Witches and Pagans

Max Dashu talks about Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion,
in an interview with Giana Cichelli on September, 2016.

About the Witches' Goddess and women who go by night with Diana, Herodias, or "the witch Holda," with commentary on the demonization and romanizing interpretation that the clergy insisted upon, and authenticating heathen tradition in the face of doctrines that insist upon early and complete christianization. (11:03 minutes)

On the Norse seeresses known as völur ("staff-women") and archaeological finds of their staffs, and their distaff symbolism. Weaving metaphors in culture (text, from "weaving," and sutras, from "thread" [compare English "sutures"] and the fibers of Being. Distaff as symbol of female authority and power, and the witch's wand. (8:47 minutes)

Fatas, fées and faeries; prophetic speech and fate; the Czech sudice / sudenice ("judges"); demonization of heathen goddesses of providence in penitential books. Syncretism as a strategy of cultural conservation among Diaspora Africans and the Maya, with parallels to heathen European retention of folk goddesses. The spinning rites of Frau Perchta. (4:43 minutes)


The Cosmic Weaver: Spider Grandmother in Pueblo tradition, the Chinese great goddess Xi Wangmu, and the Seventh Nummo in Dogon cosmology. (1:25 minutes)

On Vol II (forthcoming): Pythias, Melissae, and Pharmakides. Greek priestesses and witches -- pharmakis as "herb-woman." The sexual politics of goddesses in the mythology; Zeus punishes Hera by putting her in fetters. Pre-Indo-European Hera and the earliest Greek temples. Brief summary of Vols III-IV in Dashu's series Secret History of the Witches. (5:04 minutes)


Women's Rites and Healers. Evidence about ceremony and herbal medicine in the priestly penitential books that were designed to wipe out these old cultural practices. Audio except from a webcast of the visual talk Witches and Pagans: Down to the Roots. 11 minutes