Hello again all! I was researching a couple of things on the internet regarding Wiccan history, and general history of Pagan practices as a whole, and I came across a site claiming that the Witch Burnings never happened (and this was a Wiccan site). I was a little surprised by this comment, but was interested so I kept on reading. After I had finished with that site, I had found a number of other sites that said the exact same things. There were actually more sites that said Witches were never burned, than not. Apparently, so says these sites, there were only thirtysix people executed on account of accusations of Witchcraft, and none of them were by burning at the stake. The methods apparently were hanging, and being slowly stone boarded (having a board layed on your body whilst you are lying down, and then having stones slowly piled onto the board, until finally your rib cage collapses).

The general wiccan belief by my experience, is that hundreds of people, some witches some not, were burned at the stake for accusations of Witchcraft, and that all the books were burned et cetera (you all know the story). But here's the thing I've read over and over: there's no evidence...I wouldn't be surprised if Witches WERE burned at the stake, it just wasn't administered by the Catholic Church or Legal System, therefore it was not recorded, THIS I can easily see as happening, but then again, when you think of it...towns back then were VERY small in New England, andso if one DID end up being burned at the stake, there's sure to be some sort of account for it, those sorts of things didn't just go by unnoticed back then. Murders weren't nearly as common back then as they are now. Lately I've been trying my damnest to figure out truth about Wicca, now I'm not SURE if this is true or not, which is why I'm posting it here: I'd like opinions/any knowledge you'd be willing to share, any arguments et cetera, because the last thing I'd want to do its believe something huge that never actually happened! Thanks all!


Blessed Be!

Gin graufstema shaiheth haulumvel lev mne'hmnye grei achlishureth! H'y achzhundai!

-Thodwen)O(

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In the United States, no suspected witches were burned. They were hanged.
Suspected witches were burned at the stake along with Christian heretics "those that argued with Christians in power" in Western Europe.
There actually were no mass murders of Pagans in European history. Most people converted publicly with the lord and king and continued to practice their Pagan practices privately or added a Christian name such as "Mary" or "Jesus" to their practices.
Most stake burnings were Christian factions murdering each other. "The 7 Years War", have a look.
Wow, didn't know THAT! Why thank you!
The Spanish Inquisition made it all the way to England.
As a result, rather than face trial, Jews, Gypsies and non-converted Pagans fled to Ireland where the Inquisition had no power.
Hi Mate, are you talking about the Salem Witch Trials? You didn't mention. Whilst sensational, this was only a blip on the radar.

Here is a good overview of the European events. http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_burn.htm
I'd like to highlight this: "...A substantial minority of victims -- about 25% -- were male...."
Because a lot of people seem to forget that fact :)

As far as I see, in my opinion, no body alive owes any group, any apology. Just because we adopt the modern religion that involves witchcraft, doesn't mean those people killed were necessarily our kin. I suspect a lot of folks were innocent.

It's far more concerning to me, what modern Christians are doing especially in the USA. Terrible stuff like voting against universal healthcare, hatred of GLBT people etc.

Sorry for rambling. My 2 cents.
I love rambling, and yes I mut agree with you when you say that a lot of the things happening today are much worse than before, hell, in Africa they really ARE burning Witches right now! I also agree with you when you say, "Just because we adopt the modern religion of Witchcraft, doesn't mean those people killed were necessarily our kin." I DO have an emotional spot for Witches who were condemned for their spirituality, but just as I have an emotional soft spot for anyone of any religion who has ever been discriminated against for simply believing what they do. Thanks for your time!

Thodwen )O(
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malleus_Maleficarum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_trials_in_Early_Modern_Europe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials

All we have is documented papers from the period.The Catholic church denies existence of witches and did not document mass murder on their part.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15674a.htm
Yeah I think the site your reading is only referring to the Salem Witch Trials. They did not burn at the stake in America. Only hung and pressed to death with stones.
I would have to agree with what people said in later posts. The Salem Witch trials didn't burn people but the people in Europe did.
This is because witch executions and tortures were administered by local law authorities, not by the church. They used the "Witch's Hammer", a book written by two witch-hunting monks in Germany. The actual number of people burned as witches in Germany is uncertain, but do not doubt for one minute that they happened. However, these were ususally people who were victims of mass witch hysteria and followed the same sort of pattern as the events in Salem. Witches, as they thought of them, were fictional creations; they simply did not exist. We associate ourselves with these times because our practices would have certainly been considered witchcraft by their definition, and I certainly believe that astrology, divination, and spell-casting as practiced by some people back then got them tried and convicted of witchcraft.

It Really Happened.

Just remember, there are still people who deny the holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis.

BB,
Larry
I agree Laramie, History is written by those that win and we must piece together the rest.
The Witch School is kind enough to provide,free to all, a very complete occult library. Among the books that you will find there is probably the most evil book ever written which was entitled the Malleus Maleicarum. The witch hysteria in Germany was facilitated by greed, as all properties were siezed upon conviction. This left surviving family members destitute . . . and subject to accusation. Witch hunters were a popular way to find witches and were paid well. It is also interesting that judges and lawyers were allowed to use witchcraft to protect themselves in the form of enchanted talismans and this was an indulgence granted by the church. They also used talismans against those being charged, and while considered witchcraft, the church allowed this in order to keep the accused from working magic against their accusers.
I think you were reading about the Salem Witch Trials. That article was correct in saying that no one was burned at the stake during those times. the Salem witch trials actually took place after the period we traditionally associate with witch hunts (known as the "burning times"). All of those killed in the trial were hung except for Giles Corey who was crushed to death. If you ever visit Salem MA there is a manorial to those murdered in the trials. There are rough stone benches for each of those killed and the cause of death is carved next to their names.

There was only one person among those jailed for witchcraft during the trials that actually practiced anything that we would recognize as witchcraft doday and that was Tituba, a slave who worked for the family whose children first demonstrated signs of "bewitchment" (convulsions, hallucinations and other symptoms of what is now believed to have been ergot poisoning. Tituba practiced the religion of her native Barbados as well as reading tarot to entertain the girls she was in charge of watching. However Tituba was also the only one of the original people rounded up and accuesd to actually survive the trails.

If you're interested in learning more, the Young Witches of Salem has an episode airing in two weeks that focuses heavily on the history of Salem. We took a guided Segway tour through the city to all of it's historical sites, many of which were connected to the trials.

Also, if you are ever in the area, I'd invite you to come to the World of Witches museum (where I work as a tour guide). It's the only museum in the city that focuses exclusivly on witchcraft rather than the witch trials (though there are many wonderful museums that do focus on the trials if you are interested in that.) We also hold rituals (many lead by Rev. Don Lewis himself) in the temple there. It's sort of the of the official witch school headquarters.

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