the witch cult in western europe

anonymous asked:

I noticed you mention that a Witch must sell their soul to the Devil and that the Devil is one of the deities you worship. Can you tell me a bit more about your practice, what you believe, and a few good books that you would highly recommend for someone interested in Witchcraft? Thank you.

You don’t HAVE to sell your soul to old horny but it’s a good idea to and most witches do in my practice, a good place to start is with Gemma Gary books or Nigel G. Pearson. Margaret Murray’s “witch-cult in Western Europe” is really good for info and even just looking through the #traditionalwitchcraft tag you’ll get a lot of good info and advice. My path is Trad Craft which people will have different takes on what that means but usually when people say that is their path they are typically referring to witchcraft practiced in Europe from roughly 1200’s-1800’s and practice a lot of magic from folklore and witch trial records. Also the devil to trad witches (generally) is the horned nature god although some witches do work with the Christian satan and that’s totally fine as well.

☾♢ Paths of Witchcraft ♢☽

- Witchcraft has no beliefs or traditions that are set in stone. It is a belief system created by, & for the witch themselves. When establishing a craft there are no rules or guidelines, wrongs or rights, only the individual beliefs of different witches. Listed below are some traditions of Witchcraft. You need not religiously follow any if you don’t wish, but hopefully, they should enlighten you on different forms of the craft. 

♦ Alexandrian: A modified Gardenian system founded in the 1960’s by Alex Sanders, whom refers to himself as the “King of witches” Covens are made up of both men & women. 

♦ British Traditional: Witches who follow a mixture of both Celtic & Pagan beliefs from the pre-christian era. Today, British Traditionals move mostly from the Farrar studies, the findings of a famous with husband in wife living in England. Their training in the craft is actually a structured degree process where one can study a coarse & receive a degree in traditional British Witchcraft. 

♦ Celtic Wicca: A craft that focusses mainly upon the Celtic & Druidic Gods & Goddesses. Thier studies maintain a strong emphasis on the importance of nature & it’s rituals focus on enhancing the energies of the earth, to understand the natural rhythm of our planet to work & live in total harmony with nature. Gods & goddesses throughout Wicca are often referred to as “The Ancient Ones,” & through Divination & worship, a vast knowledge of, & respect for the natural healing & magickal qualities of plants, stones, crystals, flowers, trees & more. A wiccan will most commonly work with the elements, spirits, nature & crystals, & are particularly interested in Fae & Gnomes. 

♦ Caledonii: Once known of as the ‘Hecatine’ tradition, it is traditional Scottish Witchcraft, & practitioners of the Caledonii craft still preserve the unique rituals & festivals of the Scots today. 

Ceremonial Witchcraft: Followers of the Ceremonial craft incorporate much ceremonial magick in their lifestyle & almost all of their rituals & magickal workings strictly follow ancient traditions. Little emphasis is put on nature, however, detailed rituals with elements of Egyptian magick are a favourite throughout this religious craft. 

♦ Dianic: First established by Margaret Murray in 1921 in “The witch cult in Western Europe.” The term holds a mixture of various traditions, with the prime focus on the Goddess. Dianic witches will generally only worship the goddess, with little, to no mention of the God, Separating them from Wiccans. They are also known to focus a lot of their workings around the phases of the moon & are known by some as 'the feminist movement’ of the craft.

♦ Druidic: Worshippers of Mother Earth. Very little is known of Ancient Druidism & their practices, but modern day Druids perform rituals in areas in which nature has been preserved. Usually rural expanses of land, or ever-green forests untouched by man. Druids are also known for their sacrifices to mother nature as a means of worship. Offerings of grain, flowers, & sometimes meat are made & are often followed by appropriate chants & magickal workings. 

♦ Pictish: Nature based Scottish witchcraft, involving little to no religious  elements or deities. The tradition focuses on attuning oneself with all forms of nature, animal, vegetable & mineral. 

