where they work much evil

October 10, 2017

…all the Irish, believe that the fairies are the fallen angels who were cast down by the Lord God out of heaven for their sinful pride. And some fell into the sea, and some on the dry land, and some fell deep down into hell, and the devil gives to these knowledge and power, and sends them on earth where they work much evil. But the fairies of the earth and the sea are mostly gentle and beautiful creatures, who will do no harm if they are let alone, and allowed to dance on the fairy raths in the moonlight to their own sweet music, undisturbed by the presence of mortals…

Lady Wilde
Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms and Superstitions of Ireland

17th May

Thoughts of Martha Hatfield the Puritan child-prophet who felt the “Second Coming” coming, so to speak. She saw Raw Head and Bloody Bones, Nelly Long Arms and Awd Goggie, Black Parr and the low black sow who carries off kiddies. She was afraid of fires especially those bonfires on the wastelands of the city blazing with a dim constancy and smoke curling into night fogs across everywhere…


How then do we explain our taste for supernatural necessity, d’you think?


Rolling shadows pressed against the window like half-glimpsed faces. Then the shriek of an owl, foreshadowing the death of another, smaller creature, bloodily rendered by beak and talons. The struggle between life and death continues throughout the night.


Suffering these random night-thoughts – thoughts that lay bare the throbbing red heart of past, present and future. All meaning leaks pus-like from the abyss of death: voiceless, corpses with heads full of untold tales – untold not because of a lack of words, but because of a lack of tongue! Out of the dark confines of this house and across the wide moor everything is making love or death to everything else in an orgy of being, and transcendence, and blood.


The centuries have passed and times have changed and yet all around there is a strange feeling that we are not alone, that the shades of persons passed on and over into the world of spirit are very close.


Many rites of Witchcraft call on attractive youths, and emphasise nudity. It wasn’t until the rise of the Abrahamic religions that this was frowned upon, and slowly demonised. The rites of Pan and Bacchus became rites of Satan, these gods, predominantly phallic, sexual gods such as Pan were transformed into the Devil, and all things lecherous and sexual were his domain.

the killing of things

February 15, 2017


War is just the killing of things and the smashing of things. And when it is all over, then literature and civilisation will have to begin all over again. They will have to begin lower down and against a heavier load….The Wild Asses of the Devil are loose, and there is no restraining them. What is the good, Wilkins, of pretending that the Wild Asses are the instruments of Providence, kicking better than we know? It is all evil.


(H G Wells)

diabolic abyss

November 9, 2016


The Devil is the border of possibility, and the witch has for his or her playground the whole of manifestation from the solar pole to the diabolic abyss of the otherworld.

