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Early system on IBM 650. Listed in CACM 2(5):16 (May 1959).
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Witches kissing the posterior of the Devil. From Guazzo's Compendium Maleficarum, 1608 edition. Courtesy Fortean Picture Library.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The kiss that was usually associated with witchcraft was the so-called osculum infame, the "infamous kiss" or "kiss of shame." It was said that witches would kiss the buttocks of the officiating goat figure at the sabbats and, especially, at the initiation. The Compendium Maleficarum of R. P. Guaccius (1626), among other works, includes a woodcut showing witches giving this ritual kiss.

Lambert Danaeus, writing in 1575 (Dialogue of Witches), says, "Some of them fall down at his knees, some offer to him black burning candles, others kiss him on some part of his body where he appeareth visibly." Thomas Cooper (Mystery of Witchcraft, 1617) says, "In testimonial of this subjection, Satan offers his back parts to be kissed by his vassals." Jane Bosdeau, one of the witches at Puy-de-Dôme, France, said, "All the witches had candles. . . danced in a circle back to back. They kissed his backside and prayed that he would help them." Andro Man of Aberdeen, Scotland, said, "All they who convene with them kiss Christsonday and the Queen of Elfame's arse."

The "devil" figure was not only kissed on his posterior but also on other parts of the body, at his bidding. The buttocks, however, seem to have been the usual place. This was obviously a ritual obeisance of some sort. Some witches stated that in fact they were not kissing their leader's posterior but a second face that was there. There is certainly the possibility of a mask being worn there, perhaps relating to the old two-faced god Janus, or a similar deity.

Witches today do not kiss anyone's posterior, although there is still a kiss—in fact, a number of kisses—that play a part in rituals, especially those of initiation.

The traditional greeting between two Witches is a mouth-to-mouth kiss. In ritual, there are also the three-fold kiss, five-fold kiss, and eight-fold kiss. As the names indicate, they are on three, five, and eight parts of the body, in the form of a triangle, pentacle, and tentacle surmounted by a triangle. The ritual kiss is referred to as a Salute.

The three-fold kiss, or Kiss of the First Degree (where there is a degree system), is on the mouth, breast, breast, mouth. There are, therefore, actually four kisses involved but in the shape of a three-point triangle. Similarly, the five-fold kiss (Second Degree) is on genitals, foot, knee, other knee, other foot, genitals; the shape of a pentagram. The Third Degree eight-fold kiss is the two (three-fold and five-fold) combined.

What does it mean when you dream about a kiss?

A kiss in a dream often signifies a romantic interest, as in the kiss that awakens Sleeping Beauty from a deep sleep. At the other extreme, a kiss can signify betrayal, as in the kiss of death with which Judas betrayed Jesus. Whether the dreamer is receiving the kiss or giving the kiss and the kind of feeling evoked by the kiss determine its meaning.


means by which Judas identified Jesus. [N.T.: Matthew 26:48–50]


In this dream you may be expressing feelings that are difficult to express during the day. Kissing is usually an indication of warmth, affection, and happiness. If you don’t receive enough love and affection in your daily life, then this could be a compensatory dream, where the dreamer is comforting himself. If you are kissing the object of your affection, the dream could be a form of wish fulfillment. Superstition-based interpretations say that if you are kissing strangers, you may have a need to conquer. If the kissing is insincere, you are pretentious, while if you see your partner kissing someone else, you may be afraid of infidelity.
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