him, bring him water, and offer sympathy and comfort. He moans and groans until his wife gives birth ... Without a whimper! After this he has a "drink with the boys." He has established that he is the father of the child ... and it makes no difference whether he is in fact ... the social father is the accepted one.
The Bangwana are descendants of many tribes who have banded together and live in isolated villages in the Bast Congo. They were employed by the Arabs to raid other tribes for slaves. They are Muslims and wear the flowing robes. Elephant hunters, they have almost exterminated the species in their greed for the ivory tusks. They are both hated and feared by other tribes and considered to be sorcerers and black magicians. They did practice witchcraft but most of them were poison experts and got rid of their enemies this way.
This is an African 'gris-gris! His name is derived from the protective amulets that he wears.
The Watutsi live in Ruanda and all of them are over 6'6" tall. Descendants from the ancient Egyptians with traces of Hamitic and Nilotic blood, and distantly related to natives indigenous to Ethiopia they were slaughtered by the thousands by other tribes when Ruanda became independent. Their religious and witchcraft practices are a direct link to their Egyptian heritage.
The Masai in Tanganyika are a tall proud race who eat and drink blood, A young Masai to prove his manhood must hunt and kill a lion with a spear, and only a spear. The Zulus were always warlike and now use their colorful shields, ostrich feathers, headdresses, and monkey-fur trimmings as a tourist attraction. Their secret rites are never seen by the white man. The Warega is still a savage Congolese tribe, addicted to cannibalism, and they form a close alliance with the Pygmies. They traditionally recognize this by their chief marrying a pygmy girl as a wife. He sleeps with her only one night and she never marries again.
In describing the African witchdoctor or fetish-men, one writer Read has said: "These fetish-men are priest-doctors like those of the ancient Germans. They haw a profound knowledge of herbs, and also of human nature, for they always monopolize the real power in the state. But it is very doubtful whether they possess any secrets save that of extracting virtue and poison from plants.
During the first trip which I made into the bush I sent for one of these doctors. At that time I was staying among the Shekani, who are celebrated for their fetish. He came attended by a half-dozen disciples. He was a tall man dressed in white, with a girdle of leopard skin, from which hung an iron bell, of the same shape as our sheep bells. He had two chalk marks over his eyes. I took some of my own hair, frizzled it with a burning glass and gave it to him. He popped it with alacrity into his little grass bag; for white man's hair is fetish of the first order. Then I poured out some raspberry vinegar into a glass, drank a little of it first, counter fashion, and offered it to him, telling him that it was blood from the brains of great doctors.
Upon this he received it with great reverence, and dipping his fingers into it as if it was snap-dragon, sprinkled his forehead with it, both feet between the two first toes, and the ground behind his back. He then handed his glass to a disciple, who emptied it, and smacked his lips afterwards in a very secular manner. I then desired to see a little of his fetish. He drew on the ground with red chalk some hieroglyphics, among which I distinguished the circle, the cross, and the crescent. He said that if I would give him a fine 'dush,' he would tell me all about it. But as he would not take anything in reason, and as I knew that he would tell me nothing of very great importance in public, negotiations were suspended."
The power of witchcraft and secret societies, implemented by force, can't be underestimated. It has been the germ of independence for many African nations, notably that of the Mau Mau whose leader, Jomo Kenyatta, is now President of Kenya. They used force against the white man. Witchcraft fear against the black man. The combination of both proved a powerful weapon in their fight for freedom.
The Ngil are a society of African black-magicians, who are also exorcists and witch-finders. They hate and fear other witches not members of their society as rivals. In Tripolitania, North Africa, there is a tribe of women who have the reputation of being able to turn into foxes the first night of the full moon every month. They live in caves and only come out at night The Gnaoua are a Black African sect in Morocco known for ecstatic dancing and possession trances. Their patron saint is Sidi Bilal, who was Mohammed's muezzin.
Sex, Sorcery And Sadism
Gilles de Laval, Lord of Raiz, Marshall of France, who fought the English alongside of Joan of Arc, was a sexual voluptuary, sorcerer and sadist, the "Blue Beard" of the Black Mass. He lived on a grand scale. When his relatives obtained a royal edict from the king to stop him from selling his estates he turned to black magic. He hired Prelati, an alchemist, and a physician. He built a laboratory in the tower of his castle and searched for the Philosopher's Stone. Born around 1420 to one of the most famous families of Brittany, handsome, brave, self-indulgent, sporting a bluish-black beard, lord of fifteen huge estates, Gilles de Retz became one of history's most notorious black magicians.
After countless fruitless experiments to magically create wealth, he signed a pact with the Devil, under the tutelage of Prelati. He signed with his own blood a contract that he would obey the devil in all things, that he would sacrifice the eyes, hands, blood, heart and lungs of a young child. Thus began his infamous career as sadistic sorcerer in which he tortured, raped, mutilated and murdered hundreds of children.
