Two Books on the False Stereotypes of Witches

The New York Times Book Review recently reviewed two books on Witchcraft. I don’t think Wicca or Wiccan tradition is involved here.

Allyson Shaw’s Ashes and Stones looks at the Burning Times and makes the case that most of the women murdered were totally innocent of occult activities; they were simple healers, young unwed mothers, old women living humble lives who were were scapegoated for a variety of misfortunes experienced by men with any degree of wealth and/power. This is toxic patriarchy at its worst. Totally worthy of being documented and decried, but this scenario gives gives thaumaturgists short shrift, if not totally dismissing them.

Diana Helmuth’s The Witching Year is a personal account of a young woman who decides to occupy herself during lockdown by devoting a year to Witchcraft. She buys some books recommended by Google as good starters, reads them, constructs a personal practice she finds fulfilling. The reviewer says that the Helmuth is “dispelling myths” and using elements of modern Witchcraft as self-help and self-empowerment. All well in good but again, little or no thaumaturgy or theurgy seems to be involved.

No complaints about wanting to do away with negative stereotypes of Witches per se, but discounting the theory and practice of occult theory and practice in the bargain seems… disappointing and predictable.

Have a look:

“The witch no. 1” lithograph More: Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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