shutting off the seminal ducts so that no ejaculation occurred. These bewitchments were directed mostly at men because, it was said, most witches were women who lusted after men. The Devil preferred to work through witches rather than directly because that offended God more and increased the Devil's power.
The "removal" of the male organ by a witch was explained as illusion, though the Devil was said to have the power actually to take the organ away physically. A spurned mistress, for example, might be a witch who cast a spell to make her lover believe he had lost his penis—he couldn't see or feel it. The only way to restore it was to get the witch to remove the curse; if she didn't or couldn't, the effect was permanent. One story attributed to a Dominican priest tells of a young man who came to confession and proved to the father that he was missing his penis by stripping off his clothes. The priest could scarcely believe his eyes. The young man convinced the witch who'd bewitched him to remove her curse, and his penis was restored.
This type of bewitchment allegedly affected only those persons who were "sinful" fornicators and adulterers. The Devil, apparently, could not disturb the organs of the pious.
Some witches were said to collect male organs and keep them in boxes, where they wiggled and moved and ate corn and oats. The Malleus Maleficarum also tells of a man who lost his member and went to a witch to ask for it back:
She told the afflicted man to climb a certain tree, and that he might take which he like out of a nest in which there were several members. And when he tried to take a big one, the witch said: You must not take that one; adding, because it belonged to a parish priest.
Given the prevalence of folk magic in daily life in centuries past, and given the jealous and vengeful aspects of human nature, it is likely that individuals cast or paid to have cast blasting spells against neighbors and com
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