"Through the Flames of Fire comes Transformation"

Witchcraft

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Astro Weather for Week of 16-21st of August


Mercury Talisman; Agrippa

Mercury Talisman; Agrippa

We finally have some good planet positions for the casting of astrological magic and astrological talismans.  While we do still have those planets that are in term (which is bringing on the heavier more aggressive natures as is clear in what is going on around the globe today, we have a small window to do some magic workings with the celestial, mercury and mars to shift some of those energies around for the better.

Sun is in his own Sign and in Trip this is a good placement for talisman of the sun as long as the moon is not opposing and there are not any afflictions with other planets that are conjunct.

Mercury is in EXALTATION, he is in his sign and in triplicity and this is an excellent time to create or re-consecrate your mercurial talismans to bring those energies and that of the nature of Mercury for success in business into your life.

Mars is in his own sign and in trip another good placement for a talisman.

Within the fixed stars we have Regulas w/Mercury and this brings honourable things, popularity, generosity but those who are the givers will take it for granted, by those who you give it too and fame and gain through high position.

Alphecca is with Mars and this brings an Active Mind and it is a better time for writing then in speaking what you wish to say, so wait a week to say what must be said to ensure you do not come across misunderstood.

Sirius with Mars this is a courageous and generous and a great time to begin work in connection with the metals.

 

This is a powerful time take advantage of the placements and what you have been seeking in your life it is time to move the plans forward and manifest it into your life.

 

Many Blessings in the Light and Dark

Rev. HPs Ariana Afsanay de Ly


We Remember Giordano Bruno, Philosopher, Magi, Defender of Truth & Justice


On the 17th of February 2014 we remember the death and life of Giordano Bruno; Philosopher, Magi and one who gave his life for “TRUTH” and feared NO one.  As he said to the Inquisition Court and the Cardinals seated there in, “You who pronounce this sentence do so with greater fear than I who receive it.” 

His crime was “Truth” and this he paid the supreme price with his life.  He never backed down he would become a traitor to NO one; traitor’s are COWARDS and are the ones who are the betrayers to all humanity. 

Giordano Bruno died but one time, however, he lives forever in the hearts of all who see “Truth and Justice.”  And the flames that took his life also gave him life and continue unto this day he will forever be remembered by all who seek truth and justice.

Today in Rome the statue of Giordano Bruno on Campo Di Fiore stands as a reminder to all NEVER back down when you know you are right!!!

We remember all those who have lost their lives to the truth.

Avante!

 

Be Blessed my Ancestor with all my love forever.

 

Rev. Lori Bruno, HPs/Elder

Our Lord and Lady of the Trinacrian Rose Church

Rev. Darcie M. Clausen – Vélez

Temple of Diana

&

Temple of Nine Wells


Blessed Spring Equinox


Wishing everyone a most Blessed Spring Equinox, the rites we gather and celebrate are truly in our hearts and there is not always a need to be in a public or large circle, we manifest and cast our own circles when we do magic to bring health, healing, prosperity and joy to others lives.

This Spring Equinox may you all be in my circle of magic and may you all be blessed with all fantastic joys and new endeavours.

My love is my circle and that is the strongest magic of all. Look into the mirror and see where your truth lies from within, do you do magic for the greater good or do you do it to build up your ego the latter is the wrong way to go for when we give openly without thinking of ourselves we are blessed beyond all we can imagine.

Blessed Spring Equinox to you all and Happy New Year.


Invocation of the Moon


moon

Hail to you oh, Goddess, the Moon, blessed lady, fortunate, cold

and moist, temperate and beautiful. Of all the planets you are the

head and key, your movement is smooth, you have shining light, lady

of happiness and joy, of good words, of good fame, of the power to

bless.

You are the lover of law and ponder the things of the world, and

your thought is subtle. You love joyful singing and enjoy joking and

love, you are the lady of ambassadors and messages and of the

revealing of secrets. You are high and noble, you are nearer to us

than the other planets, you are more powerful than all of them and

bright; you bring good and evil, you connect the planets to one

another, you transfer their light, you control everything through your

goodness.

And everything in the world is adorned by your ornament and

by your judgment all is judged. You begin all things, you are their

end. You above all planets have nobility and honor. And in this way

I call upon you.

I conjure you by [all Buddhas & Bodhisattvas] and by Celan and

Silija’il, who are the angels God has set over you to complete your

effects,

I invoke you by all your names; in Arabic, Camar [Qamar]; in

Latin, Luna; in Persian, Mehe [Mah]; in Greek, Zamahyl [Sam’a’il];

in Indian, Cerim [Suma]; in Roman, Celez [Selene], have mercy on

me and receive my humble petition, fill this talisman with your

power, with your spirit, with your pneuma, look with favor on us,

help us to be successful, and to be happy, healthy and safe. Thanks

be unto you, O Moon!


Neapolitan Witchcraft


Neapolitan Witchcraft

The following 19th century folklore article is referencd to by Leland in his Preface to Aradia or the Gospel of Witches, 1899. It contains many small and marvelous treasures of Italian magical lore, including discussion of lore about the witches’ council meeting under the walnut-tree of Benevento, the flight of Herodiade, healing spells, prayers or spells made upon rosary without medals or knoted cords, etc.

If the reader has ever met with the works of the learned folk-lorist G. Pitre, or the articles contributed by “lady Vere De Vere” to the Italian Rivista, or that of J. H. Andrews to Folk-Lore,* he will be aware that there are in Italy great nubers of strege, fortune-tellers or witches, who divine by cards, perform strange ceremonies in which spirits are supposed to be invoked, make and sell amulets, and, in fact comport themselves generally as their reputed kind are wont to do, be they Black Voodooists in America or sorceresses anywhere.
*March, 1897: “Neapolitan Witchcraft”
–Charles G. Leland, Aradia or the Gospel of Witches, A New Translation by Mario Pazzaglini, Ph. D. and Dina Pazzaglini, 1989, p.115.

It seems that many 19th century folklorists mixed up different types of “withces” willy nilly. Andrews made no distinction between those who act for good or ill. He lumped together those who called upon devils in charms with those who invoked Jesus. Descriptions of deeds quite probably done by genuine living 19th century practitioners were intermixed with imaginary deeds done by folkloric witches.

Activities involving the use of a padlock and knotted cord to attract a lover and that certain charms were taught on Christmas eve were presented along with witches magically removing a hump from a hunchback, dancing naked to cure a sick person, and flying.

Probably Andrews intermixed these activities because they all fall into the realm of folklore about magic. However, by using the single English word, “witch,” he implies all these activities were done by one of the strega.

Leland, wrting at about the same time period, apparently has done much the same. He labeled all Italian female practitioners of magic and divination as strega.

FOLK-LORE
TRANSACTIONS OF THE FOLK-LORE SOCIETY

Vol III March, 1897 No.1

NEAPOLITAN WITCHCRAFT
by J.B. Andrews

Southern Italy has been for many ages the favorite country for witches; they come from all parts of the peninsula to the Grand Councils held under the walnut-tree of Benevento, and even from more distant lands, for its fame is celebrated in Mentonnese tradition. This tree is to have been destroyed by S. Barbato in 660, during the reign of Duke Romualdo, in contending against superstition. Benevento was formerly called Malevento, a name perhaps significant. The site of the tree is now disputed, its very existence doubted; but witches still pretend to meet on the spot where it grew. The Neapolitans have an occult religion and government in witchcraft, and the Camorra; some apply to them to obtain what official organizations cannot or will not do. As occasionally happens in similar cases, the Camorra fears and yields to the witches, the temporal to the spiritual. There are also wizards, but as elsewhere they are much rarer; according to the usual explanation they have more difficulty in flying, being heavier.

It is said that the devil as a man prefers women; they for their part are amiable to him, at times even seducing him. There are special departments of the art–there is that of the earth and of the sea–having their special adepts. The first will only be treated of now; any witch can, however, render service to sea-faring folk, in giving a good haul of fish or averting a storm. Amongst witches by birth are women born on Christmas Eve, or on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Whoever invokes the devil on Christmas Eve before a mirror may become a witch.

An instruction in the methods is by itself sufficient; it is frequently given by the mother to her daughter, but not exclusively; any one may learn the art, even those knowing only a single incantation can make use of it. When a new witch has completed her education, the two women open a vein in their arms; having mixed the blood, the older witch makes a cross with it under the left thigh of her pupil, who says : ” Croce, croce, sciagurata sono.” There is no visible sign by which to detect them, they recognise one another by looking into their eyes; then the one who first leaves salutes the other by striking her with her left hand on the left shoulder and simply saying : ” Me ne vo.” In payment for the power he gives, the devil receives her soul with those of the others she procures for him; in witness of her fidelity she mocks at religion, and will profane the Host by trampling on it. But she means to cheat him and save her soul at the hour of death. She goes to mass, fills her room with pious pictures, before which, however, she does not work her charms. In her death-agony she sends for the priest, gives up to him all her apparatus to be burnt, then confesses and receives absolution. Her companions try to save some of the most precious objects from the flames. There are certain crimes for which there is no forgiveness, such as having caused death or made a hunchback. Among the many devils the head of all is called Satanasso.

Especially malicious is the Diavolo Zoppo (the lame devil), proud, violent, and treacherous ; he occupies himself much with lovers. Others are Lucibello, Lurdino, Lurdinino, Quisisizio, Turbionone, Scartellato, Baldassare. Their aid is invoked, they are present at the councils. The witches go to meet them flying through the air, often on horseback. In order to be able to fly, after having completely undressed and undone their hair, they go a little before midnight to an isolated spot out of sight, away from every sacred object. It is forbidden to see them, but not to speak to them. Then they anoint their bodies with the following composition, the quantity varying according to their weight: ten pounds of spirits of wine, half a pound of salt of Saturn, half a pound of Dragerio, to be left for four hours in a covered vessel. Then, saying ” Sotto I’acqua e sotto il vento, sotto il noce di Benevento, Lucibello portami dove debbo andare,” they fly away.

The meetings take place at midnight in the country, when the witches dance and take council together. Anyone seeing them may claim a gift; thus a hunchback once got rid of his hump. Hearing them singing ” Sabato e Domenica” in endless repetition, he added ” E Giovedi morzillo” (and Shrove-Thursday), a favourable day for witchcraft, as is also Saturday. This story is one of those most widely spread in Europe. It is indispensable that the witches should return before dawn: once the hour has passed, they fall in their flight and are killed. As a proof, it is said that some have been found very early in the morning in the streets of Naples lying dead and naked. On their way they can neither traverse a running stream nor cross roads; they are obliged ” to go round them.” They can turn themselves into animals, especially into black cats, but not into inanimate objects. However, they may become “wind,” so as to enter a house in order to carry off someone, or to transform him, or for other bad purposes. If when in the house the witch is seized by the hair and so held until day-break, she dies; but if in reply to her question “

What do you hold ? ” is said : ” I hold you by the hair,” she answers, escaping: ” And I slip away like an eel.” On entering a house she should say: ” lo entro in questa casa come vento per pigliarmi questo figlio, e a I’ora in cut me lo rubo, dev’ essere presente anche la morte.” If she means to transform the person she says: ” lo non sono cristiano, sono animale e sono eretico, e dopo di avere ereticato, ho fatto diventare questa donna (uomo o fan-ciullo) animale, ed io divento piu animale di questa donna.” Beside the bed she says: ” Io sono venuto per forza del demonio, il diavolo mi ha portato su di un cavallo, e come diavolo, e non come cristiano, io mi ho preso questa donna.” Their aid is invoked in quarrels. The Camorrists and bullies bring their arms to have them made invincible. A witch present at a fight can prevent the blows from striking home, or she may stop the fight by saying under her breath: ” Ferma, ferma, arma feroce, come Gesu` fermo la croce, come il prete all’ altare, I’ostia in bocca ed il calice in mano.”

Witches are much sought after in affairs of the affections between lovers, and between husbands and wives, and to restore love between parents and children. They use an ” acqua della concordia ” and an ” acqua della discordia.” To bring back an unfaithful lover the witch goes at night to the cemetery, digs up with her nails the body of an assassin, with her left hand cuts off the three joints of the ring-finger, then reducing them to powder in a bronze mortar, she mixes it with ” acqua benedetta senza morti,” bought at the chemist’s. The lover is to sprinkle the road between his house and his sweetheart’s with this water, and this will oblige the beloved one to return.

Another very powerful powder is made by scraping the left humerus of a dead priest; the powder is then made into a small parcel and hidden on the altar by the server at a mass paid for by the witch. When the priest says: ” Cristo eleison” she must mutter: ” Cristo non eleison.” Such a bone was shown me by a witch; it had been purchased for fifty francs from one of the servants of a confraternity. It had belonged to the witch’s mother, who was also a witch, and had been stolen from the objects given by her before dying to the priest to be burnt. It must be the left humerus, ” the right having been used for giving the benediction.”

It is possible to make a lover come in the following manner. At noon precisely take hold of a shutter or door of the room with the left hand, shut it quickly three times, then strike the floor heavily three times with the left foot. This ceremony is repeated three several times; at the end the shutter is slammed with violence. Each time the door or shutter is shut, say: ” Porta, che vai e vient;” then at the last time of all : ” Prendilo, Diavolo, e non lo trattieni; giacche` set il Diavolo Zoppo, portami N– o vivo o morto.”

To prevent a lover from liking another, stand in front of a wall so that your shadow falls on it; speak to the shadow as if to the lover, saying: ” Buona sera, ombricciuola mia, buona sera a me e buona sera a te; avanti a N— tutte brutte figure, ed io bella come una luna.” In speaking of oneself, touch the breast; the shadow, in naming the lover; in saying bella, touch the face; in mentioning the moon, the wall. Witches undertake to punish the unfaithful. They prepare three cords with knots, a black cord for the head, red for the heart, white for the sexual organs. To cause pain in the head, they take hold of the black cord, gaze at a star, and say: ” Stella una, stella due, stella tre, stella quattro, io le cervella di N– attacco, glide attacco tanto forte, che per me possa prendere la morte.” This is repeated five times outside the witch’s door. For the heart, say: “Buona sera, buona sera, N– mio, dove e` stato? Diavolo da me non e` accostato; diavolo, tu questa sera me lo devi chiamare e qui me lo devi portare.”

Taking hold of the white cord, is said:: ” Diavolo, to in mano ho questo laccio; to gli lego c—i e c-o, da nessuno possa f/–e ed impregnare; solo a questa f-a possa adorare.” The incantation finished, the cord must be worn in order to keep the knots intact, for if untied the charm is broken. A lemon, orange, or even a potato, stuck over with pins of various colours and nails answers the same purpose. The pins and nails are inserted at midnight in the open air, deeply or superficially, according to the harm intended. In sticking in each pin, is said: “Stella, stella, delle fore fore, diavolo quattro, diavolo nove, io questa spilla in testa a N— inchiodo,gliela inchiodo tanto forte che per me ne deve prendere la morte.” Then knots are made round some of the pins with a cord secretly bought by the witch for this special purpose, refusing to take change; if the seller calls her back she tells him that he is mad. In knotting the cord, is said: “Diavolo Zoppo, io metto questa spilla in testa di N– vivo o morto.” Then the object is hidden to prevent a disenchantment, as by throwing it into a drain or into the sea. The head, heart, or liver of an animal is also used, the head of a cock for a man, of a hen for a woman.

To prevent an unfaithful lover from sleeping, the woman goes to bed quite naked, takes hold of the left sleeve of her chemise, saying: ” Rissa, rissa, diavolo, io mi vendo questa camicia, non me la vendo per denaro. Pulci, cimici, piattole e tafani e I’ortica campaiuola, da N– ve ne andate, ed allora pace fossa trovare, quando questa camicia si viene a prendere.” Then, putting the chemise in the middle of the bed, she stands at the foot, places her arms crossed on the bed, and turns them four times so that the last time the-palms are turned upwards, saying: “Il letto di N– non Io vedo, non Io so. Ai piedi ci metto due candelieri, alia testa ci metto un capo di morte, nel mezzo due spine di Cristo. Diavolo, per me si ha da volt are, spesso e tan to deve volt are forte, che per me deve pigliare la morte.” Then she must lie down without speaking, or else she will herself have much suffering. To detach a husband from his mistress, the wife can go barefooted with unbound hair to a crossroad, where picking up a pebble and putting it under her left armpit she says : ” Mi calo a terra e pietra piglio, tra M– e N– un grande scompiglio, e si vogliono acquie-tare, quando questa pietra qui sotto si viene a pigliare.” She does the same at a second cross-road, putting the pebble under the right armpit; then at a third placing the pebble between the chin and breast. Returning to her house she throws the pebbles into the cesspool, so that they cannot be got at, saying: ” M– allora con N– fossa tu parlare, quando queste tre pietre qui dentro viene a pigliare.”

To attract a lover, the witch provides a magnet wrapped with a knotted cord; it must be worn. Much recommended are cakes containing, according to the case, menstrual blood or sperm. A padlock also serves to submit a person to one’s will. In opening it, say: “N— di lontano ti vedo, da vicino ti saluto, ti chiudo e non ti sciolgo, se non farai tutta la mia voglia.” Then lock the padlock, put a knotted cord round it, and keep it in a safe place. It is possible to overcome the protection of holy medals or other blessed objects, especially if something belonging to the person can be obtained-a bit of his skin, nails, or clothing; besides this, the co-operation of four or five witches is necessary. They sing together, one saying ” Tu gli I’hai fatta, to gli la leva,” another replying “Tuglilafai, e non gli la nego.” The witches also undertake to break spells. Suspending a sieve on scissors under the bed of a man made impotent, the witch also places there her shoes crossed; she provides herself with a rosary without medals or other blessed objects, and a packet of unwashed herbs, then tearing the packet and scattering its contents on the ground, she says: ” Come io sciolgo questo mazzo, cost sciolgo questo c-o.”

Sometimes a dance of naked witches takes place round the bed of a sick person, recalling the devil dances in Ceylon, the object of both being to cure the illness. There must be three or five witches; if five, one remains at the back, one stands at each corner of the bed, holding between them cords which must cross the bed diagonally, then dancing, they sing ” Tit git I’hai fatta, ed io gli la tolgo,” going round the bed. When there are only three witches the left corner at the foot of the bed remains empty, the cord being held laterally. They cure all diseases, employing medicinal herbs as well as magic, or even pious objects. Medals of S. Anastasio are much recommended against infection; they are also most efficacious amulets against the Evil Eye, as are also spinning whorls and the well-known horns.

As regards the Evil Eye, witches cannot make it, but they can avert its influence. A small packet of salt worn on the person is a protection against it; but according to the Neapolitans it is useless against witchcraft, contrary to the belief in some other places. For that, a little bag full of sand is good, the witch being obliged to count each grain before working her spell, in the meanwhile the hour of her power passes. A comb, three nails driven in behind the house-door, and the horseshoe are also recommended against witchcraft. Witches can make storms cease, or render them harmless, by saying before an open window: ” Ferma, ferma, tuono, come Gesu` fermo I’uomo, e come quello schifoso prete all’ altare, con ostia in bocca ed il calice in mano.”

Witchcraft is powerless on Wednesday, during Holy Week, and (contrary to what is thought in some other countries) on the eve of St. John Baptist’s Day. It is believed that at midnight then Herodiade may be seen in the sky seated across a ray of fire, saying:

” Mamma, mamma, perche` lo dicesti?””Figlia, figlia, perche’ lo facesti? “

The were-wolf is known, but not as the creation of witches. It is a curse on men born on Christmas live; they are known by the length of their nails. The malady seizes them in the night; they run on all fours trying to bite, but they retain the human form. If they are wounded so as to lose blood, the madness is stopped at once. Girls born on Christmas Eve are not maidens.

The foregoing information was obtained quite recently from witches in Naples. When asked what books they used, they answered None, that their knowledge is entirely traditional. The incantations, often composed in verse, have become in time so damaged that it has seemed better not to attempt to indicate the verses. Still, literal accuracy in repeating the spells is believed to be of the greatest importance. A scarred tongue was shown to me as the consequence of a mistake.

Some of the apparatus of witchcraft mentioned was presented to the Society that it might be placed in the Cambridge Museum.

I owe much to the kind aid of Signor Luigi Molinaro del Chiaro, of Naples, founder of the paper, Giambattista Basile, so much appreciated by amateurs of Italian traditions. Unfortunately it exists no longer.

Le Pigautier, Menton, September, 1896.

 


ThisIs: An Ancient Traditional Folk Magic Spell to Keep your enemy away


http://m.thisiscornwall.co.uk/story.html?aid=19890595#axzz2gsXMMRkH


Jupiter Talisman 2


We have a great aspect with Jupiter being in exaltation and with this we can work with him to aid in success, fortune and prosperity and good luck. When we work with him he has to be in either his rising or culmination and well dignified with the Moon and separated from malign planets that could cause interference with his work. Remember Jupiter is the Jovian energy he is god like above all the others, the Father to all the Gods and Goddesses.

I will be looking at an upcoming date for the next Jupiter Talisman to be cast and consecrated on the 3rd day of October 2013, San Juan, PR, AST/EDT at the hour of 07:00 am on Jupiter day in Jupiter hour. The images in which I shared for the election that we had back in 2013 July will be the same images and you will use the same invocation as well. Using Frankincense or Storax as your resin incense and gold and purple candles.

I will of course put more information up for everyone and good casting.

It is best to work with Jupiter when he is well dignified in your own chart as that will increase the energy and manifestations of your workings with him. If you have any questions or would like your chart cast to see where is sits in your chart just contact me directly.

Darci "Ariana" Clausen – Velez

Traditional Astrologer, Tarot, Spiritual Advisor

Reverend and HPs

Temple of Diana

Black Walnut Anthology

Anima Corpus Mundi Astrology

Phone: 978-210-2423

Skype: Arinanna3

Email: Csolarwolf1@aol.com & Csolarwolf@gmail.com

or

Contact me today: http://my.vcita.com/02c4f551

Set an Appointment Today: http://my.vcita.com/02c4f551/scheduler

Send me a Message Today: http://my.vcita.com/02c4f551/message


Book Review: The Path of the Shaman, by Anna Franklin


Path of the Shaman (Eight Paths of Magic)

The Path of the Shaman is a book two by Anna Franklin that focuses on the eight paths of a witch/.Witch. It is journey in which few experience and when they do it is one of great calcination and dissolution of ones entire self, and one as Anna herself describes as not wishing it upon her worst enemy.  When she speaks of this process it is called a shamanic crisis one in which is a very personal experience and each one who undergoes this transformation does so individually, it is not without experiencing pain to the level of losing all control over your own self, physically.  It takes you to the realms in which if you are not strong enough, you will never return.

As quoted directly from Chapter 2; ”Though anyone can offer themselves to the spirits, there is no guarantee that the spirits will accept.  The candidate is always subject to trial and testing before the initiation in the Otherworld can take place, encapsulating a very real dissolution, death and rebirth in the core of his being, a process entirely out of the shaman’s control and often sudden and violent in its onset.”  ”The initiation consists in an ecstatic experience, during which the candidate undergoes certain operations performed by mythical Beings, and undertakes ascents to Heaven and descents to the Underworld or subterranean World.”  In the same chapter as spoken of from above, Anna along with two others go into great detail their surgery’s by the mythical Beings in which brought them to their path as Shaman.  Anna and the others share extremely personal experiences and sufferings in which they endured along their path.  In understanding this, then it is easy to see that one of the first known Shamans from the western world would have been Jesus himself.  He was born to this world by a woman and that of the seed of an Upperworld mythical being and then was hung on the cross to die at the age of 33, then buried and he descended to the Underworld and then returned to the Middle World and finally ascending to the Upperworld.

There is mention of the the Shamans Cosmos world the three levels in which exists and that only a Shaman may see and know personally.  The Middle Earth, where we live, the Underworld and the Upperworld, the Underworld were all must go when we die and are prepared for such hidden knowledge, the Upperworld the world of the Angels and the spirits that aid us and protect us as we travel the path of our lives.  She goes into great detail of the World Tree and the Tree of Life with references to all other cultures and their views, which are all very similar from culture to culture.  Also, in this chapter she mentions that of the Black  Stone, the Meteoric Stone, the meteoric stone which is also called the black stone is not common in knowledge.  It is the stone in which is housed at Mecca and part of a yearly pilgrimage in which the Muslims are required to make, they go there for prayers and the asking of healing from the Great Mother.  This stone is from the Upperworld and it represents on this earth the Mother of all creation.  It is the one that holds all within.  There is more on the cosmos, the pole star and more.

There is mention and in great detail of how one travels the cosmos, by the spirit to do the work of healing and learning of old knowledge which is through the astral planes and the different levels of ones consciousness we experience as we go into trance, or in dream states.  What we must do to prepare ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually prior to being able to entrée this state as well as different gateways that are available and how to return and protect oneself while out of the physical form.  Many points she discusses throughout the entire book draws anyone back to the knowledge of the Emerald Tablet as well as the work’s of Dion Fortune.  Which is not common in today’s modern Wicca studies or among the New Age teachings?

Continuing we get to where she speaks of the various spirit worlds one will encounter and the view of other cultures, as I am a Strega I will make reference to her point on the Italian culture.  ”The Italian carnival society Cavallino assembled under the banner of Erodiade (ero dia de), a name for the Queen of Faeries, possibly synonymous with the witch goddess Herodias.  The society grew with prominence in the Middle Ages, appearing in processions, pantomimes and healing sessions, but many have had a very ancient, Pagan origin.  It was exclusively male, its members dressed in women’s clothing and wore make up.  They always gathered in odd numbers, such as seven, or nine or eleven.  The Catholic Church persecuted them as Pagans who worshipped the Goddess Diana.

Anna goes into great deal of the types of spirits and their powers they bestow onto human-folk they may take a liken to as well as power animals and how they come to us in our times of specific need to guide us to understand and to gain understanding in our journeys we are to encounter.  There is great focus on the types of plant allies a Shaman works with and a shaman’s view that we are kin to all things and that all things have a spirit that resides within them.  Yes, there are those herbs in which are used to obtain a level of trance and they assist us to achieve a level in our meditation and allowing us to journey to the Otherworld, though it is not without a cautionary note.  She cautions us on the plant spirits, ”However, any relationship with a power plant is precarious, and its spirit must be approached with respect.  To use a power plant for recreational purpose is an abuse of its energies and will lead to the subjugation of the magicians will by the plant spirit.  Meaning the magician has no control over the plant spirit or his or herself, the plant spirit has full control.  This means a loss of your Personal Power.  In reading this caution it reminds me of something Dr. Leo Louis Martello wrote in his words of wisdom regarding the Craft.  He states the following:  “In the Craft, there is no hard dogma. Hard drugs are forbidden. Mindless morons can’t be a compliment to our Mother Goddess.  Power is something personal, not to be used over others, which is contrary to Craft ethics. Those who think the Old Religion will make them masters over others are slaves to their own self delusions.

Anna finishes by speaking about what Personal Power is Not and the practices of a Shaman.  She speaks of an experiment a Japanese doctor performed using the water element.  He took two glasses and placed a crystal in each one, on one of the glass he wrote on a piece of paper the word Thank you and on the other You Fool the crystal inside the glass of water with the words thank you started to grow and the crystal in the glass of water with you fool did not, thus showing the powerful nature of water and how important it is to us.  We are 90% water in our body, so imagine if you thank yourself all the time and others, just imagine how we would all grow with a kind word.  When speaking of the various types of divination, magic and castings we do as a Shaman even a witch many in this day and age focus on the weather.  Myself personally I have had many people comment due to the high levels of heat how they were going to do weather magic to bring rain.  My advice always is no, when you are doing magic of this level you need to be aware that unless it is so severe that you need to consider beyond your own selfish needs, to take anything from another region is to ultimately cause harm of some kind.  While you may feel you need it, it may be needed more in another region.  This goes for any magic, you do not cast just to cast, you do not just invoke to invoke there has to be a reason when you call on the powers and forces of the Otherworld.  Magic is not a game but something true and real.

While I was reading The Path of the Shaman I was reminded of many things I have learned and was guided wisely with advise in the past, also being reminded of many journeys in which I have travelled to the Otherworld, the Underworld and the Upperworlds.  I have seen many things in my life and as a Witch but I needed a gentle reminder of a few things, it also guided me more in some specific research I have been doing which I will not speak of so much here.  What I am saying is that sometimes we need something and the Gods bring it to attention in many ways, a book, a kind word from another, a picture, a quote a journey or a sign in the mundane world that only a witch would notice.  Pay attention and you will be amazed.

This is an extraordinary book and one that ever Witch/witch should own and have as part of her/his library.


Book Review: Ancient Spellcraft From the Hymns of the Hittites to the Carvings of the Celts, by Laura Perry


I have had this book for many years, it is a book of various spells that aid Magicians in manifesting that of fertility, protection, healing, prosperity and more.  In this work Laura Perry covers ancient cultures such as the Celts, Egyptians, Hittites, Crete, Greece, Rome and Scythia.

There are a lot of way and spells that we use as Magicians today to assist in our magical workings to assist those who seek us out for healing, protections, removing of curses or hexes, prosperity, love, fertility and more.  This is a book that focuses on the spells of our ancients incorporating some of the simplest of ingredients, many you can find in your kitchen cupboards and from the recycling of glass jars, and more.

As a practicing Witch I was taught that some of the most powerful magic is the simplest magic as it is from the heart and in this book she focuses much on the same concept in how she guides those according to the specific spells.  She focuses a great deal on the clearing of mind, mental focus on the work you are to manifest and of course the invocations of the Gods to intercede on our behalf.  All of this is how I was taught by my True Mother in how to do my magical workings.

This is a must have for anyone who practices magic it is in my opinion worth the value.

Purchase your copy today here and enjoy it as much as I have and see what Magic you can make and Manifest in your life and that of others.

Ancient Spellcraft: From the Hymns of the Hittites to the Carvings of the Celts


La Caccia Alle Streghe; Italian Version


Tutte le religioni hanno un lato rispettabile e uno manchevole. Non dobbiamo piu’ spezzare ciascuno gli idoli dell’altro; ma guidare dolcemente gli uomini fuori dall’idolatria.

I libri sacri di tutte le nazioni in tutti i tempi sono stati collezioni di favole.

(Eliphas Levi)

 

 

 

LA CACCIA ALLE STREGHE

 

SINTESI DI UN GENOCIDIO

 

alateus

 

 

 

PARTE I – PRIMA DEL MASSACRO

§ 01 – FISSIAMO I LIMITI

 

Trattando di “caccia alle streghe” molti autori tendono ad allargarsi, nel corso delle loro esposizioni, per considerare come argomenti connessi e pertinenti anche:

• la caccia agli eretici (ebrei e marrani, catari, valdesi, ecc.)

• le ossessioni

• le possessioni demoniache

• i riti satanici

• e quanto altro ha avuto attinenza con i momenti piu’ oscuri della storia del cristianesimo.

Per vari motivi di brevita’ e di sintesi espositiva in queste pagine si tratta unicamente delle “streghe” e del martirio che hanno dovuto subire durante i tre secoli che vanno dal 1400 al 1700.

Il periodo compreso tra 1400 e 1700 e’ quello solitamente indicato dagli storici come il “tipico periodo” nel quale sono stati operati dalla chiesa i grandi massacri a danno dei suoi nemici o presunti tali, anche se questo non e’ sostanzialmente esatto, trattandosi di limiti posti per esigenza e comodita’ di studio.

In realta’ la persecuzione delle streghe si e’ manifestata, seppure in tono minore, gia’ a partire dall’alto Medioevo ed e’ continuata ben oltre il 1700.

 

Nel testo non vengono trattati i casi di “possessione demoniaca”, verificatisi in alcuni conventi (come quello delle Orsoline di Loudun), che altro non sono che esasperate turbe sessuali di povere disgraziate condannate, dalle loro famiglie, a consumare la loro esistenza tra le mura di un convento; inoltre e’ stato omesso anche l’episodio inerente le “Streghe di Salem” perche’ gia’ trattato in altra pagina di questo sito, e anche per limitare l’esposizione a quanto avvenuto nei soli paesi europei.

 

Sempre su questo sito potete consultare:

* I. E. Ferrario – Triora, la Salem d’Italia.

* A. C. Marturano – Streghe e stregoni nel medioevo russo.

* E. Dall’Aglio – Il Giullare e le Streghe.

* G.T. Garella – Storia della Stregoneria negli U.S.A.

 

 

In questa PARTE I, prescindendo dalla furia omicida del cristianesimo, cerchiamo di definire, a grandi linee, chi e cosa si intendeva per strega prima del 1200-1300.

 

 

§ 02 – LA STREGA ANTICA

 

Prima di addentrarci nella storia del genocidio delle streghe e’ quindi necessario puntualizzare bene la natura e le caratteristiche di questi singolari ed inquietanti personaggi.

Per comodita’ di esposizione conveniamo di indicare come “strega” sia i soggetti femminili che quelli maschili (maghi, negromanti, stregoni, ….); questa e’ una convenzione generalmente accettata, tenuto conto che il massacro avvenuto tra il 1400 ed il 1700 ha colpito in massima parte soggetti di genere femminile; utilizziamo quindi il termine strega in senso neutro.

 

La strega e’ una figura senza tempo che si puo’ far risalire, se non alla preistoria, certamente alla protostoria. Comunque non e’ necessario spingersi tanto lontano; basti ricordare alcune famose streghe che la cultura e la letteratura antica ci hanno tramandate quali Medea, Circe, Canidia, Panfila, Ecate, Diana ed altre dai fantasiosi e impossibili poteri.

E’ stato affermato da piu’ parti che:

“la strega fa paura solo a chi ci crede”

 

questa affermazione lascia supporre che, da un punto di vista razionale, la strega possa essere stata una figura del tutto negativa, una parassita nel contesto sociale dei tempi passati.

Si deve però poi prendere in considerazione anche l’altra comune asserzione:

“la strega e’ stata una figura temuta ma ovunque ricercata”

 

e cio’ fa pensare che, malgrado le incredibili sciocchezze addebitate a questa singolare figura, qualche funzione positiva puo’ comunque esserle attribuita.

 

Occorre pertanto vedere come operava, dove e cosa faceva realmente una strega prima della grande strage e prima che il clero l’accusasse di quelle attivita’ ignobili, collegate alla figura del Diavolo, che il clero stesso aveva inventato a giustificazione del proprio abominio.

Un’altra affermazione che puo’ lasciare il lettore perplesso ma che deve essere accettata – seppure con riserva – e’ che:

“la strega era fondalmente onesta e credeva in buona fede, pur sbagliando, in cio’ che faceva e nei suoi illusori poteri”

 

L’affermazione trova una sua giustificazione se si esamina in particolare quelle che erano le sue attivita’ e l’ambito in cui operava.

 

La strega e’ stata una figura tipicamente rurale, contadina; era presente ed operava nelle campagne, vivendo isolata nei boschi o ai margini di piccoli, sovente miserabili villaggi.

Le streghe di citta’ potrebbero sembrare un’eccezione ma in realta’ anch’esse appartenevano alla stessa categoria.

Molte di esse avevano abbandonato la campagna e scelto di vivere nell’ambito cittadino spinte dalla fame, alla ricerca di un quotidiano e precario pezzo di pane.

In citta’ praticavano oltre alla loro arte anche la prostituzione, sino a quando l’eta’ lo permetteva; si insediavano normalmente nei bassifondi a contatto con la feccia cittadina, preparando e vendendo prodotti medicamentosi, filtri d’amore, unguenti cosmetici, prodotti abortivi ed anche quei veleni che la societa’ di allora usava spesso e volentieri.

 

Sia in campagna che in citta’ si puo’ dire che la strega, (a volte detta anche: lammia, masca, bagiura), operasse in due ben specifici settori:

• la magia bianca

• la magia nera

 

§ 03 – LA SCUOLA DELLE STREGHE

 

Streghe non si nasce, si diventa. Affermazione abbastanza scontata che pero’ lascia intuire quello che doveva essere il tirocinio di un’aspirante strega.

 

In linea di massima l’arte veniva trasmessa da madre a figlia o da strega-maestra a strega-apprendista, mediante lunghi anni di apprendimento e di pratica.

Anzitutto occorreva acquisire una buona conoscenza sulle virtu’ di varie erbe, muffe, funghi, minerali e sostanze varie.

Bisognava imparare a procurarsi le materie prime, raccogliendo le erbe necessarie nella giusta stagione, quando esse maturavano pienamente le loro qualita’ medicinali, venefiche, soporifere o allucinogene.

Occorreva apprendere l’arte di essicarle e conservarle con particolari accorgimenti affinche’ non perdessero le loro proprieta’.

Bisognava imparare a dosarle, miscelarle in giusta misura con altri componenti, per preparare decotti, filtri, pomate, veleni, unguenti ed elisir destinati a produrre specifici effetti.

Di fatto la strega, senza rendersene conto, alcune volte riprendeva antiche ricette, alcune delle quali forse risalenti a Galeno, ottenendo parecchi di quei prodotti medicinali che oggi vengono acquistati in farmacia come “specialitá”.

 

Per fare cio’ le streghe disponevano di “Libri Magici” (vedi § 26) che erano, allo stesso tempo, raccolte di ricette mischiate a formule magiche per esercitare taluni incantesimi. Questo lascia supporre che alcune streghe sapessero leggere, se non scrivere, e questo, a volte, le poneva su di un piano culturale e di conoscenza superiore a quello di certuni sprovveduti che le perseguitavano.

Tutte le streghe “credevano” nella loro arte e la esercitavano con convinzione ed in buona fede,

 

anche quando si trattava di improbabili magie o incantesimi privi di effetto; tutto questo a prescindere da fantasiosi patti col Diavolo che furono un’invenzione della chiesa e dei suoi sicofanti a soli fini persecutori.

 

 

§ 04 – LA MAGIA BIANCA

 

Scopo fondamentale della magia bianca era quello di dare la guarigione (o almeno dare sollievo) ai vari e piu’ comuni malanni e alle infezioni cutanee allora assai comuni, viste le discutibili abitudini igieniche di quei tempi.

 

Tutto questo veniva realizzato dalla strega seguendo antichissime ricette, a volte manoscritte, risalenti alla notte dei tempi, tramandate da madre a figlia o da maestra ad apprendista. Erano sostanzialmente ricette, collaudate dal tempo, a base di erbe e di radici che le streghe raccoglievano e trattavano con la competenza a loro tramandata, trasformandole in pozioni, decotti, impiastri, unguenti che

“di solito funzionavano”.

 

Ed e’ proprio il fatto che di solito funzionassero a far credere alle streghe, in tutta buona fede, di essere in possesso di “particolari poteri” che poi pensavano di poter esercitare in altre occasioni, con altri mezzi e con risultati del tutto illusori, come accadeva nell’ambito delle attivita’ di magia nera.

 

Una cosa deve essere chiara e scontata: le streghe riconoscevano le piu’ comuni malattie e preparavano gli specifici rimedi con gli ingredienti piu’ adatti suggeriti dai loro tradizionali ricettari, pero’ ignoravano completamente quali erano i principi terapeutici attivi contenuti negli ingredienti stessi.

 

Oltre a cio’ erano in grado di curare le fratture degli arti (conciaossa), medicare ferite, assistere le partorienti (mammane) quando nei villaggi mancava la levatrice “patentata”.

 

Resta il fatto che in una societa’ dove era proibito agli ebrei ed alle donne di praticare la medicina, qualche rischio lo correvano, a volte, con tragiche conseguenze. Malgrado cio’ la loro conoscenza sulla virtu’ delle erbe poteva, in certi casi, conferire loro qualche riconoscimento ed un occhio di riguardo quando erano costrette a mendicare per sbarcare il lunario.

 

Occorre tenere presente che la miseria diffusa e generalizzata del mondo contadino non permetteva grandi retribuzioni in cambio dei loro rimedi; sovente dovevano accontentarsi di un po’ di latte, una scodella di minestra, qualche fetta di pane ed altre modestissime mercedi.

Mancando nelle campagne qualsiasi assistenza, la loro capacita’ di guaritrici le poneva come punto di riferimento: temute quindi ma all’occorenza ricercate.

 

Altre attivita’ che generalmente si fanno rientrare nell’ambito della magia bianca potevano essere:

• la preparazione di filtri d’amore, che se non funzionavano non facevano neanche male;

• predire il futuro;

• propiziare con formule e riti magici l’ottenimento di certi benefici;

• fare sortilegi benigni e confezionare amuleti e talismani per proteggere una persona dalla malasorte, dagli infortuni, dalle malattie;

• propiziare l’avverarsi, in vita, della felicita’ e dei piaceri che i preti promettevano solo da morti e a coronamento di una vita di stenti;

• preparare prodotti di bellezza, cosmetici.

Tutto cio’ con il consueto corollario di riti e formule magiche che se nulla aggiugevano all’efficacia del rimedio, avevano il pregio di enfatizzare, illudere ed ispirare un reverenziale timore nella mente degli sprovveduti clienti.

Ad esempio: ecco una formula magica che accompagnava la frizione della pelle con un unguento specifico: moetas naeta daries dardaries asiadaries una naeta.

 

Ma il timore della gente diveniva palpabile quando la strega esercitava i suoi presunti poteri di magia nera.

 

 

§ 05 – LA MAGIA NERA

 

Comprendeva quel complesso di prodotti, di attivita’ e di rituali che venivano richiesti alla strega allo scopo di vendicarsi, recare danno o provocare la morte di una terza persona.

Nel fare cio’ la strega si attribuiva (e il mandante le attribuiva) il possesso di poteri misteriosi e sovrannaturali, sovente legati ad aspetti misterici di qualche culto di antiche divinita’ pagane.

 

Sovente il ritenere di avere questo potere era dovuto a suggestioni ed all’uso, non cosciente, di sostanze allucinogene, come indicato al § 28.

 

Nell’ambito della magia nera, le uniche possibilita’ reali di compiere malefici, che le streghe potevano esercitare, erano quelle legate alla produzione di veleni, sonniferi ed altri prodotti dannosi, sfruttando in negativo la loro conoscenza delle particolari proprieta’ delle erbe e di altre semplici sostanze.

Nondimeno la credenza e la superstizione popolare attribuivano alle streghe ben altri poteri che le streghe medesime si guardavano bene dallo smentire per motivi abbastanza comprensibili:

• di utilita’ personale e desiderio/necessita’ di guadagno

• perche’ esse stesse erano convinte di possedere tali poteri

• perche’ il senso di timore con cui venivano considerate costituiva per loro una specie di protezione.

E a questo proposito, anche se e’ molto probabile che si sia verificato, non si rammentano casi di streghe uccise da un singolo individuo. Prima della grande strage le streghe assassinate furono prevalentemente vittime di esecuzioni collettive, linciaggi dovuti alla collera popolare a fronte di eventi dannosi ed inspiegabili quali epidemie, moria estesa del bestiame, grandiosi incendi e cose simili.

Tra le tante capacita’ malefiche che solitamente si attribuivano alle streghe dell’antichita’, elenchiamo alcune delle piu’ comuni:

• far morire una persona trafiggendo un pupazzo di cera o di panno contenente parti personali delle vittima designata: capelli, unghie, saliva, orina, ecc.

• provocare malattie nei bambini con incantesimi e rituali magici

• la preparazione di filtri d’odio

• far cadere la grandine sulla proprieta’ della vittima

• provocare un incendio nella casa della vittima

• provocare un naufragio

• generare la sterilita’ in una donna

• generare l’impotenza in un uomo facendo opportuni nodi su di una striscia di cuoio

• provocare la moria del bestiame

• gettare il “malocchio” recitando determinate formule

• trasformare un uomo in bestia facendogli mangiare un “formaggio stregato”

• ed altre fole del genere.

In qualche occasione alcune di queste “magie” potevano funzionare se si aveva l’accortezza di far sapere alla vittima, indirettamente ed in gran segreto, che un maleficio era stato pronunciato su di lui. Paura e turbamento psichico in anime semplici ed ignoranti potevano provocare quegli effetti che la sola magia non avrebbe mai potuto realizzare.

Un modo alquanto singolare di generare la grandine sul campo della vittima era quello di recarsi su di un rilievo di terreno, prossimo a quello da devastare, scavare un buco, orinarci dentro e poi disperdere il liquido in aria con un ramoscello di nocciolo recitando speciali formule magiche (!!).

 

 

§ 06 – LA SOCIETA DI DIANA

 

Su questa misteriosa affiliazione, che avrebbe raggruppato intorno a se’ un gran numero di streghe, si e’ scritto molto ma, a conti fatti, le informazioni che si hanno non sono sufficienti a dimostrarne la reale esistenza. Anzi il contrario.

 

Si suppone che all’origine fosse una societa’ segreta femminile, una societa di “Bonae Foeminae” e cioe’ di guaritrici esperte nell’arte della magia bianca, solite riunirsi di notte nei boschi per celebrare particolari cerimonie di natura mai definita.

 

Alcuni autori sostengono che questa credenza sia derivata da un’antica leggenda di ceppo celtico che poneva a capo delle affiliate una certa Morrigan: la Grande Madre. Nell’antico mondo romano Morrigan venne sostituita con Diana, ritenuta oltre che dea della caccia, anche dea della fertilita’.

 

Queste riunioni notturne erano anche dette “Gioco di Diana” e, se pure improbabili, ispirarono agli inquisitori della grande caccia la successiva morbosa fantasia del sabba. Implacabili nella loro furia distruggitrice i preti sostituirono alla figura di Diana quella di Salome’, raccontando ai creduloni che quando la testa di Giovanni il Battista fu presentata alla figlia di Erode su di un piatto, dalle fauci del decollato comincio’ ad uscire un vento fortissimo che la sollevo’ per aria e da allora l’infausta tapina si trova costretta ogni notte a volare, da mezzanotte al canto del gallo.

La fede nel “vero Dio” dei cristiani si alimenta anche di queste cose!

 

§ 07 – SISTEMA ACCUSATORIO

 

Uno dei motivi per cui, nell’antichita’, le streghe furono assai poco perseguitate, puo’ anche essere ricercato nel funzionamento dei tribunali che allora operavano in base al principio del sistema accusatorio.

Questo sistema di procedura penale, derivato dal diritto romano, rimase in vigore presso quasi tutti i tribunali europei sino al 1200 o poco oltre.

 

Il sistema accusatorio richiedeva la formulazione, da parte di un soggetto (attore) o dei suoi aventi causa, di una puntuale accusa pubblica giurata e l’onere di sostenere tale accusa in giudizio, nonche’ fornire prove e testimonianze utili a dimostrare la validita’ dell’accusa stessa nei confronti del denunciato (convenuto); in altri termini l’attore si assumeva quelle funzioni che oggi competono alla pubblica accusa.

 

Nel fare cio’ l’attore si caricava di una pesante responsabilita'; qualora il convenuto fosse riuscito a dimostrare la propria innocenza l’accusatore veniva a sua volta perseguito e punito secondo gli usi e secondo quanto previsto dall’antica “Legge del taglione”.

Il rischio della ritorsione (contro-processo) a carico dell’attore era una pesante remora ad avviare certi processi riguardanti malefici e sortilegi, reati per loro stessa natura indimostrabili. Il convenuto poteva essere condannato solo se confessava la sua colpa, cosa del tutto improbabile quando si trattava di stregoneria.

Se poi l’accusato era persona di buona reputazione, generalmente stimato, poteva agevolmente uscire indenne dal dibattito giurando sulla sua stessa innocenza o delegando il giuramento a testimoni ritenuti uomini onorevoli e probi.

Non era proprio il caso delle streghe!

 

Infine, quando nel corso di particolari dibattiti i giudici si ritenevano incapaci di formulare un giusto verdetto allora si ricorreva alla scappatoia dell’ordalia.

L'”ordalia o giudizio di Dio” consisteva nel delegare alla saggezza del padreterno il compito di decidere chi aveva ragione e chi aveva torto.

 

Un caso particolare di ordalia era la detta “ordalia bilaterale”. L’attore ed il convenuto, o persone da loro stessi scelte (i campioni) dovevano battersi in duello durante il quale chi picchiava piu’ forte finiva col dimostrare la propria ragione.

 

Negli altri casi i giudici sottoponevano l’accusato a prove di verita’ alquanto strane e decisamente crudeli. Per cui si poteva dimostrare la propria innocenza:

• percorrendo una certa distanza tenendo in pugno un ferro rovente. Dopo alcuni giorni di fasciatura e di linimenti la mano doveva apparire “miracolosamente guarita”.

• Una variante della prova precedente era quella di immergere un braccio in un calderone d’acqua bollente.

