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The Burning Times Discussion - Page 2

post #21 of 33
Quote:
And I also do feel that if people are "burned AS witches..." it says something about prejudice.. and it doesn't much matter if they actually WERE witches, in the sense we speak of witches today.
This is a good point Asherah, and I agree. In fact this prejudice is alive and well and apparently the basis for school policy in Pennsylvania.

When a Teachers' Aide was suspended in PA last year for wearing a cross, a state official gave as the reason for the "no religious jewelry or clothing" rule that if they allowed crosses then they'd also have to allow Witches/witches show their religious affiliation. This same reason was recently quoted coming from a administrator of our school district too, when asked about the rule after Catholic teachers were reminded in a memo not to have ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday.

Given that the percentage of Witches in the overall population is rather small, I see this rule justification as a cover for allowing the schools to practice discrimination against anyone who isn't blending in as a WASP type. This rule has already been used againt a Muslim woman.

That the majority is apparently willing to accept this trampling of their rights in order to keep the stated minority invisible, and not so coincidently to keep other minorities invisible or out of the schools, is mindboggling to me.
post #22 of 33

Sorry I'm going off topic a bit here

Quote:
Originally posted by asherah
Karen Ann.. and I say this gently.. you sound incredibly angry... to a point that feels to me a little out of proportion.
I can't help wonder if some issues you have with your parents color your view of this?

In any case, what I mourn is also the loss of the polytheists.. and the loss of so much knowledge and tradition. It is why so much Paganism is neccessarily re-constructionist.

And I really don't have to cite "the burning times" to express my overall disgust with much of what Christianity has wrought... (sorry, but I think we are allowed to be truthful in this part of the forum?)
I have PLENTY of other things to talk about if I want to go there.
And I also do feel that if people are "burned AS witches..." it says something about prejudice.. and it doesn't much matter if they actually WERE witches, in the sense we speak of witches today.

That said... MY Paganism is NOT a response to Christianity at all.
I have never BEEN a monotheist.

I came to Paganism when I was called by the Goddess, as I searched for the sacred feminine.

I am sorry for whatever upsets you, Karen Ann. And maybe all the Pagans you knew were exactly as you described.
But I certainly do NOT want to be lumped in with them.
asherah :

I apologize if I have offended you. I am not at all angry, nor do I have any "issues" with my parents. I understand the reconstructionist nature of paganism very much. I am a Druid (though not as a religion), so I know very well how difficult it can be to do guesswork at what pre-Christian indigenous Eurpoeans believed and practiced -- I just don't think the Burnng Times had anything to do with that. I certainly had no intention of painting all pagans with the same brush. Not all pagans I have known were of the sort I described in my other post; those are simply the ones I thought would be relevant to this topic. There are good people and bad people in paganism, just as in any other subsection of society. I am sorry that I came across as cheesed at paganism and all pagans.

The reason I may have come across strongly is because this is a topic of great interest to me. Every 2-3 years there was a school field trip to Salem. When I was in college I worked on an archaeological dig in Salem. I find it just as abhorrent that Puritans did these things (only freeing those who gave false confessions, accepting "spectral evidence" as fact, not stopping to think until the accusations reached the families of high-ranked officials) to their fellow Puritans as I would if it had been done to an outside group. These are much the same things that occured during the European witch hunts. I tend to agree with Marvin Harris (in "Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches") that there were completely non-religoius societal forces involved in the witch hysteria.

I disagree with your agrument that it doesn't matter if the accused/convicted were witches or not. I think that fact does make a difference; there is plenty of genuine cases of prejudice and discrimination against pagans (such as the instances Meiri just referenced) without having to make stuff up. And I think the less than valid claims do a disservice to the pagan community. It makes us look paranoid and rather silly IMO. (And we don't need to do that to ourselves when Hollywood does it so well with trash like "Charmed.")

And the only thing upsetting me right now is the fact that I ate a few too many chocolate eggs, and WAYYY too much Pizza Giene yesterday so my tummy is in turmoil.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally posted by karen ann
tricia80:

This quote taken from http://www.illusions.com/burning/burnwitc.htm?


\|/Karen Ann
I went to this site that u posted... i have only read probably one or two pages as i really should be in bed... but i wanted to make sure i had read some of it...

now i dont hate catholics or christians or have a grudge... cuz then i would hate my whole family cuz they are catholic... do i necessarily agree with what everything the guy or girl on this site is saying.. nope..

do i think that wicca predated catholicism or christianity... nope cuz Gerald Gardener came up with it... Do i believe that the Goddess Religion was here before christianity.. YUP... do i believe that pretty much everyone burned/tortured was innocent.. YUP...

i dont know what u wanted me to completely take from this website.. and his FAQ is retarded... im sorry he posted some stupid questions...

ok time for sleep...
post #24 of 33
OK, Karen Ann, I get you.
And I agree about the importance of scholarship and accuracy, being a journalist with an anthropology background myself.

