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Secrets of Black Magic from
the Ancient Grimoires





New Hyde Park, New York
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

Introduction 13
Preface 19
The Black Sabbat 21
The Black Magic Rituals 31
Sex Magic 51
The Ointments and Drugs of Black Magic 67
The Ancient Secrets 79
Afterword 93
Appendix: The Initiation Ceremonies of Modern Black
Magic 99
Acknowledgments 109
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

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 ex-
ecutionScotland had, after all, suffered only slightly less from her
kind than Germany, the most witch-plagued country in Europe
and hadnt 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
For the people of the district, there was probably only one
fact from Janets 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 devils 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 Scot-
land, 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 Janetlike so many of her time and dispositioncould
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 existthat it was originally
the work of an Elizabethan warlock that had been painstakingly
preserved through several generations by hand-copyingand 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 Artsbut 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 dis-
posed 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 conjura-
tions 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-Worship-
per'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 remar-
kable, 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 ones 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 Museums Devil-
Worshipper's Prayer Book as a starting point, I have endeavored
to recreate here that Elizabethan warlocks 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
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 dis-
similar 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 owners 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 witchcraftin one of the most widely discussed
periods of occult history.
At the dawn of the seventeenth century, both England and
Scotlandunder 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
churchs 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 practi-
tioners 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 anyfor, 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 vic-
tims tortured and tried) and the publication in 1597 of King
Jamess Demonology, which attacked witchcraftor anything
thought to be witchcraftwith 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 Warlocks 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 devilsin 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. Pauls 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 evildoubtless to heighten the excite-
mentand 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 pleas-
ures. In those of the authorities, it was a vile book of traffic with
Satan and constituted all the proof needed to condemn the pos-
sessor 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 Anglicizedand in certain cases slightly simplifiedsome of
the rituals and spells, but all remain faithful in every other detail
to the originals. The illustrations, also, have been exactingly re-
drawn 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 in-
herent in a great many of the rituals and potionsand, also, that
neither the compiler nor the publisher will accept responsibility
for anything that happens should they be tried out!
Peter Haining
Essex, 1971

from the first page of a sixteenth-

century Black Magic grimoire be-
lieved to have belonged to a Scottish
warlock and now lodged in the Brit-
ish 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 threat-
ens. 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 unnec-
essary. 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 knowl-
edge. 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 mans
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 aughtBewareThere 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 peoples 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 dis-
cussed 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 imagina-
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 op-
posed 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 un-
willing 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 con-
fusion about the ceremonies was often engendered by the prac-
titioners 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 author-
ity, and to seek what man has so often sought of women: the joys
of sex. Their ceremony was kept to a minimumand 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, Lucifercall him what you willas 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 vehe-
mence: 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
Levis 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 Sab-
bat, when so many others wished to dismiss it as fantasy, pure and
From the grimoires we can see that there was no specific day
or days on which the Sabbat should be held and, alsoagain con-
trary to general opinionno 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 rarelydespite the storiesbrought 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 inven-
tion 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
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 foun-
dation. However, the use of live birds or beasts in spells was a dif-
ferent 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 treach-
erous 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, beau-
tiful 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 depththou utterest the
sobs of a Messiah, but thou corruptest and degrades like a damna-
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 cherubs wings seem to be impregnated with heaven,
if thy womans breast drips a soothing pity, thy scaly belly and
thy animals 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 through-
out Europe and must be of considerable antiquity, leads naturally
into the initiation of new disciples, if such there be. This cere-
mony 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 Devils service lie in wait for chil-
dren. 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 cere-
monies of this, belongs to our league, and is already capable of
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 prom-
ises 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 sac-
rifice to him.
I doo solemnelie vow and promise all my progenie unto the
I sweare to the Devil to bring as manie into his societie as I
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 goat-
figures 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 foun-
dation, 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 con-
tributed 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 placeduring which
those who were still dressed took off their clothesand 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 out-
lawed back to back dancing was encouraged whilst at others
we find reports of the gameplayed Black Magic stylewhich
we know today as Blind Mans Buff. (This game, now the pre-
serve 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 evi-
dence, and we shall be examining these individually in a later sec-
tion. 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 popu-
larity of sodomy may be put down to the fact that in many Euro-
pean 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 copy-
ing 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 in-
structions 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.
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 ex-
plicit 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 importantalthough those
who wished to summon up spirits believed that they would come
more easily if conjured in the open airbut a close and exact
observation of all instructions is emphasized time and time again.
Although many scholars have come to regard the practi-
tioner of Black Magic as primarily a loner, most grimoires stress
the need for two assistantsmale and femaleto assist in the spe-
cial circle during the conjurations. These must be people of a strong
resolve like the master, and not subject to panic as the rites pro-
gress. 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 swines skins; The linnen because of its abstract quality for
magick: The skins by reason of the Saturnine and Magical qual-
ities 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 mans blood: Their oynt-
ments 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 Chil-
dren: 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 per-
fumes 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: Satur-
day 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 BooksThe 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 kids skin,
fastened to the ground by means of your four nails. Then with the
stone called Ematille you must trace the triangle within the cir-
cle, 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 candle-
sticks 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 per-
formed 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,
with my whole soul and my whole
heart. Vouchsafe, O great ADONAY,
to receive them as an acceptable

