Malleus Maleficarum: Third Question

Is it righteous to claim that when witches are born or procreate incubus and succubus demons would be able to generate effects through which humans could be born?

It is not possible that demons could interbreed with humans. (Genesis 1 and 3, Matthew 19). That would make the work of the Devil stronger than the work of God. Procreation is an action of the living body, thus demons are unable to do it. Angels as spiritual creatures may transfer seed, however. In ancient times (before Noah and the Ark), demons and humans did have offspring, and those were called giants.

The Devil may change the body with the help of “another” (a witch? unsure), move the body locally and indirectly change the will and understanding of a human. This happens, as was previously stated, only if God so allows. The strength of the Devil resides in the loins of man and the navel of the woman – this is where lust resides in humans. A woman should always cover her hair with a scarf to avoid the interest of incubi.

Against the righteousness of the claim are both the Holy Writings and statements of the saints. In the works of Augustine we can however find passages about giants and pagan myths (fauns et cetera).

A demon may as a succubus take the semen of a man and as an incubus transfer it to a woman. A child thus born is the child of the man whose sperm was used.

Demons join with men to ruin their soul, not to procreate. The transfer of semen happens if God so allows.

Therefore it is not righteous to claim that children could be born from a union with a demon.


 

This question, all in all, was rather straight-forward. It was interesting to see pagan myths (from the Greek and Egyptian mythology) to be used as a basis for the answer.

Yet again though, the answer contains contradictions. If giants are the children on men and demons, how could they be born before, but not anymore? Did the will of God change? Why so drastically?

The people of that time also believed that the creation of a child required a “seed” from both the man and a woman. The mans seed came from his loins and the seed of the woman was in her navel. If you think about it, it’s not really that far from the truth as an allegory…

On to reading the next question!

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Malleus Maleficarum: Second Question

First off, I can’t believe it took me this long to actually get back to posting. Sorry about that to anyone still bothering to check here… The road to hell and best intentions and all that jazz.

Is it righteous to claim that in practicing harmful magic the demon and the witch always work together, or could one do so without the other, demon without the witch or vice versa have the same effect?

Demons may work without the witch, if God so permits. If a demon in so doing uses a witch as a tool, the witch is guiltless of the act. However, as a free agent, the witch is still guilty of fraternizing with demonic forces. For a demon to use a witch, it must touch them.

Sometimes the harmful force originates from nature.

There are four kinds of pestilences: beneficial, harmful, black magic and natural. The beneficial magic comes with the aid of angels, the harmful through “evil angels” (I assume this means demons, but that’s what reads in the book). Black magic is from demons working through witches and natural is due to planets and such outside Earth. The damaging methods have evolved through time to their current forms, and used to be simpler in ancient times.

Demons act to serve the witch to bring them to their eventual doom.

The “evil eye” is also demonic instead of natural. The most effective is the gaze of old women on young boys.

In conclusion, the witch is always a tool of demonic forces when they harm another person.


I find this book still very difficult to decipher. My notes for this question were really terse, as I really couldn’t at times decide whether the writer agreed or disagreed with the question. At first, they posit that the witch when used as a tool is innocent, but by the end of the question flip it around and say the witch should still be punished, because a human always has a free will. Thus, a person working against the laws of God willingly (even because of demonic influence) is to be tried and killed for their heresy.

I found myself agreeing with the principle of the previous question, but this one goes so far into esoteric theology -territory I really don’t know what to think. That’s one of the reasons why I can’t write more about it. I just couldn’t follow the mental gymnastics.


Well, I tried making myself a schedule to try and follow moving forward. I hope to publish Question three next week. You are free to dig out your pitchforks and other assorted lynching tools and come find me if I fail this.

On another note, I hope to get a post up about what I have been actually doing instead of posting before that. I have been reading, at least, so I should have something to say about that at least…

Malleus Maleficarum: First Question

Is the claim that users of magic exist so true, that to say the opposite is heresy?

Basically, this question and the succeeding chapter seek to prove the existence of magical forces in the world. First, we are presented with the most common claims to the opposite, namely that only God may change things within the world or in the human body. Through this it must then also be true that demons and witches have no powers.

These claims are then debunked, using Bible verses and writings of such wise old men as Augustine and Ambrosius among others. Unfortunately I’m not that familiar with such works as summa contra gentiles, de civitate Dei and de doctrina christiana as to argue with any of the arguments… and my latin is sketchy at best.

The basic ideas presented to us are as follows: God may want to use the magic as a punishment for the victim and thus allows the evil to happen; the Bible gives examples of God allowing demons to have an influence; and God’s law decrees that witches must die. Isn’t that an irrefutable argument for witches existing if anything, so bad they must die? Ancient laws against fortune telling, scrying and witchcraft also serve as prove to the existence of magic.

We arrive then to the conclusion that the Devil and demons may work in the world by themselves or through magic users if God so allows. These magic users, if caught, must then be punished as decreed in law. We are also reminded that everyone should turn in their neighborhood witch.


