Bensozia
According to Dom Jacques Martin (1684–1751) in his Religion
de Gaulois (1727), Bensozia was ‘‘chief deviless’’ of a certain
witchcraft Sabbat held in France in the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries. She was, he says, the Diana of the Ancient Gauls and
was also called Nocticula, Herodias, and ‘‘The Moon.’’ One
finds in the fourteenth-century manuscripts of the church at
Couserans that women were said to go on horseback to the nocturnal
revelries of Bensozia. All of them were forced to inscribe
their names in a sabbatic catalog along with those of the sorcerers
proper, and after this ceremony they believed themselves
to be fairies. In eighteenth-century Montmorillin in Poitou, in
a portion of an ancient temple was discovered a bas-relief with
the figure of a naked woman carved upon it, and it is not unlikely,
according to J. Collin de Plancy (author of Dictionnaire
Infernal, 6th ed., 1803), that this figure was the original deity
of the Bensozia cult.

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