W. F. Price #sexist web.archive.org

[Note: the post name says "Welmer" but the blue background indicates it's by OP, who is denoted as W. F. Price]

People havem’t really changed much in their nature since the very beginning. Many of these terms like ‘witch” “posessed by the devil” etc were just another way of saying what we would have a modern term for.

True. And despite the standardization of terminology, most people today are just as ignorant about mental/physical health as they ever were. Community leaders back then – the intelligent, literate sorts – knew a lot more than people credit to them.

Many of these witches were old hags living on the outskirts of villages who collected poisonous plants. They would supply females with drugs to induce abortions or to poison their husbands or kids.

Sounds accurate to me. I think in a lot of cases calling one of these hags a “witch” may have been the most convenient way to eliminate a truly malignant influence from the community. In Scandinavia, female holdouts who still practiced sorcery in the Christian era, known as Völvas, exerted some influence on women for quite some time. They would sell them potions to entrap men, have their way, etc. Some of them, created from concoctions of potent psychoactive drugs, actually work. These potions show up in stories like Tristan and Iseult and the Völsunga saga.

A lot of the folk wisdom about witches comes directly from these women, who probably were still operating home businesses of sorts until the witch purges of the 15th-17th centuries.

Confused?

So were we! You can find all of this, and more, on Fundies Say the Darndest Things!

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