Witches & Witchcraft with instructor Sheila Currie
$15.00 CHRWA Members
$25.00 Non CHRWA Members
In the Middle Ages a common concept of witchcraft developed from beliefs and practices, retained from pagan religion. As Christianity spread, new beliefs and rituals were blended with with the old. The Norse became Christian hundreds of years after the peoples of Britain and kept many ancient beliefs about magic and witchcraft. In the 12th century the concept of white and black magic spread widely and caused the Church to investigate. As a result witchcraft became those beliefs outside Christian belief.
At the end of the 16th century European elites believed that, just as European nations were becoming better organised, witches made pacts with the devil who organised them into covens. The regimes of the 16th and 17th centuries controlled what they considered the deviance of witches by persecution. Scotland became a persecuting nation in the reign of James VI and between 1590 and 1700 over 1000 people, mostly women, were executed.
However, in the Scottish Highlands, isolated from the European mainstream, witches were feared but not executed. Older ways of thinking prevailed. Into the 19th century Gaels performed rituals at the rising and setting of the sun, the making of a fire, indeed, before the start of any activity including travelling. Examples of such will be given from the Scottish Highlands.
The instructor is not a witch. She is a historian and this course is a history of European witches and witchcraft with an emphasis on Scotland.
The course will cover:
1. Witches after Rome
2. Witches & Vikings
3. White & Black Magic
4. The Witch Craze
5. Witchcraft in Scotland
Biography: Sheila Currie
Sheila Currie lives on the west coast of Canada, and teaches Irish, Scottish & Medieval History as non-credit university courses. She has also taught online courses for CHRW, HHRW & Savvy Authors. While living over eight years in Europe, she studied the languages and history of Great Britain and France. She has a MA (honours) in Scottish History and Celtic Studies from the University of Glasgow, and is currently writing a trilogy of historical fantasies set in Scotland—of course!