I Pray All Is Well With Everyone…And Your Hearts And Minds Are Full Of Love, Joy, And Compassion…For Everyone, Everywhere…All Over The World! And Where That Is Not The Case…Fret Not; But Let Us Incorporate Those Higher Qualities Into Our Thinking And Feeling World…And Be Love To One Another As Often As Possible! For Remember That…There Comes A Time When We Will Truly Come To Understand That There Is No Difference Between One And The Other – Whatever Our Race, Beliefs And Prejudices May Be In This Lifetime; And In Those Moments Just Before We Unburden Ourselves From These Fleshly Coats Of Worldly Living And Discordant Accumulation…Will We Be Reminded Of All The Love That We Did Or Did Not Give! So, At All Times…As Much As We Think It…Let Us Radiate The Love And Light Of Our “Mighty I AM Presence”…All Throughout The Atmosphere – Cuz It Matters – Presently, For Ourselves And Others; But Indeed…It Will Matter One Day…For Us Alone! Amen…
Give Thanks And Praises For Love And Life…
And Y’all Be Love…
“Witchcraft was regarded as a sin almost confined to women. The Witch Hammer declared the very word femina meant one wanting in faith. A wizard was rare; one writer declaring that to every hundred witches, but one wizard was found. In time of Louis XV, this difference was greatly increased; “To one wizard 10,000 witches;” another writer asserted there were 100,000 witches in France alone. The great inquisitor Sprenger, author of the “Witch Hammer” and through whose instrumentality many countries were filled with victims, largely promoted this belief. “Heresy of witches, not of wizards must we call it, for these latter are of very small account.” No class or condition of women escaped him; we read of young children, old people, infants, witches of fifteen years, and two “infernally beautiful”, of seventeen years.
Although the ordeal of the red-hot iron fell into disuse in the secular courts early in the fourteenth century, (1329), ecclesiasticism preserved it in case of women accused of witchcraft for one hundred and fifty years longer. One of the peculiarities of witchcraft accusations, was that of protestations of innocence, and a submission to ordeals such as had always vindicated those taking part in them if passing through unharmed, did not clear a woman charged with witchcraft, who was then accused with having received direct help from Satan.
The maxim of secular law that the torture which did not produce confession entitled the accused to full acquittal was not in force under ecclesiastical indictments, and the person accused of witchcraft was always liable to be tried again for the same crime. Every safeguard of law was violated in case of woman, even Magna Charta forbidding appeal to her, except in case of her husband.
Before the introduction of Christianity, no capital punishment existed, in the modern acceptation of the term, except for witchcraft. But pagans unlike Christians, did not look upon women as more given to this practice than men; witches and wizards were alike stoned to death. But as soon as a system of religion was adopted which taught the greater sinfulness of women, over whom authority had been given to man by God himself, the saying arose “one wizard to 10,000 witches”, and the persecution for witchcraft became chiefly directed against women.
The church degraded woman by destroying her self-respect and teaching her to feel consciousness of guilt in the very fact of her existence. The extreme wickedness of woman, taught as a cardinal doctrine of the church, created the belief that she was desirous of destroying all religion, witchcraft being regarded as her strongest weapon, therefore no punishment for it was thought too severe. The teaching of the church, as to the creation of women and the origin of evil, embodied the ordinary belief of the Christian peoples, and that woman rather than man practiced this sin, was attributed by the church to her original sinful nature, which led her to disobey God’s first command in Eden.
Although witchcraft was treated as a crime against the state, it was regarded as a greater sin against heaven, the bible having set its seal of disapproval in the injunction “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” The church therefore claimed its control. When coming under ecclesiastical jurisdiction, witchcraft was much more strenuously dealt with than when it fell under lay tribunals. It soon proved a great source of emolument to the church, which grew enormously rich by its confiscation to its own use of all property of the condemned.
Sprenger, whose work, (The Witch Hammer), was devoted to methods of dealing with this sin, was printed in size convenient for carrying in the pocket. It based its authority upon the bible, twenty-three pages being devoted to proving that women were especially addicted to sorcery. This work was sanctioned by the pope, but after the reformation became equally authoritative in protestant as in catholic countries, not losing its power for evil until the XVIII century.
A body of men known as “Traveling Witch Inquisitors,” of whom Sprenger was chief, journeyed from country to country throughout Christendom, in search of victims for torture and death. Their entrance into a country or city was regarded with more fear than famine or pestilence, especially by women, against whom their malignity was chiefly directed, Sprenger, the great authority, declaring that her name signified evil; “the very word femina, (woman), meaning one wanting in faith, for fe means faith, and minus less.”
The reformation caused no diminution in its use, the protestant clergy equally with the Catholic constantly appealing to its pages. Still another class known as “Witch Finders,” or “Witch Persecutors” confined their work to their own neighborhoods. Of these, Cardan, a famous Italian physician, said:
“In order to obtain forfeit property, the same persons act as accusers and judges, and invent a thousand stories as proof.” The love of power, and the love of money formed a most hideous combination for evil in the church; not a Christian country but was full of the horrors of witch persecutions and violent deaths. During the reign of Francis I., more than 100,000 witches were put to death, mostly by burning, in France alone. Christ was invoked as authority, the square devoted to Auto da Fé, being known as, “The Burning Place of the Cross.”
While written history does not fail to give abundant record in regard to the number of such victims of the church, largely women whose lives were forfeited by accusation of witchcraft, hundreds at one time dying agonizingly by fire, a new and weird evidence as to the innumerable multitude of these martyrs was of late most unexpectedly brought to light in Spain.
During a course of leveling and excavations for city improvements in Madrid, recently, the workmen came upon the Quemadero de la Cruz. The cutting of a new road through that part of the city laid bare like geological strata, long black layers super-imposed one above the other at distances of one or two feet, in the sandstone and clay. Some of these layers extended 150 feet in a horizontal direction and were at first supposed to be the actual discovery of new geological strata, which they closely resembled. They proved to be the remains of inquisitorial burnings, where thousands of human beings of all ages had perished by the torture of fire.
The layers consisted of coal coagulated with human fat, bones, the remains of singed hair, and the shreds of burnt garments. This discovery created great excitement, people visiting the spot by thousands to satisfy themselves of the fact, and to carry away some memento of that dark age of Christian cruelty, a cruelty largely exercised against the most helpless and innocent, a cruelty having no parallel in the annals of paganism.
Imagination fails to conceive the condensed torture this spot of earth knew under the watchword of “Christ and His Cross”; and that was but one of the hundreds, nay, thousands of similar “Burning Places of the Cross,” with which every Christian country, city, and town was provided for many hundreds of years. A most diabolical custom of the church made these burnings a holiday spectacle.
People thus grew to look unmoved upon the most atrocious tortures, and excited crowds hung about witch burnings, eagerly listening as the priests exhorted to confession, or tormented the dying victims with pictures of an unending fire, soon to be their fate.”
Woman, Church And State, By Matilda Joslyn Gage, 1893