Witches: Origin of the look


Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
Thank you for the info, but where do the pigs come from then?
There was a sexual connotation to witches few centuries ago but in last century sex went over to a pop culture and witches remained mostly ugly hags and connected to evil magic, misuse of herbs and such.

There are today also sexy witches emerging in pop cultures, mostly men eaters and enchanters.
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Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
There seem to be many regional differences. In our Littoral several mountain tops were said to be the gathering places of witches. People said to have seen them riding there trough the air on pigs. The mountains were even listed as which one is the most important or better said where the most "filth" gathers to mate with the devil. Otherwise the area, where they trialed most witches in Slovenia was between the Drava and Mura rivers in Lower Styria. The first trial here was in my hometown around 1430 against a lesser noble woman, who got married to the son of the count, the later prince. His father didn't aprove of her, so it was politically motivated in many ways.
Yes, dances of naked witches and sex with the devil.


Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
Lower Styria, Slovenia
There was a sexual connotation to witches few centuries ago but in last century sex went over to a pop culture and witches remained mostly ugly hags and connected to evil magic, misuse of herbs and such.

There are today also sexy witches emerging in pop cultures, mostly men eaters and enchanters.
That's also what they were often acused of - putting spells on men to fall for them. That was also the excuse for the first ever trial in Slovene Lands, against Veronika Deseniška.
May 2016
Vatican occupied America
You got any sources to back this up. I would love to throw it in the face of a few long haired hippy types who gather in my local park, and the girls at the pub who think that getting a henna tattoos makes them a "Wicca"

Might intrest you.

p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }a:link { } Online Etymology Dictionary

Online Etymology Dictionary

Witch (n.)
Old English wicce "female magician, sorceress," in later use especially "a woman supposed to have dealings with the devil or evil spirits and to be able by their cooperation to perform supernatural acts," fem. of Old English wicca "sorcerer, wizard, man who practices witchcraft or magic," from verb wiccian "to practice witchcraft" (compare Low German wikken, wicken "to use witchcraft," wikker, wicker "soothsayer").

OED says of uncertain origin; Liberman says "None of the proposed etymologies of witch is free from phonetic or semantic difficulties." Klein suggests connection with Old English wigle "divination," and wig, wih "idol." Watkins says the nouns represent a Proto-Germanic *wikkjaz "necromancer" (one who wakes the dead), from PIE *weg-yo-, from *weg- (2) "to be strong, be lively" (see wake (v.)).

That wicce once had a more specific sense than the later general one of "female magician, sorceress" perhaps is suggested by the presence of other words in Old English describing more specific kinds of magical craft. In the Laws of Ælfred (c.890), witchcraft was specifically singled out as a woman's craft, whose practitioners were not to be suffered to live among the West Saxons:
Ða fæmnan þe gewuniað onfon gealdorcræftigan & scinlæcan & wiccan, ne læt þu ða libban.​
The other two words combined with it here are gealdricge, a woman who practices "incantations," and scinlæce "female wizard, woman magician," from a root meaning "phantom, evil spirit." Another word that appears in the Anglo-Saxon laws is lyblæca "wizard, sorcerer," but with suggestions of skill in the use of drugs, because the root of the word is lybb "drug, poison, charm." Lybbestre was a fem. word meaning "sorceress," and lybcorn was the name of a certain medicinal seed (perhaps wild saffron). Weekley notes possible connection to Gothic weihs "holy" and German weihan "consecrate," and writes, "the priests of a suppressed religion naturally become magicians to its successors or opponents." In Anglo-Saxon glossaries, wicca renders Latin augur (c. 1100), and wicce stands for "pythoness, divinatricem." In the "Three Kings of Cologne" (c. 1400) wicca translates Magi:
Þe paynyms ... cleped þe iij kyngis Magos, þat is to seye wicchis.​
The glossary translates Latin necromantia ("demonum invocatio") with galdre, wiccecræft. The Anglo-Saxon poem called "Men's Crafts" has wiccræft, which appears to be the same word, and by its context means "skill with horses." In a c. 1250 translation of "Exodus," witches is used of the Egyptian midwives who save the newborn sons of the Hebrews: "Ðe wicches hidden hem for-ðan, Biforen pharaun nolden he ben." Witch in reference to a man survived in dialect into 20c., but the fem. form was so dominant by 1601 that men-witches or he-witch began to be used. Extended sense of "old, ugly, and crabbed or malignant woman" is from early 15c; that of "young woman or girl of bewitching aspect or manners" is first recorded 1740. Witch doctor is from 1718; applied to African magicians from 1836.
At this day it is indifferent to say in the English tongue, 'she is a witch,' or 'she is a wise woman.' [Reginald Scot, "The Discoverie of Witchcraft," 1584]​

