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Malleus Maleficarum - The Witches' Hammer, Part 11

Alright, time to read some more of the Malleus Maleficarum!

How do devils use witches to entice others into witchcraft?

There are three main ways that devils tempt humans into witchcraft.

  1. Loss. Devils and witches will take everything they can from you until you give in. What's wrong, the cow you use for milk and the chickens you use for eggs all died? Your garden dried up so now you have no food at all? You know, I bet a witch could give you healthy animals and teach you how to properly care for plants... for a small fee... nothing big, really... Just agree to do her bidding when the time comes and you'll be square. This method tends to be used on older women.

  2. Sex. Younger women care less about cows and more about material goods and hedonistic pleasures, so devils will tempt them through things like cute boys talking to them... privately.

  3. Heartbreak and revenge. Specifically, the example given is a young woman who has had sex with a man thinking they would be married soon... but then he marries someone else. Do you think she's just gonna sit there and let that happen? Let the man who betrayed her live happily ever after? Absolutely not. She turns to witchcraft for revenge, seeking to ruin that man's life. You know what they say about a woman scorned.

People who have nothing to lose (or who feel like they have nothing to lose) are dangerous. Even now, we can see how these methods would draw women to the dark arts. This was especially true at the time that this was written, when women had to rely on men for financial support and a woman's virginity was considered so valuable. You do whatever you have to do to survive.

It's a short one this time, but an important thing to note.

Stay safe!

- me

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