The Greek Goddess of Witchcraft


Dee Finney's blog

Start date July 20, 2011
Today's date November 26, 2011

page ; 69


NOTE:  This page came about because when I was resting my eyes after lunch, suddenly I saw a huge reddish colored screen separated into thousands of squares with some blackened squares and some not.  I couldn't see anything to read, and the screen was so large, I didn't want to raise my eyes and see what was near the top of the screen. 

I decided to transfer my consciousness to the 5th Dimension because I've heard that the Pleiadians reside there and that seems like a safe enough dimension to go to for exploration.  When I did that, the screen in front of me got smaller and the reddish color went away.

I then heard a voice say, "I'm the son of the 7 witches of ....   and the sentence was not completed. 

A moment later, a man with a mustache and hair similar to a clown in a curly bush on his head said, "I am the 7th son. 

I then saw something drop down onto a pedestal and the man bounced up into the air and vanished.

My first thought for the missing word was Endor, but I decided I would let google do all the work and left that word off to see what else might come up.  To begin with were books, Broadway plays, youtube.com and Disney.  I took all those searches away with a minus sign  ( - ) to see what else would come up. 

The following statement was the first worthy one I found:

I have some suggested reading for you--Gyn/Ecology--Mary Daly

"Witches" of the past were healers and midwives who were independent of men, and had the power to heal. The men, especially the church leaders, did not like women having that kind of power, so they demonized them, and burned them at the stake for "magic"--which in reality was only good medicine handed down through the generations.

When men took over, people died because they did not know of the same sterile techniques that the "witches" used.

"Spinster" is another negative connotation given to women during the same era, as they were spinners of wool, who also did not need men to survive.

Wiccans are a fairly new development mainly through Gerald Gardner in the 50's.


I remember reading a book many years ago about a group of witches who lived on an island in a large lake in Great Britain. It's always been one of my favorites.  It is written by Marion Zimmer Bradley


The book follows the trajectory of Morgaine (often called Morgan Le Fay or Morgan of the Fairies in other works), a priestess fighting to save her matriarchal Celtic culture in a country where patriarchal Christianity threatens to destroy the pagan way of life.[1] The epic is focused on the lives of Gwenhwyfar, Viviane, Morgause, Igraine and other women who are often marginalized in Arthurian retellings. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are supporting rather than main characters.

The Mists of Avalon is in stark contrast to other retellings of the Arthurian tales, which consistently paint Morgaine as a distant, one-dimensional evil witch or sorceress, with no real explanation given (or required) for her antipathy. In this case Morgaine is cast as a strong woman who has unique gifts and responsibilities at a time of enormous political and spiritual upheaval as she is called upon to defend her indigenous matriarchal heritage against impossible odds. The Mists of Avalon stands as a watershed for feminist interpretation of male-centered myth by articulating women's experience at times of great change and shifts in gender-power. The typical battles, quests, and feuds of King Arthur's reign are described as supporting elements to the women's lives. The story is told in four large parts: Book One: Mistress of Magic, Book Two: The High Queen, Book Three: The King Stag, and Book Four: The Prisoner in the Oak.


I'm wondering if Merlin would be considered a witch.  He worked with King Arthur and was a Shaman type person.

I came across an article where a man (supposedly a Christians) was attacked by Christian witches in Central America while he was promoting his religions.  He called them Demonic.

Apparently this man is not familiar with the Bible because no Bible believing person would ever claim there were Christian witches, nor are witches ever demonic.  Demons are not human, never were and never will be.

Exodus 22:18 ESV

“You shall not permit a sorceress to live. 

1 Samuel 28:7 ESV

Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.”

Leviticus 19:31 ESV

“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.

Isaiah 8:19 ESV

And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?

2 Kings 21:6 ESV

And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.

2 Kings 9:22 ESV

And when Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” He answered, “What peace can there be, so long as the whorings and the sorceries of your mother Jezebel are so many?”

1 Samuel 15:23 ESV

For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 ESV

“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, ...

Revelation 22:15

Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Revelation 21:8 ESV

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Galatians 5:20 ESV

Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,

Acts 19:19 ESV

And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Acts 19:18-20 ESV

Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.

Acts 16:16 ESV 

As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling.

Acts 13:8-10 ESV

But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?

Micah 5:12 ESV

And I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more tellers of fortunes;

Daniel 2:27 ESV

Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked,

Isaiah 19:3 ESV

And the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their counsel; and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the necromancers;

2 Chronicles 33:6 ESV

And he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.

1 Chronicles 10:13 ESV

So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance.

2 Kings 23:24 ESV

Moreover, Josiah put away the mediums and the necromancers and the household gods and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 18:11 ESV

Or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead,

Deuteronomy 18:10 ESV

There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer

Leviticus 20:27 ESV

“A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.”

Leviticus 19:26 ESV

“You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes.

1 Chronicles 10:13-14

So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 ESV

“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.

Exodus 7:11 ESV

Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts.



A spring, (pede, fons) is the "eye of the landscape", the natural burst of living water, flowing all year or drying up at certain seasons. In contrast to the "troubled waters" of wells and rivers (Jer. 2:18), there gushes forth from it "living water", to which Jesus alikened the grace of the Holy Ghost (John 4:10; 7:38; cf. Isaiah 12:3; 44:3).

Towns and hamlets bear names compounded with the word Ain (En) -- for example, Endor (spring of Dor), Engannin (spring of gardens), Engaddi (spring of the kid), Rogel or En-rogel (spring of the foot), Ensemes (spring of the sun), etc. But springs were comparatively rare; biblical language distinguishes the natural springs from the wells (psrear, puteus), which are water pits bored under the rocky surface and having no outlet. They belonged to and were named by the person who dug them. Many names of places, too, are compounded with B'er, such as Bersable, Beroth, Beer Elim, etc.

Saul and the Medium of Endor - Saul's Destruction

Saul is in a desperate situation. The Philistines have gathered a great army again and are planning to attack Israel. Saul no longer has a connection with God, he doesn't have the spirit of God on him, the prophets will not talk to him and he gets no results with Urim (yes and no stones). Even though Saul had attempted to put out the mediums and wizards out of Israel some remained. In fact his advisors were influenced by Satan which is what persuaded Saul to not keep God's Word, he let the influences of the world ruin his relationship with God. By this time Saul is not thinking straight and is greatly afraid. He asks his advisors to find a woman with a familiar spirit so that he may get guidance. Satan has so influenced him that he rejects God once again by seeking counsel from a medium. He is essentially going to Satan for help. Satan has influenced him to cause the destruction of Saul, his sons and the people of Israel. If he can destroy Israel he will have destroyed the Christ line.

I Samuel 28
:8 And Saul disguised himself,
and put on other raiment,
and he went,
and two men with him,
and they came to the woman by night: and he said,
I pray thee,
divine unto me by the familiar spirit,
and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.

We must remember that Saul stands head and shoulders above any man in Israel. How is he going to disguise his height?

:9 And the woman said unto him,
Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done,
how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits,
and the wizards, out of the land:
wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life,
to cause me to die?

Satan has so dulled this woman's mind that she doesn't recognize who stands before her-Saul is head and shoulders taller than any one in Israel!

:10 And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying,
As the LORD liveth,
there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.

Here is another clue as to who is standing before the woman, only the king can pardon someone from a royal decree. She still doesn't recognize him.

:11 Then said the woman,
Whom shall I bring up unto thee?
And he said,
Bring me up Samuel.

God's Word has told us that when a person dies they are dead, in the grave, when one dies there are no thoughts, no knowing, no more rewards, no memory, no love, hatred or envy, nor any part in anything that happens under the sun, no work, no intelligence, no knowledge or wisdom in the grave. When one dies they are in a continuing state of death waiting for the return of Christ or the resurrections. So who is this Samuel? Familiar spirits are devil spirits and are so called because they are familiar with what has transpired in the past. They know what has happened in Saul's and Samuel's life. Satan has manipulated Saul and orchestrated this whole situation and Saul let him. Familiar spirits impersonate dead people. It is another trick to get God's people to doubt His Word.

:12 And when the woman saw Samuel,
she cried with a loud voice:
and the woman spake to Saul, saying,
Why hast thou deceived me?
for thou art Saul.

The devil spirit had to tell this woman that Saul sat before her.

:13 And the king said unto her,
Be not afraid:
for what sawest thou?
And the woman said unto Saul,
I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
:14 And he said unto her,
What form is he of?
And she said,
An old man cometh up;
and he is covered with a mantle.
And Saul perceived that it was Samuel,
and he stooped with his face to the ground,
and bowed himself.

Satan is familiar with the facts in the senses world, he knew how Samuel dressed, acted and talked to the point that a devil spirit could impersonate Samuel and tricked Saul into believing that he was talking to him. This is the height of Satan's deception. Satan always produces a counterfeit to deceive. If you were a crook and printing money you would have to get very close to pass it off as genuine. The familiar spirits get very close to impersonate Saul so as to deceive him.

:15 And Samuel said to Saul, [the devil spirit through the medium talked to Saul]
Why hast thou disquieted me,
to bring me up?
And Saul answered,
I am sore distressed;
for the Philistines make war against me,
and God is departed from me,
and answereth me no more,
neither by prophets,
nor by dreams:
therefore I have called thee,
that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
:16 Then said Samuel, [the familiar spirit through the medium]
Wherefore then dost thou ask of me,
seeing the LORD is departed from thee,
and is become thine enemy?
:17 And the LORD hath done to him,
as he spake by me:
for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand,
and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:
:18 Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD,
nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek,
therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.
[the devil spirits know God's Word and what He has said also]
:19 Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines:
and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me:
the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

This is not a prediction of what is going to happen in the future (only God knows the future), but a prediction of what Satan is intending to do to Saul. Because Saul no longer is obedient to God he will fall right into his plan. Also, the familiar spirit says that Saul will be with him, this is the original lie "thou shalt not die". Satan lured Saul off the Word with subtle counterfeits to the point where he can blatantly propound lies and Saul will believe him. Also, where is the profit in this 'revelation'? When God tells us something there is a profit. Here Satan is telling Saul what he is going to do to him. This is not characteristic of Godly revelation.

:20 Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth,
and was sore afraid,
because of the words of Samuel: [the familiar spirit]
and there was no strength in him;
for he had eaten no bread all the day,
nor all the night.

Saul and his sons; Jonathan, Abinadab and Melchishua went to battle up against the Philistines (I Samuel 31 and I Chronicles 10) and lost their lives.

