Title: Russian Black Magic: The Beliefs and Practices of Heretics and Blasphemers.
Author: Natasha Helvin.
Genre: Non-fiction, occult, religion.
Publication Date: 2019.
Summary: Born in the USSR and descended from a matrilineal line of witches, the author offer a look into the secret practices of Russian post-Christian black magic. Drawing on personal experiences, she provides insight into the fundamental ideology of black magic practitioners, from the universal laws of magic to the principles of morality. Exploring the history of occult practices in Russia, particularly the profound effects of Christianity and the birth of a specifically anti-Christian but Christian-adjacent and Christian-blended branch of magic, the author explains cemetery magic, sacrifices, the creation of hell icons, places of power, and much more.
My rating: 4/10.
♥ Slavic black magic is a system of ancient sorcery that originates with the black images of Kievan Rus (Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia in 882-1240). Those mages, whose ancient spells were mostly destructive, were called black practitioners.
Sometime after the violent baptism of Russia (990-991) into the Orthodox faith, a new tradition based on old-world witchcraft began to take form.
♥ Competent mages never call themselves magicians. It should be noted that the word magic is applicable only for the circus and theatrical performances of mage-illusionists. ..A real expert in the field of witchcraft will never demonstrate anything in public, on a dare, or for other's curiosity, as is the lot of circus illusionists and theater mages. More precisely, this craft is called sorcery.
♥ In the Russian world the word witch comes from the word vedat (meaning "know/be aware of" and "mother). This word literally translates as "leading mother." Witch in Russian means "woman who has knowledge and special skills and knows how to use them."
♥ Before Russia adopted Christianity in the tenth century, the common attitude toward mages was quite respectful. After all, these unusual people were considered intelligent and competent: they were engaged in healing and understood the forces and laws of nature. In Slavic pagan society, the mages were singled out as a special group that conducted religious rituals, prophecies, and fortune-telling. In the ancient Slavic hierarchy, the magi traditionally occupied a high place, next to the ruler. Princes came to the magi for prophecies. Mages function as spiritual mentors and intermediaries between worlds and between people and the world of invisible energy streams. A mage was considered a prophet, shaman, healer, and creator of potions. They created curses and performed rituals for exacting retribution, beguiling someone, attracting wealth and luck, and protection, as well as concocting potions composed of various herbs and insects for causing harm, stirring up passion, and other purposes. The mages could heal, conjure, and tell the future, as well as interpret the dreams and nighttime visions of ordinary people. Many people listened to them. Almost every village had a shaman or mage that people went to for advice in difficult situations.
After Christianity was adopted, people came to fear and dislike mages..
♥ Sometimes mages gather for collective ceremonies that usually include three people (most often a male mage and two female mages). Such a trio is called a braid, as a braid is usually made from three strands.
♥ Thus proponents of the Christian faith suppressed the pagan practices of various ethnic groups and by doing so these practices assumed the role of evil. These other faiths became forbidden, their language and rituals deemed repulsive. The church insisted on indiscriminately denying the history and culture of a number of ethnic groups, which led to divisions and isolation among peoples.
The church actually helped to bring the dark force of evil into people's lives. Nefore the Christian era, evil went under many different names and was not relegated to a single force or entity. These various evil forces were small and sometimes associated with natural phenomena, such as thunder, rain, fire, volcanic activity, predators, and ordinary death. With the advent of Christianity, evil was attributed solely to the devil or Satan, who resided in the underworld or hell.
The names of the familiar old gods of this or that people became, under Christianity, the names of demons. Thus, according to the Christina church, all who honored the old gods began to worship demons, Satan, and the devil. As it happens, the word demon comes from the ancient Greek δαιμων, meaning "deity, spirit, demon," which derives from δαιω, meaning "divide, share or distribute," and initially referred to a god who gave out destinies to people. With the arrival of Christianity this neutral or even beneficent god quickly became identified as a demon or equivalent to the devil.
♥ In the territory where the Slavs lived, Christianity combined with vedic (from the Russian vedat), old-world witchcraft, and so Slavic black magic was born. It differed significantly from the dark traditions of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, and yet it had the same features of a strict belief system.
..Slavic or Russian black magic has as its foundation dual faith. Dual faith is an exclusively Russian phenomenon; it has no equivalent in other cultures. The Russian people have never been fanatically Christian, and in Russia pagan belief systems were preserved and blended with Christianity after it was forcibly imposed. What distinguishes dual faith is not the Orthodox Christian component but the concept of an official, Christian, public faith.
♥ Natural mages are born very rarely. They are usually called stewards or sometimes phenoms. Often they do not even need to seek out a teacher; they naturally understand the principles of witchcraft. They just need to find a mentor for a short time (an experienced mage, preferably also natural), one who will guide them and teach them the concepts and principles of witchcraft. Sometimes natural mages are self-taught. Being a natural mage is not as enviable as it might seem; having these abilities is primarily a burden. The forces impose higher demands on natural mages than on ordinary mages and also often impose certain limitations on their personal lives.
..Ancestral mages train mainly for free by transferring knowledge to members of their own clan; they consider paying for the education unacceptable. (Ancestral and natural mages have gotten into fierce arguments about whether the training should be paid or free). Depending on the circumstances, the ancestral mage may have a blood relationship with the student; members of the clan do nor always share a blood relationship. Ancestral mages may also choose to transmit knowledge only to their own blood kinship over the course of their lives. Ancestral mages don't offer a partial transfer of knowledge to their students.
♥ One of the most well-known offshoots of the Russian mage is the Veretnics. The very name comes from the word heretic; that is, someone who believes differently from the accepted orthodoxy. Another root is the word veretno, which means "spindle"; spindles were part of initiation rites in ancient times.
Veretnic is a branch of Russian witchcraft that uses Christian objects and symbols to create blasphemy and destruction. Veretnics, unlike mages, do not engage in ordinary witchcraft. They worship the devil as the totality of all the Unclean Forces, and the demons as the incarnations of the devil. It is believed that Veretnics work directly with demons and specifically with the nine black princes led by Satan. Veretnic is fundamentally different from the traditions of devil worship in other countries (in the West, for example). It has its own unique system, which it did not borrow from other traditions, with rare exceptions. Veretnic is not, however, a religious sect.
