When the Crusades failed, the Church and the nobility that had supported these wars found themselves in serious financial and political trouble. And they were confronted by upheavals and challenges to their authority throughout Europe. The so-called heresies of the twelve and thirteen hundreds, and the rebellions of serfs and peasants that stretched into the fourteen hundreds and beyond, threatened their power. And a tremendous amount of the wealth and the power had devolved into the hands of the women during the Crusades, because they were left to run everything from vast estates to small trades while the men were off at war.Just THINK what would have happened to all those “Rosie the Riveters” after WWII, if many brave men and women hadn’t struggled for freedoms and “ equal rights for women” in the early twentieth century. Of course, it wasn’t until just past the mid-century mark that the punishment for Witchcraft was abolished in England. That was in 1954. When you think about it, it is rather amazing that for over one half of the Twentieth Century, the craft of the Witch was still punishable by death in an “enlightened society”. Although most Witches already are aware of what I am going to say, it still begs to be stated for those who are unaware. Again I quote from Ms. Curott’s Book of Shadows
Another reason the persecutions took place was because of the development of the medical profession. Only men were allowed to be educated, and only men could be doctors. They usurped the role of the village herbalists and midwives, most of who were women, and made it illegal for them to practice. They wiped out their competition by force. It was a period of tremendous repression, and the misogyny of the culture had deep theological roots. The Church was actually responsible for the Plague—they were the ones that killed all the cats for being Witches’ familiars. And with the cats away, the rats sure played.Those midwives Ms. Curott was referring to were often murdered just because they helped some poor woman bring a child into this world. With the death of the midwives, many poor women were left to their own devices for giving birth. Without the aid, skill, and succor of the midwives, the mother and child/children often died. What would those fundamentalist Christian anti-abortionist think of that bit of misogyny? John Dee [1527-1608], Astrologer Royal to Elizabeth I, often stated that “everything he ever learned of any value was learnt from the old women of the villages.” An honest, accomplished medieval man who was often ridiculed. Gee, could it have been because of his honesty? I need to address Ms. Curott’s allusion to, “the misogyny of the culture had deep theological roots”. I believe that, among other things, much of this stems from the teachings of St. Paul. You know, the Jewish man and Roman citizen who used to kill Christians and then fell off his horse, had an epiphany, and became a self-castrated, woman-hating zealot. Ernest Renan (See the Catholic Encyclopedia) theorizes that St. Paul’s epiphany was actually a “cerebral commotion, a passing delirium”. St. Paul simply changed his persecutions from Christians to Pagans. He spent the rest of his life trying to abolish Goddess worship all over the Mediterranean regions. Just take a look at the Book of Acts. It is rife with vituperations against kindly Goddess worshiping peoples. There is no argument that St. Paul HATED WOMEN. All of the extant writings point to little else. Even my dearly departed, saintly mother, who was a church secretary for thirty years for a major Protestant denomination, viewed St. Paul as a misogynist. St. Paul must have felt it was his major life’s quest to “put women in their place”, i.e., silence them and strip them of all theological power—power that they enjoyed under the auspices of the Goddess which, of course, carried over into the secular. Even today there are shades still of this unspoken attempt at control. Almost every week in the missile there is some passage of the “word according to St. Paul”. Women are being silenced even while they are reading passages from the Bible. Here are some interesting passages from the Bible—ones which are not often referred to even in readings. You will see why these aren’t mentioned very often, except perhaps in the most diabolical of Christian churches. Note: The link was lost. You know, one of those “404 error” pages. I am investigating to see if I will be able to bring these quotes to you in the future. Thank you for your patience. One can only speculate on what happened to them…
Entire villages were wiped out, even children. A terrible murderous madness swept over Europe. But, it wasn’t just the Church and the doctors. The nobility seized and consolidated their land holdings and forced the peasantry off of the land and into the growing cities, and government officials used the persecutions to enforce their control.
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