I Chronicles 10
:13 So Saul died for his transgression
which he committed against the LORD,
even against the word of the LORD,
which he kept not,
and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit,
to enquire of it;
:14 And enquired not of the LORD:
therefore he slew him, [Satan slew him, see Idiom of Permission]
and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

In addition to learning the truth about death and that we await the glorious return of our living lord and saviour Christ Jesus another important principle is brought to light; guard the Word in our hearts. If Saul would have refused to listen to his own vanity, pride and ego and humbled himself to God and His Word this would not have happened. Not there is nothing wrong with a bit of vanity, pride and ego it keeps us taking care of ourselves, our heads held up and proud of who we are and what we stand for. But in excess it will ruin anyone, even God's anointed.

It is important to guard the Word in our hearts, read it daily or listen to tapes or hear teachings or fellowship with like minded Believers. Do what it takes to keep putting the rightly divided Word in your head so that it resides firmly in your heart.

Look at few verses in Psalms regarding the word keep--shamar; a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to. The words in bold are this word shamar to guard like putting a hedge of thorns around (it). There are 440 occurrences I won't list them all.

Psalm 12
:6 The words of the LORD are pure words:
as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
:7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD,
thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

He will guard and preserve His Words.

18:21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.

18:23 I was also upright before him,
and I kept myself from mine iniquity.

37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment,
and forsaketh not his saints;
they are preserved for ever:
but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

37:34 Wait on the LORD,
and keep his way,
and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land:
when the wicked are cut off,
thou shalt see it.

39:1 I said, I will take heed to my ways,
that I sin not with my tongue:
I will keep my mouth with a bridle,
while the wicked is before me.

41:2 The LORD will preserve him,
and keep him alive;
and he shall be blessed upon the earth:
and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.

91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
:2 I will say of the LORD,
He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.
:3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.
:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers,
and under his wings shalt thou trust:
[figure of speech anthropopathea--attributing to God earthly
characteristics--drawing you attention to the passage]

his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
:6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side,
and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.
:8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
:9 Because thou hast made the LORD,
which is my refuge,
even the most High,
thy habitation;
:10 There shall no evil befall thee,
neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.
:12 They shall bear thee up in their hands,
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

God guards--puts a hedge around--His Word which is why we have it today. Think about it; the books of Moses are over 3450 years old and we still have copies of them. Most men's writings have disappeared.

We need to guard, put a hedge around ourselves to keep us from iniquity, keep His ways, guard our speech, guard the Word in our lives and we shall be preserved and blessed upon the earth.

HEKATE (or Hecate) was the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy. She was the only child of the Titanes Perses and Asteria from whom she received her power over heaven, earth, and sea.

Hekate assisted Demeter in her search for Persephone, guiding her through the night with flaming torches. After the mother-daughter reunion became she Persephone's minister and companion in Haides.

Two metamorphosis myths describe the origins of her animal familiars: the black she-dog and the polecat (a mustelid house pet kept to hunt vermin). The bitch was originally the Trojan Queen Hekabe, who leapt into the sea after the fall of Troy and was transformed by the goddess into her familiar. The polecat was originally the witch Gale who was transformed into the beast to punish her for her incontinence. Other say it was Galinthias, the nurse of Alkmene, transformed by the angry Eileithyia, but received by Hekate as her animal.

Hekate was usually depicted in Greek vase painting as a woman holding twin torches. Sometimes she was dressed in a knee-length maiden's skirt and hunting boots, much like Artemis. In statuary Hekate was often depicted in triple form as a goddess of crossroads.

Hekate was identified with a number of other goddesses, including Artemis and Selene (Moon), the Arkadian Despoine, the sea-goddess Krataeis, the goddess of the Taurian Khersonese (of Skythia), the Kolkhian Perseis, and Argive Iphigeneia, the Thracian goddesses Bendis and Kotys, Euboian Maira (the dog-star), Eleusinian Daeira and the Boiotian Nymphe Herkyna.


What is a Warlock?

By Matthew Sandow
First published in 1992 in the Web of Wyrd FIDO-like group PODS
Published with permission 1994 of the WoW moderator 1992

This discussion about Warlocks developed out of a question that has been interesting me for considerable time; namely, why do we as men call ourselves Witches? I have always thought that a Witch was most definitely a woman, and whilst I am sufficiently sure of my sex to use the term Witch, I felt that it somehow didn't quite fit. However when I first started to ask whether the term Warlock was more accurate, and for that matter appropriate to the religion, I encountered some very interesting reactions. These ranged from:

- the term means oath breakeror traitor;

- there is no such person as a warlock. They never existed, or if they did, then they don't now;

- they are all satanists, and evil.

Generally people felt that the word was inappropriate, and the use of it would bring Witches into disrepute. I have always been able to sense which way the winds blow, so with all this in mind I firmly set off in the opposite direction. One of the first things I did was to re-read the section so often quoted to me from the book "Eight Sabbats for Witches" by Stewart Farrar:

"But `warlock', in the sense of `a male witch', is Scottish Late Middle English and entirely derogatory; its root means `traitor, enemy, devil'; and if the very few modern male witches who call themselves warlocks realized its origin, they would join the majority and share the title `witch' with their sisters." (Introduction, note 6)

That all looked pretty definite and damning, and is the source of most of the correspondence I received. My second piece of research concerned tribal and primitive societies and their social structure. This was very illuminating, because the most common factor in the way societies were run was the principle of elders.

The chief was almost always a hereditary position handed down from father to son or grandfather to grandson. He was the ultimate leader of the clan or tribe and its survival was his direct responsibility. The second principle force was the priest/witchdoctor/shaman, who was the spiritual focus of the tribe. It may or may not be a hereditary position, but was generally regarded as being in direct contact with thegods. He had enormous say in the running of the tribe. The moving of thetribe required favourable signs, and the interpretation of these was the direct province of this person. If the signs were misread the tribe could miss the migration of game, or be struck with unfavourable weather. It was a great responsibility and the welfare of the tribe depended on it.

The third principle was the war lord, whose role was the protection and preservation of the clan and its property. This position was never a right of hereditary succession, but rather one hard fought for. The war lord was almost invariably the best and most capable warrior. He led the fight for food and raids against enemies.

Between these three the clan was run, and run extraordinarily efficiently. The duties of each were clearly defined and the roles of each respected by all. That this was the case in primitive societies is clear, but consider the situation of modern man where the roles are still retained in different guises. The chief is the Prime Minister/King/President, whose role is the general welfare of the country/nation. The priest has not changed much except in dogma, and he still reads the portends of good and evil to the population. The war lord is charge of the police and the army.

It was only in the rare cases of one taking over the position of another that balance was lost. History is full of examples of war lords seizing power with terrible results, as society splits over loyalties to one or other lord, and any reference to a modern theocracy shows the limitations of religion and government.

In more primitive times usurping of a role was rare, because of role acceptance, and the social security of being within that role. Any departure from the sociably acceptable was to lead to being outlawed or simply banished. Yet some did accept banishment or voluntarily left for various reasons. Tribal legends abound of the shaman or the warrior who left the security of the tribe to live in the wilderness where they developed new techniques and philosophies. But as importantly, they developed their magical abilities to the point of becoming superhuman, and would come back to the tribe in times of great need as Heroes.

The next thing I thought about was how we as a modern society see primitive cultures. Consider how fiction and faction portray the tribe. I remember reading the tales of the white hunter amongst the savages in Africa/America. The chief and our good clean hero become friends (usually because the hero saves the chiefs son/daughter at great personal risk) and everything would be rosy except for the evil witchdoctor lurking in the background, or the vengeful dumped warrior of the same saved daughter. These are always spiteful and evil characters and as such we feel the justification when the hero kills them and leads the now saved tribe into the modern world. Modern medicine will replace the witchdoctor and white men with guns will replace the warrior, as the tribe is put onto the reservation for its own good.

The wise women of the tribes who had been the herbalists and healers, the mid wives and seers, became the Witches, and the shamans and war lords became Warlocks. Each preserved and developed their own knowledge, but also each preserved the gods and the religion of the old ways. By living apart from the tribe they were able to survive, but the act of living apart also separated them as a member of the society. Where they had always been regarded with respect they were now respected with also with fear, and this fear was certainly used by the Witches and Warlocks in their own defence.

All this brings us back full circle, namely to the Warlock and our definition of him. As has been correctly pointed out, the Oxford English Dictionary defines the Warlock as a traitor or oathbreaker, and this is certainly true in two ways:

1. The term is Old English, and derives from about 600CE, which is when the monks were writing the books we now use as reference. There are no prizes for guessing why these Pagan terms were less than endearing. Any one who would not accept the new and true faith of Christianity was evil and dangerous. By equating those who did not accept the faith with evil, the new lords had the enemy firmly sighted. The old gods became the new devils, and the followers of the old ways were heretics and worshipers of demons. To follow the old ways was dangerous and guarded with secrecy. The Witches and Warlocks became separate from the general population, and followed their own paths.
2. Again as has been correctly pointed out, the breaking of an oath was of extreme importance at a time when a man's word was his bond. The making of an oath was done with great care and consideration. When faced with the annihilation of his tribe by the conquerers, the Chief has historically taken the option of surrender to preserve the clan or tribe. An oath taken by the clan leader for the surrender and saving of his people would only be broken in great reverence by the younger men of the tribe. Thus the term oathbreaker would be one of respect amongst the tribe, as these men left to fight against their conquerers. An example of this is Chochise who surrendered to the US Cavalry so that the women and children would be saved, but allowed the young warriors to leave under the leadership of his most able follower, Geronimo. However, what most people ignore (or are simply unaware of) is that the definition of oathbreaker is NOT the only reference to the Warlock, and indeed the Complete Oxford Dictionary has considerably more information.

"This seems to have been the original sense of the present word, but the special application to the Devil (either as a rebel, or a deceiver) was already in OE the leading sense. The applications to to sorcerers, with especial reference to the power of assuming inhuman shapes, and to monsters (esp. serpents), appear to be developments, partly due to Scriptural language, of the sense "devil".