• Il corpo dell’imputato veniva immerso in un fiume o in una vasca di acqua fredda. Se rimaneva a galla era innocente.

• L’imputato doveva ingoiare un grosso pezzo di pane senza masticarlo e senza soffocare.

• L’imputato doveva uscire indenne da una camminata sui carboni ardenti; questa era la prova piu’ classica (pirobasia/pirobazia).

(Qualche anno fa un gruppo di allegri “mattacchioni” l’ha fatta in diretta T.V.; sembra che la prova possa essere superata senza danno se si tengono, per qualche ora, i piedi immersi in una soluzione di allume di rocca(??))

Il sistema accusatorio ha impedito, almeno fin verso il 1300, che streghe e maghi venissero sottoposti a ridicoli ed inutili processi.

 

 

§ 08 – UN PROFILO

 

Abbiamo gia’ accennato al fatto che le streghe erano prevalentemente di origine contadina ed operavano nell’ambito del mondo rurale; quelle presenti nelle citta’ erano un’eccezione, trattandosi di donne ancora giovani che avevano cercato nell’ambito cittadino migliori opportunita’ di vita, aggiungendo alla loro arte anche la disponibilita’ a prostituirsi.

 

In relazione all’eta’ media della popolazione del Basso Medioevo (circa 35 anni e con un’aspettativa di vita inferiore ai 50 anni), l’eta’ media di una strega si aggirava tra i 50 ed i 62 anni, con punte eccezionali di 80-85 anni.

Se anche una persona di 60 anni poteva considerarsi vecchia non rappresentava comunque una eccezione; l’eta’ media di 35(?) anni, calcolata dagli storici con metodo statistico, e’ fortemente condizionata dal grande tasso di mortalita’ infantile di quei tempi: circa 30-40%.

La media statistica, in certe situazioni, puo’ dare un’idea distorta della realta’. Sarebbe piu’ corretto usare il valore di “moda”, non sempre calcolabile sulla base dei dati disponibili. Si sa comunque che, a quei tempi, nel mondo contadino raramente un individuo arrivava a conoscere i suoi nipoti.

(Rif. 105)

Pertanto queste cifre devono essere considerate molto incerte ed aleatorie.

 

Le streghe che vennero processate tra il 1400 ed il 1700 avevano, in massima parte, un’eta’ superiore ai 50 anni, come si e’ potuto rilevare dai verbali processuali.

Sempre con le dovute riserve, e’ stato calcolato, su qualche centinaio di presunte streghe, che:

• il 50% erano sposate

• il 28% erano vedove

• il 22% erano nubili

Mentre parte delle vedove e nubili cercavano di inserirsi nell’ambito di famiglie, a quel tempo di stampo patriarcale, molte altre preferivano (od erano costrette) vivere sole ed indipendenti.

La cosa era alquanto “fastidiosa” ed imbarazzante per l’elemento maschile della societa’ che considerava la donna come essere assogettato e non approvava la condizione di liberta’ di cui alquante donne, volenti o nolenti, godevano. Erano particolarmente temute le donne vedove e libere che avevano superato l’età della menopausa.

 

Infine, per quanto riguarda il sesso delle streghe:

• il 70-90% erano donne

• il 10-30% erano uomini

ma queste percentuali variano moltissimo secondo i luoghi e le epoche. Ad esempio, mentre in Russia prevaleva l’elemento maschile, nei paesi scandinavi i due sessi erano alla pari.

 

 

§ 09 – RIASSUMENDO

 

Nei paragrafi precedenti si e’ cercato di dare un’idea, approssimata e certamente non esaustiva, di quella che era la figura della strega, dall’antichita’ sino al Basso Medioevo, prima della grande persecuzione.

 

Ne viene fuori il ritratto di una persona emarginata della societa’ di allora che, agli occhi degli altri membri, poteva apparire come una figura inquietante, fonte di timori ma sostanzialmente innocua e sovente utile.

 

Una costante che accomunava queste strane figure era senza dubbio la miseria. Una miseria oggi difficilmente concepibile, tale da ridurre qualsiasi individuo al livello piu’ basso della degradazione e dell’asservimento; qualsiasi cosa pur di procacciarsi la misera, quotidiana razione di cibo necessario per sopravvivere!

Mangiare tutti i giorni era un obiettivo che poche streghe riuscivano a raggiungere.

 

Non sempre i luoghi e le circostanze consentivano loro di vivere con il solo esercizio della propria arte; il furtarello, l’elemosina e la prostituzione erano le attivita’ complementari e necessarie per non morire letteralmente di fame.

 

La strega era quindi una miserabile che agiva prevalentemente in un contesto rurale, popolato da contadini quasi altrettanto indigenti i quali, pur servendosi della sua opera, non sempre erano in grado di compensarla adeguatamente.

 

In linea di massima la strega era pero’ rispettata e tollerata come un “male necessario” ma questo non vuol dire che non venisse a volte perseguitata ed uccisa.

Questi episodi, anche se ricorrenti, furono pur sempre casi isolati dovuti a fiammate di follia collettiva localizzata: la ricerca di un capro espiatorio per calmare gli animi esacerbati da qualche inspiegabile disastro.

 

Erano dunque casi isolati che non avevano nulla in comune con l’allucinante follia omicida della chiesa, esplosa tra il 1400 ed il 1700.

 

 

 

 

PARTE II – IL MASSACRO

 

 

§ 10 – PRESUPPOSTI PER IL MASSACRO

 

Molti valenti autori si sono dedicati allo studio delle motivazioni economiche, sociali e religiose che hanno scatenato un massacro senza precedenti a danno di creature sostanzialmente innocenti.

Sono state individuate parecchie decine di possibili cause, tra di loro combinate, che possono essere ritenute responsabili di tanta aberrazione, tutte comunque riconducibili al binomio

miseria e superstizione

 

In questa sede ci limitiamo a riassumere le principali motivazioni storiche, generalmente condivise dagli autori, che hanno generato il momento scatenante della persecuzione, anche se nessuna di esse puo’, di per se’, giustificare il sacrificio di tante vite umane.

• La peste nera: originatasi in Asia (Crimea?) nel 1346, venne veicolata in Europa da navi commerciali genovesi, provenienti dalla Siria. Si diffonde prima in Sicilia e poi, tra il 1348 ed il 1352, aggredisce Italia, Francia, Spagna, Inghilterra e succesivamente tutto il resto dell’Europa centrale e la Scandinavia.

E’ un’epidemia terrificante che in un tempo estremamente breve uccide 25 milioni di individui nella sola Europa occidentale, cioe’ un terzo dell’intera popolazione. In alcuni territori la mortalita’ tocca punte del 75%.

Per qualche inspiegabile motivo colpisce piu’ gli uomini che le donne generando di conseguenza milioni di vedove sole e senza risorse.

(G. Boccaccio ci da’ una drammatica descrizione dell’infuriare della peste, a Firenze nel 1348).Rif.115

• La carestia. E’ una conseguenza diretta della peste; mancando le braccia necessarie al lavoro dei campi, molti terreni vengono abbandonati e ritornano allo stato selvatico. I prodotti dell’agricoltura diventano insufficienti a nutrire la popolazione superstite.

• La crisi economica. A partire dai primi anni del 1400, dovuta ad una serie prolungata di cattivi raccolti causati da condizioni climatiche particolarmente sfavorevoli (la piccola glaciazione dal 1560 al 1630).

• Inflazione. L’insufficienza dei raccolti obbliga sovente ad importare cereali da altri paesi senza l’esistenza di adeguate contropartite commerciali. Il denaro (oro, argento) diventa sempre piu’ scarso. A fronte di una offera di beni di prima necessità sempre più carente, la domanda resta costante e, in certe circostanze, tende a crescere.

• L’erosione dei salari intesa come riduzione del potere di acquisto dei salariati e della stragrande maggioranza della classe contadina.

• Tasse e decime: in relazione ai fattori precedenti non subiscono riduzioni significative e gravano sempre di piu’ sui lavoratori e sui piccoli proprietari terrieri. Sordi a tutte le istanze nobilta’ e clero continuano ad ingrassarsi e sono sempre piu’ esosi.

• La decadenza del papato. Indifferenza alla miseria di chi lavora; voracita’ e crapuleria del papato e dei prelati in generale. Alla fine queste cose si risanno e determinano una:

• Crisi religiosa in una buona parte dei credenti. Molti morti di fame cominciano ad avere dubbi su di un Dio che non si manifesta mai e li lascia nella disperazione, in balia della carestia e delle malattie.

• Ribellioni. In molte parti d’Europa gruppi di contadini cominciano ad insorgere contro condizioni di vita pressocche’ impossibili, mettendo in discussione l’autorita’ divina ed assoluta dei prìncipi e della chiesa. Si tratta di sommosse sempre locali, isolate e facilmente domate che pero’ non mancano di inquietare le autorita’ coinvolte. Malgrado si brucino villaggi e si impicchino contadini, lo stillicidio delle rivolte continua.

Infine a tutto cio’ si aggiunga, a partire dal 1520, la riforma luterana che, per quanto riguarda la persecuzione delle streghe, si dimostrera’ feroce almeno quanto quella cattolica, se non di piu’.

Occorre notare che nelle citta’ che si amministravano con forme democratiche o, piu’ frequentemente oligarchiche, esisteva pur sempre un’opposizione allo strapotere dei nobili e dei preti. Queste citta’, Italia centronord e Germania, sovente sfuggivano al controllo dei feudatari e a volte dei sovrani. E’ il caso della Repubblica di Genova, malgrado i terribili fatti di Triora, pur appartenente a questo territorio. Quando queste citta’ persero’ una parte del loro potere sulle campagne circostanti, la persecuzione aumento’ sensibilmente.

(Rif. 105)

 

 

§ 11 – CORRERE AI RIPARI

 

Incapaci di risolvere (o gestire al meglio) una crisi economica destinata a durare qualche secolo, governanti e chiesa volsero la loro attenzione ad alcuni aspetti che, se non governati, rischiavano di mettere in serio pericolo i loro privilegi e le loro prebende:

• la crisi religiosa

• le ribellioni contadine.

Per ricondurre le masse all’obbedienza ed alla passivita’ occorreva anzitutto asservire nuovamente le masse stesse alla cieca ed incondizionata superstizione religiosa cristiana.

Era necessario ricostruire la fede della gente in un Dio che brillava per la sua assenza e per la sua indifferenza alle umane miserie.

 

Fare un “restiling” di questo Dio un po’ opaco era comunque un compito difficile che avrebbe comportato implicazioni e sottigliezze teologiche che la gente con la pancia vuota avrebbe diffcilmente compreso.

Occorreva una soluzione piu’ immediata e facilmente comprensibile, anche se grossolana; pertanto la chiesa alla domanda:

perche’ Dio non vede e non provvede?

rispose subdolamente:

perche’ esiste un nemico potente che glie lo impedisce.

 

Risposta geniale che accollava al Diavolo ed ai suoi accoliti la responsabilita’ di tutto il male che affliggeva la terra e lo indicava come il vero nemico da combattere, con la fede e con il massacro dei suoi adepti.

 

L’uomo, per sua natura, ha bisogno di un nemico da combattere, o almeno contro cui sfogare la propria ira impotente; se non l’ha si sente inetto e svuotato, cosa che tutti i detentori del potere sanno benissimo.

In tutte le societa’ totalitarie e’ sempre stato necessario individuare un nemico interno, una quinta colonna, sulla quale infierire:

 

a) per sbarazzarsi di persone o categorie scomode

b) per dare un esempio a quelli che potrebbero avere da ridire.

c) per catalizzare il malcontento popolare verso una categoria esterna al regime, di modo che tutti se la prendano con costoro e la massa, che si sente minacciata da qualcosa, si affidi maggiormente al regime stesso.

 

Gli ebrei per i nazisti, i culachi ed i sabotatori per Stalin, i cittadini corrotti per Pol Pot possono essere considerati esempi moderni della caccia alle streghe. Si tratta solitamente di categorie inoffensive che pur non essendo nemiche possono però essere considerate fonte di imbarazzo e comodi capri espiatori.

Quanta gente si e’ sentita spiazzata dopo la caduta del comunismo ed il crollo del muro di Berlino?

Che altro ha fatto Hitler additando gli ebrei come i nemici naturali del Reich, fornendo ai crucchi un demone da combattere, distogliendo la loro attenzione da ben altri problemi?

 

Quindi, alla base della caccia alle streghe, al di la’ di qualsiasi contingenza inquisitoria, c’e’ stato sicuramente anche quel meccanismo di terrore che ritroviamo puntualmente in tutti i totalitarismi, in quanto la chiesa, (cattolici, protestanti, anglicani, ecc.) in ambito religioso, e’ un totalitarismo.

(Rif. 105)

Sino ad allora il Diavolo era stato per la maggior parte dei cristiani una figura un po’ vaga; qualcuno con cui fare eventualmente i conti se fosse capitato di passare nell’aldila’ senza il “nulla-osta” del prete. Ora il Diavolo stava diventando una cosa concreta, quasi tangibile, un nemico da tenere d’occhio e possibilmente da sconfiggere.

 

Astuti teologi si misero all’opera pescando nella Bibbia (dove si puo’ trovar di tutto) e

• sorvolando sul fatto che la scrittura afferma che Dio aveva a suo tempo incatenato il Diavolo nell’inferno per impedirgli di far del male;

• forti del conforto di san Tommaso il quale invece affermava che il Diavolo era libero di compiere qualsiasi misfatto;

• vagliando con un occhio attento e di riguardo tutto quello che gli scolastici avevano almanaccato in fatto di demonologia

fecero del Diavolo una figura dai contorni ben definiti, viva, quasi palpabile ed incombente. (v. § 15)

 

 

§ 12 – INDIVIDUARE I NEMICI

 

Era naturale che il Diavolo ed il suo esercito di demoni, per quanto dotati di buona volonta’, non potessero occuparsi materialmente di tutte le malefatte di questo basso mondo. Era quindi necessario e presumibile che il Diavolo disponesse anche di alleati terrestri incaricati di eseguire praticamente e puntualmente i suoi voleri.

 

Questo fu l’altro problema che i teologi dovettero affrontare: visto che il Diavolo era invincibile occorreva almeno individuare i suoi complici terreni per combatterli e distruggerli. Problema che, a dire il vero, i teologi misogini risolsero brillantemente concentrando la loro attenzione sulla donna, fonte di tutti i guai possibili ed immaginabili.

 

Prescindendo da facili ed alquanto scontate battute di spirito, i dotti difensori della fede sostennero la colpevolezza e la malvagita’ femminile con le seguenti “inconfutabili” argomentazioni:

• La donna e’ stata generata da una costola di Adamo che, com’e’ noto, e’ di forma ricurva e pertanto la donna e’ per sua natura imperfetta e contorta, sia nel fisico che nello spirito.

• Dall’affermazione precedente e’ facile dedurre quanto la donna sia costituzionalmente perfida, malvagia, infedele, fornicatrice, lussuriosa e menzognera, (impudico scrigno di malizia e di lussuria).

• La donna e’ in assoluto la colpevole del peccato originale essendo stata lei ad offrire la mela al povero Adamo e a indurlo in tentazione (benche’ sia stata creata solo dopo che Dio aveva avvertito Adamo di non mangiare il frutto proibito).

• La donna e’ un essere inferiore. Lo dice anche S.Paolo che, nella sua prima lettera a Timoteo 2,11-15, afferma “La donna impari in silenzio, con tutta sottomissione. Non concedo a nessuna donna di insegnare, ne di dettare legge all’uomo; piuttosto se ne stia in atteggiamento tranquillo. Perche’ prima e’ stato formato Adamo e poi Eva; e non fu Adamo ad essere ingannato, ma fu la donna che, ingannata, si rese colpevole di trasgressione. Essa potra’ essere salvata partorendo figli, a condizione di perseverare nella fede, nella carita’ e nella santificazione, con modestia.”

• La lussuria della donna e’ perniciosa e tale da indurre gli uomini ad atti abominevoli di incontinenza sessuale. L’incontinenza sessuale e’ il vizio preferito del Diavolo per cui la donna e’ naturalmente portata ad essere complice del demonio.

• La donna è la tentatrice in senso assoluto secondo l’atteggiamento misogino del clero in generale e dei monaci in paticolare, assurdamente relegati nei loro monasteri, ricettacoli di sfrenata omosessualità.

• Essendo infine il Diavolo il signore del male, solo da lui le streghe potevano ottenere i loro poteri, abiurando la santa fede.

Quanto sopra non esaurisce certo l’elenco delle dotte argomentazioni; il lettore puo’ trovare altre chicche del genere sui libri di riferimento e sui testi specializzati di § 14.

Si giunse anche ad argomentare se l’utero fosse un animale diabolico nascosto nel ventre femminile oppure una parte intima della natura malvagia della donna.

Quello che occorre sottolineare e’ che tali “apprezzamenti” aggiunti al fatto che alcune di queste donne praticavano la magia bianca e nera (osteggiate dalla chiesa), divennero fatali per la loro incolumita’.

 

Tornando coi piedi per terra, considerando le condizioni della societa’ di allora (§ 10) e tenuto conto che guaritrici, erbarie o presunte streghe erano ormai diventate un esercito di bocche da sfamare in un contesto di generale poverta’, quanto sopra interpretava un inconfessato desiderio di togliere di mezzo una notevole massa di concorrenti allo scarso cibo quotidiano. Questo almeno all’inizio della persecuzione finche’ non venne fiutato il “business”. (§22)

 

L’elemosina, chiesta con sempre maggiore insistenza da parte di queste infelici, cominciava a generare segni di insofferenza da parte dei donatori alle prese con i loro problemi quotidiani e, sovente, al rifiuto di elargire qualcosa corrispondeva una reazione disperata, a volte offensiva e minacciosa da parte delle questuanti.

 

Le streghe, o presunte tali, stavano diventando invise ai piu’ che inconsciamente desideravano liberarsene; questo atteggiamento divenne un terreno fertile per far accettare alle masse i massacri che ne seguirono e la loro “santa e ipocrita” e liberatoria giustificazione.

 

 

§ 13 – DEFINIRE LE COLPE

 

 

Per quanto forte fosse il desiderio di eliminare fisicamente gli individui che vivevano ai margini della societa'(streghe, maghi, omosessuali, ecc.), occorreva trovare delle solide motivazioni che giustificassero la strage di migliaia di persone ed, allo stesso tempo, fornissero una “copertura morale” (morale cristiana!) per salvaguardare quell’alone di fradicia “santita'” che ancora circondava la chiesa.

 

Per gli eretici la cosa era abbastanza facile, essendo in quanto tali ritenuti apostati, essi meritavano pienamente il rito purificatore del rogo, senza che qualcuno se ne scandalizzasse più di tanto.

Occorreva quindi che anche le streghe venissero definite eretiche ed apostate in quanto idolatre ed adoratrici del male, secondo quella definizione del male data dalla chiesa stessa e che aveva la sua massima espressione nel Diavolo. Venne così definito quel concetto di crimen exceptum (stregoneria ed eresia) che consentì ai giudici di disattendere alle più elementari norme di giustizia e di equità.

 

Teologi senza scrupoli, giuristi sadici e filosofi scalzacani si misero al lavoro per attribuire alle presunte streghe quelle colpe necessarie e sufficienti per giustificare il loro ammazzamento senza scrupoli ed il rogo.

Fu un lavoro sistematico, incessante, scrupoloso e ben riuscito che viene qui brevemente riassunto:

• I primi spunti furono probabilmente forniti dalla Bibbia:

o “Non lascierai vivere chi pratica la magia”. (Bibbia Ebr.- Esodo 22,17)

o “Quelli che non credono in me saranno gettati via come rami secchi. Gli uomini li raccatteranno e li getteranno nel fuoco e saranno bruciati”. (Giovanni 15,16)

• Vennero attribuiti al Diavolo poteri malefici straordinari sino a considerarlo come un contro-tipo del Dio cristiano (ricadendo in parte nell’eresia dualista manichea).

In un secondo tempo Calvino ed alcuni scolastici stabilirono, assai stranamente, che il Diavolo puo’ agire solo col permesso di Dio, del quale e’ servo ed esecutore; questo pero’ non impedi’ di proseguire le persecuzioni.

• Non puo’ esistere strega che non sia vincolata da un patto col Diavolo.

• E’ un eretico chi non crede all’opera malefica delle streghe ed al patto demoniaco.

• Vincolate dal patto col Diavolo, e con la sua assistenza, le streghe possono eseguire i piu’ atroci misfatti, come quelli riportati nel seguente campionario:

o uccidere e divorare i propri figli e quelli degli altri

o trasformarsi in gufi o in gatti neri ed introdursi di notte nelle case per rapire, uccidere, estrarre le viscere, succhiare il sangue e divorare i neonati non ancora battezzati (sciocchezze riprese da antiche credenze mitologiche)

o distillare unguenti ed essenze malefiche come quelle della peste e del colera e diffonderle ungendo le porte delle loro vittime; cosa volentieri attribuita agli untori ebrei

o distillare e propinare veleni mortali (si dice che chi puo’ guarire puo’ anche uccidere)

o costruire specchi magici che rispondono alle loro malvagie domande

o disegnare cerchi entro cui invocano il demonio per adorarlo e per offrirgli sacrifici

o evocare qualche demone particolare, imprigionarlo in una bottiglia ed utilizzarlo come coadiutore delle loro arti malefiche

o con l’aiuto del Diavolo possono trovare cose e tesori nascosti

o operare malefici sugli uomini onesti:

? spingendoli a dissolutezze sessuali

? tramutandoli in bestie

? asportando il loro membro virile

? provocando con malefici la loro sterilita’

• copulare col Diavolo, sopratutto dopo la menopausa, perche’ il loro corpo necessita e brama continuamente il liquido seminale del demonio

• possono provocare tempeste e grandine, distruggendo i raccolti

• possono causare naufragi

• praticano atti blasfemi profanando la santa religione

• operano la metamorfosi su se stesse trasformandosi in cani, lupi, lupi mannari, caproni, pipistrelli, asini, corvi, gufi, ecc.

 

 

• volano di notte a cavallo di scope, bastoni o animali per recarsi al sabba o a compiere malefici in localita’ remote

• partecipano a riunioni notturne con altre streghe e ai sabba periodici.

Quanto sopra e’ piu’ che sufficiente per mettere in evidenza la folle stupidita’ e la protervia dei pruriginosi autori di § 14 che, senza accorgersene, sono essi stessi caduti nell’eresia attribuendo ad esseri umani, in carne ed ossa, dei poteri e delle facolta’ che nel mondo pagano erano pertinenza di dei o semidei.

 

Quelle che invece non sono mai state analizzate e studiate a fondo sono le motivazioni incoffessate ed inconfessabili quali:

• eliminare dal contesto sociale persone scomode aliene alle regoli “morali” imposte dalla chiesa

• proiettare e punire sugli altri la innaturale continenza sessuale che devastava il clero-misogino-represso ed i suoi accoliti, trasferendo sulle streghe quei sensi di colpa (e di invidia) provocati dalle loro stesse ed assurde regole di vita

• trasformare persone indifese in capri espiatori di molte delle disgrazie legate al quotidiano

• risolvere indirettamente conflitti di interesse o di insofferenza fra comunita’ rurali confinanti

• stornare l’attenzione della comunita’ dai problemi piu’ gravi ed insoluti concentrandola sulla persecuzione di povere vittime

• additare uno o piu’ colpevoli da sacrificare quando le preghiere, le messe, le benedizioni e le processioni non servivano ad evitare disastrose manifestazioni meteo che distruggevano i raccolti

• ricondurre in definitiva i dubbiosi e i ribelli sotto il controllo della chiesa, attribuendo alle forze del male tutte le disgrazie e gli affanni di una societa’ in sfacelo.

La chiesa e la societa’ contemporanea rinverdirono il concetto di “capro espiatorio”, mutuato dagli antichi egizi e dagli ebrei, e ne fecero una soluzione di comodo per quegli eventi che allora sembravano inspiegabili.

 

Solo in un secondo tempo, con i “processi concatenati”, la caccia delle streghe si trasformo’ in un business di tutto rispetto che diede origine ad un colossale trasferimento di ricchezza a favore del clero e di una magistratura asservita, incompetente e corrotta.

 

 

§ 14 – TEORICI DELLO STERMINIO – (I CORVI)

 

Quello che segue e’ un elenco parziale degli scritti e delle opere che hanno contribuito a trasformare la figura innocua della strega antica in una creatura perversa e demoniaca, da perseguire ed annientare con fanatica determinazione.

L’assunto di tutti questi capolavori e’ uno solo, concorde:

in nome di Dio, massacrate!

 

Tra la meta’ del 1300 e la fine del 1600 di opere simili a queste se ne contavano a centinaia.

 

 

 

REGINONE DI PRÜM – Vescovo e legiferatore canonico.

Anno 906 – LIBER DE SYNODALIBUS CAUSIS ET DISCIPLINIS

ECCLESIASTICIS

.

 

BURCARDO DI WORMS – Vescovo e legiferatore canonico.

Anno 1006 – CORRECTOR ET MEDICUS

Anno 1025 – DECRETA

A quei tempi erano i testi fondamentali di riferimento per le punizioni da infliggere a coloro che praticavano la magia e per quelli che si lasciavano attirare da tali pratiche. Si trattava di punizioni e penitenze abbastanza leggere che, col tempo, furono pesantemente aggravate.

.

GREGORIO IX – Pontefice.

Anno 1233 – VOX IN ROMA

Bolla pontificia che istituisce l’istituto della “santa inquisizione”.

.

 

INNOCENZO IV – Pontefice.

Anno 1252 – AD EXTIRPANDA

Bolla pontificia che prevedeva ed autorizzava gli inquisitori ad applicare la tortura sugli indagati.

.

 

GIOVANNI XXII – Pontefice.

Anno 1320 – SUPER ILLIUS SPECULA

Bolla pontificia per la sistematica definizione dei reati di magia e la regolamentazione delle pene previste.

Questo papa indossava costantemente un “talismano”, donatogli dalla contessa Margherita di Foix, che lo proteggeva da eventuali cibi avvelenati, cosa assai frequente alla corte papale.

.

 

BERNARDO GUI – Teologo e inquisitore.

Anno(1320) – PRACTICA INQUISITIONIS HAERETICAE ET PRAVITATIS

Tra altre cose, sulla pratica delle invocazioni demoniache, estende l’accusa di stregoneria anche a coloro che eseguivano la raccolta delle erbe officinali.

.

 

UNIVERSITA PARIGI – Facolta’ di teologia.

Anno 1328 – VENTINOVE ARTICOLI SULLA STREGONERIA

Questi articoli definiscono “giuridicamente” il reato di stregoneria distinguendolo in due tipi: la stregoneria naturale e la stregoneria eretica. Si stabilisce che la stregoneria eretica e’ strettamente legata ad un patto demoniaco.

* * * * *

In seguito altre universita’ contribuiranno alla definizione della teoria demonologica, sia mediante scritti, sia con risposte dirette ai quesiti che a volte i magistrati ponevano. Tutto cio’ contribui’ ad assicurare un supporto “giuridico” che scaricava la coscienza dei giudici fornendo comode giustificazioni al loro operato.

NICOLAU EYMERICH – Frate Domenicano, Inquisitore.

Anno 1376 – DIRECTORIUM INQUISITORUM

(V. Appendice)

 

CLAUDE THOLOSAN – Giudice del Delfinato per processi di stregoneria.

Anno 1436 – UT MAGORUM ET MALEFICORUM ERRORES

 

JOHANNES NIDER – Domenicano, teologo ed inquisitore.

Anno 1457 – FORMICARIUS

 

JEAN VINETI – Teologo ed inquisitore di Carcassonne.

Anno 1450 – TRACTATUS CONTRA DAEMONUM INVOCATORES

Distingue la streghe in due categorie: quelle antiche, gia’ trattate nel Canon Episcopi, e quelle dei suoi tempi, giudicate particolarmente pericolose perche’ appartenenti ad una oscura setta demonolatrica. Mentre per quelle antiche (ormai inesistenti) propone una blanda punizione (penitenza), per quelle moderne prevede la pena di morte, al fine di legittimare tutto l’apparato inquisitorio e i relativi proventi.

 

NICOLO’ V – Pontefice.

Anno 1451 – CONTRA SACRILEGOS ET DIVINATORES

Bolla speciale destinata all’inquisitore generale delle Fiandre ed ai suoi accoliti con esplicita esortazione ad agire con decisione contro i nemici sacrileghi del cristianesimo.

 

NICOLAS JACQUIER – Teologo.

Anno 1458 – FLAGELLUM HAERETICORUM FASCINARIORUM

Definisce le streghe come una setta demoniaca che si e’ opposta ed ha combattuto l’autorita’ della chiesa sin dai primordi.

 

SISTO IV – Pontefice.

Anno 1475 – BOLLA PAPALE

Conferma e ribadisce quanto gia’ disposto dai suoi predecessori.

 

INNOCENZO VIII – Pontefice.

Anno 1484 – SUMMIS DESIDERANTES

Bolla che convalida in anticipo l’opera di due scrittori, Sprenger e Kramer, i quali si accingevano a pubblicare le loro nuova opera (Malleus Maleficarum).

 

BERNARDO RATEGNO – Domenicano Inquisitore

Anno 1485 – LUCERNA INQUISITORUM HAERETICAE PRAVITATIS

Manuale per la persecuzione delle streghe nel territorio comasco.

 

SPRENGER E KRÄMER – Jacob Sprenger, professore di teologia a Colonia e inquisitore per la regione renana.

Heinrich von Krämer (detto Institor-Institoris), gia’ allora ritenuto affetto da turbe psichiche; teologo e inquisitore per la Germania meridionale.

Anno 1486 – MALLEUS MALEFICARUM

Questo testo convalidato dalla precedente bolla Summis Desiderantes, ha avuto 29 edizioni ed e’ stato tradotto dal latino in italiano, francese e tedesco.

E’ una delle opere piu’ ignobili mai prodotta sotto l’egida della chiesa. Rappresenta la massima espressione dell’ignoranza umana, della perversione, del cieco fanatismo e di una misoginia spinta all’estremo limite; tanto da affermare, in maniera assoluta ed inequivocabile, il legame intercorrente tra il sesso femminile ed il demonio.

Per queste sue “qualita” il testo e’ diventato la base ed il riferimento di altri scritti analoghi succedutisi nel tempo, tipo: “Summa Contra Maleficas” ed altri simili.

 

ULRICH VON MÜLLER – (Detto Molitoris). Dottore in Diritto Canonico e procuratore a Costanza.

Anno 1489 – DE LAMIIS ET PYTHONICIS MULIERIBUS

Trattato di teorie stregonesche.

 

PIERRE MAMORIS – Teologo ed inquisitore.

Anno 1490 – FLAGELLUM MALEFICARUM

Il testo contiene la prima completa definizione del concetto di “sabba”.

 

ULRICH TENGLER – Governatore di Hochstadt.

Anno 1510 – LAYENSPIEGEL

 

SILVESTRO MAZZOLINI – Domenicano, detto anche Prierias.

Anno 1514 – SUMMA SUMMARUM

E’ una specie di dizionario teologico.

Anno 1520 – DE STRIGIMAGARUM DAEMONUNQUE MIRANDIS

Distingue tra le streghe frequentatrici del sabba e quelle, meno pericolose, che partecipano al “Corteo di Diana”.

 

PAULUS GRILLANDUS – Magistrato pontificio.

Anno 1524 – TRACTATUS DE HAERETICIS ET SORTILEGIIS

 

JEAN BODIN – Inquisitore.

Anno 1586 – DE LA DEMONOMANIE DES SORCIERES

. Giurista di fama, nel suo trattato nega che alle streghe possano essere applicate le abituali norme processuali.

Stabilisce che un bambino di tre anni, appena in grado di parlare, possa accusare i propri genitori di stregoneria.

Stabilisce inoltre che le streghe debbano essere bruciate vive ma a “fuoco lento”.

 

GIACOMO VI-GIACOMO I – James Stuart: re di Scozia e, dal 1601, re d’Inghilterra.

Anno 1590 – DAEMONOLOGIE

 

NICOLAS REMY – Procuratore della Lorena, al soldo del duca Carlo III. Si vantava di aver fatto condannare 800 streghe in 16 anni.

E’ una vocazione che Remy aveva sentito sin dall’infanzia quando, mentre giocava per le strade di Tolosa, “il Diavolo si divertiva come un matto a tirargli delle pietre nelle gambe”.

Anno 1595 – DEMONOLATREIAE

 

MARTIN ANTON DEL RIO – Inquisitore.

Anno 1600 – DISQUISITIONUM MAGICARUM – LIBRI SEX

Questo lavoro e’ stato ristampato ben 20 volte. E’ un vero e proprio vademecum di stregoneria. Un manuale enciclopedico di uso pratico per il “perfetto inquisitore”.

 

HENRI BOGUET – Giudice in Borgogna.

Anno 1602 – DISCOURS DES SORCIERES

Questo testo ha avuto 8 edizioni.

 

FRANC.MARIA GUAZZO – Francescano e Inquisitore.

Anno 1608 – COMPENDIUM MALEFICARUM

L’autore ha inserito nel testo numerose xilografie per meglio illustrare i suoi concetti: seduzione della strega, bacio del culo, ecc.

 

PIERRE DE LANCRE – Giudice nei Paesi Baschi.

Anno 1612 – TABLEAU DE L’INCONSTANCE DES MAUVAIS ANGES ET DEMONS

Dotato di illustrazioni esplicative.

 

WILLIAM PERKINS – Inglese di confessione puritana.

Anno 1613 – DISCOURSE OF THE DAMNES ART OF WITCHCRAFT

 

CRISTIANO IV – Re di Danimarca.

Anno 1617 – ORDINANZA SPECIALE CONTRO LA STREGONERIA

Pur non essendo un testo specifico ha avuto un peso notevole nello scatenare numerosi processi contro sospetti di stregoneria, a Copenhagen ed Elsinore.

 

BENEDIKT CARPZOV – Inquisitore e giurista luterano.

Anno 1635 – PRACTICA NOVA INPERIALIS SAXONICA RERUM CRIMINALIUM

Raccolta di sentenze esemplari della Corte di Lipsia, ristampata 9 volte.

 

TRIB. INQUISIZIONE – Tribunale dell’inquisizione di Bologna.

Anno 1679 – SACRO ARSENALE

Manuale in uso presso il tribunale per individuare e processare le streghe.

 

JOSEPH GLANVIL – Rettore della Abbey Church di Bath (Inghilterra).

Anno 1681 – SADDUCISMUS TRIUMPHATUS

 

AUTORI VARI – Generalmente teologi, magistrati e inquisitori.

Anno **** – MANUALI PRATICI PROCESSUALI

Durante i tre secoli in cui duro’ il genocidio delle streghe, gli inquisitori seppero organizzarsi per una sempre piu’ spedita celebrazione dei processi.

Ai primi “manuali ufficiali” vennero ben presto ad aggiungersi i “manuali personali” che ciascun giudice compilava annotando caratteristiche, particolarita’, andamento del processo e relativa sentenza. In un secondo tempo tali manuali passavano di mano, affidati a nuovi giudici e ulteriormente aggiornati.

Venne, col tempo, a costituirsi un corpus giuridico, in grado di dirimere ogni dubbio procedurale, ricco di molteplici informazioni pratiche sulla natura del Diavolo, sulla ricerca del marchio satanico, su metodi e misura nell’applicazione della tortura, sulle modalita’ di esecuzione delle sentenze, ecc.

Alcuni di questi manuali contenevano anche suggerimenti per questionari gia’ predisposti per l’interrogatorio delle vittime; tanto per non dimenticare l’essenziale!

 

 

 

 

§ 15 – IDENTIKIT DEL DIAVOLO

 

Il Diavolo (Satana) è stato un tipico prodotto dell’assurda e dequalificante contro-cultura del clero cristiano medioevale. Questa e’ pertanto una ricostruzione dell’immagine del Diavolo fatta sulla base delle baggianate contenute nei testi di alcuni dei “Corvi” elencati al § 14.

Come aspetto fisico è stato definito:

• figura genericamente antropomorfa

• colore grigio-nero, nero o nerissimo

• ali membranate (tipo pipistrello)

• barba di tipo caprino

• ha un solo dente di cui si serve per marchiare le streghe (non tutti gli autori concordano)

• cervice dotata di grandi e robuste corna

• piedi forcuti

• pelle grinzosa

• dotato di lunga coda con terminale peloso o forcuto

• dotato di grandi mammelle

• privo di circolazione sanguigna sostituita da acqua congelata

• organo sessuale con le seguenti caratteristiche:

o straordinariamente grande e lungo

o pesantissimo

o fatto in parte di ferro e in parte di carne e rivestito con scaglie di materiale corneo

o costantemente in posizione eretta ed in bellavista

o temperatura gelida

o emissione di sperma freddo come il ghiaccio.

Solitamente si presenta nudo. Quando pero’ tenta di circuire o ingannare qualcuno ricorre a vari mascheramenti come, ad esempio:

• assume le sembianze di un bellissimo giovane

• sempre elegantemente vestito

• dotato di calzature o stivali per nascondere i piedi forcuti.

Comunque, anche se mascherato, e’ facile avvertire la sua presenza in quanto puzza di zolfo.

Bisogna poi stare molto attenti perche’ puo’ penetrare, sotto forma di bestie immonde, nel corpo di una persona (preferibilmente donna) generando una terribile possessione demoniaca, o privando istantaneamente un uomo dell’organo maschile.

 

Analogamente a quanto gia’ fatto dalla chiesa in precedenza nella definizione della gerarchia angelica, che comprende entita’ che vanno dagli arcangeli ai ….cherubini, anche il Diavolo ha a sua disposizione una gerarchia di entita’ infernali, con compiti specifici e ben definiti.

Evitiamo quindi certe confusioni!

Il nome proprio del Diavolo e’ SATANA; altri nomi usati impropriamente e con i quali si tende a confondere le idee, sono pertinenza di demoni, piu’ o meno importanti e con compiti particolari, agli ordini ed alle strette dipendenze del Diavolo; si intende qui’ parlare di:

• Asmodeo

• Astarotte

• Baal

• Baphomet

• Behemoth

• Belfagor

• Belial

• Belzebu’

• Berlicche

• Iblis

• Leviatano

• Lucifero

• Malcommetto

• Mammone/a

• Manometto

• Mefistofele

• Messer Gaio

• Messer Leonardo

• Principe delle tenebre

• Salvanello

• Tizia

• ecc.

• ecc.

Oltre ai detti personaggi, che vanno per la maggiore, esite poi il grande esercito dei demoni non qualificati (la bassa truppa), che qualche genio ha preteso di contare e quantificare. Rammentiamo qui’ alcuni di questi geniali ed impegnati studiosi:

• il teologo spagnolo Alfonso Lopez De La Spina ne ha contati 133.306.668

• il teologo Sigmund Feyerabend, nel 1569, era gia’ arrivato a 26 miliardi

• altri ignoti volenterosi non si sono spinti oltre i 6.700.000.

Particolarmente importanti, per quel che riguarda la cerimonia del sabba, sono i demoni “incúbi e succúbi”, che i “corvi” di § 14 si sono affrettati ad inventare a naturale completamento delle loro idiozie. Pertanto, tra i partecipanti al sabba:

• i demoni incúbi rappresentano una particolare gratificazione fatta dal Diavolo alle streghe: essi avevano il compito di soddisfare i desideri sessuali delle partecipanti con un coito di natura “glaciale”;

• analogamente i demoni succúbi dovevano assogettarsi alle voglie di eventuali partecipanti di genere maschile.

Alcuni teologi, esperti demonologi, hanno sostenuto che l’Inferno sia organizzato come una struttura/sistema feudale del quale e’ capo un Imperatore (Satana), a cui sono sottoposti:

• sette re (Asmoneo, Astarotte, Baal, ecc.)

• una ventina di duchi

• dieci marchesi

• undici conti

• e alcuni presidenti

Altri invece sostengono l’esistenza di una “Corte Infernale”, dove l’Anticristo sarebbe il buffone di corte e Mammone il tesoriere; esisterebbero poi coppieri, siniscalchi, panettieri, ecc.

Altri ancora danno per certo che l’Inferno e’ strutturato come un esercito con tanto di generali, colonnelli, capitani, marescialli, ecc. a capo di legioni di diavolacci brutti e cattivi.

 

La demonologia era rimasta a lungo poco studiata in ambiente europeo (mentre nel Vicino Oriente era stata oggetto di studio da parte di manichei, zoroastriani, iazidi, gnostici, sufi, ecc.). Solo in epoca piu’ tarda inizio’ a svilupparsi anche da noi un “catalogo” di diavoli – e poi anche di angeli – con relativi attributi ed inquadramento gerarchico (re, principi, generali dell’Inferno, ecc.) Tant’e’ che, mentre nel ‘300 Dante dovette inventarsi i nomi dei diavoli e degli angeli, nel corso del ‘500, sia a seguito del neoplatonismo e di contatti con la Cabala, (a sua volta in sviluppo) sia a seguito del maggiore interesse causato dai processi alle streghe, inizio’ a svilupparsi quella cultura delle potenze celesti ed infernali che sfocio’ nei trattati di demonologia del ‘600 e dei secoli successivi.

(Rif. 105)

 

§ 16 – LA RICERCA DEL CONSENSO

 

Reinventare il Diavolo e demonizzare streghe e guaritrici non sarebbero stati comunque elementi sufficienti per convincere anche i piu’ sprovveduti non solo ad accettare il massacro che si stava prospettando ma anche a farlo ritenere “opera santa” finalizzata a salvare l’unica vera fede e la santa e proterva madre chiesa.

 

Era necessario che quel vago timore, da sempre nutrito dalla gente nei confronti della strega, si tramutasse in terrore e in odio furibondo. Per ammazzare impunemente le streghe occorreva che la massa credesse ciecamente nei poteri demoniaci delle streghe stesse.

 

Il clero si mise quindi alacremente all’opera per realizzare un colossale lavaggio del cervello, ricorrendo a molti artifici e indicando dal pulpito la strega come unica fonte di tutti i mali che affliggevano la societa’. Tra le tante iniziative:

• venne imposta la lettura in chiesa delle accuse e delle sentenze di condanna delle streghe

• la stessa lettura veniva eseguita in pubblico poco prima dell’esecuzione

• si tenevano martellanti prediche contro la stregoneria durante i processi e prima dell’esecuzione

• si organizzavano turni di preghiera collettiva

• si tenevano sermoni di natura tale da indurre gli stessi fedeli a “vigilare” e a individuare possibili streghe nell’ambito della propria famiglia e tra i conoscenti e chi non collaborava era minacciato di scomunica

• le sedi dei processi furono trasferite in citta’, o in grossi borghi, e le esecuzioni fissate nei giorni festivi per favorire la massima affluenza del pubblico (prima si ascolta la messa e poi si assiste al rogo!)

• molti preti divennero famosi per lo zelo con cui individuavano e deferivano all’inquisizione i presunti colpevoli di stregoneria (regione del Cambresis)

• in alcune parrocchie gli inquisitori affissero delle lettere e dei bandi sollecitando categoricamente la delazione da parte dei fedeli (Franca Contea, 1657)

• catechismo e prediche contribuirono a diffondere quei concetti di:

o patto col Diavolo

o sabba

che la massa ancora ignorava

• il clero sviluppo’ ed alimento’ un assurdo sentimento repressivo nei confronti della sessualita’ in generale ritenendola di per se stessa, atto ispirato dal demonio ed, in qualche occasione, riconducibile ad atto di vera e propria stregoneria.

Prima la chiesa cattolica e poi quella riformata definirono quindi in maniera assurdamente teorica un concetto di stregoneria sino ad allora sconosciuto e lo imposero ad una societa’ ignorante ed asservita per togliere di mezzo quelli che ritenevano in definitiva, potenziali nemici e concorrenti ai loro interessi di bottega.

 

Era inammissibile che una strega riuscisse a curare, con i suoi preparati, dei malanni sui quali preghiere e benedizioni non avevano avuto effetto!!

 

Un altro fattore che contribui’ a portare la persecuzione a livelli allucinanti fu l’adozione, in quasi tutta l’Europa, del sistema giuridico inquisitorio.

Ancora oggi, in qualche paese della Lunigiana, sono visibili, sopra gli ingressi delle case, strane sculture (faccioni) a suo tempo disposte per tenere lontane le streghe e/o gli spiriti demoniaci.

 

§ 17 – SISTEMA INQUISITORIO

 

Affermatosi lentamente in tutta Europa (salvo poche eccezioni), nel corso del 1200-1300, questo sistema fu “la manna caduta dal cielo” per tutti gli inquisitori e permise loro, restando impuniti, di esercitare ogni genere di barbarie.

Questo sistema, eliminando la responsabilita’ diretta del denunciante, delegava il compito di sostenere l’accusa al magistrato che poteva agire e disporre, indisturbato e protetto dalla chiesa e dal sistema, sia sulla base di “soffiate” di anonimi delatori, sia agendo personalmente sulla base di sue personali e prevenute “sensazioni”.

 

Il sistema inquisitorio prima e l’adozione della tortura quasi subito dopo, facilitarono enormemente e misero nelle mani degli inquisitori un’arma potentissima ed incontrollabile. Le raccomandazioni di moderazione nell’uso di questi strumenti, da parte di principi e governanti illuminati, caddero quasi sempre nel vuoto.

 

Eliminata la responsabilita’ diretta dei delatori anonimi e quindi protetti da possibili ritorsioni, una miriade di individui si senti’ in dovere di denunciare per motivi di vendetta, invidia, rivalsa, illeciti guadagni ed altri bassi istinti, persone innocenti trascinate in processi di stregoneria dai quali si usciva, nella maggior parte dei casi, per la via del rogo.

Le garanzie per l’imputato vennero totalmente cancellate; pochissimi di essi potevano permettersi un difensore che in pratica era impotente contro il sistema. Era sufficiente la dichiarazione di due testimoni dell’accusa e la confessione strappata con la tortura per essere mandati a morte.

 

Per quanto riguarda i tribunali interessati essi si possono ripartire in due categorie:

• tribunali ecclesiastici (inquisizione in senso stretto) che avevano il compito di individuare e smascherare i delitti di stregoneria, formulare le accuse e poi consegnare l’imputato ai tribunali laici (secolari) per lo svolgimento del processo (il lavoro sporco).

Questo per un motivo tanto semplice quanto ipocrita: il prete e’ ministro di Dio in terra e quindi “santo e buono” per definizione; pertanto il prete non puo’ esercitare atti di violenza su nessuno, streghe comprese

• tribunali secolari (magistratura ordinaria) che, alla pari dei tribunali ecclesiastici, potevano individuare, arrestare e condurre il processo dei presunti colpevoli (con il beneplacito degli inquisitori), facendosi carico anche del “lavoro sporco” che la chiesa ipocritamente rifiutava: tortura, esecuzione, ecc.

 

In alcuni di questi tribunali, a volte ma non sempre, era prevista la presenza di una giuria popolare laica che aveva il compito di emettere il verdetto finale.

 

Occorre ora una precisazione importante.

In determinate circostanze, quando l’accusato era persona ricca ed influente (e quindi poteva permetterselo) era ammessa la presenza di un avvocato difensore che, se in sede processuale, ben poco poteva contro la furia cieca ed ottusa degli inquisitori locali, diventava importante in seguito per il ricorso in appello contro la sentenza, in quegli stati ove era prevista una Corte Suprema alla quale appellarsi.

E’ necessario rammentare che, all’epoca della caccia alle streghe, l’ Europa era frammentata in una congerie di staterelli (piccoli regni, ducati, principati, ecc.) molti dei quali non prevedevano gradi di magistratura superiore, quali i 9 Parlaments francesi, Corti Imperiali d’Appello ed altre strutture del genere che non sempre esistevano o erano operanti.

Tutto questo spiega, almeno in parte, il divario riscontrato tra i processi istruiti e le esecuzioni eseguite (dal 50 al 90% dei processi).

 

Entrambe le strutture partivano dal presupposto che:

l’accusato era colpevole sino a dimostrazione del contrario.

 

Se era innocente sarebbe stato certamente protetto da dio e quindi in grado di sopportare qualsiasi angheria, compresa la tortura. Altro presupposto importante sanciva che se durante il processo:

- l’accusata taceva era un segno palese che il Diavolo la sosteneva

- l’accusata parlava per negare e difendersi allora si dava per scontata la sua complicita’ col Diavolo.

