Wednesday, October 12, 2022





How Demons prepare, for those whom they have won by their Cunning, Drugged Powders,* Wands, Ointments and Various Venom's of the sort: some of which cause Death, some only Sickness, and some even Healing, And how these things are not always, or for all Men, poisonous: since there may be found some who are uninjured by frequent Applications of them, notably they whose Office and Business it is to condemn itches to Death.

FROM the very beginning the Devil was a murderer (S. John viii), and never has he ceased to tempt the impious to commit slaughter and parricide. Therefore it is no wonder that, once he has caught men in his toils, his first care is to furnish them with the implements and in- struct them in the practices of witchcraft. And lest the business should be delayed or hindered through lack of poison or difficulty in administering it, he provides them at the very first with a fine powder which must infallibly cause the sickness or death of those against whom it is used: nor does its harmfulness of necessity depend upon its being mingled with a man’s food or drink, or applied to his bare flesh; for it is enough if but his clothes be lightly dusted with it. The powder which kills is black; that which only causes sickness is ashen, or sometimes reddish in color. And since witches are often led by fear or bribery, and sometimes even by pity (of which they claim that they are not entirely destitute), to heal those who have been stricken in this manner, they are not without a remedy to their hand; for they are given a third powder, white in color, with which they dust the sick, or mix it with their food or drink, and so the sickness is dispersed, And these drugs of varying properties and virtue are distinguishable only by their color. Claude Fellet (at Maziéres, 9th Nov., 1584), Jeanne le Ban (at Masmunster, 3rd Jan., 1585), Colette Fischer (at Gerbeville, 7th May, 1585), and nearly all the women of their fellowship, record that they always found the effects of their powders such as we have said. But this distinction in the colors is not so much to ensure the selection of the required poison (for the drugs owe their potency to the Demon, not to any inherent properties of their own), as a visible sign of the pact between the witch and the Demon, and a guarantee of faith. Matteole Guilleraca (at Mazidres, 4th Dec., 1584) and Jeanne Alberte (at S. Pierre-Mont, 8th Nov., 1581) add that although the ashen-colored powder does not as a rule cause a fatal sickness, it has nevertheless the power to kill when it is first received by witches after their enlistment in that army of wickedness; for that initial step has a kind of preference.

But it is a matter of no small wonder that witches not only impregnate with such poisons articles of which the purpose and use is to drive away Demons, but even make use of them during the very time of prayer and the performance of the Sacraments. At Seaulx, 11th Oct., 1587, Jacobeta Weher was envious of the lover of the daughter of her fellow-countrymen Pétrone, but could not injure her as she wished; for the girl had emphatically bidden her beware of trying to harm her. But at last, under pretext of doing something else, she infected an asperge with the poison powder and sprinkled the girl with it as she was praying in church: and at once she was stricken with a mortal sickness and soon after died. At Blainville, 16th Jan., 1587, the whole neighbourhood, except Alexée Belheure, had been invited to a feast given by a noble knight named Darnielle on the occasion of his son’s baptism. Ill brooking this slight, she evaded the observation of those who were carrying the newly baptized child and, sprinkling it with a poison powder of this kind, killed it.

And since it is not convenient for them always to keep this powder ready in their hand to throw, they have also wands imbued with it or smeared with some unguent or other venomous matter, which they commonly carry as if for driving cattle. With these they often, as it were in joke, strike the men or the cattle which they wish to injure: and that this is no vain or innocent touch is testified by the confessions of Francois Fellet (at Maziéres, 19th Dec., 1583), Marguereta Warner (at Ronchamp, 1st Dec., 1586), Matteole Guilleret ‘at Pagny-sur-Moselle, 1584), and Jacobeta Weher whom I have just mentioned.

Yet there are those who, thanks to some singular blessing from Heaven, are immune from such attacks ;* for witches have not always unlimited power against all men, as Jeanne Bransaint (at Condé-sur-l’Escaut, July, 1582) and Catharina Ruffe (at ille-sur-Moselle, 28th July, 1587) have recorded that they were more than once informed by their Demons. I remember questioning that woman of Nancy called Lasnier (Asinaria), from her husband the ass-driver, upon the statements of the witnesses, and especially concerning this particular point; and she spoke with great indignation as follows: “It is well for you Judges that we can do nothing against you! For there are none upon whom we would more gladly work our spite than you who are always harrying us folk with every torture and punishment.” Jaqueline Xaluétia (at Grand-Bouxiéres-sous-Amance, 29th April, 1588), freely and without any previous questioning, acknowledged the same. ‘his woman, having long been suspected of witchcraft, was put in chains; but after a little she was liberated by order of the Judge, because she had endured all the torture of her questioning in an obstinate silence. After much turning of the matter over in her mind, she could not rest until she had worked some evil upon the Judge who had treated her with such severity; for the filthy rabble of witches is commonly desirous of revenge. Therefore she ceased not to pester her Demon to find some safe and easy way for her to vent her spite: but he, knowing her folly towards herself in this matter, kept pleading different excuses for postponing the affair and inventing reasons why he should not comply with her wish. But at length, since Xaluétia did not cease to importune him, he told her in shame and grief that, in place of that fortune which he had often foretold for her, her own folly and impotence would be exposed and would betray her. “I have always, my Xaluétia,” he said, “endured very hardly the unbridled severity of those executioners towards you, and often in the past have I had a mind to be revenged : but I openly admit that all my attempts come to nothing. For they are in His guardianship and protection who alone can oppose my designs. But I can repay these officers for their persecutions by causing them to share in a common disaster, and will strike the crops and the fields far and wide with a tempest and lay them waste as much as I am able.”

