What's in a witches' brew?

What's in a witches' brew?

Gather round the cauldron with Robert and Julie as they ladle out hefty servings of magical thinking, medieval psychedelics, feminist history and the power of ritual. Just what was old-school witchery all about? This classic episode has some answers.

Image Caption: I chose Antoine Wiertz's "The Young Sorceress" (1857) as the illustration for today's episode because I feel it captures some of the energies caught up in witchcraft theory and some of the truth behind it. We see here the stereotypical crone and virgin so common to female marginalization. We seen the broom of flight, complete with sexual overtones that jive with one of the theories we discuss in this episode. And of course we see the shadows of supernatural intrigue in the background. It's a disturbing image, perfect for what is ultimately a disturbing topic of patriarchal horror. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

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Topics in this Podcast: history, psychedelics, witchcraft