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Sex and Magic
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Sexual Relations with Devils: 

According to the confessions extracted from witches by the courts, women attending sabbats always had sexual intercourse with the devil.  Theologians accepted the reality of intercourse between humans and the devil, either as a male incubus or as a female succubus, and debated on the nature of the devils (whether corporeal or spirit), the extend of the sin, and the techniques of the act.  "The curiosity of the judges [at witch trials]," wrote Henry C. Lea, "was insatiable to learn all the possible details as to sexual intercourse, and their industry in pushing the examination was rewarded by an abundance of foul imaginations."  Thus a combination of prurient inquisitors and hysterical young women about to be burned produced most of the accounts, which are completely the product of erotic and neurotic imaginations.  Theologians and demonologists were puzzled as to how demons, who were spirits, could have relations with humans.  The fact itself was accepted, for it had the authority of the Bible and Church behind it.  Augustine, in his De Civitate Dei, expounded Genesis vi. 4: "The sons of God came unto the daughters of men, they bare children to them."  he was the first to consider fully "whether the angels, since they are spirits, are able bodily to have intercourse with women."  Augustine inclined to the affirmative, although he denied that the angels of God so sinned.  Later, Pope Benedict XIV, in De Servorum Dei Beatificatione, commented:

This passage has reference to devils known as incubi and succubi...for while nearly all authorities admit copulation, some writers deny that there can be offspring....  Others, however, asserting that coitus is possible, maintain that children may result, and say that this had actually occurred, although in some new and unusual way not ordinarily known to men.
Pope Innocent VIII and Bonaventura also agreed that intercourse between devils and humans was possible.  Augustine, and in particular Thomas Aquinas, affirmed that demons as evil spirits either entered into corpses or else made new bodies out of the elements.  Sometimes, as Boguet notes, the devil used the body of a man recently hanged.  This traditional view appeared throughout all the literature on demonology, and as late as 1665 the Carmelite manual, Theologia Moralis, complained that "some deny this opinion, holding it impossible that devils could practice effectual intercourse with humans.  But the opposite opinion is very certain and must be accepted."  To reconcile the difficulties inherent in physical relations between spirit and human being, a later writer, Sinistrari (died 1701), in his De Daemonialitate et Incubis et Succubis, developed Augustine's account of "rural spirits and sylvan deities, commonly known as incubi," and conceived of them, not as evil angels, but as beings of a different (and lower) nature, motivated solely by lasciviousness.  Here he departed from the orthodox position that since the demons are spirits, "they can feel no joy or pleasure' (De Lancre) and act thus solely to degrade man.  In Sinistrari's view, acquiescence by a human won favors from the demon, while rejection caused hostility.  According to Sinistrari, the incubus demons simply wanted to satisfy their desires; however, frequently they urged the human partner to abjure the Faith, to indulge in sorcery, and to perpetuate crimes "as preliminary conditions to the infamous intercourse."  When there was no offense against religion, however, "it is hard to discover a
reason why it should be more grievous than bestiality and sodomy."  Yet, concluded Sinistrari, when men and women believed the incubi to be devils, then their guilt was what the Church said it was. 

From about 1430, the Inquisition, while not yet making it a major feature of the witchcraft trials, prosecuted women for relations with the devil.  Even young girls could have such intercourse.  Johannes Henricus Pott, at the end of the seventeenth century, told how a girl of nine or ten, under the influence of her stepmother, was seduced by a devil, but on account of her youth was merely scourged while forced to witness her stepmother's being burned as a witch.  Bodin, in his Démonomanie (1580), said girls of six, "which is the age of consent for women," had intercourse.  And at Wurzburg, in January, 1628, three children--Anna Rask, twelve, Sybille Lutz, eleven, and Munchen, eight, and a half--all confessed to sexual relations with incubi.  Anna declared she had intercourse six times with Master Hämerlein ("Jack Catch, the devil"); the court records noted "this copulations the child has formalissime described."  Sybille copulated with Master "Federlein."  Little Mu..chin testified formaliter she has coitus
cum demone.  Sybille and Anna were put to death; Mu..chin and seven others, between eight and thirteen, after interrogation were remanded to their fathers for reformation--Diefenbach, Der Hexenwahn, 1886.  The ne plus ultra of this fantasy was surely reached in a letter written by the Chancellor of Wurzburg in August, 1629: "The witch affair has sprung up again in a manner beyond description...  There are some 300 children of three or four years who have had intercourse with devils."  The devil could appear in whatever form he pleased.  He might imitate a man's mistress or unattainable ideal, as when Mephistopheles conjured for Faust the image of Helen of Troy.  Brognolus, in his Alexicacon, had a classical story of a succubus.  In 1650 he heard the confession of a young man to whom his beloved had appeared, claiming she had been driven away from home.  After a night's pleasures, the youth realized his Teresa was actually a succubus, but his enjoyment was such that he continued this "monstrous commerce" night after night for several months.  This young fellow was luckier than the hermit whose succubus was so demanding that he lasted only one month [see Succubus], or the two men reported by Remy in his Demonolatreiae (1595):

But on this point those who have told us about copulation with demons, whether in male or female form, all with one voice say that nothing could be imagined or described as being more cold and unpleasant.  Petronius Armentarius said that as soon as he embraced his "Abrahel" all his limbs became rigid; and Hennezel proclaimed it was like putting his instrument into an ice-cold cavity [speculum] and that he had to leave his "Schwartzburg" without having an orgasm--these odd names were what the succubi were really called.
