Witches Of Old.

HUBBLE BUBBLE TOIL & TROUBLE………

Do you wish to know all about real Witches, Like the ones whom everyone feared in the village of Salem and so had put to death?

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Ugly pointed nose, evil scary eyes, twisted brown teeth, tall black hat and a cackling laugh, cauldron bubbling with a disgusting potion ready to turn prince charming in to a frog and cages hung up high in the corner containing helpless children, whom are destined to become ‘supper’.
When some one mentions the word witch, is this not the image that springs to mind, But why do we think of the witch this way, whats the truth behind these wicked loathsome old women?.
Could they really perform magic, Could they make potions able to transform a person in to another creature, did they go around harming people and eating their children, is this why they were burned at the steak, or is there another much more sinister reason to it all?.
If like myself these sort of questions rattle around inside your brain, then hopefully you’ll find this next bit very interesting…

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Firstly I must point out to you that Witches were just as often men as well as women, and they were not always old, although the older a witch became, then the more knowledge they would hold.

The witch can be dated right back as far as the neolithic period (that’s ‘Stone Age’ to us normal folk), and would play the roll of village doctor and therapist to all the locals, using the art of herbs to make medicines and healing chants to cure every ones ailments.

‘Witchcraft’ actually means ‘craft of the wise ones’ and also became known as the ‘old religion’.
Witches did not in any way practice evil, they strongly believed in nature, healing, the power of mother earth and the well being of those around them.

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When the Christian church decided that there should be only ‘One religion’, they put all of their efforts in to eliminating the competition, to believe in anything other than god was considered as an act of Heresy (a crime against god), and if you went against the church you were a Heretic.
Witchcraft became top priority on the church’s list, and they began inventing elaborate stories of evil spells, satanic worship and powerful magic used purely with the intent to harm.  and so if you were a witch or even a follower of the craft, then your death warrant was signed and sealed up tight. If you were caught then your life ended in excruciating pain by being burnt at the steak, it was believed that this was the only real way to be sure a witch was truly dead.
It is estimated that during these years beginning roughly 1480 and ending 1700, that between a staggering 40,000 and 100,000 people were put to their deaths. Now correct me if my way of thinking is wrong here, but does that not actually make the Christians the evil, blood lusting criminals in all of this?. The most famous witch hunt in all of history has to be The Salem trials that took place in 1692 in the small village of Salem, Massachusetts. It is believed that at least 28 people were either hanged or pressed to death after being accused of witchcraft and another 200 in prison.

Anyway the point to all of this being that the image we have of witches today, as wicked old ladies in black hats, flying around on broomsticks with the power to perform magic, all stems from lies told by the Christian church centuries ago, and has since completely embellished its self in to folklore, fairy tales and the bed time stories told through out the world, keeping the belief in witches well and truly alive.

Disney - Snow White´s Scary Adventure - Queen Witch

One last question I would like to touch upon is, Why do we associate black cats with witches?

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This all began back in Medieval times and was caused by the fact that cats were nocturnal creatures, with eyes that would appear as if glowing when light reflecting on them.
You can understand that without the knowledge we hold now, this is what would have triggered peoples reaction and belief that cats were something supernatural and to be feared.
So the common cat became known as a servant of witches or even a witch that had taken on another form, some held the belief that they were ‘Familiars’ (beings that aided a witches power to perform their craft), and if caught were burned right along with their witch owner.
Back in these times people were constantly getting every thing incredibly wrong, but this was all down to a lack of knowledge and understanding, if they did not know about something then they simply made it up, mind you I have never tried doing witchcraft whilst our black cat Muffin was in the same room with me lol! .

Thank you for reading.

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1 comment

  1. sillysocks January 18, 2010 8:41 pm  Reply

    i love things to do with witches
    this made real good reading 🙂

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