A Conversation for Wicca - a Legacy of Persecution

Interesting persecution fact

Post 1

Comrade Rumble

Hopefully no-one has mentioned this yet, but :
There is some fairly conclusive scientific (boo) evidence that the cause of the "bewitchments" in places like Salem which led to much of the persecution of witches was actually caused by a fungus called Ergot. When eaten this has similar properties to LSD and matches the symptons of "bewitchment" exactly. The conditions were just right in the affected parts of Salem for ergot to find it's way into the populaces diet.

Just an interesting fact (I think so anyway).


Interesting persecution fact

Post 2

I'm not really here

There was a TV program on about it last night - Secrets of the Dead.

It seems likely that's what happened on the Mary Celeste as well. Hallucinations made them abandon ship.


Interesting persecution fact

Post 3

soeasilyamused, or sea

wow, i never heard about that. actually, that's fascinating.


Interesting persecution fact

Post 4

Liossa

Yes, that is connnected to quiet a few 'witchhunts': and to several other strange occurances, particularly in colonial America. One of the earliest settlement Forts died out, literally, over one winter for little obvious reason, with people going mad, the society breaking down...again "LSD-wheat" is now being pinpointed as the cause.

As for other 'persecutions' of witches, it might be worth bearing in mind that more women were burned for heresy than witchcraft, and many of those burned for witches were in fact midwives, whose influence the new male-dominated medical profession wished to remove, and of course widows, prostitutes, unfaithful wives, no-longer-wanted wives, widows with property and those who just plain fell foul of the authorities in some way or another. When wiccans talk about 'the burning times' it really doesn't stand up to close inspection.


Interesting persecution fact

Post 5

Phryne- 'Best Suppurating Actress'

It happened again in 1958, in a French village. 4 died, many others left understandably traumatised. In the Middle Ages it was known as St Anthony's Fire and was quite common.
In England at least, 'witches' were not burned, at least alive. Usually they were strangled first. Burning alive was reserved for traitors (i.e. women who'd murdered their husbands, mainly.)


Interesting persecution fact

Post 6

soeasilyamused, or sea

wow. that really blows my mind, to think that if they had grown their wheat differently, a lot of people might not have been burned...


Interesting persecution fact

Post 7

soeasilyamused, or sea

oh! and good for england!

*big thumbs-up* smiley - winkeye


Interesting persecution fact

Post 8

ZenMondo

If you wanna praise England for anything, how about them taking the anti-witchcraft laws off the books? Ofcourse they waited until the 1950's to do so...


Interesting persecution fact

Post 9

Phryne- 'Best Suppurating Actress'

Gone now, though!
(although they finally fell into disrepair and were generally ignored, replaced by Fraudulent Mediums Act or something which has a more amusing name.)
Worryingly, some MP suggested (early 60s, we're safe now) they should be returned to stop anyone under 18 becoming involved with 'occult' groups. The cynical part of me says if they were doing that, why don't they outlaw infant baptism on the grounds that neither know what they're getting into?
It was a Tory MP, of course. smiley - sadface


Interesting persecution fact

Post 10

soeasilyamused, or sea

*shakes head* tisk... people /mean/ well, i'm sure, but...

and another big for england! smiley - smiley


Interesting persecution fact

Post 11

I'm not really here

smiley - grr If that had gone through that would have meant I was illegally teaching my child my religion! Makes me want to scream. smiley - sadface


Interesting persecution fact

Post 12

Floh Fortuneswell

Do it, Mina. We'll listensmiley - winkeyesmiley - hug


Interesting persecution fact

Post 13

BlueCrab



Not just similar to; LSD is made from ergot itself. Ergot grows on rye looking fairly similar to the rye itself so it would sometimes be missed, and entire families and towns would be affected. It affects the nervous system, causing extreme disorientation and fiery pain in the limbs.smiley - erm

Some modern painkillers are ergot derivatives - I was prescribed one of them, Fiurinal (sp?) when I had all my wisdom teeth out at once, and I hated it. Felt like I was in a nightmare for two days, it was horrible.

Some people are actively allergic to ergot derivatives, and experience horrible full-sense hallucinations. Rather like LSD, I suppose, with the screaming horrors thrown in.


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