Now that the Black Magician and his two assistants are pre-
pared and their circle completed, they can proceed with what-
ever 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 sac-
rifice 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:
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
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
ELION, ASHER, EHEIEH, SHADDAI, O God the Lord, imma-
culate, immutable, EMANUEL, MESSIACH, YOD, HE, VAU, HE,
be my aid, so that this
* Scholars have noted how persistently the name of Godthe 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 Mer-
cury; 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, pres-
ents, and sacrifices, and ye shall have hereafter yet more agree-
able 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 oper-
ations 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
* In hindsight, the rituals sole purpose seems to have been to test the
warlocks 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.
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 priv-
ilege 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.
After sunrise, a Black Cock must be killed, the first feather
of its left wing being plucked and preserved for use at the requi-
site 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
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 sprink-
led 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 de-
mons 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 pre-
served 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 in-
terred 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,
Christ Jesus, Redeemer of men, who, being the Lamb with-
out 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 ter-
rified at the sight thereof, and may only approach them trem-
bling, through Thee, Jesus Christ, who reignest through all ages.
The Litanies of the Holy Name of Jesus must then be re-
peated, 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 Re-
bellious 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

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: Of-
ferte 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 ob-
served this riteand once having accomplished it could regard
himself as truly having joined in league with the powers of dark-
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 re-
corded in several manuscripts under the title of The Grand Clav-

The Grand Clavicle is the conjuration of a spirit with whom

it is sought to make a pact.
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 Liv-
ing 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, Stim-
ulamaton, 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.
The Spirit's Reply
I cannot comply with thy request except thou dost give thy-
self 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 fol-
lowing 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 Appella-
tion, 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 intro-
duced 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
Jehova. 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
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 re-
main 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 Parch-
ment; put it in a black box, with brimstone and other stinking per-
fumes: 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 to-
wards 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.
To the Spirit
Because thou art disobedient, and obeyest not these, my com-
mands, 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-
grammaton, I do hereby curse and deprive thee of all thine office,
power, and place. I bind thee in the deepest depths of the Bottom-
less 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 un-
quenchable, 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, pre-
pared 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
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 when-
soever 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.
From study of the grimoires, it becomes obvious that, once
a warlock had proved himself daring enough to tackle such diffi-
cult 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 uni-
verse, 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. Andrews 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 hun-
dred 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 for-
get the slightest detail of the ceremonial as it is prescribed. Other-
wise 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 experi-
ments 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 al-
lowed 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 com-
pel 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, Es-
chence, Jah, Tetragrammaton and Sadai, which will most cert-
ainly cause him to depart in great fear and trembling.
So be it. Amen 6
A primary motive of many Black Magicians at certain pe-
riods of their lives was the spelling of enemies or bringing ret-
ribution down on some person who had offended them. The
power to achieve this successfully was certainly one of the main
causes of the great hatredand feardirected against the prac-
titioners 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 cen-
tury 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 be-
ing 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................... [victims 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
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 re-
quired 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 con-
secrate 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 as-
perged it, observing the proper hour and time.
Do likewise when the experiment is performed with Charac-
ters 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...................... [victims 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 observa-
tion of the secret rules.
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 alland 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 womans 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 ........................ [womans 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 war-
lock, a similar, but less arduous, alternative was availablede-
veloped, 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
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 tasksenough, indeed,
to cool lust hastily engendered. A simpler ceremony dating from
the Middle Ages and found mainly in Europe promised quicker
resultsas 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 hearts content.2
Inducing secret items into the desired persons 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 sup-
posedly 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 nightshadebut, 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
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 stimu-
lation. 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 choicebut 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 ef-
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 fur-
ther aided by having the woman drink a special liquid prepared
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 bet-
ween [the females 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 gov-
erns, 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 oclock at noon, and at night before it be dark, say
the conjuration:
Sathan, Lucifer, Donskton, which are princes which ex-
pelled 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 nec-
essary to insure further that her sexual drive was strong so that
she could couple with him as oft as he desires. The same gri-
moire 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 con-
juration. 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 var-
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. Johns
wort plant.
Do hang a girls 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
girls 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
Another charm, less nauseating, suggested that a piece of the
girls underwear burning in a pottery lamp would heighten sen-
sations 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 pow-
dered 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 know-
eth 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 gen-
eration 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 girls 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 be-
ings, 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 seven-
teenth century, we learn that he had to do no more than con-
struct 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 sen-
sual pleasures both at the Sabbats and from day to day was often
the only spell they required, but for the older women still anx-
ious 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 day-
light 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 missionor cause the man to awaken while
she is in his roomthe 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 itwhen his face will be reflected on the surface. If the sim-
plicity of this fails to inspire confidence, the book suggests a rather
unsavory alternative:
At midnight, unseen, do steal to a dung heap and stand your-
self 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 ableor willingto go
through such ceremony, and as an alternative there were prescrip-
tions 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
Black Magic. (Bear in mind, too, that many of those we have al-
ready 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 mans
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 womans 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 seventeenth-
century 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 candles 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 birds 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 situa-
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
................. [mans 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 accord-
ing 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 ro-
mantic) :
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!

