Women and Men vs. Witchcraft

Throughout history, it has always been predominately women being accused of witchcraft. In most cultures, it has been believed that women are more easily deceived by the Devil. And that women want to be seduced by a dark force. Although the reasonings behind these accusations vary in every country, love magic was consistent throughout Europe.

Love magic was was especially common in Spain where there simply weren't enough husbands to go around, which caused more women to be accused of casting spells and using love potions. Or, if a woman was in love with a married man, she would use a spell as revenge against him. In Germany, it was the lying-in-maids who constantly accused. After childbirth, a lying-in-maid would come and play the mothers role in the household while she recovered. This turned in to the maids being accused of poisoning a mothers' soup or even the actual child. The Italians handled witchcraft in much more relaxed manner than most other countries, but nonetheless, the Sicilan Fairy Cult was still a topic of discussion. In Italy, fairies and witches were put in the same category, and one wasn't worse than the other. The Fairy Cult claimed to get their power from nature and could be easily undone, so worry about these witches died quickly.

On the other hand, men, generally, were not accused of witchcraft as often as women were. Countries like Spain qualified "masculine magic" as magic that was used for scientific purposes like alchemy and astrology. The profile of a man accused of witchcraft was typically related to a man trying to heal someone by using magic. Most of the time, if a man got accused of witchcraft it was because there was already a known witch in his family. And you are who you're around, right?

Masculine magic, also known as "high" or "white" magic whereas women were known to use "low" and "dark" magic. This double standard is something we still see in society today - just not related to magic. But, it is no secret that there is a different standard for men and women in communities. I find it interesting to see that these standards date back so far and have inevitably played a role in history since the beginning of time.

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