I also said earlier, I don't need to use The Burning Times to legitimize my religion, or my overall disgust with much of what Christianity has done in the world.

I guess my question is: why even CALL them witches? Why burn people AS witches? My point is that there must be something about the very idea of "witch" that has been threatening to the Christian hierarchy, no? The fact that they labled heretics as "witches" in Europe does say something about the way Christians view "witches," kwim? That's what I meant when I said it didn't matter that the people were not, in fact, witches.

It does matter, of course, for the sake of history... but I still maintain there is SOMETHING in Christianity that has historically used "witches" as a scapegoat... even though the people killed were not actually witches.

Am I making myself clear?

And personally, from MY perspective.. I think it goes back to the Jews stamping out the worship of Asherah.. I think it does go back to Christians stamping out other polytheistic cultures... I think there is an inherent fear of and ignorance about the Goddess and the power of her worship in Christianity (and Judaism to some degree).. and that is why they label undesirables as "witches"..

So while the Burning Times is not a "real" example of the slaughter of witches... it IS a metaphorical one.

Phew. I hope this makes bloody sense.
post #25 of 33
Asherah


Well said...


better than i have been doing lately... i think i got stung by the thoughts dont come out correctly bug... :LOL
post #26 of 33
Asherah,

this is also what I was trying to say, but my post was so pitifully incoherant that it just got ignored : . Thanks for putting it so eloquently.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally posted by tricia80
I went to this site that u posted... i have only read probably one or two pages as i really should be in bed... but i wanted to make sure i had read some of it...

i dont know what u wanted me to completely take from this website.. and his FAQ is retarded... im sorry he posted some stupid questions...
After seeing your reply to me I went back to the site and read his FAQ. (I usually don't read FAQs.) While I wouldn't use your wording, I concur that his FAQ was pretty snarky. But (and this is just MY reading of it) I think these are his responses to the stupid questions he was getting in his mailbox on a regular basis.

The reason I posted it was his research on witch hunts. He has an alphabetical and a century by century list of victims killed as "witches" (some as recently as last year), many with links to other source material. He also has statistics from the "Burning Times" country by country (and indicates where there may be conflicting data). I found his *research* useful.


(edited because I hit reply too soon accidentally)
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally posted by asherah
I guess my question is: why even CALL them witches? Why burn people AS witches? My point is that there must be something about the very idea of "witch" that has been threatening to the Christian hierarchy, no? The fact that they labled heretics as "witches" in Europe does say something about the way Christians view "witches," kwim? That's what I meant when I said it didn't matter that the people were not, in fact, witches.

It does matter, of course, for the sake of history... but I still maintain there is SOMETHING in Christianity that has historically used "witches" as a scapegoat... even though the people killed were not actually witches.

Am I making myself clear?

And personally, from MY perspective.. I think it goes back to the Jews stamping out the worship of Asherah.. I think it does go back to Christians stamping out other polytheistic cultures... I think there is an inherent fear of and ignorance about the Goddess and the power of her worship in Christianity (and Judaism to some degree).. and that is why they label undesirables as "witches"..

So while the Burning Times is not a "real" example of the slaughter of witches... it IS a metaphorical one.

Phew. I hope this makes bloody sense.
I'm really not trying to take over this thread. Honest. I don't think I've ever been this involved in any thread since I've been here.

I see your point, asherah. But I'm not sure I agree.

Well, from what I undersand (and I'm not claiming to be a whiz at Christian theology or Biblical studies or anything like that), they (the Catholic and Protestants in the 15th-18th centuries) used "witch" because that was what was in their translations of the Bible. Any sort of "dark arts," consorting with demonic forces, etc. in their minds was "witchcraft" as defined by their interpretation of their sacred text. Any passing resemblance it may have to modern "witchcraft" is purely coincidental.

I think the question ought to be, why did Gardnerian Wicca decide to call itself by a term with so much perjorative meaning in the common culture? Why take on an identity that has such negative images associated with it and then get angry at socitey at large for not turning on a dime to accept the "new" meaning? The only villification in this case is that taken on willingly by neo-pagans who *chose* a name for themselves that had this history. But that's just my opinion. Despite what I may tell my 3 year old, I'm not *always* right.

