Monday, April 23, 2018

So, You Want to Know About the SALEM WITCH TRIALS - Part ONE - Life As a New England Puritan

"The witch no. 1" lithograph
"The witch no. 1" lithograph (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A hint on how to use this: If you are really interested in the subject, read the whole thing and you'll be able to hold your own in a conversation with an expert. If you have a report to do, or otherwise couldn't care less, just scan down and read the first few sentences of every paragraph. I do not always add dates, as timelines are so easy to find on the internet, but I do follow a loose chronology. The main goal is to present the information as it can be best understood. This is designed for you to get a feel for the life, learn little tidbits of information, and become an all-around more knowledgeable person.

What was life like for the New England Puritan?

The people were floundering about, trying to find purpose. Until about 1660, Americans had a common goal; working together to forge a new frontier, but now the colony was well established and attention turned to gain, both materially and spiritually.

Colonists did not care for the English political leaders. Instead, people idolized the founding fathers, like those who came over on the Mayflower. In 1692, the founding fathers were dead and gone.

The majority of the population had always been born in England, but the tide changed, and in the late 1600's, America was filled with people born on her soil.

There was no separation of church and state, and people who did not attend meetings were suspect and could be punished. Many towns had a rule that a man could not vote if he was not a member of a church.

Because lying was considered a sin, it was punishable by law.

Hangings were not common, but when one occurred it was a form of entertainment that young children were encouraged to attend. The most popular part of the hanging was the last words when the person about to be executed would say goodbye to his or her family. Puritans reasoned allowing children to witness hangings would teach them the consequence of immoral behavior.

Life was an exhausting array of chores with little amusement. The average family made their own bread, butter, cider, ale, clothes, candles, and just about everything else they used. Every member of the family could expect to work from morning to night.

Houses were dark, damp, and depressing. A candle was always burning, even in the middle of the day because the tiny windows let in so little light.

The nearest neighbor usually lived a few football fields away.

Most people could not write, and signed their names on legal papers with their "mark." Signing an "X" was unfashionable to young girls (and even grown women), who liked to make curly cue hearts and other inventive designs.

Because people couldn't read, they didn't care (or know) how their name was spelled, and, since the court reporter couldn't very well ask an illiterate person how to spell his or her name, the spelling depended on who was taking the notes. Many of the official documents spell individual names differently. Mary Easty was also Esty, Osborn, Osburn, Cory, Corey, and so on. Even learned and educated men used a loose grammar, and did not worry about proper spelling.

Normal families had 5-10 kids of their own, and it was common to have an extra child living in the home. By the age of 7, children were given their full share of responsibility and expected to perform to adult standards.

New England had one of the lowest rates of infant mortality in America. "Nine out of ten infants born there survived at least until age five, and perhaps three-quarters lived to see adulthood." In more rural areas as many as 25% of children died before the age of 1, and only about half made it to adulthood.

Most marriages ended with the early death of a spouse. A couple was lucky to get seven years out of each other. Second and third marriages were common.

The man was head of the household. A woman might offer her opinion to her husband behind closed doors, and even prove a valuable ally, but she was expected to concede to her husband in all matters. She could not own property without her husband's permission, or vote. It was assumed that woman was the weaker sex in every way, and if she did not follow her husband's rules, he was encouraged to use physical abuse as a form of "correction."

There was a real fear of Indians (Salem was never attacked), and everyone knew at least one orphan from Maine who watched on as their parents were killed by Indians. Ironically, many people who were captured and held captive chose to stay with the tribe rather than go back to their families.

Politics

America was a colony of England, and had to run things according to a set of rules, called a "Charter," handed down from the English king. Just to get word to England would take 10 weeks by ship. In March, when the witch scare first broke out, the previous charter had been long eliminated. This meant there was no leader, no rules, and the nearest thing to a leader was in England negotiating for a new charter. Because of the situation, the accused witches were examined and held in jail, but not tried. In May, Increase Mather, the president of Harvard (the only New Englander with an official title), sailed back from England with a new charter and a new governor. This is when the actual trials began.

Puritan Beliefs

The Bible was law; period, no questions asked, end of a conversation. It was taken literally, and sins like adultery and sodomy could be punished by death.

"The House Where Witchcraft Started, Now ...
"The House Where Witchcraft Started, Now Danvers, Mass." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Puritan faith had been taking some blows, and there were no new people joining the ranks. Ministers were constantly preaching about the falling ranks and the rise of the devil as if they were one.

Ministers commonly spoke of the virtue of being a good wife, which was all a woman could really hope to be. A woman would be frowned upon if she owned her own land, didn't have a lot of children, or was in any way, outspoken or different.

People dabbled in the occult and practiced white magic. Simple wives tales like fortune telling were passed down from generation to generation, though it was considered evil. Ministers were always preaching about the dangers of inviting the devil in through the occult, no matter how harmless it may seem.

