witchcraft

An illustration of a witches sabbath with the Devil seated in the center from Laurent Bordelon’s satirical work A History of the Ridiculous Extravagancies of Monsieur Oufle, 1710. Similar to Don Quixote, the titular character reads too many books, in this case books on “Magick, the Black-Art, Daemoniacks, Conjurers, Witches etc”, and it rots his brain, causing him to have fantastic delusions. Image: University of Glasgow Library. Full French text: archive.org


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A glamour is a spell cast by faeries, witches, sorcerers, and deities to make people or things appear more attractive. It can give the appearance of youth, beauty, turn rags into luxurious clothing, and make worthless objects appear to be treasures.

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The mandrake is a mythologized plant with a root that looks like a human figure. The root is poisonous and hallucinogenic, it was once a common anesthetic and potion ingredient. Legends say mandrakes scream and cry when uprooted—killing anyone who hears. So use safe harvesting methods! Image: Ernte eines Alrauns (Medicina antiqua), 1250

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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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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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A wild witches’ sabbath from the book of black magic, “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Gensis) Volume 2, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. 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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The names, figures, seals and amulet sigils for each angel of the seven days of the week. From “The discouerie of witchcraft” by Reginald Scot, 1584. Source: Wellcome Library


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