Devils pact

Hell Really Exists

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Exactly at dawn, use a new knife to cut a fork-shaped wand from the twig of a wild nut tree that has never borne fruit. Take the wand, a magic bloodstone and consecrated candles to the site of the ritual, preferably a ruined castle or deserted house, where one will be undisturbed and receive whatever treasures the demon produces. With the bloodstone, draw a triangle on the ground or floor, and place the candles on the side of it. Stand in middle of the triangle, hold the wand and recite the required invocation. When the work is finished, recite another incantation to dismiss the demon.

Stories of Devil's pacts were common from the Middle Ages to the 16th and 17th centuries. Typically, the victim was not a witch but an ordinary person who was vulnerable to temptation. Satan or a demon would appear, sometimes as a man and sometimes as an animal, and offer to help. The pact would last for a specified number of years, at which time Satan would collect: the victim would die and his soul would go to hell. Perhaps the best-known tale is the story of Faust, a scientist and alchemist who sells his soul to the demon Mephistopheles in exchange for youth and lust. These moralistic stories were publi cized through pamphlets and portrayed Satan as a trickster. The victim, despite his or her supernatural favors, usually came to a dreadful demise. Sometimes the Virgin Mary would intercede for the victims and snatch the pacts away from the Devil.

During the witch hunts, the Devil's pact took on new resonance. Witches were said to derive their powers from Satan, which required entering into a pact with him. The purpose of the pact was portrayed less as personal gain than as the deliberate and malicious intent to harm others, and a renunciation of God and the Christian faith. Christian demonologists created a substantial body of literature on Devil's pacts and the alleged rituals surrounding them—and the punishment that should be meted out for such acts. A representative view was expressed by Johann Trithemius (1462-1516), abbot and scholar, in his work, Liber Octo Quaestionum:

Witches are a most pestiferous class, who enter on pacts with demons, and, after making a solemn profession of faith, dedicate themselves, in lasting obedience, to some particular demon. No one can describe the evils of which this class of beings is guilty. Hence they

Witches are a most pestiferous class, who enter on pacts with demons, and, after making a solemn profession of faith, dedicate themselves, in lasting obedience, to some particular demon. No one can describe the evils of which this class of beings is guilty. Hence they

Witchcraft Magazine

countersigned by Lucifer, Beelzebub, Satan, Elimi, Leviathan,

Devil's pact allegedly signed by Father Urbain Grandier of Loudon, Astaroth and Baalbarith countersigned by Lucifer, Beelzebub, Satan, Elimi, Leviathan, must nowhere be tolerated, but utterly and everywhere exterminated.

Demonologists and witch-hunters distinguished between two kinds of pacts: the private pact and the solemn public pact. The private pact was a vow made by a witch, sometimes with the help of another witch. It was assumed that eventually the initiate would declare his or her allegiance to the Devil publicly. The details of these pacts were obtained from accused witches through torture.

The public pact was made in a ceremony, either in a Christian church or at a sABBAT, which always took place outdoors. If held in a church—an act of sacrilege—the Devil himself was not always present; at a sabbat, he was.

According to demonologists, the initiates renounced their Christian faith and baptism, swore allegiance to Satan and promised to sacrifice to him unbaptized children, pledged an annual tribute to him and gave him a token piece of their clothing. They signed a written pact in their own blood. The Devil gave them new names and marked them with his claw (see Devil's MARK). In some accounts, the Devil stripped off the initiates' clothing and forced them to pay homage to him by kissing him on the anus (see kiss of shame).

All aspects of the ceremony were done in reverse, since Satan is the reverse of God. Crosses were held upside down and then trampled, pacts were written backwards, the initiates signed their names with their left hands and the Devil made his mark on the left side of the body.

Until the 14th century most witches were prosecuted only for the alleged harm they did to people and their animals—not just for worshiping and making pact with the Devil. The church began to press the idea that witches should be prosecuted for heresy as well. This view received a powerful impetus from the Bull of pope INNoCENT VIII (1484), which, in addition to citing various maleficia done by witches, adds, ". . . over and above this, they blasphemously renounce that Faith which is theirs by the Sacrament of Baptism . . ."

In order to prove this heresy in a witch trial, the existence of a formal pact with the Devil had to be established. Most inquisitors had little trouble with this—they simply tortured the accused until he or she confessed. Seldom was a document actually produced; it was said that the Devil conveniently took most of his pacts with him in order to protect his servants.

One notable exception to this was the trial of Father Urbain Grandier, parish priest of St.-Pierre-du-Marche in Loudun, France, in 1633. Grandier was accused of causing the nuns in Loudun to become possessed. At his trial, a Devil's pact, allegedly written backwards in Latin in his own hand and signed in blood, was produced and introduced as evidence. The pact stated:

We, the all-powerful Lucifer, seconded by Satan, Beelzebub, Leviathan, Elimi, Astaroth, and others, have today accepted the pace of alliance with Urbain Grandier, who is on our side. And we promise him the love of women, the flower of virgins, the chastity of nuns, worldly honors, pleasures, and riches. He will fornicate every three days; intoxication will be dear to him. He will offer to us once a year a tribute marked with his blood; he will trample under foot the sacraments of the church, and he will say his prayers to us. By virtue of this pact, he will live happily for twenty years on earth among men, and finally will come among us to curse God. Done in hell, in the council of the devils.

[Signed by] Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Elimi, Leviathan, Astaroth.

Notarized the signature and mark of the chief Devil, and my lords the princes of hell.

[Countersigned by] Baalberith, recorder.

Grandier was convicted and burned. Louis Gaufridi, a man who confessed to being a witch in 1611, recited his pact verbally for the inquisitors:

I, Louis Gaufridi, renounce all good, both spiritual as well as temporal, which may be bestowed upon me by God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, all the Saints of Heaven, particularly my Patron St. John-Baptist, as also S. Peter, S. Paul, and S. Francis, and I give myself body and soul to Lucifer, before whom I stand, together with every good that I may ever possess (save always the benefits of the sacraments touching those who receive them). And according to the tenor of these terms have I signed and sealed.

One of Gaufridi's victims was a woman named Madeleine de la Paud (see Aix-en- Provence Possessions) who also confessed her Devil's pact:

With all my heart and most unfeignedly and with all my will most deliberately do I wholly renounce God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost; the most Holy Mother of God; all the Angels and especially my Guardian Angel, the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, His Precious Blood and the merits thereof, my lot in Paradise, also the good inspirations which God may give me in the future, all the prayers which are made or may be made for me.

The prosecution of witches solely for having pacts with the Devil increased slowly on the European continent, though convictions still required evidence of maleficia. Witch-hunting handbooks such as the Malleus Maleficarum (1486) discussed pacts in great detail.

In Protestant England, Devil's pacts were acknowledged to exist but did not play a major role in most trials, according to surviving records. The public cared little about pacts and more about what harm a witch did to her neighbors. Such maleficia were presumed possible without a pact. Of the three Parliamentary Witchcraft Acts, only the third (1604) outlawed pacts "with any evil or wicked spirit." The first oral Devil's pact was recorded in 1612, and Elizabethan witches in general were believed not to be in direct contact with Satan.

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