Mar 31, 2012

Pacts with demons and Contract with Adversary

Pacts with spirits are common thing in magick and occultism that can really be seen from various perspectives. Sometimes among deities themselves, according to myths, like in Egypt, where goddess Mut was a subject of complot of her “fellows” who thought how  she has become too powerful at certain point. Taking sides in common confrontations of deities in Greek or Roman polytheistic pantheons was almost what we might call “every day “ common thing. The pact does not always necessarily carry malevolent connotation, although that’s very possible indeed. Not all “pacts with Dev*l” are misnamed agreements with Crossroad spirits, Trickster spirits or Chthonic creatures. There are people , be them practitioners or not that consciously and willingly step in such pact.

Even the culture is influenced by such motifs. Italy counts more than ten ( possibly more ) bridges called “Ponto del Diavolo”, and plenty more appear in Europe ( France , Germany, there is one in Welsh If I am not wrong ) many of which are, according to legend(s), created as a result of the pact with the De*il, or possibly some spirit perceived  at given point as such.

Many works of art, music in particular are said to have came to be with the help of certain spirits. A prominent, well know example in African American culture, particularly among blues musicians and in the  Conjure community is the case of Sir Robert Johnson , who publicly claimed how De*il taught him how to play guitar on crossroads. It has ever since become one or many examples of Crossroads lore and meeting, and teachings  about Black man of the Crossroads  , in Hoodoo and Conjure community. They do however say , how this ( legend ) is actually related to contemporary fellow of Robert Johnson, called Tommy Johnson[1]

Then, there is a popular , and If I may add , notorious classic work , The Violin Sonata in G minor, more famously known as the Devil's Trill Sonata , by Giuseppe Tartini ( 1692 – 1770 ) , technically extremely challenging, said to be a result of pact, or at least teaching of De*il , as actual Christian figure. Though why could have  the malevolent spirit acted as teacher to Tartini here,  is still a mystery . Here is how Tartini himself described the experience in Lalande's Voyage d'un Fran├žois en Italie (1765 - 66):

"One night, in the year 1713 I dreamed I had made a pact with the devil for my soul. Everything went as I wished: my new servant anticipated my every desire. Among other things, I gave him my violin to see if he could play. How great was my astonishment on hearing a sonata so wonderful and so beautiful, played with such great art and intelligence, as I had never even conceived in my boldest flights of fantasy. I felt enraptured, transported, enchanted: my breath failed me, and - I awoke. I immediately grasped my violin in order to retain, in part at least, the impression of my dream. In vain! The music which I at this time composed is indeed the best that I ever wrote, and I still call it the "Devil's Trill", but the difference between it and that which so moved me is so great that I would have destroyed my instrument and have said farewell to music forever if it had been possible for me to live without the enjoyment it affords me." [2]

Whether or not he had actually sold his soul, we may never know.
An American minister and folklorist H.M. Hyatt , in his anthropological account “Hoodoo, rootwork , Conjuartion , Witchcraft’ noted  down some narrative  methods of contacting and getting help from the Crossroad De*il, or Black Man of the Crossroads, a manifestation of Crossroad spirit , as seen in Conjure community. Due to Christianization, people started calling this spirit De*il , and ritual and magickal practices associated with it “selling the soul”. It is worth mentioning here that those terms do not have literal meaning, nor do they share Christian perspective of them among the Hoodoo and African-American Conjure people. Also unlike in Christian Medieval ( and contemporary , why not ) thought , this spirit, if paid , is paid most often in silver coin “per lesson” or with graveyard dirt ritually collected in his honor. This is why such rituals mostly start in graveyard and end up on Crossroads. While some anthropologists try to associate this spirit with the Teutonic Der Tefuel , it is much more likely that Crossroad spirit is simply some of the Lwa that reside on Crossroad , acting like road openers or trickster spirits ( Papa Legba, orCarrefour even ) Crossroads spirits often teach various mental skills or manual dexterities, like playing guitar or benjo as mentioned above in text, or like in following excerpt from Hoodoo – Conjuration – Witchcraft – Rootwork” as kindly shared on Lucky Mojo website:

349. If you want to know how to play a banjo or a guitar or do magic tricks, you have to sell yourself to the de*il. You have to go to the cemetery nine mornings and get some of the dirt and bring it back with you and put it in a little bottle, then go to some fork of the road and each morning sit there and try to play that guitar. Don't care what you see come there, don't get 'fraid and run away. Just stay there for nine mornings and on the ninth morning there will come some rider riding at lightning speed in the form of the de*il. You stay there then still playing your guitar and when he has passed you can play any tune you want to play or do any magic trick you want to do because you have sold yourself to the de*il. [3]

In Italy, especially in places like Venice and notorious Benevento, it is common belief that certain witches freely and willingly sell their souls to Christian De*il, despite the fact they are not Christians themselves , in exchange for great occult powers. Sometimes, according to the folk, soul is not the price, rather service and partnership are.

