witchcraft

This Ritual Mask, currently housed in Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall, belonged to Alex Sanders, also known as Verbius, who was an English occultist and High Priest in the Pagan religion of Wicca.

During his black magic period, he got a job at the John Rylands Library in Manchester. An accusation that he defecated in the library basement led to the discovery that stole pages from a 19th century edition of the S.L Mathers translation of the ‘Key of Solomon’. Image: Ethan Doyle White CC-BY-SA

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The Goetic Circle of Black Evocations and Pacts, to summon Satan for a deal. The circle is formed from human skin, fastened by nails from a coffin of an executed criminal. A parricide’s skull, goat horns, a bat drowned in blood, and the head of a black cat who was fed human flesh must be placed around it. From The Book of Black Magic and Pacts, A.E. Waite, 1910. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind

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The Mystic Figures of the Enchiridion are symbols, meant to be used along with incantations and prayers, to perform transcendental magic. Most have religious symbolism and are used for spells to protect from secret enemies, wild beasts, poisoning, and bad weather, among other things. From The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, A.E. Waite, 1910. Source: archive.org

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A witch at her cauldron, standing in a magic circle, surrounded by demons. A grimoire (book of magick spells) can be seen in the right corner, and a goat, representing the Devil, can be seen behind her. Etching by Jan van de Velde II, 1626. Source: Wellcome Library

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Depiction of an unscrupulous practitioner of black magic from “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Gensis) Volume 2, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920.. The book describes this type of sorcerer as desecrating the sacred science of magick for the purposes of tyranny, personal gratification, disorder, crime, and intimidation. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind.

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Magic circle diagrams. The diagrams are to be copied on to the floor, and stood on for protection while practicing magick, particularly when summoning, spirits, fae, and demons. From “The discouerie of witchcraft” by Reginald Scot, 1584. Source: Wellcome Library

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Diagrams exposing instruments of trickery, used by charlatans in the 16th century, to claim to have magical powers. From “The discouerie of witchcraft” by Reginald Scot, 1584. The diagrams expose the following tricks: severed head on a plate, knives into and through the body, juggling, and passing a rope through the body. Source: Wellcome Library

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Initial Letters from “The Discouerie of Witchcraft..” by Reginald Scot, 1584. Source: Wellcome Library

Full title of book: “The discouerie of witchcraft, wherein the lewde dealing of witches and witchmongers is notablie detected, the knauerie of coniurors, the impietie of inchantors, the follie of soothsaiers, the impudent falshood of cousenors, the infidelitie of atheists, the pestilent practices of Pythonists, the curiositie of figurecasters, the vanitie of dreamers, the beggerlie art of Alcumystrie, the abhomination of idolatrie, the horrible art of poisoning, the vertue and power of naturall magike, and all the conueiances of legierdemaine and iuggling are deciphered. And many other things opened, which have long lien hidden, howbeit verie necessarie to be knowne. : Heerevnto is added a treatise vpon the nature and substance of spirits and diuels”

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Illustrations by Martin van Maële from the 1911 edition of the book Satanism and Witchcraft (La Sorcière) by Jules Michelet, first published in 1862. While widely inaccurate, the book was one of the first sympathetic portrayals of the history of witchcraft.

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Master Leonard is a grand-master of the nocturnal orgies of demons, and the Inspector General of sorcery, witchcraft, and the black arts. His worshipers, who he marks with his horn, sometimes have the power to turn into monstrous beasts. They throw black banquets in his honor where they eat aborted kid goats, boiled with reptiles. From Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863.

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