Gilles de Retz had forbidden his wife to ever enter the tower of his Castle of Champtoce. On Easter Sunday, 1440, he said goodbye to his wife, said he was going to the Holy Land, and allowed her sister to visit her. In his absence his wife expressed her fears and suspicions to her sister. Why did he act so strange? What happened to the children who kept disappearing? Why did he spend all night in the Tower? They looked for a secret entrance. Finally they discovered a copper button behind the chapel. When they pushed this a stone slid back and they started to climb the staircase to the forbidden tower.
At the top of the first flight they found a chapel with an upside down cross, black candles, and a figure of the devil. On the second floor they found a furnace and ail the accoutrements of alchemy. On the third floor they opened a door and were taken back by the foul odor emanating from this room. They knocked over a vase in their haste to get out of there. Madame de Retz was splashed with a thick liquid, her robe and feet were drenched in it. When she got out into the lighted stairway she saw that she was covered with blood.
Curiosity getting the best of her she got a lamp and went back up. To her horror she saw copper kettles filled with blood, which lined the walls, each with a date, and on a black marble table in the center of the room lay the body of a recently murdered child. Terrified Madame de Retz and her sister tried to erase the evidence of their entry. Using a sponge and soap they only succeeded in spreading the blood stains. Suddenly she heard herself called with the words "Monseigneur has come back." Gilles de Retz had entered the staircase to the tower, accompanied by his sorcerer, Prelati. They met face to face
Grabbing her by the arm, not saying a word, Gilles de Retz dragged his wife into the chapel. Prelati said: "It is needs must, as you see, and the victim has come of her own accord ..." "Be it so" Gilles answered. "Begin the Black Mass ..." He went to a cupboard, drew out a large knife, sitting next to his wife. She was near faulting. Gilles de Retz did not go to Jerusalem. Enraged he attacked Prelati and threatened to kill him if he didn't show him how to get from the devil that which he wanted. Stalling for time Prelati told him: "The devil exacts a terrible price. You will have to sacrifice your unborn child. You must tear it by force from the belly of your wife." Gilles made no reply but returned immediately to the Castle. In the meantime, unbeknownst to Gilles, his wife's sister was hiding in the Tower.
Gilles de Laval, Baron de Retz (1404-1440), being possessed of a demon and under the evil influence of the sorcerer Prelati, sacrificed innumerable children. The best-known version of this true story is Perrault's "Bluebeard."
She made distress signals with her veils. She was spotted by two of her own brothers who came to visit Madame de Retz after hearing he had left for Jerusalem. They had an armed posse with them. Noisily entering the castle Gilles de Retz stopped the Black Mass and said to his wife: "Madame, I forgive you, and the matter is at an end between us if you do now as I tell you. Return to your room, change your dress, and join me in the guest-room, where I'll receive your brothers. But if you say one word, or cause them the slightest suspicion, I will bring you here on their departure; we shall proceed with the Black Mass at the point where it is now broken off, and at the consecration you will die. Mark where I place this knife."
Entering the guest-room, greeting his brothers-in-law, his wife followed him looking like a ghost. He stared at her fixedly. When her brothers said she looked ill she answered that it was due to her pregnancy and added in a whisper "Save me. He's trying to kill me." At this her sister, Anne, came running in yelling "Save us, save us, my brothers, this man is an assassin" pointing at Gilles de Retz. He commanded his people to draw swords but they refused while the brothers surrounded the sisters with drawn swords. They got to the drawbridge and fled the castle.
For a long time the townspeople were terrified. Rumors spread. They traced the disappearing children to the Castle of Champtoce and no further. Feelings were so bitter that the Church had to intervene and the Bishop of Nantes asked the Duke of Brittany to arrest Gilles de Retz. Cool at first, the overwhelming evidence, the recitation of his abandoned lust made by Prelati and other accomplices, his ferocious pleasure in the trembling throbbing limbs and glazed eyes of his young victims, his cruel pleasure in stringing them up and then offering comfort and when the victims were crying-trusting, placing their little hands around his neck, suddenly choking them and forcing them to submit to his sadistic sodomic passion, both little boys and girls, the enormity of proven crimes forced him to confess.
He and Prelati were condemned to be burned alive. In consideration of his noble birth and high rank he was allowed to be strangled first before his body was given to the flames. On the scaffold he said to Prelati: "Farewell, friend Francis. In this world we shall never meet again, but let us rest our hopes in God ... we shall see each other in Paradise." On February 23, 1440 he was executed at Nantes, France.
The chronicler Monstrelet says: "Notwithstanding his many atrocious cruelties, he made a very devout end, full of penitence, most humbly imploring his Creator to have mercy on his manifold sins and wickedness. When his body was partly burned, some ladies and damsels of his family requested his remains of the Duke of Brittany, that they might be interred in holy ground, which was granted. The greater part of the nobles of Brittany, more especially those of his kindred, were in the utmost grief and confusion at his shameful death."