"The modern forms with final -(c)k are of obscure origin, for they appear first in Sc. of the 16th c., and owe their spread to Sc. writers, and so cannot represent, as has been assumed, a Southern sound-substitution of (k) for the -ch (x) of some of the rarer North and Sc. forms. From the first they they have been used in the sense "wizard". Some other word, lost or not discovered , has perh. influenced both form and sense." (OED 1991)

Thus in the 10th c. the monks had connected the Warlock to those who worshiped the Old Gods (devils), and who refused to accept the Christian God, or did so in a superficial manner (deceitful). They had indeed been recognised as rebels. What is also recognised is that the word was already old in the 10th c. but its original meaning is lost, or at least waiting to be rediscovered.

We cannot now discover what the original meaning was, but we can perhaps get closer to the truth by looking at the "obscure " refences. Several people who have contacted me in reference to this article mentioned that there are many references which do not seem to make any sense. One of these is the association with the word Charlock which applies to various field weeds, and especially to species of the genus Sinapis, Mustard.
Mustard is a very common weed and is obviously associated with the Sun (hot taste, small yellow flowers). It is also a very good blood purifier and its use as a compress to relieve congestion of the lungs would have been very handy in cold, misty climates such as Northern European Winter and Melbourne in Summer.

Another reference is in connection to binding or securing. To warlock (or warlocke) was to secure (a horse) as with a fetterlock. It is also used in reference to securing a load onto a cart. In rural South Australia where I grew up, bales of wool are loaded onto a semi-trailer and secured with a length of rope, in the very simple but effective manner of running a loop of rope around the entire load, then tightening it with a windlass of two short poles set at cross angles to each other.

The rope is looped over the end of one pole and twisted around it with the other. We call this a Spanish Windlass at home, but it is obviously the same method with a different name.

A Warlock is also used to mean a cairn or pile of stones (in Scandinavian regions) which apparently served as beacons (lighthouses) or as markers of territory. Another use of the term meant that a man "warlocked" was magically immune to wounds inflicted by certain weapons (commonly iron), which developed into the idea of being War-lucked.

Lastly the term meant "to bar against hostile invasion". So a warlocked nation was one which was protected (by Warlocks) against invasion, rather than being embroiled in a war inside its territory.

It must be acknowledged that much of my research has shown that the Warlock was a warrior whose lifestyle was frequently violent and short. It is easy to either glorify his acts of valour, or accuse him of being a thug, revelling in bloodshed. What is more difficult is to recognise the middle path between extremes, and recognise that in the "Good Old Days" life was extraordinary difficult and frequently short; that violence was a way of life and death. Men and Women had very different roles to those of today, and indeed that may be good reason in itself to repudiate the idea of the Warlock. But I believe that in those days men and women were more secure in their roles. Women ran the household and indeed frequently were the owners of the land. Women probably had more power and control over their lives than they do now.

Since Christianity women have lost their land, their rights, their magic and their voice. Even today women have not regained what was previously theirs by right. Men were put into the position of controlling the land and all it contained. Remember the land given to the Christian Church was frequently given by the women, and that the Abbeys were often run by women. Only after the restructure of the Church did women lose all this to become the subjugated nuns to the religion they helped set up. The ones who did keep what was theirs became the Witches, and continued to heal, teach and act as midwives in the more isolated areas. As is happening in Nicaragua at the moment, the Witches were attacked for fulfilling the role which was theirs. In 20th centurt Nicaragua Witches are being taxed, ridiculed and oulawed because of the power and prestige they hold in the community (and because they are cheaper and more effetive than the "modern" doctors!).

We must recognise that the Witch and the Warlock are very old terms which have been tampered with by people with a vested interest in doing so. History is always written by the victor, but we have the opportunity to question and change peoples' attitudes towards us. We are Witches, and should not change our name because of outsiders' opinions. We have all - Witch and non-Witch alike - been subjected to 1000 years or so of negative influence. Now we have learnt the reality of Witchcraft, and take pride in it. If we refuse to acknowledge the name Witch, we accept that what has been written is true. The same holds for Warlock; just as there are some very dubious people misusing the words Witchcraft and Witch, so there are also people debasing the word Warlock. A Warlock is not some plonker doing ritual sacrifice and Satanic worship any more than is a Witch. Rather he is some one trying very hard to come to terms with his own inherent powers as a man. By denying him this right we deny all of the Craft their rights to worship the gods in balance.

The important thing to me personally about this whole issue of Warlocks can be summed up as:

1. Whatever the word and its origin, the reality is how we use it now. Many words have changed their meanings over the years to become something totally different from the original.
2. Warlocks did exist.
3. Warlocks are not satanists or figments of Hollywood any more than are Witches.
4. Being a Warlock is a legitimate title for a male Witch.
5. Witches and Warlocks are traditionaly outside of general society and each have their own special brands of magic, neither being inherently good or evil.

For Witches to denegrate Warlocks as evil or deluded is very dangerously like using the same dogma that is trotted out by the fundamentalists. No-one can afford to point fingers or throw stones at each other.

And lastly for those who like pigeon holing people: I am proud to be an initiated Wiccan; a Priest of the religion; a Pagan; a Witch; and very much also a Warlock.

BB,FRPM: http://www.boudicca.de/warlock-e.htm



The Samlesbury witches were three women who were said to be witches, murderers and cannibals. They were tried in the village of Samlesbury in Lancashire. Their trial on 19 August 1612 was one of a series of witch trials held over two days. It is among the most famous in English history.[2] The trials were unusual for England at that time for two reasons. First, Thomas Potts, the clerk to the court, wrote about it in his The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster. Secondly, the number of people found guilty and hanged was high, ten at Lancaster and another at York.[3] However, the three Samlesbury women were found not guilty of witchcraft.some of the accused were burned alive and hung.

The three women were Jane Southworth, Jennet Bierley, and Ellen Bierley. A 14 year old girl, Grace Sowerbutts, had said they used witchcraft. The women were accused of murdering children, and of cannibalism, amongst other things. In contrast, other people tried at the same time were accused of maleficium, that is causing harm by witchcraft.[4] This included the Pendle witches. The case against the three women collapsed "spectacularly" when the main witness, Grace Sowerbutts, was shown by the trial judge to be "the perjuring tool of a Catholic priest".[1]

Many historians, notably Hugh Trevor-Roper, have said that the witch trials of the 16th and 17th century were a result of the religious struggles of the period. During this time, both the Catholic and Protestant Churches wanted to stamp out what they saw as heresy.[5] The trial of the Samlesbury witches is perhaps one clear example of that trend; it has been described as "largely a piece of anti-Catholic propaganda",[6]. A trial would show that Lancashire, a wild and lawless area, was being cleared not only of witches but also of "popish plotters", that is, Catholics.[7]

MORE AT: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samlesbury_witches




In French Jeanne d'Arc; by her contemporaries commonly known as la Pucelle (the Maid).

Born at Domremy in Champagne, probably on 6 January, 1412; died at Rouen, 30 May, 1431. The village of Domremy lay upon the confines of territory which recognized the suzerainty of the Duke of Burgundy, but in the protracted conflict between the Armagnacs (the party of Charles VII, King of France), on the one hand, and the Burgundians in alliance with the English, on the other, Domremy had always remained loyal to Charles.

Jacques d'Arc, Joan's father, was a small peasant farmer, poor but not needy. Joan seems to have been the youngest of a family of five. She never learned to read or write but was skilled in sewing and spinning, and the popular idea that she spent the days of her childhood in the pastures, alone with the sheep and cattle, is quite unfounded. All the witnesses in the process of rehabilitation spoke of her as a singularly pious child, grave beyond her years, who often knelt in the church absorbed in prayer, and loved the poor tenderly. Great attempts were made at Joan's trial to connect her with some superstitious practices supposed to have been performed round a certain tree, popularly known as the "Fairy Tree" (l'Arbre des Dames), but the sincerity of her answers baffled her judges. She had sung and danced there with the other children, and had woven wreaths for Our Lady's statue, but since she was twelve years old she had held aloof from such diversions.

It was at the age of thirteen and a half, in the summer of 1425, that Joan first became conscious of that manifestation, whose supernatural character it would now be rash to question, which she afterwards came to call her "voices" or her "counsel." It was at first simply a voice, as if someone had spoken quite close to her, but it seems also clear that a blaze of light accompanied it, and that later on she clearly discerned in some way the appearance of those who spoke to her, recognizing them individually as St. Michael (who was accompanied by other angels), St. Margaret, St. Catherine, and others. Joan was always reluctant to speak of her voices. She said nothing about them to her confessor, and constantly refused, at her trial, to be inveigled into descriptions of the appearance of the saints and to explain how she recognized them. None the less, she told her judges: "I saw them with these very eyes, as well as I see you."

Great efforts have been made by rationalistic historians, such as M. Anatole France, to explain these voices as the result of a condition of religious and hysterical exaltation which had been fostered in Joan by priestly influence, combined with certain prophecies current in the countryside of a maiden from the bois chesnu (oak wood), near which the Fairy Tree was situated, who was to save France by a miracle. But the baselessness of this analysis of the phenomena has been fully exposed by many non-Catholic writers. There is not a shadow of evidence to support this theory of priestly advisers coaching Joan in a part, but much which contradicts it. Moreover, unless we accuse the Maid of deliberate falsehood, which no one is prepared to do, it was the voices which created the state of patriotic exaltation, and not the exaltation which preceded the voices. Her evidence on these points is clear.

Although Joan never made any statement as to the date at which the voices revealed her mission, it seems certain that the call of God was only made known to her gradually. But by May, 1428, she no longer doubted that she was bidden to go to the help of the king, and the voices became insistent, urging her to present herself to Robert Baudricourt, who commanded for Charles VII in the neighbouring town of Vaucouleurs. This journey she eventually accomplished a month later, but Baudricourt, a rude and dissolute soldier, treated her and her mission with scant respect, saying to the cousin who accompanied her: "Take her home to her father and give her a good whipping."

Meanwhile the military situation of King Charles and his supporters was growing more desperate. Orléans was invested (12 October, 1428), and by the close of the year complete defeat seemed imminent. Joan's voices became urgent, and even threatening. It was in vain that she resisted, saying to them: "I am a poor girl; I do not know how to ride or fight." The voices only reiterated: "It is God who commands it." Yielding at last, she left Domremy in January, 1429, and again visited Vaucouleurs.

Baudricourt was still skeptical, but, as she stayed on in the town, her persistence gradually made an impression on him. On 17 February she announced a great defeat which had befallen the French arms outside Orléans (the Battle of the Herrings). As this statement was officially confirmed a few days later, her cause gained ground. Finally she was suffered to seek the king at Chinon, and she made her way there with a slender escort of three men-at-arms, she being attired, at her own request, in male costume — undoubtedly as a protection to her modesty in the rough life of the camp. She always slept fully dressed, and all those who were intimate with her declared that there was something about her which repressed every unseemly thought in her regard.

