history of witches

passive aggressive reminder that more than two genders and transgender people have existed for millennia

reminder that colonialism forced native societies to revert back to their gender assigned at birth or be killed

reminder that there has been Mahu in Hawai’i until it was forcefully taken and colonized by white america

reminder that there were Hijra in South Asia until britain colonized it and forced every Hijra person into concentration camps the same time the german holocaust was happening

reminder that We’Wha was lhamana who served as an Ambassador to the Zuni people in 1886 to Grover Cleveland and was arrested for witch craft

reminder that in ancient Egypt there were people who were transgender and Egyptologists say that it was just people who were “buried wrong”

reminder that there are thousands of societies and cultures lost because of white colonization and we will never hear their stories

reminder that when this isnt taught in school it erases the history of people of color and queer people 

psa for non-Americans and non-New England Americans

you know the Salem witch trials? that thing where nobody got burned and nobody was an actual witch but it was still a big deal because 19 innocent people were executed?

well the place we call Salem now was not where that happened. that place used to be called Salem Town. the trials happened in what was then called Salem Village (also sometimes “the farms”). it was an agrarian community with stronger Puritan values that sometimes clashed with the more worldly trading center Salem Town

after the trials Salem Village was so ashamed that it changed its name to Danvers and went on to experience a bunch more dark and tragic stuff. Salem Town said “sweet, tourism!” and jumped on the witch bandwagon and is now a center of pretty nice magic shops, pretty tacky tourist attractions, and pretty pretty historical dance events

Danvers has a laser tag place and they used to have a Denny’s but it closed

the end

Nábrók- The name given to a style of Icelandic pants found by historians, believed to be from the 17th century. The name literally translates to “Necropants” for a very creepy reason; They are made from human skin. Sorcerers and witches would wear the trousers all day and night under their clothes as a sort of underwear in order to bring them wealth.

Politely being asked by your sorcerer friend to be used in a pair of Necropants after your death was a great honour in 17th century Iceland, but making an authentic pair of Nábrók was a difficult practice for the witch. They would only bring prosperity if the maker/wearer stole a coin from a widow and placed it in the scrotum of the garment. When the wearer died, if they did not pass the Nábrók down to their children they would be infected with lice as soon as they passed away, but if the trousers were passed on, they could bring wealth to future wearers. Above is the only surviving pair of Necropants, and is on display at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft in Holmavik, Iceland.

🔑✨thrifty witch aesthetic✨🔑

• Gets half of their magickal tools at antique shops
• Is pumped at the thought of finding old gardening or divination books
• 1OO% skilled at putting anything to use
• Has the most lovely, history-scented altar
• Would live in vintage clothing if given the option

Supposedly haunted by the 20 “witches” who were put to death in 1692 and 1693 during the Salem Witch Trials, Salem is a popular destination for those fascinated by the paranormal and morbid. Some of the “witches” are said to haunt the place they were hanged, Gallow Hills, while other supposedly haunt other areas in the town. One of the must see sights is the House of Seven Gables, pictured above. 

Things to Research as a Beginner Witch

• The history of witchcraft
• Famous witches, if you’d like
• Types of witches
• Types of magick (white magick, chaos magick, etc)
• Types of spells (curses, hexes, etc)
• Types of divination (tarot, scrying, etc)
• Talismans vs Sigils (and what each are)
• Seals
• Maybe some alphabets if that’s your thing
• Some witchy symbols
• Deities (For pagan witches)
• Let it spread from there!

3

March 1st 1692: The Salem Witch Trials begin

On this day in 1692, three women were brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, thus beginning the infamous Salem Witch Trials. The women were Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba and all three had been accused of witchcraft after local girls began experiencing strange fits. Given the lack of medical knowledge at the time and the preponderance of beliefs in the supernatural, witchcraft was the only logical explanation for their condition. The accused women matched the description of the stereotypical witch: Good was a beggar, Osborne rarely went to church and Tituba was a slave of different ethnicity. The women were interrogated by magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin and Tituba eventually confessed to witchcraft, claiming Good and Osborne were her co-conspirators. The three were then sent to jail; Osborne died in jail, Good was hanged and Tituba (as a useful confessor) was kept alive and eventually released after the trials ended. The initial interrogation was followed by many more accusations of witchcraft throughout the village and the surrounding area, fueled perhaps by local rivalries, poisoned grain or just mass fear. The manhunt resulted in 19 ‘witches’ being hanged, one pressed to death and hundreds more imprisoned in horrendous conditions. The event is a famous example of mass hysteria and has become a cautionary tale for religious extremism and false accusations.

Women have always been healers. They were the unlicensed doctors and anatomists of Western history. They were abortionists, nurses, and counselors. They were pharmacists, cultivating healing herbs and exchanging secrets of their uses. They were midwives, travelling from home to home and village to village. For centuries women were doctors without degrees, barred from books and lectures, learning from each other, and passing on experience from neighbor to neighbor and mother to daughter. They were called “wise women” by the people, witches or charlatans by the authorities. Medicine is part of our heritage as women, our history, our birthright.
—  Witches Midwives and Nurses: A History of Women Healers - Barbara Ehrenreich & Deirdre English