People live in such closed off bubbles with such a rigid way of seeing the world. Such a rigid way which disregards possibility of there ever being anything more, despite there being extensive reason backed up with science and research to prove there is possibility of more. People are slaves to the information they have been taught, people are conditioned to think a certain way- and a lot of it is as a result of this serial killer.
I have sat and tried to write about my faith a million times and each time I end up going off on one and masking the meaning of my work with several layers of anger. I have sat and written page after page about my faith and have read it back with the knowing that no one will care enough to read.
I crossed paths with a really cool individual today completely by chance, and found that he follows the same faith as me. As wiccans, we are raised and taught to keep our faith under wraps and to not discuss it. People don’t believe it is real, people claim that it’s make believe and a faith of fables. People don’t know what it is, what it stands for, and people are prejudice in their view of it.
I am not sitting here with any expectation to convert anyone, and I have a complete understanding of those who don’t resonate, or even care to look into it. My faith does not push itself on to anyone, and yet it is repressed and hidden in the shadows. If I speak about it, I am looked at in a strange way and labelled as mental. I think the most disrespectful thing you can do is act as though something, someone, some group doesn’t matter or isn’t there.
The gentleman I spoke to today revealed that he followed Wicca indirectly, by bringing up some information about Britain’s most notorious serial killer who happened to be born, raised and killed in the same sleepy county we live in.
Matthew Hopkins, as far as I know, is Britain’s most notorious serial killer to date. He was responsible for the murder of around 460 women between the years of 1644 and 1646. To my knowledge, some of which were ancestors of mine.
Based in manningtree, Matthew Hopkins decided one day that it was his mission to “rid the country of the devil”, because of course torturing and brutally killing masses of women for no particular reason is a harmless and godly act which does not fall in alignment with acts of “the devil” at all.
The end of the civil war left people in a lot of poverty and for the most part people were vulnerable and receptive to being swept up in religious hysteria. It was believed that this poverty was to do with agents of the devil working on land. Naturally, that is your go to option isn’t it because no way has the poverty got anything to do with the fact that theres not really a political system in place, and the former monarchy has just used a shit tonne of time, effort, money and resources on fighting the other side of the country, because there could only be one religion in the nation. Otherwise the world will explode.
It was decided by a bunch of twats with not much mental capacity that these “agents of the devil” were witches.
What’s ironic is, everyone went off on one making charms and potions to ward off evil and the presence of witches- but that’s a practice of Wicca in itself so really everyone was playing themselves.
So anyway. Hopkins was a well read and well educated bloke with knowledge of the law and how to get round it. Credit where it’s due the serial killer was cunningly clever. He knew that the country was in total chaos and nobody was there to judge him for what he was about to do, so he pounced on everyone’s hysteria.
Despite everyone pissing into lockets and calling it a “potion that will protect me from witches”, people were surprisingly still paranoid about having someone who would rather waft sage about than go to church everyday knocking on their doors. People decided that they needed a witch hunter to sniff out said sage users and kill them.
Hopkins was like “watch out manningtree it’s my time to shine” and stepped up to the plate of riding round on his fucking horse and rounding up a bunch of innocent ladies to brutally murder. In response everyone was like “ooh my hero <333” and it didn’t seem to matter that he was a completely unknown figure with absolutely no official authority.
Hopkins hung out at the pub a lot so that he could be a sly little dickhead and get people drunk so they’d spill loads of gossip and superstitions. Basically he would sit and bitch with villagers for hours and then single out women who’s name would come up most, then go after them on a “witch hunt”. The targets were always weak, helpless or old.
For the most part, the victims were harmless. They were normal women showing compassion, these women got killed for nursing single mothers, offering alternative remedies for illness, doing things out of the ordinary. These women would use tarot cards to try and advise people, they’d show compassion and care for people no matter what that might look like. People saw this uniqueness and were scared by it because of how powerful it was. People were intimidated by kindness because of how often the country had seen it flipped on its head. If someone had the power to help someone through a tough time and really change things with the power of love, a person would automatically assume that this person would also strike a plague in someone they disliked. People had no regard for a persons intention, only their power or how confident they were as a person. These women were taught to be ashamed. These women were killed in the most brutal ways. They were BURNT to death, hung, drowned.
Elizabeth Clarke was Hopkins first victim. She was an 80 year old one legged widow who had lived in the town her whole life. The cowardliness gets me going. Showing up in pubs giving it the big one acting like billy big balls then killing an 80 year old woman just to get your first victim on record. Hopkins had her stripped, shaved and searched upon his arrival in order to try and find a mark on her. Literally any kind of mark. A disfigurement, a scar in a funny shape, a spot, a freckle that looks similar to an animal. This woman was 80 YEARS OLD and had ONE LEG. Not being funny but she was fucked, a young lady in her prime is likely to have something which goes against the picture perfect 1600s airbrushed figure of a girl let alone Elizabeth Clarke.
The lady would then be pricked with a needle and if she didn’t wince or draw blood she was rendered a witch and sent to either be hung, dunked (drowned), or burnt at the stake. There was no passing these tests to be honest.
The Wicca faith went underground, innocent women who were catholic were getting killed so what on earth would happen if people found out that there were people who practiced a different faith?
Tarot cards underwent a makeover as playing cards and were disguised as a game- and even having possession of those was a dodgy act. The Wicca faith was overridden by the image of witchcraft and hysteria, a whole HISTORY of beliefs was overwritten by hysteria and brutal murders. A whole, respectable history of beliefs and documentations of an actual faith has morphed into that of make believe and fables because of a serial killer.
Wicca doesn’t even subscribe to the idea of a god. There are gods and goddesses that some wiccans choose to worship sometimes, but Wicca is such a free faith. We believe in teachings, not gods. We believe we have all the power we need within us and that it’s unnecessary to kiss the ass of a god who will punish you for making a simple human mistake. We believe that good and bad are a part of life and bad is not to be shunned, just controlled. We believe in love and freedom.
Wicca is not fictional, it’s a real faith and it’s a beautiful one which has been pushed underground for survival. As we become more of a free society with more freedom of speech, I’m gonna put this shit out there because I’m tired of getting looks for being part of of one of the oldest Celtic faiths out there. Matthew Hopkins is a bellend. That is all.