But men's experiences were not often discussed, and interest centered on women.  Some authorities (for example, Weyer, 1563; Carpzov, 1635; and Pott, 1689) stated that even when the devil appeared as an animal or bird, especially serpent, goat, or raven, intercourse was possible.  Boguet reported how Francoise Secretain admitted copulation with the devil, sometimes as a black man, but also as a dog, cat, or fowl.  Before they were burned, the Scottish witches at Borrowstones in 1679 testified to the commissioners how the devil "would have carnal dealing with [them] in the shape of a deer, or in any other shape, now and then.  Sometimes he would be like a stork, a bull, a deer, a roe, or a dog, and have dealing with [them]."  One of these witches, Margaret Hamilton, was accused of having had "carnal copulation with the devil in the likeness of a man, but he removed from [her] in the likeness of a black dog."--Pitcairn, Criminal Trials.  Pott quoted an earlier anecdote (1605) of the wife of a Wittenberg merchant whose lover one night exclaimed, "Behold your lover, transformed into
a woodpecker," flew off, and was seen no more.  When the demon appeared in animal form, the Church held it was technically no longer an incubus; but the ordinary man or woman did not understand this distinction.  Nuns were supposedly specially subject to this kind of bestial temptation, imagined or real.  Boguet, in his Discours de sorciers, believed the devil frequently assumed the shape of a dog to abuse women, and gave a "remarkable example" from a convent
in the diocese of Cologne, in 1566, where a dog, said to be a devil, lifted up the robes of the nuns in order to abuse them.  Bodin, however, who told the same story, was somewhat less credulous: "In my opinion, it was certainly not a demon but an ordinary dog."  In his Démonomanie, he gave further examples:
He came to the convent of Mont de Hesse in Germany, where the nuns were supposed to be possessed by demons, and saw lying on their cots dogs shamelessly awaiting those suspected of having been assaulted and having committed that sin called the secret sin [la péche muet, i.e., sodomy, because the word is too shocking for honest ears].  At Toulouse, he found a woman who abused herself in this manner; and in front of everybody the dog wanted to mount her.  She confessed to the truth and was burned.
Bodin gave another case in Paris in 1540.  One of the few descriptions of how such an act of bestiality could be performed was given by De Lancre in his Tableau (1612) from what was claimed to be an eyewitness account.  Johannes d'Aguerre swore:
The devil in the form of a goat, having his member in the rear, had intercourse with women by joggling and shoving that thing against their belly.  Marie de Marigrane, aged fifteen years, a resident of Biarritz, affirmed that she had often seen the devil couple with a multitude of women, whom she knew by name and surname, and that it was the devil's custom to have intercourse with the beautiful women from the front, and with the ugly from the rear.
Another witness examined by De Lancre, seventeen-year-old Marguerite de Sare, testified that whether the devil appeared as man or goat--
he always had a member like a mule's, having chosen to imitate that animal as being best endowed by nature; that it was as long and as thick as an arm... and that he always exposed his instrument, of such beautiful shape and measurements.
De Lancre added:
Quite the opposite is told by Boguet, who says the witches in Franche-Comté have never seen one longer than a finger and correspondingly thin.  All that can be said is that Satan serves the witches of Labourd better than he does whose of Franche-Comté!
