Repost from 10/29/04
There is no doubt that certain witches can do
marvellous things with regard to male organs,
for this agrees with what has been
seen and heard by many . . .
Malleus Maleficarum I.9
"Kill Witches" (Exodus 22:17 NAB)
"You should not let a sorceress live." (Exodus 22:17 NAB)
"I should have no compassion on these witches; I should burn them all."
"The damned whore Reason....
The Devil can so completely assume the human form, when he wants to deceive us, that we may well lie with what seems to be a woman, of real flesh and blood, and yet all the while 'tis only the Devil in the shape of a woman. 'Tis the same with women, who may think that a man is in bed with them, yet 'tis only the Devil; and...the result of this connection is oftentimes an imp of darkness, half mortal, half devil...."
-Martin Luther Quotes
The Wicked Witch
Since childhood, I have identified myself as a witch. I have always had eerie feelings of decapitation or hanging that I attribute to past life experiences. I love the color black, I’m highly sexual, odd, and a sharp tongued, smart and independent woman. I most definitely would have been burned at the stake if I lived in Europe during the Burning Times and Witch Craze. Recently a moon circle invited me to join their closed and personal group. I attended a Yule celebration but never committed to the circle. I’m just not ready to commit to any religion as yet. During WTO I participated with an activist circle led by Starhawk. I have cast circles with small groups and on my own, and practice a sort of “kitchen magic”. I still pray every night to God, and sometimes attend Lutheran church services, and I have a Buddhist altar in my bedroom. (I obtained a gohonzo at 18, and need to really practice). Very eclectic in my religion and my beliefs, I still strongly identify as a modern day witch.
With Samhain approaching, and the full moon in effect, I thought I would write a post on Witches. From this website here is a Wiccan definition of Samhain
“Pronounced "sow-in," Samhain is the time during which life and death walk hand in hand. On this day, the veil that separates the worlds (our plane of living and the plane of the dead) is at its thinnest. Many things are possible on this holiday. The God has arrived at the edge of live and is conceived as a seed that will be reborn soon. The Goddess in the form of the Crone rules, teaching us lessons and allowing our ancestors to guide us. this is a time to remember and honor those who have gone before us. Because it is the Wiccan "new year" it is also a time to cut away practices and behaviors that inhibit our growth, and the Crone is present to assist in removing that which is unhealthy from our lives. It is also a time to plan for the future through divination practices. Appropriate rituals include contacting ancestors within sacred circle, honoring the lives of those who have gone before us, releasing destructive habits, divination activities, and all transformation rituals.” How fitting that I am detoxing and releasing toxins from my body at this time!
The Burning Times
One of the worst holocausts in history was the Witch Craze or Burning Times that happened in Europe. Thousands to millions of women were murdered for “witchcraft”. A small trinkle of this can be seen in US history with the Salem witch trials. This hysteria still lingers today.
Whose a Witch?
King James I estimated that the ratio of women to men who succumbed to witchcraft was twenty to one. Of those formally persecuted for witchcraft, between 80 to 90 percent were women.
Women accused of killed for witch craft typically were:
Single women who lived alone, and/or who owned property,
People against whom neighbors had a grudge,
Practitioners of ancient Pagan rituals,
Innocent individuals who were accused by other victims, often under torture,
People who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sexualy attractive or sexually active women
From This Site
"For three centuries of early modern European history, diverse societies were consumed by a panic over alleged witches in their midst. Witch-hunts, especially in Central Europe, resulted in the trial, torture, and execution of tens of thousands of victims, about three-quarters of whom were women. Arguably, neither before nor since have adult European women been selectively targeted for such largescale atrocities.
The process of formally persecuting witches followed the harshest inquisitional procedure. Once accused of witchcraft, it was virtually impossible to escape conviction. After cross- examination, the victim's body was examined for the witch's mark. The historian Walter Nigg described the process:
...she was stripped naked and the executioner shaved off all her body hair in order to seek in the hidden places of the body the sign which the devil imprinted on his cohorts. Warts, freckles, and birthmarks were considered certain tokens of amorous relations with Satan.
Should a woman show no sign of a witch's mark, guilt could still be established by methods such as sticking needles in the accused's eyes. In such a case, guilt was confirmed if the inquisitor could find an insensitive spot during the process.
Confession was then extracted by the hideous methods of torture already developed during earlier phases of the Inquisition. "Loathe they are to confess without torture," wrote King James I in his Daemonologie. A physician serving in witch prisons spoke of women driven half mad:
...by frequent torture... kept in prolonged squalor and darkness of their dungeons... and constantly dragged out to undergo atrocious torment until they would gladly exchange at any moment this most bitter existence for death, are willing to confess whatever crimes are suggested to them rather than to be thrust back into their hideous dungeon amid ever recurring torture.
Unless the witch died during torture, she was taken to the stake. Since many of the burnings took place in public squares, inquisitors prevented the victims from talking to the crowds by using wooden gags or cutting their tongue out. Unlike a heretic or a Jew who would usually be burnt alive only after they had relapsed into their heresy or Judaism, a witch would be burnt upon the first conviction.