In Balkan Peninsula folk magick, pact with all sort of natural and chthonic spirits are so very common, that I could not possibly elaborate even just the common ones here. Hopefully , I might on some other occasion  , dedicate a longer, more elaborate and comprehensive blog post to it. I shall howeve r, mention few examples here. In Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Croatia and Romania, it is common to make pact with a chthonic spirit called “Tartor” which is described as “water De*il” , though called so most likely due to Christianization, much like it’s case with Black man of the Crossroad in Hoodoo. To make a pact with it, witch must enter cold water naked, with untied, loose hair and pledge to loyalty and service. Sometimes , this is not enough , for Tartor may ask for Young pretty girl, which the witch or Cunning women shall provide. The girl enters river naked, with loose hair as well, and is often forced to intercourse with the mentioned spirit. Pact with this spirit is also the answer to a deadly condition, when he fascinates Young men that accidentally fall asleep near river in bad hours of night, or near the watermills , a cultic place in Balkan traditional and folk witchery. In such case cunning men ( or women lol ) shall take the young men to make a pact with the spirit, and so to be saved from drowning, in which would the condition otherwise result. Similar is the pact with Smeu, a parasitic dragon –man creature of Balkan folklore, with whom girls or boys ( for he, dragon Smeu is androgynous and can take on gender which he feels like ) can create a pact, where he does them favors and get sexual service in return. Unlike Tartor, despite his harsh nature that leaps more on malevolent side, Smeu ( also called Zmei, Zmeu etc ) is not seen as De*il nor identified with it.

My friend Artemisia, has recently shared with me some brilliant information on Fae lore in Bulgaria, among other including examples on how are pacts made with Fae there. In Eastern Europe folklore, pacts can be made with fae Folk , and are usually less threatening and dangerous in nature than pacts with chthonic or demonnic spirits. Typical examples would be pacts with “Diva Samodiva” as known in Bulgaria ( known as “Vila” in Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and some regions of Croatia ) which is made in more ways than one. They can “brother” ( verb, become brothers with ) Young man who would show themselves as worthy by respecting Nature and protecting it, respecting forests , meadows, plants animals and fighting for them. A less humane way would be stealing their veil while they bathe and returning it only for a favor, or for marriage as Young man of Balkan would do, for these Fae are extremely beauty and have enchanting, dazzling eyes that can mesmerize any man [4] .

In Eastern Europe, folk songs, and tales speak of sacrifice bound pact with River Fae and Water De*il’s , where an animal or even kid in some cases would be offered as part of pact, and in return the mentioned spirit would not torment people and village. Today it’s more often to offer green branches, bread, rice, or wheat as tribute to all sort of River entities, while either evoking them or simply appeasing. It’s still perceived as form of pact, often done repeatedly over some time.
Now I will be mentioning later in text how did the Balkan folk perceive pacts with actual de*il and what was needed for such.

Contract with the Wicked one in occult and Medieval Christian tradition, and on Dr Faust

According to occult teachings, one could acquire a contract with the fiend, via means of Higher magick work, such as Invocation and Evocation of spirits. Christian theology agrees on such , although perceiving what’s called as Higher magick as demon worship, sometimes.
In her "Encyclopedia of Witchcraft", on 194th page, Rosemary Ellen Guiley provides all alleged terms those that wanted pact had to fulfill, among other, denying protection of Christian G’d and Virgin Mary, mocking of baptism, foreswearing of old name , getting new godfathers renouncing the old ones etc. [5]
In Eastern Europe, particularly in Balkans, according to folk tradition there are various methods of entering a pact with demon or making a contract, all sharing some common traits, among other not bathing for a specific amount of time, not praying and not cutting hand nails for 40 days , sometimes less. After that the person was to visit chtonic places, such as Crossroads, Watermills , or under large dead tree trunks. Then it’s suggested that the person in question invokes demon with personal invocation that usually included renouncing of all good and pledging to service evil. In exchange, most often great occult powers were received.
The practitioner, willing to sell their soul for favors, power, money or whatever, would often used the demonic signatures, or sigils, to contact the demon or the Wicked one itself, and the rest would go as any bargain. Sometimes these items ( sigils ) needed for contact or acquiring more occult power were given to practitioner by spirits themselves, or shall I say demons, some of which were obtained from classical grimoires such as Goetia, “The Lesser key of Solomon” or “The Great book of St.Cyprian”.
The person in subject, that wanted a pact, had to renounce Christian G’d , or If they have not been Christian, pledge to loyalty to the fiend. Contracts would then be made, in actual physical form, one taken by the Wicked spirit and one reserved by practitioner.

Typical examples of such deals would be that of Louis Gaufridi ( 17th centry Priest ) and the Wicked spirit himself. Louise was allegedly given power to fascinate, bewitch , enchant and seduce by blow of mouths.[6] The “Malleus Malleficarum” text speaks of such pacts with the fiend, particulary among witches to procure spending occult powers and abilities, which they accordingly used to wreak havoc and cause misfortune, as suggested in mentioned work. Such people were also said to have been branded by means of senseless spot on their skin, which could not be affected by pain or physical injuring, This was taken as “diagnostic criteria” indicative or witches that consorted with demons, most commonly Wicked one in person.
However other demons have been keen on such pacts as well, even lesser one. Peter Stubbs or Stumpp ( also spelt Stubbe ) admitted being given magickal belt, that enabled him to become man slaughtering and devouring beast, by will, by an incubus demon.