♦ Pow-wow: Indigenous to South Central Pennsylvania, it is a system, rather than a religion, based upon a 400 year-old elite German Magick. Over time, this craft has greatly deteriorated into simple faith healing, & can be applied to almost any religion, making the word unheard of to most & blurring the truth of traditional Pow-wow ritual & the history of it’s origin. 

♦ Strega: A craft said to be started by a women named Aradia in Italy, 1353, who is often referred to as the “Goddess of Witches.”

♦ Teutonic: Also known as the 'Nordic’ tradition of the craft. Culturally it was made up of English, Dutch, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian & Swedish people, & still follow its traditions today. 

Timeline of Wicca, Witchcraft and Neopaganism

2000 BC

Babylon’s Code of Hammurabi instructs, “If a man has laid a charge of witchcraft and has not justified it, he upon whom the witchcraft is laid shall go to the holy river; he shall plunge into the holy river and if the holy river overcome him, he who accused him shall take to himself his house.”

3rd cent. AD

Under the pre-Christian Roman Empire, punishment of burning alive was enacted by the State against witches who brought about another person’s death through their enchantments.

306 AD

The Christian Council of Elvira (Canon 6) refuses last rites to those who had killed a man by a magical spell because such a crime could not be effected “without idolatry” (i.e. the help of the devil).

313

Conversion of Emperor Constantine; Christianity is granted official toleration by the Roman Empire.

314

Canon 24 of the Council of Ancyra imposes five years of penance upon those who consult magicians. Here, the offence lies in participation in paganism.

785

The Council of Paderborn rules that sorcerers are to be reduced to serfdom and made over to the service of the Church.

906

The document De ecclesiasticis disciplinis ascribed to Regino of Prüm describes popular notions of witchcraft and states it is the duty of priests to “instruct the people that these things are absolutely untrue and that such imaginings are planted in the minds of misbelieving folk, not by a Divine spirit, but by the spirit of evil.”

1080

Pope Gregory VII writes a letter to King Harold of Denmark forbidding witches to be put to death upon presumption of their having caused storms, failure of crops or pestilence.

1225

In Germany, the secular law code “Sachsenspiegel” designated death by fire as the proper punishment for witchcraft.

1258

Pope Alexander IV instructs, “The Inquisitors, deputed to investigate heresy, must not intrude into investigations of divination or sorcery without knowledge of manifest heresy involved.” “Manifest heresy” is defined as: “praying at the altars of idols, to offer sacrifices, to consult demons, to elicit responses from them… or associate themselves publicly with heretics.”

1275

The first “witch” is burned to death after judicial sentence of an inquisitor, in Toulouse, France. Her name was Hugues de Baniol and she “confessed” to having given birth to a monster after intercourse with an evil spirit and to having nourished it with babies’ flesh which she procured in her nocturnal expeditions.

1300-30

Beginning of the witch trials in Europe.

1334

Large-scale witch trial in Toulouse, France, in which 63 persons were accused. Of these, eight were handed over to the state to be burned and the rest were imprisoned.

1374

Pope Gregory XI declares that all magic is done with the aid of demons and thus is open to prosecution for heresy.

1400

Peter de Gruyères, a secular judge, carries out large-scale witch trials in Bern, Switzerland.

1435-50

Number of witch trails rises sharply.

1484

Pope Innocent VIII publishes the bull Summis desiderantes affectibus (“Desiring with the Greatest Ardor”) condemning witchcraft as Satanism, the worst of all possible heresies. The bull also officially grants Heinrich Krämer and James Sprenger, Dominican inquisitors, the right to prosecute persons of any class or any form of crime.

1486

Heinrich Krämer and Jacob Sprenger publish Malleus maleficarum (“The Hammer of Witches”), a learned but misogynistic book blaming witchcraft chiefly on women. It was reprinted many times thanks to the newly-invented printing press and was a major influence on the witch-hunt hysteria of the next two centuries. It was regarded as the standard handbook on witchcraft until well into the 18th century.

1530s

Prosecutions for witchcraft begin in Mexico.