Nicolaj de Mattos Frisvold
Craft of the Untamed


Isabel, wife of Jean le Moygne, having been put to the question, at once confessed that she was a Witch: and that upon her getting into a quarrel with the woman Girarde, who was her sister-in-law: the Devil, in the form of a hare, took occasion to tempt her: appearing to her in broad daylight in a road near her house: and persuading and inciting her to give herself to him: and that he would help her to avenge herself on the said Girarde, and everybody else: to which persuasion she would not at the moment condescend to yield: so she at once disappeared: but very soon he came again to her in the same road, and pursuing his previous argument: exhorted her in the same terms as above: that done, he left her and went away, after having previously given her a sackful of parsnips; she then took a certain black powder wrapped in a cloth in which he placed it; which powder she kept by her. He appeared to her another time under the same form in the town district, inciting her anew to give herself to him, but she not wishing to comply, he next made a request to her to give him some living animal: whereupon she returned to her dwelling and fetched a chicken which she carried to him to the same place where she had left him, and he took it: and after having thanked her he made an appointment for her to be present the next morning before daylight at the Sabbath, promising that he would send for her: according to which promise, during the ensuing night, the old woman Collette du Mont, came to fetch her, and gave her some black ointment, which she had had from the Devil; with this (after having stripped herself) she annointed her back and belly, then having dressed herself again she went out of her house door: when she was instantly caught up: and carried across hedges and bushes to the bank on the sea shore, in the neighbourhood of Rocquaine Castle, the usual place where the Devil kept his Sabbath; no sooner had she arrived there than the Devil came to her in the form of a dog, with two great horns sticking up: and with one of his paws (which seemed to her like hands) took her by the hand: and calling her by her name told her that she was welcome: then immediately the Devil made her kneel down: while he himself stood up on his hind legs; he then made her express detestation of the Eternal in these words: I renounce God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; and then caused her to worship and invoke himself in these terms: Our Great  Master, help us! with a special compact to be faithful to him, and when this was done he had connection with her in the aforesaid form of a dog, but a little larger: then she and the others danced with him back to back: after having danced, the Devil poured out of a jug some black wine, which he presented to them in a wooden bowl, from which she drank, but it did not seem to her so good as the wine which is usually drunk: there was also bread—but she did not eat any: confessed that she gave herself to him for a month: they returned from the Sabbath in the same manner that they went there. The second time she was at the Sabbath was after the old woman Collette had been to fetch her, and she anointed herself with the ointment as above stated;—declared, that on entering the Sabbath, she again had connection with the Devil and danced with him; after having danced, and upon his solicitation to prolong the time, she gave herself to him for three years; at the Sabbath the Devil used to summon the Wizards and Witches in regular order (she remembered very well having heard him call the old woman Collette the first, in these terms: Madame the Old Woman Bacquette): then the woman Fallaise; and afterwards the woman Hardie. Item, he also called Marie, wife of Massy, and daughter of the said Collette. Said that after them she herself was called by the Devil: in these terms: The Little Becquette: she also heard him call there Collas Becquet, son of the said old woman (who [Collas] held her by the hand in dancing, and someone [a woman] whom she did not know, held her by the other hand]: there were about six others there she did not know: the said old woman was always nearest to the Devil: occasionally while some were dancing, others were having connection with the Devils in the form of dogs; they remained at the Sabbath about three or four hours, not more.  While at the Sabbath the Devil marked her at the upper part of the thigh: which mark having been examined by the midwives, they reported that they had stuck a small pin deeply into it, and that she had not felt it, and that no blood had issued: she did no know in what part the Devil had marked the others: those who came first to the place of the Sabbath, waited for the others; and all the Wizards and Witches appeared in their proper forms: but blackened and disfigured so that they could not be recognised. The Devil appeared sometimes in the form of a goat at the Sabbath; never saw him in other forms: on their departure he made them kiss him behind, and asked them when they would come again: he exhorted them always to be true to him: and to do evil deeds, and to this end he gave them certain black powders, wrapped in a cloth, for them to throw upon those whom they wished to bewitch: on leaving the Sabbath, the Devil went away in one direction and they in the other: after he had taken them all by the hand: At the instigation of the Devil she threw some of the powder over several persons and cattle: notably over Jean Jehan, when he came to her house to look for a pig. Item, over the child of James Gallienne, and over others. Item, over the cattle of Bouart, and of others. It was the Devil that was seen at the said Gallienne’s house in the form of a rat and a weazle, she herself being then in the neighbourhood of Gallienne’s house, and he [the Devil] came to her in the form of a man, and struck her several blows on the face and head: by which she was bruised and torn in the way that she was seen the next day by Thomas Sohier. And she believed that the cause of this maltreatment was because she would not go with the Devil to the house of the said Gallienne. She never went to the Sabbath except when her husband remained all night fishing at sea. Whenever she wanted to bewitch anyone and her powder happen to have been all used up, the Devil appeared to her and told her to go to such a place, which he named for some more, and when she did so, she never failed to find it there.

Confessions of Witches
Under Torture.
Before AMICE DE CARTERET, Esq., Bailiff,
and the Jurats.
JULY 4th, 1617.


