Visual Images: Storms

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 Witches and various other magicians and doers of evil deeds were often thought to cause storms. A crop ruining storm was one of the worst things a person could have done to her fellow humans. One terrible storm could make people's lives miserable for years. Storms could cause famines and floods, which could inturn even cause plagues. This connection between witches and storms led the storm -clouds, rain, hail, etc.- to be a main emblem of many pictures about the sabbat or other evil events. Artist/Date Unknown, from Irish Myth, Legend, and Folklore



Ulrich Molior, De Lamiss e phitric molieribus, 1489

Image courtesy Hist257/Images

The image on the top right shows a witch running through a stormy scene with some small child as a sacrifice. The date of that image is unknown but it probably originates from Ireland.


Weather magic was considered a crime against the community since ruined crops meant plight for all.

"Efforts were directed against the users of weather magic, just as in tales from the early and high middle ages, such as those appearing in the writings of Agobard of Lyon or annals of the cloister Weihenstephan.(Barry, 93)."

People who came back to the village after a storm or appeared wet or dishevelled after a storm might be suspected of being witches.


The image on the left is from 1489. Two witches are pictured sacrificing valuable livestock to a firy black cauldron in order to produce a massive storm.

The storm is beginning above their heads. Its a nemesistic type of storm with raindrops that are about half the size of their hands. The clouds are dark and forboding, and this is the type of storm that could only be caused by magical evil intervention with the human world.

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This page authored by Theresa J. Biagiarelli