1532

The penal code Carolina decrees that sorcery throughout the German empire should be treated as a criminal offence, and if it injured any person, the witch was to be burned at the stake.

1572

The Protestant ruler of Saxony imposes the penalty of burning for witchcraft of every kind, including fortune-telling.

1580-1630

Period in which witch-hunts are most severe.

1583

121 persons are burned as witches over three months in Osnabruck, Germany.

1590

Witch trials in North Berwick, Scotland.

1609

In response to a witch panic in the Basque region, La Suprema (the ruling body of the Spanish Inquisition) issues an “Edict of Silence” forbidding all discussion of witchcraft. For, as one inquisitor noted, “There were neither witches nor bewitched until they were talked and written about.”

1631

The Jesuit Friedrich von Spee publishes Cautio criminalis against the witch craze.

1647

First hanging for witchcraft in New England.

1668-76

Outbreak of witch-hunts in Sweden.

1692

Between May and October, 19 people are tried and hanged as witches in Salem, Massachusetts.

1749

The last trial for witchcraft in Germany is carried out at Würzburg.

1754

Torture is abolished in Prussia.

1782

Last known execution for witchcraft takes place in Switzerland, in the Protestant canton of Glarus.

1807

Torture is abolished in Bavaria.

1822

Torture is abolished in Hanover.

1875

Birth of Aleister Crowley, occultist who influenced Gerald Gardner.

1885

Birth of Gerald Gardner, founder of Wicca.

1890s

Aleister Crowley joins the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, of which William Butler Yeats was also a member.

1899

Charles Godfrey Leland publishes Aradia or the Goddess of the Witches.

1910

Crowley meets a leader of German Masonic order called the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), a combination of Masonic rites and the traditions of the Rosicrucians, the Templars, the Illuminists, and Bengali Tantrism. Crowley was soon initiated into the order and progressing through the degrees of the order.

1912

Crowley is named Grand Master of the O.T.O. for Great Britain and Ireland.

1921

Margaret Murray published The Witch-Cult in Western Europe.

1926

Birth of Alexander Sanders, founder of Alexandrian Wicca.

1929

Margaret Murray published her article “Witchcraft” in the 14th edition of Encyclopædia Britannica.

1939

The O.T.O. in Germany is effectively dissolved by the Nazis.

1939

Gardner joins the Folklore Society and presents a paper on witchcraft.

1939

The year Gerald Gardner claims he was initiated into a witch cult called the New Forest Coven, led by Dorothy Clutterbuck.

1940Zsuzsanna Budapest, feminist writer and leader of Dianic Wicca, is born on January 30.

1940s

Gardner joins the nudist group The Fiveacres Country Club.

1946

Gardner begins work on High Magic’s Aid, a fictional novel partially based on those of his Southern Coven. The witches of his coven opposed making their rituals public, which is why it was presented as fiction and filled out with rituals from other sources.

1947

Gardner and Edith Woodford-Grimes start a company called Ancient Crafts Ltd.

1947

Gardner meets Crowley at Crowley's home in Hastings for the first time on May 1, and visits him again several times during May.

1947

Gardner becomes a member of the O.T.O. in May and is authorized by Crowley to found an O.T.O. encampment and initiate new members.

1947

Crowley dies on December 1.

1947

On December 27, Gardner writes a letter claiming to have been designated as successor to Crowley as leader of the O.T.O. Karl Germer assumed leadership instead, and held it until his death in 1962.

1949

Gerald Gardner publishes High Magic’s Aid under the pseudonym Scire.

1950

Gardner begins distancing himself from Crowley and the O.T.O. in favor of Wicca.

1950

Gardner states in a letter that Crowley had participated in the witch cult but left in disgust due to the leadership of the High Priestess and the nudity.

1951

Gardner founds the “Northern Coven” in London and holds a small rite at his home near the British Museum on May Eve.

1953Doreen Valiente is initated by Gardner, and soon became High Priestess.

