A Witch’s Dictionary

witchs_l-203x300Published by Elixir Press

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from A Witch’s Dictionary
A Witch’s Dictionary (C)

I have heard (to my greefe) some of the ministerie affirme, that they have
had in their parish at one instant, xvii. or xviii. witches: meaning such as
could work miracles supernaturallie.
Reginald Scot, The Discoverie of Witchcraft, 1584
Sin overflowes our soules,…the Seas of all strange impieties have
rusht in upon us: we are covered with the waves of abhomination and
uncleanness: we are drowned in the black puddles of iniquity: wee swim
up to the throates…
Anonymous Puritan pamphlet, England, 1607
Child accusers vomit pins and hair.
(So
many of them!)
The Carolina Code
(1532) gives authority
from the Holy Roman Empire to boys
and girls as young as three.
Confess, confess:
to being old, female, or dirty.
All
across Europe, the elderly come clean—
shaved and beaten, tongues clamped, pierced, nails torn out—
confess the Craft when children writhe and scream:
so many:
William Somers, Mary Moor.
William Perry dying his urine blue
with his mother’s ink. Thomas Darling (yes,
that’s Darling) invents a green cat “to get
myself a glory thereby.”
Alse Gooderidge
confesses with her feet against the fire.
On the scaffold, the three Joans of Chelmsford
confess in hopes of clemency (condemned
just two hours before).
Joan Cunny’s grandson,
chief witness to her conviction, watches
the bottom fall out above him, but he’s
commended by judge Robert Clarke for his
godly testimony.
What corpse-lifting,
what covens, what magic circles, curses,
were therein revealed!
Crystal-gazing, pet
crows, candle magic—
their charmed fingers turned
to the feeble-minded ones, the filthy
ones, the mothers.
It wasn’t for the sake
of celebrity, no—
they had heard it—
claws on the walls after dark—
but devils—
everyone said so—
would flee from ashes,
a little shock and awe,
would disappear
when the witch’s dead body
was scattered
to nothing by the cleansing wind of God.

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