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The undeniable existence of the Holy Office of the Inquisition has been so well documented—so worn out yet so poorly understood by politically liberal writers—that this other capacity the Catholic Church had and still has to inflict punishment should have been discovered. What is evident is that a great number of colonial books do exist, clearly revealing all the details of the inquisitorial procedure regarding Indians, but it seems that we cannot see the forest for the trees. This they are, in effect, but primarily they are trials that can be used as a source for many other investigations, although it seems to me that the first one should be the study of the particular institution that generates them.

In and of themselves, like any other documents, they are of no use as a study of what they do not contain. It would be unjust to affirm that there has been a universal ignorance of this institution's existence. Obviously, those who created it knew about it, as did those it punished. I am more concerned with emphasizing the recent investigations of this institution, and I will refer to only two. At the end of the nineteenth century, a Mr. The latter had already published a letter debunking the myth, and with his characteristic prudence, had arrived at the conclusion that the falsifier's intention was to create the existence of a pre-Lutheran Indian in sixteenth-century New Spain.

Among Icazbalceta's many arguments refuting the truth of this history is that of jurisdiction. He demonstrates that an Indian would have been subject to trial not by the Holy Office but instead by the authority of the ecclesiastical judge i. Much more recently, Professor Richard E. Greenleaf, with great insight and acumen, has clarified the issues.

In an article published in in The Americas , he studies both tribunals, the Holy Office and the Office of Provisor, along with what he terms "jurisdictional confusion. In this first essay, Professor Greenleaf's principal subject is the Holy Office. This is, in short, the history of an institution's ecclesiastical-jurisdictional power over the Indians.

As can be easily understood, this is a major undertaking that must confront enormous difficulties. The undertaking is impossible without a team of historians. I trust I will be able to organize one and offer the initial results by , with catalogs of the trials and lists of the provisional judges of each diocese. The bibliography of the colonial books I have discovered on this material is presented in this essay and will soon be published, in an identical edition, as the Bibliotheca Superstitionis et Cultus Idolatrici Indorum Mexicanensium , beginning with Diego de Balsalobre's classic treatise.

In this essay, I offer a summary of the problem and will allude to the progress of the investigation. No one is unaware that the Church's power over society, like that of the state, has two axes composed of its authority and its territory—that is, its jurisdiction or power to set standards, to revise sentences, to correct, and to punish, and the territory or demarcation within which all of this can take place.

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As an example that will serve for what follows, we remember that many medieval Spanish cities contained more or less isolated precincts known as Moorish mosques and Jewish synagogues. Civil jurisdiction over these spaces fell to the state; the Church had no jurisdiction over them. The Christians would enter by force in order to baptize Moors and Jews, thus making them liable to ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

They were prosecuted afterward if they willingly apostatized or attempted conversion through peaceful entrance into the precinct, a privilege enjoyed only by the Franciscan order. The necessity of conserving the faith and its orthodoxy led to the creation, generalized in the Old World, of the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition against Heretical Perversity and Apostasy.

Its jurisdiction, which was above that of the bishops, exceeded the diocese but not the kingdom. The principal crimes that it originally prosecuted were Christians' acts of heresy, that is, departure from or error concerning dogma in its two forms, material i. The catalog of punishable crimes expanded with the passage of time, and the Tribunal of the Holy Office gained enormous importance and respect.

It is worth remembering here that "inquisition" simply means "investigation. The encounter with the New World created many problems. To understand what occurred jurisdictionally, we must refer to the theological underpinnings. The Holy Scriptures, dictated by the Holy Spirit, say in the New Testament that Christ's apostles preached throughout the entire world. In the face of such a reality, some explanation had to be found.

The most ingenious theologians postulated that the intentionally lost apostle, St. Thomas, had preached in the Americas. This thesis, which also occurred in Peru with some variations, arose in the sixteenth century and was expunged by the nineteenth. The practical solution was to declare that the existence of the New World was a mystery and that the Indians were "gentiles" that is, without ever having received Christian doctrine , and to set about evangelizing them.

The Church was able to do this because they deemed the Indians "idolaters," among other negative things. Idolatry is an unpardonable error for Christianity. It consists of offering latria , or worship and service owed solely to God the worship of the saints is called dulia , to an idol, an image created by human beings. That the Indians were idolaters provides one of the principal justifications for what Spanish historiography continues to call the "just titles" of the conquest of the New World. This implies that if Spain had conceded the existence of the Indians' own religion, it would not, in terms of what has been said above, have had Christian jurisdiction over them.

As far as civil jurisdiction was concerned, the Indians were alleged to be, among other things, drunkards and sodomizers. In spite of some heroic attempts to slacken the zeal, Spain proceeded with the conversion of New World Indians. The process turned out to be more difficult than had been anticipated. The main problem is that, in spite of the friars' investigations which are our principal sources, the Indians had their own religions and were unfamiliar with Christianity, unlike the Moors and the Jews, who had centuries of contact with Christians.

