The Black Mass is still celebrated today. However, just as all Churches have updated their dogma, streamlined their theology, the Black Mass has also undergone modern revision. The classic Black Mass was performed by an expelled, unfrocked or renegade priest. His acolytes or assistants were female and dressed in church vestments. One dressed in red was a prostitute. The other dressed in white a virgin.
The Host was black instead of white, often made up of body wastes, with markings or images considered blasphemous by the church. Not infrequently it had an image of Satan stamped on it. The chalice was of either wood or metal and preferably the skull of a dead criminal. Instead of wine the chalice contained blood, and sometimes urine. The altar was covered with a black cloth, sometimes just a slab on stone on which were placed the candles, skull, bowls.
The candles were made with human fat, mixed with sulphur and were black. The candle-holders represented the zodiac and were made of ebony. The incense was a mixture of sulphur, alum, asafoetida and herbs, often foul-smelling. The High Priest sometimes wore black vestments with a white silk cape emblazoned with fir cones. Other times he wore purple or scarlet robes. The crucifix is turned upside down and so is the Bible when used. The latter was supposedly bound in the skin of an unbaptised infant who died.
There were 7, 9 or 13 candles usually arranged to form an inverted triangle ("Holy Trinity"). In the more debauched of the Black Masses the blood of a sacrificed child or female was mixed with the wine and given to the celebrants. The Black Mass begins by an Invocation to the Devil. The Lord's Prayer is recited backwards. Then there's a mock confession. The Sign of the Cross is made with the left hand but done in reverse.
The chalice is then passed around and the celebrants drink the wine mixed with blood and sometimes urine. The High Priest elevates the Black Host (and often one taken from the Catholic Mass itself). He then stabs the host with the same knife used in the blood sacrifice. He spits on it and then throws the host on the ground, and the celebrants, with screams of exultation, trample it underfoot. After this the contents of the chalice are poured over the desecrated and dissected host.
The weird witchcraft ritual that followed was this: It was believed that anyone who got a piece of the bloodstained host could then and there hold it up and call out the name of his chief enemy cursing him and wishing him injury or death. It was believed that this would hurt his enemy and perhaps kill him. The ending of the Black Mass was usually an orgy where everyone ate, drank, became drunk, indulged themselves in all lands of sexual acts ... that is, those who weren't either too full or too drunk to do so.
There are many variations on the Black Mass. The modern Black Mass generally eliminates the obnoxious features such as drinking blood, urine, human or animal sacrifices etc. And as for orgies or sexual license the Black Mass isn't needed for that! The Black Mass and the Witches Sabbath are closely interrelated, though not necessarily one and the same. Generally they are celebrated in the nude, everyone holding hands and dancing around the altar with their backs turned. The sexual orgies followed, far from being a Christian abomination, were really throw-backs to the primitive origins of most religions, phallic worship, its evidences still revealed in modern churches. It was the veneration of the creative power represented by Linga and Yoni.
Two of the witches I interviewed performed the Black Mass. But they did it out of contempt for Catholicism and all its rituals and not out of any sense of evil, and they certainly didn't believe in any of the superstitions connected with Middle Age witches, e.g. intercourse with the devil, kissing his backside, flying on brooms or sacrificing innocent for the sake of satanic power.
According to the Bible since Satan was allowed to enter Paradise he could not be considered the absolute antithesis of God. He was merely the being called upon to perform the more unpleasant deeds of God, Here he is seen trying the patience of Job.
They consider black witches such as Catherine de Medici, who was responsible for the massacre of St. Bartholomew, and who employed an apostate priest who was a black magician to help her in her sorcery, as someone who was criminally insane. Her use of wax images of people she hated to torture them was in the realm of witchcraft. But when she had an innocent young child dressed in white prepared to receive the Holy Communion, and then had her sorcerer chop off his head, this was murder.
The bleeding head was placed on a black host and both placed on an altar with burning lights. Her sorcerer recited incantations and demanded that the devil speak through the lips of the severed head. It has been recorded that they did hear a strange voice but not what was said. Anyway this ritual was performed to save the dying king of France, Charles IX. He died anyway.
The son of Catherine de Medici, Henri de Valois, continued the practice of black magic and the Black Mass in the turrets of his castle in the Bois de Vincennes. After he died a whole collection of Black Mass and black magic items were discovered. There were two silver satyrs turning their backs on the cross and with large crystal bowls behind them. These were used for potions, drugs, libations. There was also the dressed skin of a child, black candles, and other weird objects used La sorcery.
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