 

Un particolare va notato: molti processi vennero attivati a seguito di specifiche denunce di soggetti che, “in buona fede”, ritenevano di essere stati vittime e danneggiati da qualche sortilegio (la perdita del raccolto per una grandinata, la moria del bestiame ed altro). In questi casi i tribunali non ebbero esitazioni a ritenere la presunta strega colpevole del maleficio, ma nessuno di essi stabili’ una quota di “risarcimento danni” a favore dei denuncianti. Tutto cio’ che si poteva carpire alla vittima, mediante il sequestro dei beni, finiva invariabilmente nelle tasche dei magistrati e dell’inquisizione.

 

 

§ 18 – IL PROCESSO

 

Riportiamo di seguito le fasi sequenziali piu’ importanti attraverso le quali si svolgeva un processo di stregoneria con il sistema inquisitorio. La sequenza e’ quella che si puo’ ricavare dall’esame degli atti processuali esistenti e dalle indicazioni riportate sui manuali citati nel § 14.

Non e’ detto che questa sequenza fosse sempre rispettata; alcune fasi potevano essere omesse ed alcune altre reiterate. Comunque questo e’ l’iter piu’ logico e completo comunemente accertato.

 

La tendenza a spettacolarizzare il processo era molto marcata; si cercava di dare il massimo di pubblicita’ al dibattito e a protrarlo nel tempo (sopratutto se l’accusato era benestante).

Un’altra caratteristica era quella di annotare e verbalizzare ogni atto, dichiarazione o evento processuale con estrema pignoleria; questo ha consentito agli storici di ricostruire, con molta precisione, lo svolgimento di alcuni processi molto significativi.

Normalmente la verbalizzazione degli atti processuali veniva affidata ad un notaio patentato.

 

 

§ 18.1 – IL PROCESSO: SOSPETTI ED ACCUSE

 

Nel periodo di massimo furore persecutorio delle streghe, essere accusati di aver fatto un patto col Diavolo e praticare malefici era una cosa facilissima, specie nelle campagne, nell’ambito di piccoli miserabili villaggi.

Erano necessarie alcune condizioni, assai frequenti nel contesto sociale in cui era maturata questa follia:

• essere donna

• essere sola ed indipendente

• vivere miseramente ai margini della societa’

• vivere di elemosina, sovente richiesta con insistenza.

In alcuni casi, e senza altre motivazioni, il sussistere di una o alcune di queste condizioni fu piu’ che sufficiente per provocare l’arresto “d’ufficio” ed avviare il processo per stregoneria.

Molte di queste persone, pur essendo delle miserabili, venivano arrestate come “esca” da cui ottenere, con la tortura, i nomi di altre persone, presunte complici, economicamente piu’ dotate e quindi in grado di arricchire, con successivi processi, i magistrati, il clero e tutti gli altri appartenenti all’apparato giudiziario.

 

In altri casi invece la vittima veniva accusata da testimoni di comodo, ai quali era garantito l’anonimato ed una adeguata ricompensa, disposti a giurare il falso su fatti e circostanze che oggi possono apparire come dementi.

Quello che segue e’ un campionario, ovviamente incompleto di circostanze e di atti anche innocenti che potevano aprire la strada verso il rogo:

• non praticare alcuna religione

• non andare regolarmente in chiesa

• non rispettare il riposo domenicale

• avere pronunciato qualche bestemmia

• fornicare e prostituirsi

• essere sospetti di adulterio

• aver abortito o aiutato ad abortire

• accennare qualche passo di danza in prossimita’ o attorno ad un fuoco, sole o in compagnia

• possedere un rosario privo della relativa crocetta

• tenere in grembo, accarezzare e/o nutrire un gatto nero (§31 – Gatti e

demoni) • pronunciare preghiere o fare atti di devozione in chiese in rovina e sconsacrate

• tenere in casa un galletto nero

• raccogliere erbe e radici durante la festa di S. Antonio

• raccogliere erbe e radici genuflessi verso oriente

• essere omosessuali

• aver curato con pozioni o unguenti un infermo che poi era morto

• praticare in genere l’arte di curare con le erbe

• aver pronunciato, nel corso di un litigio, parole oscure ritenute maledizioni in grado di procurare il “malocchio” e la “malasorte”

• essere figlia/figlio di donna gia’ condannata per stregoneria

• avere inveito e/o minacciato qualcuno che aveva rifiutato l’elemosina.

Questo e’ dunque un campionario delle banalita’ che, se opportunamente testimoniate da qualcuno, potevano provocare l’arresto ed il processo.

Era sufficiente che in qualche sperduto villaggio accadesse qualcosa di insolito come:

una qualsiasi disgrazia, una grandinata, la morte improvvisa di una persona, una malattia, un incendio, un furto, un naufragio, un infortunio ad un bimbo, la morte repentina di una vacca malnutrita

che subito il fatto veniva collegato all’opera malefica di una qualche mendicante brontolona passata, alcuni giorni prima, a chiedere l’elemosina o a qualche vicina/o particolarmente indisponente, di cui si desiderava liberarsi.

 

In altri casi le accuse erano piu’ specifiche e tali da lasciare intendere come la scusa della stregoneria fosse sovente un comodo mezzo per dirimere questioni familiari, politiche o per togliere dai piedi presenze fastidiose ed indesiderate.

Molte madri di famiglia dispotiche ed autoritarie verso il marito o i figli adulti, furono accusate di stregoneria dai loro stessi congiunti e tolte di mezzo.

Se poi una donna sola era ricca ed esercitava una qualche influenza nell’ambito della comunita’ locale, un’accusa di stregoneria ben congegnata consentiva a lontani parenti e ai magistrati di appropriarsi e spartirsi il patrimonio senza tanti problemi di successione.

Per inciso, Giovanna d’Arco fini’ sul rogo non solo per motivi politici, insufficienti ad una tale condanna, ma in quanto accusata anche di essere strega ed aver eseguito riti pagani danzando intorno al grande faggio magico di Domrémy ed averne adornato i rami con ghirlande di fiori; se si fosse trattato solo di delitto politico o di tradimento avrebbe dovuto essere decapitata o strangolata.

 

Nei paesi originariamente celtici le sacerdotesse del culto locale (druidesse), man mano che l’invasione cristiana procedeva, vennero dichiarate streghe per definizione. Pur non potendo essere accusate di aver fatto un patto col Diavolo, le druidesse erano invise al clero in quanto concorrenti della bottega cristiana e, sopratutto perche’, pur essendo donne esercitavano funzioni sacerdotali; cosa assolutamente inconcepibile all’assurda misoginia dei sacerdoti cristiani.

 

La strega era, nella maggior parte dei casi, persona indigente e miserabile che vivacchiava con la raccolta dei frutti spontanei che la natura offriva e di elemosine sovente negate. Nelle campagne dove l’assistenza medica era sconosciuta (e persino impensabile), la strega cercava di trarre sostentamento sfruttando quelle nozioni che le erano state tramandate, preparando rimedi a base di erbe da vendere o scambiare con cibo con quanti erano nella necessita’ di curarsi. Questo la rendeva sospetta e quindi perseguibile, da parte della chiesa, per almeno due ragioni:

• la malattia veniva considerata e predicata dalla chiesa come un “castigo divino” per i peccati commessi e pertanto gli unici rimedi possibili, per i poveracci, erano il pentimento e la preghiera. Era temerario anche il solo pensare che potessero esserci altri rimedi al di la’ della superstizione cristiana.

• pero’ chi aveva quattrini poteva indurre il padreterno a chiudere un occhio ricorrendo a rimedi del tutto simili a quelli delle streghe, preparati nelle cantine dei monasteri da monaci erboristi e/o alchimisti; verso di essi la strega, con le sue modeste pretese, si poneva in fastidiosa concorrenza.

• restava comunque mal vista la concorrenza tra i medici “laureati”, provenienti dall’ambiente universitario ortodosso e le erboriste, mammane, ecc. che si muovevano in un ambiente teologicamente sospetto.

E’ interessante rileggere a questo proposito SHAKESPEARE, Romeo e Giulietta, Atto II, Sc.III – La cella di Frate Lorenzo.

 

 

§ 18.2 – IL PROCESSO: L’ARRESTO

 

Su ordine del magistrato o dell’inquisizione almeno quattro militi venivano incaricati di arrestare la presunta strega, giocando sul fattore sorpresa.

L’arrestata doveva essere immediatamente posta dentro una grossa cesta e condotta in carcere tenendola ben sollevata da terra. Si riteneva che se la strega avesse toccato terra avrebbe potuto acquisire la forza di resistere a qualsiasi tortura procurandosi il cosidetto “maleficia taciturnitatis”.

 

Anche il fattore sorpresa era importante in quanto la strega, se messa in allarme, avrebbe potuto volare via a cavallo di una scopa o di un animale, oppure acquisire il maleficia taciturnitatis:

• bevendo un miscuglio di acqua, vino e menta

• mangiando una focaccia impastata con il latte di una madre e di una figlia

• inghiottendo del sapone ammollato in acqua

• uccidendo un neonato, non ancora battezzato, bruciandolo e cospargendosi il capo con le sue ceneri.

 

 

§ 18.3 – IL PROCESSO: IL MARCHIO DEL DIAVOLO

 

Durante i processi di stregoneria la ricerca del marchio era un atto propedeutico ed indispensabile per la prosecuzione del processo stesso e per l’applicazione della tortura.

Quindi all’inizio del processo la strega veniva denudata e rasata dalla testa ai piedi in modo da rintracciare sul suo corpo quel marchio che provava indiscutibilmente il suo patto demoniaco.

Secondo i saggi inquisitori:

• non poteva esistere strega che non avesse fatto un patto col Diavolo

• non poteva esistere patto che non fosse segnato dall’indispensabile marchio.

La ricerca del marchio, se questo non era subito e chiaramente individuabile, poteva durare ore, a volte giorni, nel qual tempo zelanti ed esperti pungitori trafiggevano il corpo della vittima, comprese le parti piu’ intime, con degli spilloni per individuare e far risaltare il segno nascosto.

 

Si supponeva che il patto col Diavolo potesse essere stipulato in varie occasioni, per esempio nel corso di particolari cerimonie solenni notturne, alle quali partecipavano streghe ed aspiranti tali. Nel corso di tali cerimonie le streghe evocavano il Diavolo e lo onoravano uccidendo neonati e bevendo il loro sangue.

Pero’ la maggior parte degli autori di § 14 riteneva che le cose avvenissero in altro modo e che fosse il Diavolo a scegliere ed adescare la donna (o l’uomo) con cui stipulare il patto, secondo una procedura abbastanza convenzionale:

• Di solito il Diavolo assumeva l’aspetto di un bel giovane, molto elegante ed appariva alla candidata strega adescandola con l’offerta di appetitose ricompense, concessione di poteri personali o promesse di travolgenti appagamenti sessuali, cosa quest’ultima assai apprezzata e gradita da parte delle donne di una certa eta’ e sole al mondo.

 

 

• La candidata doveva ripudiare la fede cristiana, sputando e calpestando un crocifisso o altra imagine sacra.

 

• La strega veniva poi ribattezzata nel nome di Satana e gli rendeva omaggio baciandogli il sedere.

• Qualche volta (non tutti concordano) la strega riceveva in dono una moneta, destinata a trasformarsi in una pietra inutile, non appena il patto fosse stato concluso.

• Il patto veniva redatto e sottoscritto col sangue su di una pergamena vergine e conteneva una dichiarazione formale del seguente tenore:

 

“Mi impegno a ricompensare il mio signore Satana, tra venti anni, di tutti i doni che Egli mi fara’. Con questo patto gli concedo il mio corpo e la mia anima di cui potra’ disporre a suo piacimento.”

• Infine la nuova strega riceveva dal Diavolo un marchio in un punto ben nascosto del corpo; in genere nelle parti intime, ma non sempre. Il marchio poteva consistere nella particolare disposizione di alcuni nei, un segno sulla pelle avente la forma di una zampa di pollo, oppure il cosidetto “occhio del Diavolo” che consisteva in uno speciale neo collocato nella parte interna di una coscia, in prossimita’ della vagina.

Il marchio poteva anche essere invisibile e consistere in una piccola parte dell’epidermide resa insensibile al dolore e non sanguinante se trafitta. In determinate occasioni, al fine di individuare comunque il marchio, vennero usati particolari spilloni con punta rientrante quando erano premuti sul corpo della vittima. In questo caso la mancanza di dolore veniva interpretata come chiaro segno dell’esistenza del marchio. Questi spilloni con la punta retrattile furono inventati, all’inizio del seicento, dal medico inglese Hopkins per facilitare il lavoro degli inquisitori.

Alcuni testi, riferiti alle streghe nostrane, affermavano che dopo un iniziale consenso al patto, il Diavolo portasse la donna in volo al “Grande Noce di Benevento”, sotto il quale riceveva il giuramento della nuova adepta.

 

Qualche volta il Diavolo esagerava. Nel 1657, sul corpo di Janet Bruce, una strega scozzese, gli attenti ricercatori di marchi ne trovarono quattro.

 

Diventata strega a tutti gli effetti, la nuova adepta aveva la facolta’ di invocare il Diavolo, o altri demoni, e ricevere precise istruzioni e sostegno nell’operare malefici, comporre pozioni ed unguenti diabolici e apprendere formule segrete e simboli magici.

 

 

§ 18.4 – IL PROCESSO: L’INTERROGATORIO

 

Dopo aver individuato sul corpo della vittima il marchio satanico (cosa che era del tutto scontata e che di per se meritava gia’ il rito purificatore del rogo), si procedeva all’interrogatorio, opponendo alle eventuali negazioni dell’accusata le dichiarazioni di comodo dei testi dell’accusa.

 

Comunque si riteneva la colpa accertata quando esistevano due testimoni oculari a carico oppure una confessione resa dall’accusata, spontaneamente o sotto tortura.

 

I testi dell’accusa erano solitamente degli sprovveduti ruffiani, sovente pagati sottobanco, disposti a giurare qualsiasi cosa come “l’aver visto la strega operare malefici e volare di notte a cavallo di qualcosa” ed altre assurdità del genere (la prova dello spettro). Qualche volta si trattava di persone che ritenevano di essere state lese dai malefici della strega a seguito di grandinate, morti improvvise di parenti ed altro.

 

Viceversa i testi a difesa erano quasi sempre assenti; chiunque avesse osato deporre a favore dell’accusata veniva automaticamente sospettato di complicita’ e correva il rischio di essere a sua volta processato.

 

L’interrogatorio procedeva secondo schemi quasi standardizzati e presumeva l’ammissione (confessione), senza riserve, di qualsiasi colpa gli inquirenti volessero addosssare alla vittima, pena il ricorso alla tortura.

L’idea della tortura incuteva un tale terrore nelle vittime che, pur di evitarla, molte confessavano in questa fase del processo i piu’ fantastici ed orrendi malefici, ritenendo che il rogo fosse ancora un male minore in confronto alla ferocia degli inquisitori.

 

Un altro motivo che poteva indurre l’accusata a confessare “tutto e subito” era la vaga e non sempre mantenuta promessa dei magistrati di commutare la pena di morte nel carcere a vita, nel bando o altre pene minori.

 

Malgrado la loro disponibilita’ iniziale molte accusate venivano ugualmente passate alla tortura quando l’inquirente, a fronte di risposte confuse dettate dalla paura, sospettava qualche reticenza.

 

 

§ 18.5 – IL PROCESSO: LA TORTURA

 

Occorre anzitutto distinguere tra due tipi fondamentali di tortura:

• la tortura punitiva

• la tortura inquisitoria

La tortura punitiva consisteva, in determinate occasioni, in un incremento di sofferenza e di dolore applicato ad un condannato prima della sua esecuzione capitale, come attanagliarlo con pinze roventi o altro. Era una cosa abbastanza frequente nel caso di condanna per il reato di lesa maesta’. Anche la gogna, le frustate, il taglio di una mano possono essere considerati atti di tortura punitiva.

Nell’ambito della persecuzione delle streghe questo provvedimento non risulta sia mai stato applicato.

 

La tortura inquisitoria venne invece pesantemente applicata (c. 90% dei casi) nel corso dei processi contro le presunte streghe. Lo scopo di questo provvedimento era duplice:

• la strega doveva confessare di aver commesso tutte le incredibili idiozie di cui l’accusavano gli inquisitori clericali o laici.

• La strega doveva denunciare i suoi complici o altre streghe di sua conoscenza allo scopo di attivare una catena di processi che, in definitiva, consentiva ai magistrati ed al clero di avviare una spirale persecutoria solitamente fonte di illeciti e cospicui arricchimenti. Un processo di stregoneria, oltre alla condanna della strega “esca”, comportava sempre la confisca dei suoi beni e di quelli della famiglia; questo in base alla consuetudine, entrata in uso dal 1184 ed anni seguenti, che aggiungeva alla pena del rogo anche la confisca.

E’ inutile sottolineare che portando la tortura a limiti di sofferenza insostenibili TUTTI sono disposti a confessare TUTTO quello che un inquisitore pazzo vuole si confessi:

 

Hai partecipato al sabba? Devi solo rispondere si o no ma ricordati che se rispondi no la tortura continua.

 

Il primo caso noto di applicazione della tortura a scopo inquisitorio risale al 1228, presso il tribunale della citta’ di Verona. L’esempio fu poi baldanzosamente seguito dal clero nel 1252 con la papale benedizione ed il sostegno di Innocenzo IV.

 

L’applicazione della tortura non competeva solo alle presunte streghe, anche i testimoni dell’accusa che si dimostravano reticenti potevano essere torturati onde ottenere testimonianze “adeguate” ed in linea con quello che gli inquisitori volevano sentirsi dire.

 

Si cercava di fare in modo – ma non sempre era possibile – che la vittima non morisse durante i tormenti; era necessario arrivare alla fine del processo e procedere, con gran chiasso, alla esecuzione in pubblico in modo che questa servisse da esempio.

 

Qualora pero’ la vittima morisse a causa dei tormenti i giudici non erano ritenuti responsabili; la colpa era attribuita al Diavolo che aveva anticipato la scadenza del patto, stipulato secondo quanto descritto in § 18.3, impossessandosi della sua preda prima che fosse ridotta in cenere sul rogo.

 

Non e’ mai stato accertato quanti accusati siano morti in carcere per le sofferenze subite e quanti altri si siano suicidati per non essere sottoposti ad altri tormenti. Un fatto e’ certo che nel 95% dei casi di esecuzione capitale si e’ trattato di accusati “confessi” in seguito alle torture subite.

 

La tortura poteva essere applicata piu’ volte in caso di sospetta reticenza o di ammissioni confuse. Nella città di Dreissigacher (Germania) si e’ arrivati al caso limite di torturare una vittima per 56 volte consecutive.

Amor di Dio e carita’ cristiana hanno fatto si’ che gli inquisitori escogitassero tormenti talmente raffinati che vale la pena di citarne qualcuno; il lettore impressionabile puo’ saltare a fine paragrafo:

• I tratti di corda. Venivano applicati normalmente per tre volte consecutive. Le mani della vittima venivano legate dietro la schiena e poi fissate ad una corda servita da carrucola. Sollevando la vittima da terra, con strappi piu’ o meno violenti, si produceva la lussazione degli omeri. Questo era il tipo di tortura piu’ frequente.

 

 

• Lo squassamento. E’ una variante del metodo precedente. La vittima veniva appesantita con carichi legati ai piedi, variabili tra i 15 ed i 25 chilogrammi. Uno strappo estremamente violento della corda produceva la fuoriuscita delle articolazioni delle braccia e, sovente, la rottura dei polsi.

• Il cavalletto. Tavolaccio sul quale la vittima era distesa con polsi e caviglie legati a funi che facevano capo ad un argano. L’azione dell’argano provocava lo stiramento degli arti con effetti simili ai due trattamenti precedenti. Questo tipo di tortura poteva essere protratto anche per 30-40 ore e con tensione crescente delle corde.

• La ruota: la figura non ha bisogno di commenti

 

 

• Le compressioni. Tra le piu’ comuni:

o viti per stritolare arti e dita

o ganasce a vite per la testa

o stritolatori per genitali maschili

o stivali con viti, da applicarsi a gambe e piedi.

• La sedia di ferro. Era una specialita’ tedesca. La vittima veniva fatta sedere nuda su di una sedia di ferro arroventata.

• Pinze e tenaglie:

o Le pinze venivano usate per strappare le unghie (Scozia)

o Le tenaglie arroventate si usavano per strappare lembi di pelle.

• Tormenti diversi. Applicati in varie localita’ secondo l’estro degli inquisitori:

o la vittima veniva costretta ad ingurgitare enormi quantita’ d’acqua (Spagna e Francia)

o le narici delle vittime venivano riempite di acqua e calce viva

o la vittima veniva stesa bocconi su di un letto di rovi e poi si passava lungo la spina dorsale un pesante rullo munito di aculei

o bruciature con alcool e zolfo cosparsi sul corpo delle vittime

o la vittima veniva incatenata ad un muro (o in piedi su di uno sgabello) e costretta a bastonate ad una veglia forzata per parecchi giorni, sino al totale istupidimento

o la culla di Giuda dove l’interrogato, legato mani e piedi, veniva fatto dondolare su di un cuneo che gli tagliava lentamente la pancia

o asportazione dei capezzoli femminili con lame taglientissime e cauterizzazione delle piaghe con colata di piombo fuso (specialita’ di alcuni inquisitori papali dell’Italia meridionale)

• Mutilazioni varie. Asportazione di occhi, orecchi, dita.

Al dolore fisico delle vittime occorre anche aggiungere (e non era cosa da poco) la cocente umiliazione dovuta alla totale nudita’ e alla perdita di deiezioni conseguenti all’incapacita’ di controllare i propri sfinteri.

Notare che a quei tempi la chiesa considerava peccaminoso spogliarsi nudi anche per prendere un bagno. In certe occasioni il bagno era permesso solo in presenza di un prete salmodiante (e probabilmente sporco come un maiale).

 

Tanto per citare qualche esempio:

• A Ringingen (Germania); la presunta strega Anna Spulerin fu privata degli occhi, delle orecchie e le furono strappate le braccia.

• Al presunto mago Fian gli zelanti inquisitori scozzesi applicarono gli stivali con tanta ferocia da frantumargli le ossa delle gambe e dei piedi sino a procurargli la fuoriuscita del midollo osseo.

 

 

§ 18.6 – IL PROCESSO: LA CONFESSIONE

 

Oggetto della confessione era tutto cio’ che il magistrato voleva sentirsi dire, sulla base di schemi prefissati, per cui il termine stesso “confessione” e’ del tutto pleonastico; si dovrebbe piuttosto parlare di

“ammissione cieca e senza riserve di fatti impossibili ed inesistenti”

 

C’erano comunque, nell’ambito dello schema confessionale, dei punti chiave, accuratamente verbalizzati, dai quali non si poteva prescindere.

• IL PATTO COL DIAVOLO. Dove, come e quando la strega aveva stipulato il patto demoniaco, nei termini gia’ riportati nel § 18.3. Patto che comunque era dato come dimostrato, senza ombra di dubbio, dal marchio puntualmente rinvenuto sul corpo dell’accusata.

• IL VOLO. Dato per scontato che tutte le streghe potevano “volare”, l’accusata doveva chiarire dove, quando e perche’ aveva volato e con quali degli accorgimenti dettagliati nel § 19.

• LA PARTECIPAZIONE AL SABBA. Nessuna strega poteva esimersi dal partecipare al sabba e rendere omaggio al Diavolo; quindi l’accusata doveva dare ampie informazioni sullo svolgimento della sarabanda, nei termini dettagliati al § 20.

• IL NOME DEI COMPLICI. Forse il punto piu’ importante della confessione e di tutto il processo. Si trattava di acquisire i nominativi di altri possibili colpevoli (complici di malefici, partecipanti al sabba) da processare, preferibilmente ricchi o almeno benestanti, per poterli convenientemente spolpare.

Alcune streghe cercavano di superare l’imbarazzo denunciando i nomi di persone gia’ decedute, cosa che gli inquirenti non accettavano e che comportava per l’accusata un nuovo giro in camera di tortura.

Altre furono costrette con atroci tormenti a denunciare i propri familiari sui quali l’inquisizione aveva gia’ messo gli occhi ed attendeva solo una scusa valida per poterli catturare.

Infine molte accusate, conscie di non aver piu’ nulla da perdere, colsero l’occasione per una tardiva vendetta (…si go da morir mi, vòi che ne mora anco delle altre), denunciando:

o coloro che in qualche occasione avevano astiosamente negato elemosina ed aiuto

o vescovi e preti appartenenti all’inquisizione

o nobili superbi ed intolleranti

o ricchi mercanti che tenevano egoisticamente stretti i cordoni della borsa

o gli stessi magistrati del tribunale e le loro mogli

o ecc.

Anche se molti nomi eccellenti vennero lasciati cadere, per ovvi motivi, nondimeno tutto questo contribui’ in seguito a generare quella massa di processi a catena, ai quali si accenna al § 21.

• MALEFICI E COLPE DIVERSE. Quelli che si ritenevano direttamente attuati dalla strega quali avvelenamenti, grandinate, naufragi, pestilenza del bestiame, unzioni, ecc. puntigliosamente elencati e dettagliati.

Quest’ultima parte non era pero’ molto importante; era una ulteriore motivazione (come se le altre non bastassero) per giustificare feroci sentenze e rendere soddisfazione ai delatori, a coloro che si ritenevano danneggiati ed agli sciocchi in generale.

 

 

 

§ 18.7 – IL PROCESSO: LA VIGILIA

 

Terminato il processo e pronunciata con molta enfasi la sentenza, le streghe condannate a morte venivano abbandonate su un mucchio di paglia in qualche fetida cella. Devastate dalla tortura e pressocche’ incapaci di muoversi, attendevano il giorno dell’esecuzione che, sovente, veniva rimandato allo scopo di farlo coincidere con un giorno festivo, per permettere ad un vasto pubblico e a qualche autorita’ di assistere al macello.

 

Ma per alcune streghe, giovani o ancora piacenti, questa attesa poteva trasformarsi in un ulteriore incubo. Gruppi di giovani per bene e timorati di Dio si mettevano d’accordo per perpetrare uno stupro collettivo della vittima, mediante la complicita’ dei carcerieri che, in cambio di un po’ di denaro, permettevano l’accesso alla cella e le reiterate violenze sessuali sui corpi di disgraziate incapaci di difendersi, straziate dalla tortura e con le membra disarticolate.

 

Era cosa abbastanza comune se si tiene conto, secondo la mentalita’ d’allora che:

• l’atto non era considerato peccato e non necessitava poi di confessione e penitenza.

Tutto sommato i bravi giovani (tra i quali anche qualche inquisitore) si rendevano meritevoli al cospetto di Dio per questo supplemento di sofferenza inflitto ad una creatura ritenuta e dichiarata “demoniaca”.

• I carcerieri si accontentavano di poco (sconto comitiva!) e quindi l’atto costava meno di quanto pretendesse una comune prostituta. E poi in questo caso si trattava di peccato da riportare in confessione.

L’esuberanza di queste pie comitive a volte era tale che la strega ne moriva; non bisogna dimenticare che poteva essere considerata e giudicata come strega anche qualsiasi bambina che avesse compiuto gli otto anni.

 

 

§ 18.8 – IL PROCESSO: L’ESECUZIONE

 

Sempre pubblica e molto spettacolarizzata, l’esecuzione contemplava come passo finale il rogo, inteso come atto di purificazione del mondo dalla presenza di un essere demoniaco, le cui ceneri dovevano poi essere disperse in qualche corso d’acqua.

 

Fermo restando quanto sopra, le modalita’ di esecuzione potevano variare secondo gli usi locali e l’estro dei persecutori.

Nel timore che qualche condannata potesse all’ultimo momento ritrattare in pubblico la sua confessione, in qualche caso si provvedeva ad inchiodare materialmente le labbra della vittima ad una tavoletta di legno, prima di trascinarla sul luogo del supplizio.

(A Giordano Bruno, eretico, venne applicato un boccaglio di legno dotato di chiodi conficcati nella lingua e nel palato)

In particolare, prima di essere arsa:

• in Inghilterra la vittima veniva impiccata

• in Germania, Scozia e alcune regioni francesi le vittime venivano strangolate con la garrota

• nel Principato di Ellwanghen le vittime erano passate a fil di spada

• in Svezia le vittime erano preventivamente decapitate.

 

 

In Italia, Francia e Spagna le vittime erano bruciate vive, subendo l’ultimo oltraggio di qualche chierico ipocrita che alzava davanti ai loro occhi una lunga croce nera.

 

 

Particolarmente spettacolari furono alcune cerimonie organizzate dagli inquisitori papali di Spagna, gli autodafè, durante i quali decine, se non centinaia, di vittime (streghe, eretici, ebrei, ….) vennero spietatamente massacrate.

 

Da non dimenticare la “variante” di Nicolas Remy. Quest’ultimo aveva introdotto l’obbligo di far assistere al rogo delle madri i figli minori di 10 anni facendoli nel contempo frustare a sangue.

 

 

§ 19 – IL VOLO DELLA STREGA

 

Per potersi recare al sabba, concetto base fondamentale della demonologia e giustificazione della caccia alle streghe, era necessario che la strega stessa potesse volare.

Problema che i “Corvi” del § 14 risolvettero facilmente basandosi su di un illustre precedente. Gli autori in questione, visto che persino il Cristo nel deserto era stato portato in volo dal Diavolo, con una logica assolutamente stringente, ne dedussero che egli avrebbe potuto benissimo portare in volo anche le streghe. Niente di piu’ facile.

 

Occorreva pero’ che anche le streghe, dal canto loro, collaborassero alla bisogna, per cui vennero inventati tutta una serie di accorgimenti e di artifici per facilitare il lavoro del Diavolo.

Come mezzo di trasporto l’attenzione si concentro’ sulla scopa, (in alcuni casi su di un bastone), essendo la scopa stessa un tipico strumento quasi esclusivamente usato in casa dalle donne e quindi naturalmente abbinabile al concetto di donna-strega. Ai maghi ed ai demoni invece si addiceva di piu’ il forcone.

Qualcuno piu’ fantasioso penso’ anche ad altri mezzi per volare; vediamo di sintetizzare tutte le trovate che ne vennero fuori.

• La strega puo’ volare a cavallo di una scopa o di un bastone dopo essersi denudata ed aver strofinato il proprio corpo con qualche magico unguento. Gli unguenti migliori erano ovviamente quelli a base di grasso di neonato.

• Mediante il volo la strega puo’ anche sfuggire ad un eventuale arresto.

• La strega in volo puo’ percorrere, in un istante, grandissime distanze e quindi recarsi al sabba anche in localita’ molto remote.

• Il potere dell’unguento magico doveva essere tale da far si che nessuno potesse notare la sua assenza da casa. Trattandosi di streghe coniugate il Diavolo creava un simulacro della donna che continuava a giacere nel letto accanto al marito. Caso mai si fosse svegliato!

• La strega poteva volare anche in groppa ad animali quali il cavallo, l’asino, il caprone e persino il lupo.

 

 

• la strega poteva trasformarsi in una mosca e volare nascosta dentro l’orecchio di un caprone

• Le streghe erano dedite al volo notturno non solo per recarsi al sabba ma anche per raggiungere rapidamente i luoghi ove intendevano eseguire qualche maleficio.

• Un volo non poteva essere attivato se oltre a tutti gli accorgimenti descritti non venivano pronunciate speciali formule magiche. Ad esempio:

o per recarsi al sabba (su scopa o caprone): Harr, harr shebath hemen ethan

o per altre occasioni: Cavallo e cappello, cavallo va! Ha! Ha! Ha!

La credenza che la strega potesse volare di notte a suo piacimento era l’aspetto che impressionava maggiormente la massa ignorante del popolino. Nel corso di vari processi ci furono molti testimoni pronti a giurare di aver assistito, di notte, al volo di una strega.

A Rouen poi, nel 1670, la cosa raggiunse il livello di una allucinazione collettiva. Gruppi di persone affermarono di aver visto, per 30 minuti (!), centinaia di streghe nude volare in cielo, intente a diffondere una malattia epidemica che, a quel tempo, aveva gia’ fatto parecchie vittime.

 

 

§ 20 – IL SABBA

 

Vediamo ora di capire che cosa succedeva durante un sabba, secondo quanto inventato dalla fervida, perversa immaginazione degli autori di § 14, che hanno inconsciamente proiettato nei loro scritti le immagini dei loro incoffessati e ben nascosti turpi desideri.

 

 

E’ stato Pierre Mamoris che, nel 1490, ha dato una definizione accurata del sabba, raccattando in tutte le pattumiere dei suoi tempi le favole, gli incubi, le ossessioni e gli atteggiamenti, mal condivisi e mal repressi, della chiesa nei confronti del sesso.

 

Il sabba era dunque una grande, periodica ed infernale sarabanda notturna con la quale si rendeva onore al Diavolo, rinnovando il patto infernale che legava le streghe al male.

E’ necessario non confondere i sabba con gli esbat. Questi ultimi pare fossero riunioni settimanali di streghe appartenenti a qualche oscura congrega, per discutere di problemi ….associativi(?).

Il sabba si svolgeva generalmente in localita’ sconosciute e molto remote (per le streghe scandinave il Monte Blakulla) secondo un preciso calendario stagionale, nelle notti che precedevano:

• la Candelora (2 Febbraio)

• il Calendimaggio (1° Maggio)

• Vigilia di Ognissanti (31 Ottobre = Halloween)

oppure, secondo altri autori:

• Vigilia del 2 Febbraio

• Vigilia del 1° Luglio

• Vigilia del 1° Agosto

• Vigilia del 1° Settembre

• Vigilia del 1° Novembre

Scendendo nei particolari:

• Come si giungeva al sabba?

o Utilizzando i mezzi di trasporto gia’ descritti in § 19.

• Chi erano i partecipanti?

o Ovviamente tutte le streghe ed i maghi. Era di rigore presentarsi nudi e scarmigliati.

o Il Diavolo stesso che, in caso di precedenti impegni, poteva farsi sostituire da qualche altro prestigioso demone.

o Numerosi demoni vari tra i quali gli incúbi ed i succúbi.

o Un certo numero di caproni puzzolenti.

• Il banchetto: cosa si mangiava?

o Solitamente il piatto forte era costituito dai neonati non ancora battezzati, rapiti alle loro madri ed alle nutrici. I cuccioli venivano cotti a puntino ed allegramente sbranati.

o Altre carni e cibi immondi, a volte donati dal Diavolo, oppure portati da casa. Dovevano comunque essere puzzolenti e disgustosi oltre ogni limite.

o Le bevande consumate erano tra le piu’ immonde che si possano immaginare. Pare che la preferita fosse orina di cavallo.

o Una regola era tassativa: tutti i cibi dovevano essere cotti e mangiati senza sale. La presenza di un solo pizzico di sale avrebbe provocato l’indignazione, la fuga del Diavolo e la conseguente caduta in disgrazia di tutti i partecipanti.

• Le danze

o Totalmente caotiche ed infernali. Si procedeva all’indietro al suono di un violino suonato da un caprone.

o Tutti i danzatori dovevano essere nudi ed esibire oscenamente le loro pudenda.

o Le danze erano accompagnate da suoni stridenti, dissonanti e con un corollario di orrende bestemmie.

o I partecipanti (streghe) potevano ballare tra di loro oppure accompagnarsi ai demoni presenti o ai caproni.

• L’orgia sessuale

o Col Diavolo in persona (solo per i più …meritevoli!!).

o Con demoni incúbi e succúbi.

o Con altre streghe.

o Con un caprone puzzolente.

o Senza alcuna limitazione nella copulazione, la sodomizzazione o nel soddisfare i desideri piu’ osceni e snaturati.

• Cerimonie diverse

o La recitazione al rovescio del Credo di Nicea.

o La benedizione solenne dei partecipanti con un aspersorio nero intinto in qualche liquido immondo.

o Consacrazione di ostie fatte con frattaglie varie.

o Parodia dell’eucaristia con introduzione dell’ostia nel sedere dei comunicandi.

o Canti corali di inni convenientemente osceni e blasfemi.

o Ecc. ecc.

Tutto questo nel corso della nottata. Al primo canto del gallo tutti a casa!

Alcuni “dotti” demonologi hanno “calcolato” che ai sabba potevano partecipare dalle 500 alle …100.000 streghe.

 

Tutto quanto descritto potra’ sembrare eccessivamente assurdo e disgustoso ma il lettore potra’ conoscere di piu’ e di peggio consultando direttamente le opere di “virtuosi” come De Lancre, F.M.Guazzo, Sprenger e Kramer ed altri valenti autori elencati in § 14, di cui esistono edizioni anche recenti, debitamente tradotte.

 

 

§ 21 – PROCESSI CONCATENATI

 

Restando ferme le motivazioni di base che hanno dato origine al genocidio delle streghe, tutte riconducibili alla ricerca di un capro espiatorio per sopire la rabbia e le frustrazioni delle masse, nel corso degli eventi un altro aspetto divenne importante: la ricerca dei complici e l’attivazione di altri numerosi processi in qualche modo concatenati ad un primo procedimento.

 

Il primo processo riguardava, di massima, una povera e miserabile morta di fame alla quale non si poteva confiscare nulla, neanche per coprire le spese di giudizio e il suo mantenimento in carcere.

Quello che pero’ interessava gli inquisitori era la possibilita’ di estorcere a questa prima “esca” i nomi di altre persone facoltose da trascinare a loro volta in giudizio con l’aspettativa di un ritorno finanziario di tutto rispetto.

 

Questo scateno’, a lungo andare, un effetto domino con centinaia di altri dibattimenti, che si protraevano per anni, dando l’opportunita’ all’apparato giudiziario di mettere in crisi grandi nuclei familiari che si vedevano costretti alla fuga abbandonando terreni ed immobili che venivano immediatamente e “legalmente” confiscati.

 

Era sufficiente che una prima strega confessasse di avere visto partecipare al sabba Tizio oppure Caio o altri nomi che le venivano suggeriti con destrezza e che la strega stessa poi confessava per porre fine ai suoi tormenti.

 

Il fenomeno assunse dimensioni incredibili e, tanto per dare qualche esempio:

• a Treviri, da un gruppo di 306 streghe, processate inizialmente, si ricavo’ l’impressionante cifra di 1500 complici a loro volta perseguiti;

• a Rouen, nove accusate iniziali trascinarono in giudizio altre 525 persone;

• la presunta strega Karin Persdotter, in Finlandia, fini’ sul rogo in compania di altre 13 vittime;

• nel 1585 in Germania, i cittadini di Rottemburg si sollevarono contro gli inquisitori perche’ la citta’ era ormai quasi priva di donne;

• sempre in Germania e nello stesso periodo, dopo furibonde persecuzioni, alcuni villaggi erano rimasti privi di donne o con una donna sola.

 

 

§ 22 – AFFARI E POLITICA

 

Nel corso degli anni divenne sempre piu’ evidente come la caccia alle streghe, oltre ad essere un ignobile mezzo per eliminare coloro che in qualche modo davano fastidio alla societa’ in generale ed alla chiesa in particolare, assumesse sempre di piu’ le caratteristiche di una lucrosa attivita’ “industriale”.

 

A parte quelle streghe poveraccie e nullatenenti per le quali il processo procedeva speditamente per evitare eccessive spese di mantenimento in carcere, per le vittime benestanti le cose andavano generalmente a rilento in quanto le spese di mantenimento erano a carico della famiglia del carcerato, come pure le spese di giudizio; salvo, alla fine, rovinare il nucleo familiare con la inevitabile confisca dei beni.

 

Occorre comunque notare che i processi di stregoneria a sfondo politico-affaristico maturarono prevalentemente in ambito cittadino e molti imputati erano di sesso maschile.

 

In un periodo di perdurante crisi economica migliaia di persone, in qualche modo legate all’apparato giudiziario, trovarono nel massacro delle streghe una fonte di guadagno e, a volte, di arricchimento.

Tra i principali lucratori del sistema si rammentano:

• gli inquisitori clericali ai quali spettava una cospicua “quota pontificale” sui beni carpiti ai condannati e alle loro famiglie

• i magistrati laici pagati e premiati secondo il loro zelo

• i notai e i cancellieri dei tribunali

• gli scrivani

• i carcerieri

• i pungitori

• gli esperti torturatori

• il boia ed i suoi aiutanti

• i taglialegna (minimo 40-50 grosse fascine per ogni rogo individuale)

• gli esorcisti (protezione durante i processi contro influenze demoniache)

• i cacciatori di taglie, liberi professionisti ingaggiati dalle autorita’ per incrementare il business del massacro

• i testimoni di comodo

• i delatori

• ecc.

A Treviri, tristemente famosa per i suoi processi di massa, inquisitori e magistrati accumularono, verso la fine del 1500, ingenti ricchezze mediante la spartizione e la vendita dei patrimoni confiscati.

A partire dalla seconda meta’ del 1500 e praticamente in tutta l’Europa, l’aspetto finanziario divenne la principale motivazione per l’istruzione dei processi di stregoneria.

 

Altre numerose e comode motivazioni per le accuse di stregoneria furono quelle politiche mediante le quali si cercava di impedire l’ascesa al potere (poteri locali) di qualcuno o di abbattere quelli che tale potere gia’ lo detenevano.

Si stimano in migliaia i casi di questo genere, rammentando che quasi sempre a farne le spese erano le mogli dei perseguiti: la condanna della moglie trascinava inevitabilmente nel disastro anche il marito e la famiglia.

 

Qulche volta erano i membri della stessa famiglia che si accanivano l’uno contro l’altro per conflitti di interessi, di successione ed altre inconfessabili motivazioni.

Lo stesso dicasi per quei mercanti che cercavano di eliminare la concorrenza ricorrendo ad accuse che, per quanto ridicole, potevano condurre alla rovina il concorrente avversario.

 

Molti autori rammentano, come emblematico, il caso di Anna Pedersdotter Absalon, finita sul rogo dopo tre processi. I processi vennero celebrati a Bergen, in Norvegia.

Anna era la moglie di Absalon Pedersdotter Beyer, un prete luterano entrato in conflitto con gli altri preti locali per futili motivi religiosi. La donna usci’ indenne dai primi due processi grazie agli appoggi di cui godeva il marito.

Morto il marito, gli avversari, da buoni cristiani, fecero le loro vendette reclamando un terzo processo che spedi’ Anna sul rogo nel 1590. La donna venne accusata di:

• aver provocato il “coma” di un uomo

• aver provocato la “malattia” di un secondo uomo

• aver dato ad un bambino di quattro anni un “biscotto stregato” per farlo morire

• aver trasformato la serva di casa in un “cavallo” del quale si era poi servita per volare al sabba.

 

 

§ 23 – GRANDI CACCIATORI

 

Le grandi cacce furono particolarmente dovute alla solerzia dei:

• tribunali ecclesiastici

• tribunali secolari (con sollecito e nulla osta delle diocesi)

• cacciatori professionisti (privati cittadini assoldati dalle autorita’).

Questi ultimi erano, a tutti gli effetti, dei veri e propri “cacciatori di “taglie”, squinzagliati e sovvenzionati dal clero o da magistrati secolari, con il compito di individuare le possibili vittime e raccogliere e/o fabbricare e produrre falsi elementi di prova sufficienti ad istruire un processo.

Per evidenti motivi di interesse i cacciatori puntavano preferibilmente su possibili vittime economicamente dotate o comunque benestanti.

Elenchiamo i nomi di alcuni turpi individui (fanatici o cacciatori) passati alla storia per il loro brutale accanimento.

• Danimarca: si ricorda in modo particolare il vescovo luterano Peder Palladius per la sua caccia scatenata nel 1544, conclusa con 52 condanne a morte.

• Finlandia: nel 1640 si distinse il vescovo luterano Isaac Rothovius e, tra il 1666 ed il 1674, sali’ alla ribalta anche un giudice del tribunale secolare di Ahvenanmaa, Nils Psilander, promotore di una gigantesca caccia a catena, nella quale si distinse per le torture raffinate impiegate nella ricerca del “marchio del diavolo” sul corpo delle vittime.

• Francia: nella sola Lorena, Nicolas Remy, tra il 1586 ed il 1595, fece arrostire 800 presunte streghe. Il “galantuomo”, alla fine della carriera si vantava di aver promosso almeno 2000 processi.

• Germania:

o il giudice luterano Benedickt Carpzov contese il primato a Torquemada collezionando nella sua carriera 20.000 condanne.

o Fuchs von Dornheim, principe-vescovo di Bamberga, detto anche il “vescovo delle streghe”. Il buon Fuchs non badava a spese; fece costruire una “casa delle streghe” con una straordinaria sala di tortura dalle pareti rivestite di scaffali contenenti migliaia di bibbie; questo perche’ le urla dei seviziati non trapelassero all’esterno. Quanto all’attrezzatura era il meglio del suo tempo e comprendeva terrificanti strumenti da applicare agli organi sessuali di ambo i sessi. E visto che l’investimento doveva “rendere”, nel giro di 10 anni (fine 1600), il principe-vescovo mando’ all’altro mondo 600 vittime dopo aver personalmente infierito sugli organi sessuali delle stesse.

o Il principe cattolico Filippo von Ehrenburg di Würzburg, nel giro di 10 anni, all’inizio del 1600, totalizzo’ la bella cifra di 900 esecuzioni, comprendendo pure alcuni suoi parenti. Tra le vittime figurano anche 17 bambini di eta’ compresa tra i 5 e i 7 anni accusati di aver avuto rapporti sessuali con Satana.

• Inghilterra: negli anni 1645-1647 Mattew Hopkins e John Stearne mandarono a morte parecchie centinaia di vittime.

• Italia:

o Antonio da Casale inquisitore, nelle ultime decadi del 1400 ha imperversato nella Lombardia meridionale alla media di 100 roghi all’anno e con una punta di 400 vittime. In particolare, nel comasco e intorno al 1600, alcuni cacciatori di streghe si dimostrarono cosi’ zelanti da causare vere e proprie sommosse nella popolazione.

o Il frate Mino di San Quirico, inquisitore a Firenze dal 1332 al 1334, viene cacciato a furor di popolo per la sua irrefrenabile avidita’ e per le sue angherie.

o Il papa Ghislieri (S. Pio v)

• Scozia: John Kinkaid e John Dich vennero addirittura arrestati, nel 1662, per la ferocia, l’accanimento nella tortura e gli inganni perpetrati durante i processi contro centinaia di presunte streghe.

• Spagna: come dimenticare il migliore? Il grande Torquemada che nel corso della sua carriera colleziono’ quasi 45.000 vittime, con un exploit di 10.000 roghi in soli 18 mesi. (Cifre comprensive anche delle persecuzioni agli ebrei e ad altri eretici).

Juan Antonio Llorente, storico dell’Inquisizione (Rif. 245), attribuisce a Torquemada, nel corso di 15 anni di mandato:

• 10.280 vittime morte tra le fiamme dei roghi

• 6.860 condannati bruciati in effigie perche’ latitanti o morti in carcere per le torture subite

• 27.321 persone punite con carcere perpetuo, pene infamanti (obbligo del sanbenito) e confisca dei beni.

• N. 114.401 famiglie indagate e/o completamente rovinate.

• Svizzera: anche Calvino diede un significativo impulso al msssacro definendo le streghe come “le puttane del diavolo”.

 

§ 24 – LA MISURA DEL MASSACRO

 

Quantificare l’entita’ del massacro non e’ soltanto difficile ma e’ praticamente

IMPOSSIBILE.

 

Anche se molti studiosi si sono cimentati nell’arduo tentativo di determinare delle cifre accettabili e condivisibili dai piu’, i valori che vengono proposti sono del tutto carenti ed inattendibili.

Di molte centinaia (o migliaia) di processi si e’ ormai persa ogni traccia. E questo per vari motivi:

• incendi

• saccheggi

• studi su particolari aree, incompleti o non eseguiti

• distruzioni accidentale di archivi

• distruzioni volute di archivi

Le distruzioni volute riguardano in particolar modo gli archivi dei tribunali ecclesiastici, in quanto il clero ha sempre e sistematicamente distrutto e/o occultato tutti i documenti ed i reperti storici che potevano essere considerati dannosi alla propria immagine di facciata.

In molte occasioni i verbali dei processi vennero bruciati sul rogo unitamente alla strega affinche’ fosse distrutta qualsiasi testimonianza della sua esistenza satanica.

