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Engravings and Illustrations of Witches Over the Centuries

V0044812 A witch making a potion Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images A witch, raising her arm above a cauldron, is making a potion; a young woman is kneeling in front of the cauldron; book and skeleton in the background. 1773 By: John Hamilton Mortimerafter: Dixon.Published: 20 July 1773. Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

The most iconic portrayal of women’s power over the centuries is that of the witch. Witches had the power to heal and to curse, and tapped into earth magick that had no connection to the alien beliefs of the Christian Church. It’s no surprise that men dedicated centuries to hunting down and murdering women whose power they didn’t understand or approve of. We should have all learned from the thousands of women tortured and murdered over the course of centuries and across continents. I think it’s pretty clear that in most of the world, North America included, women with power are still seen as a threat to the patriarchal status quo. The genocide of European and American women centuries ago is treated as a legend, a cultural myth, rather than something to be reflected upon and examined in our own time. Below are some images of powerful women over the centuries, engravings, paintings and illustrations of witches fictional and real who were considered the Devil’s agents for refusing to participate in their own subjugation.


Images via Wellcome Library


Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.



  1. WitchfinderFinder

    May 22, 2017 at 12:03 am

    The imiges are facinating, but the introduction both ignore male withes and smell of wiccan propaganda.

  2. Chris Wood

    May 19, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Tessia Elise

  3. Kylie QFranco

    May 19, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Eli Ana ❤❤

  4. Andrés Yáñez Chavarriaga

    May 19, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Mary Van Tassel !!

  5. Mira Wroblewski

    May 19, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Here’s another….

  6. Mark Mengerink

    May 19, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Hey, wait a minute. I didn’t see a single picture of Donald Trump. Sad!

  7. Tory Conrad

    May 19, 2017 at 2:12 pm


  8. Victoria Chakal

    May 19, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Guys, no. I usually love your esoteric articles but this Margaret Murray shit needs to stop. Witchcraft has a rich and fascinating history; there’s no need for pseudo-historical fiction or wildly inaccurate uses of the word “genocide.”

  9. XIII

    May 19, 2017 at 11:00 am

    you are aware that not only women were persecuted throughout history for working with sorcery/magic and put to death because of working with the Devil. Although the pictures are interesting and a lot of women were convicted of witchcraft, i think your biased overtones to one gender or the other is incorrect and somewhat silly. Before you go ranting about the suffering women went through, why don’t you focus on the suffering all peoples went through during those times, when both MEN and WOMEN were tortured for their antinomian ways and or mental illnesses.

  10. José Rodríguez

    May 19, 2017 at 7:46 am


  11. Marta Rebelo

    May 19, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Mariana Sales Teixeira e Tatiana Moes

  12. Sean Yates

    May 19, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Caroline Cox

  13. Adam Peacock

    May 19, 2017 at 5:19 am

    Mira – not a Trump in sight 😉

    • Mira Wroblewski

      May 19, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Hahaha 🙂 He’s a shapeshifter. He can morph from lunatic to greater lunatic in the blink of an eye of newt

  14. Kyle Shady Bagel

    May 19, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Nicola McCafferty

  15. Patryk Byszek

    May 19, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Iga Chrzanowska 💀💀💀

  16. Ganga Dhara

    May 19, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Myrto Daskalaki

  17. William Kampen

    May 19, 2017 at 2:44 am

    Laura Nehemah

  18. Nils Olaf Pettersen

    May 19, 2017 at 12:55 am

    Eva Wertanek

  19. Rakdos Cutme

    May 19, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Caza Steele

    • Caza Steele

      May 19, 2017 at 12:24 am

      You know me too well 🖤

    • Rakdos Cutme

      May 19, 2017 at 12:29 am

      Caza Steele seen it a thought of you straight away

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