The etymology of the term coven leads us to akelarre, a word from the Basque language that refers to the meadow of a male goat (the male goat). The concept of coven, in this way, refers to a meeting of witches where the devil intervenes under the representation of a male goat.
In the coven, also referred to as Sabbath, witches and / or warlocks gather to perform spells or perform rituals. The demon, in this context, can appear as leader of the meeting from the invocation of those present.
At the time of the Inquisition, large numbers of people were burned at the stake, accused of participating in covens. Zugarramurdi, Salamanca and Hermo Monastery are some of the Spanish towns where, according to documents of the Inquisition or popular legends, covens were made.
Coven, moreover, is the name of a group of rock of Argentina founded in 1971 with Emilio of the Guercio as singer. Del Guercio and drummer Rodolfo García had been members of Almendra, another mythical Argentine rock band.
“Aquelarre”, released in 1972, was the group’s first album. The musicians then performed “Candiles”, “Brumas” and “Siesta” in the 1970s. In 1978 Aquelarre disbanded, although the band reunited later at some special events.
It should be noted that Aquelarre is also the name of a role-playing game created in Spain, a Chilean soap opera, a painting by Francisco de Goya and other works.
The phases of a satanic coven
Carmelo Lisón Tolosana, an anthropologist of Spanish origin, relied on one of the most famous cases of witchcraft in the history of his country, that of the Witches of Zugarrmurdi, to elaborate a detailed description of the different phases that we can appreciate in a coven Satanic. He obtained many data from the report that the inquisitors published in the year 1611, according to which these rituals were celebrated in forty-six places in the Basque Country.
According to the investigations, it is believed that witches and warlocks had an obligation to assist the covens; in fact, the inquisitorial report contains the story of a witch who was spanked for not showing up to one of them. Specifically in Zugarramurdi, the coven took place three times a week, at night.
Each wizard had a toad, from which they extracted a liquid with which they anointed their bodies when the time for the celebration came, and recited a prayer of loyalty to the devil before leaving.
Already at the site of the coven, everyone had to kneel down and kiss the little parts of the demon. Afterwards, they would gather and start dancing, until it was time to tour the area, scaring anyone who crossed their path, damaging homes and causing deaths — their favorite victims were children. It was strictly forbidden to mention the name of Jesus: if this happened, the celebration was terminated and the culprit received severe punishment.
The sacrilegious mass
Certain celebrations, which coincided with special Masses in Christianity, had a special character. They were divided into two parts: first, the assistants confessed to the devil acts such as having witnessed a Christian mass or having resisted committing a sin, just the opposite of what would happen in a “normal” confession; Then came the sacrilegious mass, which ended when everyone approached the demon and kissed his private parts, to give rise to an orgy that did not pay attention to degrees of kinship or sexual orientation.
Far from being a tempting feast, during the feast of a coven the main course was the corpses of the victims and recently deceased witches. After cutting them up, some of their parts were roasted, others boiled and the rest were raw; the devil had the “privilege” of eating the heart.