There was a general distrust at the time, and if a cow suddenly died, its owner would likely think one of his neighbors had cursed him. A man would not dare to question God's judgment; he just questioned it being aimed at him. If he searched his soul and found he had done nothing to deserve the death of his cow, he would blame the misfortune on the devil acting through a witch.

To deny God was unquestionable, so by the same token, to deny the existence of the devil would be just as blasphemous. The Bible was taken to be complete truth, and men who could read would consult the Bible for personal, as well as legal matters.

Puritan lifestyle was stringent and righteous, and they were not the loving and forgiving type one would expect to meet in such a religious community. According to Marion Starkey, if a man had a toothache the Puritans figured he had in some way sinned with his tooth. This feeling was so strong that some of the accused witches confessed in bewilderment and wracked their brains to find something they had done in the past to allow the devil to use them in such a manner.

The Puritans used fasting as a means to give God a little extra oomph and unite the community in a cause. Meals were very important, and usually the only time during an average day when a person could sit and relax for a moment.

There was little separation between dreams and real life. To the Puritan, there was a reason for everything, and "...dreams contained prophesies, revelations, truths more real than daily life, and there was no clear explanation of what else they were."

Salem Village

All his life, Thomas Putnam had been resentful of rich families, like the Porters. Both families grew up in Salem Town, but the merchant Porters were more worldly and successful than the farming Putnam's. No matter how hard he tried, Thomas Putnam, an influential man in his own right, just couldn't beat those uppity Porters. The Porters had more land and more money, but what really bothered Thomas was that the Porters were considered smarter than the Putnam's because they were better spoken. Thomas set out to break away from Salem Town and from Salem Village, but the township wasn't eager to let the property go.



Salem Village was allowed to build a meetinghouse, but it was to act as a franchise of the Salem Town meetinghouse. Thomas Putnam tried to pull rank by handpicking the ministers, but this only served to divide the community in half; those who supported Putnam and his choice of  theminister and those who hated Putnam and wouldn't support any choice he made. All the unsuspecting ministers would eventually leave Salem Village because of the conflict. Sometimes, Salem Town/Village would refuse to pay, (George Burroughs had to take a suit to the General Court in order to get paid) and sometimes the ministers would bow out, frustrated by all the arguing and infighting.

Salem Village was finally allowed to act on it's own, and Samuel Parris was the first minister to hold the job for the budding community.

The witch, according to the Salem Puritan.

Witches were notorious for killing otherwise healthy infants.

Witches had pets, known as "familiars," to do their evil bidding. The familiars would drink the blood of their witch masters from an extra "teat" located somewhere on his or her body, usually near the genitals. Salem familiars had the particular habit of sucking between the index and middle finger.

Witches could throw curses like Frisbees, aiming at anyone who irritated them.

Witches made a pact with the devil, sometimes for a specified amount of time. The devil was always tempting people into signing his book.

A witch could not say the "Our Father" prayer without making mistakes.

A witch could be in one place while her specter was causing pain and mischief in another.

The devil had no power over those who didn't give him permission. He could not assume the shape of a righteous person, though the Puritans had no valid reason to believe this and many argued over the use of "spectral evidence."

If a person was convicted, or even accused of being a witch, his or her family was automatically suspect.





Sunday, April 22, 2018

Getting to Know the REIKI Hand Positions

English: Western Reiki hand-positions for self...
Western Reiki hand-positions for self-treatment.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With Reiki treatment, the energies are balanced so a new kick for life is furthermore promoted. Through all of these, the Reiki hand positions play a vital role.

As the treatment session is conducted, the hand positions are importantly executed. They are able to let the individual feel the strong sense of coldness, heat, tingling, or pulsations vibrating within him. It is also possible to be devoid of any sort of feelings. Reiki treatment may be performed on yourself or to another. The positions of the hand are definitely meant to cure the diseases that affect the parathyroid, thymus, thyroid gland, asthma, and the throat, among others. If you have not witnessed an actual healing procedure, then you may not be familiar with the various hand positions. This article is going to give you an idea of what they are. Read on and find out below.

The first position is the hand that is placed on the face. To do this, you should put your palms either on your own face or on the person who is receiving Reiki. The palms should form a cup over the eyes while the fingers are on the forehead. There must be no pressure at all but only a gentle touch.

The second position includes the hand on the crown and on the top of the head. Both hands must be on the sides of the head whereas the heels of the hands are located near the ears. The fingertips must be able to touch the crown.

The third position is at the back of the head. Form a cross by using your arms. One of the hands must be on the head while the other one is above the neck's nape.

