Happy October and welcome to one of my very favorite months of the year 👻. This month, our theme on the blog is magic. In particular, my mind goes to witchcraft.
I’ve always been fascinated by the history of witchcraft, from its origins to its political and feminist WORD. What’s particularly interesting to me is that the origins of witchcraft lie in herbalism and natural healing. As early as the 500s BCE, practices described as witchcraft were noted in the Old Testament of the Christian bible. Many were noted for “their beauty and the effectiveness of their potions” which were created from plants like foxglove and dandelion.
Early Middle Eastern priestesses were known as the wise women, or what we would now consider a healer or doctor. Biblical scholar Carole Fontaine said of them: “What’s interesting about them is that they are so clearly understood to be positive figures in their society. No king could be without their counsel, no army could recover from a defeat without their ritual activity, no baby could be born without their presence.” Yet, future iterations of the wise woman would become ostracized in society, referred to negatively as “witches”, and in many cases, murdered in their towns.
As we all know, this came to a head in the 1600s with the Salem Witch Trials. This Mental Floss article is a great primer. A lot can be said historically about society’s fear of powerful, intelligent women and much of it, in my mind, links back to instances of persecution during the the trials. So, all of this is to say that this month on the blog will honor the intelligent women who empower themselves through knowledge and were/are persecuted for it.
There will be lots of modern things, too, like spooky movies to watch this month in honor of Halloween, some recipes, and fashion related posts peppered with some historically minded posts and ideas surrounding herbalism.