Herodias – The First Witch
- By : Oliver Santos
- Category : Articles, Blog
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Hello everyone, how have you been I’m Arith Härger And today I’m going to talk about a Herodias, – the first which I know this video came out in December, probably, and I’m still talking about witches but I recorded this video during October so joke’s on you. I’m still in the past enjoying the season of the witch Bloody hell. Hello there. I see you are still around anyway, the reason I wanted to make this video and present it to you during December is because my next video will more or less be linked to this one and You will understand why in the near future you see Herodias was the most famous witch during the Middle Ages and especially during the 10th century Christians wrote extensively about witches and their night-rides across the sky, especially Frankish Christians the classical Roman goddess Diana, goddess of the hunt, was perceived to be the- general goddess of the pagans within the medieval Christian mentality It was said Diana guided witches across the sky and the leader of the witches alongside Diana was Herodias the most famous witch; a witch from the biblical sources but in northern Europe there was another goddess perceived to be the goddess of the Nordic witches and that Goddess – which I’m not going to speak about her on this video I will speak about her on the next video – was equated with both Diana and Herodias so this is why I wanted to make a video about Herodias because indeed She was the most famous witch and the first of all witches In the sense that the first witch in literature was Herodias so she was indeed very important and quite famous during the Middle Ages and the witch of all witches along side Diana and the other Nordic goddess of witches The point here is that Herodias is always present in medieval literature when referring to witches and their doings So with no more delay Let’s start this short Sunday video and I do hope you enjoy it Throughout history there has been a ton of written records about witches and with certainty before a writing system was invented There were a lot of witches too, or at least the kind of people with so label as being a witch the figure of the wise woman exists since primordial times but one of the very first written records of a witch might have been indeed the case of Herodias, of whom I am about to speak Herodias was the daughter of Aristobulus, to be more precise, Aristobulus IV Prince of Judaea, Herod the Great’s son, who was executed around 7 BC for offending the King himself, presumably Herodias was left an orphan and Herod the Great engaged her to marry his other son who was also called Herod in an attempt to compensate her for killing her father All was “well” for a time, including their marriage, until Herod II was no longer in his father’s favour As such, Herodias then divorced her husband and married a more favoured son of Herod the Great, called Herod Antipas One of those condemning the new marriage was John the Baptist, a well-known character from the Gospels Who had just paid a visit to the palace to reveal the new Messiah was coming, yet to be born Herodias was a cunning woman, she had outmanoeuvred kings to get what she wanted, so she would not dare to be judged by some messenger and a messiah no one knew and wasn’t even born yet John the Baptist was marked by her Herodias had a grown daughter from her marriage with Herod II, whose name is confusing but comes down to us as Salome According to the bible, she was the archetypal seductress and snared John the Baptist after dancing the Dance of the Seven Veils in his presence In truth, she was between the age of 17 and 22, and her acts may have been more innocent than the bible describes because as you know the Bible greatly disapproves of women and that mentality continued on until quite quite late in human history and women are either witches and workers of evil or very seductive just to catch men and do them harm because they are witches Men are always caught in their seductive attempts because if blood is flowing elsewhere, it’s not flowing up here, and men can’t properly think Moving on, Salome after dancing, it was not only John who was stricken with by Salome but also Herod Antipas (her step-father and half-uncle). In fact, so besotted was Herod that he offered Salome anything she wished for Following the counsel of her mother – Herodias (who saw in this her chance of revenge on John the Baptist) – Salome asked for the prophet’s head on a plate Herod obliged and well, you might find this strange tale from other versions of the Bible about this account, but that’s because During time and during the medieval ages A new twist and a much stranger one was added to the Gospel accounts Obviously you didn’t expect to the original accounts of the Bible nowadays. Did you? It just doesn’t enter in our modern world views and the church knows that perfectly well, so it had to be altered or no one would take it seriously, and you will understand why The Bible, obviously, has been altered for centuries for the purposes of political and religious orders, and still today its being altered and “miraculously” some new stuff appears Nevertheless, in the 12th century Herodias becomes one with Salome and it is said that she asked to see John’s head as it lay on the plate The head was presented on a plate and as she took sight of it, the head repelled her with its breath So strong was this ghostly wind that Herodias was carried high into the air and then blown through a hole in the roof The wrath of John the Baptist followed and Herodias was condemned to what Spanish medieval texts call “la dansa aéra” or the aerial dance So yes, in truth John the Baptist was not dead, even though he was beheaded Not just a miracle, but even being dead the power of god was still with him, he was a holy man after all so even without his head he was able to repel the evil witch Herodias Since Herodias had engineered the execution of a key figure in early Christianity, she was already recognised as being an anti-Christian, but her reputation got darker still as people began referring to her as a witch Her aerial dance became a night-time phenomenon and Herodias ushered in the belief that witches fly. Not only that, but she could draw out others to join her dance During the 13th century, Jean de Meung, one of the most important French poets of the Middle Ages, the author of Le Roman de la Rose – The Romance of the Rose, he explains, or rather, he writes, that up to a third of the population rode out with Herodias (now confusingly called Dame Abonde) and people rode with her for three nights every week interestingly Jean de Meung implies that only people’s souls rode out with Herodias, commenting that their bodies remain in bed Adding a note of scepticism, he adds that their senses deceive them and they only believe they are witches wandering the night So this is where the origins of witches ridding across the skies in medieval literature come from Some medieval writers tell of Herodias as the witch-ruler who sits in judgement over her devotees Some are rewarded, others punished There are also records that Herodias and her followers devour babies Coming to the conclusion that they are night demons and muses, and “only women and simple minded men would follow Herodias” See this here, the church equating women with simply minded men, always this sense of inferiority In more recent times by the end of the 19th century, there is a new account of a witch named Aradia, reputedly, the first-born witch She is equated with Herodias – indeed, Herodias is mentioned as a Witch Goddess in many Italian witch trials transcripts Herodias got very famous during the Middle Ages and because of such tales around her name, women (and also some men and children) who were seen to practice something odd to the society standards of that time, and to go off the path the political and religious orders wanted people to follow, such people were seen as witches, demons, and persecution to those people started Nowadays Herodias is not as famous as she once was during the Middle Ages, and as far as I know, no one ever mentions her name, not even in the New-Age pagan circles But when studying the history of witchcraft and the figure of the witch, you will certainly come about Herodias, and in many medieval scriptures and texts you will often find some pagan goddesses associated with Herodias So now you know who Herodias was and her impact upon the medieval mindss Herodias was the first witch to be recorded and all the stories concocted around her figure gave rise to many traits and aspects we recognize in the figure of the witch, such as flying in the air Not with a broom, that came later, but simply flying All right, my dear friends I hope you have enjoyed this video and I hope it will be useful when studying the figure of the witch during the Middle Ages and comparing The figure of the witch and Herodias to the so called “Goddesses of witches”, during the Middle Ages in northern Europe and other parts of Europe, perceived by Christians Thank you so much for watching. See you on the next video and as always tack för idag!