Plants and Superstitions

1743 Words7 Pages
Plants and Superstitions

For many years plants have played a large part in superstitions. Although, they are not so much believed now, as they used to be. They were used to help one's fortune, wealth and fertility. It is amazing that bread was ever eaten; there were so many superstitions about it. It was used to aid in all of these things and many more, It is ironic, however, that the one thing they worshipped and used to keep harm and disease away made them ill and killed some of them. When all of this happened they blamed another superstition, which was witchcraft. "Almost all of the witchcraft misunderstandings were caused by Christianity's persecution of those who refused to abandon pagan beliefs" (Zolar, 1995), but not in the case of the Salem Witch trials.

In 1692 superstitions somehow became the way of thinking. The misuse of it led to the executions of many innocent people in this country. Witchcraft was the crime, for which they were wrongly accused. Fact Net Inc. (see Internet Source) defines superstitions as "Beliefs held despite evidence. They are based on the belief that some people, Plants, animals, stars, words, numbers or special things have magical powers, which contradicts what we know about the world."

A mysterious illness overcame Salem, Massachusetts. Thrashing around, moaning, babbling, and crying made up what were called "convulsive fits," which suddenly occurred in eight girls daily. Hallucinations were also a part of their fits. (see Internet Source). Everyone was terrified. Doctors came to visit, but they did not know much about disease and medicines at that time. One doctor questioned the idea of witchcraft and soon rumors spread that there was a witch in town, or maybe even a group of them we...

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...tific thinking has almost swept away the ignorance of superstitions that once kept people from learning about out world. Like in the case of the Salem Witch trials "When minds are poisoned by the ignorance of superstitions, terrible things happen" (see Internet Source).

Bibliography

Bennett, J.W. 1999. Pride and Prejudice: The story of ergot. Perspective in Biology and Medicine 42 (3): 333-355.

Spanos, Nicholas P. 1983. Ergotism and the Salem witch panic: a critical analysis and an alternative conceptualization. Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences 19 (4): 358-369.

Starkey, Marion L. 1949. The Devil in Massachusetts, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 39- 48, 138-158.

Zolar.1995. Encyclopedia of signs, omens and superstitions. Carol Publishing Group, New York. 50-52,380.

Internet Source: http://www.xenu.org/factnet/GEN/FILES/BOOKS/TRUE.TXT
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