The Malleus Maleficarum is a book soaked in blood and bound in murder, within its pages lays a dictum of precise and brutal methods for both identifying and dispatching the earthly body and soul of the Witch. It brought with it the highest measure of justification, both in its pages and in its Papal blessing. The Hammer was a force of the 15th century, a wave of religious insight and cleansing, and a great weapon against a foe whose abilities were such that any man could succumb to the wiles of a Witch and be helpless in her spell.
Clearly, the Malleus Maleficarum was a gem among the many literary wonders of the Catholic Church, written by a pair of inspired inquisitors, Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger in 1486, the Witches Hammer (as translated from its Latin name) was the one tool that men of early reason needed to turn the tides of their three century old holy war, and turn the tides it did.
Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 40,000 to 60,000 accused Witches were brought down in various gruesome and public ways as a result of the often erroneous but always judicious interpretations of the books instructions.
But eventually, as is always the case with reform and progress, an enlightenment occurred throughout Europe and eventually the Americas, bringing an end to the use of this horribly wondrous text.
As we look back on the ridiculous claims laid out in the Hammer, among them the idea that Witches don’t burn, that they are able to float on the surface of water and many, many more silly ideas, we realise the short-sighted and illogical mind-set of the 15th century nobleman. The sheer number of victims the Hammer claimed, almost all of whom were women, suggests that at least a few were tried and true Witches, though such a waste in losing those wrongly accused.
If we were to rewrite the Malleus Maleficarum with today’s standards of reason, scientific and medical understanding and our unique view of histories telling of the Witches tale, we would likely come up with something very different, resulting in a vastly altered outcome for the cause of ridding God’s world of the Witches influence.
In contrast to the original Hammer, we will not waste time and effort exploring the many ideas of what and how a Witch practises her craft, except as much as it assists us in identifying the Witch among her familiars and the innocents she mingles amidst. We will maintain focus on flushing out the subtle details of her identity and once we’ve managed to bring her face into the light, we will outline the most effective ways of either salvaging her soul or putting an end to her misery.
Where do we begin? The identity of the Witch can be difficult to determine and we should be careful to define what, precisely, we mean by Witch.
Do we envision a haggard and worn old crone, complete with warts and boney hands, dressed in all black and sporting a pointy hat?
Or do we see before us the image of a strong and confident student of nature’s power? Are we faced with an image of balance and fairness, of a steady awareness of origin, intent and meaning?
Clearly, our search for the identity of the Witch is best led by the first description, for every child knows that a Witch is ugly in body and spirit, that they mean harm and malice, and that our own wellbeing is in harms way just in crossing her path. But the Witch is tricky; she’ll use her appearance to fool you. She will come to you as a frail and helpless old woman, and as her trap is laid, she will try to lure you with sweets and pleas of dire need, eventually hauling you away on her mystical broomstick.
These are the dangers of modern Witch hunting, but take heart, for this guide can tell you of the things you need not concern yourself with in your task. There is little confirmed about the habits of modern Witches, but in that uncertainty, we do know a great deal about what a Witch is not.
If you should come across persons who fit the following description, you need not concern yourself with their practise, affiliation or motives, for they are not your quarry.
- One who teaches or learns the magic involved with the nature of the Earth and its elements
- One who respects the laws of nature and of reciprocity
- One who opens their mind and heart to the tides of energy among us
- One who directs their own natural energy for the betterment of their neighbour and community
- One who infuses their daily tasks with the intention to bring balance to their lives and the lives of those around them
- One who worships the feminine and the masculine in our world, and who recognises the Goddess in all things around them
The Witches Hammer wrongly laid out several names and labels which we should now dispel as incorrect, and attribute their meanings to the appropriate bystander.
- Pagan – Paganism is widely held as a blanket term describing many polytheistic religions, including Eastern, Native American and non-Abrahamic folk religions
- Wiccan – Wicca is a neopagan nature-based religion, and though historically known as the pursuit of Witchcraft, is actually a modern pantheistic movement made popular by one Gerald Gardner in 1954, though confusion may arise as the basic idea of Wicca is much older than Mr. Gardner.
- Humanist – a divided group believing largely in individual and common good brought about through spiritual and scientific enlightenment.
- Occultist – While many wrongly think dabbling in the occult is akin to Witchcraft, it simply indicates a person’s interest in things that are considered paranormal. Directly translated from its Latin origin, the word occult means hidden knowledge.
So clearly, we’ve found that our road to cleansing our world of Witches is fraught with misconceptions and misinformation. Even in our current state of social enlightenment and knowledge, we still cannot confidently identify the Witch. We have, however, learned from our past mistakes, we shall not sacrifice the innocent in pursuit of the guilty. Until such time as we can identify our enemy, we shall refrain from spelling out the punishment for Witchery.
Our prey, the Witch, remains elusive, cunning and worthy of further study, we will keep watch and maintain our vigilance in this time of danger; for we must guard against our Witch foe, lest they turn us into something less evolved and possibly covered in slime.
STOP – Read this carefully:
It saddens me deeply to see that so many people are unable or unwilling to read the entire article above. It saddens me even more to learn that light sarcasm and parody are lost to my readers, for the above is dripping with both. What pains me the most is the sad fact that so many people have so much hate in their hearts. These so-called witches are people, they are not evil, and they are nothing to fear. So please, pull your heads out of your asses and have a little compassion for your fellow man (or woman, as the case may be). I have disabled comments on this article because I’m tired of seeing hateful blather such as that offered by Trix below.
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