1954

Gardner publishes Witchcraft Today, an event which many regard as the founding of Wicca.

1957Wicca splits into two factions, one that supports Gardner’s growing publicity of the religion (led by Gardner) and one that opposes it (led by Doreen Valiente).

1959

Gardner publishes The Meaning of Witchcraft, in which he first uses the term “Wica.”

1963-64

Gardner winters in Lebanon to help his failing health.

1964

Gardner dies of heart failure on the SS Scottish Prince in the Mediterranean. His body is buried at the next port of call, Tunis.

1989

Valiente publishes The Rebirth of Witchcraft, a first-hand account of the history and development of Wicca.

1991

Aiden A. Kelly publishes Crafting the Art of Magic, Book I, which aims to show that Gardner’s Book of Shadows could be entirely traced to earlier sources.

pictor-zenith  asked:

1/3 Do you have anything for familiers? Do you need a familier? Can you have omly 1?I have about 4 animals that I feel I have very strong connections with: ---

2/3Snakes and im getting one(which are heavy in voodoo which is in my family), wild foxes have seen me kn multiple ocasions and tried to approach me while being scared of other people ( i dont think ill get a pet fox anytime soon), 3/3 rabbits and cats to a slightly lesser extent i have a white cat from a breed often called cat rabbits

ooo! I saw this and was rather excited to answer it. I love talking about familiars :) 

Now, there are three main types of familiars. The Familiar self/The familiar spirit, familiar spirits, and Imps (what you typically think of when thinking of familiars)

  • Imps: The witches’ pet. What most people think of when they say “familiar”
  • Familiar spirits: spirits and beings that seek to aid the witches in their craft and magic. These can sometimes take physical forms and be bound to objects (including living things). They are similar to a spirit guide
  • The Familiar spirit (The familiar self): The witches’ lover, the fairy lover, the spirit companion, etc. A spirit that is apart of the witch, yet separate, that seeks to interact with them and aid in their desires. Good example can be found in “Thomas the Rhymer" or the ballad of “Tam Lin”

To the first question “ Do you have anything for familiars? Do you need a familiar? Can you have only 1″

I have a bit about imps (aka the familiars you’re talking about).  Note, these will also talk about the other definitions of familiar as well

When it comes to THE familiar spirit, you only have one. When it comes to familiar spirits, you can have multiple. Some of which may or may not be animals, people, or other sorts of things. For Imps, the witches’ pets, you can have multiple.

Snakes, foxes (to a lesser extent), rabbits, and cats all have heavy ties to witchcraft and witches. People often said witches would shape shift into cats, rabbits, dogs, toads, serpents, etc. 

(Note below I am talking about the Imp below: aka the physical familiar)

Of course you can have multiple familiar spirits or imps; however, you can’t just buy a pet and expect it to act as a familiar. It requires a strong bond and something more from the animal. 

And according to lore, you would need to make a blood pact with your familiar. The Witches’ mark or the Mark of Cain. You would feed your familiar your blood, in order to share power and connection. Of course, I’m not saying that you should feed your pets your blood, but my point is that there is a lot more to it.

It requires recognition from both parties, and then some sort of pact is made (not always a physical pact).


Hope this helps!

radmurai  asked:

Would you happen to know the history of wicca? Like where along the line did people start being prejudice towards wiccans and start rumors that wiccans worship satan?

Hi there, hopefully this timeline will help to answer your questions! I’m not sure on exact dates, but this gives a rough layout of things.

2000 BC

Babylon’s Code of Hammurabi instructs, “If a man has laid a charge of witchcraft and has not justified it, he upon whom the witchcraft is laid shall go to the holy river; he shall plunge into the holy river and if the holy river overcome him, he who accused him shall take to himself his house.”

3rd cent. AD

Under the pre-Christian Roman Empire, punishment of burning alive was enacted by the State against witches who brought about another person’s death through their enchantments.

