I want to talk about this for a bit.
This keeps coming up around me so I think it’s important to get my thoughts around it out, if only for myself.
Maybe it’s because it’s spooky season – our season.
This time of year The Burning Times are often on my mind.
If you’re unaware, this is often what witches call the inquisition, which occurred in Europe between the years of 1478 to 1834.
That’s 356 years of horrors.
The Inquisition’s goal? “Purify” the land from evil spread by the Devil and his minions.
The actual result of the inquisition was millions of people, mostly women, dead.
But not until after they were tortured.
Many died during their torture.
Have you heard the term “the third degree” in reference to questioning someone aggressively?
That’s from the inquisition.
That was the level of torture that would kill a person.
It was to be used on those who kept insisting they were innocent.
No one, once accused, was allowed to be innocent.
The Inquisition, and everyone who took part in it, were the true evils raveging the lands.
I won’t go into all the documented atrocities – they’re easy enough to find should you want to have nightmares for the next several nights.
That’s not what I wanted to talk about, but I did want to set the stage for where many witch wounds come from. (There’s a near 100% chance I’ll talk about religious harms in a post at some point.)
What is a witch wound?
My basic definition is the fear of retribution due to being a magickal person.
I believe many of us lived through The Burning Times. Maybe several times over since it literally spanned centuries.
Our souls remember, even if our conscious minds don’t.
Additionally, science shows us that trauma can be written into our DNA.
356 years of fear mongering and hate?
Watching your friends, the local healer, your mother or grandmother being accused of being a consort of the Devil? Seeing what happened to those who were accused?
Fearing someone may name you in a desperate bid to end their torture and be allowed to finally die?
Sounds pretty traumatic to me.
It is still not safe in many areas of the world to practice witchcraft.
Ostracisation and death are still very real possibilities if someone is accused of being a witch (and it’s likely they’re not witches at all – just like old times).
So this fear of being seen as the magickal people we are is ingrained in our very genetic makeup and within our very souls.
This is the witch wound.
And we must heal.
We must do so collectively.
We must embrace that fear. That deep knowledge of the atrocities that humans can visit upon one another out of fear, misunderstanding, and hate.
We must love it. We must show it that we are safe now.
We are safe.
We can honor our gods and goddesses (if we have them).
We can practice our magick and love nature.
We can heal others as we heal ourselves.
We must do this for all the people who cannot.
We must do this for all those murdered in the name of the Abrahamic god.
We must do this for the generations yet to come.
The lives yet to be lived.
They deserve to know they are safe.
They deserve to connect with the divine without fear of retribution.
They deserve to know that pain is history, but that we must never allow such horrors to be visited on the world again.
But, how can we do that?
This is Shadow Work loves, albeit of a different sort than we’re used to.
I’ll be starting with tarot.
I’ll be doing some past life readings to uncover some of this trauma.
I will allow my guides to, well, guide me to what I need to heal those traumas.
When I have moments of fear in the here and now around being a witch (and I do) I will remind myself that no one in my world can harm me.
They can stay or they can go, but they cannot hurt me.
If my blood family still can’t handle it, they can move along.
I have built a beautiful online chosen family, and they know me for who I am.
This healing will take time, nothing like this happens overnight.
And that’s ok.