View Full Version : Where did we get the concept of witches flying on broomsticks? Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil straightdope. Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks. Whence comes the trope that witches fly on broomsticks? Is there an identifiable source for this element of the myth?
Did you know? “Witches” used brooms to apply hallucinogens to their vaginas, not to fly.
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Sex is the X factor in witchcraft. Both serious practitioners and characters in witchy lore are known for their abilities to unleash primal desires. Witches use sexual energy to commune, to manifest, to make magic, and—in the case of the Medieval hags described in the witch-hunting bible the Malleus Maleficarum —even to steal penises. For millennia, sex magic has been a powerful tool in the hands of gifted conjurers, but it has also been a practice slapped with negative distortions by generations of freaked out male historians. As a result, the labyrinthine history of sex in witchcraft is a heady brew of intrigue, transgression, and repression.
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