Veretnics pray to Satan tirelessly, conduct various black rituals and masses, and try to destroy all life on Earth. Veretnics especially hate Christian Orthodox icons, which they desecrate. By destroying them, they try to prove the insignificance of the church and the greatness of their true master, the devil. A lot of Veretnic rituals are somehow connected with blasphemyt, which gives Satan and his demonic brothers great pleasure. As a rule, rituals are performed in solitude.
♥ Witchcraft and secret arts in general are associated with phases of the moon. According to the mages, Earth holds nothing but the dead in their coffins. They are ruled over by Death, the mistress of the cemeteries. God rules in heaven and does not interfere in earthly matters, though he does try to control the increasing number of human souls.
Generally speaking, all heretical mages hold the same stance on the nature of the forces of the universe. God and his son, the devil, are like the apple tree and its fruit. Neither is inherently good nor evil. They are beings of intelligent energy who have similar goals and need humans to continue existing. They believe that the human soul is in the mind, and people are intelligent energy in shells of flesh. How a man thinks and acts will determine his path in death. A man who lives by his passions will go to the devil. A man who ignores his flesh and his natural needs, who wishes to erase his ego and quickly become one with the divine light, will be absorbed by God. It's no wonder that Satan is called the prince of this world. Whoever lives in worldly ways will spend his afterlife in Earth.
♥ Egregor is an occult concept representing a thoughtform or collective group mind, an autonomous psychic entity made up of and influencing the thoughts of a group of people. It is an energy form endowed with consciousness.
♥ Heretics are often criticized for opposing Christianity. But how can it be otherwise, when the religion that dominates our land was fostered in Russia for political reasons a thousand years ago? The followers of Christianity defame demons in every way, distorting the truth about the origin of humanity and of souls, supporting lies about the nature of God as a supposedly omnipotent know-it-all, and frightening ignorant people with terrible stories about eternal torments in hell. Interestingly, the threat of hell is combined with the idea of God as the source of love and good.
And yet the source of this omnipotence is invisible. In the Book of Exodus there is the phrase "No one has seen God at any time." Have you yourself seen the Lord Hod, the Heavenly Father, or even Jesus except as an image? Christians worship entities who are invisible. During the millennia of the church's history, God has not appeared to any mortal. Heretics do not worship invisible gods hiding from them in the pages of dogmatic writings. Nor do they call for all to believe blindly in an authority, such as the pope, who dreams of angelic tabernacles under the euphoric music of the church organ and who, incidentally, has never seen his master, any more than his predecessors have.
♥ At the head of the demonic pantheon are the nine great demon princes: Satan, Veligor, Versaul, Aspid, Enoch, Enarth, Death, Indik, and Mafawa. The demonic pantheon as a whole—that is, the amalgamation of demonic power—is usually called the devil. The leaders of the princes, also known as the devil's trinity, are Satan, Veligor, and Versaul. The devil's trinity is headed by the great Prince Satan.
..The devil's principalities are rules by the great Prince Satan, also known as the fallen angel Satanel. He is the eldest son of God and his right hand. He initially performed certain cruel tasks at God's behest. He, like many other angels who fell from the heavens, helped his father and took direct part in the creation of man. Satanel, after raising the rebellion, was rejected by his father and cruelly punished for all eternity. He was cast down from heaven and given the name Satan; he lost the angel suffix -el.* When God cast Satanel from the skies and into Earth, the fallen angel struck the surface so deeply that he settled in its bowels next to the Pit of Fire in a lake of magma. This was the underworld, or hell. Eight more once-majestic fallen angels were cast down after him, along with a great many assistants. All of them turned into demons in their new living conditions in Earth's fiery core.
Because he fell first, Satan settled deeper than all the others in the depths of Earth. The others who followed established their principalities in the bowels of Earth. The demons took their places in a hierarchy based on the order of their fall. Together they formed the nine circles of hell (or rather, these circles were at the threshold of hell itself), or the nine great principalities. To prevent the demons from escaping hell and starting a new battle for the heavenly throne, God placed his sword—the sun—over Earth. Because of this, the demons and the rest of the lesser demons can only awaken at night. That amount of time is not enough to reach heaven and begin a new battle.
*Satan is also Saturn (Cronus in Greek) and the Hindu god Shiva. Slavs call him Dia-vol (meaning "Marvelous Bull"). He is the Golden Taurus, he is Zeus, he is Jupiter, and he is Perun among the Slavs.
♥ Satan is surrounded by his closest assistants, the demons Herod and Pilate, and a huge army of lesser demons. It is these demons whom he contracts to mages as personal patrons. Of of his closest assistants is Herod, his son, who is commonly called the Antichrist and sometimes Lucifer. The other is Pilate.
..Herod has demon Abar as his assistant; Abar is commonly called the church demon and is a sort of demonic mutant, a kind of twisted messenger. He is able to cross on to holy ground without pain. According to legend, Satan assigned the young demon a task, but he couldn't cope with it and was afraid to return to Satan's side. So he went to church, asking God to protect him from Satan's wrath. God took pity on Abar, and he settled permanently in churches. Later, though, he was drawn to evil deeds again. He was, after all, a demon. He began to help those who appealed to him in churches for a small fee in the form of inverted church candles and blasphemous temples praising him.
..The demon Pilate is surrounded by the following assistants: demon Amodeus and demoness Herodian. Herodian is commonly called the breeder. She is the wife of Satan and mother to the demon Herod. She came from the soul of Lilith, the first woman and the first wife of Adam..
..The second in the pantheon is the great Prince Veligor. Initially he, not Satan, was God's first assistant in heaven. He held a very high position in the heavenly hierarchy of the angels. After God replaced him with Satanel. Veligor harbored a fierce grudge against God,. In fact, he was the first to incite a rebellion in heaven by urging Satanel to act. Veligor was the second to be cast from heaven into the depths of Earth, after Satan. He became the embodiment of evil. .. His true appearance is that of a giant black wasp with shaggy paws and the face of a half beast, half man. He transforms into various beautiful forms to better manipulate humans.
Prince Veligor is flanked by his closest assistants, demons Arzhun and Korzhak, who were created in his likeness. He also has a huge army of many lesser demons, which he provides to mages as personal patrons.
The demon Arzhun is an invincible warrior. He is strong, clever, cunning, and treacherous. He has two assistants at his side: demons Rahab and Cain. Cain, son of Eve and Prince Aspid, is half demon, half man.* The rebellious angels, when they were still in heaven, arranged for Adam's second wife, Eve, to be seduced by Aspid. The angels were thus able to teach the first people to enjoy sexual intercourse and bring the birth of humans (and the production of souls) outside God's control.