 

Quindi le cifre che seguono vanno considerate come ordini di grandezza e come espressione delle opinioni degli autori che le hanno determinate.

E’ comunque possibile raggruppare tali valutazioni (sono sempre delle stime!), che vengono da piu’ parti proposte, in tre grandi gruppi:

• stime minime

• stime medie

• stime massime

Si da’ naturalmente per scontato che le stime minime e massime riflettono il pensiero e la collocazione degli autori nei riguardi della chiesa; le stime medie riflettono l’atteggiamento di autori apparentemente neutrali ma non per questo devono essere ritenute come piu’ attendibili. L’accettazione di tali cifre e’ quindi totalmente a carico del lettore.

Abbiamo pertanto come valutazione:

• Minima: circa 300.000 processi e 145.000 esecuzioni (Rif. 240)

• Media: 1.200.000/1.500.000 processi e 900.000/1.200.000 esecuzioni

• Massima: circa 12.000.000 processi e 9.000.000 esecuzioni (Rif. 305)

Sul quotidiano “La Repubblica” del 4/10/1985 e’ stato pubblicato un articolo dello studioso Hans Kühng (sacerdote e teologo), nel quale si afferma che il numero delle “streghe” uccise, a partire dal 1484 e sino al 1782, ammonta all’impressionante cifra di 9 milioni.

Come si puo’ constatare il divario e’ enorme.

La situazione si chiarisce, ma non molto, quando si prendono in considerazione cifre parziali riferite a particolari aree geografiche (regioni) che sono state oggetto di studi, piu’ o meno approfonditi, sulla base di ritrovati documenti processuali.

Non c’e’ comunque nessuna certezza che tutto sia stato ritrovato e studiato.

Molti di questi dati derivano da estrapolazioni, basate su cio’ che e’ noto, anche molto accurate ma comunque non certe.

Per venire incontro alla naturale curiosita’ del lettore alcuni valori (i piu’ attendibili) sono stati raggruppati nella tabella che segue con l’avvertenza che i dubbi restano sempre legittimi.

 

 

AREA/TERRIT. REGIONE/CITTA POPOLAZ. PROCESSI ESECUZ.

ITALIA ## (1) = 4000 1500

. Venezia = 700 .

. Como (2) = . 300

. Triora (3) = . 40

. Bormio (1485) = . 41

. Bormio (1514) = . 30

. Valcamonica (1518) = . 80

. Cavalese (1505) = . 14

GERMANIA ## = 50000 20000-30000

. Bamberga(1625-1630) = . 600

. Costanza = . 50

. Eichstatt (4) = . 274

. Quedlinburg (5) = . 133

. Ellwangen(1611-1618) (6) = . 400

. Treviri = . 7000

. Wurzburg = . 900

. Wiesensteig (1562) = . 63

. Oppenau (1562) = . 300

. Obermachtal (1562) = . 54

SPAGNA ## (7) = 6000 .

. Paesi Baschi/Labourd(1600) = . 600

. Logrono = . 30

SCANDINAVIA ## = 4000 1700

. Danimarca 580000 2000 1000

. Norvegia (8) = 1400 350

. Svezia Nord (9) = . 200

. Finlandia = 152 28

EUR. EST/RUSSIA ## = 5000 .

. Pskov(Russia) (10) = . 12

SVIZZERA ## (11) = . 10000

. Ginevra = . 660

. Vaud = 4000 3000

FRANCIA/BELGIO ## = . .

. Lorena = 3000 2700

. Regione parigina = 4000 .

. Mora = . 300

. Ardenne (12 = . 300

. Fiandre = . 98

. Tolosa = . 400

INGHILTERRA (+ isole brit.) (13) = 3000 2500

SCOZIA ## (14) 1000000 2500 1500

POLONIA ## = 3000 .

UNGHERIA ## (15) = 1500 450

LUSSEMBURGO ## (1509-1687) = . 358

AUSTRIA ## = 1700 900

BOEMIA ## = . 1000

OLANDA ## = . 150

 

 

 

1. In Italia le aree principali dove avvennero i piu orrendi massacri furono:

o Benevento

o Como e teritori attigui

o Engadina (territorio di Poschiavo)

o Friuli

o Milano

o Modena

o Trentino

o Valcamonica

o Valtellina

2. Il tribunale della diocesi di Como ha mandato al rogo 300 presunte streghe in meno di un mese.

3. Durante il processo alle streghe di Triora (Liguria), che e’ costato la vita a 40 presunte streghe, quel sant’uomo che era l’arcivescovo di Albenga autorizzo’ ai suoi inquisitori la riesumazione dell’ordalia di fuoco, in disuso ormai da secoli. Il risultato fu che alcune vittime ebbero i piedi carbonizzati; altre morirono durante la prova, ed altre ancora incapaci di reggersi sugli arti bruciati dovettero percorrere la distanza, che separava il luogo dell’ordalia dal tribunale, trascinate sul terreno in ginocchio, con conseguente scarnificazione delle articolazioni.

(Sui fatti di Triora vedere su questo sito Triora, la Salem d’Italia)

4. In un solo anno.

5. Uccise in un solo giorno e bruciate su di un rogo gigantesco.

6. In otto anni: dal 1611 al 1618.

7. Di cui c.4000 gestiti dai tribunali ecclesiastici, gli altri dai tribunali secolari per conto dell’inquisizione.

8. Nel 1650.

9. In nove anni: dal 1668 al 1676.

10. Bruciate in un solo giorno.

11. In Svizzera e in alcune occasioni il totale delle vittime e’ stato pari al 90% dei processi.

12. Si tratta di esecuzioni illegali avvenute all’inizio del 1600.

13. Protestante dal 1560.

14. Protestante dal 1560.

15. Nel 1728-29, a Szeged, 13 donne condannate a morte per aver “provocato” la grandine.

 

E’ stato stimato che il tasso delle condanne a morte, secondo varie localita’ ed epoche, si sia aggirato sul 67-81% dei processi, con punte massime eccezionali del 92% (Svizzera).

Nei casi in cui non veniva comminata la condanna a morte, le “pene minori”(!) potevano consistere nella marchiatura a fuoco, accecamento, estirpazione della lingua, mutilazioni varie, ecc. In pochi casi fortunati il presunto colpevole poteva essere liberato e mandato in esilio.

 

I territori dove venne celebrato il maggior numero di processi per stregoneria, circa il 75%, sono stati:

• Francia

• Svizzera

• Germania

• Paesi Bassi

Nell’insieme di questi territori era allora concentrato circa il 50% dell’intera popolazione europea.

Centri particolarmente attivi sono stati:

• Alsazia

• Baviera

• Brandeburgo

• Lorena

• Savoia

• Scozia

• Regione Tolosana

• Regione Trentina

E’ stato stimato che nei detti territori, tra il 1550 ed il 1600 (50 anni!), siano state uccise oltre 300.000 persone.

Il massimo della barbarie, per accanimento, ferocia nelle torture e numero di esecuzioni si verifico’ in Germania (nei territori di lingua tedesca).

Visto anche quello che e’ successo all’epoca del nazismo vien fatto di pensare che si tratti di una caratteristica genetica; un problema di DNA dei crucchi?

 

§ 25 – STREGHE PARTICOLARI

 

Oltre alle streghe “tradizionali” gia’ descritte, la furia omicida del cristianesimo si abbatte’ anche su gruppi di persone che con la magia bianca o nera avevano poco a vedere.

Il compito naturale dei tribunali che avrebbe dovuto essere quello di vagliare le prove e formulare un equo giudizio venne stravolto al punto di considerare l’accusato gia’ colpevole e condannato prima ancora del processo stesso.

Il dibattito processuale doveva solo confezionare quelle prove che giustificassero “moralmente” l’atteggiamento mostruosamente criminale della chiesa.

• LEVATRICI – Categoria di persone altamente a rischio a causa delle sciocchezze diffuse da teologi imbecilli sull’uso che le levatrici avrebbero fatto dei neonati non battezzati. Tutto questo accentuato dalle tragiche condizioni di vita dell’epoca, causa prima di una estesa mortalita’ infantile. Senza poi contare che molti genitori, non in grado di sfamare altre bocche, erano indotti a sopprimere i loro stessi figli seppellendoli vivi in qualche angolo nascosto.

(Oggi, a volte, qualcuno trova comodo utilizzare i cassonetti dell’immondizia per disfarsi dei neonati.)

Molte levatrici finirono sul rogo accusate di rubare i neonati per poi consacrarli al male battezzandoli nel nome del Diavolo.

Le levatrici erano, sovente, anche erboriste e guaritrici e costituivano, nelle campagne, l’unica forma di assistenza medica a cui potersi rivolgere. Alcune disponevano di patenti rilasciate dalle autorita’ locali, non sempre sufficienti a preservarle da accuse ed arresti.

Molte di esse furono probabilmente eliminate perche’ si ponevano in seria concorrenza, sopratutto in ambito cittadino, con medici e speziali che godevano di maggior prestigio in seno alla societa’ d’allora.

Sulla persecuzione delle levatrici la casistica e’ impressionante e, anche qui, ci limitiamo a pochi esempi significativi.

o Dillingen, Germania, anno 1587. Esecuzione della levatrice Walpurga Hausmannin accusata di aver fatto morire 40 neonati nell’arco di 12 anni per oscuri motivi di stregoneria.

o Szegerin, Ungheria, anno 1728. Altra levatrice bruciata viva accusata di aver battezzato 2000(!) bambini nel nome del Diavolo.

o Lindheim, Germania, anno 1661. L’illuminato giudice George L. Geiss condanna a morte una levatrice ed altre 6 complici accusate di aver rubato e fatto a pezzi un neonato per ricavarne un unguento magico. I genitori del bambino si oppongono alla sentenza. Fanno riesumare il cadaverino del figlio per dimostrare l’infondatezza dell’accusa, ma il Geiss non demorde (troppi soldi in ballo). Accusa di complicita’ gli stessi genitori ed altre 28 persone e li fa spietatamente torturare perche’ ritrattino e neghino l’evidenza stessa dei fatti.

• BAMBINI – Anche bambini ed adolescenti (in particolare femmine) furono estesamente processati ed uccisi con l’accusa di stregoneria; era sufficiente avere compiuto gli otto anni per cadere nelle grinfie degli inquisitori.

Secondo quanto ci insegna il famigerato “Malleus Maleficarum”, fanciulle impuberi di 8-10 anni, consacrate dalle loro madri al Diavolo, sarebbero in grado di scatenare furiose tempeste in mare e devastanti grandinate sui raccolti.

Sprenger e Kramer danno per scontata la trasmissione del maleficio da madre a figlia:

…l’esperienza dimostra che sempre le figlie hanno fama di essere le imitatrici dei delitti materni….e che quasi sempre la progenie e’ infetta.

Comunque si riteneva che i “figli del diavolo” generati dalle streghe non fossero veramente figli di un demonio ma di uomini, in quanto il Concilio Laterano IV (1215) aveva stabilito che gli angeli sono privi di sesso, ed essendo i demoni angeli decaduti, possono al piu’ fecondare una donna accopiandosi, in veste di demoni succúbi, prima con un uomo ricevendone il seme per poi passarlo, in veste di demoni incúbi, alla donna. Sembra un’anteprima della banca del seme!

(Comunque Shakespeare non era d’accordo su questa teoria e nel suo lavoro “La Tempesta” dichiarava esplicitamente che Calibano era figlio di una vecchia strega e del Diavolo.)

Alcuni esempi della mano pesante degli inquisitori:

o Wurzburg, Germania, negli anni dal 1627 a 1629. Su 160 processi per stregoneria ben 64 risultano a carico di bambini.

o Wurzburg, Germania, anno 1629. Molti bambini vennero condannati per stregoneria dopo aver subito atti di pedofilia da parte del vescovo locale, del suo cancelliere e di altri ecclesiastici.

o Paesi Baschi, dal 1610 al 1614. Vennero condannate 1600 streghe confesse. Di queste 1300 erano bambini.

• BENANDANTI – Una strana setta nata e cresciuta in Friuli, all’inizio del seicento; si trattava di individui, nati con la membrana amniotica che, protetti da speciali talismani, cadevano in trance e asserivano di andare in tale stato e di notte, a combattere le streghe e i loro malefici. Tanta buona volonta’ comunque non servi’ loro a nulla perche’ l’inquisizione li accuso’ a loro volta di stregoneria (cultori di antichi riti di fertilità) e li fece fuori.

• ARMIERS – Qualche caso in alcune zone dei Pirenei. Un armier era un individuo che sosteneva di avere la capacita’ di vedere le anime dei morti e di conversare con loro. Pare che queste anime irrequiete amassero rifugiarsi in case confortevoli e ben riscaldate, bevendo abbondantemente del vino migliore che pero’ non si consumava.

• SEGUACI DI DIANA(?) – Stando alla confessione di Bellezza Orsini (1540), certe streghe erano raccolte in gruppi presieduti da una patrona eletta per tre anni. Tutte le patrone rispondevano ad una regina, chiamata Befania, residente a Rieti.

 

 

§ 26 – LIBRI DI MAGIA

 

Il libro di magia piu’ utilizzato dalle streghe pare sia stato il “Libro del Comando”, sovente citato e, a quanto si dice, ancora oggi in uso presso:

• le streghe (masche) del Piemonte e dell’Alta Savoia

• le streghe (strie) del Tonale

• le streghe del Beneventano

• le streghe dell’Isola di Man (Inghilterra)

Malgrado tali affermazioni si sospetta che questo libro non sia mai esistito e che si tratti di uno di quei numerosi manuali di stregoneria noti come “Grimoires”.

 

Di grimoires invece ce ne sono moltissimi. Sono apparsi, sotto forma di manoscritti, intorno al 1100-1200 e, con l’avvento della stampa, malgrado le interdizioni della chiesa, si sono rapidamente moltiplicati e diffusi in tutta l’Europa.

I grimoires, anche oggi facilmente reperibili in librerie specializzate, contengono una quantita’ di ricette, piu’ o meno strane, nonche’ raccolte di formule magiche per eseguire sortilegi, metamorfosi, prevenire le corna ed altre singolari magie.

Molti di essi riportano anche formule di “contro-magia” per sciogliere incantesimi, cacciare il malocchio e comunque difendersi da eventuali magie negative operate a danno del lettore.

 

La presunta strega Bellezza Orsini, giustiziata nel 1540 a Roma per aver compiuto numerosi malefici, nel corso del processo affermo’ di possedere un libro di 180 fogli contenente “tutti li segreti boni et cattivi…”.

Questi libri venivano tramandati da una generazione all’altra, da maestra a discepola. Tra i piu’ famosi grimoires si ricordano:

• La Clavicola di Re Salomone (testo ebraico molto antico)

• Il Dragone Rosso (riedizione del precedente, circa 1650)

• Il Grande Alberto

• Il Piccolo Alberto

• Il Grimoire di papa Onorio III (sic), grande conoscitore di arti magiche (1216-1227)

Recentemente, alcuni autori hanno creduto vedere, in un libro apparso intorno al 1586, una riedizione della “Clavicola di Re Salomone”. Il libro in questione, conosciuto anche come “Manoscritto di Voynich”, ha resistito , fin ora, ad ogni tentativo di decifrazione.

Si suppone comunque trattarsi di una truffa, abilmente operata ai danni di Rodolfo II, imperatore del Sacro Romano Impero.

 

 

§ 27 – INGREDIENTI E RICETTE

 

Dai manuali di stregoneria citati in § 26 (grimoires) si rileva come le streghe utilizzassero, oltre alle erbe, altri ingredienti che oggi ci sembrano quanto meno strani se non disgustosi. Anzi per alcuni di essi ci si chiede quali reali possibilita’ avessero di procurarseli; pensiamo, ad esempio, al “grasso di neonato non battezzato” sovente indicato come ingrediente base per numerose applicazioni.

 

Solo per curiosita’ del lettore citiamo alcuni componenti ed alcune curiose ricette, dubitando fortemente che alcuni di essi siano mai stati veramente utilizzati. L’elenco e’ ovviamente incompleto e puramente indicativo.

• Ingredienti vegetali:

o acconito

o achillea

o alligante

o aloe

o belladonna (erba delle streghe)

o cicuta virtuosa

o cinquefoglie

o datura stramonio (erba del Diavolo)

o fiori di pervinca

o funghi vari

o hascish

o maggiorana

o menta

o muffe varie

o pastinaca acquatica

o ruta

o salvia

o segale cornuta

o solano

o valeriana (radice)

o verbena

o zafferano

o . . . . .

• Ingredienti diversi:

o aceto

o ali di pipistrello

o cervello di gatto

o corda di impiccato

o escrementi di rospo

o fiele di vacca

o fuliggine

o grasso di neonato

o lombrichi

o marmellata di ragni

o olio aromatico

o ossa di morto

o rane e rospi (essicati e polverizzati)

o rognoni di topo

o salnitro

o sangue di piccione

o sangue di pipistrello

o zolfo

o . . . . .

La “mandragora”, pianta magica per eccellenza, poteva, a volte, essere usata come ingrediente ma generalmente la sua funzione era un’altra.

La radice della mandragora, che ricorda vagamente la forma umana, veniva scolpita e lavorata, seguendo un puntiglioso rituale, per ottenere il “magistello”, talismano particolarmente caro alla strega in quanto si riteneva avesse un particolare potere protettivo per la strega stessa, preservandola da magie e sortilegi operati da altre streghe nemiche o concorrenti.

 

A proposito di ricette:

• Le pomate, con le quali le streghe si spalmavano il corpo per predisporsi al volo notturno, sarebbe state costituite da parti di acconito, belladonna e cicuta; il tutto mescolato e reso consistente mediante fuliggine, grasso (di neonato ?), sangue di pipistrello e un poco di olio aromatico.

• Mancando a quei tempi la pillola si poteva ottenere un anticoncezionale “sicuro” polverizzando delle corna di cervo castrato e miscelando poi con fiele di vacca; dopo opportuna essicazione, il tutto doveva poi essere nuovamente ridotto in polvere. Ogni venerdi la donna doveva cospargersi il corpo con detta polvere e l’effetto era garantito per una settimana.

La controindicazione nasceva dalla difficolta’ di trovare un cervo disposto a rimetterci, oltre agli attributi, anche le corna.

• Per sedurre un uomo era sufficiente raccogliere qualche fiore di pervinca ed alcuni lombrichi; for bollire il tutto, dissecare e ridurre il residuo in polvere da cospargere sull’uomo desiderato.

• Piu’ sbrigativamente: ungersi labbra e lingua con olio santo, rubato in chiesa, e poi baciare l’uomo.

 

 

 

PARTE III – FINE DI UN INCUBO

 

 

§ 28 – SFATARE LA LEGGENDA

 

Molti ricercatori che si sono dedicati all’argomento del genocidio delle streghe avevano avuto modo di constatare, non senza qualche perplessita’, come molte presunte streghe, interrogate dagli inquisitori, mentre negavano tenacemente certe accuse (sino a farsi torturare), non avevano particolari remore ad ammettere di avere “volato” e di avere “partecipato al sabba”.

Ammissioni fatte con convinzione ed in totale buona fede, che hanno notevolmente stupito gli studiosi, sino a quando qualcuno non comincio’ a considerare con attenzione gli insoliti ingredienti che entravano nei ricettari dei libri di magia. (§ 27)

 

Una spiegazione convincente e’ stata data dallo studioso A. J. Clark (Rif. 140) che ha posto particolare attenzione sulle sostanze allucinogene e stupefacenti, contenute nei ricettari, capaci di indurre nelle streghe stati transpersonali assai simili a quelli prodotti da certe droghe moderne.

 

In realta’ le streghe non volavano e non partecipavano al sabba ma erano “convinte di farlo” a causa delle droghe che assorbivano quando si denudavano e si spalmavano il corpo con i loro unguenti magici.

Lo stato confusionale nel quale si svegliavano, dopo qualche ora da tale trattamento, non faceva altro che convincerle di avere veramente partecipato ad eventi impossibili che in realta’ erano solo degli incubi auto-indotti. In particolare:

• la sensazione di volare, di spostarsi rapidamente e di superare istantaneamente grandi distanze era dovuta specialmente all’assorbimento, attraverso la pelle (unguenti), di massiccie dosi di acconito, belladonna, pastinaca ed altri componenti minori.

Durante il breve tempo necessario per l’assorbimento cutaneo, queste sostanze davano una sensazione di caduta o di galleggiamento nel vuoto assai simile a quella del volo. Tenuto conto che la strega stessa desiderava “volare”, la sensazione prodotta era gia’ di per se una cosa convincente.

• la partecipazione al sabba e sopratutto al banchetto (virtuale) era la realizzazione, in sogno, di quel problema che assillava quotidianamente la strega: mangiare; illudersi di mangiare, qualche volta, sino alla completa sazieta’! Se questo non poteva essere realizzato allo stato cosciente allora la strega si abbandonava nel suo delirio alla sensazione di potersi finalmente nutrire.

Tale sensazione era dovuta all’assorbimento, oltre che dei composti sopra citati, anche di dosi ben regolate di estratto di cicuta. E’ stato notato che molte ricette comprendevano anche la cicuta ma sempre in quantita’ non mortali.

(Per inciso: alcune popolazioni andine usano masticare foglie di coca (betel?) per meglio sopportare la fatica ma sopratutto i morsi della fame).

• la copulazione coi demoni, altro desiderio sovente represso a livello cosciente che veniva invece soddisfatto a livello di sogno, mediante altri ingredienti a base di sostanze oppiacee e hascish (canapa indiana) che avevano il potere di agire sulle mucose vaginali ingenerando violenti stati di eccitazione.

L’assorbimento di dette sostanze e di altre, in dosi minori, poteva condurre a stati di schizofrenia, di eccitazione motoria e di offuscamento delle capacita’ percettive per cui la strega, cosi drogata, vagava di notte in stato di incoscienza per poi ritrovarsi al risveglio in luoghi insoliti, lontani dalla sua normale abitazione. Lo stato confusionale e di amnesia che ne seguivano inducevano la strega a credere di aver partecipato ad eventi straordinari e di aver soddisfatto tutti quei desideri che allo stato normale erano repressi e irrealizzabili.

 

Approfittando di questa disposizione delle streghe ad ammettere come vere certe assurdita’ (volo, sabba, ecc.), gli inquisitori ebbero buon gioco nel trasformare tali sogni in colpe reali, di cui accusavano le streghe stesse, corredandole con tutte quelle stupidaggini, frutto della fantasia di certi teologi e che sono state citate nei paragrafi precedenti.

 

Nei secoli della caccia alle streghe, oltre alle note epidemie di colera, vaiolo e peste, ci furono anche quelle di “ergotismo” dovute alla presenza infestante nelle colture della “segale cornuta”. Se presente in quantita nei cereali, e conseguentemente ingerita, poteva provocare terribili allucinazioni. Non e’ pero’ certo che questa sostanza sia entrata a far parte dei ricettari delle streghe.

 

Da ricordare che alcuni medici dell’epoca quali G. Cardano (1557), E.Jones, J.Cotta ed altri, rischiando seriamente in proprio, avevano cercato di sfatare le bugie degli inquisitori dimostrando come molti dei mali che si attribuivano alle streghe erano solo fatti isterici, epilettici conseguenti all’abbruttimento dovuto alla malnutrizione.

Secondo il Cardano, era sin troppo facile indicare come in preda la demonio gruppi di donne solitarie e miserabili che vivevano nelle valli prealpine, nutrendosi quasi esclusivamente di castagne e verdure selvatiche, cosa che le rendeva deformi, macilente, scontrose, sovente pazze a causa di allucinazioni dovute alla fame.

 

 

§ 29 – FINE DELL’INCUBO

 

Sviluppatosi in sordina, gia’ a partire dal XIII secolo, e toccati vertici allucinanti, il genocidio delle streghe ando’ lentamente attenuandosi, sul finire del 1600, non senza sussulti e tardivi rigurgiti di intolleranza.

I motivi che concorsero all’attenuazione del fenomeno sono diversi e tra i piu’ importanti si annoverano:

• la nascita del cartesianesimo quale poderoso rivale della filosofia scolastica;

• la nascita e la divulgazione, tra mille impedimenti, delle opere di Copernico, Newton, Galileo, Keplero ed altri;

• il lento radicarsi nelle coscienze di una filosofia meccanicista in opposizione alle menzogne della chiesa in fatto di miracoli, spiriti, divina provvidenza, utilita’ della preghiera ed altre simili;

• l’attenuarsi di una superstizione religiosa totalmente cieca ed i primi cedimenti di un credo imposto per secoli con la ferocia ed il terrore;

• il rifiuto del dogmatismo e del principio d’autorità della chiesa;

• l’attenuarsi della crisi economica e il lento miglioramento delle condizioni di vita, sopratutto nel mondo rurale;

• il miglioramento generalizzato dei salari e la quasi totale scomparsa dell’inflazione;

• l’influsso dell’umanesimo e la lenta ma costante diffusione di una cultura di base dovuta, nella prima meta’ del 1700, all’opera di scrittori illuminati e degli enciclopedici francesi;

• la depenalizzazione del reato di stregoneria, di per sè palesamente assurdo, operata da alcuni stati a partire dal 1700

Tutto cio’ contribui’ alla eliminazione quasi totale dell’orrenda persecuzione, in tutti i paesi europei, con non poche eccezioni ed in tempi diversi. Per quanto riguarda gli anni di celebrazione degli ultimi processi si ha:

• Austria 1775

• Danimarca 1762

• Francia (territori) 1783

• Germania (territori) 1805

• Inghilterra 1717

• Irlanda 1711

• Italia (territori) 1859

• Olanda 1659

• Polonia 1776

• Scozia 1727

• Spagna 1820

• Svezia 1779

• Svizzera (cantoni) 1782

• . . . . .

comunque non tutti conclusi con condanne a morte.

 

Per quanto invece concerne gli anni di esecuzione delle ultime sentenze capitali abbiamo:

• Austria 1750

• Danimarca 1693

• Francia (Alsazia) 1683

• Germania (Kemten) 1775

• Inghilterra 1685

• Irlanda 1711

• Italia (Palermo) 1724

• Olanda 1609

• Polonia 1775

• Scozia 1708

• Spagna 1781

• Svezia 1710

• Svizzera (Glarona) 1782

• . . . . .

Parlando di eccezioni, al di fuori delle date citate, ecco alcuni casi eclatanti:

• 1894 – In Irlanda una presunta strega viene torturata a morte da alcuni “nostalgici” senza alcun processo.

• 1900 – Sempre in Irlanda alcuni volenterosi bruciano viva una strega, nel suo stesso focolare.

• 1981 – In Messico un marito denuncia alla folla la propria moglie accusandola di aver provocato l’attentato a Giovanni Paolo II con un rito magico. La devotissima folla si affretta ad accoppare la donna a colpi di pietra.

• 2001 – Nell’Italia meridionale un’intera famiglia, genitori compresi, viene arrestata per aver provocato la morte di un neonato nel corso di un rituale magico.

Tanto per citare. Ad Alessandria (I) molti anziani ricordano ancora un frate briccone che, sul finire degli anni 30, in una chiesa di via S.Francesco d’Assisi, praticava un rito contro il malocchio.

Malgrado fosse stato diffidato dal vescovo e dal podesta’ fascista, introduceva in chiesa di nascosto, alle tre del mattino, madame sprovvedute e relativi marmocchi, che cascavano in terra dal sonno, ed eseguiva uno strano rito di contro-magia capace di togliere l’eventuale malocchio gettato sul pupo, non si sa bene da chi.

Tariffa: uno scudo d’argento (all’epoca = 5 lire) che a quei tempi era una cifra di tutto rispetto. Poi venne la guerra e il frataccio spari’ dalla circolazione.

 

§ 30 – STREGHE OGGI

 

Nel secolo ventesimo il progresso scientifico e tecnologico e’ stato tale da lasciar presumere che la stregoneria in generale potesse essere relegata tra le memorie del passato.

Invece e’ avvenuto esattamente il contrario; limitatamente alla sola Europa, l’aumento delle streghe e’ stato, a dir poco, vertiginoso.

 

Dobbiamo ora abbandonare la premessa del § 02 dove il termine “strega” era utilizzato in senso neutro. L’enorme sviluppo degli operatori di magia ha visto emergere prepotentemente gli uomini, tanto da rendere un po’ obsoleto il termine strega. Oggi e’ piu’ corretto parlare di maghi e di maghe.

 

Questo non significa che le streghe “vecchio stampo” siano sparite; si sono solo modernizzate, aggiornando il loro modo d’essere e di operare, i loro prodotti e la loro attivita’ in conformita’ alla domanda di mercato.

 

Praticamente il progresso della conoscenza e la diffusione ad ogni livello sociale di una cultura scientifica di base non sono stati sufficienti per eliminare nell’uomo il “bisogno di credere”, la “la necessita’ di una qualsiasi fede malriposta”, un qualcosa a cui aggrapparsi ciecamente senza tanti ragionamenti logici e razionali; ragionare resta ancora un’attivita’ scomoda e faticosa e quindi e’ molto piu’ facile abbandonarsi ad un qualsiasi credo pre-confezionato senza porsi troppi problemi.

In fondo la religione e la magia (che sono la stessa cosa) prosperano nella misura in cui l’individuo sente la necessita’ di autoammettere, inconsciamente, la propria stupidita’.

 

Oltre a tutto, l’offerta del mercato di prodotti consolatori-illusori e’ notevole e sostituisce benissimo gli analoghi prodotti, sorpassati e sclerotici, offerti da una chiesa ormai decadente che morde impotente il freno di fronte ad una concorrenza sempre piu’ serrata sul mercato del divino.

 

La situazione e’ precipitata a partire dagli anni settanta quando Marilyn Ferguson, riprendendo le istanze del ’68, ha pubblicato il suo manifesto della New Age (la nuova era o, come qualcuno ha detto, l’era della morte di Dio).

Certamente l’autrice non immaginava di porre in essere un enorme calderone in cui confluiscono, in una grandiosa confusione, tutti quei movimenti spirituali, settari, animistici, pseudo religiosi e magici nati in opposizione ai culti ufficiali tradizionali.

Si va dai dagli antichi culti della fertilità (wicca) a forme, più o meno idiote, di satanismo.

 

Tornando alle nostre streghe, come le abbiamo conosciute nei paragrafi precedenti, e’ importante mettere in evidenza come la loro arte ed il loro modo d’essere si siano evoluti in barba ad un clero massacratore e certamente nostalgico del sentore di carne bruciata che emanava dai roghi. In particolare:

• L’eta’ media delle streghe si aggira, oggi, sui 35-40 anni.

• Hanno quasi tutte una cultura di livello medio-superiore e molte risultano laureate.

• La cura del loro aspetto e della loro presenza in pubblico sono diventati fattori essenziali per l’esercizio delle arti magiche, tanto che molte vestono abiti firmati, che possono permettersi viste le tariffe da capogiro che chiedono per esercitare i loro sortilegi.

• Alcune di loro sono giovani e molto belle al punto che parecchi uomini sarebbero disposti a siglare un patto col Diavolo pur di trascorrere con le medesime qualche movimentata notte di Valpurga.

• Non si spalmano piu’ con unguenti disgustosi; preferiscono frequentare le profumerie del centro; pare che la linea di prodotti di bellezza piu’ gettonata sia quella della Chanel.

• La vecchia scopa e’ stata relegata in un angolo per cui si recano ai sabba annuali in areo, in treno o in automobile.

• I sabba si svolgono preferibilmente nelle meeting rooms di prestigiosi alberghi a quattro o cinque stelle.

 

• Al sabba, dove si discutono problemi professionali e di marketing, il Diavolo (in profonda crisi esistenziale) non si fa piu’ vedere.

• Dai banchetti e’ stata rigorosamente esclusa la carne di neonato-non-battezzato, preferendo ad essa cocktails di gamberetti, tartine al salmone, al caviale, ecc.

• Oggi nessuna strega va piu’ in giro a raccogliere erbe e a procurarsi certi ingredienti disgustosi, come quelli di § 27. Filtri d’amore, acque di luce, sangue di Giuda, sangue di drago, ecc. sono prodotti su scala industriale e possono essere acquistati all’ingrosso presso ditte specializzate, scegliendoli da cataloghi strettamente riservati ai soli operatori del settore.

• Tutte le streghe moderne affermano di non praticare la magia nera e di non gettare il malocchio, ma non si esclude che cio’ possa essere fatto in segreto. In fondo e’ il cliente che lo chiede e ….paga!

Tutto questo per quanto riguarda le streghe ancorate alle tradizioni. Il mercato dell’illusione e’ pero’ molto piu’ ampio, diversificato e, in massima parte, gestito da operatori uomini: i maghi. Di questi maghi molti appaiono sovente in televisione dove, puntualmente, fanno delle figuraccie da sprofondare sotto terra. Sono in genere specialisti di:

• astrologia

• cartomanzia

• chiromanzia

• divinazione

• occultismo demoniaco

• occultismo miracolistico

• panteismo

• pranoterapia

• satanismo

• spiritismo e necromanzia

• telescrittura

• ufologia

• ecc.

Insomma tutto quanto puo’ servire per illudere i figli di quella famosa Grande Madre che e’ sempre incinta.

 

In Italia una buona parte degli operatori magici aderisce al sindacato “USAODE-CISL” che si batte per l’istituzione di albi professionali, regolamentazione delle tariffe(?), ricevute fiscali ed altri problemi gestionali sovente in collisione con il fisco.

 

 

Da notare che la “CISL” e’ un sindacato “cattolico”.

 

Secondo stime eseguite, qualche anno addietro, dal sindacato USAODE-CISL, in Italia ci sarebbero circa 150.000 operatori dell’occulto (il doppio dei preti cattolici presenti nel paese) che servono una popolazione di 15 milioni di clienti, dei quali 60% donne e 40% uomini. Quanto al livello di istruzione dei clienti si ha:

• 30% = laureati

• 40% = diplomati

• 15% = licenza media inferiore

• 15% = licenza elementare

Gli operatori realmente iscritti al sindacato sono circa 2000.

 

La distribuzione degli operatori dell’occulto sul territorio nazionale non e’ uniforme. Si va, secondo dati Istat:

• da un massimo di un mago ogni 9500 abitanti (Alessandria)

• ad un minimo di un mago ogni 21400 abitanti (Catania)

Il giro di affari e’ vorticoso e pare superi di molte lunghezze il famigerato otto per mille che gli sprovveduti destinano annualmente al Vaticano.

 

Infine, stando a quanto si crede, le grandi citta’ magiche europee sarebbero oggi:

• Lione

• Londra

• Parigi

• Praga

• Stonehenge

• Torino

In particolare, qualche burlone ha sparso la voce che Torino (uno dei vertici del triangolo magico Torino-Lione-Praga) abbia un collegamento diretto con gli Inferi, dove soffrono le anime dei defunti. L’ingresso sarebbe situato sotto il basamento dell’Obelisco del Meridiano (guglia Beccaria), in piazza Statuto. A mezzanotte in punto, se accostate l’orecchio all’obelisco, potete ascoltare i gemiti dei dannati e percepire un vago sentor di zolfo.

 

 

 

 

APPENDICE

 

Gatti e Demoni

Sin dall’inizio del cristianesimo i gatti non hanno mai avuto molta fortuna con la chiesa. Specialmente quelli neri.

Anticamente, in Egitto il gatto era considerato un animale quasi sacro. Chi maltrattava un gatto poteva essere punito con la morte. Quando un gatto moriva i componenti della famiglia che lo ospitava si rasavano le sopracciglie in segno di lutto e, dopo l’imbalsamazione, l’animale veniva inumato con una cerimonia di tutto rispetto.

La dea egiziana Bastet era raffigurata con una testa di gatto. Sin dai primordi della civilta’ e’ sempre stata riconosciuta al gatto la fondamentale utilita’ di tenere granai e magazzini di derrate sgombri dai topi.

Poi venne il cristianesimo illuminato che proclamo’, naturalmente in nome di dio, lo sterminio dei gatti, definendoli animali del demonio.

A dare il via a questa santa crociata fu quell’anima pia di Gregorio IX, attorno agli anni 30 del XIII secolo, e da allora (e ancora oggi) il domestico felino, quale simbolo del male e del demonio, ne ha subite di tutti i colori:

• durante la caccia alle streghe molti vennero atrocemente torturati e gettati sul rogo con la loro padrona;

• per secoli, il 24 Giugno che, in molti paesi d’Europa, era considerato la festa delle streghe, migliaia di gatti vennero:

o gettati vivi dai campanili delle chiese

o rinchiusi in gabbie ed arrostiti a fuoco lento sulle pubbliche piazze

o scorticati vivi

o uccisi a bastonate;

• lo stesso accadeva il martedi grasso, prima delle ceneri, e in altre “sante” manifestazioni religiose;

• molti venivano seppelliti vivi nelle fondamenta delle case per favorire una “maggiore solidita’ del muri”;

• si uccidevano gatti dopo la mietitura come buon auspicio per i raccolti futuri;

• oppure, con il fumo di una gatto bruciato vivo, si affumicava il bestiame per preservarlo dalla moria;

• un pizzico di cenere di gatto sparso in casa, favoriva il benessere e la felicita';

• infine, forte della bolla di Gregorio IX, ogni cristiano poteva acquistare speciali meriti agli occhi di dio torturando atrocemente e poi uccidendo qualsiasi malcapitato felino.

Ancora oggi a Ypres (Francia), il 24 Giugno si usa gettare i gatti da una torre; i gatti oggi sono cambiati, vengono confezionati in stoffa, ma quella che non e’ mutata e’ l’ancestrale imbecillita’ di quelli che si dedicano a questo “sport” sotto lo sguardo compiaciuto ed indulgente della pretaglia locale.

 

 

Le regole d’oro di Eymerich

Nicolau Eymerich era uno che si preoccupava particolarmente della forma. Nel suo manuale (Rif. 165) stabilisce delle regole precise su come e quando (praticamente sempre) applicare la tortura mediante strappi di corda.

• 1 – Si tortura l’accusato che vacilla nelle risposte, affermando ora una cosa, ora il contrario, ma sempre negando i capi di accusa piu’ importanti. Si presume in tal caso che l’accusato nasconda la verita’ e che incalzato dagli inquirenti, si contraddica. Qualora negasse una volta e poi si confessasse e pentisse verrebbe considerato come un eretico penitente e quindi condannato.

• 2 – Sara’ torturato l’accusato che abbia contro anche un solo testimone. La pubblica nomea ed un testimone costituiscono insieme una mezza prova, cosa del tutto naturale dal momento che una sola testimonianza vale di per se’ come un indizio. La regola testis unus, testis nullus vale per la condanna ma non per la presunzione. Una sola testimonianza a carico e’ dunque sufficiente, anche se la testimonianza di uno solo non ha la stessa forza di un giudizio civile.

• 3 – L’accusato contro il quale sussistono uno o piu’ indizi gravi deve essere torturato. Il sospetto piu’ gli indizi non sono sufficienti. Per i preti basta il sospetto (ma solo i preti infami saranno torturati). In questo caso sussistono numerose e sufficienti condizioni.

• 4 – Sara’ torturato l’accusato contro il quale deporra’ un solo testimone in materia di eresia e contro il quale si abbiano indizi veementi e violenti.

• 5 – Il sospettato contro il quale esistono piu’ indizi veementi o violenti verra’ torturato anche se non si hanno testimoni a carico.

• 6 – Quindi a maggior ragione si dovra’ torturare colui che, a somiglianza del precedente, avra’ contro di se la deposizione di un testimone.

• 7 – Il sospettato contro cui si ha solo diffamazione o un solo testimone o un solo indizio non verra’ torturato perche’ una di queste condizioni da sola non basta per procedere alla tortura.

 

 

Madame Voisin

Accadde a Parigi nel 1679-1680. La Marchesa di Montespan e’ costretta a lasciare la sua prestigiosa posizione a Versailles. Amante di Luigi XIV dal 1667 al 1679 (undici anni, un record), periodo durante il quale regalo’ al Re Sole ben 8 figli, ha dovuto cedere il posto ad altra concorrente piu’ giovane ed avvenente.

 

La Marchesa pero’ non si da’ pace e cerca disperatamente qualsiasi artificio per poter riconquistare il favore del re.

Viene cosi’ in contatto con una celebre strega parigina di quei tempi, Madame Voisin e con un certo Abate Guilbourg (prete regolarmente ordinato), noto negli ambienti della Corte per certe sue stranezze tra le quali quella di officiare, in gran segreto, messe nere che poi in realta’ si concludono in orgie sfrenate per il diletto dei nobili partecipanti.

 

I due convincono la Montespan che solo l’intervento del Diavolo potrebbe favorire il ritorno della Marchesa nell’alcova del re e decidono di invocare il suo aiuto con un’adeguata serie di messe nere.

La celebrazione in questione, secondo un rito inventato dallo stesso abate, prevedeva:

• un altare costituito dal corpo nudo della Montespan disteso su un tavolaccio

• calice ed ostensorio sistemati tra le gambe e sul pube della Marchesa

• ostie impastate con materiali innominabili e consacrate dall’officiante con inedite bestemmie

• recitazione della messa al contrario, dall’Ite missa est all’Introibo….

• benedizione eseguita con sangue di animali domestici sacrificati al momento o con sperma umano (o, come alcuni sostengono, con sangue di bambini sacrificati ai demoni Astaroth e Asmodeo)

• conclusione del rito con un bacio osceno del celebrante alla postulante.

Divenuta la cosa di pubblico dominio, la Corte ordino’ un processo che fece scandalo in tutta l’Europa e che si concluse con:

• la condanna della Montespan al confino perpetuo nella sua tenuta di Bourbon-L’Archambaut, dove mori’ nel 1707, all’eta’ di 67 anni

• la condanna al rogo della Voisin che venne eseguita il 22 Febbraio 1680 sulla Place de Grève di Parigi

• la condanna del Guilbourg ad essere murato vivo nella cella di un convento. Alcuni autori pero’ nutrono dubbi sulla vera sorte del singolare abate.

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L’Isola di Man

Ancora oggi, ed esattamente nella notte tra il 2 ed il 3 Febbraio, le streghe accorrono, da tutte le parti del mondo, ad un grandioso sabba sull’Isola di Man, situata tra l’Inghilterra e l’Irlanda.

Su questa isola, in localita’ Witches Mill, esiste uno dei piu’ importanti musei delle streghe. Pare che le streghe partecipino al sabba incarnandosi nei molti gatti senza coda che popolano l’isola.

Comunque il locale …Ente per il Turismo puo’ dare molte informazioni in proposito.

________________________________________

 

Padrone e cavallo

In Scozia nel 1600 un tribunale mando’ al rogo un allevatore ed il rispettivo cavallo. Il tapino venne accusato di praticare la magia perche’ aveva insegnato al suo cavallo a fare la riverenza, piegato sulle zampe anteriori.

________________________________________

 

Quelle di Triora

Gerolamo del Pozzo, inquisitore di Triora (Albenga), nell’autunno del 1588, prima di dare inizio al processo, tenne una strepitosa predica per “preparare” il pubblico all’evento. Nel corso di tanto sermone affermo’ che le streghe sotto accusa, tra le altre cose:

• giocavano a palla con bambini appena nati

• facevano rivivere i morti

• preparavano filtri d’amore e d’odio con cadaveri putrefatti

• facevano uscire dalle loro vulve bruchi, cavallette e topi per devastare i raccolti

• orinavano sull’ostia sacra

• ed altre vaccate del genere.

(Sui fatti di Triora vedere su questo sito Triora, la Salem d’Italia)

________________________________________

 

Riconquistare il marito infedele

Sortilegio abbastanza laborioso da eseguire ma di sicuro effetto, come ebbe ad affermare la strega Gabrina durante il processo a suo carico, celebrato a Reggio Emilia nel 1375. La Gabrina non fini’ sul rogo; venne “solo marchiata a fuoco ed ebbe la lingua amputata”.

La moglie deve strapparsi alcuni peli del pube, aggiungerli a qualche frammento d’unghia del marito e poi porre il tutto dentro il cuore di una gallina nera.

La donna deve poi infilarsi il cuore della gallina nella vagina e, tenendo in mano una candela benedetta accesa, fare nove passi. Alla fine si trita finemente il tutto e lo si mescola a qualche pietanza da servire al marito fedifrago.

________________________________________

 

Tiratore scelto

In Inghilterra, ai tempi di Maria la Sanguinaria, un arciere di eccezionale bravura nel centrare i suoi bersagli, e’ finito sul rogo in quanto accusato di aver acquistato la sua abilita’ con un patto col Diavolo.

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S. Carlo Borromeo

Non e’ stato un cacciatore di streghe in senso stretto, ma un accanito …tifoso. Incoraggiò i gesuiti nella loro opera di purificazione del mondo, promuovendo e plaudendo ai mumerosi processi ed alle esecuzioni della Valle Mesolcina. In questa occasione vennero tenuti 162 processi conclusi con 12 esecuzioni, nel corso delle quali le streghe vennero bruciate vive, legate a testa in giù al palo del rogo. Una singolare variante ai tradizionali sistemi.

________________________________________

 

Keplero

Nella seconda meta’ del 1600, nel villaggio di Gorlingen (Leonberg), la vedova Katharina Keplero, madre di Giovanni Keplero, e’ stata per lunghi anni sospettata e perseguitata per stregoneria a causa della sua opera di guaritrice. Non e’ mai stata condannata.

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SENTENZA DEL 16 NOVEMBRE 1632

Archivio di Stato di Lucerna-Fascicolo COD. 4545

 

Nel mese di settembre ultimo scorso il signor tenente colonnello Ludwig Am Rin, cavaliere, attualmente balivo del territorio dell’Entlibuch, ha appreso che una bambina di nome Cathrin Schmidlin di anni 11, nata a Roomos, si era vantata in due luoghi differenti di essere capace di fare piccoli uccelli. Si e’ poi anche detta disposta a provarlo dinanzi a persone onorate. Quando non vi e’ riuscita, si e’ giustificata spiegando di poterlo fare solamente da sola e di notte, perche’ un piccolo ragazzo nero e malvagio, che era venuto spesso a trovarla, le aveva proibito di fare uccellini quando la gente poteva vederla. Dopo di che e’ stata tradotta in carcere, dove e’ stata interrogata con ogni severita’ sui menzionati indicia dal signor magistrato municipale Mooren e da altre persone appositamente incaricate.

In presenza del signor magistrato municipale e dello scrivano essa ha ripetuto di poter fare, se vi si fosse dedicata con fermo proposito, uccelli muniti d’occhi, cuore e vitalita’. Ha aggiunto che, quando e’ sola, ne risultano uccelli di varie specie, che becchettano sul suolo e svolazzano, e che ha appreso il modo di farlo da un ragazzo malvagio di nome Blundtsch, il quale la chiama Fighetta Stracciona.

 

Item il ragazzo, quando e’ venuto da lei nella torre, le ha promesso di farle fare uccelli davanti ai signori, ordinandole pero’ di giurare di non pregare e di non mangiare il pane sacro.

 

Item il ragazzo l’aveva solleticata nella natura segreta con il membro, che essa ha visto e le e’ molto piaciuto e l’ha spudoratamente toccato in tutta la sua dimensione.

 

Item il Blundtsch l’ha spesso solleticata nel modo descritto anche nella torre, nella quale essa e’ stata poi ripetutamente trovata completamente sconciata.

 

Item il soggetto addetto alla sorveglianza ha udito lo spirito malvagio, la cui presenza e’ sta spesso avvertita nella torre, parlare tre volte con la bambina, in un linguaggio che pero’ non ha capito e che pareva meridionale. La bambina non ha voluto rivelare di che cosa le aveva parlato. Il ragazzo usciva sempre con strepito e chiasso da una mezza finestra, lasciando un puzzo cosi’ orribile che il soggetto ha pensato di dover cadere privo di forze.

 

Item dice la bambina che il ragazzo e’ grande come la stanza e che tuttavia puo’ entrare ugualmente dalla finestra; dice inoltre che spazza la paglia sotto il tavolo fino a farla piccola e poi sparire.

 

 

Item appare a volte come un mostro dagli occhi molto infuocati. Quando e’ stanca di lui si fa il segno della croce, innanzi al quale quello se ne fugge.

 

Item a riprova che il ragazzo sa tutto, il soggetto addetto alla sorveglianza denuncia che il chierico venuto con padre Wolfgang l’ha diffidata dal picchiare le bambina e dal trattarla con male parole. Sebbene di cio’ si fosse parlato soltanto di sotto, nella sala, la bambina sopra nella torre lo sapeva e gliel’ha rinfacciato, dicendole che non poteva picchiarla perche’ il chierico del lungo Wolfang glielo aveva vietato.