First, the said Collette immediately after the said sentence was pronounced, and before leaving the Court, freely admitted that she was a Witch; at the same time, not wishing to specify the crimes which she had committed, she was taken, along with the others, to the Torture Chamber, and the said question being applied to her, she confessed that she was quite young when the Devil, in the form of a cat:*appeared to her: in the Parish of Torteval: as she was returning from her cattle, it being still daylight, and that he took occasion to lead her astray by inciting her to avenge herself on one of her neighbours, with whom she was then at enmity, on account of sonde damage which she had suffered through the cattle of the latter; that since then when she had a quarrel with anyone, he appeared to her in the aforesaid form: and sometimes in the form of a dog: inducing her to take vengeance upon those who had angered her: persuading her to cause the death of persons and cattle.

That the Devil having come to fetch her that she might go to the Sabbath, called for her without anyone perceiving it: and gave her a certain black ointment with which (after having stripped herself), she rubbed her back, belly and stomach: and then having again put on her clothes, she went out of her door, when she was immediately carried through the air at a great speed: and she found herself in an instant at the place of the Sabbath, which was sometimes near the parochial burial-ground: and at other times near the seashore in the neighbourhood of Rocquaine Castle: where, upon arrival, she met often fifteen or sixteen Wizards and Witches with the Devils who were there in the form of dogs, cats, and hares: which Wizards and Witches she was unable to recognise, because they were all blackened and disfigured: it was true, however, that she had heard the Devil summon them by their names, and she remembered among others those of Fallaise and Hardie; confessed that on entering the Sabbath: the Devil wishing to summon them commenced with her sometimes. Admitted that her daughter Marie, wife of Massy, now condemned for a similar crime, was a Witch: and that she took her twice to the Sabbath with her: at the Sabbath after having worshipped the Devil, who used to stand upon his hind legs, they had connection with him under the form of a dog; then they danced back to back. And after having danced, they drank wine (she did not know what colour it was), which the Devil poured out of a jug into a silver or pewter goblet; wine did not seem to her so good as that which was usually drunk; they also ate white bread which he presented to them—she had never seen any salt at the Sabbath.

Confessed that the Devil had charged her to call, as she passed, for Isabel le Maygne: when she came to the Sabbath, which she had done several times. On leaving the Sabbath the Devil incited her to commit various evil deeds: and to that effect he gave her certain black powders, which he ordered her to throw upon such persons and cattle as she wished; with this powder she perpetrated several wicked acts which she did not remember: among others she threw some uponMr Dolbell, parish minister: and was the occasion of his death by there means. With this same powder she bewitched the wife of Jean Maugues: but denied that the woman’s death was caused by it: she also touched on the side, and threw some of this powder over the deceased wife of Mr Perchard, the minister who succeeded the said Dolbell in the parish, Sentence of Death having been pronounced against Collette Du Mont, widow of Jean Becquet; Marie, her daughter, wife of Pierre Massy; and Isabel Becquet, wife of Jean Le Moygne; the same have confessed as follows:— she being enceinte at the time, and so caused the death of her and her infant—she did not know that the deceased woman had given her any cause for doing so. Upon the refusal of the wife of Collas Tattevin to give her some milk: she caused her cow to dry up, by throwing upon it some of this powder: which cow she afterwards cured again by making it eat some bran, and some terrestrial herb that the Devil gave her.

* As regards these colons, occurring where they are not required, Mr. Pitts observes they correspond to similar pauses in the original records, and evidently indicate the successive stages by which the story was wrung from the wretched victims. They are thus endowed with a sad and ghastly significance, for it must be remembered that the confessions were not made a connected form, but were elicited by leading questions, often accompanied by a fresh spell of torture.

Confessions of witches under torture
Before AMICE DE CARTERET, Esq., Bailiff,
and the Jurats.
JULY 4th, 1617.