The Burning Times Discussion - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 04-09-2004, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok, anyone want to talk about the scholarly evidence of the "Burning Times" and the history of the idea that millions of witches were burned at the stake (or otherwise killed) during the middle ages.

I have no links
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#2 of 33 Old 04-09-2004, 06:47 PM
 
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I don't have the links I used to have either, but Covenant of the Goddess used to have an article online outlining the more recent research demonstrating that Murray's 9 million number was not supported by the data. Records were kept by the courts, but apparently not much studied until the last several years.

In the meantime that number got enshrined in the common knowledge.

Atlantic Monthly ran an article in which the author tried to discredit Wicca as a legitimate religion because of the better understanding of history. She didn't count on the educated Pagan community being able to adapt to new knowledge with an shrug and an "okay, we can make the distinction between myth and fact." and move on with our lives and religion.:LOL

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#3 of 33 Old 04-09-2004, 06:51 PM
 
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I don't have much to contribute, it's been a while since I did any research, mind if I just lurk?:
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#4 of 33 Old 04-09-2004, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh yeah I agree with you. But sadly some of the more "creative" authors of years past are still quoted as good sources by many.

Hopefully someone will come along and bring some links

or maybe I'll get off my lazy butt and find some myself :LOL
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#5 of 33 Old 04-09-2004, 08:32 PM
 
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Well, I think a lot of Pagans are defensive about the new research, as though fewer numbers mean Pagans weren't really persecuted, kwim? Like we needed that 9 million to justify the feelings many of us have toward Christianity.

Personally... having been born Jewish and steeped in holocaust studies in years of Hebrew School.. I think any religion sort of loses out if its whole identity... or a vast part of its identity.. is based on solidarity for having been persecuted. Religions need to offer more than that to be viable.

Now, that said... if even ONE witch was burned for her beliefs... that's enough to outrage me. I don't need the inflated figures to justify my anger at Christianity. Though I AM trying to work through that anger...
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#6 of 33 Old 04-09-2004, 09:20 PM
 
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The other aspect of Wicca that the Atlantic Monthly article addressed was the age of Wicca itself. But maybe that's another thread? One of the things that leaps out at some sites that focus on the Burning Times is that some think it was Wiccans being tied to those posts. Nope. Pagans/nonChristians in some cases, but really it was mostly heretical Christians, ones whose form of faith didn't conform to Rome's dictates, and later to the local form of Protestantism...

Just as fewer persecuted doesn't equate to less validity, neither does recentness of beginnings.


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#7 of 33 Old 04-09-2004, 09:39 PM
 
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Found it!!!!!

http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2001/01/allen.htm

January 2001 edition, still online, Thank-you Mother!

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#8 of 33 Old 04-09-2004, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh Meiri, I'd love to discuss the true history of Wicca and agree that is probably for another thread. I think we should have one on that though.

And Asherah, ITA with what you posted. I too do not need to have millions burned as witches to support my feelings about Christianity. Because there is much horrid history without the burning times stuff specifically.

Meiri, great article do you mind if I link to it in the pagan resources thread???

And I agree that recentness of history doesn't invalidate a religion. But I do feel that it is normal to be suspecious of groups that spread falsehoods to make themselves seem older, wiser or more important. Which is why we shouldn't shy away from good scholarship IMO.
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#9 of 33 Old 04-10-2004, 01:05 AM
 
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One of the things that irritates me about discussions of the Burning Times is the assumption (on the part of most of the pagans I have discussed this with) that the "witches" that were burned/hanged/etc. were self-identifying as such (when not under torture that is). From all the reading I've done, it would appear that the vast majority of the accused witches were Christians of the same branch as their accusers.

The witchcraft craze of Europe in the16th & 17th centuries are utterly deplorable. But I gnash my teeth every time I hear a neo-pagan claiming it as his or her own birthright to claim indignation over. (And I've heard it a lot IRL.)

I don't have any books right in front of me so I can't post figures right now.
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#10 of 33 Old 04-10-2004, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Excellent point Karen. One I tend to forget alot too. That probably none of those that were perscuted were actually witches.
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#11 of 33 Old 04-10-2004, 11:04 PM
 
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Arduinna, It's a public website, please post the link in the resources thread.

