Dionysus - The Horned One and The Devil

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Horned One and The Devil

In 1839, German historian Franz Josef Mone (1796—1871) was among the first to link European witchcraft with Pagan religion. (Mone was a devout Roman Catholic and not sympathetic to witches.) His theory: ancient Germans once lived by the Black Sea among devotees of Dionysus and Hecate. German slaves eventually fused German and Dionysian traditions into their own religion, characterized by devotion to a horned spirit, nocturnal gatherings, and the practice of magic. When the Germans headed west, slaves and lower classes brought this religion with them. The upper classes perceived it with contempt, eventually distorting Dionysus into the devil.

Dionysus is among those spirits classified as horned gods, however his myth is extensive and he transcends categories. Dionysus is a shapeshifter; among his favored forms is that of a bull, among his sacred animals. Dionysus is a close ally of Pan; they are often in each other’s company. The satyrs are considered devotees of Dionysus.

For further information regarding Dionysus, see DIVINE WITCH: Dionysus. See also Minotaur, Pan, Satyrs; CREATIVE ARTS: Dance: Maenad Dances; DICTIONARY: Bacchanal, Conjurer, Maenad, Sabbat.