..Third in the pantheon of the demons of Russian black magic is the great Prince Versaul. He was a member of the council of angels in heaven. At Satanel's first appeal, he went to his side and took part in the rebellion against God. ..He prefers to appear before [mages] in the guise of a strong and tall man, black as a Moor, with a menacing face, horns on his head, and wings on his back. But his true appearance is an ugly black fly with spider legs and an ugly human face; he moves about with the help of huge wings. He prefers to spend most of his time flying around the Earth's surface.
..The fourth in the pantheon is the great Prince Aspid. He also entered the council of angels in heaven and was the second to answer Satanel's call to take part in the uprising against God. According to legend, Aspid is considered to be Satan's nephew. ..Before the rebellion in heaven, Aspid felt the wrath of God for seducing Eve. Aspid has a long dragonlike body with a human head and a terrible mouth; he has webbed wings, short paws, and a long tail. He dwells in great expanses of water but periodically ascends to the surface of Earth to perform his evil deeds. Aspid is the demon of greed and envy. ..Aspid controls all the evil spirits of all the expanses and depths of water. He is commonly known in the Old Slavic tradition as the demon of water. It is believed that he can be seen in the daytime and can appear as an old man, covered with moss, mud, and marsh grass, but much larger than an ordinary man. He can also be covered with gray hair and have horns on his head or take the shape of a huge catfish. ..It is believed that he and his assistants drown beautiful young women. He later brings these women to live with him, transforming them into demonesses. They, in turn, seek human souls by luring men into water and drowning them. ..Prince Aspid, like other demons, loves sacrifices. It is believed that a sudden increase in the drownings of people or cattle means that Prince Aspid is hungry for sacrifices. In the old days, people who sought Aspid's favor spilled the blood of black roosters into water or threw them in to drown. Sailors tried not to take women on board because they believed that Aspid would demand that they give the woman to him and would arrange a storm until they did. If a storm began, they threw the woman into the sea. Aspid usually takes only the souls of drowned people and throws the bodies ashore. If a body is not found, it means that the drowned man has become a clapper, a restless corpse that serves evil spirits. ..Fishermen appeal to water demons by pouring tobacco, vodka, and honey into the water and even throwing in coins. ..Kupala Night, the night of July 6, is when the demon Aspid is reputed to have been born. According to popular belief, people should not bathe while drunk on this night because the water demon may drown them. This rule does not apply to mages. On the contrary, they are encouraged to bathe while drunk.
..The fifth in the pantheon is the demon of lust and debauchery, the great Prince Enoch. ..Enoch creates irrepressible lust and debauchery in people. He tears families apart by inciting couples to infidelity while arranging quarrels and turmoil in their families. He also pushes people to a passion for drinking and gambling. He is always cheerful and reckless.. ..He has the appearance of a man with a goat head, hooves, and a body covered with shaggy, black hair and has a huge, eternally erect member. Elizuda, the wife of the demon Enoch, also known as the Plague, was born from an inconsolable soul and became a demoness.
..The sixth in the pantheon, great Prince Enarh, is the master of the forest. His assistants are all lesser forest demons. He owns all that is in the forest, its flora and fauna. ..According to the Old Slavic tradition of demons, Enarh is commonly called the forest spirit. The demon Enarh, in his true appearance, looks like a half beast, half man of great size. He has a thick coat, horns, beard, and both hooves and claws. But he can appear in any guise, as any beast, bird, tree, or bush and even a mushroom. Many believe that it is not possible to see him at all because he does not have a true appearance. Instead he appears in the form of an unexpected wind or sound. His appearance is usually associated with various weather phenomena, such as whirlwinds or a sharp gust. ..Enarh's assistants are the demons Haley, who is responsible for fields, and the demon Seneon, who poses a danger for anyone who goes into the forest. ..It is believed those who are not mages but who simply seek favor with Enarh, by appealing to him with offerings, become successful hunters, mushroom pickers, herbalists, and shepherds. It is believed that the forest master favors mute and hunchback people, leading them to good places to gather mushrooms and berries.
..The seventh place in the pantheon is occupied by the great Princess Death, the mistress of the cemeteries, who is in the seventh circle of hell. All the souls of the deceased are in her keeping while awaiting the Last Judgement of God. Hordes of cemetery demons serve her. ..The great princess is strong and continually growing stronger due to the constant replenishment of cemeteries with the souls of dead people, who await to be chosen by either God or Satan, her uncle. All mages must address Princess Death before starting work in her domain. ..In the distant past, even before the emergence of black magic as a defined system, the master of death was considered the dominant force over the world of the dead. He was the prototype of the great Princess Death. In ancient Russian pagan epics and legends, he was called Koshchy the Immortal. His name stems from the ancient word kosh or kosht, which means "ossification or death." He was immortal because death cannot die. ..According to legend, Death was the daughter of God and the wife of one of the most influential angels in God's council. He made mistakes, and God ordered him to be executed and sent him to hell. The wife of this angel, nicknamed the Black Widow, eternally grieved for her husband and harbored a fierce anger at God and fried to harm him. God starved her for her schemes, until she was a thin woman in black robes. She became so emaciated that she turned into a skeleton, and so hungry that no amount of souls could sate her. When the rebellion began in heaven, she did not hesitate to side with the rebels and was cast out.. Satan, noticing her ever-yearning disposition after her husband's death and her own starvation, appointed her mistress of the cemeteries. ..Many mages claim that she appears before them in the guise of a tall, stately woman in a hooded black dress that completely covers her, head to toe. But when the garment or hood flies open, they see that she is a skeleton with a bare skull for a face. Also, many claim that she has small horns on her head and wings at her back. Large tears fall from her empty eye sockets. There is an inverted cross drawn on the back of her cloak. She carries a sharp scythe with which she reaps human lives, first by taking their legs, then their hands, then their heads. Then she makes the dying people drink fire and forces their souls out of their bodies. Dying people claim to experience these feelings. ..Before her arrival, a person is usually visited by one of her assistant demons, the demon of grief (commonly known as Grief) and the demoness of disaster (commonly known as Disaster). ..Although Death joined the rebels without hesitation, she believed that the rebels would never defeat God. Therefore she was not as severely punished by God and received a place of honor not only in the order of Satan but also in the grace of God himself. As the guardian of human souls awaiting the Last Judgment of God, it is believed that she holds a place between God and Satan. To this day, she goes to both God in heaven and Satan in the bowels of Earth for orders. She preserves a kind of neutrality between the two sides. The demon of grief and the demoness of disaster are the brother and sister of Princess Death. ..Another important role is played by the Tyasovitsa demonesses, the twelve daughters of the demon Herod (they are commonly known as twister, fevers, and hags). They arose from the union of Herod and Princess Death.