She reached Chinon on 6 March, and two days later was admitted into the presence of Charles VII. To test her, the king had disguised himself, but she at once saluted him without hesitation amidst a group of attendants. From the beginning a strong party at the court — La Trémoille, the royal favourite, foremost among them — opposed her as a crazy visionary, but a secret sign, communicated to her by her voices, which she made known to Charles, led the king, somewhat half-heartedly, to believe in her mission. What this sign was, Joan never revealed, but it is now most commonly believed that this "secret of the king" was a doubt Charles had conceived of the legitimacy of his birth, and which Joan had been supernaturally authorized to set at rest.

Still, before Joan could be employed in military operations she was sent to Poitiers to be examined by a numerous committee of learned bishops and doctors. The examination was of the most searching and formal character. It is regrettable in the extreme that the minutes of the proceedings, to which Joan frequently appealed later on at her trial, have altogether perished. All that we know is that her ardent faith, simplicity, and honesty made a favourable impression. The theologians found nothing heretical in her claims to supernatural guidance, and, without pronouncing upon the reality of her mission, they thought that she might be safely employed and further tested.

Returning to Chinon, Joan made her preparations for the campaign. Instead of the sword the king offered her, she begged that search might be made for an ancient sword buried, as she averred, behind the altar in the chapel of Ste-Catherine-de-Fierbois. It was found in the very spot her voices indicated. There was made for her at the same time a standard bearing the words Jesus, Maria, with a picture of God the Father, and kneeling angels presenting a fleur-de-lis.

But perhaps the most interesting fact connected with this early stage of her mission is a letter of one Sire de Rotslaer written from Lyons on 22 April, 1429, which was delivered at Brussels and duly registered, as the manuscript to this day attests, before any of the events referred to received their fulfilment. The Maid, he reports, said "that she would save Orléans and would compel the English to raise the siege, that she herself in a battle before Orléans would be wounded by a shaft but would not die of it, and that the King, in the course of the coming summer, would be crowned at Reims, together with other things which the King keeps secret."

Before entering upon her campaign, Joan summoned the King of England to withdraw his troops from French soil. The English commanders were furious at the audacity of the demand, but Joan by a rapid movement entered Orléans on 30 April. Her presence there at once worked wonders. By 8 May the English forts which encircled the city had all been captured, and the siege raised, though on the 7th Joan was wounded in the breast by an arrow. So far as the Maid went she wished to follow up these successes with all speed, partly from a sound warlike instinct, partly because her voices had already told her that she had only a year to last. But the king and his advisers, especially La Trémoille and the Archbishop of Reims, were slow to move. However, at Joan's earnest entreaty a short campaign was begun upon the Loire, which, after a series of successes, ended on 18 June with a great victory at Patay, where the English reinforcements sent from Paris under Sir John Fastolf were completely routed. The way to Reims was now practically open, but the Maid had the greatest difficulty in persuading the commanders not to retire before Troyes, which was at first closed against them. They captured the town and then, still reluctantly, followed her to Reims, where, on Sunday, 17 July, 1429, Charles VII was solemnly crowned, the Maid standing by with her standard, for — as she explained — "as it had shared in the toil, it was just that it should share in the victory."

The principal aim of Joan's mission was thus attained, and some authorities assert that it was now her wish to return home, but that she was detained with the army against her will. The evidence is to some extent conflicting, and it is probable that Joan herself did not always speak in the same tone. Probably she saw clearly how much might have been done to bring about the speedy expulsion of the English from French soil, but on the other hand she was constantly oppressed by the apathy of the king and his advisers, and by the suicidal policy which snatched at every diplomatic bait thrown out by the Duke of Burgundy.

An abortive attempt on Paris was made at the end of August. Though St-Denis was occupied without opposition, the assault which was made on the city on 8 September was not seriously supported, and Joan, while heroically cheering on her men to fill the moat, was shot through the thigh with a bolt from a crossbow. The Duc d'Alençon removed her almost by force, and the assault was abandoned. The reverse unquestionably impaired Joan's prestige, and shortly afterwards, when, through Charles' political counsellors, a truce was signed with the Duke of Burgundy, she sadly laid down her arms upon the altar of St-Denis.

The inactivity of the following winter, mostly spent amid the worldliness and the jealousy of the Court, must have been a miserable experience for Joan. It may have been with the idea of consoling her that Charles, on 29 December, 1429, ennobled the Maid and all her family, who henceforward, from the lilies on their coat of arms, were known by the name of Du Lis. It was April before Joan was able to take the field again at the conclusion of the truce, and at Melun her voices made known to her that she would be taken prisoner before Midsummer Day. Neither was the fulfilment of this prediction long delayed. It seems that she had thrown herself into Compiègne on 24 May at sunrise to defend the town against Burgundian attack. In the evening she resolved to attempt a sortie, but her little troop of some five hundred encountered a much superior force. Her followers were driven back and retired desperately fighting. By some mistake or panic of Guillaume de Flavy, who commanded in Compiègne, the drawbridge was raised while still many of those who had made the sortie remained outside, Joan amongst the number. She was pulled down from her horse and became the prisoner of a follower of John of Luxemburg. Guillaume de Flavy has been accused of deliberate treachery, but there seems no adequate reason to suppose this. He continued to hold Compiègne resolutely for his king, while Joan's constant thought during the early months of her captivity was to escape and come to assist him in this task of defending the town.

No words can adequately describe the disgraceful ingratitude and apathy of Charles and his advisers in leaving the Maid to her fate. If military force had not availed, they had prisoners like the Earl of Suffolk in their hands, for whom she could have been exchanged. Joan was sold by John of Luxembourg to the English for a sum which would amount to several hundred thousand dollars in modern money. There can be no doubt that the English, partly because they feared their prisoner with a superstitious terror, partly because they were ashamed of the dread which she inspired, were determined at all costs to take her life. They could not put her to death for having beaten them, but they could get her sentenced as a witch and a heretic.

Moreover, they had a tool ready to their hand in Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais, an unscrupulous and ambitious man who was the creature of the Burgundian party. A pretext for invoking his authority was found in the fact that Compiègne, where Joan was captured, lay in the Diocese of Beauvais. Still, as Beauvais was in the hands of the French, the trial took place at Rouen — the latter see being at that time vacant. This raised many points of technical legality which were summarily settled by the parties interested.

The Vicar of the Inquisition at first, upon some scruple of jurisdiction, refused to attend, but this difficulty was overcome before the trial ended. Throughout the trial Cauchon's assessors consisted almost entirely of Frenchmen, for the most part theologians and doctors of the University of Paris. Preliminary meetings of the court took place in January, but it was only on 21 February, 1431, that Joan appeared for the first time before her judges. She was not allowed an advocate, and, though accused in an ecclesiastical court, she was throughout illegally confined in the Castle of Rouen, a secular prison, where she was guarded by dissolute English soldiers. Joan bitterly complained of this. She asked to be in the church prison, where she would have had female attendants. It was undoubtedly for the better protection of her modesty under such conditions that she persisted in retaining her male attire. Before she had been handed over to the English, she had attempted to escape by desperately throwing herself from the window of the tower of Beaurevoir, an act of seeming presumption for which she was much browbeaten by her judges. This also served as a pretext for the harshness shown regarding her confinement at Rouen, where she was at first kept in an iron cage, chained by the neck, hands, and feet. On the other hand she was allowed no spiritual privileges — e.g. attendance at Mass — on account of the charge of heresy and the monstrous dress (difformitate habitus) she was wearing.

As regards the official record of the trial, which, so far as the Latin version goes, seems to be preserved entire, we may probably trust its accuracy in all that relates to the questions asked and the answers returned by the prisoner. These answers are in every way favourable to Joan. Her simplicity, piety, and good sense appear at every turn, despite the attempts of the judges to confuse her. They pressed her regarding her visions, but upon many points she refused to answer. Her attitude was always fearless, and, upon 1 March, Joan boldly announced that "within seven years' space the English would have to forfeit a bigger prize than Orléans." In point of fact Paris was lost to Henry VI on 12 November, 1437 — six years and eight months afterwards. It was probably because the Maid's answers perceptibly won sympathizers for her in a large assembly that Cauchon decided to conduct the rest of the inquiry before a small committee of judges in the prison itself. We may remark that the only matter in which any charge of prevarication can be reasonably urged against Joan's replies occurs especially in this stage of the inquiry. Joan, pressed about the secret sign given to the king, declared that an angel brought him a golden crown, but on further questioning she seems to have grown confused and to have contradicted herself. Most authorities (like, e.g., M. Petit de Julleville and Mr. Andrew Lang) are agreed that she was trying to guard the king's secret behind an allegory, she herself being the angel; but others — for instance P. Ayroles and Canon Dunand — insinuate that the accuracy of the procès-verbal cannot be trusted. On another point she was prejudiced by her lack of education. The judges asked her to submit herself to "the Church Militant." Joan clearly did not understand the phrase and, though willing and anxious to appeal to the pope, grew puzzled and confused. It was asserted later that Joan's reluctance to pledge herself to a simple acceptance of the Church's decisions was due to some insidious advice treacherously imparted to her to work her ruin. But the accounts of this alleged perfidy are contradictory and improbable.

The examinations terminated on 17 March. Seventy propositions were then drawn up, forming a very disorderly and unfair presentment of Joan's "crimes," but, after she had been permitted to hear and reply to these, another set of twelve were drafted, better arranged and less extravagantly worded. With this summary of her misdeeds before them, a large majority of the twenty-two judges who took part in the deliberations declared Joan's visions and voices to be "false and diabolical," and they decided that if she refused to retract she was to be handed over to the secular arm — which was the same as saying that she was to be burned. Certain formal admonitions, at first private, and then public, were administered to the poor victim (18 April and 2 May), but she refused to make any submission which the judges could have considered satisfactory. On 9 May she was threatened with torture, but she still held firm. Meanwhile, the twelve propositions were submitted to the University of Paris, which, being extravagantly English in sympathy, denounced the Maid in violent terms. Strong in this approval, the judges, forty-seven in number, held a final deliberation, and forty-two reaffirmed that Joan ought to be declared heretical and handed over to the civil power, if she still refused to retract. Another admonition followed in the prison on 22 May, but Joan remained unshaken. The next day a stake was erected in the cemetery of St-Ouen, and in the presence of a great crowd she was solemnly admonished for the last time. After a courageous protest against the preacher's insulting reflections on her king, Charles VII, the accessories of the scene seem at last to have worked upon mind and body worn out by so many struggles. Her courage for once failed her. She consented to sign some sort of retraction, but what the precise terms of that retraction were will never be known. In the official record of the process a form of retraction is in inserted which is most humiliating in every particular. It is a long document which would have taken half an hour to read. What was read aloud to Joan and was signed by her must have been something quite different, for five witnesses at the rehabilitation trial, including Jean Massieu, the official who had himself read it aloud, declared that it was only a matter of a few lines. Even so, the poor victim did not sign unconditionally, but plainly declared that she only retracted in so far as it was God's will. However, in virtue of this concession, Joan was not then burned, but conducted back to prison.

