Sunday, January 8, 2017

I noticed an interesting detail in this article on How Witches' Brews Helped Bring Modern Drugs to Market. We all know that witches ride broomsticks, right?

Also, witches liked to anoint themselves with psychoactive herbs: "witches applied the salve to their skin—either under the arms or (for the daring) on the genitalia." 

A 1324 inquisitor’s account of a suspected witch, Lady Alice Kyteler, does paint an interesting image of the ointment in action:
In rifleing the closet of the ladie, they found a pipe of oynment, wherewith she greased a staffe, upon which she ambled and galloped through thick and thin.”
The missing datum is that in the Middle Ages, women did not wear underpants. Panties are a 19th Century invention. So if Lady Alice was greasing up a staff, and then "riding it," odds are she was absorbing her active ingredients through her, ah, lady bits.

(I'll leave it to you to decide whether the riding of the broomstick is accurately shown.)

No wonder they thought they were flying.


I think I have the more plausible reason why Witches are associated with broom riding. It is related to an old Celtic “Crop ritual” where the members of the village would light a bonfire and they would ride their brooms, shovels, pitchforks and other such objects (as if they were riding a horse) around the fire. The goal was to jump as high as possible while dancing around the fire to show the coming crops how tall they should grow in the coming season. Now Christianity, wanting to demonise everything not of their religious beliefs, modified and said this sort of rite was black magic, they probably added the ointment part since I don’t believe it was actually proven they did use any such ointment during this rite. They claimed the Witches flew around in the air riding brooms, had orgies with demonic Entities (probably referring to Spirits of Celtic-pagan origins), and made human sacrifices. I think the “Crop Ritual” is far more plausible than all the B.S. being told by Christians and those New-age traditions out there, which do not really research anything and claim to know everything about the old day’s traditions.

By Blogger Steve Lavoie, at February 2, 2017 at 10:10 AM  

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