The two religious mentalities confronted each other without mutual understanding: one exclusive, that of the Christians, and one inclusive, that of the indigenous peoples. This reality has been conceptualized in terms of "syncretism" or "nativism," and yet these terms are not completely satisfactory.

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The fact is that the Christian Church expanded its battlefronts. It did not simply have to contend with the heretical deviations or the apostasies with which it was familiar in the Old World, but now saw itself forced to employ its imagination regarding the novelties that the Evil Spirit manifested in America. The Church held that the Devil was the guilty party. I have already compiled some notes toward an essay that could be entitled "The Devil in the New World.

He had fooled the Indians into worshipping him with excrements in place of the sacraments of the Church of God and as a mockery of divinity. He was responsible for the fact that the Indians committed crimes against the faith after having been baptized. All of this resulted in the primary necessity of exorcising lands, animals, plants, and people. This resulted, I believe, in the initial Franciscan practice of limiting the baptismal rite.

It also resulted in indispensable and constant vigilance in order to detect and punish all deviations, that is, to exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction. This privilege. The first generated a peculiar conflict that lasted for almost three centuries regarding the Spanish state's efforts to secularize the Indian parishes, finally achieved with great effort around The second concerns the topic I am now addressing.

The first twelve Franciscans received episcopal jurisdiction as well as jurisdiction of the Holy Office and that of inquisitors of the Indies, on their passage through the West Indies.


I do not know whether it was intentional, but everything seems very well thought out. The Spanish Crown sent to Mexico Franciscans whose vocation was conversion, as we noted earlier. The "elect one," as he was called, arrived in New Spain with episcopal jurisdiction in In this capacity he carried out dozens of trials, among which many of the published ones are of increasing interest. The following and third chapter on jurisdiction concerned the inspector Tello de Sandoval, who, between and , was employed as apostolic inquisitor and carried out various trials. Between and , jurisdiction reverted to the bishops, since the Holy Office had not named any inquisitors.

Very little is known about the trials during these years. At any rate, the Omnimoda bull was not abolished, and the evangelists were able to exercise their authority in areas without bishops. After much hesitation, the Spanish Crown resolved to reestablish the Inquisition in American territories in In the document regarding the creation of the Holy Office in America, the king expressly prohibited interference in Indian cases and preserved the bishops' authority.

Consequently, after , when the Holy Office of the Inquisition was formally established in Mexico, two tribunals of the faith existed until , at which time the first tribunal was definitively closed and the bishops published edicts proclaiming their recuperation of total jurisdiction. It is well worth our efforts to make a thorough study of it.

As an ethnologist, I have focused my interest on the curanderos, or folk healers, of colonial Mexico in order to explain both their persistence and their continuity in medical practice. I also wish to define the role of the curanderos and to examine their importance within this evolutionary social process, for the curanderos' knowledge and skills contributed to the health of the oppressed and led to the formation of a traditional mestizo medicine that syncretized Indian, black, and Spanish folk medicines.

These categories of analysis confirm the important social function of traditional medicine and its practitioners who offered a solution to the health problems of the majority of the population of colonial Mexico. The necessary existence and function of the curanderos in New Spain can be attributed to the scarcity of doctors. The Crown was politically conscientious in establishing a legal medical system for Spaniards, thus protecting the health of the group in power. The Indians, and eventually the blacks and mixed castes, were assigned the practices of the curandero.

Yet this division along class lines went ignored; Spaniards frequented the curandero as much as the other groups. Given its social dynamics, traditional medicine permeated the entire New Spanish society. The contradiction presents itself in ideological terms: on the one hand, their services were required as experts on the human body, as able surgeons, and as superior herbalists; on the other hand, they were harshly repressed for the magical part of their treatment, which frequently contained hallucinogens and which the authorities, according to the Western world view of the time, viewed as superstitious.

From the very beginning of the conquest of New Spain, the Spanish Crown attempted to impose a Catholic world view upon which to base a system of normative practices that would organize the entire society within the framework of religion. The problems presented by the social and ideological heterogeneity of New Spain were extremely difficult to solve. The colony's reorganization was carried out along administrative, economic, and political lines, but resulted in a different dynamic on religious and cultural levels.

The goal was to unify the entire society under the Catholic faith, which in actual practice was interpreted and molded according to each social group's conception. Despite the Church's efforts to disseminate its official doctrine through regular and secular clergy with the support of the civil authorities, the various social groups—mixed castes, Indians, and marginalized Spaniards—perceived Catholicism as an ideal impossible to live up to on a daily basis. Thus, the religious beliefs of New Spain reveal a process of syncretism reflecting popular religion and culture.

At times even unconsciously, civil and religious authorities strove to achieve their assigned goal of social integration; unity, however, was at best superficial in a society where diverse ideologies coexisted and interrelated, ultimately resulting in a less strict and orthodox situation than in Spain.