 

Item si sono accoppiati, che lei voleva sentirlo e il Blundtsch doveva entrare dentro di lei.

 

Item il soggetto si lamenta della grande malvagita’ della bambina, che l’investe con epiteti molto volgari e non cristiani, bestemmie e scongiuri, e che a questo si volge maggiormente dopo che si sono congedati da lei i sacerdoti, ai quali essa dice sempre si si, salvo poi comportarsi in quel modo miserabile.

 

 

Oggi 16 novembre 1632 gli onorevoli podesta’ consiglieri e loro seguito, constatato che non vi era da sperare in alcun miglioramento della bambina, l’hanno fatta strangolare nella torre ma senza toglierle la vita (?), l’hanno racchiusa in un sacco, condotta al patibolo perche’ fosse bruciata e ridotta in cenere assieme a Brigitta Testacanuta, che a sua volta doveva quel giorno essere giustiziata e bruciata.

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ESTRATTO DAGLI ATTI GIUDIZIARI DEL 27 NOVEMBRE 1662

Documento conservato nell’Archivio principale di Stato di Stoccarda – Libro 166, volume 9.

 

Il di 27 del mese di novembre dell’anno 1662 nella foresta, con discrezione (onde prevenire le solite pusillanimita’ e i conseguenti perigli per l’anime) sono stati messi a morte con la spada Isau e Maria, figli dei Lehner di Dürnau.

Ricevuta la denuncia, sono stati ritenuti colpevolo di orribili e reiterate malefatte commesse con compiacimento, rinnegando la divina maesta’ di Cristo, la sua veneranda madre e tutti i santi. Devoti del nemico maligno, hanno vergognosamente disonorato l’ostie consacrate, copulato – la condannata – innumeri volte col nemico maligno, e commesso tra di loro libidinoso incesto.

In accoglimento di una intercessione, sono stati tumulati nella tomba dei bambini innocenti.

 

1. Isau Lehner, all’incirca d’anni 12 o forse 13, dopo aver recitato il Padrenostro, l’Avemaria e il Credo, ed essersi anche fatto il segno della croce, e’ stato molto benignamente interrogato se egli avesse avuto un buon padre. Ha detto di no e, alla richiesta di spiegare il perche’, ha risposto: perche’ cosi’. Ha dichiarato di avere unto con una pomata nera, ricevuta dal nemico maligno, cavalli ed altro bestiame della gente, uccidendoli. Quegli gli ha insegnato anche ogni altra specie di maleficio, e cioe’ per lo piu’ a produrre nebbie, gelate, tuoni e grandine. Doveva fare un cerchio, ungere un bastone con una pomata, anche sopra, e avvolgerlo sotto uno straccio (tutte cose che aveva ricevuto dal demonio), passarlo attorno al cerchio, e allora venivano insetti, pulci, brine, nebbie, tuoni, grandine e mille altre diavolerie. Cosi’ vede subito compiuto cio’ che desidera. Il diavolo gli ha tolto ogni volta il bastone perche’ non fosse rinvenuto presso di lui e quindi perche’ non lo si punisse.

 

2. Dichiara che inizialmente il diavolo e’ venuto da lui nelle sembianze d’una ragazzina grande come la sua sorellina, senza piede caprino, che gli e’ sembrato molto bello, e che solo in seguito ha notato che era invece molto brutto, con corna sulla testa, piede caprino, artigli e una lunga coda; gli ha dato un bastone unitamente a uno straccio e a una pomata, di modo che potesse fare le sopraspecificate nebbie, e gelate, ragni, pulci, tuoni e grandine. Poi gli ha dato due pallottoline, l’una delle quali bianca e l’altra verde, non molto dure, dolce l’una ma l’altra molto amara. Dopo averle mangiate, ha dovuto vomitare.

 

3. Incitato dal laido demonio, ha orinato e defecato nell’acqua benedetta. Sua amante e’ una ragazza di nome Schindele, divenuta sua druda a Dürnau. Se le avesse promesso di non farle alcunche’ di buono, l’avrebbe condotto in un bel luogo.

L’amante indossa una giacca nera, con corna sulla testa, ha una coda lunga e sottile come quella di una mucca, ma non al punto di toccare il suolo e i piedi caprini. Gli ha anche fatto il segno sul braccio sinistro; l’ha esibito ed e’ apparso giallastro.

 

Questo segno il diavolo gli ha fatto per poterlo distinguere dagli altri. Il diavolo gli ha intimato di uccidere se stesso, e anche di paralizzare persone e animali, di dar fuoco a case e compiere ogni male e, perche’ potesse uccidersi, gli ha dato un coltello.

 

4. Ribadisce che, ogni volta che il diavolo e’ venuto da lui, la notte successiva egli e’ immancabilmente uscito dalla prigione. Ha vagabondato con il diavolo e compiuto con lui innumerevoli volte la maledetta lascivia. L’amante che aveva i peli neri, l’ha toccato e [Emembrum una cum emissione seminis immittiret]. Il membro del suo amante e’ freddo, ma il seme caldo, un po’ piu’ denso dell’acqua, e tutto questo egli fa spesso con lui di notte. Poi dormono, pero’ di mattina quello se ne va promettendogli di tornare presto. Il suo amante ha anche fatto cose come quelle dell’altra gente [ubera eius intelligens], che sono dure e con peli neri. Inoltre ha voluto compiere con lui lascivia [a posterioribus]. Ma poiche’ il suo membro era troppo corto, non vi e’ riuscito…..

 

 

7. Quando faceva insetti, pulci, tuoni e grandine, non poteva arrecare danno a luoghi benedetti o aspersi d’acqua santa. il nemico maligno ha anche spesso voluto che gettasse dalla finestra cose che gli aveva dato, perche’ la gente le calpestasse e ne fosse azzoppata e paralizzata. Non e’ pero’ mai riuscito ad arrecare danno ad animali o a persone. A suo padre ha tuttavia paralizzato varie pecore e maiali.

 

8. Si e’ anche ripetutamente accoppiato con la sorella e ha quindi commesso [profente diabolo et arridente] con lei molte volte l’incesto. Dichiara che la prima volta [propter angustiam vulvae] non e’ riuscito a penetrarla. Ora pero’ e’ piu’ larga, tanto da potervi compiere lascivia, anche emettere il seme, e dice che ha preso la sorella nella parte calda e anche analiter, proprio come l’amante diavolo, solo che con la ragazza gli piace di piu’ che con il diavolo….

 

1. Maria Lehner, figlia del suddito Abraham Lehner, nata a Dürnau, d’eta’ fra i 14 e 13 anni. Nega su domanda che il nemico maligno venga ancora da lei, poiche’ adesso prega devotamente e si fa giornalmente il segno della croce. La prima volta il diavolo e’ venuto da lei a Cannzach mentre portava al pascolo il cavallo di Hanss Christa, si e’ accoppiato con lei [immisso dactilo in magnitudine unii-is digiti] e lei ne ha tratto bel godimento, e ha orinato dentro di lei [immissio ad seminis rutans]. Prima pero’ le aveva dato una pallottolina che era molto amara, tanto che aveva dovuto vomitare. Inoltre le aveva dato una pillolina che lei si era dovuta introdurre nell’organo femminile, tuttavia non sa se poi e’ uscita di nuovo oppure no.

 

2. Confessa che il diavolo e’ venuto da lei anche ieri sera, prima che le si portasse da mangiare, comunicandole che la si sarebbe interrogata ed esaminata quest’oggi, ma che se avesse confessato qualcosa le avrebbero tagliata la testa e l’avrebbero bruciata. Dice che egli e’ piu’ santo di dio, che sa tutto; che il suo amante e’ maschio, quello del fratello una ragazza; che entrambi li vedono benissimo e si chiamano Schindele.

Proprio all’inizio, a Cannzach, su un prato, il diavolo le ha tolto sangue dalla mano e da un braccio mettendolo in una ciotola di stagno, spiegando che gli serviva per scrivere. Poi ha detto che lei doveva rinnegare Dio e tutti i santi, e che il suo dio era adesso il diavolo. E cosi’ lei ha rinnegato Dio, la sua reverenda madre, i santi apostoli e il santo angelo custode, dicendo cosi: io rinnego colui che e’ in cielo (perche’ il diavolo non le ha permesso di chiamare Dio per nome), sua madre, i santi apostoli e l’angelo custode nel nome di mille diavoli. Assieme a suo fratello, per ordine del diavolo ha anche orinato nell’acqua santa. Indi il maligno le ha detto di rovesciare quell’acqua santa e di aspergersi con essa perche’ sarebbe migliore dell’altra….

 

4. Il suo amante le ha anche spalmato un unguento su due punti del fianco sinistro, dopo di che le si sono aperti due buchi nel corpo che le hanno fatto molto male prima di guarire finalmente. Ha esibito i segni, di parvenza bianca. Il diavolo le ha detto che doveva segnarla, cosi’ da poterla distinguere da altre persone.

 

5. Il suo amante viene due o tre volte alla settimana, compie atti lascivi con lei, si accoppia con lei e, dopo essersi con lei giaciuto, dorme fino all’alba quando, all’ora della preghiera, egli vola di nuovo via. Inoltre e’ piu’ volte giaciuto con lei il fratellino, la prima volta mentre guardavano le oche e il maiale su un campo dalle parti di Rùedlingen, vicino a un bosco [profente et gaudente diabolo], compiendo con esso incesto, e ben piu’ volte di quante sono menzionate nel precedente protocollo. Le piaceva molto di piu’ quando suo fratello si univa a lei di quando lo faceva il diavolo. Il diavolo si e’ accoppiato con lei anche una volta che perdeva sangue.

 

8. E’ stata piu’ volte col padre e il fratello sull’Heùberg, volando su bastoni unti con una pomata nera: non troppo alti dal suolo, e il diavolo sedeva dietro di lei. Sull’Heùberg sono poi convenute molte persone, uomini, donne e bambini, anche musici con zampogne e violini. Indi hanno mangiato e bevuto, carne e altri cibi oltre al pane, e il vino era rosso. Quando brindavano, lo favevano nel nome del diavolo. Ballavano e saltavano, si accoppiavano ciascuno con il suo diavolo, le ragazze stando sotto e i ragazzi sopra. A capotavola era seduto in poltrona un vecchio diavolo di nome Lucifero, che sollecitava tutti perche’ mangiassero e bevessero a sazieta’ e fossero allegri…..

 

RIFERIMENTI

 

 

100 – APULEIO L. – L’asino d’oro

105 – ARTICIOC – Note e commenti

110 – BATTISTI G.E. – La civilta’ delle streghe

115 – BOCCACCIO G. – Decameron (Giornata I-Introduzione)

120 – BONOMO G. – Caccia alle streghe

130 – BOLZONI F. – Le streghe in Italia

140 – CLARK A.J. – Appendice V – Su Rif. 270

150 – DE ANGELIS V. – Il libro nero della caccia alle streghe

160 – DE ANGELIS V. – Le streghe

165 – EYMERICH N. – Directorium Inquisitorum

170 – FOGLIA S. – Streghe

180 – FRASER J.G. – Il ramo d’oro

190 – GARDNER G. – Witchcraft today

200 – GINZBURG C. -Stregoneria, magia e superstizione in Europa tra Medioevo ed Eta’ moderna

210 – GINZBURG C. – I benandanti. Stregoneria e culti agrari tra ‘500 e ‘600

220 – GINZBURG C. – Storia notturna. Una decifrazione del sabba

230 – HASLER E. – La strega bambina

240 – LEVACK B.P. – La caccia alle streghe in Europa – 2006

245 – LLORENTE J.A. – Historia critica de la Inquisicíon – Parigi 1822

250 – MICHELET J. – La sorcière

260 – MURRAY M. – Il Dio delle streghe

270 – MURRAY M. – Le streghe nell’Europa occidentale

280 – PAVESE A. – Grande inchiesta sulla magia in Italia

290 – PIOBB P. – Formulario di alta magia

300 – SELIGMAN K. – Lo specchio della magia

305 – SOLDAN-NEPPE – Geschichte der Exenprozess

310 – SPRENGER-KRAMER – Il martello delle streghe (Malleus Maleficarum)

315 – VIVAN I. – La caccia alle streghe nell’America Puritana

320 – VOLTAIRE – Dizionario filosofico

 

 

HOMEPAGE

CATALOGO

 

 

 


Mercury Talisman; 2013 Sept 4


We are fortunate to have one of our favourite astrological talismans coming up in September, the Mercury Talisman.  Mercury is in exaltation now in his own sign, we always look for Mercury to manifest his energy into our lives, this particular talisman is for that of Good Will, Wit and Increased Memory something we can all use. This was calculated for San Juan, PR region, however, you can recalculate to your region and time-zone just by setting your information to your areas Sunrise time.

Talisman for Good Will, Wit and Increased Memory - 2013 4 Sept

Talisman for Good Will, Wit and Increased Memory – 2013 4 Sept

This talisman is calculated for Wednesday the 4th day of September 2013 at 07:05 or 7:05 am, Mercury hour on Mercury day he has a +11 in dignity he is in ruler, exalt and face.  Mercury is conjunct the Sun and the Moon is not afflicted.  Note:  This talisman has a small window for consecration you have from 7:05 am to finish it by 7:15 am.

The image is that of a man sitting upon a chair or riding a peacock having eagles feet and on his head a crest and in his left hand holding a cock or fire. Herb:  Marjoram, Parsley and Dill, there are many others but these are the base ones to use you may also use Basil. If you can get your hands on sheet metal you can use tin or silver, silver being if you have virgin silver.  You may also use the stone of Mercury Agate to engrave your images onto the night prior to consecration.  However, you may also use virgin bees-wax or parchment paper as well.

Draw the above image on the front of the talisman an the image of the Seal of Mercury his sigil and his intelligence on the back of the sigil.  If using parchment paper carry this talisman on you in school, when writing or studying, or when you are just wanting all together good energy around you, it is good will.  If on metal or stone wear it around your next on a string if you can otherwise just put it in a lavender mojo bag and place it in your purse or pocket on the left side (whenever you are out), remember it is in your pants so you do not wash it.

Mercury Talisman; Agrippa

Mercury Talisman; Agrippa

You will draw the following symbols on the back your talisman the Magic Square of Mercury and the sigil of Mercury underneath the Magic Square then you will draw his intelligence on the back side with along with the Seal of Mercury (I am attaching the image of the one Agrippa has in his book Three Books of Occult Philosophy for your benefit).  I am also including the magic square so you can see how it is to look.  The Mercury Magic Square adds up to 2080 the Hebrew letters that are used on talismans (just draw them with a true heart and their magic will manifest).

Remember to note you have two images to choose from when drawing or engraving, the first one is the best one to use as it is easier for most to understand

At the appropriate hour light your candle (Yellow for Mercury) and your incense for suffumigation of your talisman ready, you will invoke Mercury using his Orphic Hymn and while chanting his hymn you will suffumigate your talisman holding it over the smoke of the incense.  Once you have finished leave the candle burning until it has burned completely out on its own.  You will chant this hymn eight times as this is the number of Mercury.

The Orphic Hymn to Mercury

The Fumigation from Frankincense

Hermes, draw near, and to my pray’r incline, Angel of Jove, and Maia’s son divine; Prefect of contest, ruler of mankind, With heart almighty, and a prudent mind. Celestial messenger of various skill, Whose pow’rful arts could watchful Argus kill. With winged feet ’tis thine thro’ air to course,

O friend of man, and prophet of discourse; Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine In arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine. With pow’r endu’d all language to explain, Of care the loos’ner, and the source of gain. Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod, Corucian, blessed, profitable God. Of various speech, whose aid in works we find,

And in necessities to mortals kind. Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere, Be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear; Assist my works, conclude my life with peace, Give graceful speech, and memory’s increase.


Talisman of Regulas: 18 August 2013


Regulas Talisman

18 August 2013 06:28 am AST Calculated for San Juan, PR Note:  Estimated time is 44 minutes to complete this Talisman The hour is the hour of the Sun on the day of the Sun with Regulas in the rising at 29° Leo 38’ and the Sun applies to Regulas. RegulasTalisman In mediæval magic, Regulas rules the stone granite and the herbs of sallendine, mugwort, and mastic also you may use wormwood. The image is that of a lion, cat or an honourable person seated in a chair, you may also use the head of the lion or cat.  It makes the wearer temperate, gives favour and appeases wrath, dispels melancholy and brings success and happiness. On either a piece of parchment paper cut into a circular shape or that of a ring with that of a head of a lion, a piece of virgin bees-wax draw on the front the head of a lion and on the back draw the sigil of Regulas directly above the image draw the sigil of Leo, around the edges in Hebrew (if familiar with the language) from right to left Proverbs 4:8 or inscribe in English begin at the top and left to right; Proverbs 4:8 “Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honour you if you embrace her.”   Image of Regulas to draw inside of circle on back of talisman below;  Just above this sigil draw the sigil of Leo; making sure to draw the image of the Lion on the front of your talisman and the sigil of Leo and Regulas on the Back of the talisman with Proverbs 4:8 around the sigils on the back in a circle. LeoImage Image12 At the hour prepare your incense and light your candle a yellow and purple candle are good to use, in the East facing as the Sun and Regulas rises, begin drawing your images and while drawing chant the following invocation until you have completed.  Place this in your wallet, on the desk where you pay your bills, or on the altar dedicated to the Sun while being sure to charge it weekly on Sunday in your daily rituals. Incense you use mugwort, wormwood, or Acabia mastic (a white powder) on a charcoal.  Be sure to suffumigate your talisman over the smoke of the incense when finished still chanting the invocation to the Sun.

Using the Invocation to the Sun

“Greetings O Life of the Universe and the Light of the World, answer my call and give me Radiance and Acceptance, O Sun I Call Thee by your Names; in Arabic SHAMS, in Persian MUHR, in Roman IYLYOOS, in Indian AARS and BRAA.  You are the Light and Glory of the World, the middle of all, whom greets the universe and all evil, the fixer and connecter, the highest in levels, the highest in places, I ask you to assist me with this king or all the kings of the earth or support with the state of rank or presidency and make me Radiant and Accepted as you are the Master and King of the Planets.  With you the world lights up and shines, I ask you the Controller of All to have mercy on me and my begging and submissiveness. (Picatrix The Goal of the Wise Vol II)


The Old Religion & the Law of Attraction


By Ariana Clausen – Vélez

2013 July

“The Principles of Truth are Seven; he who knows these understandingly, possesses the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open”  The Kybalion.

The Seven Hermetic Principles, upon which the entire Hermetic Philosophy is based, are as follows:  These principles are based on the Emerald Tablet and those things in which Thrice Greatest Hermes teaches.

I.        The Principle of Mentalism

II.        The Principle of Correspondence

III.        The Principle of Vibration

IV.        The Principle of Polarity

V.        The Principle of Rhythm

VI.        The Principle of Cause and Effect

  1. The Principle of Gender

The Emerald Tablet (Compiled from several early Latin and German versions)

  1. In truth, without deceit, certain, and most veritable.  (Principle of Mentalism)
  2. That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing. And just as all things have come from this One Thing, through the meditation of the One Mind, so do all created things originate from the One Thing, through Transformation.  (Principle of Correspondence)
  3. Its Father is the Sun; its mother the Moon.  The Wind carries it in its belly; its nurse is the Earth.  It is the origin of All, the consecration of the Universe; its inherent Strength is perfected, if it is turned into Earth.  (The Principle of Vibration)
  4. Separate the Earth from Fire, the Subtle from the Gross, gently and with great Ingenuity.  It rises from the Earth to heaven and descends again to Earth, thereby combining within Itself the powers of both the Above and the Below.  (Principle of Polarity)
  5. Thus will you obtain the Glory of the Whole Universe.  All Obscurity will be clear of you.  This is the greatest Force of all powers, because it overcomes every Subtle thing and penetrates every Solid thing.  (Principle of Rhythm)
  6. In this way was the Universe created.  From this come many wondrous Applications, because this is the Pattern.  (Principle of Cause and Effect)
  7. Therefore am I called Thrice Greatest Hermes, having all three parts of the wisdom of the Whole Universe.  Herein have I completely explained the Operation of the Sun.  (Principle of Gender)

So what does any of this have to do with the Craft, the Old Religion, Christianity, Druidism, Muslim or any religion and the Law of Attraction for that matter?  It has everything to do with it, it is the foundation of All.  It is the foundation of magic and all in which we manifest into our lives for the good or the bad.  It is the source to the All.  To understand how one you have to understand the other.  To begin the Law of Attraction is not a new thing, it is something that dates back to the beginning of humanity and the first incarnation of Hermes Trismegitus who was the author of the sacred texts Hermetic Corpus and was also known to the Egyptians as Thoth.  Both Thoth and Hermes were gods of writing and of magic in their respective cultures. Thus, the Greek god of interpretive communication was combined with the Egyptian god of wisdom as a patron of astrology and alchemy. In addition, both gods were psychopomps; guiding souls to the afterlife.  Hermes, Thoth, Mercury is the only God that can walk in both the underworld to guide those souls that have passed and the living world.  He is life and death, light and dark.

The Craft is known as the Old Religion it has been around as long as the beginning of humanity.  The Old Religion is not an easy path for anyone to follow, it comes with great sacrifice and solitary workings, it is however, the path in which focuses on the healing arts, astrology, alchemy and magic, which are the three main paths of a Hermetic teachings.  All leading to the Mystic Will, the Law of Attraction, Manifestation of those things we desire the most to have in our lives be it for the spiritual or the material for they are both connected you cannot have one without the other.  It is magic; it is of the mind of the All, One Mind created which is reached from the base of the One Thing.

However, to understand this you need to understand the Seven Hermetic Principles and how they work in our daily lives.  We all do magic, be it in our words, thoughts, feelings, deeds, actions and reactions it is all magic as it comes from the soul which is the heart.

When the Craft is taught and practiced correctly you will find all of these principles embodied not only in the magic but in how you find that deeper connection to self from within, it is used to find inner healing, too communicate with those entities in other dimensions and realms, to guide us to a greater understanding and knowledge of the All that is within us all.  The understanding of the stars and the planets in astrology, an understanding of the elements and how to transform them in alchemy and in that All magic exists, this is the Old Religion, the Craft of the Wise.  When we do our work we tap into our mental universe to manifest it into matter.

We will begin by looking at the first Principle or Rubric; “The Principle of Mentalism”.  “The All is Mind; The Universe is Mental.”  This Principle embodies the truth that “All is Mind.”  The mind creates everything and controls everything, it manifests from the subconscious to the conscious world whether you realise it or not, words do not matter in this case because when you think something for example you send out mentally that you are an amazing, beautiful, successful business man or woman you will materialise this into your life, this being the ride handed side which is of the material plane in where all things manifest into matter.  Also, on the other hand if you are full of self-doubt and feel you are the worth nothing, this will manifest into your life, you will always fail at what you set out to do, be it in love, career, life “The Mind is All”.  What you allow into it will manifest into your material world.

A quote from the Kybalion; “An understanding of this great Hermetic Principle of Mentalism enables the individual to readily grasp the laws of the Mental Universe, and to apply the same to his well-being and advancement.”

Within magic as well as the Law of Attraction we all whether we know it or not work with these principles, be it consciously or subconsciously, our mind is the one connection we have to the All, to everyone we are at some point of the same mind with, the same level or mental capabilities with and we draw to that energy and people, in that we are using the Law of Attraction to connect to those people who end up in our lives.  It is that of mind and hearts all truth.

We take a stone which is a natural object of the earth, some would call this an amulet, a found object, now when you sit down and hold it in your hands and close your eyes you are taking the time to mentally connect to this object, how it was created, where it came from, the energies it will have that you connect to, to manifest that which you seek in your life.  Let us say it is quartz, quartz is clear but within the family it has many colours, magical connections, healing connections, god and goddess connections, planetary connections, numerical vibrations and sounds that from the earth it has grown to carry within this small object that is literally of the earth.  It began as a base object nothing but dirt or solid black stone and over time, many millions of years as it connected to the Mental the All it begins to take form and create its’ own unique shape it manifests into something amazing and beautiful and from that we can mentally connect to the beginning of this object.  It starting out as nothing and ending up as something amazing and beautiful.  This is the Law of Attraction, this is magic this is what we do in the Craft, the Old Religion, and all paths that are of healing, light of both the dark and light for from the darkness light manifests and creates something amazing and enlightened, illuminated when we allow what we want from within to create in our spiritual and material world.

From the Gnostic Bible, chapter the Paraphrase of Shem; Darkness sees the Spirit & Darkness Ejaculates Mind into the Womb of Nature; “When the darkness stirred, the light of the spirit appeared to him.  When he saw it he was astonished.  He did not know that another power was above him.  And when he saw that his likeness was dark compared with the spirit, he felt hurt.  And in him pain lifted up, above the height of the members of darkness, his mind, which was the eye of bitterness of evil.  He caused his mind to take shape in a member of the portions of the spirit, thinking that, by staring down at his evil, he would be able to equal the spirit.  But he was not able, for he wanted to do an impossible thing, and it did not take place.  But in order that the mind of darkness, which is the eye of the bitterness of evil, might not be destroyed, since he was made partially similar, he arose and shone with a fiery light upon all of Hades, that the equality of the faultless light might become apparent.  For the spirit benefited from every form of darkness because he appeared in his majesty.

And the exalted, infinite light appeared, for he was very joyful.  He wished to reveal himself to the spirit.  And the likeness of the exalted light appeared to the unconceived spirit.  I appeared.  I am the son of the incorruptible, infinite light.  I appeared in the likeness of the spirit, for I am the ray of the Universal light.  And his appearance to me was in order that the mind of darkness might not remain in Hades.  For the darkness made himself like his mind in a portion of the members.  When I, O Shem, appeared in the likeness, so that the darkness might become dark to himself, according to the will of the majesty, and so that the darkness might become devoid of every aspect of the power that he possessed, the mind drew the chaotic fire, with which it was covered, form the midst of darkness and the water.  And from the darkness the water became a cloud, and from the cloud the womb took shape.  The chaotic fire, which was a deviation, went there.

“And when the darkness saw the womb, he became unchaste.  And when he had aroused the water, he rubbed the womb.  His mind dissolved down to the depths of nature.  It mingled with the power of the bitterness of darkness.  And the womb’s eye ruptured at the wickedness of the order that she might not again bring forth the mind.  For it was a seed of nature from the dark root.  And when nature had taken to herself the mind by means of the dark power, every likeness took shape in her.  And when the darkness had acquired the likeness of the mind, it resembled the spirit.  For nature rose up to expel it; she was powerless against it, since she did not have a form from darkness.  For she brought forth the cloud.  And the cloud shone.  A mind appeared in it like a frightful, harmful fire.  The mind collided against the unconceived spirit, since it possessed a likeness from him, in order that nature might become empty chaotic fire.

And immediately nature was divided into four parts.  They became clouds that varied in appearance.  They were hymen afterbirth, power, and water.  And the hymen and the afterbirth and the power were chaotic fires.  And the mind was drawn from the midst of the darkness and the water – since the mind was in the midst of nature and the dark power – in order that the harmful waters might not cling to it.  Because of this, nature was divided, according to my will, in order that the mind may return to its power, which the dark root, mixed with the mind, had taken from it.  And the dark root appeared in the womb.  At the division of nature the dark root separated from the dark power, which it possessed form the mind.  The mind went into the midst of the power – this was the middle region of nature.

It all comes from the same place, the Law of Attraction is this, magic is this, Old Religion is this, as is everything in which we create from our mental universe.

When it comes down to it we all do magic no matter what path we may follow it all comes from the same place.  Every principle is mentioned in the above paraphrases of Shem.  Shem is the son of Anu the Sumerian God who is the Father of all and from him all things manifest from base to illumination.

The ancient philosophers knew this, Akhenaton, Balinas, Empedocles, Paracelsus, Socrates, Aristotle, Bruno, Galileo, Copernus, Hypatia and many, many more (the first two being the reincarnated Thoth).  They knew that all was in the Mind and in the Universe and because of them we have the Law of Attraction as it is called today and it is used by Craft and everyone who truly understands what real magic is the mind and heart.

 


What is an Astral Initiation Anyway?


 What is an Astral Initiation Anyway?

Astral Initiation

Astral Initiation

By Ariana Clausen – Vélez

When we look at one’s initiation what does it truly mean to you, the individual?  Is it man validating you and giving you a title, a position, credentials to throw around so loosely that it does not mean anything, or does it mean something far greater?

An initiation is a single journey of all who are of the path of the Old Religionists, the Golden Dawn, the Hermetic, Wicca, Druidism, and all paths associated to works and service to and with the Gods.  We all go on an individual journey in life, its’ experiences, our training and studies as an individual.  In all of the Ways of Old, that is the paths of the Ancients were all taught as oral traditions, held very sacred their Oaths of Silence that they took (as back then, as it should still be those Oaths were taken before the Gods, and have a high regard to uphold them).  Teachers, Mentors, Elders, True Mother’s or Father’s, Adeptus’s and all those of the learned have gotten there through hard work, studies, training, years of practice, and did so through their own dedication and patience to the studies and the tools provided to them.

When we look at the way of the Ancient’s in Sumer, Egypt, the Celtic lands (which are far and wide and covered many lands that today many would not think were Celtic in culture), Roman and Greek and more held sacred the Path of Initiation.  The Priests and Priestesses would go to the mountains, temples, caves, and inner sanctuaries to prepare for Initiations by setting up the altars with the candles, incenses and the place in which the Priest or Priestess was to be initiated would be placed.  From this one would never know what to expect as this rite is very sacred and between The One and the initiate alone.  If you look at history and how those Magi’s were Initiated before us, you see a similar pattern in all of them, they all go into the desert, to the top of a mountain, into the forest, and are gone for long periods of time to commune with The One, God, Goddesses and Gods, when we look at all of them they are all given great information and are initiated in the astral.

In The History of Magic by Eliphas Levi, in the chapter entitled Magic and the Revolution there are many stories of regenerating movement from well known Magi’s dating back to the time of Pharaoh.  I will mention two such here, the rest you will need to purchase a copy and read it in full for yourself to understand.

“The name Althotas, or that of Caglistro’s master, is composed of the word Thot, with the syllables Al and As, which, if read Kabalistically, are Sala, meaning messenger or envoy.  The name as a whole therefore signifies: Thot, the messenger of the Egyptians, and such in effect was he whom Caglistro recognised as the master above all others.

“Another title adopted by Caglistro was that of Grand Copht, and his doctrine had the twofold object of moral and physical regeneration.  The precepts of moral regeneration according to the Grand Copht were as follows:  “You shall go up Mount Sinai with Moses; you shall ascend Calvary; with Phaleg you shall climb Thabor, and shall stand on Carmel with Elias (Essene Teachings) and Mount Carmel is shaped like that of a triangle.  Now, according to S.L. MacGregor Mather’s “The Grimoire of Armadel Phaleg is the good angel of Mars (as well as all other Angelic sources).  Then we also find in the same work just mentioned, that of the Rod of Moses; it states; “Zainael is the Spirit who did teach unto Moses the methods of availing himself of the Rod with the which he did perform so many miracles in Egypt, and among the Chaldeans.  He hath much power to render those rich who avail themselves of his services.”  Another mention of Moses states; “Hethatia maketh you see even as Moses saw the benefits which he had received from God, when he was in the Desert of the Land of Midian.  These are all spirits and can only be seen and heard in the Astral Realm.  There are many more Magi’s who were initiated in the Astral Realm all dating back to the beginning of man and religious sacred rites of regeneration i.e. Astral Initiation.

Also we look at the works of Dennis William Hauck’s, The Emerald Tablet Alchemy for Personal Transformation.  This is an excellent work for all to have to find a deeper understanding to the rubrics of the Emerald Tablet and how to apply into your life.  But be warned the path in which you will embark on may not be the easiest when you open your heart and mind up to the teachings of Thot, for it is a journey in which one will come upon calcinations, dissolution and separation.  In the 7th chapter entitled Separate the Earth from Fire he says the following; this is based on the Fourth Rubric of the Emerald Tablet; The All the powers of the Above.  This is the most difficult transition for many people to pass through as it does deal with the Above which is the realm of the astral.

“The ancients knew exactly what the powers from the Above were like because they experienced them directly within themselves.”  Also said, “It has been postulated that 5,000 or so years ago mankind lived in unconscious communion with the gods and followed divine “voices” in times of novel or stressful situations.”  Also saying, “The ancients remembered what it was like before full consciousness dawned in man and believed that the mental world of thought and imagination was every bit as real as the physical world in which they found themselves.  With the breakdown of the divine connection, the One Mind in man slowly split into duality of rational consciousness, although the archaic ability to exist in both realms is said to have survived in few genuine psychics and prophets.”  Furthermore, “Perhaps our thoughts have lost their intrinsic value because there are simply too many of them floating around and because nobody seems to care whether anyone’s thoughts are inherently true or not.”  And lastly, “We tend to think that imagination is the same as fantasy that dreams are just image soup that visions are psychotic, that myths are legends are just tall tales, and that our thoughts have no effect on reality.  Most of us really believe that the best use that can be made of the power of thinking is to plot, gain the upper hand, make more money, garner more esteem, or get an edge over someone else in the rat race.”

“As the Son of Heaven and Earth, “the initiate has inside himself not only the four earthly elements but also the three heavenly ones, which is why the ancients viewed the individual as a microcosm of the whole universe.  The same forces that shaped the cosmos are present in man.  This is the meaning of the Doctrine of Correspondences and the whole impetus for spiritual alchemy.  No matter how far man has fallen from grace, no matter how tightly shackled to the chains of physicality he has allowed himself to become, there is hope for him because he has all the elements necessary to set himself free.  All he has to do is purify the earthly elements in his soul and personality and activate the heavenly elements of his indwelling spirit.  This is the Great Work.”

Read about the German mystic Jacob Boehme as his is one of the most incredible of all he was so well mastered that when brought before a panel  of eminent theologians was assembled to exam him.  They found him to beyond their power to judge.

What does all of this represent?  The Astral Self, the Astral Initiation.

Then we have from the Gospel of Phillip; Water and Fire (67, 2-9)—“Soul and spirit have come into being from water and fire.  The attendant of the bridal chamber has come into being from water, fire and light.  Fire is chrism.  Light is fire.  I do not mean ordinary fire, which has no form, but other fire, which is pure white in appearance, beautifully bright and imparting beauty.”

There are so many more references to astral encounters, initiations, conceptions, marriages and more that go back through the ages of man.  Take the time to learn and find the truth for they are part of our history.

Initiation is a very personal experience and while in many if not all Initiations (that one considers valid) are all performed by man.  But when we really look at an Initiation it comes from a far Greater source than we mere ants of humans on this earth, they come from the Gods and Goddesses or from how you see your divine source of life.  All true initiations are from the Astral.

This past week on the Friday 28th of June, I did my Astral Initiation into the E.O.G.D. Order.  As with any initiation I prepared myself through that of rituals that were needed to prepare my space as well as my spirit, body and mind, did the proper fasting and cleansing, prepared the items needed and took time to mentally prepare myself for the Astral event.  Upon the designated hour, I had set up the candles, set the incense, set the tools on my altar and began my journey.  I sat still focusing on that of the spirit and the energies that were from the Mental Plane and that of the illuminating lights that connected to my Higher Self my Crown and felt them as they went through me.  One never really knows how long they are under in this type of ritual.  All of a sudden I felt this amazing energy over me with the wings spread far and wide, white in colour and the head of the Ibis, I felt Thoth all around me carrying me on my new journey into this Initiation.  I had no words for what followed; it was beyond words, beyond ones’ description or that of anyone else’s comprehension of such a journey beyond in that of the Astral.

As first a practicing Old Religionist I do know how powerful the astral realm is, how dangerous it can be if one travels there without knowing how to protect themselves from the spirits, but it is the one form of Initiation in which is the Higher of them all, it is Validated by that of the Gods and in truth the only one who can validate any initiation is the Gods and no other.  I have had many journeys to the Astral and one of them I received a message about Future Earth and following that I came upon an article that was written by another in Arizona who too was spoken to by Ea on the future of earth which validated my vision, while following about 6 months later NASA saying they had found a system in which could be a future place for humanity.  It was as I had seen it in my vision.  All I will say on this is that it was a place and time in which humans only communicate via the Mental.  The Astral is very real.

An experience and Words of Wisdom from a former experience I went through many years back following an Initiation in which many tried to claim was invalid due to the envy of man.

I learned long ago from a wise woman, my “True Mother”, that initiation is not validated by the hands or man, but by the hands of the Gods it is only they who can truly initiate you.   Many years ago I went through a great trial, I was a solitary and then later joined an online school and as I grew within myself I felt that it was time for initiation, however, there was no one in my community who could perform this ritual, as I was a solitary, so I self-initiated to the Gods at that time I followed a more Celtic path.  Later as I continued with my training I was invited by a local group to audit their coven and see if I wanted to join, at a later time I did so, and within the next four months I had resigned.  In following this I was still with this online school and had met online a woman who claimed to be a High Priestess in the Wiccan community out of Canada, I studied under her and later she did my next initiation via the internet.  I prepared as I would for any initiation, fasted, prepared oils, soaps, and ritual garb and tools for the ceremony, it was a beautiful and powerful journey.  When at a later time I had asked if she had filed my papers with her organisation, she kept putting me off, so I did what any person with a mind would do, I sought out and contacted them myself; boy did I get a rude awakening, not only was she not a part of their organisation but she had stolen their watermark logo for my certificate.  But the HP of the organisation instead of being a person of love was out right rude, and without asking anything of me told me that my Initiation was not valid because they only do them in person at their location and it has to be performed by one of the heads to be so valid in the eyes of the Gods.  I was destroyed, or at the time I thought I was, full betrayal by someone who claimed to be in of the gods, they were not at all out for the Gods but for their own puffed up egos.

Shortly following this I had bumped into the old HP of the local coven I had been a part of where I live and he had the audacity to tell me I should step down as a Priestess as I was not ready and only when man blessed would I be; now I was already over the betrayal from the other at this time, so I sat and thought long and hard about this situation.  Flowing this I had a vision, it was of Dr. Leo L. Martello and he had led me to my “True Mother”, we had many amazing conversations over the next year and half and then I went to Salem, MA for the first time and we met and from there I have learned so very much and gained so much in knowledge and wisdom.  “The one thing she taught me and it stays with me every day.  We were in the hotel lobby where I was staying and she cast circle it was on Samhain night and as she placed her hand on me she said the following, “No man can validate a Priestess of the Gods, only they can if you lift your arms and eyes to the heavens and say I am of the Gods and they give you a sign that is all the validation one ever needs, the rest is just icing”.

Can an Initiation be revoked by those Gods who so validate it, yes.  If we do not stand up to the work and service for the Gods and to humanity in an honourable manner in helping those who seek us out when in need of healing, protection, bringing justice to those who have been falsely harmed or accused and so on.  Are Initiations in most cases done by the hand of man, yes, and no, if an Initiation is done correctly with then the HP and HPs or Hierophant, Arch Druid, etc they are simply the vehicles for the Gods.

An Astral Initiation is one of the most pure forms of initiation at the hands of the Gods.  Do all experience it in the same manner, no, of course not, do all feel the experience, I do not know for sure.  Is it best to have years of training prior to such an Initiation, yes, in that way you are better prepared and you know what to expect when you entree the Astral.

So, Always remember; when someone tells you, you are not valid because you were not taken in by the hand of man to be initiated, please ignore them for they do not know what they are talking about.  The only form of true initiation is that of the Astral.  If you are fortunate to be of a family who understands this and who themselves while doing the true work and service of the Gods performs an initiation pay attention to how much more powerful it is than one from one who seeks only his or her own self recognition.  You will feel the difference from within, as one will be truly guided by the hands of the Gods and the other will have no power at all.

Many Blessings in Light


In Memory of Dr. Leo Louis Martello


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Today marks the 13th Anniversary of Dr. Leo Louis Martello’s passing and returning home to Sumerland.  Leo did so much, he was an author, activist and so much more.  Today of all days is a celebration of his work as a Gay Rights Activist all those years ago in New York for one day before his Memorial, California has let go of proposal 8 and now All Gays and Lesbians are free to marry on the same ground as hetrosexual couples.  It seems so fitting that Leo’s energy and he is here celebrating such an amazing victory for the Equal Rights of Gays around the globe.  This was something he fought hard for and now the doors are opening and the laws which were already there under the First Amendment are now seeing so many couples finally getting to marry the ones’ they love.

Leo was known for so much, but today in light of this great Victory we speak more on his works as an activist.

We love you and Miss you so much Leo, we know you are here with us all.

Like his page on Facebook


Cross Posting from Vox Arcana-St. John’s Eve Headwashing Ceremony In Honor of Marie Laveau


St. John’s Eve Headwashing Ceremony In Honor of Marie Laveau “Mother of Vodou, Queen of Conjure, Mistress of Many Names: Teach us how it is right to call upon you. Meet us in the moonlight, where the waters kiss the shore; let our drum beats be the heart beat

Of your presence that endures.”
June 23rd, the Eve of St. John, has historically been an important day in the Vodou religion and in the beliefs of related conjure practices.  Indeed, if there is such a thing as a “holy day” in traditional voodoo, St. John’s Eve is that day.
Madame Marie Laveau (1794-1881) was recognized as the Mother of Vodou in New Orleans in her lifetime.  Even as a young woman she enjoyed the distinction of her reputation as a “rootworker” and “conjure woman.”  Although initially that reputation was mainly among the free people of color and slave populations of New Orleans, she entered mature womanhood recognized by all as the de facto Queen of Voodoo in New Orleans – a title that has never been successfully challenged in all the years since her death.

Blog: Escuela Internacional de Astrología: Alejandro Magno y la crucifixión de Jesús


http://astrochart-astrochart.blogspot.com/2013/05/alejandro-magno-y-la-crucifixion-de.html?m=1


Cross Posting: Mother’s Day a history of her Story


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The Charm of the Rue


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The Charm of the Rue

by: Florence Peacock

Why do you come to disturb me?

I laid you away to rest,

With red rose-leaves for your pillow,

And rosemary over your breast,

There was lavender all around you,

I knew that your grave was deep;

There were king-cups growing above you,

And yet you have stirr’d in your sleep.

I promised that you should have flowers;

And I did not forget the rue;

But sometimes I think you forgot, dear,

All the old-world spells that I knew.

You said that I must not remember,

But bury you out of my sight;

I might strew the red rose-leaves upon you,

And then must forget you quite.

But I knew you would one day waken,

If only the rue was there;

That the past it would all come back, dear

Some day when the skies were fair.

You know that you bade me forget, dear,

All the love that you told long ago;

To bury it deep, nor regret you,

It had passed with the last year’s snow.

But for years I hoped you would waken,

For I knew that the rue it was there;

But I deem’d that the charm it was broken,

No answer there came to my prayer.

And ah, but you slept so soundly,

‘Mid roses, rosemary, and rue,

That I have had time to remember

It was I, not you, that were true.

But the charm it has worked, and you waken;

The spell of the rue holds you fast;

The grave has no power to keep you,

Your love it is mine at last.

And, dear, you should not reproach me,

Remember that I was true;

Red roses and rosemary wither,

You took no heed of the rue.

But yet for the sake of the past, dear,

And the days e’er you proved untrue,

I would I had left you to sleep, dear,

With never the charm of the rue.


Black Walnut Anthology Vol III has been sent to the Publishers!!!!


Announcement: Black Walnut Anthology Authors and Fans; We have gone to the publishers, it is waiting for layout finalization and then we will go live in about one week or so, once the final layout has been approved we will be able to publish to Kindle for our Kindle readers and fans.

We have an amazing issue, one of the best issues we have published to date. I have attached the Cover of the issue for our readers and contributors to view. Our cover art is by Nelson E. Maldonado Ramos — Hera Queen of all the Gods.

BookCoverPreview

Here is what you look forward to in the coming week or two when we are live

Contents:

 

Abracadabra, by Clausen-Velez, Ariana – page 6

The Feast of Remembrance, by Cooking with Deity – page 8

The Spanish Witch, by Masmitjà, David Garrido – page 11

Signs, Coincidences and Manifestations, by Masmitjà, David Garrido – page 13

The Archetypical Magician, by Cüsters-van-Bergen, Ina –page 18

Primitive Consciousness and Modern Magical Training, by Cüsters-van-Bergen, Ina – page 23

Be your own Herbal Expert, pt 1, by Weed, Susun – page 32

Healing Wise: The Shamanic Herbalist: Power Plants, by Weed, Susun – page 37

Headaches/Migraines, by Weed, Susun – page 41

Gnostic Psycho-Synthesis, by Sigan, Tau – page 46

On the Nature of Gnostic Paganism, by Sigan, Tau – page 54

Walking with Odin: Death in a Shamanic Context, by Anderson, Katie – page 66

North American Voodoo and the Underground Railroad, by Witchdoctor Utu – page 70

Sicilian Witchcraft, by Martello, Dr. Leo L. – page 76

Transformation of Self is like that of forging a Sword, by Clausen-Vélez, Ariana – page 99

The Battle for Separation of Religion and State, by Ramos, Nelson E. Maldonado – page 107

 


Easter – the Fertility Festival of Spring | We Are Vibratory Beings


Easter – the Fertility Festival of Spring | We Are Vibratory Beings.  This is a great article for everyone to read, please do enjoy it and have a most blessed season of new life and fertility.

While I personally do not celebrate Easter on the day as the Christians, I do celebrate the Spring Equinox, Ostara (Celtic), and the Persian New Year I do honour the ways of the this season we are currently in. As Persephone, Proserpina also Kore is celebrated as she returns to the land of the Living by the hands of Mercury delivering her from the hands of Hades to her Mother and Goddess of Earth; Demeter she is the Saviour of the Old Religionists, she is the bringer of life and all things new and she brings us all healing upon her return to the land of the living.

On this day we celebrated in my home with a dish of an omelets of egg, ricotta chesse, green olives, and chicken with potatoes. This is a meal of healing, new life, eating of what comes from under the earth as well as of above the earth. The olives are sacred to Old Religionists as it is the main oil in all of our cooking and magical workings it is also the oil we use to anoint. The Olive Tree is the only tree that does not endure disease of any kind it self heals from the inside out and it is one of the oldest of trees in which we use not only the fruit it bears but the oil it brings. Eggs are of renewal and new life it is the womb of the Mother where all things are created, cheese is of the milk of the mother in which nourishes us all and the chicken the one that hatches the eggs we eat during this time.

While we too partake of meals of fish and all things of yellow and orange in colour as they are the colours of the Sun and healing and the Light that we are once again returning to being dominant over the lands.

Blessed Spring Equinox, Easter, Ishtar, Ostara. This season is of very ancient roots.


Black Walnut Anthology


Black Walnut Anthology.


La Vecchia Religione


La Vecchia Religione

By Leo Louis Martello

{Used w/Permission by, Rev. Lori Bruno}

I was born into a family of Strege {witches}.  My ancestral home is Sicily.  My family passed themselves off as Catholics.  Sicily is the home of magnificent monuments and the notorious Mafia, has the world’s oldest active volcano, Etna, and the tow of Trapani was founded by Eryx, son of Venus, a land where every town has its own patroness, where churches are built upon the sties of ancient temples, where the ancients travelled from all over the world to worship at the Temple to Demeter, in Enna, to celebrate her daughter Persephone’s resurrection from the underworld to reign as Goddess of souls and immortality.

Sicilians are a blend of many races and cultures, Carthaginian, Phoenician, Egyptian, Arab, Greek, Roman, Norman, etc.  They are not strictly Italians, thought most of them speak the language since it is now a part of Italy.  The ancient worship of the female deity exists to this day.  All modern depictions of the Catholic Madonna and Child are derived from the Goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone.  Sicilians revere the Blessed Virgin more than they do the Christ.  Even when the Normans conquered Sicilyin the 12th century and converted the image of Christ into a fair-haired, blue eyed self-portrait, the crafty Sicilians continued their worship of the Goddess.  The Cathoic Church in the town of Enna has a statue of the Madonna…..with a FEMALE JESUS.  The sculptor who worked on this was a member of la vecchia religione {The Old Religion} and in this way paid tribute to his Goddess of Demeter and Persephone.