306 AD

The Christian Council of Elvira (Canon 6) refuses last rites to those who had killed a man by a magical spell because such a crime could not be effected “without idolatry” (i.e. the help of the devil).

313

Conversion of Emperor Constantine; Christianity is granted official toleration by the Roman Empire.

314

Canon 24 of the Council of Ancyra imposes five years of penance upon those who consult magicians. Here, the offence lies in participation in paganism.

785

The Council of Paderborn rules that sorcerers are to be reduced to serfdom and made over to the service of the Church.

906

The document De ecclesiasticis disciplinis ascribed to Regino of Prüm describes popular notions of witchcraft and states it is the duty of priests to “instruct the people that these things are absolutely untrue and that such imaginings are planted in the minds of misbelieving folk, not by a Divine spirit, but by the spirit of evil.”

1080

Pope Gregory VII writes a letter to King Harold of Denmark forbidding witches to be put to death upon presumption of their having caused storms, failure of crops or pestilence.

1225

In Germany, the secular law code “Sachsenspiegel” designated death by fire as the proper punishment for witchcraft.

1258

Pope Alexander IV instructs, “The Inquisitors, deputed to investigate heresy, must not intrude into investigations of divination or sorcery without knowledge of manifest heresy involved.” “Manifest heresy” is defined as: “praying at the altars of idols, to offer sacrifices, to consult demons, to elicit responses from them… or associate themselves publicly with heretics.”

1275

The first “witch” is burned to death after judicial sentence of an inquisitor, in Toulouse, France. Her name was Hugues de Baniol and she “confessed” to having given birth to a monster after intercourse with an evil spirit and to having nourished it with babies’ flesh which she procured in her nocturnal expeditions.

1300-30

Beginning of the witch trials in Europe.

1334

Large-scale witch trial in Toulouse, France, in which 63 persons were accused. Of these, eight were handed over to the state to be burned and the rest were imprisoned.

1374

Pope Gregory XI declares that all magic is done with the aid of demons and thus is open to prosecution for heresy.

1400

Peter de Gruyères, a secular judge, carries out large-scale witch trials in Bern, Switzerland.

1435-50

Number of witch trails rises sharply.

1484

Pope Innocent VIII publishes the bull Summis desiderantes affectibus (“Desiring with the Greatest Ardor”) condemning witchcraft as Satanism, the worst of all possible heresies. The bull also officially grants Heinrich Krämer and James Sprenger, Dominican inquisitors, the right to prosecute persons of any class or any form of crime.

1486

Heinrich Krämer and Jacob Sprenger publish Malleus maleficarum (“The Hammer of Witches”), a learned but misogynistic book blaming witchcraft chiefly on women. It was reprinted many times thanks to the newly-invented printing press and was a major influence on the witch-hunt hysteria of the next two centuries. It was regarded as the standard handbook on witchcraft until well into the 18th century.

1530s

Prosecutions for witchcraft begin in Mexico.

1532

The penal code Carolina decrees that sorcery throughout the German empire should be treated as a criminal offence, and if it injured any person, the witch was to be burned at the stake.

1572

The Protestant ruler of Saxony imposes the penalty of burning for witchcraft of every kind, including fortune-telling.

1580-1630

Period in which witch-hunts are most severe.

1583

121 persons are burned as witches over three months in Osnabruck, Germany.

1590

Witch trials in North Berwick, Scotland.

1609

In response to a witch panic in the Basque region, La Suprema (the ruling body of the Spanish Inquisition) issues an “Edict of Silence” forbidding all discussion of witchcraft. For, as one inquisitor noted, “There were neither witches nor bewitched until they were talked and written about.”

1631

The Jesuit Friedrich von Spee publishes Cautio criminalis against the witch craze.

1647

First hanging for witchcraft in New England.

1668-76

Outbreak of witch-hunts in Sweden.

1692

Between May and October, 19 people are tried and hanged as witches in Salem, Massachusetts.

1749

The last trial for witchcraft in Germany is carried out at Würzburg.

1754

Torture is abolished in Prussia.