To maintain order and to ensure the system's equilibrium, constant vigilance was needed via the institution created in Europe in the thirteenth century and adopted by the Catholic. The first missionary friars were invested with the powers of the secular clergy where there was no priest or bishop, and they were responsible, among their other duties, for the detection and punishment of all violations of the faith.

Under his supervision, which lasted until , twenty-three cases of witchcraft and superstition were tried, probably including some cases of traditional medical practices. Petitions first circulating in the middle of the fifteenth century explained the need to establish a Tribunal of the Holy Office which, like that in Spain, would have total disciplinary control, thus avoiding the frequent abuses and jurisdictional equivocations of the civil authorities.

Philip II authorized the tribunal in with royal letters-patent, and it was established in New Spain in November, As in Spain, the New Spanish inquisitors were, above all else, men of law who scrupulously carried out their duties in order to maintain social control. Although the royal decision was respected, inquisitorial commissioners did receive accusations against the Indians. For some of these commissioners the separation of jurisdictions was quite clear; [13] for others, confusion, jealousy, or the belief that the crime merited inquisitorial punishment incited them to apprehend, reprimand, and threaten the Indian curanderos.

During the course of the trial, it was discovered that he was an Indian; nonetheless, he was sentenced, and it remains unclear whether sentencing occurred because he was part of the same trial as Manuela Rivera, "La Lucera," or because the inquisitors decided that the punishment was appropriate for a mestizo. Proof of this racial status was furnished in a document not included in the proceedings.

He was sentenced to be paraded in a cart preceded by a town crier who announced his crimes, to receive two hundred lashes, and to labor eight years in a mining hacienda. Of the seventy-one delations and denunciations which the Holy Office received against curanderos, fourteen warranted attestations and were dismissed after being considered inappropriate. Twenty-two cases were tried which called for testimony; in fourteen cases the inquisitors decided in favor of public or private reprimand, two suffered public humiliation, only one had a public auto de fe in the Church of Santo Domingo, and one was exiled.

These were the maximum punishments suffered by the curanderos. The first cases specifically recorded in the registers of the Inquisition as offenses of curanderos were those of Francisco Moreno, a thirty-year-old Spaniard accused of healing by incantation in , and the mulatta Magdalena, for having taken peyote as a divinatory aid. From this time until the beginning of the nineteenth century, the accusations against the superstitious curanderos give descriptions of the therapies that identified specializations and the use of herbs and hallucinogens in the curative ceremonies.

Most importantly, they attempted to understand the practitioners of traditional medicine and their patients, disclosing the latter's reactions and fears regarding the unknown, the mysterious ways of those who dealt with their health, and patients' belief in their powerful supernatural faculties.

It was also a common belief that bewitchment and all incurable illnesses resulted from hatred or unrequited love. Between these two poles revolved the relationships of New Spanish men and women; seeking good health, they appealed to the curanderos, yet when undergoing treatment, sometimes positive and other times negative, they often fell into the contradictory position of thinking they had violated the norms imposed by the Holy Office. This reaction, quite natural for the times, accounted for the detailed records of the inquisitors which have fur-. Self-accusations were unusual, perhaps because the curanderos did not consider their practice a crime.

Only Francisco Moreno and Mariana Adad denounced themselves. The former found out in an Edict of Faith that the occupation of spell-caster ensalmador , which he had practiced for many years in various cities in New Spain, was prohibited; presenting himself before the inquisitorial commissioner of Oaxaca, he sought clemency through his open declaration of ignorance.

In her report, Mariana minutely describes her case, from predestination since infancy through her initiation and practice; she was confident that the inquisitors would assess her healings as a gift from God.

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Delation was the most frequent reason for detention given in the reports, and it is not surprising to discover that the majority of the delators were the former patients of the accused curanderos. On occasion, knowledge of an edict that had been posted on the doors of the church and had been read by the priests during mass on Sundays or holy days aroused unrest and fright, unleashing in turn a series of accusations made by the informers "in order to relieve the conscience. When the informer presented him- or herself before the inquisitors at the Holy Office in Mexico City, the provincial commissioner or priest with inquisitorial authority swore to keep the secret.

The informer was asked what type of declaration he or she was prepared to make, since the kind of process depended upon whether it was merely a delation or an actual accusation. The prosecutor of the Holy Office made the accusation after hearing the attestations and presenting the case before the qualifying judges. In spite of the declaratory oath, it is probable that the actual reasons for a delation were hatred or resentment when the cure had negative results, at times worsening the patient's condition, or when the curandero had refused to attend a sick person.

Neither family nor romantic ties were exempt in these circumstances. Feelings of impotence in the face of illness, fear of the unknown, envy, competition, and fear inspired by love, all impelled New Spaniards to the Holy Office. Delations presented through public rumor were received and investigated. Between one and four attestations were sufficient to ensure continuation of a case. In some cases, the curanderos' public reputation became an issue with the priests or civil authorities, as it caused a public disturbance and loss of control over the faithful; the priests then had the responsibility of making the accusation to the Holy Office.