Sexual mutilation of accused witches was not uncommon. With the orthodox understanding that divinity had little or nothing to do with the physical world, sexual desire was perceived to be ungodly. When the men persecuting the accused witches found themselves sexually aroused, they assumed that such desire emanated, not from themselves, but from the woman. They attacked breasts and genitals with pincers, pliers and red-hot irons. Some rules condoned sexual abuse by allowing men deemed "zealous Catholics" to visit female prisoners in solitary confinement while never allowing female visitors. The people of Toulouse were so convinced that the inquisitor Foulques de Saint-George arraigned women for no other reason than to sexually abuse them that they took the dangerous and unusual step of gathering evidence against him.
Witch-hunting secured the conversion of Europe to orthodox Christianity. Through the terror of the witch hunts, reformational Christians convinced common people to believe that a singular male God reigned from above, that he was separate from the earth, that magic was evil, that there was a powerful devil, and that women were most likely to be his agents. As a by-product of the witch hunts, the field of medicine transferred to exclusively male hands and the Western herbal tradition was largely destroyed. The vast numbers of people brutalized and killed, as well as the impact upon the common perception of God, make the witch hunts one of the darkest chapters of human history although the age of witch hunts had a distinct beginning and end, the rhetoric of witch hunters belongs to a discursive pattern with substantial continuities stretching at least from the time of Christian origins into the present day."
From This Site
"The first and most influential of the witch hunting manuals was the notorious Malleus Maleficarum authored by the Dominican monks and inquisitors Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. It was followed by other texts that described, often in lurid detail, the alleged practices of witches, or that outlined the procedures for conducting a trial of a witch. These texts established the principle elements in the fantastic structure of witch beliefs that permeated Europe for two centuries: that witches indulged in abominably deviant sex with one another and with the devil, that they interfered in natural reproduction, that they caused death and disease, that they renounced their Christian faith—in short that they threatened every form of religious and secular order.
Prophets liken idolatry to “whoring,” thus linking femininity to false worship and illicit sex; and the early church father Tertullian assimilates all women to Eve as “the devil’s gateway,” thus linking femininity to transgression and death.
Published in 1486, the Malleus was accompanied by a Papal Bull exhorting secular authorities to extend all necessary aid to the authors’ efforts to crush the threat of witchcraft. The text is divided into three parts that define witchcraft, describe what witches do, and instruct judges in the conduct of a witch’s trial. Reprinted continually during the age of witch hunting, the work profoundly influenced the course of the hunts."
European Witch Hunt Links
These books were very influential to me in my study of witchcraft.
Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers
by Barbara Ehrenreich
From Amazon.com "This dandy little booklet quickly and concisely explains why it is that 93% of the doctors in this country are men even though women make up 70% of all healthcare workers. If you assumed that men are the doctors because they were the pioneers of the healing arts, then this booklet will open your eyes. Barbara Ehrenrich and Deirdre English show how, for reasons of class politics, women's suppression and naked greed, wealthy men discredited, persecuted and outright killed the wisewomen healers, leaving themselves to be the sole practitioners of their "scientific" medicine. The information presented here gives a whole new perspective to medical history and points to some of the causes underlying our current healthcare mess."
Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today
by Margot Adler
Popular demand for this clear-sighted compendium of information about the rebirth of Pagan religions hasn't waned since its initial publication in 1979. Distinguished by the journalism of National Public Radio columnist Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon explains this diverse and burgeoning religion's philosophies and activities while dispelling stereotypes that have long been associated with it. Most people don't realize that pagan simply refers to pre-Christian polytheistic nature religions, such as the various Native American creeds, Japanese Shinto, Celtic Druid, and Western European Wicca. Originally, the word pagan meant "country dweller" and was a derogatory term in Rome in the third century A.D., not unlike calling someone a hick today. If you find yourself feeling queasy when you hear the words witch or pagan, a healthy dose of reeducation via Drawing Down the Moon could be the cure. --P. Randall Cohan
Spiral Dance, The - 20th Anniversary : A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition
"The original book that brought Goddess worship to the public eye has marked its 10th anniversary, yet it still remains an integral part of the Wiccan canon. The Spiral Dance leans heavily toward the feminist aspects of Wicca, but Starhawk's comments on the new edition make it clear that she is aware of the growing male presence in witchcraft. However, this edition is not some watered down, politically correct revision of the original. Very little is changed aside from the addition of Starhawk's observations on how the book has weathered its first decade, and what few changes she would make if she were writing it today. Readers interested in learning more about contemporary witchcraft, whether considering Wicca as a way of life or simply desiring to understand this earth-based religion, will find a wealth of information in The Spiral Dance, and will notice that it becomes one of the most frequently consulted books in their Wicca libraries."
On a personal note, today I started my 3 day fast….no food. Yesterday I ate only fruits and vegetables. Its amazing how in control you feel of your life when going through a cleanse. It’s a great thing for anyone who felt "out of control" for a spell. It helps take back the power of your mind and body, and know that you can do anything you put your mind to.
"The mark of an immature man is that he would die knobly for a cause. The mark of a mature man is that he would live humbly for one" - Catcher in the Rye -WARNING WRITER SPELLING CHALLENGED! But Sometimes you have to say "what the fuck!"
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