Malleus Maleficarum: Fourth Question

What are the demons that do this?

It is righteous to say that there is an order among demons, just as there is an order among the angels. The lesser demon spirits are tasked with performing the tasks too lowly for the major spirits. This includes the tasks of incubi and succubi. In the Holy Scriptures, when they regard incubi and succubi one cannot find mention that the demons would have these roles with any willingness.

The demons set to test us are not in Hell but in a “misty space”. I interpret that as the Purgatory.

The higher demons (and angels) are more forcibly punished if they make mistakes, as their mistakes are worsened by their station.


The question itself isn’t answered beyond the brief mention of incubi and succubi. The vileness of the human sexual life makes these demons the lowest of the low, but this answer is mostly inferred.

The chapter was however rather lengthy, but mostly consisted of proof for the above statements. Featured were the normal Church Fathers and even a few Greek philosophers.

Next up is Question Five, which is really not a question.


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!

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.