Sex in history, by Gordan Rattray Taylor

In many early religions, however, it is noticeable that no such decomposition has taken place. Even Jahweh originally displayed both divine and diabolic attributes; as Gener says:

“Il est Dieu et diable à la fois, mais plus frequemment il est diable.”

We can catch decomposition in the act of occurring in the Roman Janus, or Dianus, who is depicted with two faces to signify his two aspects. Since he is specifically a god of fertility, one of these faces has the pointed ears of Pan, the other has a nobler aspect: frequently one face is white, the other black. Aphrodite likewise appeared in both chaste and sexual forms. Etymology confirms the common origin of deity and devil, for both are derived from the same Sanskrit root DV.

It is a paradoxical detail that the god worshipped by the witches was (in their view) just such an undecomposed god. The man who represented him at the sabbat had a mask tied to his hinder parts, to represent the second face of Janus, and the worshippers were required to bestow a ceremonial kiss on this mask. Christian writers spread the story that they were required to kiss the devil’s arse, and the “obscene kiss” was one of the accepted criteria of heresy, but many witches stated clearly that this was not the position. (182) Thus de Lancre records:

“Bertrand de Handuch . . . aagee de dix ans, confessa . . . que le cul du grad maistre auoit un visage derriere et que c’estoit le visage de derriere qu’on baisoit, et non le cul. Miguel de Sahourpse en disoit tout autant.”

And again,

“Le Diable estoit en forme de bouc, ayant vne queue et au dessoubs vn uisage d’homme noir, ou elle fut contraints le baiser.”