La Bona Dea's Journal of Everyday Magic

Storytelling which touches the heart and awakens the soul

Were they really Wicked?

You bet they were. . . but we know better

We gathered to celebrate Samhain, and as I read the damning and wicked words from the Witches’ Hammer, the Malleus Maleficarum, we discovered what those words could really mean.

It’s a tradition to burn pages of the Malleus Maleficarum at Samhain

First, you must know that the Malleus Maleficarum was the book used to take down wise healers during the 500-year Inquisition by accusing them of using witchcraft. Hooey. Those accused were usually smart, creative, “different”, or in some way a threat to a common or jealous person. And so, these people were arrested and awaited trial. But, did you know that it was against Christianity to spill blood, so if the accused were found guilty, they would be burned, drowned, hung, pressed, or tortured to death. . . so long as no blood was spilt.

Blessed Be wth Witches!

Now, here is a sample of what we’d read in the Witches Hammer: “Women also have weak memories and it is a natural vice in them not to be disciplined, but to follow their own impulses without any sense of what is due.” And to that, our dear apprentice pointed out, is the way women should be. We chose to interpret this accusation of weak memory and following impulses as a sign of one who can forgive and move on, move forward in life.

So at Samhain, it is our responsibility to honor those who lost their lives, and those who were healers and seers who survived. For we truly are the daughters of the witches they could not burn. May you embrace your ancestors and live with the knowledge they share deep within you bones, for you, dear sister, are sacred.

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