Visual Images: Emblems Page 2

 Emblems Page 1

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Emblems Page Two: Fire-Tare
Emblems Page 2 Fire-Tare
   Fire: Fire is a common symbol in witchcraft iconography. Fire
often evokes images of hell and damnation. Use the Fire link above to learn more about the image on the right -which features a firy image of hell-, and the concepts of hell and damnation.
   Marshes: Many scenes of Witchcraft, sorcery, and sabbats take place in Marshes or swampy areas. This may be due to the association of swamps with unpleasant odours, and with references to mythological creatures.

 Mirrors: Mirrors were a symbol of vanity, and vanity came straight form the devil.

"The mirror, Venus Luxuria's attribute, was considered a devilish tool of seduction, especially of young virgins and innocent boys who might fall into the hands of the devil's agents(Malleus, Part II, Quest. I, ch. XII, p.142)."(Pinkus, 953).

   Necromancy: "References to the Witch of Endor are found in the Baalat H'ov and in Samuel 28. The evocation of ghosts and the practice of necromancy placed high in the sorcerer's repertoire."(Pinkus, 949)

 Potions and Opium Poppies: Witches are often pictured making hallucinagenic potions, and many of their trances could be drug induced.

"The dreaming girl holds a majic staff and a sprig of opium poppies, a traditional ingredient of the 'majic ointment'"(Pinkus, 953)

Scales: Scales were used to weigh suspected witches. If a
woman was above or below the "average" weight she was
condemned as a witch. Any painting that features a woman being weighed probably correlates with this theory.


Setting; The Night or the Moon: The setting for scenes of sorcery was usually during the night, as the sabbats were conducted during nighttime, sometimes under moonlight.


 Sex and Nudity: Sexuality which was often prohibited in protestant communities was allowed to run rampent in anything pertaining to witches and the devil.

"In a very important sense most witchcraft art
is an excuse for a wide variety of pornography."(Davis, 101)


 Storms: Witches and demons were thought to cause crop
ruining storms. The image on the left and the connecting page are examples of the connections between witches and storms.

"...They are in the process of making a
tremendous storm."(Davis, 25)


 Tare(weed): The tare is an example of an emblem that was widely associated with witchcraft, but rarely used in artwork.

"The tare, a weed of the grainfields, was interpreted as the Devil's weapon in his contest with God and mankind."(Pinkus, 951)


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This page authored by Theresa J. Biagiarelli