Sex in all its aspects and variations has played a strong part in witchcraft, sorcery, black magic and divination. In the 23rd chapter of 2 Kings Josiah "Broke down the houses of the cult prostitutes" These were male prostitutes who lived in the temple groves. Sacred and religious sodomy can be found in most Eastern religions, and in Egypt, Assyria, and many of the Arab countries, eunuchs were made expressly for this purpose. A recent newspaper story told about India's eunuchs banding together and pressing the government for pensions since the dissolution of harems they were forced out of work.
SCORPIO symbol of fermentation and death, would use her influence to cause people to become undisciplined and full of anguish.
The Skoptsi ("castrated") of Russia began in 1757, a branch of the Sects of Flagellants. The latter lashed and whipped themselves and each other into frenzy and even coma. The Mad Monk of Russia Rasputin was a flagellant. Prince Yousopov wrote: "They claimed to be inspired with the Word and to incarnate Christ ... a monstrous combination of the Christian religion with pagan rites and primitive superstitions ... the purpose of these radenyi, or ceremonies, was to create a religious ecstasy, and erotic frenzy. After invocations, and hymns, the faithful formed a ring and began to sway in rhythm, and then to whirl round and round, spinning faster and faster ... the master of ceremonies flogged any dancer whose vigour abated. The radenyi ended in a horrible orgy, everyone rolling on the ground in ecstasy or convulsions."
Skoptsism spread rapidly. Hundreds, then thousands, had themselves castrated or did it themselves. A peasant, Andrei Ivanow, persuaded thirteen other peasants to mutilate themselves. He was assisted by Kondratji Selivanov. When Ivanov was arrested, whipped (punishment?!!) and sent to Siberia, Selivanov escaped, enlisted another disciple, Alexander Shilov, preached the supreme sacrifice, the Baptism of Fire, and gained many converts.
In 1775 the plump and facially hairless (the consequence of his being a eunuch) Delivanov was arrested in Moscow and sent to Siberia, but he escaped again.
The cult of the Castrators threatened to take on epidemic proportions. It was legally forbidden. In 1797 the Emperor was intrigued enough by Selivanov to grant him an audience, after which he sent him to a lunatic asylum. But when Alexander I became Emperor, himself a mystic, Selivanov got his big chance. The Emperor was deeply influenced by the Baroness Krudner, herself a sorceress and sincerely believing Selivanov a saint. He was freed. Suddenly the aristocracy was opened to him. He recruited many high place officials, including State Councillor Alexei Michaelov Jelanski, himself castrated, secret cult member and castrating high priest of new recruits.
The empress herself changed places with a woman who resembled her and joined the cult, using the name of Akulina Ivanovna. She was worshipped by the members until 1865. The cult called itself "The People of God" and it had infiltrated all of Russia down to Hungary. Most of the gold and silversmiths belonged to it. In the mid Nineteenth century Emperor Nicholas launched a crusade against it. Hundreds were sent to Siberia. This only increased the fanaticism and the Balkans became a hotbed of proselytizing and propaganda.
Whole guilds became members. The Castrators believed that by committing this supreme sacrifice, removal of the genitals, they would obtain power over any man or woman but none could have power over them ... in fact they could have the Power of God since the power of man, sexually anyway, was removed. They practiced religious witchcraft:, telepathy, mesmerism, healing, divination, trances, and incantations.
Many millionaires were members. They valued their money more than their sexuality, the latter being a threat. They were active in underground plots to overthrow the government, bribing officials, jail wardens, police etc. Their rituals included wild dancing and shamanistic emblems used by the Mongols. Many of their meeting places had secret entrances and exits, underground tunnels, and bee houses to discourage pursuit by the police.
Their rites were sadomasochistic rather than sexual. The clothes were Oriental looking, the men wearing long wide white shirts closed at the neck, long flowing sleeves, a girdle tied round the waist, and large baggy pants. The women wore blue gowns, their heads covered with white kerchiefs.
'This photograph shows a ceremony of sexual initiation of young girls in the Amazonian regions of Brazil. When the young girl reaches puberty she is shut up in a hut for 6 months. At the end of this period the girl becomes the centre of dances involving obscene gestures. This lasts for 3 days and then initiation is complete.
Skoptsi, members infiltrated all ranks of society, even converting whole monasteries. Since the rich Skoptsi often bequeathed large sums of money to the church, and since they also had many government and police officials as members, it was extremely difficult to suppress them.
Dr. Karl Menninger in his book Man Against Himself states that this castrator cult springs from the self-destructive, self-punitive urge which can be developed in many people. This is an ancient mystical idea: Body castigation or mutilation in order to achieve higher states of mystical and spiritual awareness; to conquer the demands of the flesh in order to conquer the minds of men.
Descendants of the Skoptsi still exist and it was generally believed that a recent Soviet ruler., (briefly), Malenkov, was castrated by his parents, members of the sect. It still has strong adherents in Roumania though kept suppressed under the communist regime. Yet recent Soviet publications have mentioned it.
Circle of Archangel Michael