Since demons have no sex, the traditional position, propounded by Thomas Aquinas, held that they could appear either as men or as women.  The Dominican Charles René Billuart (1685-1757), in his Tractatis de Angelis, wrote: "The same evil spirit may serve as a succubus to a man; and as an incubus to a woman."  By this duality they were able to re-use semen received while acting as succubus for later emission as incubus.  In his Compendium Maleficarum, Guazzo summarized the theory thus:
For devils can assume the bodies of dead men, or re-create for themselves out of air and other elements a palpable body like that of flesh, and to these they can impart motion and heat at their will.  They can therefore create the appearance of sex which they do not naturally have, and abuse men in a feminine form and women in a masculine form, and lie on top of women or lie under men; and they can also produce semen which they have brought from elsewhere, and imitate the natural ejaculation of it.
Martin of Arles suggested that the incubi squeezed out semen from corpses; other demonologists, such as Guazzo, that they stole it from men's nocturnal emissions, and "by speed and experience of physical laws preserved that semen in its fertilizing warmth."  However, the influential Nicholas Remy (1595) believed that all incubi were sterile, and so also did other authorities, such as Ulrich Molitor (1489).  If a woman desired impregnation, the preserved semen was used; otherwise the demon "emits something like semen, yet warm so that the deception will not be discovered"--Guazzo.  Jeanne d'Abadie confessed before De Lancre that "the devil's semen was extremely cold, therefore she never became pregnant by him."  Sinistrari maintained, "as a mere expression of private opinion," that the incubus was itself able to procreate; in this he followed the standard Malleus Maleficarum and Del Rio.  Other writers, such as Pott (1689), believed that the devil was sterile, but that he supplied a stolen child parturition.  The relatively late dissertation of Johann Klein (submitted to the University of Rostock in 1698) gave some of the most detailed accounts of the monstrous offspring of these unions.  A magisterial report told of the confession of a woman who claimed to have given birth first to a tapeworm and later to a girl the size of a jug [Pottkrug], which sucked her breast.  Her incubus, David, removed both.  By another incubus, Hansen, she had a boy and a girl, both of which Hansen took away from her.  She confessed that her incubi continued to consort with her in prison, and that she bore there a further child, which was also removed.  "Although there was a copious flooding which stained the clothes and the floor, all traces of it disappeared."  Bodin gave further stories of monsters resulting from such generation.  And at Toulouse in 1275, it was alleged that Angela de Labarthe gave birth to a monster with a wolf's head and a snake's tail; she was presumably the first woman burned for intercourse with the devil.  Carpzov and Pott also told many stories of this nature, including one of a woman at Augsburg, who in 1531 gave birth to a two-footed serpent.  Legends, perhaps arising from rumors circulated by their enemies, credited many well-known historical figures with devilish origin: Robert (the father of William the Conqueror), Luther, Alexander the Great, Plato, Caesar Augustus, Scipio Africanus;  also Romulus and Remus, Merlin, and the whole race of Huns, and the inhabitants of the Island of Cyprus (Sinistrari).  One early writer believed that Merlin was not fathered by the devil, but was a human child substituted by the devil (Molitor).  Other witches confessed their children were fathered by the devil.  Holinshed's Chronicle told of a young Scots woman discovered copulating with a monster; she later gave birth to "such a misshapen thing as the like before had not been seen."  To avoid dishonor, the family burned the foetus.  A Prodigious and Tragical history of the arraignment, trial, confession, and condemnation of six witches at Maidstone in Kent ... 1652 noted that "Anne Ashly, Anne Martin, and one other of their associates, pleaded that they were with child pregnant, but confessed it was not by any man, but by the devil."  The generally credulous Boguet, however, used common sense in regard to such confessions and asked: "Why should we not rather believe that these women [Rhea and
Leda] used the gods as a screen to cover their incests and adulteries?   And therefore I maintain that the widow of whom Bodin speaks was made pregnant by a natural man, and not by a devil."  Some of the early accounts had emphasized the intense pleasure of diabolic intercourse.  The Inquisitor Nicholas Jacquier, writing in 1458, said it was inordinate carnaliter, and that many witches "for several days afterward remain worn out [afficti et debilitati]."  Italian accounts generally concurred; Grillandus, the famous papal lawyer, reported confessions made to him personally by women who enjoyed the devil "maxima cum voluptate."  William of Paris, in his De Universo, said the devil could delude women into thinking that relations performed only once or twice were repeated fifty or sixty times a night.  On the other hand, La Vauderye de Lyonois (1460) gave the later and more general view, that witches had intercourse with "great fear [timore et pavore]."  This assertion of fear and pain first appeared in print around 1470, when the techniques of demonology were still a novelty, in Jordanes de Bergamo, who wrote: "These self-same witches confess and assert that the tool of the devil as well as his semen is
always frigid."  In nearly all the later accounts, however, those accused of witchcraft said intercourse was painful and lacking pleasure.  So Boguet reported:
Thievenne Paget said, moreover, that when Satan copulated with her she had as much pain as a woman in labor.  Francoise Secretain said that, while she was in the act, she felt something burning in her stomach; and nearly all the witches say this intercourse is by no means pleasurable to them, both because of the devil's ugliness and deformity, and because of the physical pain which it causes them, as we have just said.