..The eight in the pantheon of demons of Russian black magic is the great black Prince Indik. ..he appears in the guise of a gigantic horned beast on four powerful paws, dragging a long, thick tail behind him. Indik causes earthquakes, natural disasters, and terrible destruction.
..The pantheon's ninth place is occupied by the great Prince Mafawa. ..Mafawa is the demon of avarice, envy, and profit. He prefers to be in the depths of Earth, protecting gold and other riches. ..Like other demons, he can appear in any guise, transforming himself from his true image of a giant reptile with a huge belly, four thick legs, and a horned snake's head with a huge and terrible fire-breathing maw.
*Cain is the eldest son of Adam and Eve. In kabbalah, he is the sons of the angel Samael and Eve, or, in gnosticism, the son of the Unclean One (Satan) and Eve, the first man born on Earth. He is the first murderer, who deprived his brother Abel of his life. The name Cain comes from the Hebrew word qayin, which means "to acquire or possess."
♥ The entire Orthodox world used the Julian calendar, which is currently thirteen days behind our modern civil calendar, until March 1924. At that time, the bishops of the church in Greece unilaterally converted their dioceses to the new calendar, by deleting thirteen days at once, so that the religious calendar would coincide with the civil. This means that Orthodox Christians across the world were now celebrating the important celebrations of faith out of sync with each other, which impacted the unity of the Orthodox Church. The majority of the Orthodox in the world did not accept this change, as is still the case in places like Russia, Serbia, Jerusalem, and Georgia.
♥ As stated earlier, the home of demons has nine circles, with Satan in the first circle located near the center of Earth. The demon princes occupy every other circle, according to seniority, with the lowest placed closest to the surface. Prince Mafawa occupies the ninth, and last, circle, located near the surface of Earth.
..The demons of the first, second, and third circle of hell feed upon the souls of blasphemers and apostates, murderers and tormentors, suicides who died in battles, and mages. The demons of the fourth circle of hell feed upon the souls of those who perished in water and suicides who killed themselves by drowning; the fifth circle upon the souls of great lechers and philanderers, hedonists, pimps, seducers, drunkards, gluttons, idlers, pedophiles, and rapists; the sixth circle upon the souls of those who die in the woods and are torn apart by wild beasts; the seventh circle is full of souls awaiting the Last Judgement, as previously mentioned; the eighth circle feeds upon the souls of those killed in earthquakes, fires, severe frosts, and hurricanes; and the ninth circle feeds upon the souls of the cruel, the rich, the spendthrifts, the swindlers, the materialistic soul sellers, and the deceivers. There are some other similar theories adopted in the tradition of black magic, but this is the most popular one.
♥ According to the teachings of mages there are three main forces: the first is God, the Heavenly Father, with his saints and angels; the second is Satan, with his demonic army; and the third is Death, who controls ghosts or spirits and graveyard demons.
God is the all-knowing who absorbs all other minds (people's souls) and therefore encompasses saints and angels. They are attached to him and do not have their own free will. Mages believe that God is a non-corporeal being of highly intelligent energy. God is great because he created cosmic expanses, and man could not exist without it. Despite all this, he is not a source of good, as the clergy say.
Contrary to his depiction in most mainstream religions, God is by no means eternal or omnipresent. His abode is heaven (immaterial reality), which should be separated from the first and second "heavens"; that is, from the atmosphere and outer space. Even according to the saints, there are many "evil spirits" in the air. In medieval grimoires they called demons spirits who inhabited the air. According to legend, the devil cannot rise above the moon.
The second force in the universe is the devil.. The word devil is Greek and was brought into Russian less than a thousand years ago. However, ancient Slavs knew that there were dark gods and spirits deep in Earth. The devil is the name of all the evil forces as a whole. Just like God, it includes many souls that Satan has absorbed, as well as the entire black army of the demonic regiments, led by Satan himself. The third force, Death, or the mistress of the cemeteries, is referred to as an Unclean Force and is part of the pantheon of Russian evil.
♥ God arose in a spark in darkness. He gave rise to other minds, separating them from himself. To remain conscious, he needs to consume the same kind of energy of which he consists. To achieve this, he separated particles from himself and created assistants made of the same non-material. These angels (the eldest don being Satanel, who originally was nicknamed the Prince of Peace) were the first of his creations but not the last. Together they created the universe, the sun and Earth, planets and their satellites, and the lifeless cosmos. But at the end God was tired and decided to replenish his strength. He created man on one of the planets, as well as diverse flora and fauna, and used them to maintain his existence. Some of the angels who had helped him, after being cast out of heaven, settled into the created kingdoms: in the forest, in the waters, and so on. And so, God created the world.
♥ After Aspid taught Eve to receive pleasure from intimacy, she taught Adam, and they began to sleep with each other for pleasure—something that God hated. He called it the sin of fornication, as it deprived him of control over souls and their reproduction. Souls created in lust are tainted goods, and God will not accept them. Afterward people were banished from paradise. Those who fell from God's grace were visited by his brothers and sons (demons) and have birth to their offspring.
♥ Jesus Christ was also sent to Earth to establish God's church on Earth and to lead people through the rite of baptism. This hallowed ritual is in fact a sale of the soul to God and even greatly resembles the act of offering a soul to the devil.*
*In an Orthodox Christian baptism, the priest cuts three locks of the child's hair, rolls the hair in wax, and tosses the wax ball into the baptismal font while reading spells or praying. Then the priest dips thew child into the font and renounces Satan. As a final act, the priest and the parents spit on the floor to the west, toward Satan, and bind the child to God as his subject and his future meal.
♥ ..God created everything on Earth (plants and animals) for the cultivation of people or, more precisely, souls, as food for himself and his assistants, the angelic army—just as we humans absorb the same kind of organic matter from which we're made: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Everyone and everything needs energy to exist. When a man and a woman mate, a new life is created, and at the same time a new soul is formed.