I daresay it took me an hour to get an understanding of the chapter. I’m not particularly sure I still understood everything right, and this book is in my first language. Oh my, I do not know how I’ll pull this through. I really thought there’d never be a day when I didn’t understand what I’m reading (with the exception of government forms, no one understands those).

The translator has done an amazing job, it couldn’t have been easy to tackle that particular beast. My Bible must be a bit different of the one used in the book, however, because I checked the verses and some of them ‘weren’t there’, as in the number didn’t match. In one case there was a verse, but the contents didn’t match the subject matter. It is also completely possible this is due to my inferior Bible-skills.

So far I can’t really argue with the book. If we accept the existence of God as true and Bible as truth as well, the arguments against the questions are sound.

Next up, Question Two.

Summer Reading Progress

Well, I overestimated the time I would be allowed to read in peace. As usual, my husband was unable to find anything not currently in his hand and had me fetch whichever required but conveniently forgotten item from wherever he’d left it. I did get something done, though, and in honor of it I shall tell you as well.

Catherine the Great & Potemkin got the most love, 2/3 and a bit read. I wanted to finish it but realized I’d probably have no time to read anything else, and so put it down to rest. I thought I knew most of what I really needed to know on the subject, but I never knew how wrong I was. ‘Potemkin villages’ were just lies made up by people jealous of his accomplishments: few claimed as such include Odessa, Sevastopol and Dniepropetrovsk (originally Ekaterinoslav). Potemkin used the majority of his later life building the cities in his newly conquered territories, largely with his own money or money given by Catherine.

Fascinating. I really wish I had known that when I wrote about the villages in a school essay years ago. Oh well.

My second read was the Pamuk, Museum of Innocence. I didn’t get far past the 100 page mark when I realized it’s a book better fitted for bath rather than summer cottage. Or rather, not a rainy summer cottage. Had the weather been hot and sweaty it might have worked better. Didn’t continue, but will when I next fill a bath.

I did like it, don’t get me wrong. It just didn’t have the right feeling for that place at the time.

I mentioned the weather. Yeah, turned to relative crap on the second week. The first was alright, sunny and hardly any wind. Yeah, no such luck that we’d got some real sun: the wind picked up and brought clouds from somewhere (don’t really care other than that they could’ve kept them). And the clouds chose our cottage to rain over. Periodically, just so that you have enough time to assume there’ll be no more water and dry enough go out and get comfortable.

It wasn’t cold though, so it was bearable. My husband went back with his brother and it’s apparently 14°C and raining now.

The third attempt was my re-read project of the Shadowmarch Quartet. Got a decent chunk down between rainy spells, but I’ll have a long way to go before I get past the familiar ground.

I’m not entirely happy with my progress, but hey, as I said, I had other stuff to do. Like the sauna, the beer and general relaxation. Also, I did manage to clean the entire upper cottage, it was filthy. Clearly no one had bothered to mob the floors in years and whole generations of beetles had gone to die under the dinner table (I don’t know why it’s there, there’s really no need nor room).

And don’t get me started on the ants that had infested the wall next to the built-in bed. I had to sleep on it for two nights and I spent the whole night in fetal position trying to not touch the walls to not get ants on me.The ants had also left a lot of sawdust behind from their tunneling in the walls.

That’s enough for now, I suppose. I’ll get back to it when I actually get something finished…

Reading Journal #1 Malleus Maleficarum

I know, I know, it isn’t on my list! But I have an edit already on the way and it will be there.

So, this is officially the first part of my second ever reading journal. I managed to get a Finnish translation of the book at the Helsinki book fair last year.

malleus_maleficarum_noitavasara

Picture from the publisher’s website.

It was very expensive the first I saw it, but now the publisher was selling them for somewhat cheaper and gave a little gift on the side. A little booklet on recognizing a witch.

The printer/publisher is known for all sort of religious/mystic works. I’ve bought some of their books before and it’s on my list in the form of the Lönnrot reprint already. The originals are for obvious reasons absurdly rare today (having been in print originally in the mid-late 19th century) and the reprints were very much needed.

Were I richer than I am today I’d buy a good few. Alas.

As for Die Hexenhammer, I’ve seen references to it in places many times. It’s been categorized as unreachable in my mental to-read -list for years. Then, two years ago, it was published in Finnish! Oh joy! Obvious must have.

Now, to actually get forth and read it, for sure: the journal.

I haven’t actually started reading yet. I now something of the subject matter and this book will certainly bring new insight. It’s not that long, 350 or so pages plus the appendices.From what I’ve leafed through it I know there are tons of biblical references that will certainly be meaningless to me.

Also there seems to be a lot of Latin. Woe is me for never being able to attend that Latin class in high school. I have the book it would have required (the teacher retired unexpectedly after we’d picked our classes and bought our books) saved. I suck at studying solo if it’s something that requires practice like languages invariably do.

Transformation, Translocation, Weather control… The modern world is so boring, not having any of those! Although they’re then balance out by Castration. Hmm.

I’ll get reading and get back to you on it. With some interesting tidbits and something. I don’t really know what it’s supposed to contain, but I’ll manage.

You can beat me up verbally if I seem to give up on this one.