by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC, Contributing Editor
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. More than 200 people were accused. Thirty people were found guilty, 19 of whom were executed by hanging (14 women and five men). One other man, Giles Corey, was pressed to death after refusing to enter a plea, and at least five people died in jail.
Arrests were made in numerous towns beyond Salem and Salem Village (known today as Danvers), notably Andover and Topsfield. The grand juries and trials for this capital crime were conducted by a Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 and by a Superior Court of Judicature in 1693, both held in Salem Town, where the hangings also took place. It was the deadliest witch hunt in the history of colonial North America. Only fourteen other women and two men had been executed in Massachusetts and Connecticut during the 17th century.
The episode is one of Colonial America’s most notorious cases of mass hysteria. It was not unique, but a colonial manifestation of the much broader phenomenon of witch trials in the early modern period, which took the lives of tens of thousands in Europe. In America, Salem’s events have been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolation, religious extremism, false accusations, and lapses in due process. Many historians consider the lasting effects of the trials to have been highly influential in the history of the United States. According to historian George Lincoln Burr, “the Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered.” Wikepedia
I am a witch, and yet we are in essence natural healers, using nature as our measure. We are regular people, you see us every day, in a world full of mix-ups and adverse events. Vibrating at a different frequency than the norm, like the sound made from a Tibetan sound bowl, sometimes loudly, while other times like the softness of a newborn. We feel you, we see you, and we care for you.
Some of us feel a wordless depth. We have an endocannabinoid system that is parasympathetic dominant. This system intertwines with all of our other systems. We are of the esoteric…….. This term and its correlative exoteric were first applied in the ancient Greek mysteries to those who were initiated (eso, “within”) and to those who were not (exo, “outside”), respectively.
As a result, we “absorb” a lot from the external world.
Can you recognize my character, one that is sensitive by nature along with the frequencies of other traits? I know we are distinct, yet sensible to the world with an openness to the earth and all of its magic.
Perhaps those of us whose lineage contains numberless facets of “witch”, chose to live apart from others, feeling the warmth of the ground as we walk barefoot in the forest………a family legacy and generational trauma passed on. One being studied.
But curiosity, that same one that killed the cat, and satisfaction brought it back allows us to embrace nature in such a way like a conduit that helps us to communicate through stones and gems , using herbs, herbs with medicinal powers that adorn us with mysteries………. of a power greater than both you and I.
So I must ask you, what is it that you see when you look at my face or when you gaze into my eyes………what is it that you hear when the wind blows and the rain falls….. Because the gathering has begun as man and spirit combine their strengths and weaknesses. We are gatherers by nature. And we walk among you, extending a hand. We listen to the sounds……..and await the visions. Restless in spirit, I walk alone….. and in this naked world I remain the witch.