Psychic, Occult and Mystical Definitions

Letter: S








Also Sabbath. The witches' Sabbat was supposed to be a weekly midnight convention of witches, warlocks and demons, a combination of cannibalistic feast, sexual orgy and blasphemous Satan worship. It was believed that Lucifer appeared in the form of a black goat to preside over the hellish proceedings, and coupled with all or some of those present.

According to witchcraft confessions (most extracted by torture) the Sabbat started with the lighting of a fire from which the witches lit torches or black candles. Lucifer would then appear, and one by one the participants would make some form of obeisance to their master; usually this took the form of the osculum obscenum, kissing the Devil's anus.

The central feature of the Sabbat was always a feast followed by an indiscriminate sexual orgy, between demons and witches, witches and warlocks and warlocks and demons. The pleasure in these occasions cannot have been high, however: in confessions the food and wine is often described as vile smelling and tasting, and sex with demons icy and painful. If such occasions ever took place, it was only as elaborate fantasies in the minds of the theologians, demonologists and witch-hunters themselves.




The anthropomorphic personification of evil, the Devil. The chief of the rebel angels.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, Satan, from the Hebrew word for 'adversary' (connoting the idea of opposition), is the personification of evil and all that is hostile to God and his will.

In the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) the translation of 'satan' is given as 'diabolos' meaning 'Devil'. Both terms are usually employed synonymously. In the Old Testament Satan is presented as a distinct personality of darkness and accusation, a type of heavenly prosecutor. He is in charge of testing humans' integrity, by any means possible, but God has the authority to set limits to his power to do evil.

In the New Testament, he is pictured as a dragon or a serpent, described as the one who has the power of death, ruling with lies and deception, accusing humankind before God, and opposing the purpose of God in the world. Still, while his power is acknowledged, he is under God's rule; conceived as only part of creation, he could not overwhelm the Lord.

In later Christian tradition Satan was described as the tempter, the accuser, the punisher, the leader of the fallen angels; and Christianity has always regarded Hell, the region of fiery torment below the earth, as Satan's realm. In the advent of God's kingdom, he and his demons will be ultimately defeated.

Many other cultures outside the Hebrew tradition have a concept of a leader of the powers of darkness. The Babylonians, Chaldeans, and Persians believed in a dualism between the forces of darkness and light. Ahriman, in Zoroastrianism, and Seth, the god of evil in Egyptian mythology, and 'Mara' in Buddhism manifest characteristics similar to Satan's.

Names for Satan include not only the usual demonic ones, but several popular ones, such as 'Prince of Darkness', 'Old Dragon', 'Old Horney', 'Old Nick', 'Old Scratch', 'Lusty Dick', 'Black Bogey', 'Old Gentleman', 'Angel of Rome', and 'Old Lad Himself', amongst others.


The worship of Satan, using rites which travesty Christian rites. If involves black magic, sorcery, and the invocation of demons and the forces of darkness, who are propitiated by blood sacrifices and similar rites.

In Christian cultures these ceremonies include the black mass, a mockery of the Christian rite. Medieval Christian writers tended to label any dualist sect (such as the Bogomils and Albigensians) as Satanist. From the later Middle Ages, Satanism and Witchcraft were considered synonymous.

There was a Satanist revival in the late nineteenth century, and evidence exists that the cult persists. Satanists, or Luciferians, believe that Satan is the power behind the processes of nature. What is natural is acceptable. Sin is only what is unpleasant. Unlike the Christian God stern and moralistic, repressive and chastening Satan is the leader of a liberated people who are free and actually encouraged to indulge in the good things of life, including uninhibited sexual activity.




A wild creature of Greek legend whose bottom half is that of a beast, usually including a goat's tail, flanks, and hooves, and whose top half is that of a man. The Roman version of the satyr is the Faun, a disciple of the god Faunus.

Satyrs are closely associated with the god Dionysus and known for their debauchery. The female counterpart of the satyr is the nymph.