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Malleus Maleficarum - The Witches' Hammer, part 2

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

Question 2 (This part of the text is focused on whether witches and the Devil have to work together or if they can achieve the same effects without cooperating.)

The author states that the Devil does not need witches, as evidenced by the story of Job and a few other stories from the Bible. However, the Devil likes to use witches as tools to spread his evil actions. It's said that the Devil, being a spirit, cannot have direct contact with a human body, so he uses witches to do that part for him.

The author then goes on to say that witches don't always need the Devil, either. From the text: And so women in order to bring about changes in the bodies of others sometimes make use of certain things, which exceed our knowledge, but this is without any aid from the devil. However, a witch's power alone is considerably weaker than a witch who has made a pact with the Devil.

It's important that I tell you that the book makes a distinction between witches and other magic users. Healers are fine. Saints performing miracles are fine, even if those miracles result in death. Witches, however, specifically only do malefic magic.

(The word "witch" has a very different meaning today. A lot of people, including Wiccans, use the word "witch" to describe themselves even if they only do benevolent magic. However, for the sake of these posts, we need to use the historic meaning of the word in the way that the author intends.)

Question 3 (This section is about whether children can be created by Incubi and Succubi.)

As we established in Question 2, the Devil is a spirit and thus cannot have direct contact with human bodies. Incubi, however, seem to be a different story.

The author conflates incubi with satyrs and fauns (from Greek and Roman mythology, respectively), saying that they are physical creatures: a type of demon that lives in the woods and comes out to perform sexual acts on humans.

Humans who have been married are protected from Incubi and Succubi, as marriage is considered protected by God. Only unmarried humans were thought to be at risk.

Since Incubi are apparently physical creatures, it is possible for them to collect and move human semen in a way that results in pregnancy. It appears that the next question in the book will explain exactly how this works.

Question 4 (How do these sexy demons do sex stuff?)

This section mostly seems concerned with establishing that there is a hierarchy to these things. Angels rule over devils. Incubi and Succubi are devils. Incubi and Succubi only seem to have sex with humans in a way that leads to procreation (no same-sex relations or oral/anal/manual sex; boring).

(Seriously, shouldn't sex demons do all the fun sex stuff? Moving on...)

The author lists several names for the Devil and their meanings.

Diabolus has a few meanings.

- "two morsels," since he kills the body and spirit

- "shut in prison," since he can do limited harm

- "downflowing," since he flowed down (fell down) from Heaven


- "cunning over blood"


- "without yoke or master"


- "lord of the flies"


- "adversary"


- "beast"


- "creature of judgement," devil of fornification


- "their addition," devil of pride


- the devil of avarice and riches

The devils that are assigned these tasks are allowed by God to carry them out. While carrying out their tasks, they are in the "lower mists," but not in hell. They won't be in hell until after Judgement Day.

That... didn't actually seem to answer our question, but let's leave it there for this week. We'll pick up again next Sunday.

Stay safe!

- me

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