Wednesday, April 15, 2015


A black cat figures prominently in what may be one of the earliest recorded spells for invisibility. According to a medieval handbook of demonic magic originating in Bavaria circa 1420 the practitioner is instructed to “eviscerate a black cat born in March, cut out its heart and eyes, and insert a heliotrope seed in place of each eye and two seeds in the mouth” while saying a conjuration for invisibility.
            The practitioner then takes the cat’s body and buries it “in a closed garden, and waters it for fifteen days with a mixture of human blood and water, whereupon a plant will grow.” 
In order to determine which of the plant’s seeds conveys the power of invisibility the practitioner must test each seed:  “Repeating a series of names, he takes a mirror and puts the newly grown seeds into his mouth, one by one, beneath his tongue, and when he finds the seed of invisibility he vanishes from the mirror.”
It is interesting to trace the history of practices linking black cats with the power to convey invisibility:  A hoodoo practice of the American south in which the black cat is boiled alive and the rendered bones sorted through in front of a mirror until the magic bone is found goes a long way in suggesting that, like history, magic is indeed yet another distant mirror into our collective past.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This article is a discussion of folklore and is presented as INFORMATION ONLY, and is not meant to encourage animal abuse. Animal abuse is a crime
punishable by law. The Author and Publisher assume no responsibility for the
intentional misuse of information contained herein.

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