This is the beginning of a journey in "witch" documents will be read and discussed to try and determine why we believe as we do in regards to witchcraft and the practice of magic. Can we determine a set of events that are typical when people are accused? Has good and evil always played a role in witchcraft? The term witchcraft has a negative ring to it and is that fair? So as we take this journey of reviewing documents lets see if we can put ourselves in the shoes of those involved always remembering the who? what? where?why? in order to seek truth in a snapshot in time.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx1-27-2017.......My thoughts on Apuleius: The power of witches. We see a young man is attending Olympian games in Miletus and is confronted and hired to watch over a corpse and must stay awake in order to keep witches from doing evil to said corpse. Things such as witches gnawing on the dead and using these bits of flesh in there concoctions was thought to have occurred at night before the burial of a corpse. The family would then hire someone to stay up all night with the body. This is written in (c.115-200ce.) What grabbed my attention about this story is this. The superstition of staying up with the dead continued with American Folklore into modern day. Example: My mother told me of her grandmother passing away and her body being displayed in their parlor in the 1940's. Someone would have to stay up with the body at night in order to keep rodents from gnawing at the corpse. This sounds the same as the witch of Apuleius story but with a modern day explanation. Story of Apuleius from: Levack Brian P. The Witchcraft Sourcebook (p.16-21). Herbal Tip for the week: Bad breath chew some parsley.-Mother Earth News (Oct/Nov, 2010)
CURE FOR BAD BREATH- PARSLEY LEAFS
More from Brian Levack's book The Witchcraft Sourcebook.
St. Augustine: Demonic Power in Early Christianity (pg 27-29) St, Augustine was the Bishop of Hippo in northern Africa and Levack writes he fathered Christianity in this region. The church afforded him great power and he was recognized as a writer of christian beliefs that many Protestant as well as Catholics adhered to. This has always bothered me when writers lay Christianity at the feet of a man Like St. Augustine or any organized religion. People read your Bible! Yes! That includes the Old Testament. The Old Testament for tells the coming of Christ. The New Testament talks of Christ short life and teachings. No where in the Hebrew or Greek transcripts does the Church exist as we know organized religion today. The very idea of the Catholic Church being the mother church is a blatant fabrication. Think people where does Catholic Church foundation come from. The Roman Empire! The first Pope was a Roman Emperor. The Romans an Jewish religious leaders are the ones who crucified Christ. I believe leaving out these details is part of our PC world and damages the credibility of Christianity. Another is that all Protestant religions came out of the Catholic church. I don't claim to be the greatest scholar an you don't have to accept my views but you do owe yourself to pursue truth based on true facts. I only make these points to challenge you to not accept the PC accounts written in today's world. Ok! Why do I harp on this point. Doctrines of people and Church's often are dangerous and lead to mass hysteria. The following Doctrine taught by St. Augustine directly or indirectly caused the persecution of a group of people because they didn't accept his teachings. These people were Pagans in the view of the so call Church.
So what were some of these doctrines: From Saint Augustine (The City of God), trans M. Dods (New York, 1950), pp. 312-16.
Chapter 9. Prohibits the worship of other gods. "Moreover , they wrought by simple faith and godly confidence, not by incantations and charms composed under the influence of a criminal tampering with the unseen world"
Chapter 10. Talks about Satan deceiving the wretched souls of people by "Satan transforming himself into a angel of light" and that this deception causes many people to believe in false gods and turn away from true worship of the true God.
Chapter 11. The difference of Demons. St. Augustine describes demons as foolish and attracted to vapors. The have the ability to open closed doors and things. St. Augustine describes demons as a race of deceitful forms that make wickedness. Lastly, " We should sympathize with this great philosopher in the difficulty he experienced in acquainting himself with and confidently assailing the whole fraternity of devils, which any Christian old women would unhesitatingly describe and most unreservedly detest...."
As we see with the above quotes that St. Augustine couldn't even describe what he or others were dealing with. A very large disclaimer wouldn't we all say.
So again we see people labeled as pagan, anti-god, practicing devil magic using herbs. Which brings up the topic of herbs. I gave a herbal tip in an earlier blog without explanation to why. I did this to point out the simple fact that herbs have been used for centuries for healing purposes and are still used today for healing and the soothing of ailments. So here is my herbal tip.