♥ Satan in the medieval tradition is not so much a character in Christian mythology as an expression of the dark gods necessary for the existence of any society and any person. The functions of the dark gods eventually fell to Satan. Unfortunately, in modern (and in past) Europe and America, Satan is seen as a notorious evil. However, if you seriously delve into his functions, what he does, what he actually wants, and why, then it becomes clear that the universe simply could not exist without him. The actions of Satan and the rebellious angels against God led to the formation of a soul and free will. They ceased to be puppets; moreover, in Slavic paganism a person is not someone's puppet. Neither gods nor other people are beholden to anyone, and this is directly related to Satan's revolt against God.
..Sacred paganism, like Satanism, is not connected to people but relies on the laws of the universe. Let's give an analogy: World constants, say, a number or a gravitational constant, exist independently of people. Paganism, much like Satanism, is based on the will of the dark gods and not on a person's opinion about what is at present convenient or suitable for him. Both worldviews rely on studying objective laws and not slipping into vague, debilitating statements such as "God works in mysterious ways."
♥ Another important thing that unites paganism and Satanism is the refusal to worship, but instead to honor. Worship contradicts the essence of Satanism. Satan, if we trace the mythology, refused to worship or be worshipped, even if that meant he had no chance of victory when God declared himself omnipotent.
..If you think about it, to worship someone is to insult him; it is better to honor him. Pagans honor their gods. Gods can be praised for their help (or for no particular reason) or, conversely, for not causing harm. For a pagan, the gods are not some abstract absolute but partners, even if they are more powerful than the people themselves.
♥ The rituals and ceremonies that pagans perform are quite pleasant for their participants. There is music, dancing, alcoholic beverages, and interaction with the opposite sex. ..Moreover, the priest cannot provide much help in this (compare with Christianity: "Outside the church there is no salvation.") The pagan priest is not an interpreter of divine revelations. He can recite one of the myths (his direct duty) by heart, but he will not impose his opinion on anyone and present it as the absolute truth.
Remember the Greek oracles. They said very vague things and never interpreted the meanings themselves. For another significant commonality: both Satanists and pagans respect the right of others to their interpretation of the image of Satan or God. There are no dogmas of faith, commandments, or restrictions. The satanic commandments of LaVey, who established LaVeyan Satanism in 1966, are just recommendations, and Satanism itself existed long before the publication of The Satanic Bible in 1969 by LaVey. Furthermore, this bible is not at all a holy book. As there can be no dogmas by definition for a Satanist, how, then, can there by a collection of absolute truths?
♥ Paganism is inconceivable without nations (or tribal) traditions. The interests of the clan stand above all. This does not, however, apply to all pagan sects but is true for Russian paganism.
♥ When did Christ, Yahweh, Allah, or even Buddha smile or joke? Why is this so?
♥ Equally important is that both worldviews place justice above charity: justice as it is understood in the secular world rather than some "higher" one. A characteristic terror on the part of people who do not recognize this is the fear that lawlessness will happen if we remove the restrictions given by mainstream religions. For instance, they believe that everyone will immediately begin to kill and rape. As is known to any psychologist, the phrase "that's how everyone is" really means "that's how I am," but the person who says this is often unaware that he is talking about himself. The subconscious mind often deceives the conscious mind, and making such generalized statements is a sure sign that this does not apply to him but only to everyone else. Those who regulate rather than restrain their desires will not kill anyone (and if they need to, they will kill without breaking laws), but they will live the same way as before.
Equality, as proclaimed by monotheists, means that everyone is equal before the one God, and he rules them all. But by conforming to some faceless standard, people lose their individuality and become part of a faceless crowd. There is no reason. The emotions that arise are intensified by their communal nature. They are equal among equals, a status inspired by the ideas of the first among equals, who committed bloody massacres in the name of universal equality.
♥ Faith is closely related to another important concept; namely, the word of the mage. It is inadmissible for the mage to promise to perform or do something while even 1 percent of doubt about the possibility of accomplishing it remained in his mind. Violating his word is not an ethical or moral matter; it has a purely practical basis. An uncertain word destroys and erodes the structure of the personality of the mage. Uncertainty creeps into his soul and compromises his strength. This marks the beginning of the end of the mage.
In the context of what has been said, it is very useful to look at such exercises when any word you say automatically turns into truth. Let it be true, only for one hour, but in an hour, you can do a great deal. Any mage must learn to convince himself, first of all, that everything he says is absolute truth. He is like an actor who is so involved in his role that sometimes he begins to completely identify with his character.
And for those who turn to the mage for help or advice, his word must become law once and for all. The mage should not enter into lengthy discussions with clients, trying to prove something to them, to convince or pander. Doing this only undermines the resolve of the mage himself. Spending your time on empty rhetoric is a terrible thing.
♥ You should not take money from a person close to you, even if he is wealthy and can afford it. It will be better if he pays for any materials you need to perform magical activities, such as vodka, bread, or candles. Cash in its pure form has a very negative effect on the power of magic and contradicts the ancient laws. In any case, such a person will sooner or later pay for everything, but by refusing payment, you will avoid both subjective internal and purely external problems.
♥ A clear mastering and comprehension of these four basic rules and the ideas of the magical pyramid are necessary for functioning in the world of practical magic, which does not tolerate human weaknesses and unnecessary compromises.
* The Law of knowledge. This is the main law, covering all other principles. Knowledge is power; knowledge gives control and confidence. The more you know about an object, the easier it is to control it.
..* The Law of contact. Objects that have been in physical contract continue to interact after their separation. Possession of a small particle of another's body, such as nails, hair, or saliva, gives a direct link and access to that person.
♥ An Alatyr-stone is a sacred stone for pagan Slavs. It is mentioned in many legends, myths, folktales, and fairy tales and used in spells. An Alatyr-stone can be considered a cult stone or a cult object. The word altar comes directly from Alatyr.
Alatyr, the father of all stones, is both small and powerful, cold and combustible. He is often endowed with healing powers. The stone contains great wisdom and all knowledge and has a creative, demiurgic, and life-giving power. There is a mighty power both in the stone itself and under it: healing rivers flow from beneath the stone.
There are still disputes about how this object originated and where it is located. Judging by various legends, the Alatyr-stone appeared at the very beginning of time and was honored by the gods themselves. According to one version, the stone fell from the sky. In another version, Svarog brought it to the land from the bottom of the sea. It may be located in the middle of the sea, in the center of the world, or the center of the universe. According to other sources, the stone is located at the entrance to the underworld or afterworld, on the riverbank. According to a third version, the stone is located in a sacred mountain. The eastern and southern Slavs believed that the Alatyr-stone lies in Iria (the Slavic paradise) under Pradub (the Tree of Life) and was created by Rod (the Source, Creator God) from an egg.
