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The Pact

Article Index

  1. The Pact
  2. Making a Pact
  3. Famous Pacts
  4. Breaking a Pact

One of the more interesting but upsetting aspects of demonology is the recurring theme of humans making a pact with the devil.

The myth of Faust is the most well known of these: in exchange for one's soul, Satan will bestow one with wealth or power for a specified time.

In most versions of the story, Faust tricks the devil and avoids payment. In the original, the devil mutilates and kills Faust at the end of the contract. His brains are splattered on the walls of his room, his eyes and teeth lay on the floor and his corpse rests outside on a dunghill.

According to most superstitions, witches were said to acquire their supernatural powers through a pact with the Devil. Prosecutors who were looking for tangible proofs and legal contracts made with Satan began to appear in courts during the XVth century.

The witches or wizards engaged to such practices were alleged to reject Jesus and the sacraments; observe "the witches' sabbath" (performing infernal rites which often parodied the Mass or other sacraments of the Church); pay Divine honour to the Prince of Darkness; and, in return, receive from him preternatural powers.

The pact can be oral or written. An oral pact is made by means of invocations, conjurations, or rituals to attract the demon; once the conjurer thinks the demon is present, he/she asks for the wanted favour and offers his/her soul in exchange, and it was believed that a Devil's Mark, like the brand on cattle, was placed upon a witch's skin by the devil to signify that this pact had been made and that on the spot where the mark was left, the marked person could feel no pain. The mark could be used as a proof to determine that the pact was made.

A written pact consists in the same forms of attracting the demon, but includes a written act, usually signed with the conjurer's blood.

According to demonology, there is a specific month, day of the week, and hour to call each demon, so the invocation for a pact has to be done at the right time.

Also, as each demon has a specific function, a certain demon is invoked depending on what the conjurer is going to ask.  

More about demons and the Devil.

 

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Practices of witches

 

The Witches Gallery

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