Reveals the origins and history of the New England witch hysteria, its continuing repercussions, and the multilayered practices of today’s modern witches • Shares the stories of 13 accused witches from the New England colonies through interviews with their living descendants • Explores the positive role witches played in rural communities until the dawn of the industrial age, despite ongoing persecution • Includes in-depth interviews with 25 modern witchcraft practitioners, interwoven with practical information on the sacred calendar, herb lore, spells, and magical practices New England has long been associated with witches. And while the Salem witch trials happened long ago, the prejudices and fears engendered by the witchcraft hysteria still live on in our culture. What forces were at work that brought the witch hysteria quickly from Europe to the new American colony, a place of religious freedom--and what caused these prejudices to linger centuries after the fact? Weaving together history, sacred lore, modern practice, and the voices of today’s witches, Ellen Evert Hopman offers a new, deeper perspective on American witchcraft and its ancient pagan origins. Beginning with the “witch hysteria” that started in Europe and spread to the New World, Hopman explores the witch hunts, persecutions, mass hysteria, and killings, concluding that between forty and sixty thousand women and men were executed as witches. Combining records of known events with moving interviews with their descendants, she shares the stories of 13 New England witches persecuted during the witch trials, including Tituba and Mary Bliss Parsons, the Witch of Northhampton. Despite the number of false accusations during the witch hysteria in the New England colonies, Hopman reveals how there were practicing witches during that time and describes the positive role witches played in rural communities until the dawn of the industrial age. Exploring how the perception and practices of witches has evolved and expanded over the centuries, Hopman also includes in-depth interviews with 25 modern-day practitioners from a variety of pagan faiths, including druids, wiccans, Celtic reconstructionists, and practitioners of the fairy faith. Emerging from their insights is a treasure trove of practical information on the sacred calendar, herb lore, spells, and magical practices. Bringing together past and present, Hopman reveals what it really means to be a “witch,” redefining the label with dignity and spiritual strength.
Drawn up from published and other well authenticated records of the alleged operations of witches and their instigator, the devil. This is the first attempt, so far as is known to the writer, to collect together the annals of witchcraft in the United States. It has doubtless been a question with all readers of accounts of the witchcraft cases which have occurred in America, how it happened that they were so similar to those which took place in England. T.
An illustrated guide to the occult history, serpent magic, and practical application of the I Ching • Reveals how the sacred language of the original eight trigrams of the I Ching was discovered by a wisdom serpent known as Fu Xi • Explores how the I Ching formed the basis of the earliest Taoist philosophies, its complex correlation with human DNA, and its relationship with artificial intelligence • Provides new contemporary analysis of each of the 64 hexagrams, their changing lines, and archetypes of the I Ching • Includes original artwork highlighting the serpent magic within the system and tools to help you interpret the I Ching based on your own individual experience One of the oldest books in the world, the I Ching has been used in China for millennia to open a dialogue with divinity, gain insight and wisdom, and pull aside the curtain of reality to reveal the light of the heavens. Yet, despite its popularity over thousands of years, few understand its mysterious origins, symbolism, or occult connections. In this illustrated guide, Maja D’Aoust applies her significant experience as a professional practitioner and scholar of the I Ching to provide a history of the oracle, explain the mechanisms at work behind it, and offer a new experiential approach to its interpretation. The author begins by examining the discovery of the I Ching by the first mythical emperor of China, Fu Xi, a divine being with the body of a serpent. She reveals how Fu Xi’s eight original trigrams, also called the Ba Gua, provided a sacred language of symbols that allowed for communication between the diviner and the spirit world. Using the I Ching’s principles of cosmology as a basis, the shamans of ancient China developed the earliest Taoist philosophies of nature, medicine, martial arts, and mathematics as well as ecstatic practices, war strategies, birth and death rituals, agricultural systems, and alchemical studies. D’Aoust further shows how the I Ching relates to the mathematical sequences of biology and human DNA, examining the correlation between the serpent’s tail and the double helix. She reveals how the ways the oracle connects with your own inner knowing parallel the ways in which DNA repairs itself. Providing a new analysis of each of the 64 hexagrams and their changing lines and archetypes, the author explores each hexagram’s meanings in depth, alongside original artwork highlighting the serpent magic within the system and tools to help you interpret the I Ching based on your own individual experience. Revealing how the oracle holds complex networks of meaning that language alone fails to capture, D’Aoust offers a new understanding of the Book of Changes and its many hidden lessons.
A fascinating examination of how Americans think about and write about witches, from the 'real' witches tried and sometimes executed in early New England to modern re-imaginings of witches as pagan priestesses, comic-strip heroines and feminist icons. The first half of the book is a thorough re-reading of the original documents describing witchcraft prosecutions from 1640-1700 and a re-thinking of these sources as far less coherent and trustworthy than most historians have considered them to be. The second half of the book examines how these historical narratives have transformed into myths of witchcraft still current in American society, writing and visual culture. The discussion includes references to everything from Increase Mather and Edgar Allan Poe to Joss Whedon (the writer/director of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which includes a Wiccan character) and The Blair Witch Project.
Witches and Warlocks of Massachusetts is a collection of legends and historical accounts about witches and warlocks from the Bay State. Organized by region, city and town, the book's dozens of stories include the earliest Puritan accounts of 17th century witches, urban legends about desolate locations haunted by ghostly witch hunt victims, tales of Cape Cod sailors battling witches, and other stories of sinister (and sometimes sympathetic) spellcasters. Massachusetts has a rich history of witchcraft that spans nearly four centuries. Most people are aware of the Salem witch trials but fewer know about the Dogtown witches, the Pepperell farmer who hired a hypnotist to save his bewitched daughter, or Half-Hanged Mary, the witch who died twice and inspired The Handmaid's Tale. These stories are known locally in the towns where they occurred but have never been collected into one book before.
After Charmed ended in 2006, witches were relegated to sidekicks of televisual vampires or children's programs. But during the mid-2010s they began to resurface as leading characters in shows like the immensely popular The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the Charmed reboot, Salem, American Horror Story: Coven, and the British program, A Discovery of Witches. No longer sweet, feminine, domestic, and white, these witches are powerful, diverse, and transgressive, representing an intersectional third-wave feminist vision of the witch. Featuring original essays from noted scholars, this is the first critical collection to examine witches on television from the late 2010s. Situated in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement, essays examine the reemergence and shifting identities of TV witches through the perspectives of intersectional gender studies, hauntology, politics, morality, monstrosity, violence, queerness, disabilities, rape, ecofeminism, linguistics, family, and digital humanities.
In 1682, ten years before the infamous Salem witch trials, the town of Great Island, New Hampshire, was plagued by mysterious events: strange, demonic noises; unexplainable movement of objects; and hundreds of stones that rained upon a local tavern and appeared at random inside its walls. Town residents blamed what they called "Lithobolia" or "the stone-throwing devil." In this lively account, Emerson Baker shows how witchcraft hysteria overtook one town and spawned copycat incidents elsewhere in New England, prefiguring the horrors of Salem. In the process, he illuminates a cross-section of colonial society and overturns many popular assumptions about witchcraft in the seventeenth century.