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FEes Wyrd or the Three Weird SistersWitches and Pagans looks at women s sacraments in early medieval Europe a subject that has been buried deep for centuries Women set out offering tables for the Three Sisters or the good women chanted over herbs and healed children by passing them through elf bores Spinning and weaving were ceremonial acts with divinatory or protective power as bishops scoldings reveal Churchmen also railed against the Women Who Go by Night with Diana or Holda or Herodias in shamanic flight on spirit animals This was the foundational witch legend that demonologists seized upon in later centuries But witch persecution was already underway as a chapter on the sexual politics of early medieval witch burnings documentsA thousand years ag.
Free download Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion, 700-1100 (Secret History of the Witches)
O an Old English scribe condemned people who bring their offerings to earth fast stone and also to trees and to wellsprings swa wiccan taecad as the witches teach This indicates that people still regarded witches as spiritual teachers and that they performed ceremonies of reverence to Earth Many aspects of ethnic spiritual culture survived the state conversions to Christianity ancestor veneration crystal balls amulets and witches wands Artists depicted Mother Earth giving her breast to serpents animals and children Stories of ancestral women the Cailleach and the Scandinavian dIsir were handed down over countless generationsGathering together forgotten strands from heathen European heritages Witches and Pagans reweaves the ripped webs of women s cultur.
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In this compelling exploration of language archaeology and early medieval literature Max Dashu illuminates hidden cultural heritages She shows that the old ethnic names for witch signify wisewoman prophetess diviner chanter herbalist and healer She fleshes out the oracular ceremonies of the Norse vOlur staff women their incantations and sitting out on the land seeking vision Archaeological finds of their ritual staffs show that many symbolize the distaff a spinner s wand that connects with wider European themes of goddesses fates witches and female power They include Berthe PEdauue also known as the Swan footed ueen whose spinning began at the proverbial beginning of time Veneration of the Fates persisted under many titles as the Norns sudice fatas and.