Egyptologist, Anthropologist, Ethnographer
"...As early as the 1920s, an English expert, Margaret Murray, had asserted, although without adequate documentary support, the existence, behind the witches testimonies, of a primitive cult of fertility that had survived in medieval and modern Europe, founded on the adoration of two divinities incarnating the male and the female spirit. However, due to the lack of specific evidence, this thesis was rejected by professional historians, who considered Murray’s study a mere speculation and her interpretations but empty fables.
It stands as an important fact, though, that she was the first to understand that, behind the bizarre confessions of witches, there was not only the fear of torture and of being burned alive at the stake, or the deliria of some disturbed little women, but the heritage - certainly distorted - of ancient cultural traditions and of religious experiences. After all, even here in Italy, we have the possibility to verify directly the accuracy of the path indicated by Murray..." - Paolo Portone
|Hans Baldung, La Tregenda, also known as Grien (1510 circa)|
"...And the aforementioned ointment, before it is completed and before it serves it purpose, is given to the Devil to be modified, and so he carries it along for some days and with his spit he blesses it and gives it back. The same way, we need our mistress to bless it with spit three times. And so then with such ointment we rub ourselves saying: “Ointment, take me to the walnut of Benevento”, like I said, and there we solace and play with Devils in great fashion, with large feasts, music, singing and dancing, like I could not possibly tell. And the Devils always stay with us playing, in the form of men, and beautiful and white as milk..."
|The Sabbath on the Blocksberg, engraving from the Kurtze Lehr-Satze von dem Laster der Zauberei (Short thesis on the vice of magic) by Christian Thmasius (1711)|
"...misled by diabolical illusions and seductions, believed they could ride certain beasts at night while following the Pagan Goddess, Diana, and cross vast spaces thanks to the silence of the deep night..."
"...Some women declare they have been forced, on certain nights, to accompany a crowd of demons turned into women, whom common folks call Holda...
...Some others said they could exit closed doors in the silence of the night, leaving their sleeping husbands behind: after going across immense spaces with other women victims of the same mistake, they killed, they cooked, and they ate baptized men, to whom they would give back a living resemblance by stuffing them with hay and wood. ...
...yet others said they flew, after going through closed doors, alongside with other followers of the Devil, fighting among clouds, killing and inflicting wounds. ..."
"...The Devil once transported Christ from the desert up to the pinnacle of the temple, and from the pinnacle to the top of a high mountain, as it is stated in Matthew and Luke. Therefore, since the Devil was able to transport Christ, he will be able to transport anyone else (...) daily experience confirms it, the kind of experience we wish heaven could make not so well known! In fact we know that many, in an extremely brief time, go from places to other distant places, using Devils for that purpose, Devils who are the princes of evildoings. And that is so evident, that it would be imprudent to deny it, since there are thousands of witnesses who know of it.
(...) Therefore we must say that man can be willingly transported by Devils across different places, so he can have that way the diabolical collaboration to perpetrate evildoings. ..."
"...invoke and worship Devils while awake, wait for them and follow their advices, render honours to them and, surpassing wild beasts in ferocity, sacrifice their own children to Devils, often even other people’s children, resorting to their evildoings. ..."
"...As witnessed by Thomas, the Devil can change into pneuma and take human semblance, be it male, be it female, and consequently take part actively in the erotic games of the Sabbath..."
"...an angel, good or bad, if God allows it, may transport by his natural virtue a man from a place to another, and even take him very far away. In fact, according to Thomas, the inferior nature enters in contact with superior nature through the highest it possesses. Now, material nature stands below spiritual nature. Thus, among all the motions of the body, the most perfect one is the local motion, as demonstrated by Aristotle, and that is because a body, while moving in local motion, does not have intrinsic potentiality: it is potentially at the place. That is why even philosophers admitted that superior bodies are moved locally by spiritual substances. From that we see that the soul moves the body in a primary and principal manner depending on the place. ..."
"... usually paste is made, and sat down in it; after pronouncing malicious words, after rubbing her reclined head with some ointment, she fell asleep and, suddenly, by the Devil’s work, she dreamed of the goddess Venus and other superstitious things so intensely that she screamed in joy with an altered voice, and clapping her hands in applause, she moved too much the recipient she sat into, so that it fell off the high stool it had been placed on, severely wounding the head of the old lady that was sitting inside it...."
Sabbath in the electorate of Trier, from a xylography of the beginning of the XVII century.
|Sabbath on the Blocksberg, engraving from the Blockes-Berges Verrichtung, by Johannes Praetorius (1668)|
"...That master of trickery, to accomplish his purposes, sometimes provides witches with certain natural compounds which, once spread and rubbed on someone, induce on them the illusion of flying in the air in any direction, of attending orgies and delightful concerts, of being subjected to coituses and other pleasures of this kind; in actuality, the trickster of a thousand resources impresses all of this onto their minds during sleep, when, after rubbing themselves with the soporific ointment, they fall, completely and unwarily, into a state of deep lethargy. ..."
"...who lived solely on milk, herbs and chestnuts, legumes and other foods alike, which generate thick and slow blood, and induce horrible and fearsome dreams. ..."
"...which lead them to breed torbid thoughts and most extravagant ideas in such a manic fashion that they would verbalize them even before the judges and [in spite of] the fear of punishment. ..."
|The Tregenda, engraving taken from the Daemonolatria by Remigius (1693)|
|Tell me about how your people survived ...|