There are many traditions in the Italian-Sicilian Craft just as in other countries.  Diana has always been called Queen of the Witches in Italy.  Charles G. Leland’s book, Aradia, or Gospel of the Witches is the basis for many of the rites and even secret names of modern day Gardnerians.  Even Margaret Murray’s Witch Cult in Western Europe and the God of the Witches {upon with Gardner drew heavily} deal only with the Horned God.  Later,  Gardner demoted the Horned God and elevated the Goddess using one of her Italian names.  Today, many Gardnerians seem to be more involved with dogma than they are with devotion and don’t seem to be fully aware of their origins.

Since Roman times {and long before} Diana has always been worshipped by runaway slaves, the outcasts, people of the night, the oppressed, disenfranchised, all those who deviated from the Establishment {including racial and sexual minorities}.  Thus, when a Gardnerian says that “a homosexual can’t be a true witch”, this is a perversion of the Italian-Sicilian Goddess they claim to worship, which indicates either ignorance of the historical truth, or a Judeo-Christian hangover.  Diana, and her daughter Aradia, protected all those who worshipped them.  The victims of oppression and injustice did not have a God to turn to {either Roman and later Christian } but they always had their Goddess.

There are many Sicilian Craft descendants in the U.S. but most of them {especially in California} retain only remnants of their traditions.  Our own branch of Sicilian Craft has always maintained strong ties with the motherland and our members make periodical pilgrimages to the ancient temples and caves.  We also maintain close contact with our secret brother and sisters Malta{only 60 miles away}.  Thus, our traditions have remained unsullied an undiluted, and even during the burning time our Crafters continued their secret worship.  In fact, many of the Catholic priests were, in reality, Strege.  When danger threatened, my forebears went to “holy communion” and the “priest” warned them by the consecrated wafer:  It was either nicked or bent.  This was the danger signal.  For more of our Traditions read “Roman Robin Hoods” in my book Curses and Verses.  I can only give a brief glimpse here.


Home Remedies for the Cold and Flu Season


In this season we again are up against those nasty colds and flus.  Every year I make homemade remedies as needed when either myself or my husband get a wee bug.  This year, I got it from inhaling toxic fumes from cleaning and dust from home repairs, this is typical for me when around toxic cleaning chemicals.  Over the years I have come up with my own herbal blends for teas, cleansing and ointments.  This year I am going to share some of those remedies with all of you.

Easy to make and with what you already should have in your cupboard. 

Herbal Teas, Salves and Vaporiser Blends

Loose dried herbs are the best, if you happen to have fresh dried herbs they work wonderful just bruise them to allow the oils to be extracted in the hot water you boil for a cup of tea.  Many people ask me tea?  You are American, American’s do not drink tea.  Well for one thing, yes, they do and for the second my ancestors are heavily from the UK in England and Ireland as well as other Northern European countries where tea is a favoured drink.  I love my tea.

Ingredients are easy to blend all you need is a tea ball, muslin bag, or a tea strainer holder.  Blend your herbs and place them in the ball.

Ingredients for today’s blend are as follows;  Thyme, Peppercorns, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Anise Seed or Star of Anise, blend them and place in ball and steep for approx. 20 minutes for medicinal purposes.  Other ingredients are Star of Anise, honey and lime or lemon, then you can have ginger root cut up and placed in a big pot fill with water boil for approx. 20 then allow to infuse for 2 hours.  Remove the root and add honey and milk, ginger warms the body and allows for sweating.  Again we have Hawthorne, Elder Flowers/Berries which are wonderful for colds and flus as they warm the body and allow for sweating as well.  Eucalyptus is another great herb for teas in this season.

Salves are very easy to make for your loved ones, just take Vaseline and add your oils of choice for this season, I use Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Tea Tree (great for bacteria), and use 10 drops per tablespoon of Vaseline.  You will need a double boiler or something you can make into one place the Vaseline in the pot atop of the and add your oils, allow the Vaseline to melt down while stirring in the oils, once liquefied turn heat off and transfer to a tin for cooling.  Cool to room temp or place in the refrigerator and use as needed on the chest, back and feet keeping all areas covered to keep in the body heat.

Other things you can do is mix all these oils into a vaporiser and set in the room to clear the air, stop the bacteria from spreading and to help for easier breathing while resting in bed.

Take your vitamins D3, C 1000 +2, A and B-12 along with Zinc all help the body recover quickly.

Drink lots of water, tea and juice, eat chicken soup, lamb, and lentil soups for a speedy recovery.

Many Blessings to you All in this Cold and Flu Season

Ariana


My Blessings to All on this of Feast of Mongfind, Samhain and Feast of the Dead


Many Blessed and Greetings to All this Feast of Mongfind, Samhain, and Feast of the Dead.  This is the time in which we honour those who came before us, our Ancestors those who came from the roots and earth of the Old Religion and always remembering where they truly came from, what the spirit of family, land, and the heart truly came from, from the land of the dead from the realms hidden inside the veils of the unseen and Greater Mysteries.

We are of many heritages, cultures, religions, traditions and paths in our lives, ancestors and our personal spiritual journeys, we must all remember that we do not have to agree with each other and how as individuals we practice and believe, but one should respect one another for having the free spirit and mind as an individual to practice those beliefs in which are deep in the heart of each of us and not worry so much about others and how they practice.  If we all step up and honour the ways of Old, or honour the Gods and Goddesses, God, Allah, Budda, Orishas or whatever you choose to follow let us remember to be accepting.

This Samhain season I am reminded of many things, death, life, change, growth, loss, gain and most importantly the powers of the nature in which not one of us have any control over.  Sandy was an evil disaster one in which I know was from the wrath of the Gods and the Mother of the Oceans to remind us who truly has the say over all life.  We are mere ants in this world and as descendants to those ancestors who were from the lines of the Old Religion and of the path of Warriors, justice keepers, healers, prophets, readers of the stars, visions of the hidden realms and more we must remember we are here to work together not to harm those who seek our counsel and guidance.

My Ancestors are of the Milesian and of the line of Erimon, cousins to the Tuaha de Dannan, they fought and defeated the magic of the Tuaha to then become the last of the invaders of Ireland, but not before travelling over vast lands masses, and learning the arts of the ancient craft, Mongfind was the head wife of Eochaid the High King of Ireland.  Eochaid had two wifes, Mongfind and Cairenn she was of the family of Sachell Balb, King of the Saxons.  Caireen was pregnant with my ancestor Niall of Niall of the Nine Hostages captures of St. Patrick and his sister.  Mongfind so jealous of Caireen sought out to prove how much she loved her husband and on what we now call Samhain drank poison to prove her love to her husband and died, hence the beginning of what we today celebrate as Samhain.  Originally it was called Feast of Mongfind and it is dated to have begun at the time of her death circe 351.  Mongfind means fair main.  As the Queen of Ireland the people honoured her death and from this is where we today get Samhain the feast of the dead.  Mongfind was later turned into a deity and is the known as the Sorcerer of Magic, while Caireen is known as the Goddess who protects children.

This time of year has a much deeper rooted meaning for myself as it is the one time of the year I have always felt most drawn too, the darkest time of the year when those things that are hidden are revealed and seen.  I find that when we understand the meaning of our festivals we better connect to the energy of the season.  The Church calls this the season of the devil; the devil never was mentioned in any ancient works that of the Old Ways in any culture, it was only after the Church forced those who lived in the county side to convert was he created by the Church itself.  There in honouring the dead is to remember where we came from, our roots and the deepest core of our true heritage.  Yes, it is true not all can follow this path and work magic or walk with the dead, it is a path for those whose path it is destiny to wake our fate.

True witches/Witches, Crafters of the Wise, Priests, Priestesses, Shamans, and all such titles of the old have never needed to cover their faces or decisive themselves from being seen by the dead that at this time of the year when the veil is at it thinnest walk among the living to return home and visit their loved ones, miss out on something powerful.

Samhain is a time we honour the dead and all who have given and had their lives taken for us to have the liberties we have today.  Honour your Ancestors and remember them.

To my family and friends and those who are of my Craft family I shall miss gathering with you all in this year, but I shall see you all soon and we shall celebrate next year in honouring our ancestors.

May all be blessed in the Feast of the Dead and Blessings, Prosperity and Health to all in the coming year.

 

 


Guest Post: The New Alexandrian Library and Building Real Pagan Infrastructure


Guest Post: The New Alexandrian Library and Building Real Pagan Infrastructure.


The Face of Diana


The Face of Diana, is one of many faucets she is a Mother, a Hunter, Protector, Daughter, Sister, Wife, she is a Queen in which she requires great sacrifice of her Priestesses and loves all creatures and humanity. She is of the Moon but also of Fire as being the daughter of Jupiter/Zeus the Greeks equate her with Sagittarius in her huntress form and she is also of the Moon and the waters of healing, psychic energies, feelings and emotions, the underworld and the heavens above. Diana is Below as Above, as Above, So Below, she is Diana, Kore/Persephone and Hecate. The Moon came first and the moon is viewed as the darkness in which all things were created from, she is by the Hermetic’s viewed as the One Thing in which everything is learned to evolve to the One Mind. Darkness is not evil, but evil does exist in the dark, chaos and all things in which we are taught to fear and to fear to not face yourself and to become one of ignorance and intolerance. Yes, we need darkness with the light to have a balance in all things to know thyself is to know both sides of yourself and accept that they both exist in one.

Diana is the face of all phases of the Moon New Moon, Waxing, Full and Wane she is a bringer of things as well as one who can take it away. She protects us from our enemies, she bestows us with gifts and blessed homes, she blesses families, children, marriages, warriors and all who are her children. She is the Mother who created even the stars in the heavens the place from where we all come from in the heavens. When we look to heavens it is Diana we are looking at, everything she is and does began in the heavens, to gaze upon the Moon is to gaze upon her face and see her watching over us and blessing us. This is an amazing force and energy of the Great Mother, the Queen of Heaven and the Queen of Witches.

Diana as a Goddess is a Mother but she too is a Warrior and she demands much of those who dedicate and initiate to her, to be a Priestess of Diana is a place of great honour. She bestows those who honour her with great gifts as well as trials of great suffering in which define who we are as her initiates. When we work with the spirits, the gods, the goddesses, we are working with great powers, we pray to them, meditate with them and as for many things for those who are in need and for our homes, friends and families. Yet, there is a question are we expected to give back? Yes, we are and without question. The gods give us those things in which develop us into who we are as individuals, as Priestesses and Priests of the Old Craft to serve them and work with them we accept all that is put onto us. It is how we are raised up to a new level of understanding, knowledge, enlightenment, compassion, and as a Witch and person. In her temple, Diana welcomes all she does not turn creature, person or animal away her doors are open to all for healing, health, prosperity and all that they seek of her.

We must be willing to accept everything that comes into our path when we work with the gods and spirits. This is why the Path of a Witch is not one for just anyone to walk, it is a a path of sacrifice and reward, but most of all it is the only way to reach complete enlightenment and understanding to what is “As Below, So Above, As Above, So Below.

To walk this path is an honour and one in which has to be taken with purity of heart.

Her Festival is from the 13 –15 of August


New Page on the Site; Book Reviews


http://afsanaydely.com/book-reviews/, a new page with a new book review, The Path of the Shaman, by Anna Franklin


Guest Post: Interview with John Matthews on The Wildwood Tarot | The Wild Hunt


http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wildhunt/2012/07/guest-post-interview-with-john-matthews-on-the-wildwood-tarot.html


Abracadabra


Abracadabra

A magical spell consisting of a single word, which was popular in medieval times to get rid of illness, misfortune or Demons [There were both good and bad demons and demons capable of both kinds of behaviour. The study of demons is called demonology. The term means “replete with wisdom"; good demons were once called eudemons and evil demons were called cacodemons]. The word is inscribed on an amulet or written out on paper in a magical inverted triangle, in which one letter of the word is dropped in each succeeding line, until nothing is left. The evil is supposed to fade away just as the word does. The diminishing word technique is used in many other spells [a spell is spoken or written formula that, in an act of Magic, is intended to cause or influence a particular course of events] for the same purposes.

In medieval times, abracadabra was believed to ward off the plague aka Black Death. The triangle was written on a piece of paper, which was tied around the neck with flax and worn for nine days, then tossed backwards over the shoulder into a stream of water running towards the east.

The words origin is unknown. It is said by some to have been invented around A.D. 208 by Quintus Serenus Sammonicus, physician to the Roman Emperor Severus, as a cure for the fever. Some hold that Sammonicus merely borrowed a formula that was much older.

According to others, the word comes from the old Aramatic phrase, abhadda kedhabhra, “disappear like this word”, or the Hebrew phrase abreq ad habra “hurl your thunderbolt even unto death”. It is also said to be derived from the name Abraxas, the Gnostic god who appears on charms against the evil eye dating from the second century. Another possibility is that is the name of some long forgotten demon. Increase Mather 1639-1723 [Illustrious Puritan minister and intellectual who viewed witchcraft and supernatural happenings as evidence of God's growing displeasure with New England] dismissed it as a ‘hobgoblin word” that had no power at all. Aleister Crowley, on the other hand, said it is a magical word of great power and that its true form is abracadabra.

Some of the oldest charms are magical words or phrases written on parchment and worn around the neck. The term Abracadabra, which dates back at least to 2nd century Rome, and probably is older than that, is suppose to cure fever.

A

AB

ABR

ABRA

ABRAH

ABRAHA

ABRAHAD

ABRAHADA

ABRAHADAB

ABRAHADABR

ABRAHADABRA

This is typically done without spacing in this formation for healing, blessings and more, it is believed to have originated from a demon or spirit by the name Abraxas.


Marriage and Customs of Roman Women


Marriage in Roman times began as a sacred institution. Divorce was unknown. Patricians married only patricians, and they were married in the stately form of marriage called confarreatio (the only legal form of marriage at the time). The patrician took his bride from her father’s family into his own, with the direct consent of the gods (revealed by the auspices), in the presence of representatives of his gens. In this form, the wife passed in manum viri (under her husband’s authority) and her husband would also become, in a way, her master. The ceremony involved the joining of hands of the bride and groom by the pronuba (a matron who had been married only once and was still living with there husband) in front of ten witnesses, representing the ten clans of the curia, an old patrician division of the people. The term confarriato came from the cake of far (spelt, an old variety of wheat), which was dedicated to Jupiter by the high priest and the priest of Jupiter.

Read More…


La Vecchia Religione


La Vecchia Religione

By Leo Louis Martello

{Used w/Permission by, Rev. Lori Bruno}

I was born into a family of strege {witches}.  My ancestral home is Sicily.  My family passed themselves off as Catholics.  Sicily is the home of magnificent monuments and the notorious Mafia, has the world’s oldest active volcano, Etna, and the town of Trapani was founded by Eryx, son of Venus, a land where every town has its own patroness, where churches are built upon the sites of ancient temples, where the ancients travelled from all over the world to worship at the Temple of Demeter, in Enna, to celebrate her daughter Persephone’s resurrection from the underworld to reign as Goddess of souls and immortality.

Sicilians are a blend of many races and cultures, Carthaginian, Phoenician, Egyptian, Arab, Greek, Roman, Norman, etc.  They are not strictly Italians, thought most of them speak the language since it is now a part of Italy.  The ancient worship of the female deity exists to this day.  All modern depictions of the Catholic Madonna and Child being derivived from the Goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone.  Sicilians revere the Blessed Virgin more than they do the Christ.  Even when the Normans conquered Sicilyin the 12th century and converted the image of Christ into a fair-haired, blue-eyed self-portrait, the crafty Sicilians continued their worship of the Goddess.  The Cathoic Church in the town of Enna has a statue of the Madonna…..with a FEMALE JESUS.  The sculptor who worked on this was a member of la vecchia religione {The Old Religion} and in this way paid tribute to his Goddess of Demeter and Persephone.

There are many traditions in the Italian-Sicilian Craft just as in other countries.  Diana has always been called Queen of the Witches in Italy.  Charles G. Leland’s book, Aradia, or Gospel of the Witches is the basis for many of the rites and even secret names of modern-day Gardnerians.  Even Margaret Murray’s Witch Cult in Western Europeand the God of the Witches {upon with Gardner drew heavily} deal only with the Horned God.  Later,Gardner demoted the Horned God and elevated the Goddess using one of her Italian names.  Today, many Gardnerians seem to be more involved with dogma than they are with devotion and don’t seem to be fully aware of their origins.

Since Roman times {and long before} Diana has always been worshipped by runaway slaves, the outcasts, people of the night, the oppressed, disenfranchised, all those who deviated from the Establishment {including racial and sexual minorities}.  Thus, when a Gardnerian says that “a homosexual can’t be a true witch”, this is a perversion of the Italian-Sicilian Goddess they claim to worship, which indicates either ignorance of the historical truth, or a Judeo-Christian hangover.  Diana, and her daughter Aradia, protected all those who worshipped them.  The victims of oppression and injustice did not have a God to turn to {either Roman and later Christian } but they always had their Goddess.

There are many Sicilian Craft descendants in the U.S. but most of them {especially in California} retain only remnants of their traditions.  Our own branch of Sicilian Craft has always maintained strong ties with the motherland and our members make periodical pilgrimages to the ancient temples and caves.  We also maintain close contact with our secret brother and sisters Malta {only 60 miles away}.  Thus, our traditions have remained unsullied an undiluted, and even during the burning time our Crafters continued their secret worship.  In fact, many of the Catholic priests were, in reality, strege.  When danger threatened, my forebears went to “holy communion” and the “priest” warned them by the consecrated wafer:  It was either nicked or bent.  This was the danger signal.  For more of our Traditions read “Roman Robin Hoods” in my book Curses and Verses.  I can only give a brief glimpse here.


Feline Magic


Feline Magic & Book of Shadows

© Rev. Ariana Clausen – Vélez

2003 Revised 2006 Feb 17

 

Introduction to Feline Magic

What is it about the cat that we are so drawn to? This answer may vary depending upon who you ask. Myself, it is many things about her that I am drawn to, her power, her gentleness, her aggressive, her eyes, the way she carries herself and all that she gives in her love.

I have owned many in my life and in this life time only a few. My first one came to me from a neighbour. She was black bright green eyes. She was always there for me, even if I wasn’t for her. She was a wonderful, powerful cat named Black Widow [Widow for short]. She was a Pisces, amazingly intuitive as to when I was home from my trips. She was a free-spirited cat and one of my strongest familiars. I had her for many years until she fell ill and I had to put her down. That was the hardest time in my life. I felt like I had lost the one person who was always next to me. She slept with me, woke me up, took care of me when I was sick, made me laugh when I was sad, and did all the things a best friend would do. I began to see visions of her. Images would appear before me, and when I would instantly slip into a trance. Then, one day she spoke. She told me that she was fine and would always be there……. and yes, would return to me one day. I have always too this day, cherished her in my life; and I always will.

Eight years later, I was in a salon where one of the hairdressers had a carrier with her. Inside was little, 15-day old black kitten. Instantly the kitten leapt towards me wanting me too pet her. Well, I went home and asked my husband [boyfriend at the time] if I could bring her home. He agreed. I went to pick her up the following week. Her name is Onyx, born on Aug 8, 2000. She is a Leo with a Gemini Rising and a Pisces Moon. She is very much a gem and a familiar.

In talking about my familiars, in the past few years more have come and gone than I would have ever imagined. After Onyx came, then less than a year later another came to me on the Full Moon of Samhain. I had seen her around the house before; but on this particular night, she made her significance known to me.

The moon was at its’ fullest power and bright orange too. My stones were in the front yard, cleansing and charging in the circle. She appeared outside my office. Appeared and we chatted for some time through the door. Her name was Agatha, and she eventually became a permanent part of the house.

OnJanuary 29, 2001she was hit by a car. As a result, I created a ‘Spirit Call Spell’ for Felines, included in the Feline Book of Shadows Lesson. There are other lessons that cover other areas of the Feline and her Magic as well.

The cat is an interesting being as I have come to learn. They are not owned by humans. They are very watchful. When they choose you as a friend, they will watch you, from afar, for a time. This is to see how you are, how you act, how you treat others [humans and animals], and, many in my experience, how you respect their surroundings. Only then will they choose whom to live with for the time that is needed. They are truly wonderful friends. In choosing you, they are telling you that you are being blessed with their presence.

Cats are great hunters, and love to share trophies with their human counterparts, I can only say so much there. I have had more than my share, though some not so good in appearance. They expect to be treated properly, pampered, spoiled and allowed too come and go as they wish.

 

History of the Feline

It is all too common knowledge these days where the history begins, Egypt since around 2600 B.C.E.

In Egypt the cat is the most worshipped of all the animals. It is a punishment of death if anyone were to kill a cat. They worshipped the following deities; Bastet, Pasht, Ubastet, Sekhmet, Set, and Ra. All were with cat heads and human formed bodies. Set and Ra were with the male human body. Ra was the Sun god, Pasht was the aggressive side to Bastet, Sekhmet was the lion figured one and loved blood. Set, we know was known to have murdered his brother Osiris.

So what about the treatment of the feline and how they were revered? Well, they were sometimes considered more important than the human counterpart themselves. If a house was seen burning down, it was the fireman’s job to get the cat out first and then go back for the human. If a person was seen purposely harming a cat, they would be put to death. This was considered an act worse than murder. Now, too in some cases mobs would be seen ripping a person limb from limb if they witnessed this person harming a cat. This was a very common occurrence in Egypt cultures.

What of the meaning nine lives? Well, this simply meant that a cat could only live nine separate lives as a cat. Meaning it could reincarnate nine times to a cat form, and no more. Now, when a cat completed this cycle it was a time of great mourning for the family’s involved. They would shave off their eyebrows, this was considered too be full mourning upon their death. Because, once this happened they could no longer incarnate into a cat, from this point on they would reincarnate into other life forms.

The funeral rites were very important to the Egyptians in how they buried their cats. They would be embalmed, with various herbs, oils, drugs, and spices. Depending on the families status they would then wrapped the cat in either plain or multi-coloured linen. Following this paper mache’ or a sculptured wooden mask would be placed over the cat’s head, and then too they would carefully cover this with either plain or multi-coloured linen. Painted and then decorated with the finest of gold, if the family could afford such luxuries. Once the mummification was completed they would then be placed into a mummy case, along with the necessary afterlife objects and foods. If this was for a kitten of course the case would be smaller and the metal bronze instead of gold.

The Egyptian word for cat is Máu, likely based for the sound that cats made.  The Egyptian word for lion is Maáu, however, the meaning of the word is light, and this eluding to the Sun god Ra. In Sanskrit the word for cat is ‘’margaras’’, meaning hunter, in Hindu ‘’cleaner’’, Aryan ‘’ghad’’, Latin ‘’cattus’’, French ‘’chat’’, Italian ‘’gatto’’, German ‘’katze’’, and Arabic ‘’ kittah’’. Original origins for the cat are believed to have come from the Greek word ‘’catus’’, meaning acute.

In the occult cats are viewed as being all knowing, all seeing, and with great psychic abilities. It is even said that if a cat allows you to look into their eyes long enough, you will see the land of the fey and the underworld. This is a rear blessing if one allows this of their human counterpart. They are known for predicting all kinds of weather, natural disasters [prodigies], and omens and portends. I usually know what kind of weather to expect, as Onyx is like a weather man, and she is always on target. She is observant and very powerful.

The Black cat that is most associated to the Underworld as many see it as an omen of death and many unless a Witch will not own a black cat out of fear of the connection it has to the Underworld.  It is mostly connected to the Underworld by the colour it carries as well as the associations to both Hel and Hecate.

Then you must remember that in the old days, during the burning times as well as the Celtic and Druids feared the cat, whether it be black, white, yellow, gold, because it was believed to be a Witch that had shape shifted into a cat to bring harm and/or death to anyone it visited in the night.  Also, being that the cat is nocturnal and most do go out and play during the late hours of the night this too associates them with the Underworld.  Druids on the night of Samhain would take all the cats they could gather and burn them alive.  This was how they believed to release the evil energy from the cat in which they saw as a Witches Imp to carry out dark works.  And cats carry messages to their friends that they choose to live with from the Spirit World and if allowed to look into their eyes you will see another realm behind them, that of the Underworld.

Later in history the cat was associated with witchcraft, and causing harm at the wish of their human counterpart. And this caused a great fear of the feline by many people. So, much so that they created a device that was a cat trap, called the “cat o gan”. It was a musical instrument that was used to entrap as many as 20 at a time, their tails being pulled by a mechanism that made them meow in grave pain. The cat o gan remained in use for exactly 100 years. However, during the hunts some were lucky enough to have escaped the hunts and tortures of their organs being removed and races that were used to torture these beautiful beings. They escaped a most interesting way, by way of ship. They were a welcomed site, as they keep the rodent population down and became then a favourite pet of the human. This was the time of the 1700’s.

 

The Little White Cat

[Folk song from the Gaelic]

18th Century

Anonymous—Translated by Mrs. Costello of Tuam

 

The little grey cat was walking prettily,

When she found her little son stretched dead

And ‘twas only a year since her family

Were cast out and drowned in a trench.

The little white cat, white, white, white,

The little white cat, Breed’s cat.

The little white cat, snowy white

That was drowned in a trench.

The little mother stood upright,

When she found her little son dead;

She brought him in and made a bed for him,

And then began to lament him.

The little white cat, white, white, white,

The little white cat, Breed’s cat.

The little white cat, snowy white

That was drowned in a trench

Andrew, the blind, had some of her family,

And they came together to lament him,

I am sure if Barry hears it,

He will regret the death of the Breed’s cat.

The little white cat, white, white, white,

He broke no chest, nor lock of the neighbours,

Nor did he destroy the cows’ butter.

And you never heard such discourse,

As the mice had in telling it.

The little white cat, white, white, white

His eye was grey, his walk was pretty,

His step was light and active:

And I’d rather far be going to the clay

Than the province of Munster should hear of it.

The little white cat, white, white, white,

The little white cat would hump his back.

As big as a three pint jug.

Wasn’t he a fine show for the gentry to see,

Poll, Breed’s pretty little cat?

The little white cat, white, white, white,

Walter’s Martin will put a wooden coffin on him,

And it’s he that is able.

And were it not for the time at which he died

We should have every cause for lamenting

The little white cat, white, white, white,

The little white cat, Breed’s cat.

The little white cat, snowy white

That was drowned in a trench.

 

Feline Associations

Here you will learn of various associations to the feline, herbs, deities, witches and shape-shifters, and even the elements that they rule.

Deities with Feline Associations:

These are just a few of the deities that are associated with the feline species, however, there are many others. Many of the deities not listed below are not commonly known to be associated with the feline in any way.

Ahriman; God

Persian, thought to have been the first personification of the Devil” because Zoroastrians believed in a completely dualistic for of religion. Associations: All cats.

Anait: Goddess

Phoenician, Canaan, Ur and Persia. She is seen as The High, Powerful, and Immaculate. She carried an Ankh and wore horns and a Moon disk. Association: Lion.

Apollo: God

Greek. He is of Life force and vitality, creativity, and self-expression. He is viewed as the Sun God and Lord of the Year. Association: Lion.

Artemis: Goddess

Greek. Sister to Apollo, she was also the goddess of wild things and places. She was also the Mistress of Magic, and aiding in the healing of wild animals and mountains. Association: Cats.

Attis: God

Middle East. The second face of Cybele, as well as beloved by her, but he refused her love. He ruled over fertility, and growth in Asia Minor. Association: Lion.

Bacchus: God

Roman. He is depicted as a youthful figure wearing ivy or grape crown and carrying a wand or thyrsus. Upon the Christian was renamed as St. John the Baptist, as depicted in a painting done by Leonardo da Vinci in 1510-19. Also, he frequently rides in a chariot drawn by leopards. Association: Panthers.

Bastet: Goddess

Egyptian: She rules over protection, fertility, gentleness, and is depicted with the body of a female and the head of a cat. Associations: Cats, and Lynx.

Cybele: Goddess

Greece and Phrygia. Known as Mother Goddess of Phrygia [modern day Turkey]. She later became identified as the Roman Manga Mater, or Great Mother. She was considered in her myth to be of the first being, and of equal energy to both the female and male. Association: Lion

Damkina/Damgalnuna: Goddess

Mesopotamia. In the Akkadian language, her name means ‘’lady of the earth’’, and she was to the Sumerians the earth mother familiar to us in Greece as Demeter and in Rome as Tellus Mater. Association: Lion.

Diana: Goddess

Roman. She is today confused with the goddess Artemis, because of a familiar picture of both being lightly clad, bow-bearing goddess who rides the Moon or strides through the forest with the nymphs. However, she is the original “Queen of the Open Sky, worshipped only the out of doors, and possibly was the ruler of the sun and moon. Her name comes from the word “light”. She is also known as the Queen of Witches in Rome and her main association was with the white cat. Her day of feast is August 15th. Association: Cats.

Dionysus: God

Greece. He is the God of intoxication and wine, just as his counterpart Bacchus. His court included female Bacchanites, nymphs, fauns, and satyrs. He was the only god that was born twice, and was fathered by the serpentine Zeus and Persephone, other says his mother was Semele. Dionysus’ represents both earth and water, and resurrection and dead. There is much about Dionysus, but he was one of few gods that had the most associations to the feline species. Associations: Cheetah, Lion, Leopard, Panther, and the Tiger.

Durga: Goddess

India, and Hindu. Born from the flames by gods, and said to be the first female divinity in the universe. Her power alone was stronger than the gods who brought her to life. The goddess in this form symbolizes the fierce power of the combat against all evil, but also the rule of the intellectual sphere. Durga is unapproachable, represents the end to all things. Seen mounted on a lion to defeat the demon Mahisa, and in the end destroys and slaughters him and frees the earth. Associations: Lion and Tiger.

Eros: God

Greece. He is the god of love and desire; some say that he was the son of Aphordite and Ares. Because of his mother he loses some of the power over love and desire, and is considered to be more of a companion to it instead. He is in Roman mythology known as Cupid. He is seen riding on the back of a lion. Association: Lion.

Other associations not mentioned above are; Mafdet, Mut, Pakhit, Pasht, Inanna, Isis, Ra, Osiris, Hathor, Bes, Neith, Nut, Maat, Pakhet, Tefnut, Lillith, Freya, Brighid, Ceridwen, the Cailleach, Annis, and Hel. However, there are more than this associated to the cat power animal.

Herbs Associated to the Feline:

There are only a couple of herbs that are associated with the feline. The two herbs associated with the feline are catnip and valerian root. Now, it is not common knowledge, but not all cats are drawn to the taste or smell of catnip. This is true in cases when the herb is planted in seed form, if transplanted they are more apt to be drawn to the aroma of the catnip. Catnip essential in its purest form is used to repel mosquitoes, when used in a diffuser and burned. Catnip is also used for repelling nightmares. Add catnip juice to your wine and drink will aid in healing bruises. It attracts bees. Hung over ones’ doorway attracts good spirits. Catnip has a lot of different uses, but for cats it is like a play pen and it is easy to plant a small patch to deter them from using your main herb garden and a bathroom. It is also good to use in cat Magic when wanting a psychic connection between yourself and you’re familiar.

Catnip is ruled by the planet of Venus, and Element of Water. It is associated to four goddesses, all associated to the cat, Bastet, Cerridwen, Freya, and Sekhmet. It is known also by Cat’s Wort, Field Balm, Cat, Catrup, Nepoet, Nip and Cat’s delight.

Valerian Root is a long time favourite of witches for bonding with their cats’, and for attracting the likes of a cat familiar, totem or ally. This herb also was known to attract some forms of the wild folk [i.e.], the fey. The fey were sometimes known for shape-shifting into white cats [this being a favourite colour of the fey for their dresses]. Also, it was a colour associated with death and is often part of a fairy name for either a king or queen of the fey.

Various Associations:

Cats are also associated with the Underworld Goddesses, because of their ability to reproduce. They are also thought to be practically fairies themselves on the Isle of Man [an island in the Irish Sea].

Plant allies to the cat are the fir and pine tree. They are associated with the element of earth, and the directions of north east, and south east.

They are a nocturnal being, so if you look close enough to their eyes you will notice that they appear different depending on the phase of the moon.

There are two associations to fertility, reproducing of many litters and prey upon rodents, snakes and other animals that could destroy ones’ crop for the harvesting. In that they protect your crop so it will produce healthy. In Egypt newlyweds receive and wear cat amulets.

There are many associations to the cat and not all are good, some are perceived as bad and evil.

Witches and cats were how most identified a cat familiar. Black cats were most common among the witches. Some were said to shape-shirt into cats, and would go to do the work of the devil. Many witches have been associated with the cat and many even tortured and died. One of the most famous familiars of all time is a familiar by the name of Pyewackett. Now, because of the name alone is why this one was associated with the witch, as it was said no human could create such a name for household pet.

Some of the more famous ones would be Isobel Gowdie, known as the Queen of Witches in Scotland, Agnes and Joan Waterhouse, Elizabeth Frances of England, Catherine Montvoisin known as La Voison, and many others.

Isobel Gowdie revealed that she cast a spell in order to transform into a cat and go out too do the work of the devil, and when done would transform back into human form once again. She was known as his bride. She is the only one who was not accused when she confessed of being a witch.

So there is much to the mystical and powerful feline, her associations are just as strong as all that surrounds her.

Feline Astrology

You are probably what does astrology has to do with the feline. Well a lot, it is just as important as it would be for us when we are born. We all know that our characteristics are determined by the day, time, location of our birth, in that the planets are lined up at certain times of one’s birth. That is how we determine how one’s life will be dealt with, obstacles that you have to overcome, journeys and when they happen in life, early, mid, or later in life. How we communicate with one another, and ultimately get along with others around us. Well it is the same for the feline, as it is for humans. In that they too have an astrology makeup. This determines in most cases how they will get along with their human counterparts, as well as with other felines. Believe it or not they do not like everyone.

This is very important tool in Magic working as some cats are not meant to be familiars, but only pets, and others may come along that you are meant to work Magic with instead. So, be careful to find that the counterparts of the zodiac they carry are compatible as to not cause problems between the two. Familiars will come to you in the time of casting Magic and/or guide you to what you are to learn and then just leave when you least expect them to, or they will go on their way once casting is completed. A pet stays with you all the times and shares your life.

Further into the article, I will go over her chart so that you have an understanding, but first I would like to go over the forms of astrology that is important in determining if you are compatible with your feline counterpart and him/her too you.

Note: I will not go into detail as to how to read a natal chart as that alone would take up 30 pages or more. If you are interested I would suggest taking a course in Astrology.

Brief history of Astrology

I will only cover the basic as it there is much involved with astrology and how it works. This will take one many years to learn, but it is well worth the time.

The Egyptians were very serious about their felines and how they were treated, they were considered more important than the human counterparts/friends that took care of them. So, you can only imagine how they viewed the stars in the personality of the feline.

They follow what is called a Cairo Calendar, this in itself was separated into three major seasons in the year. The first being called, Inundation [pronounced akhet] this was the season in which the Nile flooded its banks and farmlands was covered in water. This lasted from approx June 21 to Oct 21. The second Emergence [pronounced proyet} was when the water receded. This season was from Oct 21 to Feb 21. And last was Summer [pronounced shomu} lasted from Feb 21 to June 21.

There were exactly 360 days to their calendar and added five days to allow for discrepancy. These were known as New Year’s Day, which they called “the opening of the year”.

This was there form of astrology, and depending on the day it would be considered favourable, adverse, very adverse, this is how they determined their day to day life.

Now the system they use for astrology is very different. Even in modern days they follow this form of astrology. Depending on the day you were born, or your feline in this case also determined which deity you were associated with, and this in turn determined much. The same way our western system determines who we are, and what we are too expect in life.

 

Egyptian Astrology

Below are the dates and associated deities and their counterparts to those dates of birth: Now this can apply to both the human and feline counterparts. But do remember that most felines are of human spirits and indeed are really human too. Some are very wise and powerful.

January 1 – 7th, June 19-28th, Sept 1 – 7th, and Nov 18 – 26th:

The Nile

These characteristics are that of a peace-maker, lovers of refined things, receptive to the materials in their surroundings. Powerful ambitions and transformation. Counterparts/Related Signs: Seth, Osiris, Horus, and Thoth as well as Anubis. Associated with the months of Proyet, Shomu, and Akhet

January 8 – 21st & February 1 -11th:

Amon-Ra

Wheel of Time. Solar God. Life is a challenge; you will feel the need to be of a higher level of spirituality. Headed towards great things. Counterparts/Related Signs: The Nile and Horus. Associated with the month of Proyet.

January 22 – 31st & Sept 8 – 22nd:

Mut

Most ancient of the deities in Egypt. You will be secretive and be one that is nostalgic in life. All of life is too seek out that of a father figure for protection and security. Counterparts/Related Signs: Ra and Thoth. Associated with the months of Proyet and Akhet.

February 12 -29th & Aug 20 – 31st:

Geb

Creator, beginning of the world, the earth, principle of unity between worlds. This person and or feline will be highly sensitive and easily impressioned, empathic, protector, not vain. Human side is the same with careers in the creative fields. Counterparts/Related Signs: Seth and Horus. Associated to both the months of Proyet and Akhet.

Mars 1 -10th & Nov 27 – Dec 18th:

Osiris

Duality, generous, fiery and vulnerable, you do not like confrontation, and you weigh before confronting a situation. Counterparts/Related Signs: Isis and Thoth. Associated with the months of Proyet and Akhet/Proyet.

Mars 11 – 31st, Oct 18 -29th, and Dec 19 -31st:

Isis

This is one of the most demanding signs. There is much dimension to her, and in that you will be one that is of hospitable means, unifying, and you love harmony. You are both a giver and protector of life, and you must be perceptive to others around you. Counterparts/Related Signs: Osiris and Thoth. Associated to the months of Proyet/Shomu, Akhet, and Shomu.

April 1 – 19th, and Nov 8-17th:

Thoth

Excellent memory, enthusiastic, dislike meanness towards others. A risk taker, but with challenge. Dependable and honest values and morals. This is the sacred bird of Isis. Counterparts/Related Signs: Bastet and Isis. Associated to the months of Shomu, and Akhet.

April 14 – May 8 and Aug 12 -19th:

Horus

You will have strong will power and are good at finding hidden secrets, intelligent, and an excellent student in all things. But one must learn how to control the free spirit young, or this will be a hindrance later in life. Deeply psychic that comes from a strong connection of ones feminine side. Goddess connected. Counterparts/Related Signs: Geb and Bastet. Associated to the months of Shomu and Akhet.

May 9 -27 and June 29 – July 13th:

Anubis

Compassionate, and clever. A strong connection to your darker side. Suffering can draw them to become an introverted personality. Very aware of the energies that lye deep within. Counterparts/Related Signs: Bastet and Isis. Associated to the month of Shomu.

May 28th – June 18th and Sept 28th – Oct 2nd:

Seth

Always looking for change and in search of who they are, and the wholeness that comes with it. Balance in life. Life is full of journeys and experiences, whether it be good or bad experiences, before really finding themselves. Mistakes are made many times over in life, before learning from them and moving forwards. They always seek out for knowledge and wisdom. Free spirit and a wanderer. Counterparts/Related Signs: Geb and The Nile. Associated to the month of Shomu.

July 14 – 28th, Sept 23 -27th, and Oct 3 -17th:

Bastet

A need for balance and harmony in relationships, both friends and partners. They are protectors and very devoted to their loved ones. They do tend to ignore their own needs from time to time. They have great inner strength and agility and easily can sense their enemies. Strong psychic senses. Good in business and in matters of the heart. Counterparts/Related Signs: Sekhmet and Horus. Associated to the months of Shomu and two of the opening of the year days. These days are very sacred to the Egyptians and if one could name them all they were guaranteed a long and prosperous life ahead. Then the month of Akhet.

Now the day of procession for Bastet is on Sept 9, Day 10 of the Second Month of Akhet during the season of the Inundation.  Her feast day which is shared with Sekhmet is on Nov 13, Day 15 of the Fourth Month of Akhet still in the season of Inundation.  Her procession day would be under the western sign of Virgo and her feast day would be under the western sign of Scorpio.

July 29th – Aug 11th, and Oct 30th – Nov 7th:

Sekhmet

Very telepathic, observant, not one to self-indulge. They are both pure and impure, chaos and harmony, and are bestowed with majestic grace, as is the lion. They tend to have secret desires. Counterparts/Related Signs: Bastet and Geb. Associated to three of the open of the year days, and Akhet.

Now that we have covered the Egyptians, now let us view modern day astrology, and compare the relations to it. Now, one might think that we could also use Celtic Astrology for this area of Magick, but the Celtic were not known lovers of the feline, nor did they own them as household pets. They associated the feline to the fey and in effect feared the feline.

Modern Feline Astrology

Aries: March 21 – April 19

They like to be noticed and are quite demanding, if closed in can be damaging to ones house, by spraying, tearing up furniture and such. They are aggressive, quick tempered, adventurous by nature, curious and brave. They love humans, and too play with them, and they excite easy. They are well known for crashing with their heads into objects or say for instance a wall.

Human and feline counter parts that are best suited are the Gemini, Libra, Aquarius, Leo, Aries, and Sagittarius. Ruled by the planet Mars.

Taurus: April 20 – May 20

These ones love food and comfort. Simple surroundings are pleasing to their way of life. Not a complainer if pampered. Highly fear the loss of security, and habit forming. They like routine and get upset when it is broken for any reason. They are patient and loving. Can be stubborn. They love to talk a lot, and will chat till you respond back to them in the form of a meowing talk.

Human and feline counterparts that are best suited are Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Ruling planet is Venus.

Gemini: May 21 – June 20

Very talkative, great communicator, they are hard to keep quite as they tend to like the sound of their voice. This is a cat that you need to talk with on a regular basis, as they love to communicate, you can talk with them on an intelligent level, or communicate back in their language. Either way this will make them happy. Like all Gemini’s they will bore easily and will be fickle and need to be doing something at all times. Dinner must be the same time each night, or we get cranky. Attention is a must, as we are restless beings, both the human and animal. This sign loves to be the centre of attention, and can be very charming. We are also adaptable to movement and change. They will go back and forth between going outside and coming in to be with you. This sign is one with many characteristics and a joy, if able to keep up with them. This is Onyx’s Ascendant sign.

Human and feline counterparts that are best suited are Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Ruling planet is Mercury.

Cancer: June 21 – July 22

Cancer cats are great house cats as this sign rules over the home. This sign easily attaches him/her to the family, and will stay close by if outside of the home. They make great mothers, as this is the maternal nature of the Cancer cat. Now, in this sign you will find that the male cat will also take a hand at tending to the litter and this is one of very few males’ that stay close to home, after mating with the mother feline. They are a great deal like that of the human, hurt easily, sensitive, giving, protective in a loving way, strong intuition, jealously, and more. This is Onyx’s true node.

Human and feline counterparts that are best suited are Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Ruling planet is the Moon.

Leo: July 23 – Aug 22

Here we have the ruler of the jungle, king of the throne, masculine, hunter, predator, and leader. Now, in the case of the Leo cat, you will find that their physical features may resemble that of a Lion and carry a crown upon their head. In Onyx’s case people sometimes mistake her for being a male cat, when indeed Onyx is a female cat. She is very strong, carries a crown on her head, and had the sneaky eyes of a hunter on the attack. She is protective of her home and her family. She loves to sleep, and she is generous to a point. She only accepts certain felines into the home and others forget it. Stay out, or die is her motto. She is the spoiled one and this the Leo cat loves. Now, in my case, she will eat dinner at the table with my husband and I, assist in the preparing of dinner, watch over the stove to make sure no one takes what is hers, and so on. She has the best of everything and expects this daily. She is seriously spoiled and a snot, and loves to show off. She does not let anyone just touch her. This is the down fall on spoiling the Leo cat.

Human and feline counterparts that are best suited are Gemini, Libra, Aquarius, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Ruling planet is the Sun.

Virgo: Aug 23 – Sept 22

Here we come to the tidy cat; this one hates messes and will not tolerate them at all. This one is most likely to enjoy bathes and having there claws trimmed and made to look nice.

Very loyal and rather choosy in whom they pick as friends to live with, not just anyone will do. Virgo cats are very loving and affectionate. If hurt or made angry will always remember what you did to hurt them in any way. Very intelligent and they love to think things through before making a decision. Security is very important to the Virgo cat, and the will appreciate you for giving them a warm home. Sometimes you will notice that they do not make up their minds easily, they will go back and forth on what kind of food they like to eat. So, it is good to keep a variety close at hand. This is Onyx’s ruling Moon as well as her IC {Imum Coeli }

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Ruling planet is Mercury.

Libra: Sept 23 – Oct 22

Here we have the graceful cat and rather mellow. This is one cat who loves to be loved. Attention of all kinds is their favourite; flattery will take you far with this sign.

This sign is very friendly and likes most people and other felines. Socialists, and rather charming is in their nature. They do, however, like their environment to be well balanced, and peaceful. They are attentive to what is going on and it would be best to involve them, in anyway to be near the action. Television and music are favourites of choice. Choosy eaters so do not feed them just anything. They are easily influenced by other felines and hard to make up their minds in doing something, so keep them in the good crowd. This one will eat a lot when not happy; they also hate confrontation and would rather walk away than deal with a bad situation.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Ruling planet is Venus.

Scorpio: Oct 23 – Nov 21

This is one of the two most powerful signs that a feline can be born under. This is a sign of high intuition and magickal gifts. The other is Pisces which carries the natural gift of psychic sensitivity. This applies also to the human Scorpios and Pisces signs. They know before you, what you will do in a situation or what you wish to do in general.

Just as the humans this cat is jealous, possessive, suspicious, and secretive in nature. They are good at hiding their feelings. If hurt are rather vengeful, and do not neglect them as this will turn out to start your day off rather interesting. They influence other felines easily, and have their likes and dislikes.

This is the sign that will fight viciously and will not stand down when confronted by another. This would be the ideal cat to have if you live alone and do not like dogs. This would remind me of our first cat that we had, named KyKy. She was very possessive of her family and once when someone tried to break into the house, attacked at full force and drew blood as well as cut one of the intruders’ eyes. She was a Siamese and very beautiful. Always in heat, but they do tend to have a hard time with mating.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Ruling planet is Mars.

Sagittarius: Nov 22 – Dec 21

This is the most independent of all the felines, just as the humans of this sign are known to be. Explorers, adventurers, they like variety and are extraverted personalities. They love competition and challenge, so be careful not to stare them down, and they may win. But this applies to all areas in life. This is one of the messier felines, not much for tidiness, and love a messy surrounding

Accident prone and tends too be moody as well, as this is a characteristic of the one with the Centaur in their chart. Center of attention, is where they are happiest and you will laugh at what they come up with from time to time. Very risky, and will tend their nine live [being that a cat can only take feline form nine times in their life]. After that they are reincarnated into something else. This is in Onyx’s seventh house.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Gemini, Libra, Aquarius, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. Ruling planet is Jupiter.

Capricorn: Dec 22 – Jan 19

Now we come to the most earthly of all the felines. This feline loves quiet surroundings, loud noises will make them very nervous, and if humans come into their home they will hide to be alone. They approach other animals with great caution. This feline likes to know that his/her surroundings are secure and they are also the most loyal of all the felines.

They love time to themselves, as they are known for being solitary. They are leaders and will dominant other cats within the same home, unless of course it is a Leo. Then there will be a struggle for who is the more dominant. Usually the Leo will win, and the Capricorn will continue to overpower the Leo cat.

This cat loves to just find a spot and stay put, a window for gazing, a chair for resting, a fire and just watching the flames. This cat is your ideal for quite. Now, when it comes to being a one that loves to climb this is your cat. You may find him/her in the tree, scaling a trellis, even a book shelf. Whatever it can dig its claws into and scale be sure the Capricorn cat will do exactly this. Now, here is the one you will have to rescue from the trees. Now, this was my other cat Flicker-Jasmine. However, because of the fact that Onyx and she did not get along we had to send her off to another.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Ruling planet is Saturn.

Aquarius: Jan 20 – Feb 18

Freedom and independence are these main characteristics. They do like being locked up and are resentful if they are placed into a carrier of any kind. They are adaptable, friendly, and naturally curious in their nature. Here is where the famous term “curiosity killed the cat” comes about. They enjoy watching instead of participating.

If any of the feline is unpredictable it is the Aquarius cat. However, you must be watchful not to allow this one to become over stressed; you will receive the silent treatment if he/she does feel out of sorts. If the Aquarian cat has Aries in his natal, that being in houses as well will tend to be very temperamental. However, if there is Scorpio in his/her natal reactions to stress are to be rather spiteful.

