Pope St. Leo III (d. 816 A.D.) was a Roman cardinal who was unanimously elected pope on the same day his predecessor was buried. He lived during a time of tension between the popes and emperors and their respective rights, powers, and responsibilities. Unlike his predecessor, Leo recognized Charlemagne as the protector of the See of Rome, which won him many enemies among the Roman nobility. As a result, Pope St. Leo III was attacked by a mob who cut out his eyes and tongue so that he could no longer serve in his office. He survived the attack, but was imprisoned by his attackers and deposed from his office under false accusations. Leo’s eyes and tongue were miraculously restored, and he was able to escape his captivity and flee to Charlemagne for protection. Charlemagne in turn took up the Holy Father’s cause, escorted him back to Rome, and put his enemies on trial. A few days later, at the Christmas Mass of 800 A.D., Pope St. Leo III crowned Charlemagne as the Holy Roman Emperor. As the Roman Pontiff, Pope St. Leo III was known for being an effective administrator and for improving the Roman churches. He also paved the way for a more unified Europe, and for greater cooperation across national borders between the Church and the secular European nations to maintain their collective Christian identity. His feast day is June 12.
Charlemagne (Karl der Große or Karolus Magnus) –also know as the Emperor with the Flowery or Flowing Beard because of his long and white beard– was the King of the Franks, the King of Italy, and from 800 the first emperor in western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. He was born in modern day Belgium, the son of the Frankish king Pepin the Short. When Pepin died in 768, his kingdom was divided between his two sons and for three years Charlemagne ruled with his younger brother Carloman. When Carloman died suddenly in 771, Charlemagne became sole ruler. He spent the early part of his reign on several military campaigns to expand his kingdom. He invaded Saxony in 772 and eventually achieved its total conquest and conversion to Christianity. He also extended his dominance to the south, conquering the kingdom of the Lombards in northern Italy. In 778, he invaded northern Spain, then controlled by the Moors. Between 780 and 800, Charlemagne added Bohemia to his empire and subdued the Avars in the middle Danube basin to form a buffer state for the eastern border of his empire. In 800 a rebellion against Pope Leo III began. Charlemagne went to his aid in Rome and defeated the rebellion. As a token of thanks, Leo crowned Charlemagne on Christmas Day that year, declaring him emperor of the Romans. Although this did not give Charlemagne any new powers, it legitimised his rule over his Italian territories and attempted to revive the imperial tradition of the western Roman emperor. The immense territories which Charlemagne controlled became known as the Carolingian empire. Charlemagne introduced administrative reforms throughout the lands he controlled, establishing key representatives in each region and holding a general assembly each year at his court at Aachen. He standardised weights, measures and customs dues, which helped improve commerce and initiated important legal reforms. He also attempted to consolidate Christianity throughout his vast empire. He persuaded many eminent scholars to come to his court and established a new library of Christian and classical works. Charlemagne died in 814. His successors lacked his vision and authority, and his empire did not long outlive him.
One of the working tools that tends to differentiate Traditional practitioners of witchcraft from those pesky Gardnerians (note: the author of this brief commentary is an Alexandrian, and does not actually consider you a pest, Gards) is the Stang. Robert Cochrane describes it to William Gray as such:
“The Staff or Stang The Horse: It is the supreme implement. It represents the Middle Pillar of Yggdrasil. The Ash at one end, the Rowan at the other. Its roots are Malkuth, or the Gateway, that is physical experience, and its top is the highest mystical experience. It should be forked and bound at the base with iron. The Gateway because it is phallic and represents Hermes the Guide, and divides into these aspects as it rises. The Moon, because it is the path to the mysteries. The Foundation of wisdom and spiritual experience. It is love because it represents the union of male and female, therefore attraction and counter-attraction, and it is beauty, the child of Wisdom (Horn Child) It is Death, the transformation. The next atribute at the Horns is the GODDESS or primal movement. In other words it is a combination of masculine and feminine up to the position of death, [then]* it becomes the single path of enlightenment.” (Letter to William Gray #13. From: The Robert Cochrane Letters, edited by Michael Howard and Evan John Jones. P. 142.)
Meanwhile Evan John Jones explains in The Witches’ Stang, originally printed in The Cauldron and reproduced in The Roebuck and the Thicket, its significance in his own words:
“In a coven the role of the stang should always have an ash shaft with a pair of iron horns and the foot of it should be shod with iron. The easiest way to obtain a stang is to beg, borrow, buy or steal a good old-fashioned pitchfork. This is the one thing that in the past could be left around a barn or farmyard without exciting any comment or suspicion of Craft membership. Always mounted at the nothern compass point of the circle’s edge, it represents the Old Horned God / King of the forest glade. The returning of the Old Year King reincarnated back into the body of the Young Horned God / Child born of the Goddess in her aspect as Diana of the Greenwoods and sired by the Old Horned God himself. When placed at the edge of the gateway to that circle, the stang becomes the symbolic guardian of the gateway to that circle, the link between the realm of the Goddess and the Old God, and that of the working ring.” (From: The Roebuck in the Thicket, P. 61.)
