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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in devil

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
In Praise of 'Rosemary's Baby'

"Anything they say about us becomes ours, to do with as we please."

(C. F. Moore)

 

If (like me) you're one of those who has read pretty much everything that there is to read on the subject of witches, let me ask you: what do you think of J. R. Hanslet's 1933 All of Them Witches?

Isn't it a classic? Beautiful writing, good research, and—best of all—all that hot, hot information on what the Craft looked and felt like back BW (Before Wicca).

If you've got a copy (that beautifully-crafted J. Waghorn edition, with the real gold lettering and the black goatskin binding), hold onto it. It's never been reprinted, and (if you can find one), it will go for more than $1300.

Ha! Gotcha! If you think that you've read Hanslet's magnum opus, apparently you're one of those witches (gods know there are plenty of us out there) who can't admit that there's anything Craft-related that she doesn't know. Call it the Granny Weatherwax Syndrome.

In fact, you can't have read J. R. Hanslet's All of Them Witches because there is no such book. It's straight out of Ira Levin's brilliant 1967 witchsploitation novel Rosemary's Baby. Remember? It's the book that Hutch leaves to Rosemary that enables her to figure out that her neighbors (the ones who brought over the black candles during the big power outage) are actually witches and are planning to sacrifice her baby to Satan.

Or so she thinks.

“It's a religion,” she tells her husband (but it turns out he's a witch too). “It's an early religion that got—pushed into the corner” (177).

Personally, I think Rosemary's Baby is required reading for every modern witch: a little black gem of a novel, beautifully structured, with lots of twists and a delicious hermeneutic of suspicion. Don't trust anyone: they're all of them witches.

And, I mean. When, in the closing scene, Roman Castevet ( Steven Marcato) cries out: “He shall overthrow the mighty and lay waste their temples! He shall redeem the despised and wreak vengeance in the name of the burned and the tortured!” (236). Well, really, how can you help but chime in with a Hail Satan! or two, regardless of whether you actually believe in him or not?

Whenever I'm drawing up a bibliography on the Craft that lists enough books to make it inconspicuous, I almost always slip J. R. Hanslet's All of Them Witches in amongst the others. For those in the know, it'll read as a joke. For those that aren't, well...let 'em wonder. The god of witches—Old Wagtail Himself—is a notorious Trickster, and we, his children, are like him.

Because, best of all, Rosemary's Baby is a true story. That bit about the Horned siring children on mortal women: it's all true. In fact, my dear brother or sister in the Craft, he sired you.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
So You Want to Be a Witch?

So, you want to be a witch, do you?

Well, here's what you do.

Friday night, go up to the old Indian graveyard up top the ridge.

Take off every stitch of clothing and dance, dance for the Devil.

Then get dressed and go back home.

The next Friday, do the same, and the one after that. Nine weeks running, you do this.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
For 'Devil' Read: 'Horned One'

Take any proverb with the word “devil” in it.

Substitute “Horned One.”

See what you get.

***

Needs must, when the Horned One drives.

Echoes of the Wild Hunt, here. That's Him all right: driving us to action (or at least flight). Why do you think the Scourge is His symbol?

Between the Horned One and the deep blue Sea.

Oof. Choose between the Lady and the Horned. Meaning: an impossible choice.

When you sup with the Horned One, best bring a long spoon.

This one's old, going back to the days of the common bowl. Back then, everyone carried his own spoon. Since the Horned One feeds everyone from his cauldron, the long spoon would be well-advised. When you're dealing with the powerful, best be well-prepared.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Demon Seed

It was a big theological problem for the church.

Witches have sex with devils. (Everybody knows that.) Sometimes these acts result in pregnancies. Since devils, like angels, don't really have bodies, and therefore can't actually produce semen, how can this be?

According to Dominican theologian Alonso Tostado (d. 1455), these interspecies (?) matings produce children because the devils make use of actual human semen spilled in masturbation or other non-procreative sexual acts.

So gentlemen, it's up to us. There's a whole new generation of witch babies out there, just waiting to be sired. It's time to get to work and spill some seed.

You could even call it a religious duty.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Old Granny Nicburne

Old Granny Nicburne kept the Devil upstairs in an old black kettle.

Look on in, and you'd swear you were looking down an old, dry well.

And there at the bottom, looking back up, two eyes like a couple of fires.

 

They say one night a fellow broke into Granny's place, whilst she was up to the mountain at one of her jamborees.

Puzzled the sheriff no end.

Broke in, didn't steal nothing; just plain vanished into thin air.

Footprints in the dust led on up the stairs, and into an empty room, with nothing inside it but a deer skull in an old kettle.

Full set of prints going up those stairs.

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The Devil (at the Crossroads)

Saturday, June 8, 2017 is International Tarot Day!  Trivia is celebrating by participating in the worldwide blog hop.  When you are done dancing with the Devil at the Crossroads, please be sure to hop backwards to enjoy Kimberly's post (also) about the Devil, and hop forward to take a tryst Janet in the Tower.  How are you celebrating tarot today?  What's your favorite way to enjoy the cards?  You can also check out the master list of blog hop participants over at Falcon Cloak Tarot.  Finally, Much love and thanks to Bree Ferguson at Nym’s Divination for putting this blog hop together!

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  • kimberly essex
    kimberly essex says #
    What a great exploration of the Devil card, Trivia! I love how you bring life to all that is said about this card. “That which is
Keeper of the Book of England: Tracking Down a Pioneer of the Horned God Revival

Today, he's almost entirely forgotten.

But he was one of the pioneers of the Horned God revival in the 20th century.

Hans Holzer's 1969 book The Truth About Witchcraft was my second book about modern witchery. (The first was Sybil Leek's Diary of a Witch.) In it, he treats mostly with witchcraft of the Gardnerian and Gardnerian-derived varieties.

But A. Damon was different.

Damon lives with his wife upriver, writes Holzer, “within the frame-work of witch law,” as he put it when he invited me to drop in for a visit, and his “logo” or symbol is an interesting combination of the Horned God's horns and sex organs within a triangle (150).

My 14-year old's ears pricked up immediately.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    From your lips to Old Hornie's furry, pointed ear, Mike. Holzer mentions his pagan film-in-the-making in practically every one of
  • Mike W
    Mike W says #
    Huson, Holzer, Leek. Some of the early influences on me as well. I corresponded with Mike Howard also, he was a real scholar as
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    When I saw Fred Addams' Apple Kore on the Jacket of New Pagans, it was love at first sight. Nigh on 50-some years later, I still
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember reading Holzer and Leek back in the 70's along with Journey to Ixtlan and Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. I don't think
  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak says #
    Oh yes - I was very influenced by them as well. (Darkover too! And Kurtz's Deryni.) I highlighted "New Pagans" because I started o

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