the witches' hammer

10

Malleus Malefecarum by Jacob Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer
The Hammer of Witchcraft
translated by Montague Summers
Edited with an introduction by Pennethorne Hughes
London The Folio Society 1968 First Edition thus. [originally published in 1487 the Montague Summers translation First Published 1928]

The woodcut illustrations were originally published in Milan in 1626 in the Compendium Malefecarum -
only occasionally do they specifically illustrate the text of the Malleus and are more intended as a complement to it

7

The Avengers’ reaction to this scene in AoU: 

They were all shocked into silence

The twins looked mildly surprised, which is acceptable since they weren’t in the earlier hammer scene. (Wanda’s judging-you face though)

Cap was confused,‘But how could this happen? Even I couldn’t pick Mjölnir up, and I’m a super soldier?’

Thor was super confused, too. Just look at that who-does-he-think-he-is-picking-up-my-Mjölnir face.

Bruce was stunned,‘B-but I’m the Hulk!’

And then there’s Clint, who looked like he wanted to cry.

CLINT MY POOR BBY

CRADLE OF FILTH unveil the cover artwork for forthcoming album ‘Hammer Of The Witches’

Cradle Of Filth the UK’s most visionary and hellish outfit have unveiled the serene and alluring, yet harrowing cover artwork for their upcoming 11th studio album and opus nocturne entitled ‘Hammer Of The Witches’.

Fiendish main man and vocalist Dani Filth explained the provocative artwork;

“The artwork for ‘Hammer Of The Witches’ was created by Latvian Artist Arthur Berzinsh and is a lavish walk-through of the lyricism, drawing on rich Renaissance themes and displaying them in beautiful yet unsettling scenarios. Half of the detailed pieces are totally original for the release, others are Berzinsh classics cunningly tailored to the themes of the album, which are themes rife with heady witchcraft, be it persecution, retribution or unfettered spiritual liberation. The female form is rampant throughout the artwork, unashamedly displayed in its classical rendition of beauty… and horror.”

Arthur Berzinsh is best known for his defiant neo-symbolism raster graphics and oil paintings, postmodern interpretations of classic myths and refined hooliganism in the playground of contemporary art. He has been proclaimed as a “sacred monster of Latvian postmodernism”. And rightly so, his visually expressive and mannerly works tend to trigger emotions which can make thoughts fidget and wriggle, unable to find a comfortable position among the impressions gathered. His creative work is characterized by a varied range of voluptuous erotica, intensified imagery, dream-like scenes and decorativeness weighed down by visual metaphors and contrasts teetering on the edge of symbolism.

Arthur Berzinsh explains his artwork and concepts;

“In terms of mood, I was looking for the inspiration of this set in the spirit of Faustian romanticism, the ambivalent art of Renaissance that reanimated motives of pagan mythology after the Middle Ages, and of course, the darkly beautiful and charming spirit of Goetia traditions that is filled with the atmosphere of hermetical rituals. My personal conceptual leitmotif that inspires me, is a conflict between the free-thinking and totalitarianism, where the raw power always gains the upper hand over individualism. The act of art is a theurgical act that creates existence in the Platonic reality - reality of ideas. So, at least in this Platonic dimension let’s give the suppressed ones a chance to get their revenge. For me the Goat of Mendes on the cover symbolizes the scapegoat, who’s tired of his humiliating role and wants a payback. This character is an archetypical symbol of libido and other primordial forces and instinctive aspects of a human being. And these forces always have been a menace for those who want to reign over the others, like it’s schematically represented in George Orwell’s “1984”.“

Cradle Of Filth have been ensconced in creative purgatory for the last few weeks in Britain’s darkest rural Suffolk, busy finishing the recording of their album at the reputedly haunted Grindstone Studios. It has been three years since the release of their previous album – the longest gap in the band’s history. And the wait is almost over.

‘Hammer Of The Witches’ the fruit of their diabolical endeavours is due for global release this July via Nuclear Blast.

The Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hammer), first published in 1486, is arguably one of the most infamous books ever written, due primarily to its position and regard during the Middle Ages.

It served as a guidebook for Inquisitors during the Inquisition, and was designed to aid them in the identification, prosecution, and dispatching of Witches.

It set forth, as well, many of the modern misconceptions and fears concerning witches and the influence of witchcraft. The questions, definitions, and accusations it set forth in regard to witches, which were reinforced by its use during the Inquisition, came to be widely regarded as irrefutable truth.

Those beliefs are held even today by a majority of Christians in regard to practitioners of the modern “revived” religion of Witchcraft, or Wicca. And while the Malleus itself is largely unknown in modern times, its effects have proved long lasting.

At the time of the writing of The Malleus Maleficarum, there were many voices within the Christian community (scholars and theologians) who doubted the existence of witches and largely regarded such belief as mere superstition.

The Dominican monks Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger assembled many fairy tales and magic stories, nightmares, hearsay, confessions and accusations and put this all together as factual information in what became the handbook for the witch hunters, examiners, torturers and executioners, called the Malleus Maleficarum, a title which was translated as Hammer of Witches.

It was published in 1487, but two years previously the authors had secured a bull from Pope Innocent VIII, authorizing them to continue the witch hunt in the Alps which they had already instituted against the opposition from clergy and secular authorities. They reprinted the bull of December 5, 1484 to make it appear that the whole book enjoyed papal sanction.


Anybody with a grudge or suspicion, very young children included, could accuse anyone of witchcraft and be listened to with attention; anyone who wanted someone else’s property or wife could accuse; any loner, any old person living alone, anyone with a misformity, physical or mental problem was likely to be accused.

Open hunting season was declared on women, especially herb gatherers, midwives, widows and spinsters. Women who had no man to supervise them were of course highly suspicious.