What were witches like in the Elizabethan times?

Unfortunately, there is not much known about witches during this time from the witches perspective. The Elizabethan period (from roughly 1550 to 1600) was in the midst of the ‘burning times,’ a period in pagan history where we were killed for our belief system. Starting in the 13th century, those who called themselves witches (and many innocents who were believed to be witches) were subjected to inquisition, witch trials and persecution that most often resulted in death. This was all done in the name of spiritual cleansing.

The witch burning and biased fear against witches was heightened when the Witchcraft Act of England was established in 1542 during King Henry VIII’s reign. Under the act, the craft is deemed illegal and organized covens are forced to go underground. Queen Elizabeth signed the Second Witchcraft Act of England in 1563.

During Elizabeth’s reign the fear of witches reached new hysteria. It was a common belief that witches were the Satan’s consorts and also called upon other demonic entities like imps, demons, incubi and succubi to do their bidding. It was thought that a witch had sexual relations with Satan in order to get certain powers. These powers enabled them to cause illness, raise storms, cause drought, produce impotence in men and sterility in women, cause crops to fail and kill animals. It was believed that their power was used mainly to harm and manipulate others around them.

The concept of witches being associated with Satan is the lasting impact of this time. You’ll still find people with these 500-year-old biases against the Pagan path. The claims of the inquisitors were made out of a need for control over a portion of the population who did not want to submit themselves to the rule of the Catholic, and then Protestant Churches.

Rose Ariadne: Providing “Magickal” answers to your Pagan, Wiccan, Witchcraft spell casting questions since 2006.

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