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