When provincial commissioners or priests with inquisitorial authority were involved, they usually sent the complete delations and reports to the commissioners of the Holy Office beforehand, so that upon receiving a response from the qualifying judges they would know how to proceed with each case.

They often expedited the Instructions to ensure the correct methods of inquiry and to obtain greater information in order to standardize judgment by the qualifying judges, thus avoiding, wherever possible, errors that might discredit the prestige and deplete the treasury of the Holy Office. Once the delation or report was received and the trial subsequently endorsed, the first step was to call upon the witnesses, dismissing those cases where interrogation revealed that they had been motivated by hatred, desire to defame, or other similar reasons.

Witnesses presented by the informer or called by the commissioner were advised of their responsibility and the importance of their testimony, as well as of the punishment incurred if their testimony should prove false or motivated by hatred or enmity. In accord with the rules, witnesses were assured of and sworn to secrecy. The purpose was to gather as much information as possible in order to continue the trial or to dismiss it.

Although the number of witnesses in the cases of curanderos varied depending upon the offense committed, it was usually determined by the conscientiousness of the commissioner. In the. The judges ruled whether or not to proceed with the trial on the basis of the testimonies, with the prosecutor of the Holy Office presenting the formal accusation.

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When the prisoner was placed in the jail of the Holy Office, a very meticulous physical description was made, along with a description of all articles of clothing, other personal belongings, and bed clothes. Transfer of prisoners from the interior of New Spain to the jails of the Holy Office in Mexico City was done infrequently, since the expense was covered by the prisoner's own possessions.

Where there were no possessions, the tribunal covered the expense, ordering a careful examination of "the quality of the person and the nature of the offense, and the trial to take place only under great consideration. The length of time in prison varied with the duration of the trial; in general, it fluctuated between the three and five years it took to complete the trial. Only the prison cells of the Holy Office were safe and adequately guarded; in other locations the prisoners were able to escape.

One curandera did so by burning down the door; although she was able. The interrogations of the curanderos proceeded in the usual way. In general, they accepted the charges and confessed correspondingly; only Agustina Rangel denied the eighty charges imputed to her. For example, Lorenza, an elderly midwife, never "wished to declare the kinds of herbs" that she used in her healings. In these cases, specialists were sought to identify the medicinal plants in order to determine if they were prohibited. All of the punitive rules and regulations of the Holy Office were based on physical punishment: not only torture but deprivation of liberty, imprisonment in dark, humid cells, solitary confinement, whipping, and even the public exhibition of the prisoners in specific clothing and the parading of male and female prisoners naked to the waist were all degradations not easily forgotten by the individual or society.

That was, after all, the objective: to conserve a vivid memory of the punishment. The qualifying judges were the ones who asked the prosecutor to torture her, to see if she would confess the truth. When she was sentenced in October , two years after she had. Not until February , when the sentence was carried out, did she admit to them. The most frequent punishment against the curanderos was a reprimand with a prohibition against their practices.

In most cases, the reprimand took place privately before the commissioner, the notary, the prosecutor, and the inquisitorial witnesses, gathered together at the trial's final hearing when it took place in Mexico City. In other places, it was made before the representatives of the Holy Office. Public reprimand was carried out by the same officials with six, eight, or more witnesses. The reprimand was meant to be a lesson to the accused, and the justification was that in many cases no other punishment was applicable, since "because of their backwardness they cannot be charged with any heretical intention," or because they had committed the offenses "without malice, only in order to avoid working and to swindle innocent people.

The tribunal took harsh measure against recidivists. After the reprimand, the prisoners would make an oath promising not to repeat the offense. Juan Luis, a black man, was warned he would receive public reprimand of twenty-five lashes at the church door if he did not honor his oath. Public punishment functioned as an educational ritual of inquisitorial power. The principal assumption was that exemplary punishment would prevent New Spaniards from committing offenses. The penitents, carrying candles, gagged, and wearing tunics, coneshaped hats, and nooses, covered with symbols indicating their offenses, were exhibited publicly, their crimes published and repeated by the town crier.

The prisoner was thus penalized not only by inquisitorial authority but by the entire society as well, represented by those participating in the ritual. People who attended the ritual liberated themselves. They saw the penitents' sufferings in these rituals that catalyzed the repressive New Spanish society. The goal of publishing the penalties was to avoid social transgression, disequilibrium, and rupture. Few curanderos received these punishments. Two women suffered public humiliation. Manuela "La Lucera," after a long imprisonment of five years, was paraded in through the customary streets by a crier who finally gave her twenty-five lashes at the pillory; the second part of her sentence consisted of working in a hospital for six months.

The maximum penalty for the curanderos was the abjuration de levi , a formal oath to avoid this sin in the future.

