Let’s celebrate witches!
Did you know that the Scottish Witchcraft Act was passed in Scotland in 1563 and remained in effect for 175 years? Over 380 women were executed under the act, generally by strangling and burning, sometimes by burning, sometimes by drowning.
Of course, what it was really about was the power of men, and their desire to attack, control and subjugate women.
James I of England (James VI of Scotland) was particularly obsessive about witchcraft after his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned and later beheaded by Queen Elizabeth I.
Pardons have now been issued for the witches that were executed in the Salem witch trials in Massachusetts in the United States. Pardons have not yet been issued for the many women who were executed in Scotland and England.
Have a read of this article in The Vintage News for more information about the Scottish Witchcraft Act.
In addition, in Victoria it wasn’t until 2005 that witchcraft and fortune telling were removed as crimes. Under the old Vagrancy Act, crimes such as witchcraft, fortune telling or using “any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration” were punishable under law.
The Pagan Awareness Network Inc. celebrated the repeal of the Vagrancy Act in 2005, calling it outdated and discriminatory on the basis of religion. Apparently, several thousand Pagans in Melbourne celebrated the news under the full moon in 2005!!!
Here is a link to a Sydney Morning Herald article about Victoria’s Vagrancy Act.
Whatever your beliefs, we wish you a happy Halloween.