1. Grimorium Verum. Ms. 1517.
2. Sloane Ms. British Museum.
3. Fifteenth-Century Ms. Bodleian Library, Oxford.
4. Rawlinson Ms. Bodleian Library, Oxford.
5. Sloane Ms. British Museum.
6. Sixteenth-Century Ms. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.
7. Sixteenth-Century Ms. Bodleian Library, Oxford.
8. Magica seu. 1557.
9. Des Sorciers et des Devineresses. 1489.
10. The Boke of Mervayles of the World. Sixteenth Century.
11. Grimorium Verum. Ms. 1517.
12. Clavicles de Salomon.
13. The Book of Sacred Magic by Abraham the Jew. n.d.
14. Sixteenth-Century Ms. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.
15. Magic and Astrology. Seventeenth Century.
16. Ibid.
17. 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

As most people will appreciate, todays drug takers are con-

tinuing 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 witchcrafts unearthly power.
In this context, probably no subject has come in for more
comment than that of the Witch Ointmentsand 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 oint-
ment, 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 po-
tion for the same form of escape and enlightenment as todays
LSD trippers. The witch or warlock applied the salve, lay down,
and soon slipped into the realms of unconsciousness believing them-
selves 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 effec-
tuall. By this means in a moonlight night they seeme to be carried
in the aire.1
Scots 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 power-
ful poison and the root contains about .4 percent of alkaloid (one-
fifteenth 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-headed-
ness and visions.
The second recipe consists of water parsnip, sweet flag, cinque-
foil, bats 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 bats blood is quite
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: babys 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 ex-
citement and delirium. (The plants active principle, atropine, also
has a powerful effect on the eyes.) It is possible the fumes pro-
duced by the other constituents would have some effect on a
susceptible person, but in the main they are provided to add mys-
tery 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 unfortu-
nately 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 sub-
stances, 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 Magi-
cians might have had to resort to simple poisoning on the odd occa-
sion. But they certainly didusing 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
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 follow-
ing 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 pop-
ular 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 length-
wise. 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 crea-
tures. 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 demon-
ology 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
Devils Herb, and the roots were often burned at the Sabbat orgies
to delude and excite those who were presentalso 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
Another plant which has become engraved in witchcraft his-
tory is the mandrake (Atropa Mandragora). Apart from the root
having an uncanny resemblance to the human body and therefore
according to one twelfth-century scholarbeing more ameni-
able 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 eatenthe 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
Black magicians seem to have paid little regard to this super-
stitionperhaps they even encouraged it to insure their own sup-
plies!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 meneven 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
hallucinationsalthough 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 per-
fumes with hallucinatory effects. Most of these are of a very an-
cient date and were probably first used in the ceremonies of primi-
tive 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 fol-
lowing 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
Anise and camphire mixed cause to see secret things called
spirits. Fumigate with cardamons and eat thereof. It causeth glad-
ness 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 to-
gether, 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 after-
ward 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 sug-
gestions as to how one could conjure up visions of the future in
the mind. In one manuscript, the following ingredients ground to-
gether 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 Devils 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
Ale hassock, lupine, carrot, fennel, radish, betony, water-
agrimony, marche, rue, wormwood, cats mint, elecampane, en-
chanters nightshade, wild teazle and garlic.