Remy likewise quoted a witch as saying that copulation was devoid of satisfaction and painful.  In his Tableau, De Lancre gave some of the reasons:
Marie de Marigrane, a girl of Biarritz aged fifteen years, affirmed that it seemed that the member of this devil for its full length was of two parts, half of iron, half of flesh, and similarly his testicles; and she testified to have seen it many times at the sabbat as she described it.  Furthermore, she had heard many women, who had slept with the devil, say that he made them cry out like women in travail with child, and that he always held his tool exposed.  Petry de Linarre testified that the devil had his instrument made out of horn, or at least it looked like that, and that is why he made the women cry out so much.
Another of De Lancre's witnesses added further details of the devil's penis.
This was generally sinuous, pointed, and snake-like, made sometimes of half-iron and half-flesh, at other times wholly of horn, and commonly forked like a serpent's tongue; he customarily performed both coitus and pederasty at once, while sometimes a third prong reached to his lover's mouth.
A devil "cum membro bifurcato" was mentioned as early as 1520. Similar confessions from Lorraine were recorded by remy in his Demonolatreiae:
The female witches also all maintain that when they are laid by their demons, they can admit, only with the greatest pain, what are reputed their tools, because they are so huge and rigid.  Alexia Drigie examined her devil's penis when it was sticking up, and said it was always as long as some kitchen utensils which then happened to be in view and which she pointed out with her finger; but that there was nothing where the testicles should be hanging.  Claudia Fellet said she herself had often experienced something forced into her, swollen to such a size, that no matter how capacious a vagina a woman might have, she would not be able to hold it without extreme pain.  And nearly all the other witches complain they are very unwilling to be embraced by their demons, but that it is useless to struggle against them.
One witch, Antide Colas, reported by Boguet, reputedly had a hole below her navel, through which she had intercourse with the devil; she had relations with her husband by the vagina.  However, when examined by the court, only a scar on her stomach was visible.  Testimony is almost unanimous as to the coldness of the devil.  Boguet quoted Jacquema Paget, a witch of Franche-Comté, who had several times taken in her hand the member of the devil which slept with her, and that it was as cold as ice and a finger's length, but not as thick as that of a man.  Thievenne Paget and Antoine Tornier also added that the members of their devils were as long and big as one of their fingers.

Another girl quoted by Boguet said that the semen "kept its original warmth," but this comment is not typical.  For example, Sylvine de la Paline, aged twenty-three, condemned to be burned by the Parlement of Paris in 1616, described her experiences: "The devil had known her once before, and his member was like that of a horse, and on insertion it was as cold as ice and ejected ice-cold semen, and on his withdrawing it burned her as if it had been on fire."  Guazzo related how a "wench of intelligent appearance" was tried before the Parlement of Aquitaine in 1594.  After describing the preparations for the witches' sabbat, she continued her testimony:

Afterwards, the Italian [boy friend] again took the girl to the same place; and then the goat asked her for a tress or lock of her hair, which the Italian cut and gave to him.  By this token the goat led her apart as his bride into a neighboring wood, and, pressing her against the ground, penetrated her.  But the girl said that she found this operation quite lacking in any sensation of pleasure, for she rather experienced a very keen pain and sense of horror of the goat's semen, which was a cold as ice.
