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Friday, November 3, 2017

Witch Watch: Red, blue or green--witches practiced openly

Redford Observer, July 31, 1975 (enlarge)
While Gundella oft spoke of the common ground between Christianity and Witchcraft (for lack of a better word) the differences seem stark to me as a neutral observer of each. In principle there may be similarities but the perception of "unholy" practices are markedly apparent to me. Just the fact that she describes the three types of witches in the Middle Ages as "cults" points to the obvious distinction between the two. Of course you could call Christianity a cult as well and even more so Islam. Luckily, we're here to discuss witches.

During the Middle Ages the three cults of witches would smear their skin with vegetables dyes to celebrate the harvest or sabbats. The blue witches studied the stars and delved in astronomy and astrology, the red witches believed in alchemy and the green cult celebrated their agricultural lifestyle though each overlapped. Gundella, of course, was of this latter group.

The practice of dying themselves Green was a combination of braggadocio and thanks to the Gods for a successful harvest. For they believed that although they were given many blessings their hard work contributed to the success of crop outputs. A notion that Christianity once frowned upon and in some circles still does.

But enough of my babbling on things that I know little about. I'll post the Song of the Harvest Sabbat below for searchers of such things:


The fruits of the earth may be sent from above,
And we should improve them with wisdom and love.
If apples and grapes are both products divine,
Who prefers water to cider and wine?

Up with the ladder and down with the fruits,
In with a shovel and out with the roots.
The Gods may provide us with life from the land,
But the harvest we hold is the work of our hand.

Dame Nature's a wonder, we all do agree;
Who knows our necessities better than she?
Yet, though she is doing as well as she can,
She answers her best to the touch of a man!


The wheat and the barley, as much as the corn
Have kept us alive ever since we were born;
But unless we had turned them to flour and bread,
Few would be living, and many be dead.


We pray for the seasons to be as they should;
Dry or wet weather may do our crops good.
Though, if sunshine is needed to ripe the grain,
Who risks rheumatics by working in rain?


Whatever the task, and wherever the field
We reap our reward with the sickles' we wield;
For if all things grew from their numberless seeds,
The whole of our world would be covered with weeds.


So here's to the Gods and the men of this earth
Who take one another for what they are worth;
Each of them doing what has to be done,
In order to live altogether as ONE!

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