satanism

The Adversary is an archetype found across cultures, manifesting as figures such as Satan, the Devil, Iblis, Mephistopheles, and Samael. Sometimes depicted as separate from God and other times an agent of them, this figure represents the inclination of evil in humanity.

Images: Hell, Hans Memling, 1485 | Satan, Gustave Doré, in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, 1866 | Adam and the Angels watched by Iblis, Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī, 1415 | Jacob Wrestles with the Angel Samael, Gustave Doré, 1855

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Depiction of The Devil (almost certainly) surrounded by demon names and corresponding sigils from “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 2, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind


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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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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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