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The "Burning Times"


Cairelle

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After reading Anjel's post about witchcraft in France, I started googling and came across a link about 40 witches who were executed in Toulouse, France in 1557. My family directly links back to Toulouse, which I found quite interesting! In surfing around looking for info on that, I came across this (rather odd) link that dispels some myths about the supposed "burning times", and wanted to share it.

 

http://www.insteadof.com/TerrorAttack/p21.htm

 

I DO believe that witches have been executed over the centuries, but I also believe that the numbers have been vastly overstated. Either way, it's an interesting little read...

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Yes interesting. There have been many such 'aclaimed' pieces of work over the years which have proved to be forgeries. Undoubtedly witches/healers whatever, were killed during that period but I agree, the numbers were hugely exaggerated.

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i found the link very interesting...french exacutions of witches is an intense part of our history and thought the link had some interesting info.....lol...my mid daughter is named after Katherine Desha" lol...only witch to survive the exacutions of france

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I DO believe that witches have been executed over the centuries, but I also believe that the numbers have been vastly overstated.

 

Now that is an enormous understatement. lol

That part of history was about the authorities exerting power over the common folk - not about who really was or wasn't a witch. If you believe the numbers, or evenr emotely close to the numbers claimed, then Europe was basically filled to the brim with witches. The pope would've had to be a witch, just to fill the claimed quotas. :shock: :)

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That part of history was about the authorities exerting power over the common folk - not about who really was or wasn't a witch. If you believe the numbers, or evenr emotely close to the numbers claimed, then Europe was basically filled to the brim with witches. The pope would've had to be a witch, just to fill the claimed quotas. :shock: :)

 

Yes, the witchhunts and trials were about power and greed. Most ppl accused of witchcraft were not witches at all. They either made someone mad, or they had property or money the courts or accusers wanted.

Rebie

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Exactly.

It was wonderfully convenient really. The neighbour was too pretty and your husband looked her way too often. You cried 'witch!' and off she was escorted. No need for messy revenge tactics.

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If anyones interested in this topic its well worth looking at the history of medicine as well because its funny how so much of the witch trials were linked to the gradual masculisation of the medical proffession .

Simillarly the effect of things such as mass ergotism of rye poisioning which was thought to be a factor in several of the early American incidents .

By the way if you really want to irritate a born again point out to them that pre- king james bible the line actually read 'thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live ...' King james had it changed because he was paranoid that scottish witches were out to get him!

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Witchfinders were paid by the head! They were therefore bound to create a market, weren't they!

 

And often paid by appropriating the accused's assets.

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I did a unit at university a few years ago, called "Witchcraft: Historical Images of Women". It was quite fascinating, we even had copies of some original documents and let me tell you reading that olde english was really hard.

 

We looked at the Witch Hunts in Europe and then did an in depth study of why "Salem" happened. I really enjoyed the unit, but discovering some of the out and out lies told regarding the 'millions' of women murdered by the Christians made me really angry. For a start the populations were so much lower back in the so called burning times that the number of supposed witches was impossible. I have also read over the years about all the English witches who were burned at the stake. WRONG. Witches in England were hanged, or died during their trials, they were never burned. (For those who were unaware, Scotland is NOT part of England).

 

Also, originally, the witches burned in Europe, were burned for the crime of Heresy, not witchcraft. It was later that witches were accused of worshipping the devil.

 

 

StarChilde

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Thats pretty much how I got into it because when I was doing philosophy I spent some time doing christian mysticism and gnosticism most of which dates from that era .

If you want a really really scary read {given that its halloween } try and get hold of the translations of Torquemadas diaries {there are partial translations available }

That bloke was to put it bluntly madder than a box of soapy frogs !:wacko::wacko::wacko:

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  • 1 month later...
If anyones interested in this topic its well worth looking at the history of medicine as well because its funny how so much of the witch trials were linked to the gradual masculisation of the medical proffession .

Simillarly the effect of things such as mass ergotism of rye poisioning which was thought to be a factor in several of the early American incidents .

By the way if you really want to irritate a born again point out to them that pre- king james bible the line actually read 'thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live ...' King james had it changed because he was paranoid that scottish witches were out to get him!

