Verbatim report of the first days of torture of a woman accused of witchcraft at Prossneck, Germany, in 1629.
1. The hangman bound the hands, cut her hair, and placed her on the ladder. He threw alcohol over her head and set fire to it so as to burn her hair to the roots.
2. He placed strips of sulphur under her arms and around her back and set fire to them.
3. He tied her hands behind her back and pulled her up to the ceiling.
4. He left her hanging there from three to four hours, while the torturer went to breakfast.
5. On his return, he threw alcohol on her back and set fire to it.
6. He attached very heavy weights on her body and drew her up again to the ceiling. After that he put her back on the ladder and placed a very rough plank full of sharp points against her body.
7. Then he squeezed her thumbs and big toe in the vise, and he trussed her arms with a stick, and in this position kept her hanging about a quarter of an hour, until she would faint away several times.
8. Then he squeezed the calves and the legs in the vise, always alternating the torture with questioning.
9. Then he whipped her with a rawhide whip to cause blood to flow out over her shift.
10. Once again, he placed her thumbs and big toes in the vise, and left her in this agony on the torture stool from 10:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m., while the hangman and the court officials went out to get a bite to eat. In the afternoon a functionary came who disapproved this pitiless procedure. But then they whipped her again in a frightful manner. This concluded the first day of torture. The next day they start all over again, but without pushing things quite as far as the day before.
-Wilhelm Pressel, Hexen and Hexenmeister (1860)
I posted this word per word from one of my rare books "The Encyclopedia Of Witchcraft and Demonology", By Rossell Hope Robbins, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Second Printing, 1960, first printing, 1959.
My reason to post this is to share a bit of our history with many who are new here. You see...it does not matter if you come from a family line of witches or come to the craft through way of seeking a different spirituality. Once you accept this path as your own, you then become bonded with our history. These ancestors are now YOUR ancestors. And there will be a time when WE will become someones ancestors as well.
Our traditional witchcraft history is rich and filled with so much knowledge. I guess that's why sometimes when I hear or see someone tossing fairy dust and singing love blessings like some fool at a freak show, I get alittle miffed and roll my eyes.
The ancestors didn't throw Fairy dust and sing love blessings. They used herbs to cure, many were mid wives, or older people who learned things from their ancestors. Many were actual witches who belonged to covens and practised in secret.
I am really not trying to come off as preachy....please do not think or sense that. I just wanted to share a bit of your new history with you :)