Herbal Tip: Aloe Vera for burns. Most of us have heard this our whole lives. Yet recently I've talked to young people who have never heard of this. Simply, take a Aloe Vera Leaf break it in half and squeeze the aloe salve from leaf and apply to burn. Mother/Earth News (October/November 2010).
ALOE VERA PLANT FOR BURNS
People don't believe every blog, tweet, or any other kind of social media without facts. We just came through a awful election period which both sides used misinformation to sway people to vote in a way that was unhealthy for this country.
The witch trials of the past were not so different. Division and accusations was used to persecute groups of people. Whether you are Democrat, Republican, or Independent be truly informed. Don't be guilty of being part of your own witch-hunt.
Question everything someone writes and be slow to anger! Including my writings. I always accept criticism if you can show me a new path of enlightenment. May the Great Spirit! always show us the way. Yes! I'm part Native American from the Lumbee Tribe from N. Carolina.
If you have read this far I provoked you to think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A little housekeeping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People! People! People! Think outside the box. Anyone can replay information and copy photos. My intentions are to provoke free thought and provide a twist on the facts. No! not make them up but try and make you realize there are many different perspectives. If I provoke you to dig deep and think harder about a topic I've done what I set out to accomplish.
Once again the Herbal Tip at the end is to remind you that natural medicine has been around since the beginning of mankind. Cunningfolk used it and so called witches too. Natural medicine is a lost skill and has great value even today if you have the knowledge of such things.
More from the Witchcraft Sourcebook by Brian P. Leveck. pg 117-171.
The trial and punishment of witches in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries were described in these sources and give accounts of the activities of these trials.
The very act of identifying a witch was a difficult task by the written court records and dialogue. The courts didn't have authority to prosecute a witch until the church gave it to local magistrates. Prior to this authority being given to local courts the power to convict and punish witches was solely the job of Bishops and church leaders. There was a constant power struggle as to whose authority to listen too. The local magistrate or church.
How can you prosecute someone if the crime in question happened at night with no witnesses. Well you create laws that fit the circumstances or people you wish to put on trial. Call it church heresy and you can get the church to do your dirty work.
Let's look at a couple examples of trial procedure and punishments.
SARAH WAS HANGED FOR BEING A WITCH IN SALEM MASS.
Levack pg. 119-122.
Pope Innocent VIII issues a edict called summis desiderantes. This edict gives authority to two inquisitors to hold courts. The first was Heinrich Kramer and the second was Jacob Sprenger. They will hold the jurisdictional authority to prosecute witches directly from Pope innocent VIII that causes some discourse among local Bishops.
Quickly, these two inquisitors will see resistance and will need cooperation from secular courts in order to be successful in prosecutions. The church feels witchcraft impedes its advance into new regions and for the church to be successful it must aggressively stamp out the practice.
Witchcraft Sourcebook, Brian P. Levack. pg. 123-127.
Heirich Kramer: The Torture of Accused Witches, 1486.
Remember that Kramer is the author of Maleus maleficarum. This book of laws in modern terms is the witch trial law manuel or how to book. In this book of laws Kramer allows just about anything. If you need it to apply to the prosecution of a witch use this book.
Malleus maleficarum allows torture to obtain a confession. All sorts of witnesses can be used enemies, children of all ages, etc. The following are sourcebook examples of torture and how it can be applied.
Must have confession to get a conviction. But guess what? It's OK to torture your accused to get that conviction. Types of torture performed.
The Swimming Test: Accused witches were dragged to the nearest body of water, stripped to their underwear, bound by their hands and feet and tossed into the water to sink or float. Since witches spurned the sacrament of baptism, it was thought that the water would prevent them from sinking or reject them. Only, a innocent person would sink to the bottom, but a witch would float.
Prayer Test: This test was done because it was thought that witches couldn't recite holy scriptures. Usually the LORDS PRAYER was the scripture of choice. You had to recite without mistakes or any omission of text. Although, this simply showed a person was possibly illiterate or didn't know scripture.