Why Do Witches Ride Brooms? The History Behind the LegendFrom pagan fertility rituals to hallucinogenic herbs, the story of witches and brooms is a wild ride.
OCT 29, 2021
By the time of Edelin’s “confession,” the idea of witches riding around on broomsticks was already well established. The earliest known image of witches on brooms dates to 1451, when two illustrations appeared in the French poet Martin Le Franc’s manuscript Le Champion des Dames (The Defender of Ladies). In the two drawings, one woman soars through the air on a broom; the other flies aboard a plain white stick. Both wear head scarves that identify them as Waldensians, members of a Christian sect founded in the 12th century who were branded as heretics by the Catholic Church, partly because they allowed women to become priests.
One notion put to rest about witches. Now, if we could only put to rest the one about no one can be “Christian” and “witch” at the same time. To me, it is easy to figure out since all the passages about “bad” witches in the Bible are about those that use their gifts to harm, are not using their gifts from God but serving Satan instead. Those who use their gifts to heal or help, use their spiritual gifts from God to serve God.
History of the Salem Witch Trials
Rebecca Beatrice Brooks
August 18, 2011
As the years went by, the colonists felt ashamed and remorseful for what had happened during the Salem Witch Trials. Since the witch trials ended, the colony also began to suffer many misfortunes such as droughts, crop failures, smallpox outbreaks and Native-American attacks and many began to wonder if God was punishing them for their mistake. On December 17, 1697, Governor Stoughton issued a proclamation in hopes of making amends with God. The proclamation suggested that there should be:
“observed a Day of Prayer with Fasting throughout the Province…So that all God’s people may put away that which hath stirred God’s Holy jealousy against his land; that he would…help us wherein we have done amiss to do so no more; and especially that whatever mistakes on either hand have fallen into…referring to the late tragedy, raised among us by Satan and his instruments, through the awful judgement of God, he would humble us therefore and pardon all the errors and people that desire to love his name…”
The day of prayer and fasting was held on January 15, 1698, and was known as the Day of Official Humiliation.
In the same article, one of the accusers offered her apology.
In 1706, afflicted girl Ann Putnam, Jr., also issued a public apology for her role in the Salem Witch Trials, particularly in the case against her neighbor Rebecca Nurse. Her apology states:
“I desire to be humbled before God for that sad and humbling providence that befell my father’s family in the year about ’92; that I, then being in my childhood, should, by such a providence of God, be made an instrument for the accusing of several persons of a grievous crime, whereby their lives were taken away from them, whom now I have just grounds and good reason to believe they were innocent persons; and that it was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time, whereby I justly fear I have been instrumental, with others, though ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon myself and this land the guilt of innocent blood; though what was said or done by me against any person I can truly and uprightly say, before God and man, I did it not out of any anger, malice, or ill-will to any person, for I had no such thing against one of them; but what I did was ignorantly, being deluded by Satan. And particularly, as I was a chief instrument of accusing of Goodwife Nurse and her two sisters, I desire to lie in the dust, and to be humbled for it, in that I was a cause, with others, of so sad a calamity to them and their families; for which cause I desire to lie in the dust, and earnestly beg forgiveness of God, and from all those unto whom I have given just cause of sorrow and offence, whose relations were taken away or accused.”
While 1698 was a day they publicly admitted shame, it took over 300 years to clear the name of the last accused witch.
Last Conviction in Salem Witch Trials Is Cleared 329 Years Later
New York Times
July 31, 2022
Elizabeth Johnson Jr. is — officially — not a witch.
Until last week, the Andover, Mass., woman, who confessed to practicing witchcraft during the Salem witch trials, was the only remaining person convicted during the trials whose name had not been cleared.
Though she was sentenced to death in 1693, after she and more than 20 members of her extended family faced similar allegations, she was granted a reprieve and avoided the death sentence.
The exoneration came on Thursday, 329 years after her conviction, tucked inside a $53 billion state budget signed by Gov. Charlie Baker. It was the product of a three-year lobbying effort by a civics teacher and her eighth-grade class, along with a state senator who helped champion the cause.
And yet, here are some examples of what was done that were considered witchcraft but acceptable. Witching Sticks, also known as Dowsing Rods, and Divining Rods were acceptable for thousands of years. Some said the word divine was given to them because the power to find what was being looked for was found by the divine intervention of God.
Which witchcraft is acceptable? Of all the places I thought I’d find something, the FBI was not one of them.
Dowsing for Human Remains — Considerations for Investigators
Dowsing, also called “divining” or “witching,” refers to the practice of observing a pointer — often a forked stick, rods, bent wires, or a pendulum — move in response to some type of influence or transmitter. Some consider it a reliable method for locating underground items of interest, including water, oil, and ore. There are even those who believe that dowsing can help locate buried remains (sometimes called “grave witching”).
On the other hand, there are those claiming it is the work of Satan. This is from GotQuestions What does the Bible say about dowsing?
There are only two spiritual forces at work in our world: God and Satan. They are both real, both spirit, and both powerful. But they are not equals. Satan is merely a created being, a fallen angel whom God allows to rule this world within the boundaries God has established (2 Corinthians 4:4; Luke 10:18). Any supernatural power that does not originate with God is evil. There are no neutral spirits, friendly guides, or positive energies. There is no “power of the universe” behind supernatural occurrences. We are either experiencing the mighty power of God or dabbling in Satan’s playground.
2 Corinthians 4:4 reads “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God,” but they use it in this case? Huh? Luke 10:18 was just as confusing. “He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.'”
How do they explain the miracles that were happening with the gifts of the spirit?
Luke 10:17 “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Because Jesus sent them to heal the sick and cast out demons with their spiritual gifts.
Guess they skipped over 1 Corinthians 12:7.
The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. 8 To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. 9 To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.
If you’re confused about which witchcraft is acceptable, I hope by now you see that if it is to do bad things, the gift itself came from God, but they chose to use it to serve Satan. If it is to help, heal, and deliver the miracles God is trying to deliver, then they are using their gift from God for God.
I am not a witch, nor do I pray to anything or anyone other than God and Jesus. When I light a candle, it is simply to light a room during a power failure or to add some fresh scent to a room. I don’t use Tarot cards but I have prayer cards. I am a firm believer that while some people believe women do not belong preaching the word of God, the Bible clearly states women were among those Jesus sent to heal others and also among the 120 that chose Matthias as the replacement for Judas. (One of my best friends is a female pastor.) Above all, I believe that God sent us all here with gifts within us to do good in this world, but some, choose to do harm instead.
About Kathie Costos Author of Minister Of The Mystery Series