1. Discoverie of Witchcraft. 1584.
2. Ecstasy of Witches. 1615.
3. Undated Manuscript (probably seventeenth-century) Bibliotheque Na-
tionale, 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

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 andmost im-
portant of allprovide 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 artwould surely think twice be-
fore 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 demand-
ingtake 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 up-
wards, 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
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
handby 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 lapwings
nest. Around the stone must be engraved the words Jesus passant
+ par le milieu deux + sen 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 reci-
tation of the following prayer while standing inside the duly conse-
crated magic circle. It was in the same pattern as certain other
Black Magic practices, in that it threatened the master of invisi-
bility with punishment by Him Who is God and Manin
other words, the Christian Godunless 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 invisi-
bilis; Iterum conjuro te et tuos Ministros, pro Stabuches et Mechae-
rom, 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 appar-
ently much used in the commission of robbery. An eighteenth-
century 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 ver-
vain. 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 com-
posed 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 de-
voted. (As students of witchcraft will know, there is a widely
recorded ritual ceremony for summoning a demon to reveal where
buried treasure be hidbut 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 mention-
ing the remarkable fourteenth-century charm To make money
spent to return.
Make a purse of moles 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 dev-
otee must have experienced on turning to the page in his secret
book which contained the heading, To Make Two Living
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 tinc-
ture. 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 doubt-
less the first to attempt transplant surgery and revival of the dead.
Just as they were interested in creating life, so the warlocks
and witcheslike the alchemists and mystics of oldsearched for
the elixir of lifethe precious liquid which preserved mans exist-
ence 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, drink-
ing May-dewcollected from sprouting corn with a cloth of pure
white linenand 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, begin-
ning 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 Uni-
versal 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 cal-
cine 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 sulphurthat is
to say, sal-ammoniacto 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 sciencebut 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 world-
renowned medicine, whereof so many have scribbled, which, not-
withstanding, so few have known.
Another obsession of modern scienceand a much more jus-
tifiable 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 sur-
prisingly, 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, specifi-
cally devoted to Black Magic, it is not my intention to list these
curesmost of which, in any case, have been fully documented in
other works on the occult. Indeed, a great many are best catego-
rized 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 sinis-
ter compounds, are hardly definable as black magic.
Still, our cunning and devilish warlock did occasionally
sprinkle his grimoires with curesand 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 vis-
ible. 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 Magics health cures than any other area of the art. They
seem merely contrived to delight and satisfy the warlocks 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 mattersif at allwith 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 divells 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
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 instructionsas so many othersthere
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 attackif 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
Warlocks 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 thorn-
bush. 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 Lords Prayer
backwards. As the hearts and livers decay, so will the witchs
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 hens 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.
Probably with justification, those who dabbled in the black arts
feared that they would not lie easy after death unless careful in-
structions 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,
which has been so often burdened with my crimes, should refuse
to receive and cherish me in her bosom.

1. Sloane Ms. British Museum.
2. Booke of Hidden Philosophy or The Magical Ceremonies by Cornelius
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 lArsenal, Paris.

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 ini-

tiation of a young Warlock.
A High Priestess of the Satanic
Coven pronounces a spell. In the
foreground is the cults Black Book
of ritual magic.

Members of the coven dancing

naked around their altar.


There recently came into my possession from a highly reliable
British source a handwritten copy of the two initiation ceremonies
performed by todays 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,
todays practitioners are still as dedicated as ever to sex and eroti-
cism, and (2) they show how certain elements of the ancient wor-
ship of the Dark Forces have been preserved in the chants and
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.
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 door-
way she lifts her Athame in an arc, and completes the circle. She cir-
cumambulates 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
Lamac lamac Bachalyas
Cabahagy sabalyos
Lagoz atha cabyolas
Samahac atha famolas
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 novices
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 bet-
ter 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 novices 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 pres-
ence 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
I hereby consecrate thee with my lips.
The Priestess now touches with her lips, the phallus, the right
breast, the left, and the phallus againcompleting 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 Dom-
ination, it is also to cause suffering and purification, for it is writ-
ten: To learn, thou must suffer and be purified. Art thou will-
ing 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
They both now circumambulate the circle, and the Priestess pro-
claims 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.


Initiation Ritual of Priest to That of High Priest

This ritual is the same as the initiation ritual of the noviceup 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), circum-
ambulate, 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,
You will now use the working tools in turn.
She next prompts him to take the Sword from the Altar and re-
draw 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 re-
ceivest 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 mem-
bers 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.

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, Cam-
bridge, 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,
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,
The Darker Superstitions of Scotland. Edinburgh, 1834.
Leechdoms, Wortcunning and Starcraft of Early England. London,
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 wonder-
fully 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 mat-
erial on Scottish witch trials which is in his keeping.
Peter Haining