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The only one who received it was Agustina Rangel. Before it was carried out, she embraced Christianity and accepted the accusation made against her. The abjuration took place in the church of Santo Domingo on 8 February At the end of mass, she offered a votive candle to the priest and performed the abjuration in expiation of her sins.

The following day, 9 February, she was "taken on a beast of burden, naked to the waist, wearing the aforementioned noose, and cone-shaped hat, and led through the customary streets," with the crier announcing her offenses as he led the way to the pillory where she received two hundred lashes. On 12 February she entered the Hospital of the Conception of Jesus of Nazareth to serve the poor for a period of two years. Her file states that she served the entire sentence, obtaining her liberty in February The qualifying judges finally found him to be "a suspect de levi against the Holy Catholic Faith," but there is no definitive sentence.

Every Saturday he offered part of the rosary to the Virgin Mary. The beliefs, practices, and behavior of the curanderos punished by the Holy Tribunal were as follows:. The belief that they should not infringe upon established religious norms. They were convinced that they should heal the sick through their therapeutic techniques and with the aid of supernatural beings, whether originating in Catholicism or in other religions. The use of hallucinogens that served not only as medication but also as a means of achieving a magic trance, consciously seeking auditory and visual hallucinations that would allow them to establish contact with supernatural beings.

The presence of prayers, images, and sacred and at times consecrated relics in the curative ceremonies. New Spain's classist society, with its heterogeneous culture, included several conceptions and practices of the curanderos. While Spanish curanderos argued that they healed people "through the grace of God," the mestizos, mulattoes, Indians, and blacks followed a traditional method based on their teachings and practices.

The supernatural beings invoked in the curative ceremonies correspond to the world view of each group. They cured with their dialogues, revelations, and even through bodily possession, but always within the framework of individual healing. The other groups however, while acknowledging and invoking Catholic deities, fundamentally perceived pre-Hispanic deities in the hallucinatory episodes; and while these divinities aided, directed, and prescribed, it was the curandero who healed, involving both the patient and the assistants in a collective healing.

The curanderos appeared as transgressors of established morality, since they were said to have participated in condemned practices such as concubinage, homosexuality, and promiscuity. Yet the vast majority of the curanderos were exempt from punishment, as their herbal medicine did not merit any type of condemnation, and they were eventually. The Holy Office's response confirms that the medical practice of the curanderos was viewed and accepted as a necessity. It was within reach of the general populace; the curanderos were as poor as their patients, since in the confiscation of personal belongings, no curandero with money was ever found.

The colonial curandero thus served a specific function by offering a solution to the health problems of most of New Spain through the use of an efficient traditional medicine. During the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries—and even now in some rural areas—Spain maintained a long and extensive tradition of magic. Men and women of all ages and social conditions passionately practiced some of these rituals that the Church considered superstitions.

One large group of magicians of both sexes—although some Inquisition tribunals prosecuted more women—claimed the power to cure illness, especially when caused by dark forces. The Inquisition prosecuted them for the improper use of Catholic liturgical prayers. A second large group composed mainly of men were feverishly caught up in the search for enchanted treasures, supposedly hidden by both Muslims and Jews at the time of their expulsion from the Iberian peninsula. Monks and priests, intellectuals, peasants, and city dwellers all formed silent partnerships with judeoconversos and moriscos , the former members of the expelled ethnic groups.

Largely carried out by men, this "masculine magic" employed—or at least claimed to employ—knowledge derived from such sources as astrology, the cabala, readings of the psalms, and the more popular esoteric books; thus we may also call it an "educated magic," although in most cases the protagonists were no more than simple amateurs with very vague notions of the specializations that experts—among whom we must include the level-headed men of science—had practiced for centuries.

Women were not completely absent from these silent partnerships, although their role was always that of extra or assistant in the complicated maneuvers intended to disenchant hidden riches. This third type of magic had a distinctly amorous nature, not only in its objectives, but also in its cants, invocations, and rites. The practice of love magic was also condemned for its invocation of evil spirits—such as the Lame Devil el Diablo Cojuelo , Satan, Barabbas, and similar demons—that allowed the possibility of establishing some kind of inadvisable pact with Evil. The "diabolical pact" had already been clearly defined and repudiated by ecclesiastical authorities since well before the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition.

The inquisitional archives constitute the best source available for studying the three types of magic referred to above. On the basis of these sources, I have cataloged the following summary of superstitious practices and sorcery performed by women who were concerned about the absence or possible loss of love. In my analysis of the relaciones de causas the lists of prisoners sent by every local tribunal to the central or supreme council that I have been able to study to the present, the rituals practiced by the Catalan, Valencian, Andalusian, and Castilian sorceresses, as well as those tried by the tribunals of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, belonged to a common store.

Transmitted orally, and slowly elaborated over an undetermined period of time, they probably originated in the early Middle Ages. The sorceresses tried by each tribunal frequently came from areas quite distant from where they had finally been denounced and detained, and, as we shall see, many led restless lives, continually moving from place to place. As these women came into frequent contact with one another, their consultations rarely ended after visiting one "expert.