Rod actually represents the monotheistic religion of the ancient Slavs. Although there are many Slavic gods, Rod is portrayed as a kind of god that you may encounter in monotheistic religion today. Rod also fits into the scheme of Nietzsche's God, who had existed to create the world and form the principles of the universe. When he had finished his goal, he could disappear or die. Rod becomes a principle and ceases to appear as God, ceases to meddle in the lives of mortals and gods directly, but he is always present, and the principles that he represents affect everyone. He is in everything; in fact, he is the basis of everything. Everything visible and invisible depicts Rod.
♥ Another account says that Alatyr is the altar stone of the god Baal. Baal, also known as Bel or Baloo, is an ancient god of the Semitic peoples of the Mediterranean coast. He was distinguished by his power and cruelty. Some historians believe he was the first formal global patron god. Baal's sphere of influence was extremely broad in the cultures where he held the dominant position. He was a god of thunder, similar to the ancient Greek Zeus or Roman Jupiter. He patronized the sunshine, and in the heyday of the Phoenician culture, he protected seafarers and traders. In a religious sense, this Phoenician and Chaldean god came before all else.
Later the Romans and Greeks made additional connections, the most important of which was identifying Baal with Kronos, or Saturn, the Titan that Zeus and other Greek gods fought. In this myth is played out the large-scale confrontation of these two cultures, Semitic and Greco-Roman. Subsequently, when the foundations of Judaism began to be laid, the cult of Baal was persecuted by the first Jewish prophets. The most famous such event is the biblical prophet Elijah killing all the priests of Baal. He is best known for eradicating paganism and his ascension to heaven while alive. Baal was demonized in connection with this large-scale struggle. Later Baal became Beelzebub, from the Greek word beelzeboub, derived from the Hebrew ba'al-z'bub, meaning "lord of the flies," or the devil. (Baal means "lord," and z'bhubh, "fly.")
The Russians and Slavs began to call Baal Veles,* who is, as noted earlier, the Slavic god of earth, waters forests, and the underworld. The names of Veles include Vaal-Gad, Vaal Pehar or Fehar, Vaal-Zamen, Vaal Zephon, and finally Vaal Zeewood (Baal-Fly), a name given to the god Vaal-Zamen. The Slavic name Beloe or Bela, which means "white," is similar to Baal. Friedrich Karl Vollmer says that the Babylonians called the sun by this name.
*Veles has a number of words connected to it, including vel (drive), val (shaft), vol (ox), bel (white), bal (ball), and bol (bole).
♥ There is a folk belief that the souls of dead mages who are not laid to rest will become magpies (ravens).
♥ Dark magic is best performed from sunset to dawn of the next day. The optimal and most favorable time is between midnight and 3 a.m. (known as the witching hour). The waning moon as it sets is also a most effective time for conducting rituals of a dark nature, such as curses, and is the best time to lift spells cast by other mages. Perform purification and weight loss rituals under the waning moon. Positive rituals (for love, beauty, wealth, protection, etc.) are best conducted under the waxing moon. Of course if there is urgent need, the lunar cycle can be disregarded, but the ritual will be significantly weakened.
If a rite is aimed at forgetting the past, you should perform it at sunrise (for example, purification). Perform a rite after sunset if your goal is to influence the future. It is a good idea for novlices to also take into account the male days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday) and female days (Wednesday Saturday, Friday), especially for health and cleansing rituals. (In the Russian language the days fall into these gender divisions; Sunday is considered neuter gender.)
♥ Among African tribes, crossroads are often the place of ritual ceremonies. In Hinduism, the crossroads acted as a refuge for demons. The Romans prayed to household gods at crossroads. In ancient Rome, apart from the lares, patrons of domestic life, there were road gods, which were called Lares compitales. They guarded the wanderer from evil forces, and offerings to these road gods were made at crossroads as well.
For the ancient Greeks, crossroads bring a meeting with destiny. Statues of Hermes-Psychopomp, a spirit guide, stood at the crossroads.
..The ancient Greeks believed that the three-headed goddess Hecate, who is associated with the realm of the dead and is the patroness of mages, ghosts, and witchcraft, appeared on clear nights in places where three roads converge. She is accompanied by spirits and howling phantom dogs.
..Ancient crossroads were considered a symbol of the triple epiphany, combining three principles: active (good), neutral (productive or useful), and passive (harmful). For example, Hecate shows the threefold aspect of a deity, embodying maiden, mother, and crone, and birth, fecundity, and death, as well as earth, sea, and sky. The crossroads is the symbol of choice in general and, in particular, the choice between life and death, as well as the sign of the transition from one space to another. As such, the crossroads is endowed with an ambivalent meaning. On the one hand, this place was sacred. In Christianity, a crossroads, likened to a cross in its form, became the place of veneration of Christ. In the Middle Ages, crucifixes were placed at the crossroads of main roads to protect them from the presence of evil spirits. Christians erected crosses, chapels, and Madonna and other statues at crossroads.
On the other hand, the crossroads was considered to be the focus of harmful, impure forces. At the crossroads, witchcraft rituals were performed. In Europe, crossroads were seen as meeting places for mages and evil spirits. In Slavic mythology, the crossroads was considered a home for devils. Magical rituals often sought protection from the devil and demons at crossroads.
..Another belief was that some rituals performed at a crossroads on certain days (in particular in the eve of All Saints' Day) allow you to find out in advance who will die in the near future. For example, Welshmen believed that if a person went to the crossroads and listened to "the wind blowing over the feet of the dead" (the east wind), he would be able to hear sighs in those houses where people would die in the coming year. The Highlanders of Scotland had a similar belief: if you sat on a three-legged chair at a crossroads, at midnight you would hear the names of those who were doomed to die in the near future. In German folklore, the same type of ritual was performed at the crossroads between eleven o'clock and midnight on Christmas Eve or on the eve of All Saints' Day.
Traveling through crossroads had special significance in funeral rites. According to one ancient Welsh custom, the deceased were laid on the ground at every crossroads and prayers were read over them on the way from the house to the cemetery. Perhaps this was done to protect the deceased from evil spirits who chose such places for their visits and also, perhaps, to prevent the ghost of the deceased from returning to the house and interfering with the living. In Hesse, a central state in Germany, it was believed that the specter of the deceased would not return to the house if the dishes that belonged to him were broken at the crossroads. In Finland, participants of the funeral processions took the land from each crossroads they passed by and then scattered the land across the fields, thus protecting themselves from witchcraft (and ensuring a good harvest).
