Catalog of the Suppressed Histories Series: live, in-depth presentations of women's history




Cave sanctuaries and the ancient sculptures of Willendorf, Predmost, Laussel. Hearth altars of Lepenski Vir and Cucuteni. Megalithic womb-tombs of Spain, Bretagne, Wales, Ireland, Denmark. Breasted and necklaced monoliths in France and Italy. Spirals, eyes, lozenges engraved in stone and ceramics.



The very ancient Balkans. Stone sculpture at Lepenski Vir. The rich ceramics and figurines of Cucuteni-Tripolye, Karanovo, Vinca and other neolithic cultures. Scripts and shrines and burials. The witch-fame of Thracian women. Imagery of Amazons and shamanic women; the goddesses Kotys and Bendis. Silver plaques, fantastic rhytons, and stelas.



I know the number of the sands of the sea and the measure thereof. -- Oracle of Delphi

Gods of the younger generation/ You have ridden down the laws of the elder time/ Torn them out of my hands. - - the Eumenides

Ancient Crete, Greece and the islands. The oracle at Delphi, the Melissae, and other priestesses. Female ritual culture: Thesmophoria and the rites of Hekate. Greek patriarchy: veiling, seclusion, female infanticide and slavery. Mythic accounts of female power encountering patriarchy. Women physicians, poets, and hetairae.



Our fathers have willed that women should be in the power of their fathers, of their brothers, of their husbands. Remember all the laws by which our fathers have bound down the liberty of women, by which they have bent them to the power of men. As soon as they are our equals, they become our superiors. -- the Roman senator Cato, 195 BCE

Ancient Maltese temples. Sardinian and Corsican megaliths. The Cumaean sibyls. Etruscan women. Art of ancient Sicily and south Italy. Roman patriarchy and how women coped: the Mysteries of Bona Dea, Isis and Kybele. The first great witch hunt, 186 BCE. Priestesses under the empire, religious syncretism. Christianity by state decree, and the gradual assimilation of pagan cults.


I am Buí, the Old Woman of Beare./ I used to wear a smock that was ever-renewed./ Today it has befallen me, by my low estate/ That I could not have even a cast-off smock to wear. -- 11th century Irish poem in the Otia Merseiana

Bronze age cultures and cauldrons. Irish archaeology and orature: Boann, the Cailleach Bhéara, Medb. Queens, banfilés and cumhals (female slaves). Stone altars of the Matres and Matronae. British and Gaulish priestesses. The Pictish stones of Scotland. Women in medieval Irish and Welsh literature. Colonization of the Gaeltacht.



"Have you done as some women do, at certain times of the year spread a table with meat and drink and three knives, so that if those Three Sisters come, which the descendants of antiquity and old foolishness called the Fates, they can regale themselves? Do you believe that those called the Sisters can help you now or in the future?"-- Penitential manual, circa 900 CE

Wisewomen, seers, healers, cauldrons, knots, incantations. Original meanings of ethnic names for the witch. The Old Goddess: Andra Mari, Holle, Perchta, Befana, Nicniven and the Three Fées. Ember Nights, dances, wells, megaliths, sweathouses and the sacraments of spinning.

Excerpts from The Secret History of the Witches



You still cling to pagan customs and believe in witchcraft. You pray to them and ask for gifts as if they ruled the earth by permitting rain, sunshine, and by making the earth fertile. --Bishop Serapion of Vladimir, 13th c. Russia

Medieval to modern Slavic and Baltic images, myths and folk sacraments. The Czech prophetess Libusha. Goddess Mokosh becomes saint Paraska. Spinners, rushniki, birth faeries. Bathhouse rites. Pagan calendars. Bulgarian folk healers. Herbal traditions. Moist Mother Earth. Allwise Elyena and the Baba Yaga. Russia's Staraya Vyera, the "Old Faith."



Labyrinths, Black Madonnas, sirenas, gargoyles, faeries and apocryphal pagan saints.



"The sword says, 'Often I, foolish in ornaments, anger the woman, diminish her will; she speaks evil to me with words, cries out 'Not good.'" -- the Exeter Book

Prelude to empire: internal colonization, slavery, crusades, pogroms, and racist diabolism. The anti-Semitic blood libel. Women under feudal, municipal, and guild law.



"A woman who is a witch or sorceress shall either be burnt or saved by iron."
--Fuero Cuenca, Book II, 1, 35, 11th century Spain

Roman and early feudal persecutions of witches, priestesses and pagans. Healers, diviners, midwives, contraceptive providers, and other targets. The witch as sexual politician: female sexuality, contraception and abortion, battery, desertion and male authority. Royal and munipal witch persecutions. Escalation of penalties in episcopal courts, then inquisitors get involved and diabolist theology begins to gain ground.



"I cure and treat all evils, all diseases...I am not a sorceress and I treat everything and do everything with a flower oil of mine." -- Bellezza Orsini to inquisitors, 1540

"Mais quoi, they say that all women are witches." --Aldegonde de Rue, France, 1601

The role of diabolism in escalating the witch craze. Impact of torture-trials and mass burnings. The crucible of Western Civilization, attacking women, (especially the old), pagans, gays, disabled and poor people as "devil-worshippers." Colonial hunts in South America, Mexico and New England. Witches' bridles, witch-prickers, swimming, and lynchings.


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