- 1. You are a woman
- 2. You are rich or financially independent
- 3. You had a fight with a friend or neighbor
- 4. You are a very old and ugly
- 5. You are very young and very attractive
- 6. You – the wise woman or midwife
- 7. You are married but have no children
- 8. You have a visible mole, birthmark, etc.
- 9. You had sex outside of marriage
- 10. You broke every rule in the Bible or just one of those "accepted in polite society"
Witches and wizards were feared and therefore persecuted since ancient times. But, as we know, special scale "witch hunt" has reached in Europe since the end of the XV century and until the mid-seventeenth century (and executions of suspected witchcraft has continued even a century after the main "hysteria" – before 1782).
According to rough estimates of modern historians, the "witch" processes killed 40 to 50 thousand people (that is, was hanged, burned, zapytany to death, etc.).
In fairness I must say that for witchcraft were executed not only women, some processes to the accused was just, basically, men.
Nevertheless, the greatest "chance" to suddenly be recognized as a witch was still the fairer sex. For what reasons? Yes, almost any!
Dark and fanatical religious population of medieval Europe was scared to death the devil and his machinations. As an accomplice of the devil could be anyone, because the human spirit is weak. Women were considered to be especially sinful and is available for temptations. So... Yes, burn them all! Damn witches!
So, let's see, what occasions you could be accused of witchcraft:
10. You broke every rule in the Bible or just one of those "accepted in polite society"
It is in the modern world, each of us trying (in his own way) certainly stand out from the crowd, to be "not as all". In the middle ages as a much wiser (and because it's safer!) was in the crowd to merge as possible.
Any manifestation of individuality: clothing "wrong" color or style, indecent, according to neighbors haircut, those plants in the garden, "not on time" served food, "not" kindled a fire, etc – any trifle can provoke not only sidelong glances ("we don't do that! It is not accepted!"), but the complaint of the secular or the ecclesiastical authorities and, in the end, sounding almost like a death sentence "stigma" of the witch.
If a neighbor has accused you that you have worked in any day of the Holy day (when, as the Bible says, you need to rest and pray), or broke the floor in the house to the door (as do all decent hostess), and from the door, or laughed louder than the others at gatherings in the village gossips, get ready for trouble. You are definitely in bed with the devil! Otherwise, why not follow the rules, which strictly adhere to all others?
9. You had sex outside of marriage
Try today to find a single virgin over the age of 20. Nowadays is a real rarity. But in the middle ages, if you still have the love of my life and ventured to spend with your loved the night, it is better to earnestly pray about it no one knew.
If you still rumors about this improper connection, it will be easier for you to hang yourself (especially in the case when the love of your life "went into denial"). Now you can easily be accused of fornication, and even communication with the devil, especially if you (God forbid!) got pregnant.
So, Alice lake of Dorchester, who stubbornly refused to admit, from whom gave birth to a child (apparently, the man was not simple), in 1651, was executed as a witch. They say, well everything is clear, – slept with the devil, therefore, and the child from him.
8. You have a visible mole, birthmark, etc.
You have a cute mole above the lip? Or the birthmark on your thigh that you like? Rejoice that you live not in the XVI century! For all sorts of moles, and similar marks is also a sign of "sympathy" to you the devil himself.
Usually right after the arrest of a woman suspected of witchcraft, forced to strip naked and carefully inspecting (and sometimes even shaved for "better visibility" all the hair on her body).
Any scars and stains immediately recorded in the inspection report. The more of them were (and they were larger), so that means were stronger wines caught the "witches".
It was believed that witches breastfeed animals, beloved by the devil (black cats and dogs, snakes, etc.), so one hundred percent guarantee "guilt" spots on the chest. And if still unhappy and nipples were larger than normal, to help her already could not have one.
7. You are married but have no children
Let's say you got married at 16 years (actually a little late for the middle ages). And now you have 20, but children you and your husband have been unable to give birth until now. If the husband is not so fond, he could easily accuse his wife that she is "cursed by the devil" or he had a sinful relationship before the marriage (and therefore infertile).
