The witches lit up the dark middle age of history. Millions of women were accused of evil magic by priests, and other powerful men were thrown into...
Category - Documentary on modern Witches
The first representations of witches can be found in rock paintings from ancient times when life and death were inextricably intertwined. According to Spiral Dance, a groundbreaking book by American writer and activist Starhawk, witchcraft was born 35,000 years ago when hunters made an energetic bond with reindeer or bison herds.
They called them or joined them spiritually to persuade several individuals from the pack to sacrifice their lives to feed people. These hunters were the first shamans, or nowadays they would be called the Heathens. They were aware that every being on this earth is connected with at least a thin thread; they were also the first to observe the eternal dance of life, death and rebirth.
The oldest witches worshipped the earth and lived according to the cycles of the moon. In Eastern Europe, the moon was carved in stone, and in Western Europe, it was worshipped through cave paintings depicting bison and horses.
The phases of the moon were engraved in the bones, and the goddess of the moon was painted with a crescent horn symbolising the crescent moon in her hand. The African tribe of Yoruba worshipped the moon under the forms of the goddess of love Oshun and the goddess of female secrets Jemai. In China, Guanyin was praised, the ubiquitous mother and goddess of prayer, known by many different names, but always depicted as Mother Nature.
Human settlements gradually expanded, and people began to share knowledge through storytelling about both the natural environment and supernatural phenomena. This is how the first coven, or groups of witches, began to form. The ancient witches celebrated the four “great Sabbaths” – the solstices and equinoxes – and the four smaller Sabbaths between them.
Hammer of the Witch
Everything changed in 1486 when the work of Malleus Maleficarum, i.e. the Hammer of the Witch, was published by the Dominican monks Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. This treatise became a witch hunter’s handbook and cast a shadow of fear on Europe for several centuries. Witchcraft was banned under the death penalty.
Quacks, quacks, whispers, and midwives, in particular, were victims of the persecution. It wasn’t until the Law on Spells adopted by the British Parliament in 1753 that it eased the punishment for witchcraft to a fine or imprisonment. This law was in force until 1951, and in some parts of the world, like in Tanzania, witch hunts are still ongoing.