The English and Burgundians were furious, but Cauchon, it seems, placated them by saying, "We shall have her yet." Undoubtedly her position would now, in case of a relapse, be worse than before, for no second retractation could save her from the flames. Moreover, as one of the points upon which she had been condemned was the wearing of male apparel, a resumption of that attire would alone constitute a relapse into heresy, and this within a few days happened, owing, it was afterwards alleged, to a trap deliberately laid by her jailers with the connivance of Cauchon. Joan, either to defend her modesty from outrage, or because her women's garments were taken from her, or, perhaps, simply because she was weary of the struggle and was convinced that her enemies were determined to have her blood upon some pretext, once more put on the man's dress which had been purposely left in her way. The end now came soon. On 29 May a court of thirty-seven judges decided unanimously that the Maid must be treated as a relapsed heretic, and this sentence was actually carried out the next day (30 May, 1431) amid circumstances of intense pathos. She is said, when the judges visited her early in the morning, first to have charged Cauchon with the responsibility of her death, solemnly appealing from him to God, and afterwards to have declared that "her voices had deceived her." About this last speech a doubt must always be felt. We cannot be sure whether such words were ever used, and, even if they were, the meaning is not plain. She was, however, allowed to make her confession and to receive Communion. Her demeanour at the stake was such as to move even her bitter enemies to tears. She asked for a cross, which, after she had embraced it, was held up before her while she called continuously upon the name of Jesus. "Until the last," said Manchon, the recorder at the trial, "she declared that her voices came from God and had not deceived her." After death her ashes were thrown into the Seine.

Twenty-four years later a revision of her trial, the procès de réhabilitation, was opened at Paris with the consent of the Holy See. The popular feeling was then very different, and, with but the rarest exceptions, all the witnesses were eager to render their tribute to the virtues and supernatural gifts of the Maid. The first trial had been conducted without reference to the pope; indeed it was carried out in defiance of St. Joan's appeal to the head of the Church. Now an appellate court constituted by the pope, after long inquiry and examination of witnesses, reversed and annulled the sentence pronounced by a local tribunal under Cauchon's presidency. The illegality of the former proceedings was made clear, and it speaks well for the sincerity of this new inquiry that it could not be made without inflicting some degree of reproach upon both the King of France and the Church at large, seeing that so great an injustice had been done and had so long been suffered to continue unredressed. Even before the rehabilitation trial, keen observers, like Eneas Sylvius Piccolomini (afterwards Pope Pius II), though still in doubt as to her mission, had discerned something of the heavenly character of the Maid. In Shakespeare's day she was still regarded in England as a witch in league with the fiends of hell, but a juster estimate had begun to prevail even in the pages of Speed's "History of Great Britaine" (1611). By the beginning of the nineteenth century the sympathy for her even in England was general. Such writers as Southey, Hallam, Sharon Turner, Carlyle, Landor, and, above all, De Quincey greeted the Maid with a tribute of respect which was not surpassed even in her own native land. Among her Catholic fellow-countrymen she had been regarded, even in her lifetime, as Divinely inspired.

At last the cause of her beatification was introduced upon occasion of an appeal addressed to the Holy See, in 1869, by Mgr Dupanloup, Bishop of Orléans, and, after passing through all its stages and being duly confirmed by the necessary miracles, the process ended in the decree being published by Pius X on 11 April, 1909. A Mass and Office of St. Joan, taken from the "Commune Virginum," with "proper" prayers, have been approved by the Holy See for use in the Diocese of Orléans.

St. Joan was canonized in 1920 by


From Wikipedia

Joan asserted that she had visions from God that instructed her to recover her homeland from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and lifted the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims and settled the disputed succession to the throne.

Down to the present day, Joan of Arc has remained a significant figure in Western culture. From Napoleon onward, French politicians of all leanings have invoked her memory. Famous writers and composers who have created works about her include: Shakespeare (Henry VI, Part 1), Voltaire (The Maid of Orleans poem), Schiller (The Maid of Orleans play), Verdi (Giovanna d'Arco), Tchaikovsky (The Maid of Orleans opera), Mark Twain (Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc), Arthur Honegger (Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher), Jean Anouilh (L'Alouette), Bertolt Brecht (Saint Joan of the Stockyards), George Bernard Shaw (Saint Joan) and Maxwell Anderson (Joan of Lorraine). Depictions of her continue in film, theatre, television, video games, music and performance.





Witches and Witchtrials in Scotland

Compiled by Marc Carlson
It was last edited 9 June 2004

Please note, this listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but is an ongoing compilation, as this evidence comes out.


