Were witches really witches or just Herbalists and Healers.
There were thousands of witches killed between 1500 and 1700. What often happened was a lot of those accused were often midwives or involved in herbal medicine. We didn't have a witch licensing board to control their medical practice. So the quality of care was questionable. So most were accused of witchcraft out of revenge, jealousy or possibly witch malpractice.
Many accused witches involved were into herbal healing and their lack of success to solve the persons problem or failure to solve a lovers problem as in Love Magic often led to accusations. Was this an early form of Medical Malpractice. Maybe!
So yes witches tended to be herbalist, healers and midwives.
Witches in Britain were often accused of failure to identify a thief and failed in their powers of divination. If they did succeed in using divination to identify a thief they to were accused of witchcraft.
The Protestants didn't approve of divination or magic and also tried to put a stop to the practice. They even accused Catholic Priest of turning wine and bread into the body and blood of Christ. A practice of divination.
During the period called "The Burning Times" when witches were being burnt at the stake. People were accused and burnt. Not that they were even practicing witchcraft.
Consider the Salem witch trials. There were 200 people accused. Nineteen were hung and one was evened crushed to death. The man crushed was a lawyer, he failed to enter a plea for a accused witch. There was no evidence in any of these cases of actually practicing divination. It seems the best way to avoid death was to admit to witchcraft. Then you could repent of your sins name some others as witches and live. From the accounts I've read all who pleaded innocent were executed. None who pleaded guilty were executed.
I might go with the idea of a " Witch Panic". The moral ideals of Salem and social anxiety of life living so close together often led to accusations. Maybe mob rule led to these executions. In the case of Salem you have two distinct family groups all maneuvering for power in the community. But like in statistics you have outliers. The first two people accused and executed were social outcast. It wasn't until things heated up did all social classes begin to be accused and two distinct family units emerge. When the elite begin to be accused things shut done rapidly in Salem an the trials end.
When you look at Britain fewer accusations of witchcraft an most were hanged. As in Salem most were hanged and a shorter mob mentality. Most likely from the British influence. We all know Germany burned and executed many more witches and lasted much longer in their quest to execute witches.
Not to be forgotten is the economic impact of witch hunts. People who identified witches could claim fees and confiscate property. I believe this intensified witch hunters to obtain convictions.
"Herbals Tips for the week"
Herbalalism in Magic
Herbs have enormous magical power because they hold healing effects that are from they earth and not man made. Each herb has benefits unique to itself. No wonder people of long ago felt it was magic.
It was used in dream pillows, or pillows lined with lavender to aid in sleep. We use it today for incense and oils often for relieve of stress and anxiety. Lavender is associated with happiness, love , sleep and psychic knowledge.
Harvest lavender herb in the morning after the sun has dried the morning dew. Ty with twine into a bundle and let dry on counter top until slightly brittle. This bundle can be put in your pillow case in which you can enjoy the relaxing aroma.
Finally a POEM.
By Lyall Watson- Supernature, 1973.
There is life on earth- one life, which embraces every animal and plant on the planet. Time has divided it up into several million parts, but each is an integral part of the whole. A rose is a rose, but it is also a robin and a rabbit. We are all of one flesh, drawn from the same crucible.
Do one act of kindness this week.
Source: Lecture Dr. Lucas
Salem witch trials and the Putnam family.
Numbers of family members listed or involved in trials: Ann Putnam Jr., Ann Carr Putnam, Sr. Edward Putnam, Hannah Cutler Putnam, John Putnam. Jr., John Putnam. Sr., Jonathan Putnam, Nathaniel Putnam, Thomas Putnam. Jr., Captain Jonathan Walcott, Mary Walcott.
The Putnam house was originally built around 1648 on a hundred acres farm. The first owner was Lieutenant Thomas Putnam. There were twelve generations of Putnam who have lived in this home. It was donated to the Danvers Historical Society in 1991. Danvers being the name for the old Salem Village.
The Putnam family was from Buckinghamshire England, the family came to America in around 1634. They were part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Being farmers they quickly found the land at Salem village much more fertile for crops and moved there. Salem village is approximately five miles from Salem town. The Putnam controlled most of this good crop land.
In 1660's Salem village began to want independence from Salem town. They desired to have their own church. Remember they are all Puritans and as such not really used to showing independent thought between church members. Everything is a sin and so they prayed and fasted together always fearful of not making it to heaven. Creating a schism between Salem Village and Salem town. Those loyal to Salem town disliked this new found independence. Those in Salem town didn't like the potential loss of tax revenue.
So Salem village gained the right to have their own church and minister in 1672. The villagers were allowed to appoint a group of five to collect taxes from the villagers. But we have a problem. What is that problem? Having two groups of villagers with separate loyalties would be the beginning of a perfect storm. Two families emerged to become quarreling adversaries. The Putnam's and the Porters. This weeks focus is on the Putnam's.
The Putnam's are simple farmers and followed Puritan lifestyles . They along with other villagers believed Puritan traditions must be kept. The Putnam family believed the thriving farm community was because of living the Puritan life. But as villagers became more wealthy so does pride and self interest. This again will lead to conflict with the Porters who thrive from being merchants who trade with Salem town. The Porters must keep close relationships with Salem town and don't like cutting ties with them.
The Putnam family's wealth stagnated as farmers while Porters merchant opportunities increased.
The Porter family dam that powered their sawmill flooded the Putnam farm which resulted in a lawsuit for damages against the Porters. This happened in 1672 and made frictions worse between families. That is the same year when Salem village was granted the right to build a church and hire a minister. The Porter family opposed the new church and separation from Salem town.
Having gained approval to build a church and minister Salem village brought its first minister Rev. James Bayley in Oct. 1672. The village would quarrel even after obtaining a church and minister. The following minister Rev. George Burroughs came next and would find himself embroiled in the witch trials some years later. The stage is set for these two family's and their roles in the Salem village witch trials that are still yet to come.
Stay tuned the best is yet to come!!!! More on the Porter family and start of witch trials next week!!!!
Incense in Magic
Incense long has been associated with magic and witchcraft. The use of incense in witchcraft has three areas. Stimulating one's sense of smell, connection with spells, and when a spell is done the incense smoke carries the spell.
From Southern Hemisphere Pagan
More on herbs and how it relates to today's world. Next week.