For in effect, the practice of sorcery is almost a profession for many women, and this double aspect of professionalism and geographical mobility explains the fundamental sameness of these practices, which offer few variations throughout the entire Iberian peninsula. The study of the various tribunals reveals very similar profiles, and according to the goals and content of these rituals, the characteristics of "love magic" may be classified in the following manner:. First, there is a cluster of romantic procedures or spells, aimed always at uncovering the intentions of the man. These procedures are divided according to the instruments needed for the divination:.

Second, we can distinguish a cluster of rites with either an obvious or an underlying erotic content. Their erotic content may be termed implicit or explicit:. Finally, there are a series of cants and invocations of spirits which may be accompanied by a generally uncomplicated ceremony, such as gesturing with the hands, or showing oneself at a window, with the conjuration or recitation of the decisive act. These cants are meant to appease some suitor, to regain his love, to make him return and visit the enamored woman, and other similar goals.

I am grouping them under the heading of "the power of the word," because without the sorceress's conviction and force in reciting them, no one would seriously believe in their effect:. As we have seen, the sorceresses' objectives completely justify the label of "love magic," and this has appeared to be the appropriate name for the practices generally carried out by women, but the seeming passion of these sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century women deserves to be examined with greater thoroughness.

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In reality, and as is readily apparent in these supplications to the spirits, the presence of a suitor represents more of a material necessity than a truly amorous one. More than any other, our sorceresses' most frequent conjuration, that "[man's name] come, giving me what he has and telling me what he knows ," demonstrates that the desired "friend's" presence basically meant the support of someone who would help the women overcome life's difficulties in a society controlled by men economically as well as religiously.

The single woman not only saw herself obliged to fight against material adversity, but also became suspect to her neighbors, unless she placed herself under the tutelage of some mystic "spouse" by following the path of the nuns and beatas. Isolated in society, unable to count on any masculine support, whether real or sublimated, she risked falling into the category of witch, especially if she had reached middle age.

The sorceresses and their clients, therefore, were deeply invested in winning over and retaining the man who, in this case without any extraordinary powers, could ward off poverty and social marginalization. The fundamental goals underlying their rites were those of women who desperately sought men's redeeming company by:.

The long tradition and repeated practices of the cants, rites, and conjurations in the Middle Ages and the following centuries amassed so many possibilities for the woman in search of a stable companion that without having to analyze all the categories previously mentioned, and examining only the most frequently recited phrases and refrains, [6] we. Judging from the cants recited by the sorceresses in order to attain the secret desires of their clients, love was the chief aim of these women of the Habsburg regime, who so readily solicited "love magic.

Despite their assertions, these enamored women were not satisfied merely with having their love reciprocated. Their aspirations and amorous passion extended to the total control of the beloved's will, and the reasons for desiring such control had little to do with the admired mystical sighs of their religious sisters' passion.

Our enamored women, practitioners of magic, were essentially pragmatic souls who realized that they must obtain masculine support at all costs, so as not to be socially devalued. Yet the purely amorous or erotic aspect of most of these practices is undeniable. Refrains of a basically impassioned nature are recited in all the rites and conjurations.

In a client's name, a sorceress entreated the immediate appearance of the man, they ordered him to return if he had gone away, and repeated, through various chants, the desire that he be consumed with passion. This was only one facet of love magic, however, and we need to examine and learn about the others. Let us first examine the emotional characteristics of our foremothers.

The usual divinatory practices with beans or cards tell us very little regarding feminine emotions. The expert restricted herself to telling fortunes and inquiring about the possible appearance of the man. The extremely long conjuration of the beans recited by a sorceress named Castellanos who was tried by the Toledo tribunal contains only one enlightening phrase. After a tedious conjuration in which the beans were tossed to reveal the future, and after naming the Virgin, the saints, and such elements as the sea, the sands, the ground, and the seven heavens, the conjuration included only the following phrases:.

Other sorceresses stated the case even more concisely. Isabel Bautista, also tried by the Toledo tribunal, [8] recited a long conjuration, repeating only:. In spite of their complexity, neither the conjurations recited before tossing the beans nor fortune-telling with cards offers much information about the emotions of the women tried by the Inquisition, except for their desire to conjure a man who would take an interest in them. Fortunately for us, the conjurations and practices of love magic were so numerous that other sorceries and cants reveal, little by little, the most recondite thoughts of these enamored women as well as the extent of their desires.

Love magic is a process through which we can observe the various stages of love as well as the diverse psychological states which the lovers—men or women—experienced in their erotic-emotional relations. The sorceries of the beans and the cards would have been useful only during the initial anticipatory phase when the beloved had not yet appeared, or resisted doing so. The professionals would employ these sorceries only for women wishing to know whether or not they were to achieve this essential goal, but they still reserved a vast repertory for future situations that might occur once the coveted suitor had been trapped, such as the need to arouse a passion not overly potent, to achieve the beloved's constancy, and—admittedly—to calm the anxieties and thirst for revenge of a rejected woman.

