black magic

A sorcerer casting a shadow of The Devil by candle light. From “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 1, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind

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Calendarium Naturale Magicum Perpetuum, 1620. Created by the alchemist and esoteric author Johann Baptist Grossschedel von Aicha, this chart acts as a grimoire and reference. The three sheets together measure to four feet long and two feet wide.

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Gartiraf is a flying demon of disease described in the Liber de Angelis who serves under Bilet. Summoners can invoke his name for a curse or send him, and his flying underlings, to afflict their enemies with illness, fever, trembling & weakness. Digital collage by Eve Harms, licensed under CC-BY-SA

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A Hand of Glory is a severed, pickled hand of a hanged evildoer, either the left hand or the hand that did the evil dead. When combined with a candle made from the evildoer’s fat, it has the power to unlock doors and freeze people in place. The candle’s flame can only be put out with milk, and only shows to its holder. Photo of a Hand of Glory on display at Whitby Museum by Badobadop

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Familiars are spirits who assist witches and other sorcerers, either by being conjured or mutual agreement. Depending on who they serve, they’re considered demons, fairies, or other spirits. They appear ordinary, usually manifesting as animals, and sometimes humans.

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Diagram of magickal instruments described in Trithemius’ Book of Secrets: a magic circle, crystal, the Holy Table of Arch Angel Michael, incense/herb burner, magic wand, and candles. From The Book of the Magi, Francis Barrett, 1896. Source: Wellcome Library


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Depiction of a sorcerer’s lair from the chapter entitled “Inventory of the Sorcerer’s Arsenal” in the book “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 1, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind


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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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Seals and characters for summoning the greater demons Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Astaroth. In order of effectiveness, the symbols must be drawn in either: the sorcerer’s blood, the blood of a sea turtle, or engraved on emerald or ruby. From Grimorium Verum (16th Century) and The Grand Grimore (18th Century). Source: “The book of black magic and of pacts”, A.E. Waite, Embassy of the Free Mind


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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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