The fourth position includes the touching of the heart and collarbone. Make a V-like shape with the thumb and fingers. You must be able to easily hold your neck via the V formation. Lower one of your hands and have it resting in between the collarbone and the heart.

The fifth has something to do with touching the jawline and the chin as well. Again, let your hands form a cup and let your chin rest in it. Let your hands wrap themselves on your jawline. The sixth position includes your ribs. Put your hand on the upper portion of the rib cage and provide some support to the bent elbows. The other hand should be on the abdomen. Let your fingertips touch your tummy.


The pelvic area is included in the seventh position. Put your hands on your pelvic bone and allow your fingertips to touch your pelvic region.

Then the eight position concerns your shoulders. Bend your elbows and arms over the head and touch your shoulder blades with your hand. While your elbows are bent, put your hands on the center part of your back.

The final position includes the lower back and the sacrum. Let your hands rest on your lower back. Lower your arms and then place them on the sacral area and then proceed to relax.

The main intention of the Reiki hand positions is to let the energy flow and retain its balance once more. A practitioner will not apply a heavy pressure on the body parts but will simply touch them to promote the general flow of the somehow trapped energies.



Friday, April 20, 2018

STAR TATTOO Meaning

nautical stars tattoo by Keith Killingsworth.
Nautical stars tattoo by Keith Killingsworth.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Getting a tattoo nowadays isn't something unusual. Most people consider it as a work of art. There is a wide variety of tattoo designs, which people can choose from. One of these types is the star tattoo. There are different reasons for this choice, one of them is because it has a specific meaning and the star reminds them all the time about that. Another reason is simply just because it looks good.

Probably what most people think when they get a star tattoo is "shooting for the stars". Meaning that you should always aim high to get what you want. This way the tattoo is a constant reminder for that and that's one of the main reasons people choose this design. Another meaning for the star tattoo is high interests in the universe, with it, they want to share their interest with other people.

A few ideas of star designs are for example nautical stars, shooting stars, and so on. Nautical stars were common with sailors. They were used as a guide at sea. People who are superstitious think that nautical stars will guide you through life. Shooting stars could mean that something happened during someone's life, in a short period of time, which changed it forever. The pentagram symbolizes the basic elements of live fire, water, earth, air and the spirit that connects
them.
As you probably know there are numerous designs you can choose or come up with. You can also think up a design with a meaning which, one way or another, represent you. Another important thing when choosing a tattoo is the placing. This depends if you are male or female. So if you want to be original take your time before you decide to get a tattoo.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Meditation or Medication Thriving on STRESS

English: Meditation
Meditation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You can avoid taking medications to manage stress by learning to meditate on a daily schedule.

How can meditation help me develop new skills to thrive on stress successfully?

Meditation can help you develop new skills to thriving on stress as a guide for relaxation. Everyone has stress in their lives and there is no way to get around it. The world is turning very fast piling things on our shoulders all the time. We deal with stress at the workplace, health issues, and daily living in the home. Learn to meditate daily to reduce your risks of taking medications to manage your health.

Learning new skills in meditation will require you to make a few changes in how you live your life in general. Before you can learn to thrive with stress in making life easier, you need to do some digging.

With meditation, you need to think positive and decide what is causing you so much stress and what can you do about them. Is your stress caused by things that you can eliminate or is it life in general?  

Write down what is bothering you and how you’re going to make changes to overcome them. When writing your stressor on paper and what you’re going to do will get them out in the open to seem more alive.

With learn meditation skills and practice it will help you make better decisions. Meditation will help you to relax and focus on thriving on stress. Repeating you list and decisions will program your brain to think positive by keeping the negative thoughts from jumping in. 

If you’re worried about trying to meet a deadline focusing on what needs to be done to make things go more smoothly. Meeting deadlines are sometimes scary when things are not going right. Learn to focus and try forgetting about other things that need to be done tomorrow or the next day. When you are focusing on one certain task, you will be using meditation skills. You can meditate anywhere or anywhere by focusing.

Meditation will help you make better decisions by helping you relax for a better night of sleep. We need relaxation to have the energy in making good decisions. Without energy, it makes success almost impossible. Meditating in the bathtub is a good way to relax after a long stressful day.

Get yourself some candles and set them around the area where your tub is located. Turn on the boom box with low soft relaxing music. Light the candle and turn off the lights before climbing in for relaxation. While you’re in the tub, use your imagination and think about somewhere, off in never land. Let yourself feel the breeze and hear the birds to relieve stress with your meditation skills and imagination. 

When you get out of the tub, do some pampering to yourself like putting on lotion and doing a manicure on your nails.  Taking time out to meditate and for some pampering, you’ll sleep like a baby. Waking up the next morning will be easy because you had a good restful night of sleep. You will be eager to face a fresh new day and make better decisions for thriving on stress.



