WITCHCRAFT AND WOMEN- TRACING THE TRADITIONS OF SABOTAGES.
Silas Marner, the protagonist in George Eliot’s novel by the same name was a strange man. Set in the 19th century England, this novel tells the story of a man called Silas, who had come from an unknown place (which we know is Lantern Yard) and who had settled in the quiet hamlet, Raveloe for long sixteen years. He was a weaver who worked incessantly through out the day. He stayed inside his house for most of the time and hardly spoke with anyone from the village. Moreover, Silas had a curious “fit” which completely made him go blank. For some time, he became completely unconscious. Only he became unconscious and with his eyes open. Some said that these fits were actually his soul travelling to the devil and back. We are told that Silas also had learnt the “science” of herbs and their medicinal use. However, when he helped a villager for her disease and cured her, he was said to be a definite messenger of evil who had sold his soul to the devil. Most of the people were very scared of him.
Now, imagine the similar thing happening to a woman in a similar situation. A spinster, a loner who lives all by herself and who has knowledge of a mysterious wisdom. She would most definitely have been marked as a witch and burnt like so many women of her kind. The truth behind the witch burnings were simple. Kill all the women who knew and who understood. The term “witch” comes from the word “wizard” which literally means a person “who knows”.
Christianity has been a male dominated religion since its very inception. The pagan religions before the beginning of Christianity were mostly necessarily matriarchal in nature. The worship of Mother Nature was the basic element of all these religions. Women were the epitome of power and were considered to be as great as any other creation in the entire world. Any concept of hierarchy was absent from this religion all together....