..For example, one fairly common German superstition is that spirits cannot cross crossroads; thus, a person chased by a ghost or demonic being could shake his pursuer at a crossroads. ..Similarly, the Irish believed that at the crossroads, fairy magic did not work and that mortals abducted by fairies could regain their freedom in such places.
Ancient Germans brought captured robbers to crossroads as a sacrifice to their gods, turning these places into a kind of scaffold. In medieval Germany, trials often took place at crossroads. According to later German law, it was legal to exact punishments at crossroads. In the Middle Ages, they traditionally buried exected criminals and those accused of witchcraft or suspected of vampirism at crossroads. The last, as a rule, were pierced through the chest with an aspen stake.
..The standard crossroads is the intersection of two roads, suitable for almost any ritual. Crossroads where three roads cross at one point and go in different directions at about the same angle are very good for witchcraft. (T-junctions are not suitable for witchcraft. ..they are, in fact, not even crossroads.) Mages seek the crossroads of three roads for certain works (that is, an intersection that diverges on six sides). Such crossroads are called the Devil's Cross in the tradition of black magic and can be used to sell souls and to evoke demons and send them after people. ..There are five- and seven-road crossroads that are very strong, but they are not easy to find.
♥ Place the wax in a hot water bath on the day and hour of the planet corresponding to the kind of spell. As soon as the wax melts, add the organic material (hair, nails, blood, sperm, saliva) and mix it in. Form the wax into the shape of a person. You can wrap or dress the doll in the personal belongings. If you have a headshot of the person, affix it on the doll's face, which will make the doll resemble the person even more. After you have finished making the doll, say: "I bring you to life and dub you [name of person]."
♥ Nothing happened because you came to the home of the spirits (the cemetery) and used their power but gave nothing in return. You have to pay for what you get, anywhere and everywhere; nothing is free.
♥ In Russian black magic, mages traditionally sacrifice roosters to the Unclean Forces (for important rituals). Evil spirits become active late in the evening, when darkness falls with the last cry of the rooster. They hide in the morning with the rooster's first cry. A rooster will never sleep through dawn and will never miss dusk.
♥ Three days are required before sacrificing an animal (the animal is not caged or leashed and is generously fed and cared for), and before the work is done, the victim is bathed in fresh water (paws, beak, hooves, and snouts are washed). The animal should not be tied up when it is given in sacrifice but only firmly held. If the sacrifice manages to break free, then it means that the Unclean Forces do not accept the sacrifice.
..a mage is not allowed to leave his blood, hair, or saliva on the sacrifice or at the place of the ritual.
♥ A variety of offerings are made at the cemetery, as they are in other places of power, such as coins, tobacco, liquor, and blood. Contrary to popular belief, mages do not use food as an offering to the dead. The dead aren't hungry. They do not make offerings of blood and meat because it's just ridiculous! The forces are not dogs or wolves. The energy of the blood comes out when the offering is sacrificed. After this brief moment, the blood is just liquid and the meat is just meat.
♥ In the tradition of black magic, not all graves are suitable for sorcery. ..An active grave attracts animals. If crows, ravens, magpies, or other birds are watching a grave or circling over it, this is a clear sign of activity. Cats, dogs, and other animals also like to wander near active graves. One of the best signs of a grave's activeness is seeing a cat on it. Sometimes there are dead trees on or next to an active grave. Often trees near or on a grave grow in curves and ugly shapes. If you feel an impressive atmosphere or discomfort as you walk through the cemetery, this is also a sign of activity. In the summer, the graves will be covered in withered, yellow grass. Any vegetation that grows on them will do so with reluctance. In winter, the snow on an active grave will look crushed and gray. If there are feathers or cat, dog, or bird tracks, the grave is suitable for work. Watch for the movement of trees. The swaying of treetops and branches can indicate an active grave. On active graves, gravestones, even very large and new ones, have many cracks and natural wear. The images on such graves fade faster, lose brightness, and disappear (if there is an image). Crosses on active graves rot quickly and very often break. They may even fall to the ground. Harmful weeds usually grow on active graves.
The burial places of suicides, murderers, murder victims, and apostates (including defrocked priests) are admirably suited for sorcery. ..The graves of still born infants and unbaptized infants are also admirably suited for certain rituals, as are those of young people and children. Family graves are often good for sowing disagreement and madness in a home. In small village cemeteries, the seventh, ninth, and thirteenth unnamed graves in the far left corner of the cemetery are often very food for sorcery work. They can be used to cast severe, fatal curses.
In most cases, unmarked graves are used for serious curses (including death curses), and sometimes, for the destructive aspect of love magic (including breakup spells). ..As a rule, suicides are offered blood sacrifices.
♥ Stand at the head of the grave facing the tombstone. Close your eyes, stretch your palm forward, and ask in a whisper if the deceased would be willing to help you. If you feel warm and calm, then the deceased agrees. If you feel cold, anxious, or fearful, then the deceased does not agree.
♥ The general rule when starting work with a grave, whether unnamed or not, is that you must greet and ask the permission of the deceased. As you enter a cemetery, you must raise your voice in greeting to the inhabitants of the kingdom of the dead. Bring several pennies and pour vodka on the ground in front of you three times.
When you perform a ritual on a grave, always bring the deceased an offering or gift. There are many types of offerings that you can make at graves, depending on the deceased in question. If a specific offering is not stipulated in a ritual, alcohol (usually vodka or rum, sometimes sweet wine or red wine, depending on the work the mage is doing) and sweets (sugar, honey, cookies, candies) can serve as universal offerings. The dead accept sweets willingly. Other offerings include coins (silver colored and pennies), tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars), bread, and gold and other jewelry. For blood sacrifices, a black hen or rooster is preferable; less often white pigeons or doves and lambs are used.
♥ Unless otherwise instructed, read all spells while facing west.
♥ When mages perform any magical actions, including reciting spells, they often have a feeling that someone is watching them, but they must not turn around no matter what. They will not see anyone, and their actions will be less effective.
♥ You must always buy new materials for the ritual. Aside from magical instruments (such as a ritual knife), the material that you use for a ritual should not have a personal relationship with you and should not contain your energy.