Yes, it's interesting to think that women who were once revered as medicine women were suddenly hunted human beings when the men of the times found that there was money in it. First they claimed that women, just by being women, weren't smart enough to give medical advice or cure naturally. Then they started accusing us of witchcraft and killing us off.

Mankind still has a great deal to answer for in its inhumanity to women.

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I think the thing that sickens me the most is not who they punished or the reasons why but how...doesnt it scare people to KNOW that some humans are so sick minded that they would torture someone so horrendously day after day after day without remorse?without feeling? in the sickest ways possible? I mean you would have to be either someone with out feeling, someone who enjoyed doing that type of thing, or someone who was mentally retarded to really want to hurt someone to that degree in those ways...I mean to put it into perspective...how many of you could go out and do the exact same thing to someone you didnt know anything about except that they MIGHT be ( for arguments sake) Catholic? i mean seriously would you be able to force someone into a confession using those methods, listening to them scream and beg, watching the life drain out of them like that???

 

IMO i just couldnt...no matter if it was my worst enemy on this planet i couldnt. :(

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Thanks for the article, Adalwolfa. Nothing irritates me more than some pentacle-wearing rabbit who spouts off about witches being persecuted and burned by the millions. Idiots, every one.

 

I HATE the phrase "burning times", UGH.

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What is interesting in the so-called "witch" trials in Britain and Ireland is that those accused were not necessarily in trouble for using "witchcraft" but how they used it. For instance, some were charged with murder, treason, attempted murder, theft, fraud. Yes, they were convicted and, yes, they were either accused or admitted to being witches, but witchcraft was not the charge, but the tool and/or cause.

 

I suppose it was one way of rationalists not having to admit to witchcraft actually existing, if the charge was something different?

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Yes, I believe you're correct.

 

If I recall correctly, at one point it was considered heresy to even admit that witchcraft existed at all!

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I think the thing that sickens me the most is not who they punished or the reasons why but how...doesnt it scare people to KNOW that some humans are so sick minded that they would torture someone so horrendously day after day after day without remorse?without feeling? in the sickest ways possible? I mean you would have to be either someone with out feeling, someone who enjoyed doing that type of thing, or someone who was mentally retarded to really want to hurt someone to that degree in those ways...I mean to put it into perspective...how many of you could go out and do the exact same thing to someone you didnt know anything about except that they MIGHT be ( for arguments sake) Catholic? i mean seriously would you be able to force someone into a confession using those methods, listening to them scream and beg, watching the life drain out of them like that???

 

IMO i just couldnt...no matter if it was my worst enemy on this planet i couldnt. :(

 

And yet this continues in other parts of the world. The atrocities against people based on their ethnic background are astonishing. This was one of the difficult areas to deal with while in Iraq. The mutilation, torture, and murder of men, women, and children, just because they are from a different sect, or part of the country (Sunni/Shia/Kurd) never ceases to stun me.

 

GO

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I fully agree with you! There are so many horrifying things happening today that gets left unsaid or blocked out of peoples minds because they want to pretend it isnt really happening. If it doesnt affect them then it doesnt really matter to them. Its like the whole out of mind out of sight philosophy.

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  • 4 months later...

By the way if you really want to irritate a born again point out to them that pre- king james bible the line actually read 'thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live ...' King james had it changed because he was paranoid that scottish witches were out to get him!

 

I forget now where I read it, but somewhere it was alluded that the Hebrew word for "witch" and "poisoner" were the same (or interchangeable), so it was all too easy for King James to interpret it as "witch".

I may be reading into it, but I take "poisoner" to mean not only the literal sense, but also in the more universal sense of "saboteur" - one who poisons not only the body, but the spirit (motivation) and the cause, as well.

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I forget now where I read it, but somewhere it was alluded that the Hebrew word for "witch" and "poisoner" were the same (or interchangeable), so it was all too easy for King James to interpret it as "witch".

I may be reading into it, but I take "poisoner" to mean not only the literal sense, but also in the more universal sense of "saboteur" - one who poisons not only the body, but the spirit (motivation) and the cause, as well.

 

Another interpretation and translation I have heard "Witch" meaning and referring to was "drugdealer". To be a witch was not to be pagan but to deal in poisons and drugs....it then slowly morphed to the pagan wise women and men who dealt with herbs and herbal medicine. I read this in one of the history books I have and a couple of other places but I dont know how valid this interpretaion is, but it always made sence to me :)

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