November’s Daemons: Verrine and Verrier

Like love, daemons crop up in unusual places. Take the origins of the daemons of Verrine and Verrier, both traditional Daemonolaters associate with the month of November.

In the early 1600s, the hunt for witches which was sweeping Europe had yet to grip France, but a seventeen-year-old girl named Madeleine would soon change that. Madeleine de Demandolx de la Palud had not done well during her time at an Ursuline nunnery and was sent home to her parents due to a bout of depression. During her recovery, she grew close to a friend of the family, Father Louis Gaufridi—so close the two became lovers.

Her mother superior learned of the affair and insisted it stop right away. Perhaps to protect the priestؙ, perhaps to protect herself, Madeleine insisted the priest had not acted alone in seducing her. She accused Gaufridi of bewitching her with breath made an aphrodisiac by the power of Satan. While this might be laughed at today (we hope), at the time she was taken seriously.

Not long afterward, Madeleine became fully possessed. While she claimed her primary tormentor was Beelzebub, she also said that either 666 or 6660 daemons altogether were involved in tormenting her. Reports vary. Others daemons to emerge during this time also have names typically of the French at the time such as Oeillet and Carreau. Another daemon named Verrier also manifested during this time, but whether this is because Verrine was miscopied or misspelled is unclear. One daemon may have become two via the Name Game. Worse yet, the torment would not end until Gaufridi was punished or dead.

Hysteria soon spread to other girls in her convent. One nun, Louise Capeau, claimed to speak with the voice of the daemon Vérin or Verrine. His words, as well as the testimony of the other nuns during the possession, resulted in Gaufridi being condemned to death by being burned at the stake. Luckily for him, he was granted the mercy of strangulation first! Verrine’s words being used as testimony set a precedent. It was the first time they were deemed admissible in French court. Before that, they’d always been considered lies straight from the mouth of Satan himself.

Grand Inquisitor Sebastien Michaelis, the girls’ exorcist, went on to write about his experience in Histoire admirable de la possession et conversion d’une penitente, published in 1612. There he describes the daemon Verrine as a Prince of Thrones, just below Ashtaroth. There he lists Verrier as a member of his third hierarchy and as a former Prince of Principalities, meaning the fallen angel once spoke with God’s authority on earth. Verrier tempts man not to obey God and is countered by St. Bernard, who resisted such temptation without giving into it.

Because of this, some seek these two daemons when wanting to improve their confidence and strength of mind. Indeed, as part of the Dukanté hierarchy, personal healing is Verrine’s main dominion within traditional Daemonolatry. There he is strongly associated with Verrier, the daemoness of herbal knowledge. Of course, for quite a few practitioners healing and wortcunning go hand-in-hand, so this only makes sense. As stated before, both are connected with the month of November.

But why would we typically honor them this month? I can only speculate given November’s place in the wheel of the year. Its starts with Rite to Eurynomous, with numerous Daemonolaters still in that mode on the first. If they are not still in the midst of its festivities, then they are coming down from them. This is the time to get those Halloween decorations at half off and to take down our ancestral altars as the veil slowly closes again. It is the final hurrah of autumn before the grasping hands of winter take hold of the land.

Snow hit the ground on October 31st here, but I know it holds off for a few more weeks in many places, giving us that one last chance to do any wild-crafting before the herbs disappear under a blanket of white. Just about every witch I know has turned to making incense and oils during the last little while, even if they had to go out and buy raw materials to do so. Maybe it has to do is some latent instinct that makes some of us have to go out and harvest what greenery remains before it is gone. That’s one reason these Verrine and Verrier could be attributed to November.

In addition, October 31 serves as Witches’ New Year to practitioners coming from a Wiccan or neopagan background. At this time of year, they may be planning resolutions—casting aside bad habits and seeking personal healing in the new year going forward. Verrine is perfect to consult for that, as he can help you build confidence in yourself and inner strength while you seek a greater sense of personal harmony.

Both Verrine and Verrier can be sought in the northwest. While he is symbolized by white and blue, she is represented by light and green. Their enns are:

Verrine — Elan typan Verrine.

Verrier — Elit rayesta Verrier.

Good luck should you decide to reach out to them this month. Happy November!