The Judges’ Guide to Detention and Torture of Witches

~From the Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches) of 1487~

This is an excerpt from the text Malleus Maleficarum, which is considered to be the “handbook” for the persecution of witches used by male perpetrators of the misogynistic and bloodthirsty attempted extirpation that took place during the 16th and 17th centuries. Continue reading

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Featured Book: The Magical and Ritual Use of Herbs

~Excerpts from The Magical and Ritual Use of Herbs by Richard Alan Miller~

In psychology, ritual is considered the celebration of a myth, which is achieved through a carefully constructed enactment of the myth. Because ritual is the externalization of something internal, myth has a more archetypal than logical structure to it. Rituals reveal values at their most fundamental level. Man expresses in ritual what moves him most. Therefore: The symbol always originates on the inside and is projected outward.

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From the Fables of Zambri, the Parsee

~1874~

A rustic, preparing to devour an apple, was addressed by a brace of crafty and covetous birds:

“Nice apple that,” said one, critically examining it. “I don’t wish to disparage it — wouldn’t say a word against that vegetable for all the world. But I never can look upon an apple of that variety without thinking of my poisoned nestling! Ah! so plump, and rosy, and — rotten!”

“Just so,” said the other. “And you remember my good father, who perished in that orchard. Strange that so fair a skin should cover so vile a heart!”

Just then another fowl came flying up.

Rustic and Crafty Birds

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Codex Gigas: The Devil’s Bible

The Codex Gigas is the largest medieval text still in existence. Created in the Czech Republic during the early 12th century, the Codex Gigas is also known as the “Devil’s Bible” because it contains a large illustration of the Devil and details on how to exorcise evil spirits. It also contains a full-length Bible, known as the Vulgate Bible, among other texts.

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This clawed beast is a portrait of the Devil as depicted  in the Codex Gigas.

The tome is so large, the skins of over 150 calves were needed to create its 310 leaves of vellum pages. It is bound with wood, metal, and leather, and weighs over 150 pounds.

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Incredibly, the entire Codex Gigas is thought to have been compiled by a solitary scribe: a Benedictine monk named Herman the Recluse.

Legends surrounding Herman the Recluse accuse him of breaking his monastic vows, leading the church to sentence him to being imprisoned alive within the monastery walls. The myth postulates that Herman the Recluse sought to avoid or postpone his horrible fate by promising to create a tome that would contain all of human knowledge and would make his monastery famous. He had one year to complete the task and, legend has it, he was able to do so on his own by making a pact with Lucifer, the devil, leading to the tome’s ironic nickname: The Devil’s Bible.

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Codex Gigas, the Devil’s Bible

Photo credits: Kungl. biblioteket