I did find one thing I disagree with when I reread the article. I agree that there's no evidence for the Spring Equinox being celebrated, particularly among the Celts. But it seems to me that the Irish holy days Imbolc and Beltaine very much fill the same role as modern Easter/Ostara. Imbolc is about the very first faint stirrings of Spring, and the coming of the Goddess Brigid to each home. Beltaine is the beginning of the light half of the year. These holidays are celebrated to this day, albeit in Christian garb in most homes...

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#12 of 33 Old 04-11-2004, 02:23 AM
 
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very interesting discussion...im glad i decided to go ahead and visit this area.. altho i should be sleeping...

All the books ive read on the burning times including videos ive seen has said that 9 million "people"... not pagans, not wiccans, not christians but people... yes probably the majority of them were christian who "thought outside the box".... yet i do believe that there were probably some pagans... especially in the country side... but i have read that people moved underground with their beliefs... not jus pagans but christians who didnt agree completely with the doctrine of that time....

also every time i tend to hear something about the burning times.. it comes off like it was jus a few years but in actuality was a few hundred years and becuz record keeping wasnt too big back then i dont believe we will ever know how many people actually died...

im probably not making sense any more... but now i am going back to the library to research some more... i jus finished a good book on the burning times a few months back but cannot remember the name... supposedly there were actual pictures of court documents back then and diaries...


ok im off to bed... dont even know if my above post made any sense...

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#13 of 33 Old 04-11-2004, 03:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by karen ann
I gnash my teeth every time I hear a neo-pagan claiming it as his or her own birthright to claim indignation over. (And I've heard it a lot IRL.)
Why?
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#14 of 33 Old 04-11-2004, 04:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm guessing she is referring specifically to those that claim that the witch trials were of actual witches. There seems to be a very commonly held belief by some that those persecuted at that time were practicing wiccans and so they claim the victims as part of their legacy. Alot of people want to forget that Wicca is not a ancient religion.

Only speaking for myself, but I am more outraged at the missionary work and conversions that resulted in the loss of the traditional tribal polytheistic cultures of Europe ect.
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#15 of 33 Old 04-11-2004, 06:29 AM
 
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I know that most persecuted during the burning times were Heretical Christians, scapegoats and simply independent women, not wiccans. But, didn't the persecutions of so called witches serve to villify witches?
I don't identify as a wiccan, and so I don't know what exactly certain wiccans identify as their birthright, but simply being outraged at this villification seems justified.
I also feel more saddened by the systematic wiping out of the Euorpean polytheistic cultures, tho.

hope this makes some sense, it's late. . .
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#16 of 33 Old 04-11-2004, 04:19 PM
 
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Actually Tricia, the church courts kept very good records. Very few bothered to look at them in this context until the last several years. 9 million is an unsupportable number even when one takes into account the 2 or more centuries in which burnings and hangings and whatnot went on.

That anyone would be tortured, hanged, burned, whatever for not agreeing with the authorities' religion is something to be angry about, but at this point we're not going to change that history. Given that this went on in parts of continental Europe, I think anyone of European descent can claim something of the heritage, IF they choose. All we can do is learn the facts as scholars uncover them and learn what we can do to change the attitudes that make such events possible.

Those attitudes, sadly, still exist.

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#17 of 33 Old 04-11-2004, 04:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Meiri
Actually Tricia, the church courts kept very good records. Very few bothered to look at them in this context until the last several years. 9 million is an unsupportable number even when one takes into account the 2 or more centuries in which burnings and hangings and whatnot went on.

That anyone would be tortured, hanged, burned, whatever for not agreeing with the authorities' religion is something to be angry about, but at this point we're not going to change that history. Given that this went on in parts of continental Europe, I think anyone of European descent can claim something of the heritage, IF they choose. All we can do is learn the facts as scholars uncover them and learn what we can do to change the attitudes that make such events possible.

Those attitudes, sadly, still exist.

Small christian towns in the country rural areas who participated in the burnings, hangings, etc did not keep quite as good records...and quite a few of these things happened off the record as it turned that some citizens were soo fearful they would do it themselves without going through a trial... but all this can be debated...as i was not there i will not begin to speculate on numbers...

You are completely correct in the fact we must uncover what we can in the past and hopefully one day we will learn from it... and it is quite sad that viewpoints like these still exist in todays society... unfortunately there is still people who attack pagans, and others of different religions because they feel they are superior and the one true way to "God"...

