Radiant, luminous "crone" woman. During ancient times, the crones, hags and witches were frequently sages, leaders, midwives and healers in their communities and were revered for their wisdom and knowledge. As history evolved and a patriarchal society took hold, the definitions of the crone, (the crowned one) the hag, (the holy one), and the witch (the wise one) were distorted.
Witchcraft was not made a capital offence in Britain until 1563 although it was deemed heresy and was denounced as such by Pope Innocent VIII in 1484. From 1484 until around 1750 some 200,000 witches were tortured, burnt or hanged in Western Europe.
How Witches Went From Female Healers To Fearful Heretics
The Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693 were by far the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft hysteria in American history. Yet Salem was just one of many incidents during the Great Age of Witch Hunts which took place throughout Europe and her colonies over many centuries. Indeed, by European standards, Salem was not even a large outbreak. But what exactly were the factors that made Salem stand out?