Devils and the Seven Deadly Sins

Some demonologists drew up a hierarchy of devils and ascribed to them power to provoke people to commit the seven deadly sins:

Lucifer – Pride

Mammon – Avarice

Asmodeus – Lechery

Satan – Anger

Beelzebub – Gluttony

Leviathan – Envy

Belphegor – Sloth



Hierarchy of the Devils

First Hierarchy:

1. Beelzebub was Prince of the Seraphim, and next unto Lucifer. All the chief of the nine choir of angels are fallen. Of the choir of Seraphim there fell at first Lucifer, Beelzebub and Leviathan, who did all revolt. Michael was the first that resisted Lucifer , and the rest of the good angels followed him, so that now he is the chief among them.

2. Leviathan is the Prince of the same order, and is the ringleader of the heretics, tempting men with sins that are directly repugnant unto faith.

3. Asmodeus is of the same order. He continues a Seraphin to his day, that is, he burns with the desire to tempt men with his swine of luxuriousness, and is the prince of the wantons.

4. Balberith is Prince of the Cherubim. He temps men to commit homicides, and to be quarrelsome, contentious, and blasphemous.

5. Astaroth, Prince of the Thrones, is always desirous to sit idle and be ease. He temps men with idleness and sloth.

6. Verrine is also one of the Thrones, and next in place unto Astaroth, and he temps men with impatience.

7. Gressil is the third in the order of Thrones, and he temps men with impurity and uncleanness.

8. Sonneillon is the fourth in the order of Thrones, and he temps men with hatred against their enemies.


Second Hierarchy:

9. Carreau, Prince of Powers, temps men with hardness of heart.

10. Carnivean is also a Prince of powers, and does tempt men to obscenity and shamelessness.

11. Oeillet is a Prince of Dominions. He temps men to break the vow of poverty.

12. Rosier is the second in the order of Dominions, and by his sweet and sugared words, he temps men to fall in love.

13. Verrier is Prince of Principalities, and temps men against the vow of obedience.


Third Hierarchy:

14. Belias, Prince of the order of Virtues, temps men with arrogance.

15. Olivier, Prince of the Archangels, temps men with cruelty and mercilessness toward the poor.

16. Iuvart is Prince of Angels.

Witchcraft Initiation Rituals

There are three grades or degrees in contemporary witchcraft. They are, in ascending order of importance:

1. Priest and Witch of the Great Goddess;

2. Witch Queen or, in the case of a male, Magus; and

3.  High Priestess or High Priest.

The first degree:

In the first degree the candidate is led naked, blindfolded and with his hands tied behind his back, into the “Circle of Power”. After various occult mutterings from the leader of the coven, the postulant receives the five-fold kiss (on feet, knees, genitals, breast and lips) and forty strokes of the scourge, and takes an oath of secrecy:

“I, X. . .., in the presence of the Mighty Ones do of my own free will and accord most solemnly swear that I will ever keep secret and never reveal the secrets of the Art except it be to a proper person, properly prepared, with a Circle such as this. And that I will never deny the secrets of the Art to such a person if he or she be vouched for by a Brother or Sister of the Art. All this I swear by my hopes of a future life mindful that my measure has been taken and may my magical weapons turn against me if I break this my solemn oath.”

It can safely be said that no oath has so often been broken as this one; for the “secrets of the Art” have been recorded in books, shown on television and described in the popular Press. Following the administration of the oath, the candidate is handed various implements, known as the “working tools of the Art”, and has their use explained to him.

For example, he is given the athame, a black-hilted knife, the design of which Crowley and Gardner took from the old textbook of magic known as the Key of Solomon, and told that with it he can “form all Magic Circles, dominate, enslave and punish all rebellious spirits and demons and persuade angels and good spirits”.

Finally, the candidate is informed that he is now “Priest and Witch of the Great Goddess”.


The second degree:

The second degree again incorporates scourging; the aspirant is asked whether he is willing to “suffer and be purified in order to learn”, and after he has answered in the affirmative duly receives forty strokes of the scourge. The leader of the coven then states that “in Witchcraft thou must ever give as thou receive, but triple”, and the candidate is instructed to administer 120 strokes of the scourge to the initiator.

