Having seen the previous world of Montague Summers we will continue this journey to the world of lies and propaganda through the book of Grillot de Givry, Witchcraft, Magic and Alchemy. The first edition was published in 1931 and the one I use was published in 1971 and reissued in 2009 from Dover publications. The same publishing house of Montague Summers' books. Émile-Jules Grillot de Givry was a catholic, freemason (Memphis-Misraim) with an interest in the occult, but from what any occultist can see, this man continued the medieval propaganda against Witchcraft and it took it a step further, as he considers that the art around witchcraft and magic depicts reality. Yes, you are not crazy, this is what he considers. So, previous writers considered that confessions (sic) of witches were real, he considers that painting depicted the truth. So, the book is full of very nice illustrations, which are commented by the author. If they were archaeological data, we would consider this commenting as valid, but art doesn't have to obey reality.
The book doesn't have any introduction or comments on those weird ideas and the beginner who wants to read about those subjects is going to believe a lot of wrong ideas. Another weird thing is that he was into masonic lodges and he was a friend of Papus and Peladan and Guaita and yet he writes so many lies on witchcraft and magic, in which he doesn't address at all the magic of secret societies and writings of these writers who belonged to them. So, we can assume that masonic lodges were fighting magic and witchcraft from these earlier times of the 20th century.
Witchcraft, Magic & Alchemy
The book starts with the writer's opinion that the witches of the Middle Ages can trace their roots in the witch of Endor (see Wikipedia) and not Circe/Kirke. Now, that's weird as Circe is an archetype of the witch for us Hellenes/Greeks and you can see that in our article and other articles as well from our website. We can assume that for Mr. Givry the medieval witches performed necromancy more often than using herbs and potions. Let's see the main views of the writer. I have commented some of them because I couldn't hold myself not to.
- Sorcerers and priests of the church of the devil. "Satan had his priests indeed, who were the sorcerers... his priestesses, the witches." We see that he didn't understand that witchcraft and sorcery are not the same thing and that a witch can be a male or a female. He states that a sorcerer is anyone who invokes "the curse of hell". "The sorcerer was in complete opposition to the priest (he means the Christian priest)."
- A monk can be a sorcerer and a monarch can be a sorcerer. He names Catherine de Medicis and Henry the 3rd. Popes can be sorcerers like St Leo the Great, Honorius, Silvester the 2nd. Ok, wait a minute. If a priest of Christianity can't be a sorcerer, how a Pope, who is the chief priest of Christianity, can be a sorcerer? It's illogical, as his methodology too.
- "The witch is naked... she is riding a goat." He comments on an anaglyph of Lyons cathedral and he thinks this is reality.
- Nowadays cartomancers, cheiromancers, and astrologers are "the sorcerers of the towns". Since he claims that witches are the female priests of the devils, but he doesn't mention them on the sorcerers of the towns, he denies the fact that there are female cartomancers, astrologers etc. Again, he denies reality.
- "The sabbath, which as we have said, was in some sort of diabolistic masterpiece, presided over by satan in person." Witches flew in broomsticks to even other continents to meet for the sabbath. They could also ride animals or become animals. They could ride with other devils or by themselves. Shapeshifting witches "were most expert and specially cherished by satan". "Witches thus transformed into animals, chiefly wolves, spread terror throughout the countrysides." In chapter six, he repeats himself "the sabbath... remain one of the most disquieting features of the Middle Ages, was certainly the satanic master-work." He shows and comments depictions with witches offering a child to the devil, kissing his ass, kneeling before him, stepping over the cross, being baptized by them etc. Witches had sex with the devil in the sabbath. "We may note that intimacy frequently occurred between demons and women." Witches kidnap children to offer them to the devil in the sabbath, else they "were obliged to bring their own children to the sabbath, if they had any, under penalty of losing favour in the eyes o the master of hell." In the sabbath, the witches ate human flesh of children and unclean animals. Witches were naked in the sabbath, as satan himself tore their clothes. Zealous witches kissed "the posteriors of every demon they met" yet non-zealous witches kissed the posteriors of the devil alone. Sabbaths included "frankly satanic ceremonies such as the act of renouncing the Gospels or trampling the Cross underfoot."
- He sees ceremonial magicians as people who are not bound from the demons because they won't go to the sabbath, but as people who bind demons during the evocation process. Who told him that people who do evocations of demons don't do it in groups?
- He believes that the Key of Solomon, the famous grimoire was written by Solomon! And he mentions Michael Psellos, Niketas Choniates, Emmanouel Komnenos, Michel Glykas but he doesn't suspect that they are referring to another book which was the base of the much later Key of Solomon.
- On page 104 he interprets AGLA as Aieth Gadol Leolam Adonai and not as Ateh Gibor Leolam Adonai, which is the correct one.
- "The stories of persons who sold their souls to the devil are innumerable..." Since he believes that witches made pacts with the devil, he "carried the pact away into hell" and for him this is "the reason why there are no copies of it in our libraries and archives." He doesn't consider that maybe because that's a myth of Christian propaganda.
- The dogs of Agrippa were wearing necromantic collars and they were "really demons".
- "Paracelsus had a demon shut up in the crystal pommel of his famous sword; various authorities assert that Azoth was the name of the creature." Maybe, that was a spirit and not a demon? But, for the author, all witches are servants of the devil... so, no luck.
- "Witches sometimes transformed themselves also into harpies and vampires."
- Necromancy is always connected with the devil. He mentions that Dee and Kelly performed a necromantic rite because it is depicted by Mathieu Giraldo and he comments that Kelly was less anxious than Dee. He also mentions that when Kelly traveled to Cracow and Prague with Kelly they were evoking demons. In fact, he writes the title of the book "A True And Faithful Relation Of What Passed...". Well, something is wrong with him, because in this book, John Dee describes his magical operations and communications with angels, not demons and it becomes weirder the fact that the author claims such things because he has translated Dee's work Hieroglyphic Monad. So, either he had dementia or amnesia or he had absolutely no idea about Dee's work. He is also judging Dee's communication method! He also writes that spiritualism is a better method than necromantic rituals! Imagine that!
- Magical philters are only for drinking for the purpose of causing love emotions.
- In chapter 7 he writes that Alliette was a barber, which is classic masonic propaganda and then he seems not to understand what Alliette was trying to do with his tarot deck of cards. He is protesting about the change of the order in Major Arcana, but he doesn't complain about the same change in the RWS tarot deck with Justice and Force.
- He states that cartomancers made progress for not going to the sabbath and staying in the luxurious suites. He believes that medieval cartomancers were having sex with the devil and that the later one of the 18th century decided that they didn't want to fly, shapeshift, have orgies and eat babies... I am letting my readers judge his thoughts. Another thing, in a previous chapter we read that cartomancers are the sorcerers of the towns, so, if they are sorcerers, thus servants of the devil as he states, then how do they deny going to the sabbath? He is contradicting himself.
- "Gods are dead, but talismans remain." How can an immortal die? He doesn't explain it. But if they are dead, then why does magic work? "Maleficent talismans are offensive... beneficial talismans are defensive". So, if I create a talisman for making money, I am defending. From what? It's obviously wrong discrimination.