Learn to thrive on stress and be successful before it takes over your life.  Letting stress be in control will drain you of energy and bring poor health. Stress is the most common reason for many illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and depression. Become happy and healthier by learning meditation skills to thrive on stress and be successful. Cogitation in a guide to thriving on stress will help you manage your life.



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

MEDICINE in the Middle Ages

Anatomical Man.jpg
"Anatomical Man" Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Learning is a continuing process and through new discoveries and invention, we broaden our horizon of knowledge every day. Throughout history, man has illuminated the world with art, science, and philosophy and has also acquired abilities to invent and discover, various tools for its survival. One of the most powerful discoveries ever made is the knowledge of medicine. Though the history of medicine can be traced back to the primitive age, medicine as a specialized field of study did not exist before the Middle Ages. Based on Greek and eastern principles, European medicine embellished with the discoveries of the middle ages and set the foundation for the contemporary medicine.

The Heptameron by Marguerite de Navarre is a representation of the French society in the middle ages. She has depicted various social and cultural norms of the time in the stories. Her insight into the science of medical practiced in France in the Middle Ages is quite apparent Even though the importance of medicine as a specialty was acknowledged among the intellectuals of Paris; the influence of the church remained a conduit for its advancement. Although the supremacy of supernatural over natural was obvious, a clear implication was established that the natural and supernatural world was separate if not independent. As a result of what we see is an amalgamation of medical science, mysticism, and religion in the middle age of France.

Ancient physiologists believed that the body must always have a balance of these humor, for imbalance will cause ailments. The diagnosis was based on examining a sample of blood and also colors of skin, urine, and feces.

Medical treatment by trained physicians rare and very expensive as a result the elite class could only afford it. The uncertainty and unavailability of academic treatment left no choice for the general population, but to turn towards certain charms, special prayers, and specific Christian rituals. Thirteen century Paris had only a half dozen doctors in public employ, with little time to spend on individual patients. The practice of medicine was not restricted to a certain sect of people rather clergy and laymen, men and women were all able to practice medicine.

The physician often compounded and dispensed drugs in addition to practicing medicine. And apothecary often engaged in medical practice as well as compounding and dispensing. It is evident from the stories in heptameron that the drugs made by apothecaries could be very lethal at times as they did not have the proper knowledge. Also, personal hygiene was not an important factor for an apothecary, live alone the common people.

Diet was thought to be extremely important in the treatment of illness and prescriptions would cover the minutest of details for all sorts of conditions. The greatest general reliance was placed on broths, milk, and eggs. Today the importance of diet in medical science is felt extensively. Nutrition as a special branch of study has emerged. Dietitians and nutritionist are there to help physicians in treating patients who need special diets. Plants and herbs were used in the preparation of digestives, laxatives, emetics, diuretics, diaphoretics, styptics etc. Drugs remain to be the major form of treatments today but with the advanced technology, pharmacology has become one of the leading businesses.


Surgery the last resort advised by a physician but also it was only accessible to the wealthy. Surgery was known to be successful in cases of fistula, hemorrhoids, gangrene, and cataracts. Bloodletting was one of the most common forms of surgery and was recommended for fever, inflammation, and a variety of disease condition and ironically for hemorrhages as well. There were three main methods of bloodletting during the middle ages: leeching, venesection, and cupping. Among these leeching is still used, though rare as a medical procedure by some physicians. Leeching helps to reduce tissue congestion where the arterial input is maintained but a venous return is blocked or slowed leeches act as an extra vein to relieve a dangerous build-up of blood.

As a result, leech therapy is finding its way into numerous reconstructive surgeries such as digit and limb reattachment, skin graft procedure, scalp avulsions, and breast surgeries and even into effective treatment of periorbital hematomas. Anesthesia and pain relievers were available but some of the potions used were lethal in itself. For example, the hemlock juice was used, and it could easily cause death.

The diseases that were very common in the Middle Ages were dysentery, jaundices pneumonia, influenza and a common cold. This could be largely attributed to the living condition of that time. Rural people largely lived in a one-room structure with a central fire or hearth and a central roof with a small opening which allowed some of the smoke to escape. Homes were dark damp and cold, with minimum sunlight and poor air circulation, a perfect breeding place for germs and bacteria.

The climatic conditions and lifestyle of the time with no proper facilities contributed to the lack of personal hygiene as well. It further escalated with population growth in the towns and cities. Also due to lack of advanced techniques, patients often died due to excessive blood loss after a surgery. Today personal hygiene is considered to be a key factor to live a disease free life.

With the latest technologies, available infant mortality has reduced and longevity in humans has increased tremendously compared to middle ages. As we benefit from the sophisticated technologies of medical science, it is imperative that we acknowledge the contribution of our predecessors. What we are enjoying today is the fruits of the trees whose seeds were planted by our ancestor.


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