Here we have a highly intuitive cat and very intelligent. This is the one that is easiest to train and they are fast learners as well. They have great pride and will show that in how they develop in the mind.

Do not be concerned if your cat acts out in spurts, as this is typical of an Aquarian cat. This cat is ruled by a crazy planet and well it is good to act out sometimes, life would be too boring for them otherwise.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Ruling planet is Uranus.

Pisces: Feb 19 – Mar 20

This is the last of the signs in the zodiac. This cat is very strong in intuition and rather psychic as well. They have a strong sixth sense and can sense something from far away. This is the case with my first cat Black Widow. Many times I would be traveling and when I would return home, she would come running straight to me. She would sense my arrival from a far and when I would enter the house she would be there immediately giving me hugs and kisses.

She loved the night and the moon, she loved to roam about, but she was also rather timid at times. She was a mover, she never sat still for too long, sometimes she would be gone for days on end and come home and say here I am, miss me. Well, as you can see I talk with all my cats.

This is a very emotional cat, along with the Cancer and Scorpio as well. They are very hypersensitive, moody and sometimes very temperamental. The Pisces cat has to be feed on time or they become very grumpy. As well as their human counterparts the feline is also very impatient and they love to whine when they do not have things there way. However, when relaxed they are very affectionate and love to cuddle.

This is the most mysterious and mystical of all the felines. This is the one cat that draws to Witches the most, as well as others who practice, or take a strong interest in the arts. The eyes on the Pisces cat are very distant and dreamy, if allowed to look into them long enough you will see the Otherworld. This is Onyx’s Mid-heaven {MC}.

Human and feline counterparts that are best are Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Ruling planet is Neptune.

 

Lunar Influences

Now here we come to the part of when you actually bring one into your home. Well, remember they choose you and they are rather familiar with the timing of the moon and the best times to come into ones home. However, this is not always the case with strays.

The best time to bring a new cat into your home is on a Dark Moon, or in the First Quarter {Waxing Moon}, when not being ruled by the sign of Pisces or Scorpio. Why you may ask? Well, these are the two water signs that are the least stable and the least loyal in all reality.

They will not stay, this is learned from experience. A friend needed a home for a black male cat and I had agreed to do this, but with the instructions that I could only do it on a Dark Moon. Well, she came the following day and it happened to be ruled by none other than the Pisces Moon. In his brief stay with us Onyx came to tolerate him, he destroyed all the screens on the doors, and some of the windows. He also destroyed the furniture and well, he loved to be outside at night, so we let him enjoy. The last time I say Myst, we had let him out one night and never to return.

Training is best done under the Taurus Moon. Planting of catnip is best done under the moon of Libra, or any of the other water signs. However, cats do not always like catnip. They are more adapting to like it if transplanted from a small pot. Planted by seeds alone they will draw away from it, and some may never draw to it at all. Onyx is not fond of catnip in anyway, oils, plant, herb, nothing. This too depends on the cat. I have many others that I tend too that come groaning at the smell of the oil itself. If they do like it you will know harvest time when they are found rolling about in the patch that was planted for them. Reminder, plant this away from your normal herbal gardens and give them a special place of their own.

 

Year of the Cat

The following years are represented by the cat in North China; 1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, and 1987. Now in Tao this represents the Hare, in Chinese the Rabbit. Now according to Taoist Astrology the following would apply in North China. The year of the purple Cat; 1927, and 1987, the gold Cat; 1939, and 1999, the silver Cat 1951, and 2011, the grey Cat 1903, and 1963 and the blue Cat 1915, and 1975. Each cycle comes around every sixty years, meaning that each colour associated with the year only appears every sixty years; for instance the next one to come will be in the year 2011 and it will be the year of the silver Cat. Then to follow in the year of 2023 with be the year of the grey Cat. Then the following years to follow are; 2035, 2047, 2059, 2071, 2083, and 2095. Now, remember this really applies to North China, as the rest of the system is ruled by either the Hare or Rabbit, which just depends on whether you follow the Chinese or the Taoist lunar calendar system.

Now in legend it is said that Buddha [c.563-c. 483 BC] was the original creator of the Chinese astrology, however, more believe that in the year 2637 BC, the Chinese Emperor Huang Ti standardized this system. Now, it is known as both Chinese Astrology and Taoist Astrology [pronounced Daoism]. In the Taoist system each animal is given a colour and years that it rules. Being as that humans needed to have contact with animals in order to survive. The cat had been one of the original animals invited but fell asleep and didn’t make it, and then another contest was created so that the cat could participate and at this time the rat and the cat had been long time friends. However, the rat broke a promise to his friend and didn’t wake him from his catnap. Upon the cat waking the race was finished and the rat won a spot. Needless to say this ending the friendship between the two animals and forever they live as enemies.

In Vietnamese astrology the Cat [which corresponds with the Rabbit in Chinese Astrology] is one of the twelve animals represented in the calendar. However, in North Korea the Cat replaces the rabbit, for the reason that this word is insulting to this part of the country.

So how does this play in your cat’s astrology, well if you follow this system it determines your cat’s characteristics just as the other two systems. In this case you would do the same reverse the person for the feline. But one must remember that the cat really is a person as most of us have lived other lives as cats or have yet to live our lives as cats.

 

Magic of the Cats

This dates back as far as the time of the Egyptian culture. Most people wore amulets as well as most if not all cats. Onyx wears a encircled Celtic knot on her collar. It was cleansed of all energies before it was placed on her neck. These are very easy to do, find one that has a strong connection to it and then run it under cool water and chant;

Negative energies I call to thee,

Remove yourself and banish from thee,

Positive energies I call to thee,

This is the charge to the amulet,

For {cat’s name} protection

‘Tis my will,

So Mote It Be!

Now, you come to enjoy your feline and remember to celebrate her birthday the same as we celebrate ours. If you are not sure of the day, just watch closely and see how they act, this usually can help you figure out about when she was born. You may also use a dowsing pendulum, and or a Spirit Board [also known as an Ouija Board] to find out around when they were born. But remember this too, that your cat does have a Natal Chart and not only will she show her sun sign, but that of the signs in her houses, ascendant, and her moon rising. All of this will tell you who your cat is and what she wants.

Just love her and take care of all the ones that follow. For sure, if you love one that much the strays will see this and come to be part of your family. They may not like each other, but they certainly will tolerate each other.

Feline Book of Shadows

The Feline Book of Shadows is much as the same as a regular Book of Shadows, the main difference is that it will focus on divination with your familiar and the associations that are sacred to her/him.

Setting it up is much the same formatting as your own personal one? You would set up your Feline Book of Shadows with a book blessing and an invocation to deity [being the deity that you are the devotee of, or your Patron deity]. If you wanted you could place a copy of the Witches Creed/Wicca Rede, or even create your own Feline Creed. This book of shadows is dedicated to your familiar and the Magic is worked with the two of you on a more personal level of growth. When working with feline powers you are first asking permission for the use of their spirit for this takes a great deal of energy away from them, as it does you, when working rituals, or spells. So, you must be careful to prepare in the same way as you would if you, yourself were working the divination on your own.

Preparing a Feline for Divination

This is a long process and one that will take from the time of your familiars’ birth to the time she/he is ready to work divination. Remember, not all cats are your familiars, some are there as just a friend and your special pet. They are not treated in the same manner. One is treated more like a person and the other more of someone that is there to keep you company.

When preparing your feline for the art of divination you must do a number of things from the beginning. Begin first by preparing a naming ritual and bless them, do a paganing ceremony, and allow them to work with you to understand that of what you are doing. Allow them an amulet, stones that are associated to their sun sign, moon rising and ascendant sign as well as an elemental association. They will want to know of what tools are within your altar, so let them investigate to learn more. They too must develop as we do when it comes to working Magic. Now, with Onyx I did a naming ritual, and blessing ceremony after I learned her birth date. I also got her an amulet of an encircled Celtic knot of Triquetra and cast a protection spell upon her amulet. I gave her an Onyx stone, and she has various others that she will play with from time to time. I also, allow her pretty much room to do as she will, but then again you must set boundaries or have a destroyed home.

Cat Naming ritual is very simple for this all you need is your cat a single white cat candle and some catnip essential oil, if available for anointing. Otherwise you can use oil that is associated with their Sun Sign [if known] and it must be performed on that night of the Dark Moon/New Moon. Prepare yourself as you would for any ritual, by cleansing the Nemeses [Gaelic for Sacred Space] and then calling the quarters to invite in the elementals. Then begin by calling upon the Quarters first from the East, South, West, and then North, also known as Deosil movement. Hold your familiar and cradle him/her as to comfort them during the ritual and upon finishing give your familiar a kiss and you may now close the circle. Remember, that you must ground and clear upon the closing of the Quarters.

Cat naming ritual

[Name] is thy name I bestow unto thee

[Name] is who I dedicate to thee

Thy name may come to thee,

To sound and bring magic three times, three, times three.

Thy life is lived free and sacred to thee

You shall be blessed, protected and honoured by thee

Blessing a feline is rather a simple ceremony. You need only your feline, cat candles [I used black], as this is a good colour for banishing and removing negative energies, as well as other associations. [But, for this lesson we will stick to the colour for banishing of negative energies, which is very important when working with Feline Magic and in the blessing of your familiar]. You must do this upon the Witching Hour of the Full Moon. Then of course you cast your circle in a Deosil movement. Now, you can also use fire in a cauldron for this ritual if you have the space for it, otherwise just use a candle and then anoint it with the proper oils. When finished allow the cauldron fire to burn down and let cool, [if used], and extinguish the cat candle and you may now close your circle by moving Tuathail also known as Widdershins. As usual, ground and clear. Now, your familiar is ready for divination.

Blessing of a Familiar

O sacred familiar

Wise and old beyond your years

Unto thee I send this blessing

Love and Light

Fire that burns with lighting of the night

Upon thy Witching Hour

Moons’ Power

I bestow upon thee

Thy Witches’ Power

Power of the ancients I call for thee

Bring the power of all ancestors unto thee

May the forces of the elements

Be blessed unto thee

Thy nature so bold and known to thee

Calling upon Bastet to honour thee

Blessings bestowed unto thee

In thy casting of magic

You shall be blessed, protected and honoured by thee

These ceremonies are usually done upon the birth of your familiar; however, if they come to you in another form, you may perform this ritual, or have the High Priest of High Priestess of your local Coven do this ceremony, at the next Full Moon after your familiar coming to you home. This is very similar to that of a paganing ceremony or a baptism of a child. However, if you are a solitary you may perform this ceremony in a place that is sacred to you, and to your familiar.

Note: Remember, that these are very sacred ritual/s and must be performed with respect and honour to Bastet.

Spell for Calling upon a Familiars Spirit

This is a very powerful spell if performed properly; however, you must be prepared and ready to accept what is brought to you from the working of this particular spell. I created this spell some time back, upon the death of one of my familiars so as to have a final blessing for her. She was a very wise and powerful familiar and taught me a lot, in the time she was here. I knew before her passing that it was to come, just not when or how. But, the same morning of me seeing her running in a dream/vision, my husband found her on the side of the road. Later he told me, after I heard from another [who is not a fan of felines] that a black cat was hit earlier that day. He had taken her to a place that well destroyed them in a very UN humane manner. So, this spell was dedicated to Agatha and I used the spirit of my Widow as well in the casting of this spell.

Please use it wisely. Now, I cast this on a Waning Moon near the time of the Witching Hour [if you are not able to perform this at the Witching Hour, you may do so at or after the hour of 9 p. Casting the Circle from the North to the West and Opening the Circle from the West to the North.

Spirit Call Cat Circle of Magick

Altar Set up

 

N

W          E

S

In accordance to how your house or altar is located in your home. Centre the candles to the altar facing you. You may also perform this outside if you so desire. Cleanse altar before using, with Moon Water, which has been blessed by the Goddess herself [Full Moon Water], and Sea Salt. Cleanse yourself and your charkas, by taking a bath. Using either Myrrh oil or Sea Salt, for cleansing take a long bath or shower to cleanse and have the Goddesses energies flow through. North being Earth, East being Air, South being Fire, and west being Water.

Before performing this ritual, make an herbal tea of pure herbs to prepare your state of mind to a trance state. Mugwort, Dandelion, and Lavender work best. I usually drink about two or three cups, relax my body for an hour and then begin the ritual.

Place in both the North and East direction one Bastet Statue each, and on the West and South direction place a picture of your familiar/s. Anoint with Myrrh oil, you may also use pure Catnip oil, if available. This is very expensive, and will burn your skin if contact is made, use carefully. Picture placement (only if calling on a spirit who has passed on to say farewell, or for guidance in what is to come. In my case my familiars, Black Widow & Agatha’ photos were used; place them at the West and South side of the altar.

 

Candles

1 Gold and White Cat candle. Place in the centre of Altar.

2 Gold candles (they can smell of Amber), place one on each side of the Cat candle.

Incense

Myrrh, Frankincense and Catnip. Best used the resin and burned on charcoal. Also, you can use the oil in an oil burner for the scent as well. Place behind the candles. Altar Cloth colours, Gold or Blue, or both. I used Yellow and Blue. Moon to perform on, any phase is fine, however, it must be under the sign of Scorpio or Pisces, for this is the strongest of all the Moons to perform spirit callings. Once your altar is cleansed, cleanse yourself and prepare. Burn your myrrh or frankincense incense for cleansing the room and space.

Now, you are ready to begin. First of all, call on your quarters [North to West] using your athame, wand or staff, asking the spirits to join you in circle.

Relax yourself, and light your candles incense. Now say the following words:

 

Goddess of Love,

Goddess of Light,

Come to me and shine so bright,

Let me see what is to be,

Come to me O spirit be.

So mote it Be!

You may also use the Chant of Witches; Isis, Asparte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali Ma, Inanna. This will do well in raising your cone of power. After you start to feel the energies moving, say the following words:

Goddess I accept all that

You are to reveal.

Spirit comes to me

And reveal yourself.

Let me see you, Goddess

I accept thee, Desire, Will and Intent unto me

So mote it Be!

Repeat as many times as it takes for you to feel the energies start to surround your space of Magick. You will eventually start to feel like you are in a place that is not of the physical realm, but of the Outer Realm.

Open the circle [West to North] and thank the spirits for their assistance and send back the spirits of your familiars back to where they came from, as this is draining on them.

You must be willing to accept what every guide the Goddess blesses you with for it is the reason of the calling. My results were seen just a few days later. That too, you must remember it will be revealed when the time is right. When I did this I ended up with ten felines around the house within hours after the ceremony ended and both Agatha and Widow came full blast in spirit. The manifestation was quick and is still in effect to this very day.

Final Words:

In doing this article, I have taken great thought in how to best to bring it to each and every one of you. This is a very large part of my life and my Magic; however, it is only used in the greatest of respect for the feline. When you work divination with a feline or call upon their energies to help you in understanding omens, finding lost objects, easing your anxiety, and some even are there for calming of dreams in ones sleep. You must remember that they are freely allowing you to draw on their energies, so you must respect them, and give back to them what you take. Otherwise they will lose not only power, but they will lose energy and strength if we do not give what we have taken from them.

They are wise and powerful power animals and should be treated as that, not as just a domestic pet. Remember in how you treat a feline, whether it is yours or another’s, you honour them with your love, Bastet honours you in many ways.

How do you know this? Well, recently I found a black cat on the side of the road, which, for a moment I thought had been one of the many I tend too, however, it was not. I buried him/her under our Coconut tree along with Isobel’s kittens whom were buried earlier the same day. A manifestation to me were a new kitten that had lost her mother, found her way here and now has a safe place. You never know what you will receive from the giving of your soul to another. So, respect that soul no matter what. In death is rebirth, in rebirth is a spirit that if meant to be in your life will come no matter what you expect.

Love and cherish the feline for all they are, as they are the Witches Familiar.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and take with you something to begin a new area of divination.

 

Bibliography:

 

My Personal Experiences and Workings

Shows were revisions or add on has been placed.

 

Egyptian Astrology, http://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~raaness/astrology

Ancient Egyptian Magic; Spells, Incantations, Potions, Stories, and Rituals

by Bob Brier

Your Magickal Cat, by Gerina Dunwich

Magic in Ancient Egypt, by Geraldine Pinch

The Twelve House, by Howard Sasportas [used in translating Onyx’s chart]

Taoist Astrology, by Susan Levitt with Jean Tang

 

Familiars Animal Powers of Britain, by Anna Franklin

Herb Craft, by Anna Franklin

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Fairies, by Anna Franklin

The Werewolf Book, by Brad Steiger and forwarded by Dr. Franklin Ruehl

Scottish Witches and Wizards True Accounts, by H. M. Fleming

The Encyclopaedia of Witches and Witchcraft, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

1000 Years of Irish Poetry;

Edited by Kathleen Hoagland, Intro by Malachy McCourt

Egyptian Magic by E.A. Wallis Budge

Cat Magick, by Patricia Telesco,

Your Magickal Cat, by Gerina Dunwich, and

The Mysterious Magickal Cat, by D.J. Conway.

 

Internet Resources:

 

Goddess and Gods, at http://members.tripod.com/witchiegirl/deities.html

European Witch Adoption, at http://sacredcirclescoven.com/WitchesNames.htm

Greek Mythology, at http://www.loggia.com/myth/eros.html

Pantheon, at http://www.pantheon.org

http://www.themystica.org/mythical-folk/articles/dionysus.html  and http://www.themystica.org/mythical-folk/articles/bacchus.html

 

 

To reprint this article emails Rev. Darcie Clausen De Velez. at csolarwolf1@aol.com  please provide your sites address, and a valid email all requests for reprint will be reviewed prior to approval.  I have the right to remove this article from sites at any time I no longer wish it to be used by outside sources.

 

At the time of writing this article I was going under the Open Craft Name of Dark Oak.

 

Article Featured: Silver Wheel Magazine UK ~ Samhain 2003 Issue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Twelve Gods and Seven Planets, by Ken Gillman


Ed. N.: This article was previously published in Considerations ( volume XI number 4, November 1996-January 1997, pp. 63-95). It is absolutely crucial for the understanding of the rulerships. (I’ve personally reached similar conclusions upon the subject in my doctoral thesis, and before (1986) in an article published in a French magazine of Lyon).

THE SIGNS and the planets are obviously closely related. When we interpret a planet in the birthchart we do so in terms of where the Sign(s) it rules are located among the houses. In interpreting the meaning of a Sign we relate it to the strength and location of its planetary ruler. The standard allocation of the seven classical planets to the various Signs of the Zodiac (Mars ruling Aries and Scorpio, Venus ruling Taurus and Libra, etc.) is listed in virtually every textbook from Ptolemy to Tyl.

I’ve been trying to learn how and why these rulerships were originally allocated. My search was mainly unsuccessful yet in the process I came across another rulership scheme that existed for at least two thousand years – it probably even pre-dates the Signs of the Zodiac for it existed in 1600 B.C. This older rulership scheme co-existed with our standard rulership scheme for several centuries. It disappeared in the early 6th century when it was effectively banned by the Catholic Church. This article presents the evidence for this older rulership scheme and then discusses some of the implications knowledge of it may have to us today. One important implication is that reference to Greek mythology as a way of getting at the meanings of the planets may not be as valid as many writers on astrology seem to believe.

The Evidence

WHILE THE ZODIAC, the narrow strip in the sky in which we observe and measure the movements of the Sun, Moon and the planets, was undoubtedly recognized in Babylon 4,000 or so years ago it was not apparently until about 520 B.C. that the twelve Signs were actually defined. This seems to have been done by Cleostratos of Tenedos [1], who divided the ecliptic into twelve equal parts and is said to have “recognized the Signs of the Zodiac.” He reputedly described them in a now-lost poem, Astrologia.

Before there were Signs there were months. The earliest calendars were lunar, a month lasting either from first crescent to first crescent or from full moon to full moon. Twelve 30-day months and five extra days made up the year. And each month was believed to have a separate god as its ruler or guardian. Evidence of this concept can be traced to both ancient Babylon and Egypt.

The month gods first appear in Egyptian art as early as the Eighteenth Dynasty, some 1,600 years before Christ. In Western Europe this was the Bronze Age, the period when Stonehenge was being built. Twelve gods for twelve months, originally the month gods seem to have been deities in whose honor a festival was held on the first day of each month.

The Egyptian month gods at this time were, in sequence, Thy, goddess of the first month, Ptah, Hathor, Sekhmet, Min, Rkh-Wr, Rkh-Nds, Rnwtt, Khonsu, Khnt-Khnty, Ipt, and Re-Harakhty, god of the twelfth month. They included five goddesses, five gods, and two hippopotami (Rkh-Wr and Rkh-Nds). These gods appear in the above order on an alabaster waterclock from the reign of Amenhotep III (1397-1360 B.C.).[2] Except that the hippopotami are replaced by jackals, they are in the same order on ceilings in the temples of Ramses I (1290-1223 B.C.) and Ramses II (1174-1147 B.C.). On these two ceilings, in the center of the band, a dog-headed ape squats on a pillar, the symbol of Thoth, god of the five intercalary days.

The Egyptian month gods were still considered sacred nine hundred years later in the time of Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.). There are extant representations of Alexander and later Macedonian rulers of Egypt making offerings to these month gods. Representations of these same native month gods continued to be used in Roman times. On two water clocks depicting the appropriate month gods the Latin name of the months are incised on the rims.

The twelve Egyptian gods began as month gods. Later, some time before the third century B.C., they also became protectors of the Zodiac Signs. At that time Appollonius Rhodius, a Greek poet who was chief librarian at Alexandria, wrote “the Egyptians call the twelve Zodiac Signs’ counselor gods by name, and the planets attendants.” It was the Twelve Gods then who ruled the Signs of the Zodiac, not the planets. Herodotus, the man Cicero called ‘the father of history’ in the second book of his Histories, also refers several times to an Egyptian set of Twelve Gods. He wrote “each month and each day belongs to one of the gods.”

The Babylonians also believed there were twelve major gods, each of whom watched over a month and one of the twelve Zodiac Signs. This we learn from the Bibliotheca Historica written by Diodorus Siculus, a first century B.C. Greek historian.

The Greeks were familiar with the concept of twelve leading gods. They had their own twelve Olympians. In Athens, the Olympians were the patrons of the city state, concerned with the maintenance and prosperity of the civic order, especially justice, and also bestowing upon Athens primacy among Greek cities.

The individual Egyptian month gods were not the exact equivalent of the twelve Olympians whom the Romans later also recognized as month gods, only Ptah presides over the same month as his Greco-Roman equivalent Hephaistos/Vulcan. The twelve Egyptian month gods are not regarded as the source for the Greek Twelve (they were worshipped and invoked individually while the Greeks invoked them as a group; the Greek twelve were wholly anthropomorphic, the Egyptian included the two hippos, later jackals), but knowledge of this similar set of deities may have led to the later association of the twelve gods of Greece and Rome with the months.

REFERENCES IN classical literature to altars to the Twelve Gods founded by Greek heroes imply that the cult existed in Greece during the late Bronze Age: the sixth century B.C. Greek lyric poet Pindar refers to altars founded by Herakles at Olympia, Hellanicus (a fifth century historian) wrote that Deukalion founded an altar in Thessaly, while Herodotus cites Jason’s sacrifice to the Twelve Gods by the Bosphoros. In the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, probably composed in the 8th century B.C., the infant god, after killing Apollo’s cattle, set aside twelve portions for the gods.

Plato (c.427-c.347 B.C.) believed the Twelve should have a central role in the ideal city. In his Laws, he proposed that the citizens be divided into twelve tribes, each to be named for one of the Twelve Gods, who would serve as its patron deity. He also proposed that the ideal city should hold a festival each month for one of the Twelve and that the festival of the twelfth month be devoted to Plouton.

Plouton, the Greek god of the underworld, was not one of the Greek Twelve. The last month of the Greek year, to which Plato’s twelfth month corresponded, was Skirophorion, named after the Skira festival which took place during the month. The Skira seems to have been connected with the rape of Persephone/Kore by Plouton. It is roughly equivalent to June, when today the vegetation dries up and dies in Greece. Thus, the death of vegetation coinciding with the death of the year made it a particularly suitable month to be dedicated to Plouton, and there was already a festival during the month with which he was associated. Plato interpreted Plouton as ‘the giver of wealth’. In art, Plouton regularly holds a cornucopia, symbol of wealth and fertility.

There is no evidence before Plato’s time that the Greek Twelve as a group had any connection with the months. Eudoxos of Cnidos, who is known today as ‘the founder of scientific astronomy’, is thought to have been responsible for identifying the twelve Olympians with the Signs of the Zodiac. In doing so, he was obviously following the Egyptian tradition; he is known to have spent sixteen months in Egypt sometime in the period 378-364 B.C.

In his Phaedrus, Plato described the Twelve Gods as astral deities who drive through the heavens, maintaining order in the heavens. This has been interpreted as supporting the association of the Twelve Gods with the Signs of the Zodiac. In Plato’s thought, the Twelve Gods were no longer the parochial set who watched over the prosperity of Athens and ensured its dominance over other cities, but universal deities concerned with the well-being of the Kosmos.

In 293 B.C., the months of the city of Demetrias in Thessaly were named after the twelve Olympians. This is the earliest association of the twelve Olympians as a group with the months. We know only the names of ten of the months: Aphrodision, Areios, Artemision, Athenaion, Deios (of Zeus), Demetrion, Hephaiston, Hermaion, Hestios, and Poseidon. Unfortunately, we do not know the order of the months.

The Twelve were represented in various ways, possibly the most interesting being a circle containing a ring of twelve dots at Epidauros. However, there is no evidence that the association of the Olympians with the months was expressed in Greek art.

THE EARLIEST Babylonian list of relations between months and deities has been dated to approx. 1,000 B.C. The gods of three of the Babylonian months can be equated with the Olympian associated with the same month – Ishtar with Demeter/Ceres, Marduk with Ares/Mars, and Sin with Apollo. In each instance, however, the Babylonian deity has a different Greco-Roman counterpart in the system established for the planetary gods.

Table 1: Babylonian planetary gods and their Greek and Roman equivalents

Planet Babylonian Greek Roman
Saturn Ninib (Ninurta) Kronos Saturn
Jupiter Marduk Zeus Jupiter
Mars Nergal Ares Mars
Venus Ishtar Aphrodite Venus
Mercury Nabu Hermes Mercury
Moon Sin Artemis Diana
Sun Shamash Apollo Apollo

    THE TWELVE GODS, also known as Di Consentes, were introduced to Rome some time before the third century B.C. In 217 B.C., after Rome had suffered a serious defeat at the hands of the Carthaginian Hannibal, the Roman Senate ordered the Roman priestly college of the decemviri to consult the Sibylline books and determine how the wrath of the gods could be appeased. In due course, they were informed that a sacred banquet should be held to honor the gods. Six couches were set up in public, one for Jupiter and Juno, a second for Neptune and Minerva, a third for Mars and Venus, a fourth for Apollo and Diana, a fifth for Vulcan and Vesta, and the last for Mercury and Ceres, twelve gods in all. Only heads of gods were originally represented on the couches. In the event, Rome was saved from Hannibal; so this unusual banquet was justified.

Saturn was not one of the twelve. In the first century B.C., a set of bronze statues of the twelve Di Consentes stood in the Roman Forum. They were juxtaposed with the public treasury, which was kept in the Temple of Saturn, and the public records kept in the Tabularium. The Di Consentes were thus admirably suited to the protection of the state, able to supervise the business of government and watch out for financial or administrative wrong-doing.

The Twelve Gods appeared in Rome at a time of crisis. The Twelve promptly displayed their ability to protect Rome and cause it to flourish. The cult the Romans had imported was the old Greek municipal cult, and it remained attached to the city of Rome.

The Latin names for the months are not generally derived from those of the Olympians. The two obvious exceptions are March (Martius) and June (Iunis), named for Mars and Juno. The association of Mars with March persisted in illustrated calendars into the middle ages, long after the month gods disappeared as a set. The Latin poet Ovid connected Venus with April (Aprilis), while May (Maius) can be said to relate to Maia, the mother of Hermes/Mercury. Only these four months were initially named, the rest were numbered, with our July the fifth month (March was the first) being Quintilis, our month of August was Sextilis, and so on. This Roman custom of naming the first four and numbering the remainder is fascinating; it occurred also in Roman families, the children after the first four being called Quintus, Sextus, etc.[3]The month of Quintilis was later renamed July to commemorate Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., and Sextilis was changed to August to honor Augustus in 8 B.C. The naming of January and February had occurred earlier, at the time the start of Rome’s civil year was moved from March to January.

Table 2: The Twelve Gods of Greece & their equivalents in Rome

Female Male
Greek Roman Greek Roman
Aphrodite Venus Ares Mars
Artemis Diana Apollo Apollo
Athena Minerva Hephaistos Vulcan
Demeter Ceres Poseidon Neptune
Hera Juno Zeus Jupiter
Hestia Vesta Hermes Mercury
The male-female pairings in Table 2 were the usual ones

    THE ROMAN SYSTEM which has an Olympian associated with each month as a tutela or guardian appears full-blown in the first century A.D. (after the calendar reform of Julius Caesar) in the so-called rustic calendar engraved on a small, free-standing marble pillar. The surviving example, now in the National Museum in Naples, has three columns on each face, each headed by a Zodiacal Sign in low relief and listing the Roman name of the month associated with the Sign, the number of days, the number of daylight and night hours, the position of the Sun, the tutelary deity, and the principal festivals as well as agricultural activities. An English translation of the inscription [4]is as follows:

Month January. 31 days. Nones on 5th. Day 9 hours, night 14 hours. Sun in Capricorn. Patronage of Juno.

Month February. 28 days. Nones on 5th. Day 10 hours, night 13 hours. Sun in Aquarius. Patronage of Neptune. Fields are sown.

Month March. 31 days. Nones on 7th. Day 12 hours, night 12 hours. Equinox March 24th. Sun in Pisces. Patronage of Minerva.

Month April. 30 days. Nones on 5th. Day 13 hours, night 10 hours. Sun in Aries. Patronage of Venus.

Month May. 31 days. Nones on 7th. Day 14 hours, night 9 hours. sun in Taurus. Patronage of Apollo. Fields are weeded. Sheep are shorn. Wool is washed. Bullocks are tamed.

Month June. 30 days. Nones on 5th. Day 15 hours, night 9 hours. Summer solstice June 23. Sun in Gemini. Patronage of Mercury.

Month July (so named). 31 days. Nones on 7th. Day hours 14, night hours 9. Sun in Cancer. Patronage of Jupiter.

Month August (so named). 31 days. Nones on 5th. Day of 13 hours, night of 11 hours. Sun in Leo. Patronage of Ceres.

Month September. 30 days. Nones on 5th. Day 12 hours, night 12 hours. Equinox September 23. Sun in Virgo. Patronage of Vulcan.Storage jars are coated with pitch.

Month October. 31 days. Nones on 7th. Day 10 hours, night 13 hours. Sun in Libra. Patronage of Mars.Grape harvest.

Month November. 30 days. Nones on 5th. Day 9 hours, night 14 hours. Sun in Scorpio. Patronage of Diana.Sowing of wheat and barley.

Month December. 31 days. Nones on 5th. Day 9 hours, night 15 hours. Sun in Sagittarius. Patronage of Vesta.Beginning of winter. They dung the vineyards, sowing beans, etc.

The relationship of the different gods to the months and Zodiacal Signs on these rustic calendars is very different from those we might expect. Jupiter for July!

Manilius arranged the deities in the same order in his Astronomica, the oldest surviving complete astrological text, written during the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius (30 B.C.-37 A.D.), but he shifted the Sign associated with each deity one place, see Table 3. He also began his list with Aries, the Sign of the spring equinox, rather than with January, the first month of the Roman year.

“Pallas (Minerva) watches over the Woolbearer (Aries);
Cytherea (Venus) over Taurus; Phoebus (Apollo) the shapely Gemini; You, Cyllenius (Mercury), over Cancer; and Jupiter, you yourself rule Leo with the Mother of the Gods; Virgo who bears ears of grain belongs to Ceres; and the forged scales to Vulcan; quarrelsome Scorpio clings to Mars;
Diana cherishes the hunting man part horse (Sagittarius); and Vesta the contracted stars of Capricorn; opposite Jupiter is Aquarius, the star of Juno; and Neptune acknowledges his own Pisces in the upper air.”

Table 3: Concordance between the Rustic Calendars & Manilius

Month Deity Sign
Rustic calendars Manilius
January Juno Capricorn Aquarius
February Neptune Aquarius Pisces
March Minerva Pisces Aries
April Venus Aries Taurus
May Apollo Taurus Gemini
June Mercury Gemini Cancer
July Jupiter Cancer Leo
August Ceres Leo Virgo
September Vulcan Virgo Libra
October Mars Libra Scorpio
November Diana Scorpio Sagittarius
December Vesta Sagittarius Capricorn

    Manilius placed the Sign of Leo under the Mother of the Gods as well as Jupiter. The supreme Goddess, Astarte/Cybele, was usually associated with lions. A limestone plaque in Jordan shows Cybele surrounded by Signs of the Zodiac. At the top of the Zodiac the figure of Aries is replaced by a bust of Athena/Minerva, tutelary goddess of the Sign. Next to her is a nude male bust with the Sign of Libra, and other busts replace Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius.

The time span allotted to a Zodiacal Sign and a given month, then as now, do not exactly coincide. In the Rustic Calendar and the poem of Manilius the deities are assigned to one month and two successive Signs of the Zodiac. It follows that originally the gods were tutelae of the months, not of the Zodiac Signs. This agrees with the historical sequence: in Demetrias the months were named for the Olympians ca. 293 B.C. The rise of personal astrology with its emphasis on the Zodiac seems to have occurred in Alexandria in the second century B.C. The source for the Roman system was Greek and may have been inspired by Plato’s recommendation in the Laws.

It has been suggested that Manilius began with an association of Olympians with Zodiac Signs. These led to the connection of the deity with the month in which the Zodiac Sign rises and hence to the shift in the preceding Sign which is found in the rustic calendars.

Charlotte R. Long [5], author of the excellent The Twelve Gods of Greece and Rome (a main source for this article), believes this theory is clearly contradicted by the arrangements on the sides of the so-called Altar, found in Gabii in 1793 by Gavin Hamilton excavating on behalf of Prince Borghese. It is one of the pieces in the Borghese collection purchased for the Louvre by Napoleon. It is dated as Hadrianic, 117-138 A.D. Mrs. Long describes it as looking like a very ornamental birdbath, although the official identification is that it was a sundial. Twelve raised divine heads encircle the rim. These are pairings of the gods: a goddess matched with the god ruling the opposite Sign of the Zodiac, with the goddess of the pair on the right of the male. Of the six pairings, only three are the same as those at the 217 B.C. banquet.

Around the sides are attributes of the twelve Olympians arranged in the order of the months, reading from left to right, and juxtaposed with the Signs of the Zodiac. These are so arranged that a given attribute follows the Zodiac Sign associated with the deity in the Roman rustic calendars and precedes the Sign ascribed to the same deity by Manilius.

This arrangement, Mrs. Long contends, substantiates the hypothesis that the Olympians served primarily as guardians of the months rather than the Zodiac Signs.

The heads on top in counter-clockwise order, beginning with the best preserved are:

a. Venus, with Cupid behind her right shoulder
b. Mars wearing a helmet
c. Diana, with a quiver behind her right shoulder
d. Apollo, nude with long side curls
e. Vesta, with long side curls wearing peplos
f. Youthful Mercury with caduceus
g. Ceres, with long, loose hair covered by a veil
h. Neptune with a trident
i. Minerva (now wholly restored)
j. A youthful Vulcan, with hair to the nape of his neck
k. Juno (now wholly restored)
l. Jupiter, shoulder-length hair, thunderbolt.

Table 4: The arrangement on sides of the Altar of Gabii

Symbol Deity Zodiac Sign
Capricorn
Peacock Juno
Aquarius
Dolphins Neptune
Pisces
Owl Minerva
Aries
Dove Venus
Taurus
Tripod Apollo
Gemini
Winged Tortoise Mercury
Cancer
Eagle Jupiter
Leo
Basket Ceres
Virgo
Pileus [6] Vulcan
Libra
Wolf Mars
Scorpio
Dog Diana
Sagittarius
Lamp Vesta
Capricorn

Note: The sequence is continuous, Capricorn appears only once.

Other Examples

IN ADDITION TO the Rustic Calendars, the Altar at Gabii, and Manilius, there are only four other known examples that relate the Twelve Gods to the month and/or the Sign of the Zodiac. One of these relates to both month and Sign, two to the month only, and the fourth to just the Sign.

1. A 13-meter-square polychrome carpet mosaic, found at Hellin in Albacete, Spain, and now exhibited in Madrid. It has sixteen principle octagonal panels, the four in the center represent the seasons. The twelve outer panels were originally labeled with the names of the months, each had a deity mounted on a monster or winged genius symbolizing a Zodiac Sign. The choice of deity seems to depend here on the religious calendar rather than on the rustic one. The deity honored is the one honored by the chief festival of the month. The following months are preserved:

  • February – label only
  • April – Venus riding a man-bull, Taurus. (The Veneralia festival was celebrated on the Kalends of April.)
  • May – Mercury riding a winged genius who holds twins in his extended hand, Gemini. (May was named for Maia, the mother of Hermes-Mercury, and a festival honoring mother and son was held on the Ides of May.)
  • August – Diana seated on a centaur holding an arrow, Virgo. (The Natalis of Diana was celebrated on the Ides of August. The Vulcanalia was also held in August, but later in the month after the change of Zodiac Sign, and Vulcan is shown here as the tutela of the next month.)
  • September – Vulcan on winged genius carrying scales, Libra.
  • October – helmeted beardless deity with long skirt (a martial goddess such as Minerva rather than Mars) riding on a winged genius who empties a basket of grapes, in the hair are the claws of Scorpio. (The main festival in October, the Armilustrum, celebrated the army. October was the traditional end of the fighting year.)
  • November – eiled goddess with scepter, seated on a centaur carrying a bow and arrow, Sagittarius. (The veiled goddess is most likely Isis as the great festival of Isis was in November, extending from October 28 to November 3.)
  • December – Goddess with lance (Minerva most likely) riding creature with goat legs, Capricorn.

2. The earliest extant representations of the month gods outside of Egypt are a series of medallions with busts of gods painted in a room at the western edge of Pompeii. These can be dated before the destruction of Pompeii in A.D. 79. The four identifiable busts depict April (Venus), July (Jupiter), September (Vulcan) and November (Diana).

3. Another polychrome carpet mosaic, dated to the end of the third or early in the fourth century, A.D., was laid by a certain Monnus in a villa in Trier. It also included representations of the months and seasons. Eight of these panels are extant:

  • April – only the label survives
  • May – fragment of a caduceus, Mercury
  • June – diademed goddess with a scepter, Juno
  • July – bearded Neptune with a trident
  • August – beardless deity in a red garment, Ceres or Diana
  • September – bearded Vulcan equipped with tongs
  • October – youthful Bacchus crowned with vine leaves
  • November – Isis

4. A marble candelabrum base with summer month gods was found in the basement of the Villa Pinciana in Rome in 1767/68. Date: Roman Imperial, probably second century after Christ. It was taken to Paris with other pieces in the Borghese collection by Napoleon and is now in the Musée de Louvre (inv. no. MA 610). The three-sided base has a single deity on each face, mounted on a figure symbolizing a Zodiac Sign.

  • Neptune with horse and dolphin on left forearm riding on a triton with attached crab legs and claws, Cancer. The Neptunalia festival was celebrated in Rome on July 23, under Cancer.
  • Jupiter, bearded, with eagle, riding a man-lion, Leo.
  • Draped goddess, originally with scarf billowing behind head, riding on girl with clinging drapery, Virgo. The goddess is either Venus, Ceres or Diana.

Table 5: The Twelve Gods of the Zodiac

Sign Rustic Manilius Gabii Hellin Villa Pinciana
Aries Venus Minerva Minerva - -
Taurus Apollo Venus Venus Venus -
Gemini Mercury Apollo Apollo Mercury -
Cancer Jupiter Mercury Mercury - Neptune
Leo Ceres Jupiter Jupiter - Jupiter
Virgo Vulcan Ceres Ceres Diana Goddess
Libra Mars Vulcan Vulcan Vulcan -
Scorpio Diana Mars Mars Goddess -
Sagittarius Vesta Diana Diana Isis -
Capricorn Juno Vesta Vesta Minerva -
Aquarius Neptune Juno Juno - -
Pisces Minerva Neptune Neptune - -

Table 6: The Twelve Gods of the Months

Month Rustic Hellin Pompeii Trier
Jan Juno - - -
Feb Poseidon - - -
Mar Minerva - - -
Apr Venus Venus Venus -
May Apollo Mercury - Mercury
Jun Mercury - - Juno
July Jupiter - Jupiter Poseidon
Aug Ceres Diana - Diana/Ceres
Sep Vulcan Vulcan Vulcan Vulcan
Oct Mars Goddess - Bacchus
Nov Diana Isis Diana Isis
Dec Vesta Minerva - -

    THE PLANETARY gods form a closed set of seven that is readily distinguished from the twelve month or Zodiac gods by the presence of Saturn. It is evident that both allocations co-existed at the same time. For example, both the twelve-month/Zodiac gods and the seven are represented on separate sets of painted medallions in the same room at Pompeii. The seven planetary gods were also combined with the Signs of the Zodiac they usually rule. Thus at Pompeii, Jupiter is depicted both as a month/Zodiac god protecting July/Leo and as the planetary god ruling the two Signs Sagittarius and Pisces.

The seven were related to the twelve Signs on a set of astrological coins issued by Alexandria under Antonius Pius (A.D. 137-161). These coins each have a single planetary god combined with the Zodiac Sign normally associated with that particular planet.

The seven are also depicted on a polychrome carpet mosaic from Bir Chana in North Africa. Here Saturn occupies the central panel with the remaining six planetary gods in adjacent panels and the Signs of the Zodiac between these and the outer edge.

THE CULT of the Twelve Gods seems to have gone underground after the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 A.D. at which Constantine, inspired to fight under the symbol of the Christian God (a flaming cross that appeared in the sky inscribed ‘In this conquer’), defeated Maxentius, who presumably had the traditional gods of Rome on his side. It followed that the God of the Christians must be the Supreme Being on whom the welfare of the state depended. Constantine accepted Him as such, converted to Christianity, and gave civil rights and toleration to Christians throughout the Empire. He was indebted to the Christian God for his success, not to Jupiter Optimus Maximus and the rest. Thus Constantine of necessity established a new divine patron for the state.

The cult had to resort to subterfuge. One of the Church fathers, Clement of Alexandria (150-215) had written in Excerpta ex Theodotathat the apostles would replace the Signs of the Zodiac, presiding over rebirth as formerly the Signs had watched over birth. The Twelve Olympians took the hint and became the Twelve Apostles.

For his burial place Constantine, who had been an ardent follower of Sol Invictusas the universal supreme god prior to Milvian Bridge, built himself a mausoleum, which he dedicated as a church of the Holy Apostles. His sarcophagus was placed in the center flanked by memorials to the twelve apostles (it could also be considered a representation of the Sun surrounded by the twelve Signs of the Zodiac). Three of the apostles had stars carved besides their heads, which tends to confirm this assimilation of the apostles with the astral deities and the Zodiac.

Whether or not Constantine’s rather blatant final act could be construed as reverting to the old pagan religion on his deathbed, it certainly did not please the newly empowered Church in Rome. His sarcophagus was very quickly removed from the Church of the Holy Apostles, on the pretext that the building was unsafe (this occurred only a year or so after the Church was built, during the reign of his son Constantius II), and placed in a rotunda next to the church, where later emperors were also entombed

Table 7: Relationship between the Twelve Gods & the Twelve Apostles

Olympian Sign Apostle
Minerva Aries Peter
Venus Taurus Simon Zelotes
Apollo Gemini James ‘the lesser’
Mercury Cancer Andrew
Jupiter Leo John
Ceres Virgo Philip
Vulcan Libra Bartholomew
Mars Scorpio Thomas
Diana Sagittarius James
Vesta Capricorn Matthew
Juno Aquarius Thaddeus-Jude
Neptune Pisces Judas Iscariot

    There was a revival of the old pagan religion during the brief reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363). Allied and counseled by Neoplatonists, he brought back the Twelve Gods and stripped the Church of its privileges. But this resurrection did not survive Julian’s death. After that humiliation the Christian Church insisted new emperors acted according to their dictates.

On November 8, 392 the emperor Theodosius (born Jan 11, AD 347), at the behest of Bishop Ambrose, completely prohibited the worship of the pagan gods (he also terminated the Olympic Games). A religious war ensued. At the battle of Frigidus River on September 5, 394 Theodosius defeated Eugenius and Arbogast, the leaders of the pagan revolt. Later Christian tradition essentially interpreted the victory as a divine judgment: the god of the Christians had triumphed over the old Roman gods. The Di Consentes, you will recall, had been introduced into Rome six hundred years earlier when the city was in danger of being captured by Hannibal. Rome had risen to extraordinary heights since then. Now the Twelve Gods were arbitrarily dismissed. Within twenty years Rome lay in ruins, sacked by Alaric and his Visigoths, the latest Emperor of Rome alive and well and living far away in Constantinople.

A related event was the prosecution of Priscillianism. Priscillian was an early Christian bishop who is infamous for being the first heretic to receive capital punishment. He was executed in 385. The unorthodox doctrine he founded, which included the belief that the Signs of the Zodiac were under the patronage of the twelve Patriarchs, persisted until either 561 or 563. In one of these years the Church Council of Braga in Spain pronounced an anathema, a formal ecclesiastical ban or excommunication, against Priscillianism and specifically included any who regarded the Signs of the Zodiac as being under the patronage of the twelve Patriarchs. With this formal denouncement of the heresy of Christianizing the pagan belief in the Olympians as protectors of the Zodiac, the 2,000-year-old month/Zodiac gods disappeared.

THE NEOPLATONISTS accepted the Twelve Gods, for them the Olympians controlled the universe. As the name implies this was a revival of Platonism, occurring in the third century A.D. The Neoplatonists themselves continued to flourish into the fifth century but their academy was closed in A.D. 529 by the Emperor Justinian, shortly before the Council of Braga. Thereafter the doctrine petered out as a form of mystical agnosticism.

Table 8: The Natures of the Twelve Gods

Creators Guards Life-givers Uplifters
Jupiter Vesta Ceres Mercury
Neptune Minerva Juno Venus
Vulcan Mars Diana Apollo

    The Twelve Gods were divided into four groups each of three (beginning, middle and end), as listed in Table 8. The creative and paternal gods make the universe, the life-givers give it life, uplifters harmonize it, and the guards preserve and protect it.[7]The natures of the Twelve Gods were explained as follows:

Jupiter has the highest place in the creative triad, setting in order souls and bodies, and being concerned with all things. Neptune completes the middle part of creation and especially governs the spiritual order, for he is the god who causes movement and all birth. The soul is the very first of the things produced and movement is according to being (e.g., plant, bird, fish, human). Finally, Vulcan inspires the nature of the bodies and makes all the gods’ seats in the universe.

Of the protective and unmoved triad, Vesta is first because she preserves the very existence of things and keeps their being undefiled. Minerva guards the intermediate creatures unswerving in intelligent and spontaneous life, lifting them up from matter. Mars shines power upon the creatures in bodily form.

Ceres rules the life giving, wholly producing all life in the universe, intellectual, spiritual and that inseparable from the body. Juno keeps the middle part, devoting herself to the production of the soul. For the intellectual goddess, Ceres, sent forth all the emanations of other spiritual entities from herself. Diana is allotted the end, arousing all the natural Logoi into activity and completing the self-sufficiency of matter.

Of the last, the uplifting or harmonizing triad, Mercury is leader of philosophy. Hence, through it he leads souls up and with his dialectical powers sends them, in whole and in part, up to the good itself. Venus is the prime-moving cause of the erotic inspiration pervading all things and adapts those lives led up by her to the beautiful. She is nude because her function, harmony, creates beauty and beauty is not concealed. Apollo through music completes all things and corrects all things, moving them all together, and drawing them through harmony and rhythm towards the intellectual truth and the light there.

In some lists Plouton replaces Vulcan. The Neoplatonists accepted the Twelve Gods as a legacy from Plato. They connected each Olympian with the planet or element usually associated with him or her. Demeter subsequently gave her place among the Twelve to Saturn, presumably because Kronos-Saturn was not an Olympian. Apollo and Artemis gave theirs to Helios and Selene (the Sun and Moon). Vesta represents earth, Neptune water, Juno air, and Vulcan fire.