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#18 of 33 Old 04-12-2004, 03:13 PM
 
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kama'aina mama:

To answer your question as to why.
You may or may not know, but I was raised by Wiccans, so I grew up knowing a lot of pagans of various flavors. More often than not, the ones I've known in real life have been angry former monotheists (usually Christian) with a big ol' chip on the shoulder about how evil "the church" is and always has been forever and ever amen. One of their sketchy claims is that those nasty ol' Christians committed a genocidical purging of pagans through the witch trials (I'm paraphrasing one of my parents' more vociferous friends there, but I've heard varying degrees of that sentiment throughout my life). Many modern pagans also feel a sense of persecution -- sometimes due to actual persecution or prejudice, sometimes just paranoia or reading too much into benign instances. As justification for this feeling of persection, some have used the "Your people have been doing this to us since the Burning Times" fallacy. Basing fears and assumptions on shoddy scholarship grates me.


tricia80:

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

Quote:
Interestingly, it is possible to document that of all the trials, only one set (in 1390 Milan) involved women tried for practicing rites led by the pagan Goddess Diana. The bulk of the trials between 1400 and 1700 involved diabolism, Luciferianism, and acts relating to the Devil. Before 1400, the majority of trials were focused on the use of magics to harm others, to practice treasonous divination and spells against a monarch.

It is therefore a reasonable assumption to make that the trials and persecutions of the "Burning Times" were not aimed at actual practicing "pagans," but rather at a whole other class of people.

Some were guilty. Most were probably innocent and Christian. A few were "satanists," most were not. Some were just senile. Or too ugly. Or too pretty. Or just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

<snip>
This document is © copyright 1990, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 W.J. Bethancourt III
Portions of this document were first released to the PODS Net as ASCII text, used as a part of the "Pagan 101-201" informational disc, and included in the "Riders of the Crystal Wind" BoS. Note that ANY exchange of money for a copy of the "Riders of the Crystal Wind" BoS is a violation of copyright. Any usage of this document, in this or any previous form is a violation of copyright unless the copyright attribution is included. Access to this document is free, provided that the user observes my copyright. If you are being charged for accessing them (or even using someone's "14-day free trial"), or have purchased a CD that includes portions of this information you are being defrauded and may be subjecting yourself to a charge of copyright violation. If you see this material on ANY other website, or on a commercially available CD, and the copyright information is NOT included, that website or commercial seller is violating my copyright. Please e-mail the website owner or commercial seller, with a copy to me, and remind them that violation of copyright is theft, and can be prosecuted.

(Sorry for the long copyright info but it had to be included for legal purposes )

I don't charge that ALL the accused were not (what we would now call) pagans or witches. I just said the MAJORITY, which is what all the evidence I've read bears out. If I find substantive evidence of the contrary my position will change.

The site I linked above seems very well researched and annotated. I highly recommend it to any interested in the subject.

\|/Karen Ann
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#19 of 33 Old 04-12-2004, 05:26 PM
 
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So it is, for you anyway, both an issue of accuracy and an issue of them projecting their personal issues without much basis? Okay. Thank you for explaining. I have a number of very dear friends who are pagans and when I have heard them mention the burning times it is not usually with a ton of weight or venom... more, "well, there's this in our collective history" and they seem quite aware of teh irony that virtually none of the "witches" killed were witches.... which is of little comfort now that I think about it. Anyway... thank you for clarifying. I appreciate it.
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#20 of 33 Old 04-12-2004, 07:42 PM
 
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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.
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#21 of 33 Old 04-12-2004, 08:33 PM
 
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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.

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#22 of 33 Old 04-12-2004, 11:17 PM
 
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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.
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#23 of 33 Old 04-13-2004, 01:53 AM
 
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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...

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#24 of 33 Old 04-13-2004, 10:32 AM
 
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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.
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#25 of 33 Old 04-13-2004, 12:11 PM
 
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Asherah


Well said...


better than i have been doing lately... i think i got stung by the thoughts dont come out correctly bug... :LOL

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#26 of 33 Old 04-13-2004, 08:59 PM
 
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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.
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#27 of 33 Old 04-13-2004, 10:12 PM
 
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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)
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#28 of 33 Old 04-13-2004, 10:27 PM
 
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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
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#29 of 33 Old 04-14-2004, 09:16 AM
 
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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!
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#30 of 33 Old 04-14-2004, 10:03 AM
 
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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?
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