Date Place
# Name Sex Notes and sources:
??? Scotland 1 Dunhome, Margaret f Burned (Source: ?)
???? Scotland 1 Barton, William m Executed (Source: ?)
1479 Scotland 1 Earl of Mar m Executed for employing witches to kill his brother, James III. (Source: Ewen, Witch Hunting, 42. Kiechhefer, Richard. European witch trials. Berkeley, 1979)
1479 Scotland, Edinburgh 12+ ??? ? 12 women and "several" men burned (Source: ?)
1537 Scotland 1 Lady Glamis f Charged with using charms on James V (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 455).
1557 (7/17) Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Douglas, Janet f Burned at Castle, Hill (Source: ?)
1563-1603 Scotland 17,000+ ? ? Executed or Tried? (Source: ?) This number is a little high, considering the lack of source.
1569 Scotland, St.Andrews 1 Steward, William f Hanged (Source: ?)
1572 Scotland 1 Bowman, Janet f Burned (Source: ?)
1572 Scotland, St.Andrews 1 ??? ? Burned (Source: ?)
1576 Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Dunlop, Bessie of Lyne f Burned at Castle Hill (for being a member of a coven of eight women and four men, and for receiving herbs from the Queen of the Faeries) (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 455).
1587-1628 Scotland 20? ? ? Executed in the reign of King James VI and I of England. (Source: ?)
1588 (5/28) Scotland, Fifeshire 1 Pearson, Alison f Burned (for receiving herbs and potions from the Queen of Elfame) (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 455)
1590 Scotland 1 Lady Foullis f Charged with using charms on Lady Balnagowen (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 455).
1591 Scotland 1 Duncan, Gellie (Aka Gilly) f Hanged. The first "North Berwick Witch" (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 359)
1591 (1/30) Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Fian, John m (aka Cunningham, John) Burned (May have been executed on January 23rd instead) "North Berwick Witch" (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 196, 359).
1592 (2) Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Graham, Richard m Burnt. "North Berwick Witch" (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 359)
1591 (7/25) Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Maclean, Dame Euphemia f Burned Alive at the order of King James "North Berwick Witch" (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 359)
1591 Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Napier, Barbara f Sister in law of the Laird of Carshoggill. The case was dismissed by the jury, but she was condemned to death by King James. She
plead pregancy, and eventually set free "North Berwick Witch" (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 359)
1591 Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Sampson, Agnes f (aka Sampsoune, Agnes) "Wise Woman of Keith". Tried, Strangled, and Burnt "North Berwick Witch" (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 359; Wedeck, A Treasury of Witchcraft).
1591 Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Bothwell, Francis m Earl of Bothwell. Fled the Country. "North Berwick Witch" (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 359; Kittredge, Witchcraft, 278)
1595(12/16) Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Balfour, Alison f (possibly Margaret Balfour) Confessed under torture, recanted, then burned (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).
1595 Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Balfour, (fnu) m (Husband) 81 year old man pressed under 700 pound of Iron bars.
(Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).
1595 Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Balfour, (fnu) m (Son) Legs destroyed in Spanish boots. (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).
1595 Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Balfour, (fnu) m (Daughter) 7 years old, tortured with thumbscrews (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).
1595 Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Palpa, Thomas m Balfour's servant. Confessed under torture, recanted, then burned (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).
1596 Scotland, St.Andrews 1 Paris, (fnu) f Hanged
1596 (11) Scotland 1 Stewart, Christian f strangled and burned
1596 (10) Scotland 1 Jollie, Alison f executed
1597 (2) Scotland, Aberdeen 22 ??? ? Burned (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 19)
1597 (2) Scotland, Aberdeen 1 Wishart, "Old Janet" f Burned. One of 24 "Aberdeen Witches" mentioned above (Source:
Robbins, Encyclopedia, 19).
1597 (2) Scotland, Aberdeen 1 Crocker, Isabel f Burned. One of 24 "Aberdeen Witches" mentioned above (Source:
Robbins, Encyclopedia, 19).
1607 (3) Scotland 1 Grierson, Isobel f Burned (Sources: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 457; Wedeck, A Treasury of Witchcraft).
1608 (5/27) Scotland, Lang Nydrie 1 Tod, Beigis f burned
1608 Scotland, Breehin ? "A number of women" f burned
1618 Scotland 1 Barclay, Margaret f Trial based on the threat of a witch, resulting in the torture and deaths of four of the accused.
1621 Scotland, Inverkeithing 1 Harlow, Bessie f Tried
1621 Scotland, Inverkeithing 1 Hamyltoun, Christiane f Tried
1621 Scotland, Inverkeithing 1 Kent, Margaret f Tried
1621 Scotland, Inverkeithing 1 Mundie, Beatrice f Tried
1621 Scotland, Inverkeithing 1 Chalmers, Bessie f Tried
1621 Scotland, Inverkeithing 1 Chatto, Marioun f Tried
1622 Scotland, Glasgow 1 Wallace, Margaret f executed
1622 Scotland ("North") 1 Scottie, Agnes f Burned
1622 Scotland ("North") 1 Jones, Katherine f Burned
1622 Scotland ("North") 1 Reoch, Elspeth f Burned
1622 Scotland ("North") 1 Yullock, Agnes f Burned
1622 Scotland ("North") 1 Couper, Marable f Burned
1622 Scotland ("North") 1 Dyneis, Jonkaf f Burned
1623 Scotland, Perth ? ??? ? (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 457).
1629 Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Hunter, Alexander m Burned
1629 Scotland, East Lothian 1 Young, Isobel f Of Eastbarns. Convicted, Strangled and Burned (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).
1636(11/19) Scotland, Kirkaldy 1 Coke, William m Burned (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 114).
1636(11/19) Scotland, Kirkaldy 1 Dick, Allison f Burned (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 114).
1643 Scotland 1 Barker, Janet f burned
1643 Scotland 1 Peebles, Marion f burned
1643 Scotland 1 Fynnie, Agnes f burned
1643 Scotland 1 Lauder, Margaret f burned
1643 Scotland 1 Brown, Janet f burned
1643 Scotland 1 Brugh, John m burned
1643 Scotland, Orkney 1 Cumlaquoy, Marian f burned
1648-1650 Scotland 220 + ??? ? In England and Scotland, on evidence of a Scottish Witch-finder
1649 Scotland, Burncastle 1 Dunhome, Margaret f Burned (aka Dinham, Dollmoune) (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 114).
1654-6 Scotland, Glenluce 1 ? m A begger is hanged; the poltergeist Glenluce Devil (probably the teenaged Thomas Campbell) harrassed a local minister (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 457).
1652 Scotland, Highlands 4 ??? ? Died under torture (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).
1652 Scotland, Highlands 2 ??? ? Escaped from torture to report to the "English Commission for administration of justice" (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).
1658 Scotland, Edinburgh 18 ??? ? Burned at Castle Hill
1661 Scotland 1 Smith, Isobel f Tried (Source: Wedeck, A Treasury of Witchcraft).
1661 Scotland 1 Allen, Janet f burned (Source: Wedeck, A Treasury of Witchcraft).
1662 Scotland, Auldearne 1 Gowdie, Isobel f "Queen of the Witches". She recounted a total listing of her background in witchcraft. Her final fate is unknown (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 232; Wedeck, A Treasury of Witchcraft).
1662 Scotland 1 Lamont, Marie f ??? (Source: Wedeck, A Treasury of Witchcraft).
1670 (4/11) Scotland 1 Weir, Thomas m A 70 or 76 year old ex-Covenanter Major confessed to incest, adultery and bestiality (although witchcraft wasn't formally charged, it appears to have been taken for granted). Strangled and burned between Edinburgh and Leith (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 457, 534).
1670 (4/12) Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Weir, Jane f Thomas Weir's sister. Confessed. Strangled and burned (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 457, 534)
1670 Scotland 1 Oswald, Catherine f burned
1670 Scotland, Edinburgh 1 Drummond, Alexander f executed
1678 Scotland, Prestonpans 11 ??? ? burned
1678 Scotland, St. Andrews 1 ??? ? burned
1680 Scotland 1 Thompson, Annaple f burned
1680 Scotland 1 Hamilton, Margaret f burned
1680 Scotland 1 Pringle, Margaret f burned
1680 Scotland 1 Craw, William m burned
1680 Scotland 1 Vickar, Bessie f burned
1697 (6/10) Scotland, Strathclyde, Paisley 5 ??? ? burned
1697 Scotland, Strathclyde, Renfrew 7 ??? ? burned. "24 persons indicted and 7 witches of Renfrew burned following charges of witchcraft by 11 year old Christine Shaw" (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 457).
1697 Scotland 1 Reid, John m Hung himself in Prison
1704 Scotland, Pittenweem 1 Corset, Janet f (aka, Cornfoot, Corfeitt, Corphat, Carset). Killed by a mob. (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 386, 456).
1704 Scotland, Pittenweem 1 Brown, Thomas m Starved to death in the Dungeon. (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 386)
1704 Scotland, Pittenweem 1 Laing, Beatrix f Tortured, confessed implicating others. She retracted her confession and was imprisoned for months, eventually being freed. Having to flee the mob, she finally died at St. Andrews (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 386).
1704 Scotland, Pittenweem 1 Lawson, Mrs Nicholas f Accused. (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 386).
1705 Scotland, Spott "Many" ??? ? Burned
1705 Scotland, Spott 1 Rattray, George m Executed
1705 Scotland, Spott 1 Rattray, Lachlan m Executed
1709 Scotland, Ross? 1 Ross, Elsbeth f Last person tried for a general charge of being a notorious witch. She was branded and banished (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).
c1718 Scotland, Caithness 2 ??? ? The sheriff of Caithness was said to have killed two witches based on the complaint of William Montgomery who was plagued by cats (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).
1720 Scotland, Calder ? ??? f Women charged on the accusations of Lord Torphichen. 2 of whom died in jail (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 457)
1722 Scotland 1 ??? f (Mother) Burned
1722 Scotland 1 ??? f (Daughter) Burned
1727 Scotland, Ross 1 Horne, Janet f Burned for using her daughter as a flying horse (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).
1727 Scotland, Ross 1 Horne, (fnu) f (Daughter)Charges dismissed by the judge (Source: Robbins, Encyclopedia, 456).

Historical Witches and Witchtrials in Scotland.

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FROM: http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/witchtrial/scotland.html 



When the day's news is about "witches," many Americans reflexively conjure up images of ugly, wicked hags from stories like "Snow White" and "The Wizard of Oz" – or more recently, the smiling "good witches" of Harry Potter books and films. But none of these fictional fantasies has anything to do with the real thing.

The real thing – that is, the stunning phenomenon of more and more American housewives, students, professors, and even soldiers self-identifying as "witches" – is the topic of the January edition of WND's elite monthly Whistleblower magazine

Read more: WITCHCRAFT IN AMERICA http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=45341#ixzz1esIlMXOU

WND Exclusive


Behind the growing fascination with all things pagan, occult and magic

Posted: January 02, 2008
1:00 am Eastern

© 2011 WND

When the day's news is about "witches," many Americans reflexively conjure up images of ugly, wicked hags from stories like "Snow White" and "The Wizard of Oz" – or more recently, the smiling "good witches" of Harry Potter books and films. But none of these fictional fantasies has anything to do with the real thing.

The real thing – that is, the stunning phenomenon of more and more American housewives, students, professors, and even soldiers self-identifying as "witches" – is the topic of the January edition of WND's elite monthly Whistleblower magazine.

Titled "WITCHCRAFT IN AMERICA," Whistleblower explores Wicca in particular, and the New Age movement in general, in this dramatic, entertaining, but powerfully eye-opening and mind-boggling investigation.

What is witchcraft? Is it the same as Wicca? Is it a form of Satan worship, as critics allege? Or can witches be good? Can they really cast spells that somehow call forth the spirits beyond the world of nature to help them accomplish their will – whether good or evil? Is magic real? Why do witches often perform their ceremonies naked? And most of all, why do so many people today aspire to be witches

Read more: WITCHCRAFT IN AMERICA http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=45341#ixzz1esIzwKMw

Wicca is an official, legal religion in the U.S., and a fast-growing one at that. Judges have ruled that witches must be allowed to lead prayers at local government meetings, and that Wiccan convicts must be provided with requested "sacred objects" so they can perform spells in their cells. Witches in the armed services have even formed covens and routinely "worship" on U.S. military bases.

How did this happen – and why?

"Witchcraft, sorcery, magic and idol worship have been around since the earliest days of man," said WND Editor Joseph Farah. "They do, indeed, pre-date Christianity as we know it today – just as their practitioners like to point out with pride. But they do not pre-date the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the one who created the universe. They are, in fact, part of a rebellion against Him and His laws."

Added Farah: "Ever since the 1960s, this rebellion has been growing. It's kind of the spiritual side of the political and social rebellion that took place in the latter part of that decade. Yet, this spiritual rebellion has continued unabated since then, and has grown exponentially faster and darker with each succeeding decade."

Read more: WITCHCRAFT IN AMERICA http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=45341#ixzz1esJFdSGb

Issue highlights include:

Wicca is intentionally ouded in mystery, said David Kupelian, managing editor of WorldNetDaily and Whistleblower. "But in the news business we prefer sunshine to moonlight, believing it makes a much better disinfectant. This issue of Whistleblower shines a very bright light on New Age, neo-pagan and occult beliefs and practices, and in a way that I believe

l generate a lot of 'aha!' experiences in our readers."

Read more: WITCHCRAFT IN AMERICA http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=45341#ixzz1esK6Ewsg

Read more: WITCHCRAFT IN AMERICA http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=45341#ixzz1esJtZ52j

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before county court trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in the counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex in colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693. Despite being generally known as the Salem witch trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 were conducted in a variety of towns across the province: Salem Village (now Danvers), Ipswich, Andover and Salem Town.

The best-known trials were conducted by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 in Salem Town. Over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned, with even more accused but not formally pursued by the authorities. All twenty-six who went to trial before this court were convicted. The four sessions of the Superior Court of Judicature in 1693, held in Salem Village, but also in Ipswich, Boston and Charlestown, produced only three convictions in the thirty-one witchcraft trials it conducted. The two courts convicted twenty-nine people of the capital felony of witchcraft. Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were executed by hanging. One man, Giles Corey, refused to enter a plea and was crushed to death under heavy stones in an attempt to force him to do so. At least five more of the accused died in prison.

The episode is one of the most famous cases of mass hysteria, and has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations and lapses in due process.[1] It was not unique, being an American example of the much larger phenomenon of witch trials in the Early Modern period.

Before the Salem witchcraft persecutions, the supernatural was part of everyday life, for there was a strong belief that Satan was present and active on earth. This concept emerged in Europe around the fifteenth century and spread to Colonial America. Previously, witchcraft had been widely used as peasants heavily relied on particular charms for farming and agriculture. Over time, the idea of white magic transformed into dark magic and became associated with demons and evil spirits. From 1560 to 1670, witchcraft persecutions became common as superstitions became associated with the devil. In "Against Modern Sadducism" (1668) , Joseph Glanvill claimed that he could prove the existence of witches and ghosts of the supernatural realm. Glanvill wrote about the "denial of the bodily resurrection, and the [supernatural] spirits".[2] In his treatise, he claimed that ingenious men should believe in witches and apparitions; if they doubted the reality of spirits, they not only denied demons, but also the almighty God. Glanvill wanted to prove that the supernatural could not be denied; those who did deny apparitions were considered heretics for it also disproved their beliefs in angels.[3] Works from men like Glanvill's and Cotton Mather tried to prove to humanity that "demons were alive",[4] which played on the fears of individuals who believed that demons were active among them on Earth.

