Witches & Pagans : Women in European Folk Religion, 700 ~ 1100
Friday • March 3
6.00p ~ 8.00p
Swa wiccan taecað ::: “as the witches teach.” Max Dashu reads from her book Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion, 700-1100. In this compelling exploration of language, archaeology, medieval literature and art, Max Dashu pulls the covers off of heritages known to few but scholarly specialists. She'll discuss how the old ethnic names for “witch” signify wise-woman, prophetess, diviner, healer, and dreamer. And völur ("staff-women") in Scandinavia, who "sat out" on the land for wisdom, and held oracular ceremonies with incantations. Archaeology shows that their ritual staffs symbolize the distaff, a spinning tool that connects with broad cultural themes of goddesses, fates, witches -- and female power.
Get your copy signed, and ask the questions that are on your mind about recovering European ancestral culture.
The book plunges into the megalithic taproot of the Elder Kindreds, and traditions of the Cailleach and Dísir, ancestral women. Drawing on Frankish and German ecclesiastical sources, it lays out the founding witch-legend of the Women Who Go by Night with the Goddess, “the witch Holda,” also known as Holle, Swanfoot Berthe and Fraw Percht. Other chapters look at Wyrd, the weaver of destiny, “mystery-singers,” ancestor veneration, herb-chanters—and sexual politics, including early medieval witch burnings.
Witches and Pagans gathers old, forgotten strands to reweave the ripped webs of European women's culture, in 408 pages and with 140 illustrations. See chapter excerpts, the preface, and a detailed table of contents on www.veleda.net.