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Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology

DEMONS, Sexual Intercourse with

Demons with sexual appetites for intercourse with humans exist in the demonologies of the ancient Hebrews, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Assyrians, Persians and other cultures.

In The Zohar ("Book of Splendor"), the principal work of the Kabbalah, any pollution of semen results in the birth of demons, including intercourse with the night-terror demons such as Lilith.   Demons in the shape of human males (incubi) prey on women, while demons in female shapes (Succubi) prey on men.

In Christianity, the possibility of intercourse with demons was denied prior to the 12th Century.   But as the Inquisition began and gained force, intercourse with demons became accepted in theological dogma by the 14th Century.   In particular, witches and other heretics - enemies of the Church were said not only to have sex with demons but also to copulate wildly and frequently with them, especially at Sabbats, and to worship them in their rites.   In many cases, the distinction between the Devil himself and demons was blurry, and witches said to copulate with "the Devil" probably were accused of having sex with an Incubus or Succubus.

Sex with demons invariably was portrayed as unpleasant and painful.   Sometimes demons appeared to persons in the fprms of their spouses or lovers.   After copulation, they would reveal their true iden-tities and blackmail the victims into continuing the sexual liaison.

Incubi were especially attracted to women with beautiful hair, young virgins, chaste widows and all "devout" females.   Nuns were among the most vul-nerable and could be molested in the confessional as well as in bed.   While the majority of women were forced into sex by the incubi, it was believed that some of them submitted willingly and even enjoyed the act.   Incubi had huge phalluses, sometimes made of horn or covered with scales, and they ejaculated icy semen.   When they appeared as demons and not as human impostors, they were described as ugly, hairy and foul-smelling.

Incubi were believed to have the ability to impreg-nate women.   They did not possess their own semen but collected it from men in nocturnal emissions, masturbation or in coitus while masquerading as Succubi.   The demons preserved the semen and used it later on one of their victims.   The children that resulted were considered the child of the man who unwittingly provided the semen; some horror stories held that the children came out half human and half beast.

In a small number of cases, claims of molestation by incubi were dismissed as the products of female melancholia or vivid imaginations.   False pregnancies that arose from this state were chalked up to flatulence.

The wild copulation between witches and demons was lamented in the Malleus Maleficarum (1486), which noted that "in times long past the Incubus devils used to infest women against their wills [but] modem witches ... willingly embrace this most foul and miserable servitude." Some incubi served as Familiars to witches, who sent them to torment specific individuals.

Since sex with incubi was expected of withes, many accused witches were tortured until they confessed to this crime.   In 1485 the Inquisitor of Como sent 41 such women to their deaths at the stake.   Their "confessions" were corroborated, incredibly, by eye-witness accounts, as well as by hearsay evidence "and the testimony of credible witnesses."

Incubi were believed to be always visible to witches but only occasionally visible to others - even the victims.   Reports exist of people observed in the throes of passion with invisible partners.   Husbands, however, commonly saw incubi as they copulated with their wives but thought they were other men.

The Medieval Church prescribed five ways to get rid of incubi and Succubi: 1) by making a Sacramental Confession; 2) by making the sign of the cross; 3) by reciting the Ave Maria; 4) by moving to another house or town; and 5) by excommunication of the demon by holy men.   Sometimes the Lord's Prayer worked, as did a sprinkling of holy water.

Succubi could appear in the flesh as beautiful, voluptuous women (perhaps an indication of male fantasies).   They usually visited men in their sleep-especially men who slept alone-and their sexual activities caused erotic dreams and nocturnal emissions.

Succubi were not as prevalent as incubi.   Because of the inherent evil of women, in the view of Medieval Christianity, women were morally weak and therefore more licentious than men.   If a man were assaulted by a Succubus, it was most likely not his fault.

The sex act itself with a Succubus was often described as penetrating a cavern of ice.   There are accounts of men being forced to perform cunnilingus on Succubi, whose vaginas dripped urine, dung and other vile juices and smells.

Succubi appeared often in the records of witchcraft trials.   Men accused of witchcraft sometimes were tortured until they confessed having sex with demons, among other diabolical crimes.   In 1468 in Bologna, Italy, a man was executed for allegedly running a brothel of Succubi.

It should be noted that cases of sexual molestation by demons did not die with the witch-hunts; they continue to be reported to the present time, often in connection with poltergeist activities and demonic possession.   The Haunted, by Robert Curran (1988), tells of the Smurl family of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, who say they have been tormented by a hid-eous demon for several years.   The demon has manifested in various forms, including a hag with scraggly, long white hair, scaly skin and Vampire-like fangs, which sexually molested the husband.

Are Demons real?

Many people who believe in angels have trouble with believing in demons.   They treat them as primitive superstition.   The Bible is clear on this fact; Jesus ministry seemed to have more to do with demons than their good 'counterparts'.

Revelation 12:9 is the clearest Scripture on the identity of demons, "The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.   He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."   The Bible indicates that the demons are fallen angels - angels who along with Satan rebelled against God.   Satan's fall from heaven is described in Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-15.   Revelation 12:4 seems to indicate that Satan took one-third of the angels with him when he sinned.   Jude verse 6 mentions angels who sinned.   So, it is likely that demons are the angels who followed Satan in sin against God.

Satan and his demons now look to destroy and deceive all those who follow and worship God (1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 11:14-15).   The demons are described as evil spirits (Matthew 10:1), unclean spirits (Mark 1:27), and angels of Satan (Revelation 12:9).   Satan and his demons deceive the world (2 Corinthians 4:4), attack Christians (2 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Peter 5:8), and combat the holy angels (Revelation 12:4-9).   Demons are spiritual beings, but they can appear in physical forms (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Unnecessary fear of demons is unhealthy.   Demons can not be blamed for all human wrong doing.   While demons can and do, tempt us, our natural inclination to do wrong requires little encouragement.   The Bible clearly shows us that God is ultimately in control and good will ultimately triumph over evil. Rev 20:10

see also: DAIMONS; LILITH; INCUBUS; SUCCUBUS; DEMONS; DEMONS in Modern Witchcraft and Ceremonial Magick

see also:
SPIRITUAL WARFARE in the ARTICLES Section of this Site.

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One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.

Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans.   Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.

Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church.   Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.

- Jean-Luc
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