Monday, June 20, 2016

'Malleus Maleficarum' - "Hammer of the Witch"

Hammer of the witch || Malleus Maleficarum - The Book 

Unfolded Mysteries

The above video deals with the detailed study of the medieval book malleus maleficarum commonly known as hammer of the witch.

Malleus Maleficarum

The Malleus Maleficarum (commonly rendered into English as "Hammer of the Witches"; Der Hexenhammer in German) is a treatise on the prosecution of witches, written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer, a German Catholic clergyman. The book was first published in Speyer, Germany, in 1487. Jacob Sprenger is also often attributed as an author, but some scholars now believe that he became associated with the Malleus Maleficarum largely as a result of Kramer's wish to lend his book as much official authority as possible.

Both purported writers of the work were Dominican clergy, and the work came about as “the result of a peculiarly Dominican encounter between learned and folk traditions, an encounter determined in part by the demands of inquisitorial office, and in part by the requirements of effective preaching and pastoral care.” In 1490, three years after its publication, the Catholic Church condemned the Malleus Maleficarum, although it was later used by royal courts during the Renaissance, and contributed to the increasingly brutal prosecution of witchcraft during the 16th and 17th centuries.

'Malleus Maleficarum' - Free PDF download

Vehmic Court

The Vehmic Court predated the 'Malleus Maleficarum' by as much as two centuries, although it overlapped and no doubt absorbed it in Medieval German speaking socieities. In the same way that there was great irony in that the Vehmic Court actually used ancient German pagan symbols as it's own; I was thinking that the "Hammer of the Witches" reminds me of the Odinic Hammer of Thor. Certainly some of these German magickal traditions were conflated with Odinic tradition, therefore instead of Witches being "hammered"... it could almost be a symbolic protest to these policies of this time period by attaching that to Thor's Hammer in some form. I always say that if someone takes symbols away from you which were yours to begin with.... don't be intimidated.... yank it back from them! "Recapture the flag."


8-21-16 Addition: "Vehmgericht or Vehmegericht" simply means "Vehmic Court" in German. Also, in the section "Malleus Maleficarum" within the posting in the below link 'Legacies of Charlemagne', the year 400 for the Malleus Maleficarum was incorrect (he forgot the "1" in 1400). Lastly, I cannot find any reference to Charlemagne having founded any forerunner of the Vehmic Court, as it came into existence at least four centuries after his death. 

I just wanted to make note of the "Vehmic alphabet" for further study. As covered numerous times before on this blog, the powerful symbolism used by the Vehmic Court was taken from ancient German/European traditions. This, despite the fact that they were killing pagans for the crime of having the wrong religion; right along with thieves, murderers, rapists, etc. The logical next step is to find more reference to this alphabet, and discover its actual origin.

The Vehmic Alphabet

Craig Stanton - Miskatonic Debating Club & Literary Society - excerpt from 'Legacies of Charlemagne' - August 6, 2013

According to tradition, Charlemagne established the Vehmgericht in the German Catholic areas of his kingdom after 772 AD to enforce his will upon the recently suppressed Pagan Saxon tribes. As part of his war of attrition against them, he forcibly moved over 30,000 Saxons across the Rhine and replaced them with an equivalent number of devout “West Gauls” who became known as the Westphalians.

The Vehmgericht was established by five knights who enacted vigilante justice upon any Saxons who railed against the rule imposed upon them. The word “vehm” is said to derive from the German word for tree – baum – and is indicative of the tendency of this cadre to decorate forests with the hanged bodies of their victims. In time, this bloodthirsty unit attracted the attention of another organisation with similar interests, that of quelling non-believers – the Inquisition. It can be no coincidence that the Vehmic Alphabet and that adopted by the Inquisition bear marked similarities.


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