1782

Last known execution for witchcraft takes place in Switzerland, in the Protestant canton of Glarus.

1807

Torture is abolished in Bavaria.

1822

Torture is abolished in Hanover.

1875

Birth of Aleister Crowley, occultist who influenced Gerald Gardner.

1885

Birth of Gerald Gardner, founder of Wicca.

1890s

Aleister Crowley joins the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, of which William Butler Yeats was also a member.

1899

Charles Godfrey Leland publishes Aradia or the Goddess of the Witches.

1910

Crowley meets a leader of German Masonic order called the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), a combination of Masonic rites and the traditions of the Rosicrucians, the Templars, the Illuminists, and Bengali Tantrism. Crowley was soon initiated into the order and progressing through the degrees of the order.

1912

Crowley is named Grand Master of the O.T.O. for Great Britain and Ireland.

1921

Margaret Murray published The Witch-Cult in Western Europe.

1926

Birth of Alexander Sanders, founder of Alexandrian Wicca.

1929

Margaret Murray published her article “Witchcraft” in the 14th edition of Encyclopædia Britannica.

1939

The O.T.O. in Germany is effectively dissolved by the Nazis.

1939

Gardner joins the Folklore Society and presents a paper on witchcraft.

1939

The year Gerald Gardner claims he was initiated into a witch cult called the New Forest Coven, led by Dorothy Clutterbuck.

1940 Zsuzsanna Budapest, feminist writer and leader of Dianic Wicca, is born on January 30.

1940s

Gardner joins the nudist group The Fiveacres Country Club.

1946

Gardner begins work on High Magic’s Aid, a fictional novel partially based on those of his Southern Coven. The witches of his coven opposed making their rituals public, which is why it was presented as fiction and filled out with rituals from other sources.

1947

Gardner and Edith Woodford-Grimes start a company called Ancient Crafts Ltd.

1947

Gardner meets Crowley at Crowley’s home in Hastings for the first time on May 1, and visits him again several times during May.

1947

Gardner becomes a member of the O.T.O. in May and is authorized by Crowley to found an O.T.O. encampment and initiate new members.

1947

Crowley dies on December 1.

1947

On December 27, Gardner writes a letter claiming to have been designated as successor to Crowley as leader of the O.T.O. Karl Germer assumed leadership instead, and held it until his death in 1962.

1949

Gerald Gardner publishes High Magic’s Aid under the pseudonym Scire.

1950

Gardner begins distancing himself from Crowley and the O.T.O. in favor of Wicca.

1950

Gardner states in a letter that Crowley had participated in the witch cult but left in disgust due to the leadership of the High Priestess and the nudity.

1951

Gardner founds the “Northern Coven” in London and holds a small rite at his home near the British Museum on May Eve.

1953 Doreen Valiente is initated by Gardner, and soon became High Priestess.

1954

Gardner publishes Witchcraft Today, an event which many regard as the founding of Wicca.

1957 Wicca splits into two factions, one that supports Gardner’s growing publicity of the religion (led by Gardner) and one that opposes it (led by Doreen Valiente).

1959

Gardner publishes The Meaning of Witchcraft, in which he first uses the term “Wica.”

1963-64

Gardner winters in Lebanon to help his failing health.

1964

Gardner dies of heart failure on the SS Scottish Prince in the Mediterranean. His body is buried at the next port of call, Tunis.

1989

Valiente publishes The Rebirth of Witchcraft, a first-hand account of the history and development of Wicca.

1991

Aiden A. Kelly publishes Crafting the Art of Magic, Book I, which aims to show that Gardner’s Book of Shadows could be entirely traced to earlier sources.

-A

Marks of the Witch

Hey guys! I thought you would enjoy a rather brief post about various “Witch’s Marks.” Enjoy :)


( Examination of a Witch, 1853, by Thompkins H. Matteson)

For ever promise, for every partnership, for ever pact, a mark is made. It is not of shame, but of consent. A prideful show of a choice.

