Witchcraft and the Inquisition
"When you come into the land which the Lord your
God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those
nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his
daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a
soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures
spells, or a medium, or a shaman, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do
these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations
the Lord your God drives them out from before you. " - Deuteronomy 18:9-14
"But there was a certain man called Simon, who
previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming
that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the
greatest, saying, "This man is the great power of God." And they heeded him
because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time... And when
Simon saw that through the laying on of apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was
given, he offered them money, saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on
whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "Your
money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be
purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for
your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your
wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven
you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." -
Acts 8:9-11, 18-23 In 1484 Pope Innocent the VIII,
issued a proclamation that decreed
all cats as evil and involved with
Satan because the
Egyptians had venerated cats.
As result anyone seen talking to a cat was charged with
witchcraft and burned at the stake. Any cat found was killed.
The Black Death, the
bubonic plagues that swept
Europe, were caused by the systematic extermination of cats.
plague was spread to humans from the bites of fleas that rode in on the backs
of rats from the Mongolian steepe.
Without a stable cat population to
control the rats, the fleas spread everywhere and carried the infected fleas
The King James version of the New Testament the words
"witch", "witchcraft", and "witchcrafts" are used wherever the masoretic text,
from which it is translated, has kashaph or kesheph and qesem, and the
Septuagint has pharmakeia;
similarly in the New Testament it uses 'witch', 'witchcraft', and 'witchcrafts'
to translate the pharmakeia of the underlying Greek text.
literally means herb user (a
compound word formed from the roots kash, meaning herb, and hapaleh, meaning
Pharmakeia of the Septuagint translates as
The potion preparer, the one skilled in
the use of herbs, is considered to be a practitioner of witchcraft.
Today pharmaceutical manufactures prepare potions - thay are witchcraft
The Malleus Maleficarum ("The Hammer of Witches" or the
"Hexenhammer") is considered by many to be the classic Roman Catholic text on
witchcraft, although it was in fact condemned by the Inquisition in 1490, and
never officially used by the Catholic Church.
First published in 1487,
the book is notorious for its use in the witch hunt craze of the fifteenth to
The work was originally prefaced by the papal
bull Summis desiderantes issued by Pope Innocent VIII on December 5, 1484, the
main papal document on witchcraft.
Christian demonology, the diabolical
birthmark was an indelible mark that especially Satan, or any other demon, made
in the body of those who had made a pact with him.
All witches and
warlocks were said to have that birthmark, because the diabolical pact was a
necessary condition to be such a thing.
It was believed that this
birthmark was made in a hidden place of the person's body, i.e. the armpit,
under the eye lip, in the genital zone, inside the mouth.
looked like a scar or a spot with a special shape (all this subject to
interpretation by the judges that examined the accused).
The other form
of the diabolical mark (always present in every accused according to the
tribunals that used this test) was a small zone of the body in which the
individual could not feel a prick; so it was established the proof of the
needle, in which the person's body was stung with a needle until that area was
It has been proven that every person has an insensible area in
his/her body, so all people put to this 'test' were found guilty of practicing
"At one time - not so very long ago - it
was considered monstrous wickedness to maintain that old women ought not to be burnt as
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