The professional sorceress applied each phrase on the conjurations, according to the specific needs and circumstances of the women, since they hid nothing regarding their personal situations. This specificity created an entire range of psychological nuances that must also be taken into account. Clients requesting the appearance of a man, therefore, consulted the beans or the cards—a common occurrence, judging by the frequency with which these conjurations were solicited.

But the woman visiting the sorceress was not always lonely or frustrated, and almost as frequently we encounter in the trials other sorceries, such as the oranges and the rosary, which confirmed that love had finally arrived, albeit without the desired intensity. Once again the enamored woman had to resort to an expert who could change the course of her future by bringing the will of her man to a more complete state of submission.

The phrases in the sorceries requiring a rosary or some oranges as the divinatory instrument allow us to understand the second stage of the amorous process. The same phrase also appears in the conjuration employed in the sorcery of the oranges, in Castile as well as in Valencia and the rest of the peninsular regions.

It thus constitutes a veritable leitmotiv expressing the central message of such apparently diverse practices. The fundamental goal now became retaining the male lover. The conjuration accompanying the sorcery of "the palms" was recited with this goal in mind. The sorceress would pat the length of her arm with the palm of her hand in order to uncover the intentions of the absent man and would again recite a very similar phrase. Laura Garrigues, a sorceress in the Valencian auto de fe, stated quite bluntly:. Like the other sorceries, the sorcery of the palms circulated in multiple versions over the entire Iberian peninsula, but the variations occurred principally at the beginning of and in addition to, the mantic.

With this variant, this singularly interesting woman, to whom we shall refer again, introduces us to a new phase in love magic beginning with the conjurations and rites in which the symbolic value of fire intervenes: conjurations of salt and alum and sorceries of "pans" and "flasks" or "phials. The conjurations of alum and salt were recited in order to divine the future. The sorceress threw a fistful of salt or a bit of alum into the fire so that she could interpret the flame. In all cases the sorceresses began to reveal a state of mind in which impatience appeared to have played an important part.

The woman reciting the conjuration did so on behalf of someone whose anxiety was much more intense than in the former cases. However, the use of fire seemed somehow to stimulate and to contribute to a new psychological state in those women who resorted to the help of sorceresses, as we can clearly observe in the conjuration of alum. The formula is repeated in Castile in the version of our friend Castellanos in even more explicit form. The beloved must be consumed with love and visit the woman who loves him. Of course, all of these imprecations, which are in general quite poetic, were accompanied by flames and were directed toward the powers of Avernus, who conferred upon them their magical aspect; we are, however, more concerned with analyzing their psychological content and scope.

As we can see, the emotional temperature of the love-magic enthusiasts rose quite a few degrees thanks to the use of fire, and we begin to understand their real intentions toward their suitors. The enamored women of the Habsburg regime wanted absolute control over the will and movements of the men they had snared, and this wish is an essential chapter in their magic manipulations and anxieties, clearly manifested in the fact that the experts' conjurations employed no instrument or ceremony.

The unadorned word is the fundamental factor here, and it is an indispensable key to our elemental "psychoanalysis" of love magic. When the professional sorceress resorted to magic cants, the relationship had apparently reached its worst state. The man was scornful, he missed assignations, and the woman also suspected the presence of another woman on the scene. To revive his interest, it now became necessary to resort directly to evil forces. Marta, Marta "the wicked," and the entire chorus of devils already familiar to the client—Satan, Barabbas, the Lame Devil—were invoked directly or indirectly, but with almost no instruments or paraphernalia.

At this point the enamored woman had to placate her companion's anger, and the sorceress placed at her disposal a wide variety of "appeasing conjurations" to rekindle his passion, mainly through the influence of St. Elena or St. The sorceress would also endeavor to reinstill in the man the need to see his abandoned lover. The conjurations aimed at changing the man's angry attitude were usually short and extremely graphic. No doubt the women of the Habsburg regime feared their companions' violent tempers, proof of which is frequently documented in the declarations. Prudencia Grillo, tried by the Toledo tribunal, justifiably resorted to magic because she was afraid of being locked in a castle by the man on whom she depended.

One woman even stated that she was fed ground glass in a murder attempt. In any case, a brief reading of one of these women's versions confirms their obvious fears. Undoubtedly the man's presence is as much feared as desired. Laura Garrigues, for example, tried in Valencia in , would conceal her hand inside her clothes when she saw her angry lover approach, and pulling her public hairs, would repeat:. The best-known and most widely spread refrain, however, contains a somewhat mysterious formula—surely a synthesis achieved after centuries of use—that gives it even greater poetic charm.