\|/ Karen Ann
post #29 of 33
Well, there is a long, honorable tradition of "reclaiming" words.

I think the word "witch" is in the bible for a reason.
As I said, I believe it stems from the stamping out of Goddess worship.. especially the worship of Asherah. And that alone WOULD in fact, connect it to modern "witchcraft."

Darylll? You're the resident expert in the biblical stuff, weigh in please!
post #30 of 33
Oh, hi.

Witch in the "Old Testament." (I call it that b/c I am about to quote the olde fashioned King James Version.)

http://bible.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/bible

Search words "witch" 11 results. |



Quote:
Exodus 22:18
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
(Whole Chapter: Exodus 22 In context: Exodus 22:17-19)


Deuteronomy 18:10
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
(Whole Chapter: Deuteronomy 18 In context: Deuteronomy 18:9-11)


1 Samuel 15:23
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
(Whole Chapter: 1 Samuel 15 In context: 1 Samuel 15:22-24)


2 Kings 9:22
And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?
(Whole Chapter: 2 Kings 9 In context: 2 Kings 9:21-23)


2 Chronicles 33:6
And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
(Whole Chapter: 2 Chronicles 33 In context: 2 Chronicles 33:5-7)


Micah 5:12
And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:
(Whole Chapter: Micah 5 In context: Micah 5:11-13)


Nahum 3:4
Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
(Whole Chapter: Nahum 3 In context: Nahum 3:3-5)
and in the "New Testament:"


Quote:
Acts 8:9
But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
(Whole Chapter: Acts 8 In context: Acts 8:8-10)


Acts 8:11
And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
(Whole Chapter: Acts 8 In context: Acts 8:10-12)


Galatians 3:1
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
(Whole Chapter: Galatians 3 In context: Galatians 3:1-2)


Galatians 5:20
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
(Whole Chapter: Galatians 5 In context: Galatians 5:19-21)
Now, if I spoke Hebrew, Greek, Latin as well as English, I could tell you the original words used in the Hebrew texts, then translated into Greek (aka the Septuagint), then into Latin (by Jerome in ca 400 CE), finally into English in the Renaissance (the first 2 who attempted to translate the Hebrew and Greek [Xtian] scriptures into English were executed for their trouble] as the KJV.

But I can't.

But I am guessing in the ancient days of the early Hebrews/Israelites, it meant goddess worshipper. As She was seen as a threat to the power of YHWH by the ruling priests at some point. It is well known the Priests rewrote and edited the Hebrew scriptures to make the history of the people seem more YHWH based, and less Asherah based. All mentions of Her are negative, even tho it is quite obvious how honored and popular She was over the centuries.

I do wonder what a woman (or man) who self-IDed as a witch meant by it back in medieval/ Renn times? I would guess she did not think of herself as a Satan worshipper. Did it mean a follower of any native pre-Xtian religion? So a Dianist or Isis worshiper would actually call herself a witch? {(Or would only her accuser call her witch as a slur, instead of even aknowledging Diana or Isis as a valid Goddess?)

Or did witch just mean just an herbalist/spell caster/medicine woman/midwife?
post #31 of 33
Thanks hon.
post #32 of 33
I suppose we just have to agree to disagree here.

I simply see *nothing* related to goddess-worship (modern or ancient) in the historical Burning Times. The vast majority of accused/convicted were charged with either casting spells on their neighbors with the aid of Satan/Lucifer (a *male* figure in Christianity) or consorting with *male* demons (sometimes but not always Satan himself). I think this indicates more a misogyny, that women are weak to the sway of powerful male evil, than a fear of a powerful feminine force -- at least as far as it concerns the masses. I really don't know if I ought to bother digging up all my research on ecclesiastical crises of the time, the end of fuedalism and the rise of Protestantism, the use of the "witch" as a scapegoat to shift blame from Church and state for society's ills (and to elevate both Church and state). I have a annotated paper I wrote on the subject when I was in college, but it's stored in an old word processor in my basement and I don't know how many of my source materials are still in print or even still relevant in the face of new research. And probably a good 1/2 of my books were destroyed in a flood.

I'm starting to ramble so I'll go now and have another mug of tea and get the ol' synapses firing again. I'll probably keep reading this thread because I'm finding it interesting, but if I don't know if I'll reply again for a while. I feel like I'm taking up too much of everyone's time with my mutterings.
post #33 of 33
Well in the Goddess religion her male consort according to the church was "satan" himself..

as we dont believe in "satan" how can one work with "satan"?
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