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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Black Mass

DEFINITIONS

Black Mass: A perversion of the Catholic Mass supposedly performed by Satanists. It required a defrocked priest to run the service and a nude woman as the altar. The communion wafer would be stolen from a church and the Lord’s Prayer would be recited backwards. Although Witches were (and still are) accused of participating in this rite, it is not a part of Witchcraft.

Black Mass: The Mass is a rite developed by early Christians duplicating some of the aspects of Jesus’ “Last Supper” in the garden of Gethsemane. By the Middle Ages, Christians saw Pagans having large celebrations and assumed that they were rituals done in opposition to the Mass and referred to them as Witches’ Black Masses. However, it was not until the 17th century when the Black Mass became associated with an actual inversion of the Christian Mass. Supposedly requiring a defrocked Priest as the presiding ritualist and a nude woman as the altar, it included insulting the image of the cross and reciting the Lord’s Prayer backwards. There is little evidence that such practices were ever performed except for show or by some poorly-educated individuals who thought it was a real ritual. Some authorities also claim that it was any Mass in France performed for magickal purposes as opposed to the policy of the Church. This was supposedly invented by a priest to one of the mistresses of the French King to ensure that he wouldn't desert her for a younger woman.


ARTICLES

Introduction to Ceremonial Magick
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The Developmental Process
From even before birth, we grow into our Psyche just as we also grow into our Psychic Potentials. Our childhood experiences are the foundation of the Personality, but we live most our lives as adults and not as children. As the Bible says, we have ...
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History of Enochian Magick
Enochian Magick was first presented to the public in modern times by Sir John Dee, the court astrologer to Queen Elizabeth of England. Dee was born in England in 1527, and was a magician as well as an astrologer. Working with Edward Kelly (sometimes ...
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Review of Shaman Tarot
Summary: The Shaman Tarot recreates the shamanic experience introducing you to dancing, journeying, and healing. By inviting you into the other-realms, the Shaman Tarot opens your mind and spirit to all that is and all that can be. You will meet ...
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Muladhara - The Root Chakra
Element: Earth Color: Red Verb: I have Attributes: Survival, grounding, solidity, the body The first chakra is found at the base of the spine, the point you are sitting on right now. Its name, Muladhara, means "root," and the paths of energy in ...
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How to Have an OBE Through Levitation
Introduction. OBE Levitation is an interactive induction procedure that uses impressions of physical weightlessness to facilitate astral disengagement from the physical body. Spontaneous OBEs are often initiated by sensations of slowly drifting ...
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Review of the Universal Fantasy Tarot
Universal Fantasy Tarot Review Summary: Although loosely based on the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Universal Fantasy Tarot also plumbs fantasy writing and art, ranging from the stories of H. P. Lovecraft to the art of Arthur Rackham and Barry ...
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Review of the Samurai Tarot
Summary: A deck that delicately imitates the soft pastels of colored Ukiyo-e art in an attempt to shoehorn a brief look at Samurai concepts into the Western Tarot paradigm. The art must be appreciated as should be the dedication of the designer. ...
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The Middle Pillar Exercise
It is best to build up the Middle Pillar first. To do this stand up and raise yourself in imagination to your Kether--a brilliant light above your head. Imagine this light descending to Daath, at the nape of your neck, and thence to Tiphareth in ...
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Review of the Archangels Inspirational Cards
Summary A simple yet powerful deck of twenty-two cards provides a bridge between our conscious minds and all the facets of the Divine that reside within all of us. Striking art enhanced by textured gold foil make these cards handheld treasures that ...
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Aleister Crowley
(Edward Alexander Crowley) English writer, occultist, Antichrist, and self-proclaimed messiah of the New Aeon, 1875-1947. Easily the most controversial figure in the recent history of Western occultism, Crowley was born into the Plymouth Brethren, a ...
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"Writers will put things into a novel that they daren't put in sober prose, where you have to dot the I's and cross the T's."1 This quote is from Dion Fortune, to my mind the foremost magical teacher of the West. It tells us clearly that in writing fiction, magicians can go out on a limb. They can give us a taste, secondhand but deeply felt, of... read this article
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