The dismal and ugly consequences of marrying platonic views of the soul with Christian teaching is most evident in the following 17th century black magic story.
The Marquise de Montespan (1640-1707) was considered breathtakingly beautiful by the standards of her day. She had thick, curly hair that fell in ringlets around her face so charmingly that even the Queen of France copied her hairstyle. Her eyes were striking and blue, her lips full and her figure sensuously curvaceous. She was the posh Cheryl Cole of the French court during the reign of Louis the 14th.
The famous Sun King found the Marquise exciting, dangerous and alluring; her love of mockery, infectious laughter and cheeky badinage were engaging, as were her intelligence and flirtatious interplay.
Athenais (as she was also known) had an extravagant and demanding nature and possessed enough chutzpah to usually get what she wanted. She was 'high maintenance' and her extensive apartments were filled with pet animals and thousands of flowers; she had a private gallery, and costly jewels were showered upon her by Louis.
She was given the nickname Quanto ('How much', in Italian) by her aristocratic contemporaries. Indeed she was highly discriminating as regards the quality of gems, returning them to the king if they did not meet her demanding standards.
It was during the early days of her love affair with Louis that she met an infamous sorceress, Catherine Monvoisin who provided her with aphrodisiacs and magical spells by which to entice Louis into her amorous cobweb. But this amateur, half-hearted dalliance with the occult did not fully sate her romantic ambitions.
In 1666, Madame de Montespan was increasingly desperate to become the king's official mistress and so she allowed a renegade priest, Etienne Guibourg, to perform a black mass over her nude body! Catherine Monvoisin provided the infant that was sacrificed during the ceremony. In July 1667, Madame de Montespan became the king's new mistress even though Louise de la Valiere, the king's first mistress, was carrying his child, Louis de Bourbon, Comte de Vermandois.
It is fascinating from a worldview perspective that the Marquise and Catherine Monvoisin (1640-1680) both had a perverted view of the Roman Catholic sacraments. They soothed their troubled consciences by the belief that so long as the child had been baptised, it was a sinless creature which, when killed, would go straight to heaven. Monvoisin once said – "How fortunate! The child was able to be baptised!"
Monvoisin is said to have been very particular that any child which she handled which was born alive should be baptised before it was 'disposed of'. A lurid light is thrown upon this belief by the slang name by which these midwives, who were prepared for a price to do away with unwanted babies, were known. They were called 'faiseuses d'anges': 'makers of angels'.