So I was doing research for a potential new book and looking into pagan practices. Obviously, this entails witches. What suddenly side-swiped me was the reports from the Salem witch trials amongst others.
Bear in mind paganism is the old religion, pre-dating Christianity. Now consider the format for those trials was a belief that the devil motivated these girls and women. The devil wasn’t part of the pre-Christian religion. This is entirely a Christian concept. By extrapolation, these girls and women were found guilty of deliberately going against their own religion as a form of rebellion. Based on this, I can see why every one of them has since been found innocent of misdoing. Much of this was sparked by greed over possessions, as well as a misguided belief in the supernatural.
Real pagans don’t subscribe to the belief in a devil, which is a Christian notion on the afterlife, or want to do mischief to others. This beggars the question of how many innocent women were killed because of misguided notions? Research on Morgan le Fay leads to the inevitable conclusion that she was the whipping girl for a misogynist monk, bent on discrediting her because she was a priestess in the old religion. At that time, Christianity was still battling with pagan beliefs and trampling down all of them. Women were not to have positions of power in this world. They were mere eye candy, without a mind. Ergo, a strong woman of antiquity must have been a very evil woman to fit in with this new concept.
This is not pie in the sky hypothesis, or wishful thinking on my part. I have delved into the ancient Welsh texts on the legends of that time. It is fascinating to see how history was rewritten to fit with the then modern beliefs. I wonder how much of this philosophy went into the subsequent witch hunts? Anyhow, research for my project is continuing.