♥ Use only candles made from beeswax or plants, the kind that are suitable for church, although church candles are not used in all rituals.
♥ You cannot blow out any candles! You must extinguish them with your fingertips, or with a device meant for that purpose.
♥ If a photograph is needed in the ritual, there should not be any other person in the photograph besides the one on which the work is done. It is strictly forbidden to use a photo with several people.
♥ You can work many marvellous deeds with the noose of a man who hanged himself. It has enough power for three spells and curses a day, including for wealth and career success. Wastewater from bathing the deceased can be used in powerful rituals, both for ferocious curses and strong purifications. It can cure terrible disease.
If you take water from a cemetery puddle (so-called dead water), you must give the mistress of the cemeteries an offering. You must do the same if you take flowers from a grave (which can be used in curses). If you take a bone from the ground you may keep it, but do not take any fabric. Leave a penny on the same spot.
♥ Days of reverence to the masters of the churchyard fall on January 7, February 19, April 8, May 24, June 3, July 1, September 21, October 28, and November 26.
♥ If you do not cry or scream when you work with the dead, they will do everything you ask them to. If you do cry or scream, they will punish you. Do your work and remain quiet. Do not be afraid of the dead. They live their own life after the grave, and if your sorcery is successful, none of them will touch you or cling to you. Do not tremble in the cemetery; do not show fear. Fear is weakness. Be confident in yourself and your power!
♥ Remember, a love spell must be cast only when you are absolutely sure that you desire the person you want to bewitch. If you cast the spell out of curiosity or to cause someone pain, it will not work at full strength. Perfection of the human spirit is possible thanks only to the harmonization of opposing principles in human nature and the universe as a whole.
♥ A simple and practical reason for the tied hands and feet is to keep the corpse in a funeral position, hands folded on the chest and legs lying elongated and pressed against each other. If this is not done, rigor mortis can cause the body to shift into an unappealing position. In addition, by tradition, a candle or a cross is inserted in the folded hands of the deceased. However, there is also a mystical component of this tradition that comes from paganism. According to this tradition, the ropes do not simply bind limbs but also tie the soul of the deceased to the body so that it does not remain in this world and is more easily able to travel into the otherworld. Before the burial itself, these ropes must be cut to free the soul.
♥ The death curse, which originated in Russia is based on an old Russian custom of burying murderers and rapists under the coffins of their victims.
♥ Followers of black magic go to church for the following purposes:
* to cure a disease
* to transfer or cast a curse
* to rejuvenate
* to curse a wedding
* to curse someone's fate
* to lead an enemy to death
Whatever goal they pursue, black mages widely practice black magic in a church. The strongest curses are cast in churches.
♥ The black practitioner also chooses sunset (afternoon mass) because it is when the church demon, Abar, is most powerful. The deeper the night is, the stronger he becomes.
♥ That is why professional black mages always put extra effort into casting curses on Easter. It is almost impossible to remove these curses.
♥ The peak of black witchcraft is a ritual aimed at defilement of the church. Such rituals are held to redirect energy flows so that, while saying their prayers, all parishioners are giving their energy not to the white forces but to feed the demon Abar and his demonic church assistants. Because doing this is a very large and unforgivable sin by Christian standards, this act is capable of giving a mage great power.
♥ * The mage must not allow someone else to light another candle from his candle. This rule especially applies if the person seeking to light his candle is, himself, a black practitioner. Politely offer matches, which are often available in churches, or suggest another source of fire, such as the candelabra itself.
..* It is forbidden under pain of death for a mage to help place a candle in a candelabra, even if an extremely weak person asks.
* No matter how tempting it is, a mage cannot pick up any object lying in the churchyard. One way or another, it will become part of a curse or other black rite.
* A black mage is forbidden to listen to the advice of others in the church concerning what to do and how and where. In such cases, the mage may become an unwitting participant in another's black church rite.
* The rituals of black magic held in the church prohibit a black mage from listening to others, let alone fulfilling the requests of other people. A black practitioner should be especially wary of an unclear request from people the mage doesn't know.
* It is strictly forbidden to bring icons, candles, or candies at the request of others. Everyone is capable of independently buying everything they need. Such services often end with cursing or other evil. Although it is not advisable, friends and family can be the exception to this rule.
* It is strictly forbidden for mages to accept anything from other people in a church, even innocuous objects, such as handbags, icons, or crosses. All these objects can become elements of a secret black ritual.
* Before the mage exits the church, he or she must whisper these words: "I entered clean, and clean I will leave."
♥ Candles in the Orthodox church are kept in two boxes in the narthex—one for the living and one for the dead (memorial candles). The memorial candles can be used on the living as a curse.
♥ Love spells are one of the many rituals in which using blood is important. Ancient black blood magic can offer an uncountable number of ritual variations of this dark witchcraft. If a black mage is a woman or is required to bewitch a man, then menstrual blood us used. But always keep in mind that menstrual blood is considered dead, rotten blood: it will bind the man to the woman, but it will make him violent toward the woman or make him addicted to alcohol. He may cheat on the woman all the time and try to hide it, but he will not be able to leave the woman. If you want to use blood, better to use blood from a finger. If the practitioner is a man or the practitioner's customer is male, blood is obtained from any finger on the left hand.
♥ Experienced mages suggest adding blood to red wine or another, dark-colored alcoholic beverage. If you are adding it to meat, it is best added to rabbit or pigeon, which is then dried in the open or with other heat. The use of blood in magic not only bewitches an object of desire but also makes him submit fully to the customer or the practitioner.
..If the spell has worked, but the victim is no longer desirable, it is best to remove the spell and release the person. Otherwise the practitioner can be overtaken by an energy similar to a backlash or an energy strike.
♥ There are rituals in which trees are paid in blood for helping in rituals by providing their wood for a staff. Some types of staffs can only work when the wood comes from trees inn a nearby forest.
♥ As already mentioned, any magical action in which the forces of darkness take part is a powerful instrument, and they do not wait long for payment. The black mage should only engage in actions for which he knows he can pay.
♥ The first documented case of a deal struck with Beelzeb8ub is, paradoxically, that of a Christian priest from Cilicia, St. Theophilus. Such legends, for obvious reasons, are considered to be apocrypha by the church. However, it is surprising in this story that the holy father formed a contract with the devil himself to gain an ecclesiastical position in the church! Later even Roman popes were suspected, with a greater or lesser degree of proof, of transactions with the Prince of Darkness.