Sometimes Dev*l shall send other demons to close the bargain in his name . Like in the famous legend about Dr Faust, who feeling unfulfilled with the knowledge he had, offers himself to the De*il. The Wicked spirits sends an emissary instead, called Mephistopheles who nevertheless closed the pact with Dr Faust, that was to end in De*il himself obtaining the poor man’s sould nevertheless. Many believe that, at least the protagonist of the legend ( and latter of the Goethe’s novel ) was an actual, once alive person. However the identity of true Dr Faust remains vague, although speculations and theories of it exist. It’s widely believed that the figure was actually Dr. Johann Georg Faust , that lived at the end of fifteenth, till first half of sixteenth century, and was known as magician and alchemist with an degree in divinity from Helidelber g university. Other common belief is that ( one of the many possible sources of the legend ) it was Johann Fust, Johann Guttenberg’s business partner. Be it as it had been, the legend is alive even nowadays nevertheless, spreading it’s influence and warning even to pop culture, and is present in jargon speech and phrases, “Faustian deal” being one suc h example, denoting a bad barging/deal, where the price heavily surpasses gain, and therefore is no t really worth of same.

Breaking the pacts

A pact with the spirit can be broken in numerous ways. Now, it’s worth nothing here the semantics I use ( and have used throughout this article ) ; I see pact with spirit as possible deal with any non human entity, whreas the “contract” is what is used in phrase Contract with the demon or Dev*il, entities present only in Judeo- Christian religions, which does not imply people of other religions , or magicko-religious traditions or systems of all kind, could not make contract with De*il, for if they wanted to, they might be able.
So, the pact with the spirit can be “dissolved” according to Higher magick teachings, and while there are few universal methods, each is adjusted to specific spirits with whom the pact is to be broken. It refers to correspondences , for breaking a pact with Moon spirit, You’ll among other need silver or white robe, altar cloth, candles , Moon correspondent incense etc. Many pacts with spirits are made so they can be broken at any point, although sometimes people are warned that the spirit would retaliate, which I consider to be utterly rare, If possible, especially in mentioned case. Many occultists accept three methods of interaction with the spirit :

• Devotion – long tome practice associated with spirit, including some kind of worship, or offerings or appease
• Ceremony – Basic invocation or evocation techniques, use to make spirits do our biddings or cause what some see as voluntary possession others as channeling or being driven etc
• Drama – combination of aforementioned and creation of thoughtforms or rather so called god-forms to act as some sort of channel of the deity [7]

Each of mentioned can be seen as pact. But a pact which is informal in nature, and as such can be dismissed at any point. The key with “dissolving” even more formal pacts with spirits ( as aforementioned ) is in respectful treatment, appeasing the spirits and thanking them, but clearly showing You are to break the pact from whichever the reason You might have. Like in the example with the Moon spirit I mentioned. For a more standard procedure example I encourage You to look into this , brilliant, post:

What about contracts , as contracts with Demon’s or Dev*l , which are very formal in nature indeed, according to many, all with physical contract existing.
Well , truth be told weather it is always possible, remains a subject of fiery debates   among occultists. In   Christianity there is a method of undoing such pact, and it involves a form of exorcism, which according to written Middle-age testimonies would result also in retrieval of physical contracts,
Even though that was of secondary value, really.
For an example of such, traditional exorcism, used for breaking pacts, I shall once again refer You to :

Where Sir Leitch has provided example of such ritual as well , for one’s convenience and for it’s educational value

An Christian Saint and Mystic St Alfonso Maria De Liguori following steps are undertake to break a pact with a demon :

• Renounce and abjure any contract with Satan.
• Destroy all writings, talismans, charms, etc., connected with the black art.
• Burn the written contract, or declare you regret and reject it.
• Make restitution for any harm done, insofar as is possible.


Sometimes before or after this one could take Hyssop baths , reading 51st Psalm , perhaps for 13 consecutive days , and confess sins. I think that the maxima “prevention is the best cure” applies very good here though


NOTES: This article was written and composed by myself, therfore,d If You wish to use any part of it elswhere give credits ; Shadow of Shadows magick place,, or a direct link to this post
[1] according to Lucky mojo, website Crossroads entry, for link see under [3] bellow
[2] from
[3] quotation is from
[4] Written contribution by Miss Artemisia , a dear friend and knowledgeable magick practitioner
[5] According to Rosemary Ellen Guiely book :
[6] According to same source as listed under [5]
[7] according to Gerald J Schuler as noted in his work “ An advanced guide to Enochian magick”
IMAGE CREDITS: The original image showing only hands engaged in handshake, was from, and was then largely edited by myself

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just one thing, certainly not any agreement commits the soul of the individual, but we agree that there are beings who would like to stop the individual's spiritual development, and this is where it should be understood figuratively the soul is at stake. And this is accepted by all the world's spiritual traditions. Some people like to think that African traditions are an exception, and are those who have never heard what the Yoruba say about "Arayes" or what the Bantu say about "nkose".