Men and women in Salem believed that all the misfortunes were attributed to the work of the devil; when things like infant death, crop failures or friction among the congregation occurred, the supernatural was blamed. Because of the unusual size of the outbreak of witchcraft accusations, various aspects of the historical context of this episode have been considered as specific contributing factors.

Earlier executions for witchcraft in New England

Historian Clarence F. Jewett included a list of other people executed in New England in The Memorial History of Boston: Including Suffolk County, Massachusetts 1630–1880 (Ticknor and Company, 1881). He wrote,

The following is the list of the 12 persons who were executed for witchcraft in New England before 1692, when 24 other persons were executed at Salem, whose names are well known. It is possible that the list is not complete ; but I have included all of which I have any knowledge, and with such details as to names and dates as could be ascertained : — 1647, — "Woman of Windsor," Connecticut (name unknown)[later identified as Alice Young], at Hartford. 1648, — Margaret Jones, of Charlestown, at Boston. 1648,— Mary Johnson, at Hartford. 1650? — Henry Lake's wife, of Dorchester. 1650?—Mrs. Kendall, of Cambridge. 1651, — Mary Parsons, of Springfield, at Boston. 1651, — Goodwife Bassett, at Fairfield, Conn. 1653,—Goodwife Knap, at Hartford. 1656, — Ann Hibbins, at Boston. 1662, — Goodman Greensmith, at Hartford. 1662,— Goodwife Greensmith, at Hartford. 1688,— Goody Glover, at Boston."[5]

original 1629 Royal Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was vacated in 1684,[6] after which King James II installed Sir Edmund Andros as the Governor of the Dominion of New England. Andros was ousted in 1689 after the "Glorious Revolution" in England replaced the Catholic James II with the Protestants William and Mary. Simon Bradstreet and Thomas Danforth, the colony's last leaders under the old charter, resumed their posts as governor and deputy governor, but lacked constitutional authority to rule, because the old charter had been vacated. At the same time tensions erupted between the English colonists settling in "the Eastward" (the present-day coast of Maine) and the French-supported Wabanaki Indians in what came to be known as King William's War. This was only 13 years after the devastating King Philip's War with the Wampanoag and other indigenous tribes in southern and western New England. In October 1690, Sir William Phips led an unsuccessful attack on Quebec. Many English settlements along the coast continued to be attacked by Native Americans, including particularly the Schenectady massacre in the Colony of New York in 1690 and the Candlemas Massacre, an assault on York, Maine, on January 25, 1692.

A new charter for the enlarged Province of Massachusetts Bay was given final approval in England on October 16, 1691.[7] News of the appointment of Phips as the new governor reached Boston in late January[8] and a copy of the new charter arrived in Boston on February 8, 1692.[9] Phips arrived in Boston on May 14,[10] and was sworn in as governor two days later, along with Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton.[11] One of the first orders of business for the new governor and council on May 27, 1692, was the formal nomination of county justices of the peace, sheriffs, and the commission of a Special Court of Oyer and Terminer to handle the large numbers of people who were "thronging" the jails.[12]

Boyer and Nissenbaum have postulated that without a valid charter, there was no legitimate form of government to try capital cases until Phips arrived with the new charter.[13] This has been disputed by David Konig, who points out that between charters, according to the Records of the Court of Assistants, a group of 14 pirates were tried and condemned on January 27, 1690, for acts of piracy and murder committed in August and October 1689.[14]

Prior to the constitutional turmoil of the 1680s, Massachusetts government had been dominated by conservative Puritan secular leaders. Puritans, influenced by Calvinism, opposed many of the traditions of the Protestant Church of England, including the Book of Common Prayer, the use of priestly vestments (cap and gown) during services, the use of the Holy Cross during baptism, and kneeling during the sacrament, all of which constituted "popery". Repression of these dissenting non-Anglican views accelerated in the 1620s and 1630s, resulting in a major migration of Puritans and other religious minorities to North America, and resulted in the establishment of several colonies in New England. Self-governance came naturally to them, since building a society based on their religious beliefs was one of their goal. Colonial leaders were elected by the freemen of the colony, who were those individuals who had had their religious experiences formally examined, and had been admitted to one of the colony's Puritan congregations. The colonial leadership were prominent members of their congregations, and regularly consulted with the local ministers on issues facing the colony.

In the early 1640s, England erupted in civil war, with the Puritan-dominated Parliamentary faction winning and executing King Charles I. This success was short-lived as the Commonwealth's failure under the Lord Protector's successor Richard Cromwell led to restoration of the old order under Charles II. Emigration to New England slowed significantly in these years, and a successful merchant class began to develop that was less religiously motivated than the colony's early settlers.

In the small Salem Village as in the colony at large, all of life was governed by the precepts of the Church, which was Calvinist in the extreme. Music, dancing, celebration of holidays such as Christmas and Easter, were absolutely forbidden,[19] as they supposedly had roots in Paganism. The only music allowed at all was the unaccompanied singing of hymns—the folk songs of the period glorified human love and nature, and were therefore against God. Toys and especially dolls were also forbidden, and considered a frivolous waste of time.[20] The only schooling for children was in religious doctrine and the Bible, and all the villagers were expected to go to the meeting house for three-hour sermons every Wednesday and Sunday. Village life revolved around the meeting house, and those celebrations permitted, such as those celebrating the harvest, were centered there.[21]

Prior to 1692, there had been rumors of witchcraft in villages neighboring Salem Village and other towns. Cotton Mather, a minister of Boston's North Church (not to be confused with the Anglican North Church of Paul Revere fame) was a prolific publisher of pamphlets and a firm believer in witchcraft. In his book Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions (1689), Mather describes his "oracular observations" and how "stupendous witchcraft"[22] had affected the children of Boston mason John Goodwin. Mather illustrates how the Goodwins' eldest child had been tempted by the devil and stole linen from the washerwoman Mary Glover. Glover was a miserable old woman whom her husband often described as a witch; this is perhaps why Glover was accused of casting spells on the Goodwin children. After the event, four out of six Goodwin children began to experience strange fits or what some people referred to as "the disease of astonishment".[23] The manifestations attributed to the disease quickly became associated with witchcraft. These symptoms were things like neck and back pains, tongues being drawn from their throats, and loud random outcries; other symptoms included having no control over their bodies such as becoming limber, flapping their arms like birds, or trying to harm others as well as themselves. These symptoms would fuel the craze of 1692.

Most accounts begin with the afflictions of the girls in the Parris household in January/February 1692 and end with the last trials in May 1693, but some start earlier to place the trials in the wider context of other witch-hunts, and some end later to include information about restitution.

n Salem Village in 1692, Betty Parris, age 9, and her cousin Abigail Williams, age 11, the daughter and niece (respectively) of the Reverend Samuel Parris, began to have fits described as "beyond the power of Epileptic Fits or natural disease to effect" by John Hale, minister in nearby Beverly.[24] The girls screamed, threw things about the room, uttered strange sounds, crawled under furniture, and contorted themselves into peculiar positions, according to the eyewitness account of Rev. Deodat Lawson, a former minister in the town. The girls complained of being pinched and pricked with pins. A doctor, historically assumed to be William Griggs, could find no physical evidence of any ailment. Other young women in the village began to exhibit similar behaviors. When Lawson preached in the Salem Village meetinghouse, he was interrupted several times by outbursts of the afflicted.[25]

The first three people accused and arrested for allegedly afflicting Betty Parris, Abigail Williams, 12-year-old Ann Putnam, Jr., and Elizabeth Hubbard were Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba. The accusation by Ann Putnam Jr. is seen by historians as evidence that a family feud may have been a major cause of the Witch Trials. Salem was the home of a vicious rivalry between the Putnam and Porter families. The people of Salem were all engaged in this rivalry. Salem citizens would often engage in heated debates that would escalate into full fledged fighting, based solely on their opinion regarding this feud.[26]

Sarah Good was a homeless beggar and known to beg for food and shelter from neighbors. She was accused of witchcraft because of her appalling reputation. At her trial, Good was accused of rejecting the puritanical expectations of self-control and discipline when she chose to torment and “scorn [children] instead of leading them towards the path of salvation" [27]

Sarah Osborne rarely attended church meetings. She was accused of witchcraft because the puritans believed that Osborne had her own self-interests in mind for she had remarried (to an indentured servant). The citizens of the town of Salem also found it distasteful when she attempted to control her son's inheritance from her previous marriage.

Tituba, as a slave of a different ethnicity than the Puritans, was a target for accusations. She was accused of attracting young girls like Abigail Williams and Betty Parris with enchanting stories from Malleus Maleficarum. These tales about sexual encounters with demons, swaying the minds of men, and fortune telling stimulated the imaginations of young girls and made Tituba an obvious target of accusations.[28]

All of these outcast women fit the description of the "usual suspects" for witchcraft accusations, and no one stood up for them. These women were brought before the local magistrates on the complaint of witchcraft and interrogated for several days, starting on March 1, 1692, then sent to jail.[29] Other accusations followed in March: Martha Corey, Dorothy Good and Rebecca Nurse in Salem Village, and Rachel Clinton in nearby Ipswich. Martha Corey had voiced skepticism about the credibility of the girls' accusations, drawing attention to herself. The charges against her and Rebecca Nurse deeply troubled the community because Martha Corey was a full covenanted member of the Church in Salem Village, as was Rebecca Nurse in the Church in Salem Town. If such upstanding people could be witches, then anybody could be a witch, and church membership was no protection from accusation. Dorothy Good, the daughter of Sarah Good, was only 4 years old, and when questioned by the magistrates her answers were construed as a confession, implicating her mother. In Ipswich, Rachel Clinton was arrested for witchcraft at the end of March[30] on charges unrelated to the afflictions of the girls in Salem Village.

When Sarah Cloyce (Nurse's sister) and Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor were arrested in April, they were brought before John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin, not only in their capacity as local magistrates, but as members of the Governor's Council, at a meeting in Salem Town. Present for the examination were Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth, and Assistants Samuel Sewall, Samuel Appleton, James Russell and Isaac Addington. Objections by John Proctor during the proceedings resulted in his arrest that day as well.

