13 May 2012

Sins of Witches Exceed Other Occult Practices

The Malleus Maleficarum by Kramer and Sprenger, 1489, Excerpts

The enormity of witches' crimes is proved by comparing them with the other practices of Magicians and Diviners.

The species of the first form of Divination, that is, an open invocation of devils, are the following: Sorcery, Oneiromancy, Necromancy, Oracles, Geomancy, Hydromancy, Aeromancy, Pyromancy, and Soothsaying. The species of the second kind are Horoscopy, Haruspicy, Augury, Observation of Omens, Cheiromancy and Spatulamancy. The species of the third kind vary according to all those things which are classed as Sortilege for the finding out of something hidden, such as the consideration of pricks and straws, and figures in molten lead.

Geomancy, which is concerned with terrene matters, such as iron or polished stone; Hydromancy, which deals with water and crystals; Aeromancy, which is concerned with the air; Pyromancy, which is concerned with fire; Soothsaying, which has to do with the entrails of animals sacrificed on the devil's altars.

The other species of divination, which are performed with a tacit, but not an open, invocation of devils, are Horoscopy, or Astrology, so called from the consideration of the stars at birth; Haruspicy, which observes the days and hours; Augury, which observes the behaviour and cries of birds; Omens, which observe the words of men; and Cheiromancy, which observes the lines of the hand, or of the paws of animals.

In Necromancy there is always an express and particular invocation of demons, for this craft implies that there has been an express compact and contract with them. Let us therefore only consider Astrology. In Astrology there is no compact, and therefore there is no invocation, unless by chance there be some kind of tacit invocation,

The practices of witches are included in the second kind of superstition, which is to say Divination, since the expressly invoke the devil. And there are three kinds of this superstition: - Necromancy, Astrology, or rather Astromancy, the superstitious observation of stars, and Oneiromancy.

The sins of witches exceed all these crimes.


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