A few similar reports came for England.  Mother Bush of Barton in 1649 said that the devil who visited her in the form of a young man "was colder than man, and heavier, and could not perform nature as man"--Stearne, Confirmation and Discovery of Witchcraft. In 1662 Isobel Gowdie (Janet Breidheid, too) of Auldearne, Scotland, described the devil as "a mickle, black, rough man, very cold, and found his 'nature ' as cold within [her] as spring well water." (Pitcairn, Criminal Trials, 1833)  In Treves, in 1572, Eva of Kenn admitted intercourse with a devil, but " it was like an icicle." And Johnann Klein (1698), while admitting that women may imagine intercourse in erotic dreams, nevertheless believed in reality of he reports of actual intercourse "cum semine frigidissimo."  Guazzo explained, "As for the cold semen, that is only found in the case of witches who are fully aware that he is a devil."  The coldness of the devil rapidly became part of folk literature, sot that in the Strange and Wonderful History of Mother Shipton (London, 1686), a kind of "merry tale," Agatha Soothtell, when sixteen, was seduced by the devil
in the shape of a very handsome young man ... [who] prevailed so far as to gain her, but his touches (as she afterwards confessed to the midwife) were as cold as ice or snow.  From this time forward, she was commonly once a day visited by her hellish gallant, and never wanted money.
The famous English philosopher Henry More, in his Antidote Against Atheism (1653), gave what he imagined a scientific reason for this characteristic.
It stands to good reason that the bodies of devils, being nothing but coagulated water (which is snow or ice); and that it should have a more keen and piercing cold, it consisting of more subtle particles than those of water, and therefore more fit to insinuate, and more accurately and stingingly to affect and touch the nerves.
Whatever Sinistrari might have though about the classification  of the incubus--spirit, human, or animal--intercourse with a devil was held the equivalent of buggery, for which the penalty was burning.  In a few of the confessions, a distinction of the type of intercourse was made.  In 1624, Marie-de-Sains, self-styled princess of magic, said she had committed in "in the usual way," and also "the crime of sodomy and bestiality," that is, with the devil in the form of an animal--Histoire véritable, Paris, 1624.  The Provost marshal of the French armies, Le Sieur Bouvet, lumped together intercourse with the devil and sexual relations between Christians and "Jews, Turks, pagans, and other infidels, because of the strange hatred these have for the Catholic Church, for which reason they are treated as animals lacking the way to salvation."  The sinning couple should be burned together--the devil, of course, would leave the witch to go to the stake alone.  An early Latin tract (1460) on the Arras witches summarizes the curious beliefs about sexual relations with devils:
At the sabbats of the Vaudois, the presiding devil took aside the neophyte and carried her off to one side of the grove, so that in his own fashion he might make love to her and have carnal knowledge of her; to whom he said maliciously that he would lay her down on the ground supporting herself on her two hands and feet, and that he could not have intercourse with her in any other way other position; and that was the way the presiding devil enjoyed her, because at the first sensation by the neophyte of the member of the presiding devil, very often it appeared cold and soft, as very frequently the whole body.  At first he put it in the natural orifice and ejaculated the spoiled yellowing sperm, collected from nocturnal emissions or elsewhere, then in the anus, and in this manner inordinately abused her. ...  Upon her return to the sabbat, the neophyte, before the banquet, entered into sexual relations with any other man. ...  Then, the torches (if there are any) being extinguished, each one at the order of the presiding devil takes his partner and has intercourse.  Sometimes indeed indescribably outrages are perpetrated in exchanging women, by order of the presiding devil, by passing on a woman to other women and a man to other men, an abuse against the nature of women by both parties and similarly against the nature of men, or by a woman with a man outside the regular orifice and in another orifice. ...  Indeed a man experiences no pleasure with a she-devil, neither a woman with a he-devil; but they only consent to copulate out of fear and obedience. ...  In the second intercourse, however, the woman neophyte herself is known carnally by some demon, intimately and thoroughly, in the same way it was first done by the presiding demon; but in other succeeding copulations no more by a demon; except when on account of the paucity of men to complete the pairings (which happens whenever the greater part of the group there consist of women rather than men) the demons take over the part of the men in copulation, as it happens sometimes, though only occasionally.  When the women are fewer, the complement is filled by she-devils, and this happens very frequently in other unions, in addition to the first two couplings, in the first of which, after admission to the group, in returning to the presiding devil, a man has intercourse with a female devil. ...  Indeed, as sometimes happens, yet only occasionally, a certain man always has copulation with a she-devil, and it is an indication of extreme vileness in him; and likewise in any woman who has all her unions with a devil rather than with a man. (Hansen, Quellen)
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