By the early 14th Century, all the ingredients were in place for witchcraft’s horrible rise to prominence. Now all that was left was for this heady brew to simmer. From about 1300 to 1450, the image of the witch grew stronger across the generations and accusations and trials began to rise. In 1320 Pope John […]Read more "The Witchcraft Virus"
Magic’s cultural stock in Western Europe experienced a healthy resurgence during the 13th Century. In its infinite capacity for irony the primary driver behind magic’s new vogue status were the Crusades. In a very rudimentary sense the call to religious war had expanded the cultural and economic exchange between the Greek and Islamic worlds and […]Read more "The Magicians of Solomon"
Erring on the side of massacre became the mantra of the Catholic Church when it came to responding to new heresies. And there were always new heresies to worry about, like the Waldensians in France or the Fraticelli in Italy. In both cases greater elements of the Witch’s Sabbath crept into the arguments used by […]Read more "The Heresy of Popes and Saints"
In the end, the story of witchcraft was regrafted onto the less acceptable branches of the Christian tree as a means of slandering would be reformers. Evolution is a slow process, with countless failed starts and mutations. In an institution like the Catholic Church, reform movements represented this part in the theological life cycle of […]Read more "God Will Know His Own"
Note from the author: We’re interrupting our witchcraft filled schedule to bring you a piece of odd history from my home state. Consider it a morbidly sweet, 100th Post special treat. Corporate greed can often lead to some sticky situations, but only once has it caused a literal 25 foot high wave of molasses. The […]Read more "The Boston Molassecre"