Similarly witch you can call large neighbors – out as you glance at them six children, would not have conceived that something was wrong. (Then, because there were no psychologists, no family planning centres, – no one could have dreamed that you look at the neighbor's kids because yearn to own baby. And, it is likely that your husband was sterile, himself, and another man you would have become pregnant).
It was possible and quite the opposite situation: you have no children, and their neighbor is small it is small less. Yeah! So she's a witch, and took your happiness yourself by means of vile sorcery!
6. You – the wise woman or midwife
The human body (especially female) in the middle ages was considered a "vessel of sin" and do something nasty. So people, versed in the disease, and even worse, in the internal human anatomy, it was believed, if not accomplices of the devil, then certainly a very unpleasant personalities.
Like, if God sent someone to the disease, then that's his will, there is nothing to resist it. No treatment! Pray and prepare to go to heaven! (Hmm... Unless, of course, worthy).
And to give birth to all women prescribed alone (and preferably in pain). So all the disgusting and "unclean" the healers and midwives, who, besides, too well able to heal wounds and fractures, stop the bleeding, to treat ulcers, etc. with the help of some dubious herbs and ointments – a clear witch.
5. You are very young and very attractive
And as much as at the time was hanged and burned the young, beautiful and very young girls! Too slim figure, gorgeous hair, delicate skin, bright eyes, even one thing from this "kit" could easily be the reason for the accusation of witchcraft, and if coupled!
After all, God does not give anyone so much attractiveness at once, is undoubtedly sooner or later lead to sin (and rather still). So the winner is very pretty has an upturned nose, freckles, green eyes and red, curly rings, stacks on the head is clearly to leave it all to Satan himself.
It was enough caustic remarks of jealous girlfriends (not to mention the direct accusation that you were trying to steal her guy, of course, a love spell), and you now, witch.
4. You are a very old and ugly
No less dangerous was to have an ugly appearance (or some defects, like crooked legs, dry hands, too long nose, etc.). But if you, not only that ugly, so still and ridiculously old and worldly wise (and thus also grumpy), with a probability of 99.9% on you "rat" to be my own neighbors.
But what else? Normal people do not live so much. And there, you have a wart on your nose, and you giggle dreary (well, that all old people are not very nice voice?), and yet you live a large black cat. Witch!
3. You had a fight with a friend or neighbor
In fact, during the "high middle ages", in witchcraft, anyone could accuse anyone. The slightest personal animosity could result in a witch process. And who can become the worst enemy of women is not her ex-best friend?
Here you are, according to Mary Ann, too tenderly looked at her husband or, on the contrary, made a harsh remark to her rambunctious children. And – oops! – ready: she called you evil witch.
And this, for your trouble, I heard the neighbor that you once dared not take a little flour. After a couple of days you've been sitting in a dark cell, chained to the wall with chains, and the executioner is busily preparing tools to extract a confession of witchcraft.
2. You are rich or financially independent
Oh and God forbid you have your own opinion and their own (without the help of my husband, brother, uncle, son or any other relative) to make a living (or even just to have a good condition, the remaining inherited from the father or deceased spouse).
A woman is obliged to stay in the shade men and be silent until asked. But to manage money (private too) the woman is contraindicated! If the previous husband had died – quickly find yourself another: why, will figure out what to do next with your finances.
What more commercial vein? Which means you're able to take care of yourself? As no man in the whole city you're not cute? Maybe you mil only Satan?! Witch! Yeah... Independent and intelligent women in the whole of Europe, disliked (and avoided) until the beginning of XX century. Well at least ceased to burn.
1. You are a woman
And finally, back to where we started: you're a woman! Already this fact alone may cause suspicion. Eve, tempted by the fruit of Paradise and the "set up" Adam, inviting him to take a bite, was a woman; treacherous Delilah, and Salome, killing Samson and John the Baptist were women, etc.
And generally all women are sinners by nature! Well, I think that the main villains in the Bible – after all, men (and there are many more).