14 May 2012

Daughters of Witches

The Malleus Maleficarum by Kramer and Sprenger, 1489, Excerpts

Finally, we know from experience that the daughters of witches are always suspected of similar practises, as imitators of their mothers' crimes; and that indeed the whole of a witch's progeny is infected. And the reason for this and for all that has been said before is, that according to their pact with the devil, they always have to leave behind them and carefully instruct a survivor, so that they may fulfil their vow to do all they can to increase the number of witches

In the duchy of Swabia a certain farmer went to his fields with his little daughter, hardly eight years old, to look at his crops, and began complaining about the drought, saying: Alas! when will it rain? The girl heard him, and in the simplicity of her heart said: Father, if you want it to rain, I can soon make it come. And her father said to her: What? Do you know how to make it rain? And the girl answered: I can make it rain, and I can make hailstorms and tempests too. And the father asked: Who taught you? And she answered: My mother did, but she told me not to tell anybody.

The father was terrified, and asked her if she could raise a hailstorm then. And the girl said: Yes, if I had a little water. Then he led the girl by the hand to a stream, and said: Do it, but only on our land. Then the girl put her hand in the water and stirred it in the name of her master, as her mother had taught her; and behold! the rain fell only on that land. Seeing this, the father said: Make it hail now, but only on one of our fields. And when the girl had done this, the father was convinced by the evidence, and accused his wife before the judge. And the wife was taken and convicted and burned; but the daughter was reconciled and solemnly dedicated to God, since which hour she could no more work these spells and charms.

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