These proceedings being concluded, the “legend of the Goddess” is then either read out aloud or, in some covens, acted as a mystery play. This “legend” is a variant on the classical myth of Persephone and concludes with the words:

“There are three great events in the life of Man; Love, Death and Resurrection in a new body. Magic rules them all. For to make Love perfect you must return at the same time and place as the loved one, remember the past and love again.”

At the end of the reading or play the aspirant is led around the Circle and it is proclaimed to the “Mighty Ones of the Elements” that a new Magus or Witch Queen has been consecrated.


The third degree:

The third degree is centred around ritual sexual intercourse in the Circle between the candidate and the initiator. The rite is of little interest except to voyeurs and in many covens it takes place in symbolic form only. When this latter course is followed, the magic knife (athame) is solemnly dipped into a chalice of wine and the onlookers are informed that “as is the Woman to Man so is the Cup to the Athame”.


The Black Mass

The Black Mass combines various elements:

– belief in a pagan deity stigmatized by Christians as the Devil,

– use of the Mass for material ends,

– and parodies of orthodox Christian ritual.

The Black Mass is a magical ceremony and inversion or parody of the Catholic Mass that was indulged in ostensibly for the purpose of mocking God and worshipping the devil; a rite that was said to involve human sacrifice as well as obscenity and blasphemy of horrific proportions. The origin of the belief in the Black, or Satanic, Mass goes back to medieval magic and witchcraft, yet no one really knows the early history of this magical act, for there exists no single reliable, first-hand description.

A witch who said she was present described a Black Mass at a sabbath in France in 1594. She claimed that the ceremony had taken place on St. John’s Eve in a field with about sixty people present. The celebrant wore a long black cloak devoid of the customary cross, and his assistants were two girls; while a slice of turnip, black (either stained or putrid), was used instead of consecrated bread.

Other stories of the Black Mass include mention of black triangular or hexagonal hosts and a black chalice; 
of mocking screams of “Beelzebub! Beelzebub! Beelzebub !” instead of speaking the holy words of consecration;
of wine that may be either urine or blood drunk from a human skull; 
or celebrants naked beneath sleeveless vestments decorated in brilliant colours with such subjects as a naked and spreadeagled woman, a rampant pig or bear or goat; 
of sacramental wafers (incorporating menstrual blood and semen) being burnt or stabbed, and consecrated wine being poured contemptuously on to the floor; 
of missals bound in wolfskin or even human skin; 
of feasts on roasted human flesh; 
of frenzied sexual orgies and new-born children being crucified alive or baptized in holy oil, strangled and offered as a sacrifice to Satan; 
of naked bodies being used as altars; 
of young boys’ throats being cut to provide blood for the chalice, with prayers to the demons Asmodeus and Astaroth; 
of Christian prayers being said backwards; 
of black candles made from human fat; 
of parts of the Mass being read backwards; 
of “Satan” being substituted for “God” and “evil” for “good”; 
of crosses being tattooed on the soles of the feet so that the symbol of Christ is continually trodden underfoot.

Eric Maple, a leading authority on witchcraft, goes so far as to assert that the Black Mass is an illusion, fostered by the press, that never played any part in witchcraft.

The Abbe Boullan (1824-93), a defrocked Catholic priest who believed that he was a reincarnation of John the Baptist, is reported to have celebrated a Black Mass in vestments on which an inverted cruifix was embroidered, with a pentagram tattooed at the corner of his left eye (the left being the side of evil). He recommended the ceremonial sacrifice of a child at the high point of the Mass, and the use of consecrated hosts being mixed with faeces as a cure for nuns who complained they were tormented by devils.

The occultist Aleister Crowley devised Satanic rituals, but the intention appears to have been anti-Christian rather than criminal.

The Church of Satan has based its much publicized diabolism upon a rejection of the Christian ethics of self-denial and humility.