Why the silly Halloween theme? It is as close as my current page-theme selections get to witches.
Free image from "scenicreflections.com"
PART ONE: A Bewitching Song
Over the years I have made a study of the Medieval/Early Modern witch craze, including incidents in Massachusetts, and in New Mexico before it became part of the US.
One factual book on the persecution of witches got me seriously bummed out [a colloquial expression meaning mildly depressed]. In response, I felt I had to create a work of fiction for myself to imagine a person accused of witchery that triumphs -in a sense- over her accusers. Writing that fictional account actually made me feel better. Strange how that works.
So just this last week (January 2013) a good friend from Seattle sent me a link to a YouTube video about the witch craze that she thought I could relate to.
She was right, it is a wonderful piece that interprets the whole bloody set of events as Christianity's power-struggle against any and all rivals for the hearts and minds of humans. Control of human energy, and of human property, and human sexuality was a strong corollary motivation. Convicted witches' properties were forfeit, after all.
What I particularly like about this particular version of this video is that it has some historically correct observations inserted into it. Observations that correct exaggerations in the song. A song is a work of art, not a scholarly treatise, so some fact-bending is forgivable.
Watch that video here (don't forget to come back sometime, it is easy to get lost in YouTube).
I especially like this line in the song about Earth as our Mother: "The weaver of a web of life that keeps us all alive." I want to return to that theme on the second page.
Of course that is where they were going to be forced to go if they had not bravely walked into the fire themselves. Cathars claimed to be the true Christians, then, as Mormons do today.
Just pledging allegiance to a dead man on a cross didn't save you in those days, it had to be a pledge of allegiance to the claimants to the only infallibly correct interpretation of the meaning of the dead man's life. As the song points out, at one time that would have been the Roman church, but as the Reformation happened, some of the new Protestant religions were as hell-bent to catch and kill witches as their Roman rivals for the 'dead-man-on-the-cross' franchise.
So enjoy the video, it is thought-provoking.
Go To Part TWO: Earth as Weaver of Life
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