Incidentally, I have absolutely no doubt that the Stang is used in Tubal-Cain circles due to its proximity to the pitchfork as an item. It is double your pleasure, and double your fun, after all. However, one of the horrible things I enjoy doing is discovering where magical instruments were used in Grimoires, and pointing them out to ruin the Fun of All Witches. Incidentally, I found myself consulting the Black Dragon (Le Veritable Dragon Noir), a French grimoire translated by Michael Cecchetelli and published by Scarlet Imprint in Crossed Keys (alongside The Enchiridion of Pope Leo III) and caught a glimpse of something interesting.
Now regardless of why the Traditional Witches use the Stang – particularly those bearing kinship to Cochrane’s line of thinking – I happen to be of the opinion that most magical weapons predate both our reason for using them, and our use of them. So this pleased me greatly:
“Always take holy water and a blessed branch into the circle with you, so that the demon can do you no harm, although to ensure you are obeyed in everything without trickery or deception, arm yourself with the mysterious stang, which you obtain in the following manner: first buy, without haggling, a knife whose blade is of pure steel, and on the day you deem the most suitable, find yourself in te woods before sunrise. At the moment when the sun pierces the horizon, cut rod of wild hazel of some three feet or so to serve as the handle, then go to an iron-worker who will make for you a small, erect fork with the two tines from the blade of your knife: do not trust this task to anyone who will not perform the work in front of you, or else do it yourself. When you speak with the demon, hold this book in the left hand, and your stand in the right; this should be a horizontal position, the tines turned toward the spirit. A table can serve as the depository for all the aforesaid objects, but they must always be within hand’s reach. Throughout the duration of the operation, keep a paschal candle alight, or burn spirit of brandy in a lamp intended solely for that purpose: consequently, you will find your powers increased ten-fold, putting, in the event of any disobedience from the spirit, the tines of the stang into the flame, but never make gratuitous use of this means.” (Crossed Keys, P. 6 – 7. Italix mine.)
Later, in the event a spirit departs without first hearing the License to Depart, one performs the following operation:
“If the demon were to disappear without your consent, that is to say without having read the license to depart, put your mysterious stang into the flame, or otherwise reiterate the conjuration, and soon as he reappears reproach him harshly for his disobedience, then continue with your work. […]” (Ibid, P. 8.)
Now, I shall return to comparing spells to win at gambling. Because I also do that, sometimes.
When Jesus was a baby, he, like every other Jewish boy, got his dick snipped. But because this was Jesus, his foreskin was way more special than your average foreskin; in fact, people thought it had magic powers. During the Middle Ages, there were numerous claims of people possessing the holy foreskin. At one point there were as many as 18 of them in existence, which would either mean Jesus had 18 penises and was some kind of hentai dick monster, or the foreskin of random non-Jesus babies were being pawned off as the legit wiener flesh of Christ.
For a while, the Holy Prepuce was apparently the gift to give, starting with Charlemagne giving it to Pope Leo III as a disgusting Christmas gift in 800 when the Pope crowned him Emperor. That one got stolen in 1527, because unlike Tickle Me Elmo, this was one popular Christmas gift that never came back in stock. Well, sort of. It was rediscovered in Calcata, Italy in 1557, and was authenticated by the Church’s in-house CSI team.
In 800AD, Charlemagne judges accusations held against Pope Leo III in the Vatican. Pope Leo III, later made a saint, was pope from 795AD to his death in 816AD. He had the full support from Charlemagne as Pope Leo III had coronated him in 800AD. Pope Leo III was accused of adultery and perjury and was attacked by a gang who unsuccessfully tried to gouge his eyes out in 799AD. This hatred from Rome’s nobility was inspired purely because he had not been a noble candidate for the papal post.
December 25th, A.D. 800 - The Coronation of Blessed Charles the Great as Emperor of the Romans.
On this day, the King of the Franks was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III in Old Saint Peter’s Basilica. It was the first time a Western monarch assumed the imperial title since Romulus Augustulus, deposed in AD 476.
A Kabalistic word formerly used by rabbis for exorcisms of the evil spirit. It is made up of the initial letters of the Hebrew words, Athah gabor leolam, Adonai, meaning, “Thou art powerful and eternal, Lord."Not only among the Jews was this word employed, but among the more superstitous Christians it was a favorite weapon with which to combat the evil one, even so late as the sixteenth century. It is also to be found in many books on magic, notably in the Enchiridion ascribed to Pope Leo III.
Wait, hold it! Who do you admire more; Germania or Rome?
“You see, the thing is…”
“And while most people believe that I am 99% Germanic, that’s not true! That belief has only come due to the Holy Roman Empire eventually evolving into multiple other Germanic states, while the Roman part returning back to Italian roots!
I owe my culture to both Germania and Rome! But I owe my existence and founding almost solely to Rome. And Pope Leo III, of course.