There are mentions of various different types (and purposes) of witch marks, also known as Devil’s mark or the Mark of Cain. Both natural marks and artificial marks, the three main types of marks are “Familiar marks”, “Marks of Coven initiation”, and “Marks of Devils, Spirits, and Gods.”


Mark from other Witches

During a witch’s initiation and admission into a group of witches, they were pricked or scratched by another witch using a sharp instrument, such as an iron awl, “a pointed instrument for piercing small holes in leather, wood, etc,” (dictionary.com)

However, the mark was sometimes received from a bite or a scratch from a nail/claw. It represented the witch’s desire to be a witch, and it was “that any person bore such a mark was taken as incontrovertible proof that the bearer was a witch,” (Murray, Chapter 3).

As part of the entry, a new witch would be marked. It could be, similar to familiars, done in order to connect the witch with the group. The witch’s willingness to sacrifice something for the group. A way their power is shared throughout the group. It might also be that they were scratched, pricked, or cut in order to add a blood signature to form a covenant with the group. That’s my thought anyways~


Mark for Familiars

(Witch and her familiar by  Irwin J. Weill)

Another form of the witch’s mark was said to resemble a nipple, in which “…is associated with the feeding of witches’ imps or familiars; the witch’s familiar supposedly aided the witch in her magic in exchange for nourishment (blood) from sacrificial animals or from the witch’s tea [tit; aka the witch’s mark],” (Lewis, p104).

Animal familiars, imps, and the witch’s mark, also known as witch’s tit (or devil’s mark0, became interchangeable. It is believed, within the folklore and beliefs of the witch hunters, that a witch would blood feed their imp. It was how they connected and gained one another’s power. However, it is also worth noting that some of the familiars the witches fed were not all physical animals. Some were reported as demonic or ghostly creatures, “…She had been a witch ten years and then she opened her breast and the black man gave her two little things like young cats and she put them to her breast and suckled them they had no hair on them and had ears like a man,” (Bernard, p 293). Often, witch hunters would report animals around supposed witches whimpering as if “they wished to be fed”.

This mark showed the connection and interdependence between the witch and her imps, whether they be physical or spirit.


Marks from Spirits

The mark, whether artificially made or not, was also associated with a witch’s contract to the Devil, coven, or their deities/spirits. “was thought to be the initiating mark the Devil placed on the body, usually women, as a seal of their pledge of obedience and service to him. This was a predominant belief during the witch-hunt trials. Usually the mark, blue or red, was believed made by the Devil’s claw raked their flesh, or by an ht iron. At times he left his mark by licking the body. The Devil supposedly branded witches at the end of the initiation rites, never held on nocturnal Sabbats,” (Guiley, p 99). It took many forms from brands, to bite marks, bruises that took strange shapes, and even tattoos (supposedly). The Devil’s Mark was given with their own consent. It is equivalent to a Paction. This Mark is given to them, and is allegedly a red tit mark or a blue shape, it is sometimes like the impression of a Hare’s foot, or the Foot of a Rat or Spider, (Murray, Chapter 3). The location of such a mark is often found either on a hand, fingertip, or left shoulder.

(From G. P. Guaccius’ Compendium Maleficarum. Milan, 1626.)


Applications today?

Though definitely not needed, a witch’s mark could be something that could help deepen your practice with historical practices of Western European witchcraft. I certainly believe myself to have a natural witch’s mark. I also plan to have an artificial mark. This certainly could be considered a sort of spiritual tattooing or branding.


Sources

Bernard, Rosenthal. “Records of the Salem Witch Hunt.” New York; Cambridge University Press, 2009. Pg 293.

Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. “The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft.” New York; Facts on File, 1989. Pg 99.

Lewis, James R. “Witchcraft Today: An Encyclopedia of Wiccan and Neopagan Traditions

Murray,  Margaret Alice. “The Witch-Cult in Western Europe.” Evinity Publishing Inc, 2009 [1921]. Ch 3.