p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }a:link { } Bosworth-Toller, Anglo-Saxon Dictionary

You need to hit the show in the blue box at the bottom.

Gerald Gardner was the founder of Wicca in the 1940s to 1950s.
Here's a discussion of it and him


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On his OTO membership

Note: Gardner claimed to hold two PHDs, both degrees were lies on his part.

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Aug 2017
Flying through the skies on a broomstick, the popular image of a witch is as a predominantly female figure – so much so that the costume has become the go-to Halloween outfit for women and girls alike. But where did this gendered stereotype come from? Part of the answer comes from medieval attitudes towards magic, and the particular behaviours attributed to men and women within the “crime” of witchcraft.
The Medieval Witch
Oct 2013
Planet Nine, Oregon
Part of some magic is whipping oneself up into an ecstatic ("gnostic")state, or trance. sexual ecstasy with drugs and dildo / brooms, etc. allows one to "fly"

From the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage (great book!):

"At LINTZ I worked with a young woman, who one evening invited me to go with her, assuring me that without any risk she would conduct me to a place where I greatly desired to find myself. I allowed myself to be persuaded by her promises. She then gave unto me an unguent, with which I rubbed the principal pulses of my feet and hands; the which she did also; and at first it appeared to me that I was flying in the air in the place which I wished, and which I had in no way mentioned to her.

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...pass over in silence and out of respect, that which I saw, which was admirable, and appearing to myself to have remained there a long while, I felt as if I were just awakening from a profound sleep, and I had great pain in my head and deep melancholy. I turned round and saw that she was seated at my side. She began to recount to me what she had seen, but that which I had seen was entirely different. I was, however, much astonished, because it appeared to me as if I had been really and corporeally in the place, and there in reality to have seen that which had happened. However, I asked her one day to go alone to that same place, and to bring me back news of a friend whom I knew for certain was distant 200 leagues. She promised to do so in the space of an hour. She rubbed herself with the same unguent, and I was very expectant to see her fly away; but she fell to the ground and remained there about three hours as if she were dead, so that I began to think that she really was dead. At last she began to stir like a person who is waking, then she rose to an upright position, and with much pleasure began to give me the account of her expedition, saying that she had been in the place where my friend was, and all that he was doing; the which was entirely contrary to his profession. Whence I concluded that what she had just told me was a simple dream, and that this unguent was a causer of a phantastic sleep; whereon she confessed to me that this unguent had been given to her by the Devil."

Sacred Magic of Abramelin Index

The fifth chapter describes other practitioners of magic; fascinating stuff.
Oct 2013
Planet Nine, Oregon
Some witchy behavior reminds me of Maenads:
Maenad - Wikipedia

"Often the maenads were portrayed as inspired by Dionysus into a state of ecstatic frenzy through a combination of dancing and intoxication.[1] During these rites, the maenads would dress in fawn skins and carry a thyrsus, a long stick wrapped in ivy or vine leaves and tipped with a pine cone. They would weave ivy-wreaths around their heads or wear a bull helmet in honor of their god, and often handle or wear snakes."