With Halloween just days away, I thought I'd share another installment in my Weird Old Art series. This image depicts a "witches' sabbath" in which devils and demons frolic with sorcerers and sorceresses around a hill at midnight. It should take no terribly practiced eye to see that the event depicted here by Johannes Praetorius in 1668 is little more than a latter-day survival of the old pagan worship ceremonies, diabolized by Christians who saw all manner of rude and profane acts (note the scatological demon in the foreground) in what must have originated as pagan rites carried out by torchlight around sacred hills. And yes, that woman is doing what you think she is to the goat at center.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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