🌟UPDATE- WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!🌟
🌟Oh.my.GODDESS.WE MADE IT!🌟
✨If we reach a Stretch Goal of 💥12222💥 here's what's next:
I will have extra padding for incidentals and unexpected costs and enough to set aside for exploring possibilities for Season II. My current idea is to follow the story of a witch in ITALY and take the podcast to other countries, depending on where this leads and what feels RIGHT.
For now, let's celebrate this amazing accomplishment. I'm going to collapse for a few days, then get down to work on Lilias's Bones!
From there I hope to keep on telling the stories of witches, women and magical beings throughout the world.✨
Thank you EVERYONE who pledged and became part of this community. My heart truly is bursting and I CANNOT WAIT to take this journey with you.
I'm going to delve into some more information in a minute, but first, let's take a look at one my favorite reward of this project, these amazing T-shirts designed by artist (and sister) Jacqueline Norheim.
Aren't they fun? I want one in every color. (Check out larger photos of them down below.)
Now shipping to the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
A little cute for your taste? Check out our newly added art prints below!
Ok, now back to the podcast.
I bet you’ve watched my campaign video already, so I’m going to give you a little more information about the origin of this story and what I plan to do with the money for Lilias's Bones.
A few weeks ago, a story came across my desk about a woman named Lilias Adie who lived in Scotland in the early 1700s, toward the tail end of the European witch hunts. Lilias lived in a small coastal village in Fife, Scotland. One summer day in 1704 she was accused by her neighbors of using magic to make them sick and of being a witch. As a postmenopausal woman, Lilias was among those most vulnerable to a witchcraft accusation, which we'll get into more in the podcast. But back then, the finger-pointing was all the evidence the local parish minister needed to barge into Lilias's home, take her into custody, and lock her up in the local church. Lilias was held captive there for a month or more. She was interrogated and forced to endure physical and mental abuse. Records state that she confessed to meeting with the devil and pledging herself to him— words that historians now recognize as obviously forced and false.
On August 30th, 1704 Lilias died, possibly by her own hand. I can only imagine the sadness that she may have felt, being held against her will, alone in a small cold space, and enduring terrible things with little hope of escape.
Once she died, the villagers were terrified of Lilias's body, which hadn't met its death in the manner prescribed to witches (strangulation and burning). They feared she would become a revenant — a person who rises from the grave. So they devised a series of extreme measures. They locked her body in a wooden box and dug a hole on a treacherous stretch of Torryburn Beach, where they believed the moving tidal waters would prevent her from rising from the grave. Then, they filled in the hole and covered the spot with a large sandstone stone slab.
Lilias didn’t rise (that we know of), but the precautions didn’t keep her bones where they lay, either. In 1852, an antiquarian paid to have Lilias’s remains exhumed as curio items. After her grave was robbed, if you could call that hole a grave, Lilias’s bones and her wooden "coffin" would appear in famous paintings, in the possession of legendary American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, and in museum exhibits, among other places, until they disappeared without a trace in 1938, shortly before the dawn of World War II. That is where the mystery in our story goes cold. And more than 80 years later, it's where women and men in Fife, Scotland have picked up the story with a global announcement: they want Lilias's bones back where they can finally receive a proper burial and be laid to rest.
About the Witch Hunts:
It’s worth saying that at the time Lilias died in 1704, thousands of other women in Scotland had already been accused of witchcraft and killed — the country had one of the deadliest per-capita witchcraft persecutions in the world. It was happening across Europe, likely to hundreds of thousands of people, 85% of them women. Men died too, and I'm certain that queer and transgender people did as well. Their stories matter more than ever. And, also, all you have to do is read the handbook to hunting witches, Malleus Malficarum (The Witches Hammer), published in 1487, to know that witch hunting was woman hunting.
“What else is a woman but a foe to friendship, an unescapable (sic) punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation… a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colors!” author and Catholic monk Heinrich Kramer wrote.
“When a woman thinks alone, she thinks evil.”
Soon after its publishing, The Witches Hammer became the second most-published text after The Bible.
Our Story Today:
Luckily, our story doesn’t end there, with Lilias’s death or the search for her missing bones. I’m going to be speaking with the many women and some men who say they would have been burned if they’d lived back then, and now they’re ready to speak for Lilias and the other accused. Some of them are artists who paint witches. Some preserve the cultural traditions that ruled Scotland long before Christianity came. Others have libraries full of centuries-old books about the witch trials. Others lobby for witch memorials and a national apology for what happened during the burning times. These people are some of the other true and inspiring heroes of this story, taking action to defend Lilias and the other witches more than 300 years later.
As you heard in the video, I’ll also be following my own family’s connections to the witchcraft trials. There's more to discover, but so far I’ve been shocked to learn that even with the many records that were destroyed, there's evidence that numerous ancestors of mine were involved — both as accusers and accused. As someone who uses earth-based spiritual practices and identifies as a witch, that discovery rocked me to my core. At the same time, the visceral feeling of it made complete sense — I've always found it impossible to ignore the imbalance and injustice of our patriarchal world. Maybe my own bones remembered what happened to us then and called me to do something about it now by telling this story.
If you have European ancestry, this may be your story, too. Even if you don't, this may be your story as well. Imagine a worldview that could justify turning against your neighbor, your wife, your sister, your mother — believing them worthy of humiliation and excruciating torture. Believing that they were so dangerous that their bodies must be turned into ash. A world so extreme in the need to control women and the wild feminine that it was ready to obliterate them. THAT is the world that ours has descended from. That is why, if you feel enraged at the injustices done to the feminine in our world, this podcast is for you.
I’ll be delving into the concept of generational trauma, as well as cultural trauma. And I'll also discuss my own process for connecting with these ancestors, and understanding my place in the world as a descendent of both oppressed and oppressor.
By funding this project, you'll ensure that I can do on-the-ground research in Scotland — visiting Lilias Adie's grave, pouring over the names of accused witches in dusty libraries, learning from modern-day Scottish pagans, following a councilwoman as she lobbies her constituents on behalf of an accused witch memorial. I'll breathe the same salty air and be pounded by the same rain, walk the same muddy earth and pray for the same weak sun as those long-dead women. I'll absorb the place where these stories came from, digest them, and bring them to you so that we can make meaning out of them together.
Hosting, sound design, and production will all be covered by this money, too. If we go over our goal, I'll actually get to pay myself (let's do that!).
Thank you again so much for reading and supporting this project. This isn't just a podcast about the past, it's a podcast about the ghosts we live with today. Let's face them. Together.
Risks and challenges
Challenges always come up — I've never printed and shipped T-shirts before, but I'm going to do my absolute best to get these shipped out by the delivery date, especially for those of you who might want to give them was witchy Christmas gifts.
As for reporting this story and creating this podcast, I have no doubt they'll be some road blocks. But this is what I do, and with you as my audience, I know we're going to make this an amazing story. So please sit back and enjoy the ride with me on Facebook, via email and on the podcast.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)