Most likely its obscure meaning and brevity contributed at the same time to its enor-. Laura Garrigues also knew a version of this conjuration which reveals more clearly the need to control an overly impetuous man:. It is not difficult to infer, after reading this brief imprecation, that the magic enthusiast believed she would shut the mouth that insulted her, subjecting it to her will in the same way as women dominated the little asses that so frequently served as ladies' mounts precisely because of their inferior strength and docility.

The version Isabel Bautista used in Castile confirms and expands my point:. At this point the sorceress would slap her knee as a sign of command, and finish:. As shown above, enamored women understood quite well the mean temperament of their companions, but surely this formed part of the rules of the game. It was extremely important to placate their tempers in order to achieve a reconciliation.

The amorous encounters and visits—which were most likely at night, judging by the extramarital nature of the majority of the relationships—rekindled the love interest. Without a doubt, the man's return constitutes an important motive for anxiety. His arrival is impatiently awaited, but he does not appear. The lover goes to her window, opens the door and looks down the street. He is nowhere to be seen; feeling exasperated, she nevertheless continues to wish for his presence, perhaps with increased anxiety.

The conjurations of the door and the window reflect perfectly the scene I have just described. In the conjuration of the door, like that of the window, the woman who recited went outside and looked down the street, where she supposed the man she wanted to attract would appear. Laura Garrigues did not object to going outside in broad daylight to call her lover:.

Here the sorceress invoked the powers of the Holy Trinity, and this was followed by the supplication and command:. Evidently the sorceress tried to evoke the sacred figure's proverbial docility and resignation before a superior will. But, as the reader can imagine, the inquisitors were not partial to complex poetic associations. She would then invoke the lover, calling him three times, imagining him with a noose around his neck, that is, bound like a prisoner pleading for help:. Repeated again and again, the refrain emphasizes not only the attempt to draw the companion's attention, but the woman who is to help him as well.

The woman then denies him her aid, however, and turns him over to the conjured demons so they may penetrate the man's heart, provoking the same anxieties and pain she has suffered, as she recites this magic prayer:. The basic intention is evident, but the woman is not satisfied with this wish alone, and she adds one of the refrains frequently repeated when the woman's anxiety led her to the brink of desperation:. The only instrument the woman employed during this ceremony was the black-handled dagger that was to be thrust in the windowsill at the opportune moment—an obvious symbol of the forgetful lover's heart.

Her trial summary included a similar cant bidding the man to visit her again. At this point she conjured the demons who were in this case, interestingly enough, feminine. Laura Garrigues employed a brief and disconsolate imprecation to make her man return. At this precise psychological moment, these semi-abandoned women employed very simple ceremonies, whose symbolic value was as evident as the use of fire. In general, the rites associated with the door, the place where one awaits the appearance of the beloved man, were limited to sweeping the threshold and conjuring him.

Laura Garrigues awaited nightfall, left the door of her house ajar, and recited:. The pleas of the sorceresses and their clients directed to the stars, the moon, and the sun follow the same pattern we have seen during this. These cants addressed to the stars praise their beauty—"Maiden star, the highest and most beautiful. One of the most ancient is the prayer by the beata of Huete, from the Cuenca tribunal of ; she invokes nine stars in all and then proceeds to the cant's central message:.

The conjuration of the stars appears frequently in the Castilian tribunals at Cuenca and Toledo, and the well-known refrain from this conjuration, "So that he can neither eat nor drink.

Cultural Encounters

The Castilian Juana Dientes disrobed and let down her hair before reciting it, perhaps as a means of invoking the physical encounter with the lover; we must not forget that during this time, nudity and untied hair had sinful erotic connotations. Schouppe ed. Berglar, P. Bressolette, C. Burchardt, G. Cuestiona la conveniencia de esta solicitud a la Santa Sede y su acogida favorable. Cabello, M. Canosa, J. Caparros, E.

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Baura, ed. Blanco — B. Castillo — J. Fuentes — M. Illanes ed. Gudenus, P. Herranz, J. Hervada, J. Viana — J. Illanes, J. Sebastiano Baggio a mons. Livi, A. Llobell, J. Estudio sobre los tribunales en las circunscripciones personales, entre ellas, la Prelatura del Opus Dei. Budapest September , Budapest , pp. Studi di diritto ecclesiastico, diritto canonico, storia dei rapporti Stato-Chiesa , A. Postfazione alla II edizione , en: G. Longo, P.

Madurga, J. Manzanares, J. Marques, J. Martens, K. Benz y W. Aymans sobre la naturaleza de las prelaturas personales ya rebatidas ampliamente por autores como G. Baggio a Mons. Comentary After a detailed review of the institution of incardination, the author presents the theses of M. Benz and W. Aymans on the nature of Personal Prelatures, which have already been widely rebutted by scholars such as G. Lo Castro a worthwhile summary of his answers can be found in the review by A.

The date of promulgation of the CIC of is the delimiting factor for his reflections, and he neither takes into consideration the administrative praxis of the Holy See nor the norms established in later years.