This is not unlike the statement of Nicole Moréle {at Serre, 24th Jan., 1587), that Demons are impregnated and seared with an especial hatred towards those who put into operation the Jaw against witches, but that it is in vain that they attempt or seek to wreak any vengeance against them. See how God defends and protects the authority of those to whom He has given the mandate of His power upon earth, and how He has there- fore made them partakers of His prerogative and honor, calling them Gods even as Himself (Ps. lxxxii) : so that without doubt they are sacrosanct and, by reason of their duty and their office, invulnerable even to the spells of witches. Indeed they are not even bound in the least by the commands of the Demons themselves, even though they may have previously vowed allegiance to them and have been touched with the stain of that oath, For that witches benefit by the protection of the sanctity of a Magistrate's office (at least for as long as they hold such office), so that they are free from all the most importunate complaints and instigation of their Little Masters, who testified by  Didier Finance (at Saint-Dié, 14 July, 1581), who said that during the whole period of his magistracy he never once saw his familiar spirit, who at all other times had been his most sedulous adviser on every occasion. Therefore let the Magistrate undertake his duties with confidence, knowing that he is pursuing a vocation in which he will always have God as his champion and protector. By reason of a like sanctity Marcus, in the De Operatione Daemonum of Psellus, tells that his Demon uttered no sound upon the days when the Crucifixion and Resurrection are commemorated,* although he strove his utmost to do so. Moreover, the poisons which Demons give to witches are thus harmless only to those Judges whom I have just mentioned: for there can be no doubt that the poisons which they gather and concoct with their own hands are equally injurious to all men else and are imbued with equal venom against all. It has, more- over, often been proved by experience that witches also have their own laboratories stuffed full of animals, plants and metals endowed with some natural poison; and these are so numerous and various that they ma be reckoned as many as those ‘which Agamedet in Homer (iliad, xi. 741) is said to have known:

“Who knew all poisons that the wide earth breeds.” For they are in the discipline and service of that Master who is ignorant of nothing which has power to destroy men.

But I would rather that such matters remain hidden in the bosom of Nature than that, through my naming them, they should come to any man’s know- ledge. And it is for this reason that I have always been led, whenever I have found such things written down in the examination of prisoners, to have them altogether suppressed: or at least I would advise, or rather admonish, the actuary to omit them when he reads out such examinations in public. For in Lorraine it is the custom to refer the judgement of capital crimes to the votes of the ignorant and excited multitude, given them full power, and having no regard to the provocation caused by a public exhibition of the accused; although this is contrary to the recommendation of the Duumvirs of Nancy, to whom the whole matter should first be referred. Would that these matters were not now so publicly known! But it has indeed come to pass after the wont of mankind, who with impetuous rashness thrust into the light those matters which should more particularly be kept hidden; and the memory of such things lives longer and is often more curious and pleasant to dwell upon than that of natural human happenings. In this way the Scholiast of Theocritus* wrote that after many ages he saw with wonder at Mount Selinus in Sicily the very mortars in which Circe and Medea brewed their poisons. And if men have so prized the mere implements, as if they were the earthen lamp of Epictetus, what must we think they would have done if they had found the actual poisons, or the secret rule of compounding them inscribed upon some monument?


* “drugged powders.’ It was believed that witches spread plague and pestilence by means of these diabolical powders. During the visitation of sickness at Milan in 1598 it was popularly held that a band of sorcerers had engaged themselves to disseminate the disease. For the same reason the plague of Milan in 1629-30 was known as “La Beste degli Untori.” These wrelches daubed walls, doors, and furniture with some purulent matter, and they also scat- tered magic powders in a circle up and down the streets. To set foot in one of these meant certain destruction. See my “Geography of Witchcraft,” pp. 2. See also Boguet, “An Examen of Witches” (John Rodker, 1929), chapter xxiii, “Of the Powder Used by Witches.”

* “immune from such attacks.” King James J in his ‘“Damonologie,” Second Book, chapter vi, discusses what power witches may have to harm the Magistrate. “If he be slothful towards them, God is very able to make them instruments to waken and punish his sloth.” But if he is diligent in examining and punishing of them: “GOD will not permit their master to trouble or hinder so good a work. ... For where God begins Justly to strike by his lawful Lieutenants, it is not in the Devils power to defraud or bereave him of the office, or effect of his powerful and revenging Scepter”

* The passage is thus turned by Pierre Morelle in his Latin version of the UWepi *Evepycas Aatusvev, I quote from the Paris edition of Gilbert Gaulmyn, 1615: ““Siquidem sub Cructs Passionisque dies, atque ipsam nobis uenerandam Resurrectionem, nihil omnino mthi, quamlibet exoptanti suggerere uult.””

+ xpeoBuréry 8 Osyarp’ dye tardy

“Ayanniny, Hréca déppaxa 787 doa rpépe etpea xOaiv.

The scholiast on Theocritus, I, 16, says that Agamede is the witch Perimede.

*Theocritus, II, 14-16: Xaip’ ‘Exéra BaowAjry xal és rédos Sup érdda Séppaxa ravt’ IpSoura xepeova pire re Képras paren MoSclas pajre gavbas DepyofSas.

Witches In The Appalachia! Witchcraft, Granny Magic, Moon Dr's & Healer's Of The Mountains

THE BLUE RIDGE WITCH - A Ghastly Story from Appalachia, at Tilley Church Cemetery in Fannin Cty. GA.