Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

July/August 2014 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Black Mass

This article was written by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke on November 30, -0001
posted under Black Mass

Introduction: The so-called "Black Mass" (possibly, at least initially, a literary invention) was to be performed by an ordained priest—Catholic, Anglican, or Episcopal—(in later descriptions he was supposed to a de-frocked priest). It was an ordinary mass with magical ceremonies added, and was designed to pervert the power of the Eucharist to some magical end. It necessarily required belief in the power of the priest in Transubstantiation.

Description: The Walls of the chamber should be hung in black drapes; the altar is covered in black drapery; behind altar is a black curtain with a white cross on it. The woman—originally supposedly a virgin but later she was a Priestess—lies naked across the altar at right angle to its length, on her back and her knees drawn up. A pillow supports her head and she holds black candles in her outstretched arms. A cross is placed between her breasts and the chalice between her thighs. The priest is positioned between her knees.

Theory: The living body of the priestess forms the altar because the worship is of Creation from which all life originated.

As can be seen from descriptions derived from multiple sources, the black mass evolved from some use of the Christian ritual "perverted" for magical purposes, toward a more Pagan ritual of Nature worship. Whatever historic reality there may have been, the fiction probably led to actual enactment but information about it may be locked in Church archives. Later adaptations by modern Satanists were probably more theatrical than actual; and subsequent Pagan and Sex Magical enactments involving priest or magician and priestess or assistant are better studied under their own subject listings.


For thousands of years, people have used a wide variety of different ways to communicate with angels. Meditation, visualization, dowsing, crystals, prayers, and rituals are just some of the methods that have stood the test of time and are still used today. In recent years, angel cards have helped many people make contact with the angelic... read this article
Tarot: Group Dynamics Spread
Evolutionary Astrology: What the Moon's Nodes Mean in Your Chart
10 Creepy, Haunted Objects with a Hidden Past
Samhain Grave Minding Ritual
The Evolving Soul and Your Life Purpose: Connecting the Dots of Past Lives

Most recent posts:
A "Thank You" to BKS Iyengar
BKS Iyengar passed away today. In the midst of a frantic morning I heard the news and suddenly paused, realizing the great impact one person can...

Lucky in Lenormand
Rana George’s The Essential Lenormand is quickly gaining a reputation for being a very approachable guide to this fascinating system. Her decades...

Does the Old Magick Reject Psychology?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical...




Easy Tarot Reading Easy Tarot Reading
The Process Revealed in Ten True Readings

By: Josephine Ellershaw
Price: $14.95 US,  $16.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
You Are the Answer You Are the Answer
Discovering and Fulfilling Your Soul's Purpose

By: Michael J Tamura
Price: $16.95 US,  $19.50 CAN
Dream Sight Dream Sight
A Dictionary and Guide for Interpreting Any Dream

By: Michael Lennox
Price: $19.95 US,  $22.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN