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Elizabethan era Witchcraft, Beliefs and Superstitions

This presentation is showing how many common superstitions and beliefs were believed back in the elizabethan Era
by Rob Eadie on 23 August 2010

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Transcript of Elizabethan era Witchcraft, Beliefs and Superstitions

Elizabethan Era Superstitions Outline Superstitions Background
Origin of Superstitions
Superstitions and Witches
Witchcraft Superstitions
Superstitions
Macbeth Superstitions

Superstitions Background Superstitions also dealt with chants, omens, names, and numbers.
Elizabethans viewed the world as a delicate balance of good and evil spirits in the world.
Superstitions Background Cont.
The balance was suppose to go beyond the spiritual world and also have affects on the laws of the natural world.
The Elizabethans believed that making things more attractive would also make them healthier.
The beliefs are now called sympathetic magic.
Elizabethan Superstitons
Outline Superstitions Background Superstitions Background Cont. Origins of Superstitions Origin of Superstitions Cont. Superstitions and Witches Superstitions and Witches Cont.
Witchcraft Superstitions Witchcraft Superstitions Cont. Macbeth Superstitions Macbeth Superstitions Cont.
Superstitions Superstitions Cont. Superstitions Cont. Superstitions Cont. Superstitions Cont.
Superstitions Background
Origin of Superstitions
Superstitions and Witches
Witchcraft Superstitions
Superstitions
Macbeth Superstitions

Superstitions also dealt with chants
omens, names, and numbers.
Elizabethans viewed the world as a delicate balance
of good and evil spirits in the world.
The balance was suppose to go beyond the spiritual world and
also have affects on the laws of the natural world.
The Elizabethans believed that making things more attractive
would also make them healthier.
The beliefs are now called sympathetic magic.
Dates back to traditional times
Took part of the beliefs of their conquerors
Believed in magical properties of animals and of herbs
Believed in magic

New superstition on witches
Belief in close alignment of real
and spiritual world
Belief that factors not part of an event
could affect its out come
Superstitions spread from fear and ignorance


Some superstitions during the Elizabethan era
came forth due to belief in witchcraft and witches.
Women during the Elizabethan period were accused
most of being witches.
There were 270 witch trials of those trials 247 of the
trials were women and only 23 were men.
People blamed unexplainable things on witchcraft and witches like the bubonic plague.
People who were accused of witchcraft were old, poor single, and wise women, and widows who kept pets or familiars
Familiars are an evil spirit in the form of an animal that witches used to cast spells and conduct other witch-like things.

“Witches” were able to fly which explained how they could travel far distances quickly, a broomstick was then added to this because it is what women usually had around there household.
A witch was also seen as a old women or ugly women (without any man to protect her against witch accusations made against her.)
Witches were also believed to live alone in an isolated area
like a house in the woods.
Witches were known to keep animals that were there “familiars.”
Animals such as cats, frogs, pigs, ravens, goats, wolves, goose, crows, bats, and mice.
Witches also created magic potions over a cauldron.

The superstition is that any acting company who performs the play will be cursed with bad luck.
Also if there is any quoting of the play or just the name Macbeth being said anywhere in the theatre “will lose a person acquainted with the stage nearly all his or her theatrical friends.”
Belief in witches was common in Shakespeare's time.
This Superstition began in the old days where stock companies knowing that they weren’t going to break even decided to put on a crowd favorite; Macbeth.
Macbeth often marked the end of the company and would frequently foreshadow a company’s end.
The fear of Macbeth was a fear of bad business or putting a whole company unemployed.
Saying "God Bless You" following a sneeze - Elizabethans believed that the devil could enter your body when you opened your mouth to sneeze - the blessing warded off the Devil
An eclipse was seen as an omen of evil
It was unlucky for a black cat to cross your path ( Black is the color associated with
evil magic and a cat was strongly associated with a witch's familiar
The 'seventh son of a seventh son' was believed to possess supernatural powers
It was unlucky to keep the feather of a peacock
(the eye-shape on the feathers of peacocks were seen as the 'Evil-eye')
Pin bay leaves to your pillow on the Eve of St Valentine, one at each corner
and one in the middle and you will then dream of your future husband
Touch wood to guard against bad luck. This Celtic superstition dates back to the Dark Ages when it was believed that a tree possessed magical powers
Not to walk under ladders - considered bad luck as ladders are associated with the gallows and executions
Shoes on a table - If you put shoes on a table it was very bad luck - inviting an imminent death
Spilling Salt or pepper - Seen as bad luck - the cost of these spices were extremely expensive during the Elizabethan era

The End
By Rob.
For E-Line English
See the full transcript