The Harm of the Myth of the Burning Times

Leaves from a Heathen's Book of Shadows


One of the first thing many people learn when they become a pagan – assuming they enter through the route of Western neo-paganism – is about the “Burning Times” when millions of witches were burned at the stake. Many of these people believe this for years; possibly all their lives.  But not only is it wrong, but that has a bad effect on the integration of paganism within some European cultures.

Wrong? Yes. For one thing, it wasn’t millions – it might have been hundreds. maybe even a few thousand. but that’s it. This was not the nazi holocaust.

Secondly, though they may have burned witches in europe and Scotland, in England and the US, they hanged them. Oh, and precious few were hanged or otherwise killed in the Salem witch trials. Less tha 20, if I remember correctly. I can’t speak for the US, but England tended to reserve…

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