Within a week, Giles Corey (Martha's husband, and a covenanted church member in Salem Town), Abigail Hobbs, Bridget Bishop, Mary Warren (a servant in the Proctor household and sometime accuser herself) and Deliverance Hobbs (stepmother of Abigail Hobbs) were arrested and examined. Abigail Hobbs, Mary Warren and Deliverance Hobbs all confessed and began naming additional people as accomplices. More arrests followed: Sarah Wildes, William Hobbs (husband of Deliverance and father of Abigail), Nehemiah Abbott Jr., Mary Eastey (sister of Cloyce and Nurse), Edward Bishop, Jr. and his wife Sarah Bishop, and Mary English, and finally, on April 30, the Reverend George Burroughs, Lydia Dustin, Susannah Martin, Dorcas Hoar, Sarah Morey and Philip English (Mary's husband). Nehemiah Abbott Jr. was released because the accusers agreed he was not the person whose specter had afflicted them. Mary Eastey was released for a few days after her initial arrest because the accusers failed to confirm that it was she who had afflicted them, and then she was rearrested when the accusers reconsidered.

In May, accusations continued to pour in, but some of those named began to evade apprehension. Multiple warrants were issued before John Willard and Elizabeth Colson were apprehended, but George Jacobs Jr. and Daniel Andrews were not caught. Until this point, all the proceedings were still only investigative, but on May 27, 1692, William Phips ordered the establishment of a Special Court of Oyer and Terminer for Suffolk, Essex and Middlesex counties to prosecute the cases of those in jail. Warrants were issued for even more people. Sarah Osborne, one of the first three accused, died in jail on May 10, 1692.

Warrants were issued for 36 more people, with examinations continuing to take place in Salem Village: Sarah Dustin (daughter of Lydia Dustin), Ann Sears, Bethiah Carter Sr. and her daughter Bethiah Carter Jr., George Jacobs, Sr. and his granddaughter Margaret Jacobs, John Willard, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Abigail Soames, George Jacobs, Jr. (son of George Jacobs, Sr. and father of Margaret Jacobs), Daniel Andrew, Rebecca Jacobs (wife of George Jacobs, Jr. and sister of Daniel Andrew), Sarah Buckley and her daughter Mary Witheridge, Elizabeth Colson, Elizabeth Hart, Thomas Farrar, Sr., Roger Toothaker, Sarah Proctor (daughter of John and Elizabeth Proctor), Sarah Bassett (sister-in-law of Elizabeth Proctor), Susannah Roots, Mary DeRich (another sister-in-law of Elizabeth Proctor), Sarah Pease, Elizabeth Cary, Martha Carrier, Elizabeth Fosdick, Wilmot Redd, Sarah Rice, Elizabeth Howe, Capt. John Alden (son of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of Plymouth Colony), William Proctor (son of John and Elizabeth Proctor), John Flood, Mary Toothaker (wife of Roger Toothaker and sister of Martha Carrier) and her daughter Margaret Toothaker, and Arthur Abbott. When the Court of Oyer and Terminer convened at the end of May, this brought the total number of people in custody to 62.[31]

Cotton Mather wrote to one of the judges, John Richards, on May 31, 1692, voicing his support of the prosecutions, but cautioning him of the dangers of relying on spectral evidence and advising the court on how to proceed.[32]

The Court of Oyer and Terminer convened in Salem Town on June 2, 1692, with William Stoughton, the new Lieutenant Governor, as Chief Magistrate, Thomas Newton as the Crown's Attorney prosecuting the cases, and Stephen Sewall as clerk. Bridget Bishop's case was the first brought to the grand jury, who endorsed all the indictments against her. Bishop was described as not living a puritan lifestyle for she wore black clothing and odd costumes which was against the puritan code. When she was examined before her trial, Bishop was asked about her coat which had been awkwardly “cut or torn in two ways”.[33] This along with her amoral lifestyle accused her of a being a witch. She went to trial the same day and was found guilty. On June 3, the grand jury endorsed indictments against Rebecca Nurse and John Willard, but it is not clear why they did not go to trial immediately as well. Bridget Bishop was executed by hanging on June 10, 1692.

In June, more people were accused, arrested and examined, but now in Salem Town, by former local magistrates John Hathorne, Jonathan Corwin and Bartholomew Gedney who had become judges of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Roger Toothaker died in prison on June 16, 1692.

At the end of June and beginning of July, grand juries endorsed indictments against Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor, Martha Carrier, Sarah Wilds and Dorcas Hoar. Only Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin and Sarah Wildes, along with Rebecca Nurse, went on to trial at this time, where they were found guilty, and executed on July 19, 1692. In mid-July as well, the primary source of accusations moved from Salem Village to Andover, when the constable there asked to have some of the afflicted girls in Salem Village visit with his wife to try to determine who caused her afflictions. Ann Foster, her daughter Mary Lacey Sr., and granddaughter Mary Lacey Jr. all confessed to being witches. Anthony Checkley was appointed by Governor Phips to replace Thomas Newton as the Crown's Attorney when Newton took an appointment in New Hampshire.

In the beginning of August, grand juries indicted George Burroughs, Mary Eastey, Martha Corey and George Jacobs, Sr., and trial juries convicted Martha Carrier, George Jacobs, Sr., George Burroughs, John Willard, Elizabeth Proctor and John Proctor. Elizabeth Proctor was given a temporary stay of execution because she was pregnant. Before being executed, George Burroughs recited the Lord's Prayer perfectly, supposedly something that was impossible for a witch, but Cotton Mather was present and reminded the crowd that the man had been convicted before a jury. On August 19, 1692, Martha Carrier, George Jacobs Sr., George Burroughs, John Willard and John Proctor were hanged.

In September, grand juries indicted eighteen more people. The grand jury failed to indict William Proctor, who was re-arrested on new charges. On September 19, 1692, Giles Corey refused to plead at arraignment, and was subjected to peine forte et dure, a form of torture in which the subject is pressed beneath an increasingly heavy load of stones, in an attempt to make him enter a plea. Four pleaded guilty and eleven others were tried and found guilty. On September 22, 1692, eight of those convicted were hanged, reportedly called the "Eight firebrands of Hell" by Salem minister Nicholas Noyes. One of the convicted, Dorcas Hoar, was given a temporary reprieve, with the support of several ministers, to make her confession before God. Aged Mary Bradbury escaped. Abigail Faulkner Sr. was pregnant and given a temporary reprieve (some reports from that era say that Abigail's reprieve later became a stay of charges, when the courts realized that sentencing Abigail to death would also kill her unborn child, who had committed no crime).

Mather was asked by Governor Phips in September to write about the trials, and obtained access to the official records of the Salem trials from his friend Stephen Sewall, clerk of the court, upon which his account of the affair, Wonders of the Invisible World, was based.

This court was dismissed in October by Governor Phips, although this was not the end of the trials.

The Superior Court of Judicature, 1693


In January 1693, the new Superior Court of Judicature, Court of Assize and General Gaol Delivery convened in Salem, Essex County, again headed by William Stoughton, as Chief Justice, with Anthony Checkley continuing as the Attorney General, and Jonathan Elatson as Clerk of the Court. The first five cases tried in January 1693 were of the five people who had been indicted but not tried in September: Sarah Buckley, Margaret Jacobs, Rebecca Jacobs, Mary Whittredge and Job Tookey. All were found not guilty. Grand juries were held for many of those remaining in jail. Charges were dismissed against many, but sixteen more people were indicted and tried, three of whom were found guilty: Elizabeth Johnson Jr., Sarah Wardwell and Mary Post. When Stoughton wrote the warrants for the execution of these women and the others remaining from the previous court, Governor Phips pardoned them, sparing their lives. In late January/early February, the Court sat again in Charlestown, Middlesex County, and held grand juries and tried five people: Sarah Cole (of Lynn), Lydia Dustin & Sarah Dustin, Mary Taylor and Mary Toothaker. All were found not guilty, but were not released until they paid their jail fees. Lydia Dustin died in jail on March 10, 1693. At the end of April, the Court convened in Boston, Suffolk County, and cleared Capt. John Alden by proclamation, and heard charges against a servant girl, Mary Watkins, for falsely accusing her mistress of witchcraft. In May, the Court convened in Ipswich, Essex County, held a variety of grand juries who dismissed charges against all but five people. Susannah Post, Eunice Frye, Mary Bridges Jr., Mary Barker and William Barker Jr. were all found not guilty at trial, putting an end to the episode.

More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials




The Pagan's Path ~ Witchcraft & Shamanism - 2011 Moon Phases

Every Witch should know which days to work and which to take off. Which moon phases ... 2011 Event Notes: January 4 - partial solar eclipse The first solar eclipse of ...

Witches wear a pentacle or pentagram. I saw this recently and thought 'oh, no!' I'm gonna get it!! (Facetiously of course) because I don't wear a pentacle. I wear a triquetra, the ancient Gaelic symbol that stands for my name Faith. I also wear a diamond chip pendant and earrings that were gifts. Ooops, no pentagram. Does that make me not a 'real' witch? Of course not! Many choose to wear the pentacle which is a five pointed star (pentagram) within a circle. This is worn for many purposes, primarily protection and identification for other like minded individuals. I wore one for years, until it was misplaced and it occurred to me that even without wearing one, I'm still a witch. The jewelry I wear does not make me who, or what I am. It doesn't make others who and what they are either. I've included a picture of a gentleman wearing some serious Wiccan bling below!!

Our actions and words define us. Our interaction with others. For to be a 'beast' around other people, i.e. cutting people off in traffic, shooting rude gestures or yelling at others but then being all sweetness and light during a witches meeting for the full moon, is not being authentic Well, insincerity has a way of shining out from those who are not truly the people they claim to be because of the jewelry they wear, at least that has been my experience over the years.

As far as a do or don't list, here's some homework for you. Sit down, take a piece of paper and write two columns, what makes you a witch and what doesn't. What are your do's and don't's? That list that you create will be more significant, important and real than anything you'll read from another. Simply because what works for one, myself for example, doesn't have to work for you. I give suggestions, simple basic training in the fundementals and sciences of magick and respectfully leave the rest up to you to discover.

That's the most important aspect of this discussion, discovery. Self discovery. So instead of giving you a list of do's and don't's, I'll give you a list of questions to help you discovery what type of witch or magickal person you are.

How you wish to practice or worship is totally up to you. No one can tell you what's right or wrong, except for your experiences and the karmic feedback it brings.

Use common sense, Be respectful and considerate of others, and then do as thou wilt.