Discussion

IS THERE ANY relevance in all this to modern astrological practice? I believe there is. The assignment of twelve gods to each of the months clearly preceded the allocation of the Zodiac Signs among the same twelve Olympians. It was an earlier rulership scheme. When the Zodiac was defined each of the twelve month gods (automatically?) became protectors of a Zodiacal Sign. Later, or even at the same time, the seven planets were also related to the same twelve Signs. If we can understand something of how the original allocation occurred, and how and why it became changed to the one we all know, honor and obey, we may perhaps improve our understanding of the relationship between the seven planets and the twelve Signs. Much of what we do in astrology depends on this relationship.

The same sequence of the Twelve Gods appears in the Rustic Calendar, in Manilius and at the Altar at Gabii (see Table 5). While it is impossible to state this is actually the true, basic sequence, there is general agreement from the other sources about the placement of Vulcan, Jupiter and Venus.

The Altar at Gabii presented an interpretation problem in that photographs indicate the deities’ symbols are interspersed midway between each of the depicted Zodiac Signs (see Table 4). Mercury’s winged tortoise is halfway between the Sign of the twins and that of the crab. If we relate the symbol to the earlier Sign the allocation of the Rustic Calendar is confirmed, if it is associated with the later Sign then Manilius is confirmed.

The tortoise, like the crab, was a symbol for Cancer, the two creatures like the Sign are known for their hard shells; the wings on the tortoise indicate Mercury-Hermes is the guardian of the Sign. This points to the Manilius scheme.

The only other representations we have, those at Hellin, etc., agree Vulcan is the protector of September and/or Libra. Assuming this was also so at Gabii, we have further evidence that the symbol preceding the Zodiac Sign is the one that should be related to the Sign and that Gabii is an example of the Manilius rulership scheme. This suggests it is the Manilius version that became accepted rather than the one detailed in the Rustic Calendars.

Five sources relate the Olympian gods to the Signs of the Zodiac (see Table 5). If we ignore the Rustic Calendar, we have Venus consistently as the protector of Taurus, Jupiter of Leo, and Vulcan of Libra. From the standard pairings of the gods (shown in Table 2), we therefore expect Mars to be protector of Scorpio, the Sign opposite Venus’s; Juno to oppose Jupiter’s Sign; and Minerva to protect Aries, the Sign opposing Vulcan’s Libra.

Is there any apparent rationale in the original distribution of the twelve Olympians among the twelve months and Signs?

Aries and Librahad Athena-Minerva and Hephaestus-Vulcan as their guardian gods.

Athena-Minervais the goddess of wisdom. At her birth, we’re told she sprang from the head of Zeus clad in her armor, brandishing her lance, and giving her war cry. Although a martial goddess, her most characteristic attribute is her practical intelligence and she is the patroness, inspirer and teacher of all specialized workers and artists. Her chief traits are prudence and valor. She never goes to war unless forced and when she fights, always wins. Her emblem is the owl.

Hephaestus-Vulcanis the lame, ugly smith-magician, the archetypal artisan and shaman, the god of technological perfection who creates many wonderful things. He is also a deity of volcanic fire, which he uses in his forge. His emblems are his tongs and the quail, a bird that does a hobbling dance in springtime.

Aries symbolizes the head from which Athena sprang. The association of Hephaestus-Vulcan with Libra, a constant everywhere, is doubtless due to the forged Scales being the only manufactured object in the Zodiac. Ariel Guttman and Ken Johnson [8]astutely suggest that Athena and Hephaestus are paired because they were both born of a single parent, Athena from Zeus without any female intervention, Hephaestus from Hera without masculine input.

Taurus and Scorpiowere associated with Aphrodite-Venus and Ares-Mars.

Aphrodite-Venusis the goddess of sexuality, beauty and love. She puts desire into men and animals, and stimulates their sexual urge, physical love and fleshly union. She represents the power of attraction that binds people together. Her emblem is the dove.

Ares-Marsis simply the destructive, bullying god of war. He delights in slaying and looting. In myth nothing much is told of him, other than his affair with Venus. His emblems are a wild boar, the wolf, and a bloodstained spear.

We give the rulerships of these same two Signs to the planets named after this pair of gods.

Gemini and Sagittariuswere given to Apollo and his twin sister Artemis-Diana.

Apollorepresents both random and predictable illumination. He is the god of the Sun, and both a musician and an archer, the one indicating serenity, respect for law and order, and divine harmony; the other, mastery over distances and hence detachment from the ‘immediate’. He is the calm god of healing, of light, of intelligence, and of the arts, who keeps away evil and was associated with oracles and true prophecy. His message to humanity “Know thyself!” is a directive to universal understanding. His emblem is the mouse and a tripod.

Artemis-Dianais the goddess of the Moon. Early Christians considered her their major rival; the Gospels commanded the total destruction of all her temples. She is the patroness of the hunt, of hunters, wild animals and young girls. She is the goddess of chastity who represents untouchedness, and is indifferent to love. She presides over childbirth and, like her brother Apollo, is a skilled archer, never seen without a quiver of arrows and her bow. Her emblem, the she-bear, commemorates the most dangerous wild animal in ancient Greece.

The connection of twins and archery to Gemini-Sagittarius is obvious.

Cancer and Capricornwere given to a pair of gods that seem completely opposite to each other in their natures: Hermes-Mercury and Hestia-Vesta.

Hermes-Mercuryis the cleverest of the gods, the trickster-god of ruse and double-dealing, of theft and nocturnal amorous adventures. He is also the astute companion of man, the unrivaled giver of good things, who protects the flocks, herds and roads, and is patron of trade, merchants, bankers and fortune-tellers. He is the go-between: the herald and messenger of the gods, and guide to the dead. Philosophers identified him with the divine intelligence, the Logos; Church Fathers compared him to Christ; and alchemists (the Hermeticists) of the Renaissance considered him the archetypal catalyst. His emblems are the crane, his winged sandals and the caduceus.

Hestia-Vestanever leaves Olympus. She is the stay-at-home protector of the home and hearth, goddess of the family and peace; she is relied on to always be there at the center of the world. Her flame burns continually, representing light, warmth and security. Because of her kindness, she was the most venerated of the deities. Her emblem is the lamp.

Vesta’s time of the year (we now call it Christmas) continues to be celebrated today as a festival of lights. Mercury’s guardianship of Cancer is not so strange as we may initially think: people with this Sign rising at birth are often great travelers, and with Cancer being the twelfth Sign of the Greek Zodiac and so associated with the end of things, i.e. with death, Hermes-Mercury, as the Olympian responsible for guiding souls into the underworld, the psychopomp, is the appropriate guardian.

Leo and Aquariuswere allocated to Zeus-Jupiter and his consort Hera-Juno.

Zeus-Jupiteris the uncontested chief of the gods, the absolute master of the universe. He is the All-Father, the supreme deity, who populated the heavens and earth by his promiscuous liaisons. He is sometimes called Jove, and the Jews and Christians know him as Jehovah. He represents prudence and order dominant over all. He is the grand dispenser of justice. His emblems are the eagle and the thunderbolt.

Hera-Juno, the jealous wife and sister of the supreme deity, is pre-eminently the goddess of marriage and childbirth, and hence of the perpetuation of the race. Her emblems are the cow, the lion and the peacock.

Leo has always been considered the pre-eminent Sign of the universal ruler. The Greek new year began when the Sun went into the Sign. Leo is also associated with Cybele, the Mother of the Universe. Fixed Fire is the strongest, most absolute combination of mode and element; it is the Sign of the actualized potential, of the ‘I am’. Leo could only be given to the supreme god. His consort then automatically has the opposite Sign of Aquarius.

Virgo and Pisceswent to Demeter-Ceres and Poseidon-Neptune.

Demeter-Ceres is the law-giver and the goddess of agriculture and fertility. She is also, in her association with Pluto (see the myth of Persephone/Kore), goddess of the Mysteries. These involve the cyclical destiny of vegetation: birth, life, death, and rebirth. The Mysteries taught that man’s life is like the life of cereals, strength and perenniality are accessible through death. The dead return to Mother Earth (De-meter= the mother), with the hope of sharing the destiny of the sown seed. Her emblems are a basket and the poppy, which grows red as blood among the barley.

Poseidon-Neptuneis the Sea; the wrathful, moody lord of the ocean. As husband of the earth, he was the earth-shaker, maker of earthquakes. His emblems are dolphins, the horse and his trident.

Virgo is associated with the fixed star Spica, the Ear of Wheat, and Demeter-Ceres is the goddess of cereals. Poseidon-Neptune is the sea god and Pices is the Sign of the sea. This pairing makes sense when we recall that Poseidon is the husband of the Earth and that Demeter-Ceres is the goddess of the Earth.

There appear to be perfectly good mythic reasons for the allocation of the Twelve Gods to each of the twelve Signs of the Zodiac. However, the essential natures of the seven planetary gods and their subsequent relationships with the twelve Signs of the Zodiac should have been detected very differently. One would expect the natures of the planetary seven to have been discovered from observations over time, from their effects on life noted at culminations and risings, empirically. These planetary natures would then in turn be allied with those Zodiac Signs exhibiting similar attributes. I believe this happened only in part.

IN GREECE, the attribution of god-natures to the planets themselves was slow in its full development. Following Plato’s earlier suggestions, the directing force seems to have been the Epinomis written in the 4th century B.C. by Philip of Opus, who had been Plato’s secretary in his old age This stated that the planets must be gods, as the Egyptians and Babylonians had known for a very long time, and the Greeks should accept this knowledge and religion, after improving it. While paying due reverence to the ancient gods, according to venerable traditions, the cult of the visible gods, the celestial bodies, should become the state religion. By the eternal accuracy of their motion, the planets reveal they are themselves gods, each planet regulating its own motion with divine intelligence and repeating it eternally to evidence its own wisdom.[9]

The astrological religion first advocated in the Epinomis gradually evolved into the highest religion in the pagan world. The old gods were still worshipped, but their mythological adventures were increasingly seen as childish and immoral; thinking people considered astrology highly rational and most members of the intellectual elite viewed it as a science.

The Greeks initially knew the planets by expressive terms which mostly related to their brightness, such as Phainon for Saturn, Phaethon (Jupiter), Pyroeis (Mars), Phosphoros (Venus), Stilbon (Mercury). The last word, which means Flasher or Twinkler, was used for Mercury by Eudoxos and Aristotle. These same names for the planets were still being used in the interpretation of a horoscope dated to 81 A.D.[10]

We can safely assume the early Greek astrologers did not start from scratch. From the fourth century B.C. on, by virtue of Alexander’s conquests, they were in close contact with their counterparts in Babylon and Egypt, who possessed “a millennia” of observations. Theophrastus, the successor of Aristotle who died in 322 B.C., is reported as saying that the Chaldeans were able to predict, in his time, not only the weather from the heavens but also life and death of all persons. The Greeks must therefore have been able to obtain from others an inventory of the attributes that could be associated with each of the seven planets.

They will have learnt, for example, that their Pyroeis was the same planet the Babylonians called Nergal, and that Nergal with his red fire color and his movement by leaps, had been identified as a bloody and capricious tyrant, the enemy of man, a planet which when seen in certain places in the sky was liable to throw all nature into perturbation. The Greeks will have recognized the flamboyant Nergal or Pyroeis as being similar in nature to their own god of war. So Pyroeis became known as ‘Pyroeis the Star of Ares’.

Marduk, the name given by the Babylonians to their chief god, could only be Zeus; there was only the one supreme god. Marduk was associated with the planet the Greeks knew as Phaethon. Astrologically, ‘Phaethon the Star of Zeus’ merged the supremacy of the Olympian, Father of Gods and Man, with the astrological aspect of a God of the Atmosphere.

Aphrodite and Ishtar were different names for the same goddess of love and pleasure. Phosphoros accordingly was the Star of Aphrodite, though the planet continued to be known as the Dawn or Dusk Star, the one who glowed in the dark like phosphorous.

The Babylonian Nabu, like Hermes, was an astute and tricky schemer and enterpriser, he was also eloquent and a stimulator of the arts. The Greeks knew the planet Nabu as Stilbon; so the twinkling planet close to the Sun, which moves quickly and is always turning and twisting backwards and forwards, became the Star of Hermes.

The planet Ninib had a dull, livid look and moved slowly: this was the planet the Greeks knew as Phainon and who the Babylonians associated with a prudent, grave, and melancholy old man, indifferent to human fates and even a little malevolent. That description didn’t match any member of the Olympian gang of twelve, but it did identify Kronos, the exiled father of Zeus, Poseidon, Hera and Plouton. Phainon became the Star of Kronos. Because of his age the Greek astrologers gave him a sort of primacy; but also through ancient associations with the moment of sowing, he was thought to possess a generating virtue – though paternity did not at all suit his years.

Another 200 years or so elapsed before the planets finally adopted their new identities and became known simply as Kronos, Zeus, Ares, etc. By his use of the old planetary names, the astrologer who cast the 81 A.D. horoscope may be telling us the approximate date when the changeover occurred. All known horoscopes after this time use the new planetary nomenclature.

Although the astrologers did not attempt to link the planets with the various myths told of the deities, they do appear to have drawn on the mythology of the essential character of each chosen deity, the complex of associations roused by the name.

These associations of a god with a planet and the character that god had developed appear to have been accepted by the Greeks as scientific axioms from which to deduce the sort of influence that the planet exerted. Like the gods, the planets were seen as beings with will, sex and strong emotions. Their living natures were reflected in the terms early astrologers used about them. They could see, hear, rejoice, grieve, were gay or sad, obeyed or didn’t, were sympathetic or not, and they were even said to bear spears which, on the appropriate occasions, they would hurl.

THE ALLOCATION of the seven planets among the twelve Signs, 7-into-12, has each of the five true planets receiving rulership of two Signs apiece and the remaining two Signs ruled by the lights. The sequence of planetary rulers probably relates to the apparent daily motion of the planets.[11]Thus the slowest, Saturn is at one end and the quickest, the Moon at the other, and the sequence goes Saturn-Jupiter-Mars-Venus-Mercury-Moon on one side, and returns Sun-Mercury-Venus-Mars-Jupiter-Saturn on the other.

This rulership scheme is very different from the age-old association of the Twelve Gods to the months and the Signs of the Zodiac. Can we assume the old system that gave a god guardianship over a month was not also arbitrary, but had developed over time? There is evidence that in different countries gods with similar attributes guarded the same month: for example, Vulcan and his name-sakes was everywhere associated with September and the Sign Libra. These venerable allocations were apparently ignored when the seven planets were given rulership over the twelve Signs. Why?

Are the planets most effective, most true to their essential natures when placed in the Signs the 7-into-12 system has them rule? Are these allocations based on observations of the affects in life of the planets when in the different Signs?

Or was this an elegant exercise in planetary symmetry, the creation of some Pythagorean astronomer? Was it a theoretical exercise in how things should be – there was a strong belief among the Greeks in the primacy of numbers and harmonics? Were everyday manifestations in life simply ignored, considered only inadequate shadows of a true reality?

Given this 7-into-12 rulership approach is to be adopted, which is the anchor Sign, where does the sequence begin?

Leo contained the star Regulus, which the Babylonians knew as Sharru, the King. In India Regulus was Magha, the Mighty, and in Persia it was Miyan, the Center, the leader of the Four Royal Stars of the ancient Persian monarchy, the Four Guardians of Heaven. Throughout the ancient world these four royal stars (the other three were Aldebaran, Antares and Fomalhaut), they are each about six hours apart in right ascension, were used to mark the four quarters of the heavens. At the time this quartering was probably first thought of, Reguluslay very near the summer solstice.

The Greeks will have known about the royal star in Leo, the first Sign of their year.

In astrology the Sun rules Leo, while Jupiter is ruler of Sagittarius and Pisces. The Olympian Jupiter-Zeus was originally the protector of Leo because, presumably, his attributes and those of the Sign coincided. The Olympian Zeus-Jupiter is the supreme god and Leo contains Regulus, the celestial throne reserved for the god of gods. In astrology, however, the Sunas the source of life is considered superior to all of the planets, including Jupiter. The Sun, not Jupiter, must therefore rule this fixed fire Sign.

At some time in the distant past a complicated game of celestial musical chairs took place. It may have gone as follows:

First, the Sun takes over Leo and forces out Jupiter-Zeus. Then the Moon, as the supreme female planet, takes Juno’s place, not Diana’s. June is Juno’s month [12]in which Cancer begins, so the moon becomes ruler of Cancer. By having the Moon rule Cancer, the Olympian moon goddess, Diana-Artemis, automatically looses her guardianship of Sagittarius and is forced out of the circle. At the same time Mercury-Hermes must make room for the Moon, so he moves next door to Gemini, the Sign vacated by the Apollo when the Sun assumed rulership of Leo. The planet Jupiter now cannot simply switch places with the sun god Apollo but instead replaces the moon goddess Diana-Artemis as ruler of Sagittarius.

And no doubt there are a dozen other possible scenarios.

We now have, for the planetary gods, Venus ruling Taurus (no change), Mercury as the new ruler of Gemini, Diana (the Moon) as the new ruler of Cancer, the Sun in his rightful place ruling Leo, Mars as the ruler of Scorpio (no change), and the planet Jupiter ruling Sagittarius. That’s six of the seven. Saturn wasn’t an Olympian, he might logically have replaced Ceres-Demeter, the Olympian guardian of Virgo – he was originally the Roman god of agriculture – but that would have disrupted the rulership symmetry involving the varying daily motions of the planets. Saturn has the slowest daily motion of all so he was given rulership of the Signs furthest from the Sun and Moon, those previously ruled by the Olympians Vesta-Hestia and Juno-Hera. The remaining Signs then automatically receive their rulers according to the daily motion scheme, and the Olympians who were not also planetary gods vacate the Zodiacal circle.

This all leaves some interesting questions. The change in rulership of Leo is understandable. But are there any real, interpretation-affecting, empirical reasons for the other changes? Were these made only to create a rulership scheme that was symmetrical about the two Lights?

Of course, it’s not entirely impossible that the seven planetary rulerships preceded the allocation of the twelve Olympians as guardians of the Signs. The hypothesized series of rulership/guardian moves will then have happened in reverse. Might then the planetary rulership scheme be based on past evidence from life of the varying effects of planets in different Signs? As a 20th Century astrologer, this is how I would prefer it to have happened. But if it did, how did the set of Twelve Olympians’ guardianships (the one presumably known and accepted by the Greek masses) get to be so very different? Is this an indication that early astrological knowledge was esoteric, hidden like the mystery religions from the uninitiated? Was knowledge of astrology only available to a privileged few?

The more I consider it, the less likely it seems that the planetary rulership scheme preceded that of the Twelve Gods. There is ample evidence to show the Twelve Gods had been guardians of the months a thousand years before the Zodiac was first split into its Signs. And going from month rulership to Sign rulership is such a simple, obvious step, even if there was some doubt in how best to allocate the month god to the Zodiac Sign: whether the guardian of the month should be related to the Sign occupying most of the month or to the one starting during the month, as we have seen in the contrast between the Rustic Calendar and the guardian scheme of Manilius. The twelve month-rulers came first, later they became the twelve Sign rulers.

There are, however, major differences involving the Sign ruled by a planet and those under the protection of the god with the same name.

If the astrological Sun is the Olympian Jupiter-Zeus, which planet is related to the Olympian Apollo ? Is it the planet Jupiter?

Can any of the mythological attributes of the Olympian Zeus-Jupiter be related to the planet Jupiter? Should all be related to the Sun?

The astrologers gave Apollo’s Sign Gemini to Mercury, when his Olympian namesake Mercury-Hermes was displaced from Cancer by the Moon. Apollo and Mercury are connected in myth – shortly after Mercury’s birth (as Hermes) he stole Apollo’s cattle and later he made and gave Apollo the lyre with which the god of the sun charmed the listening world. Is the planetary Mercury a composite of two Olympians, Mercury-Hermes and Apollo? What should we make of the tantalizing statement in Pliny: “The planet next to Venus is Mercury, called by some Apollo.” (my italics) ? [13]

Now the Moon rules Cancer, the old Sign of Hermes-Mercury. Does this mean the Moon assumed her predecessor’s duties of psychopomp, did she become the guide of souls into the underworld after death?

If the Olympian Juno-Hera is the astrological Moon, which planet should we relate to the Olympian moon goddess, Diana-Artemis ?

THE ALLOCATION of the Signs to the planets appears to have been an exercise in planetary symmetry, without regard for the corresponding natures of the planets or the Signs.

Readers may respond by saying: “OK, so perhaps the initial allocation of planet to Sign did not reflect life experience, but astrologers have been using the scheme for 2,000-years or so, and in the process have made it work.”

Have they? Does this rulership scheme really work? Sign rulerships are an essential part of Horary astrology, for instance. Is this branch of astrology as effective as its practitioners claim? We hear of their successes, many of which are often due to planets in the Horary chart being close to angles or to the Moon’s next aspects and so not requiring use of the ring-a-rosy rulership system of querent, dispositor, etc. But what of the many failures?

Nearly fifty years ago, a Mr. Ionides, the author of One Day Telleth Another (I don’t have the author’s first name or the book’s publisher), suggested the 12-fold division of the ecliptic “was not natural at all, but had been imposed upon Nature by man’s belief in them and have so acquired a certain validity.” Discussing this, Charles E. O. Carter [14], an astrologer for whom I continue to have the utmost respect, commented:

    In other words, let man believe a thing long enough and strongly enough and Nature, so to speak, accepts it from him. Thought, being essentially and always positive, can work upon the passiveanima mundi

and mould this to its will.     If this notion has any basis in fact, then its practical (as well as theoretical) importance would be considerable. We should certainly, in that case, do well to foster in ourselves the highest possible conceptions of the planets….     We should have to distinguish, in the case of such a planet as Neptune, anatural

quality and animpressed

quality. The former might cover such Neptunian tendencies as poetic inspiration, interest in the occult, and the propensity to states of confusion and involvement, confinement and retirement, none of which appears to have any connection with the mythological Neptune, while the latter would include all relationships with the sea, which would be invested with validity because astrologers, learning that the planet was to be called Neptune, immediately combined to think of it in terms of that god.     The proof would be, what did Neptune Signify in the horoscopes of those who lived before it was discovered? Did only the ‘natural’ meaning appear, or did what I call the ‘impressed’ Significance also manifest itself? Because, according to the hypothesis I have, very tentatively, put forward, the latter Significance could not be there.     I know that Neptune was in transit upon King James’s ascendant at the time of the Gunpowder Plot, exhibiting the ‘treachery aspect’ of Neptune, which is not, I think, at all mythological.     Uranus does not convey any distinct mythological conception to the average man, and perhaps that has allowed us to preserve in more or less pure form its natural qualities. But Pluto does most certainly mean something even to those whose studies in mythology have been strictly limited and it is true that most of us are, so to speak, hard at work trying to make him into a planet of death and darkness.    If man’s belief makes something so, then surely it will be the belief of the majority of humankind that does. Believers in astrology have been relatively few since the days when a much larger proportion of the world’s population believed, and had done so for hundreds of years, in the existence and natures of the Twelve Gods.

I’m reminded that in the 1830s a French physician determined that people who became ill during a cholera epidemic died or recovered at the same rate whether they were treated by a doctor or not. That awkward discovery forced the medical community to study itself, to look for things that worked and things that did not, and along the way changed medicine from a trade into a scientific art.

OBVIOUSLY which planet rules which Sign need not be sacrosanct, even if the system we’ve been using has been around for a long time. If the age of a belief were our criterion for deciding between alternatives we’d all believe we lived on a flat world about which the rest of the universe revolved. Nor can the theoretical elegance of a scheme be our guide. Astrology is about the affect of the planets and the Signs as these are reflected in life.

Perhaps we should consider in which Signs the different planets are strongest. For example, Capricorn might be given to Mercury, he is stronger there than in any Sign: it can be a position of real mental ability and fluent expression – Mercury can certainly be capricious. And perhaps the rulership of Virgo could go to Saturn. But over and beyond which planet rules which Sign, let’s consider just what this all says about the basic principles of the seven classical bodies.

The planet Mercury, for example, does not necessarily have the same attributes as the Olympian god of the same name. Natives of Cancer, the Sign associated with the Olympian, do travel a lot (often more than natives of Sagittarius), usually as tourists or for business purposes, but it is difficult to associate the astrological Mercury with the Sign of Cancer in the way the Olympian Mercury-Hermes was. At least, not as we nowadays interpret either the planet or the Sign. In myth Mercury-Hermes was the messenger of the gods. He was also said to possess the other attributes listed a couple of pages back.

Like each of the gods, the Olympian Mercury-Hermes was an Idea to the Greeks, a primary concept, the personified essence of something, a Platonic Form or archetype. While we presumably interpret a planet by generalizing from observed particulars, the gods were considered completely opposite: Mercury-Hermes represented, among other things, the transcendent first principle of exchange. He was the archetypal trader (and the archetypal messenger). Any business transaction was simply a localized manifestation of the absolute archetypal Form of Exchange.

The association of Mercury with trading and exchange has continued in our language to the modern day. There are ninety-two words in the Oxford English Dictionary that begin with the letters MERC. Fifty-two of these words relate to trading and commerce: doing something for profit, reward or self-interest. These include such as Merchant, Mercenary, Mercantile, Mercer and Merchandise. I included the archaic Merchet: “a fine paid by a tenant or bondsman to his overlord for liberty to give his daughter in marriage.” A frequent modern meaning of Merc-words involves the chemical substitution (or trading) of one element for another.

Nowadays our texts largely ignore Mercury’s relationship with exchange, commerce or trading, the emphasis is increasingly to associate the planet with communication. Check any modern-day textbook.

There’s unlikely to be a problem here with the astrological nature of Saturn, he wasn’t an Olympian and there’s no detailed myth to explain his nature. The same should apply to the three recently discovered planets. It probably does to Uranus though, like Charles Carter, I’m less certain about the meanings generally ascribed to the planets Neptune and Pluto.

The problem, if there is one, may be quite new, having evolved only in recent years. This century there has been what many consider to have been a major conceptual step forward in how we consider the planets. We now view them as entities in their own right, very much in the same way that Plato and the early Greeks viewed the Twelve Gods, as archetypes. It has only been recently that we have begun to speak of Saturn as the principle of limitation and restriction or Mercury as the principle of communication. Astrologers of the 19th century would not have understood what this meant.

I admit to being bothered that expositions of several of the planetary principles on which so much of today’s astrology is based often seem as if they were lifted directly out of Homer. The problem comes when, in our astrologizing, we think Mercury (or Venus or Mars, etc.) and start freely associating, bringing into our minds all we have read in the past involving entities with the same name. Before we realize it the old stories of the god dashing about in winged sandals begin to influence how we view the planet.

Those who use asteroids are particularly prone to this form of mythic extrapolation. One wonders how some textbooks would read had Haley’s Comet been given a name from myth, Ulysses perhaps, and Chiron been named Kowal after its discoverer.

Thank goodness, the better astrologers do not do this.

We have to carefully examine not only what we believe astrology is, but also who we are and how we view the world in which we live. Do we actually accept the concept, as did the early Greeks and the later Neoplatonists, that there is a multiplicity of gods or primary Ideas – archetypes if you prefer, though in a Platonic sense not Jungian. Each of these gods was believed to possess a quality of being, a degree of reality superior to anything that could occur in the everyday world. The Greeks believed the gods were the true reality and all anyone ‘down below’ could possibly be or experience was simply an expression, a shadow of that more fundamental existence. Richard Tarnas [15]describes it well:

What is perceived as a particular object in the world can best be understood as a concrete expression of a more fundamental Idea, an archetype which gives that object its special structure and condition…. Something is ‘beautiful’ to the exact extent that the archetype of Beauty is present in it. When one falls in love, it is Beauty (or Aphrodite) that one recognizes and surrenders to, the beloved object being Beauty’s instrument or vessel.    If that is indeed our approach to life, then perhaps we also view Venus as ‘the planet of Venus-Aphrodite’, Mercury as ‘the planet of Mercury-Hermes’, and so forth; the astrological planets and the Zodiacal Signs as vehicles for the outflowing of these archetypal essences into our world, and the natal horoscope a record of the God-given gifts with which a child is born.

Nothing wrong with that, it’s a delightful concept and largely consistent with much of modern astrology. And it is appropriate that astrologers with such an approach should utilize the mythic attributes of Mercury-Hermes and the other gods in interpreting how the planets manifest in life.

But maybe the astrologer has a different view of life, one that does not accept the continued validity of the Olympian Twelve into the present century, one that rejects the notion that the basis of reality exists in an entirely transcendent and immaterial realm of ideal entities, one that says many things can be beautiful without the need of a transcendent Idea of Beauty. What then? Is Mercury to continue as a celestial messenger boy in the charts this astrologer reads? If so, should Libra, Vulcan’s old haunt, be interpreted as the Sign of technology?

Confirming our understanding of the basic meanings of the original seven planets is not so simple. When Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered, four methods seem to have been used to discover the meaning of these new planets, to find out what each indicated in the birth chart. In order of their actual importance in the process, these were:

  • 1. Events in the world coincident with their discovery,
  • 2. Indications of their attributes from myth,
  • 3. Association with the Zodiacal Sign the planet was thought to rule (the interpretation frequently given to Pluto, for example, is rarely more than an expansion on the meaning of Scorpio), and
  • 4. Observation of the affect of the planet in the horoscope: when both angular and unaspected in a chart, when progressed to an angle, when transited by a planet whose nature we know, etc.

Of these four possibilities, only the last method is available for confirming the meanings of the seven classical bodies.

For completeness, mention should be made of the exaltations and the recently rediscovered Sect rulerships. The Sect rulership scheme, in which certain planets have rulership of the Sign triplicities in a day chart and other planets these rulerships in nocturnal charts, is merely an extension of the 7-into-12 scheme. These Sect rulerships are really dignities. The allocation of which planet has the diurnal or nocturnal rulership of a triplicity is derived from a combination of the standard Sign rulerships and the exaltations.[16] The simplest of the several Sect schemes [17]is:

Triplicity Day Ruler Night Ruler
Fire Sun Jupiter
Earth Venus Moon
Air Saturn Mercury
Water Mars & Venus Mars & Moon

    Cyril Fagan demonstrated that the exaltations of the planets are their sidereal longitudes at their heliacal risings and settings in 786 B.C. If he is correct, the Sun in 19º Aries, Mars in 28° Capricorn, etc., are not degrees or Signs (whether measured in the sidereal or tropical Zodiac) the planetary body necessarily occupied in charts where it is known to have been strong in the life. Nonetheless, our textbooks continue to inform us that, for example, the Sun is strong in Aries where he is exalted and weak in Libra. Is this from practical experience or theory? Perhaps we should be cleaning house, like the medics of the 1830s, and like them looking for what works and what does not. Along the way, we might duplicate their success and change astrology into a true scientific art.

If there is one thing this investigation into the early rulerships of the Zodiacal Signs has shown me, it is that there is a great need for caution; we need to be shy about what we accept in our reading, coy in how we expand and use the symbolism of the planets and the Signs they are said to rule.

References

[1]  See George Sarton. History of Science Vol. I, Ancient Science Through the Golden Age of Greece. 1952. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. « Text

[2]  The two hippopotami represented the sixth and seventh months of the Egyptian year.  As the Egyptian year began with the heliacal rising of Sirius in the middle of our July, these aquatic creatures were associated with the months we now relate to the ‘watery’ Zodiac Signs Capricorn and Aquarius (before becoming simply a goat Capricorn was a seagoat or water antelope, much like a hippo). « Text

[3]  See Rees, Alwyn & Brinley Rees. Celtic Heritage. 1961. p.397. « Text

[4]  Cippus Colotianus: Naples, National Museum, inv. no. 2632. « Text

[5]  Charlotte R. Long. The Twelve Gods of Greece and Rome. 1987. The Netherlands: E. J. Brill. « Text

[6]  A Pileus was a round, brimless skullcap. « Text

[7]  Proclus (5th century A.D.). In Platonis Theologium Libri Sex (ed. A. Portus, Hamburg-Frankfurt, 1618, reprinted Frankfurt-am-Main, 1960). « Text

[8]  Ariel Guttman & Kenneth Johnson. Mythic Astrology. 1993. Llewelyn. « Text

[9]  Quoted in George Sarton. Ancient Greece Through the Golden Age. 1952. Harvard University Press. pp. 451-454. Dover edition. « Text

[10]  Neugebauer, O. & H. B. Van Hoesen. Greek Horoscopes. 1959. pp. 21-28. « Text

[11]  An acknowledged expert on classical astrology, Dr. George Noonan (private correspondence 9/96), suggests the rulerships came about otherwise: “Two thousand years ago the rising of Leo signaled the beginning of the hottest time of the year in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean.  The Sun was highest in the zenith at this period too.  Therefore, Leo was given to the Sun as its domicile.  The classicist believed the relative brightness of a celestial body (‘apparent magnitude’ in modern astronomy) to be directly proportional to its warmth; hence Cancer was given to the Moon as its house because the next warmest month was heralded by the rising of that Sign.  Saturn, being farthest from the Sun, and hence the coldest planet, was given the Signs marking the coldest months: Capricorn and Aquarius.  According to Ptolemy, the houses of the other planets were assigned according to their relationship to Saturn in the then ‘scientific’ concept of the solar system.”     Whether it was the planets’ brightness (I do wonder about the relative placement of Mercury and Venus as the latter is the brightest object in the sky after the two lights) or their daily motion, the end result was planetary rulerships which are very different from those of the Twelve Gods. « Text

[12]  Perhaps the relation of the Twelve Gods to the twelve Zodiac Signs was not completely ignored in the 7-to-12 allocation of planets to Signs. The month of June is clearly named after the goddess Juno, and March after Mars. Juno-Hera at one time was considered the goddess protector of Cancer, which Sign begins in June, instead of Mercury; and Mars-Ares not Minerva-Athena was the patron of Aries, which Sign begins in March (the two names Ares and Aries are much too similar to ignore). « Text

[13]  Pliny. Natural History, Book II. « Text

[14]  Editorial in Astrology, volume 22, number 2, June-August 1948, pp.37-38. « Text

[15]  Richard Tarnas. The Passion of the Western World. 1991. NY: Ballantine Books. p.6. « Text

[16]  Rob Hand provides a clear explanation of this scheme in his 1995 monograph Night & Day, Planetary Sect in Astrology. The Golden Hind Press. « Text

[17]  From Ptolemy, Tetrabiblios I, 18. « Text

To cite this page:

Ken Gillman: Twelve Gods and Seven Planets http://cura.free.fr/decem/10kengil.html ———————– All rights reserved © 1996-2001 Ken Gillman

Cross Post: A Fertile Lupercalia to You!


Today is the festival of Lupercalia, the ancient Roman observance of fertility and the coming spring. Not to be confused with a certain commercialized martyr’s celebration held yesterday, Lupercalia is a holiday sacred to the god Faunus, and the mythical she-wolf who reared Romulus and Remus the semi-mythical founders of Rome. It was considered an important holiday of religious observance and purification.  Read the entire article at The Wild Hunt, by Jason Pitzl-Waters.

An excellent article.


A Rant to a Posting in another Community.


While I have not been in on this discussion and do not know what sparked it and the need to fuel such fires.

I myself am a practicing Strega Witch and would like to say a few things based solely off of this posting below.  When it comes to defining evil to a religion, I do not consider any Religion evil, I do however, consider those men who run it to be mislead and in the manipulation of its’ teachings to create evil and from that more evil is breed.  The true Jesus Tradition was not focused on such hate toward others or their beliefs it was based on opening one’s eyes and heart to the Truth, the truth that existed and does exist within each of us as well as within the Earth herself.  To many have taking their own liberties to make Christianity what they want it to be instead of what it is truly.  It should be about the Christ nature that is within us all, whether we are of the Old Ways of Philosophy and Magic knowning that our Gods and others live in the dimensions and heavens Above Us, and knowing that they too live within us as we live So Below.  They are the Dark and the Light and you cannot have one without the other, both and necessary for balance in all things.  To Know Thyself is to know this and to Nothing in Excess is to understand that this exists in order for us to be of Balance.

Do not get me wrong I do not condone any of the evil in which the Church has put on our community and its’ people this dating all the way back to the times of Hypatia and the first Pagan Kings, Emperors and those persons who were open to the Ways of Old and the Old Religion.  It was out of fear that they do what they do, for they are ignorant and do not Know Thyself.  And those who have and do continue to commit such evils will be expected to pay a very high price, for karma is collected now, not in the next life.  Karma is “action”, be it good or bad you will always be held accountable as an individual and as one who leads a Religion.  Never assume you evil doers get away with your acts, your actions are always seen and always known and the Gods will allow you room and then they come for full payment.

As a Strega I respect all faiths for to stick my nose up at one I do the same to my own, to point a finger at another I point that same finger back at me.  Yes, it is true that we are the Only Religion that has NEVER waged a war, or started a war in the name of Our Gods and we Never will, for it is not who we are or our Gods.  The Gods As Above do what is necessary and they give us information and knowledge, they give us hard times to see who and what we are made of, are we worthy to be their Priestesses and Priests this is our test.  Do we mistreat another person simply based on colour, religion, race, creed, No I think not.  We give to those that come to us for help no matter what they seek.

Diana herself never turned away any man, woman, child or animal from her Temple she always opened the doors for all, for in the end the one things that defines who we truly are, is our Heart and nothing more.  In the Halls of Maát when one passes all the tests of the 42 Gates and gets to the point of final judgment of the weighing of one’s heart by the Scales of Maát, if her feather is outweighed by ones’ heart it is known that, that person has done wrong and they will be devoured to never be reincarnated to human form and to never be at peace for they are NOT allowed to pass to the Afterlife, however, if one’s heart is of equal weight one is seen for their Soul and is allowed to continue their journey into the Afterlife and to one day be reincarnated back to the family they are of or that their heart is of.

Ariana


Diana the Huntress


Diana the Huntress

The Roman Diana, similar in many ways to the Greek Artemis, was
definitely a Moon Goddess, ruler of the wildwood and lady of beasts.
She allowed no liberties with her person or favors. As the twin sister
to Apollo {The Sun}, she was a feminine balance to her brother. The
twins were born on Mount Cynthus, on the island of Delot, to Latona and
Jupiter.

Her ancient names in Crete and other surrounding countries were
Britomaritis and Dictynna. The herb dittany of Crete was sacred to her
and was derived from the name Dictynna. Other names under which she was
known were Dione, Nemorensis, and Nemetona {Goddess of the Moon-grove}.
Before Zeus took over the oracle-shrine at Dodona, it belonged to Diana.
At the woodland lake of Nemi in Italy there was a beatuiful remote
temple and sanctuary that were hers.

She was often pictured with a Cresent Moon on her forehead, clad in a
short white tunic, armed with a bow, and surrounded by dogs and stags.
The nymphs who ran at her side symbolized the carefree, eternally
youthful part of the human mind and psyche.

When Diana showed her softer side by indulging in dancing and music,
singing and playing the flute and lyre, she was accompanied by the Muses
and Graces. At this time the goddess was a gentle healer and willing to
aid those she considered deserving of her favors.

Diana, known as Artemis amoung the Greeks, was said to protect the pure
and innocent when they called upon her. If she could not protect them
because of the interference of other deities, she at least established
their innocence.

When Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, was to be
sacrificed at the altar of the goddess, the girl called upon Artemis and
was answered. Such a sacrifice would have been abhorrent to the
Goddess, as she did not accept human sacrifice. In a Temple full of
men, with the priest’s hand raised to strike her dead, Iphigenia
disappeared. A slain deer lay in her place.

In another legend, the Greek hero-king Theseus brought his Cretan wife
Phaedra to his palace. His grown son Hippolytus, son of Theseus and an
Amazon, lived there also. Phaedra developed a consuming, unhealthy lust
for Hippolytus, causing him no end of embarrassment and unhappiness. At
last, in disgust the young man left the palace, rather than let his
father know what was going on. Afraid that someone would betray her
lust of Theseus, Phaedra wrote a condeming letter and killed herself.
He believed the lies, cursing his son and banishing him. As Hipploytus
drove off in his chariot along the sea-road, a monster came out of the
water and fatally wounded the young man. Artemis appeared to Theseus
and told him the truth, then disappeared, taking the soul of Hippolytus
with her.


Vernal Equinox


Vernal Equinox
2008 by Ariana Clausen Velez

The Vernal Equinox is a time when those who honour the Old Ways come to gather and feast as we prepare for the arrival of Spring, new life, fertility and in the Middle East they celebrate the New Year. The older paths of the Pagan ways honour this time as either the Vernal Equinox or Spring Equinox as this is the time when the rays of the Sun are at the highest peak, we also honour the lesser mysteries during this time of the Rites of Kybele/Cybele, Attis, and Hilaria as well as the Feast in which the Cakes are baked for the Queen of Heaven, Artemis. In the Catholic faith it is the time of Lent in which they fast from the partaking of specific foods, mainly meats for forty days, now this time of fasting dates back again to a much older rite of self purification in order to be Initiated, the older Ritual being when you were with one person for forty days to ensure you health and safety during the time of purification. Cagliostro who was known for his magical workings in alchemy and in the Hermetic Tradition, was in fact one person whose experience of the forty day fasting and purging was written about in Eliphas Levi’s History of Magic, one account in which was rather in depth in his journey.

Many of the newer paths in Paganism honour this time as Eostre or Ostara when eggs are dyed plants seeds are sown in the soil for the blossoming of Beltaine and the time of the Great Rite when both the Mother of Gods and the Father of Gods commune as one, this is all true depending on the path in which you follow as the Rites of Kybele and Attis are the honouring of the falling Sun God Attis whom castrated himself and his blood in which flowed into the Earth created the Pine tree and he later rose again to join Kybele as he Ascended to the Celestial Realms and becoming Divine himself, this is the similar to the Christian Rite of Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus.

During this time if one is to honour the Lesser Rites as the Ancient did, it is a time of fasting from meats, wines and breads and purifying ones’ body of all toxins. The cutting of the reeds is done on the 15th of March and this was part of an ancient ritual known as flagellation when one would inflict upon their own body the cutting and drawing of blood in remembering the falling of Attis when then later was represented by the Pine tree and the dressing of it with Violets and then later as the foods were prepared and wines enjoyed in honour of Bacchus and then finally the feast in which all honoured Hilaria and ending the feasts with the baking of cakes for the Queen of Heaven on the last day of Mars.

Within the Constellations it is when Orion is highest in the sky as Osiris and honouring the Mysteries of the Death and Life in which Isis searched the world after his brother Seth dismembered his body and Isis madly in love was determined to bring her love back to life did so, and this too coincides with the Mysteries of Attis and of Jesus. However, within the Cairo calendar this is considered an extremely adverse time as it is time in which Seth [being of the Constellation of Gemini] is very active and seeks to disturb the Olden Gods. On the Vernal Equinox in Egypt it is a time of offerings to the Dead in Abydos, so here you see that we honour the Dead inasmuch that we may be allowed to breed life into the lands once again.

All of this was to prepare for the Rites of Initiation into the Lesser Mysteries of the Mother of the Gods.

All of these beginning, in the last face of Pisces and ending in the first and second face of Aries the time of Kings amoung men.

May everyone have a most blessed Vernal Equinox.


Strega, Who are We?


Strega, who are we?
By, Rev. Ariana “Darci” Clausen –de Vélez, HPs

Prior to writing this, I gained permission from my True Mother and Elder.

I have had many people ask me to speak of Strega and our teachings, what we practice, how we practice, and so on, with permission I am allowed to share limited information as to my teachings and to the heart of Strega.

Strega roots date back to from the time of Sumer, Egypt, and Indus Valley from where the heart of Paganism started the honour and worship of the Ancient Mighty Ones, from the teachings from the ancient lands the people in an effort to preserve not only their magic but their culture had to travel throughout the lands and find home. Strega’s roots are based initially in Italy the main land the Southern Italy and Sicily, with lines in Sardinia and Malta. Within the line of Strega in which I am taught and practice it comes from Sicily, with that comes an Oath of Silence [Omerta], a Vow in which must never be broken to hold certain teachings secret and to never reveal, yes, to many this may seem extreme, yet to the unlearned or the ignorant the knowledge in which we hold sacred and silent would not be understood and could do more harm than good to someone who does not understand the heart of Strega.   Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini making a deal with Hitler forced many of the Strega to flee their homeland for other countries during WWII, many of which fled to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the outlying countries and many more hide in plain sight where many are still today, this is how we survived.

Sicilian Strega has a mixture of various cultures and magical systems due to the migration through trade and religion that entrées into the country.

Some of the other cultures in which migrated into Sicily were the Phoenicians, Germans, Muslims and Greeks to name a few, from that our branch of magic has a blend of Ceremonial, Arabic, Jewish Mysticism, Germanic and Egyptians then building their own Temples, Religious Masques, basing their locations atop of sacred sites or old temple sites.

Strega is hereditary blood line, which few if any outsiders are allowed in, and then it takes years to learn the Mysteries, if one is fully accepted it is then typically for an Adoption Ceremony to be performed by the adopting Mother of the line or family. Like I said this is rear, but some are allowed and later accepted.

Magically, Strega is based on folk magic, working with the Saints, Arch Angels, Angels, Spirits, Shape shifting, Shamanism, and working with and serving the Gods. The heart of Strega is ones’ heart the heart of one’s’ soul reveals all from within. We follow a philosophy in which goes back to the a maxim that is to be found on the Pillars to the entrance of Delphi “Know Thyself, Nothing in Excess”. Later through Giordano Bruno and Dr. Leo Louis Martello’s works to be a person who lived, to live by one’s own standards to not allow others control or tell you what, who, how to live, breathe, practice or believe, Dr. Leo Louis Martello calls it Psycho-Selfism, simply put you do NOT accept the guilt, problems of another and that you place value for value on all your works as well as of those who are in your life.

There is something in which we are taught and it is the following, the meaning of the word WITCH, broken down Wisdom, Integrity, Truth, Courage, Honour {thyself for you are in the Gods and the Gods are within you}, this taught by Rev. Lori Bruno, Elder. Another maxim in which we are taught is “Strong find a Way, Cowards make an Excuse”, these are two tenets in which we follow and live by, this is not to say that we do not support our own when in times of need, but we do not carry each other.

The Strega are known for being Warriors of Justice and defending the weak, the innocent and those who have been wronged, spoken against with falsities, and we are humanitarians. We encourage working with the community, aiding the poor and more. We believe that one has the right to say what is right for them and what is not, to stand up for the rights of humanity and say what must be said without fear. We are healers, protectors, warriors, watchers, psychopompos, and more. Do we believe in white or black magic, no, we believe in magic and depending what one does warrants the magic we do, if you give others willingly, do work to aid someone who is need of healing, protection and giving them encouragement during down times you will always be blessed with prosperity, health and happiness, however, you do harm against another willingly, murder, rape, incest, harm a creature by cruelty or commit any act of evil, be it by word or deed, then that warrants well Justice.

Yes, we follow the Rede in that we do not seek to harm another we love under the law and do not force another’s hand against their free will. However, we do not take the Rede literally, what I mean by that is through the years and this is not only my observation many who come to the Craft of the Wise, Wiccan, Paganism from Christianity, do so with the understanding that the Rede is to be taken word for word, [now this is not to say all Wiccan’s follow it literally]. This is not so, it is to be taken as a way to walk and do your magic, however, when one harms you, you are NOT to turn your check to the injustice, you are justified to do what must be done to bring full justice upon the person who harmed you, be it by whatever the Gods deem fitting for the judgement. You are allowed to seek full punishment. In Dr. Leo Louis Martello’s book ~How to Prevent Psychic Blackmail~ he states the following, when one insults you, you do not turn the check for them to do it again, what you are to is this, okay you hurt me I forgive you, now I have forgotten you as well, goodbye.

Strega is path that not many can follow it is stricter than most it adheres to keeping secrets and making unbreakable oaths, seeking permissions for certain things and more. It is a path that accepts all Religions and works with them all in an effort to bring full balance, for as Ghandi states until everyone can accept each other for who they are  there shall never be balance in this world.   This is what the Ancients seek acceptance.

The foundation of the home is the heart of a Strega, children are to be cherished as a gift for the gift they are, love to be nurtured and protected.

The Heart of the Strega is the Strega.


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