The Waldenses,

excommunicated by Pope Lucius III in 1184,

were subjected to centuries of intense persecution.

 

However, their ideals lived on in the Protestant Dutch Reformed Church,

and were carried with them when they fled to Staten Island in 1655.

These ideals have come down to us as the American Dream.

One element of their persecution also came down to us, in a major supernatural tradition.

This illustration of Waldensian women as witches,
from an illuminated manuscript created in 1451,
is the first known depiction of witches on brooms.

The association of heresy and witchcraft demanded some sort of travel mechanism, as everyone knew that demonic rituals took place in faraway, inaccessible places.  

 

This alluring image of dangerous and demonic agents utilizing a familiar household object to reach their secret destination

immediately caught on and remains very much in play today.

in Le champion des dames, by Martin Le France

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