This is a little known aspect of European history has had a huge effect on us culturally and it continues to ripple into our lives. In this blog, I will explain why the Witch Hunts started and their effect on our culture. You will learn how you can be part of healing the wounds and commemorating the thousands of women who were killed in the UK. It’s time to heal the Sister Wound and empower women.
Why was nature linked to the Devil?
The ecological crisis that we find ourselves in began when humans separated themselves from nature around 500 years ago. At that time the climate changed dramatically approximately from 1460 -1540 when there were heavy storms, long winters and cool summers. It is referred to as the Little Age. Rivers and canals froze, and crops failed which left people starving, sick and malnourished – epidemics spread like wildfire. In search of a culprit for the tension and starvation, nature was framed as the Devil by the Church. Many women were seen as more in tune with nature, plant remedies, medicines, cycles and insights.
What were the Witch Hunts?
In 1485, Pope Innocent VIII ordered an official ‘Witch Hunt’ which lasted nearly 300 years. To cleanse society, women who worshiped the ways of nature were executed. During the witch trials millions of women were tortured and interrogated. Hundreds of thousands were burned and killed in front of children, neighbours and friends to send a clear message that working with nature was no different to working with the Devil. This created a new embedded cultural norm: God and Man were viewed as separate from Nature and Woman.
Remembering the women who were persecuted
If you want to go deeper, in 2020 you can be part of The Medicine Spoon Memorial. In its simplest form this is a creative and collaborative art memorial curated by Caren Thompson. It intends to acknowledge women who were persecuted as witches during the witch hunts in the United Kingdom. A medicine woman or a medicine man is a traditional healer for a community. The symbol of the medicine spoon is used to remember the medicine women.
Remembering Medicine Women with Medicine Spoons
I have decorated a Medicine Spoon for a woman called Issobell Didos from Edinburgh who was killed in 1661. The internet can connect you to details about the trial, facts about the tragic human story. It was a very moving experience; I felt many emotions for this poor woman who had been persecuted. How had she felt? Did she feel betrayed? Deceived? Terrified? This individual act of memorial was my way of honouring her life as it was not honoured in her lifetime.
The Medicine Spoon Memorial aims to individually remember women whose names lay forgotten in trial records. You are invited to join me and many others in this creative project of remembrance. Opening the project up to others allows the healing of this feminine wound to spread and ripple out into the world.
How can you be part of the Medicine Spoon Memorial?
What do you need to do? Use the link above and place an order. You will receive the symbol of a spoon printed on to pieces of fabric with a wise woman’s (witch) name. You create your memorial by decorating the fabric and adding the name in whatever style or medium you choose. When you have finished post it back to Ceren Thompson. These small memorials will be sewn together to create larger artworks.
There is such power in large scale memorials such as Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. Each of the ceramic red poppies represents a life lost in WWI. Art can allow us to access feelings in a deeper way. I hope art venues are found to show the Medicine Spoon Memorial art and connect this these memorial artworks to thousands of visitors. More people need to understand our cultural history. The first step to changing something is awareness.
”We are born to love; we learn to hate. It’s up to us what we reach for.” Dr. Edith Eva Egar
This inherited trauma continues to affect us centuries later as we continue to play out these wounds. If you want to understand more about how these times have shaped us as women, register on Healing the Sister Wound. Bring your Medicine Spoon and decorate it. It is more powerful when we sit with other women to remember and heal.
What does your heart say?
You know when it’s your time
Is it time to heal your wounds and step into your truth?
These four one hour workshops are a journey to heal The Sister Wound and reconnect to our feminine essence, to feel safe in our bodies and within the sisterhood.
3 Replies to “What were the Burning Times?”
How could I embroider a spoon, please?