Although many people don’t talk about witches or encounter witches daily, this is a topic that is brought up every year. Many people, myself included, have a particular interest in witches and why they are infamous for riding on broomsticks. Following my research I have found out many interesting things. Poisonous plants were the first culprit to connect witches with flying broomsticks. It is said that witches ingested herbs like nightshade (Atropa belladonna), devil’s snare, (Datura stramonium), mandrake (Mandragora officinarum), and mostly henbane (Hyoscyamus niger). The herbs that the witches used have psychoactive properties. Henbane, the main herb that was used, contains an unbelievable amount of powerful tropane alkaloids. These tropane alkaloids contain hallucinogenic chemicals which makes it extremely toxic. Henbane can either cause powerful hallucinations or kill whoever ingest it. The potions that contained herbs like henbane were sometimes labeled ‘flying ointments’. Historic evidence suggest that witches applied these flying ointments to the mucus membranes around the rectum and female genitalia or genitals with the wooden staff of a broomsticks. Once the psychoactive effects began to set in the witches began to feel weightless, as if the were floating off of the ground, and free to move in any direction without moving their legs or feet. Those instants made the witches hallucinate to the point that they believed they were flying on the broomstick at or after the point of application. Also, it is said that the herbal flying ointments, when ingested, cause a deep sleep that last for at least a day and consist of dreams of riding the broom that the ointment was applied with and soaring through the skies in a very vivid and realistic manor. Antoine Rose, a witch that was tried for witchcraft and killed in the 15th century, made a confession before her death that the devil had given her a broomstick and a pot of herbal ointment. She claims that she was told to smear the ointment on the stick and put it between her legs and ride the broom until she no longer could. With that being said witchcraft is a form of satanism. Witchcraft and satanism have two things in common, the symbols they use and their heavy reliance on magic rituals. While performing these magic rituals witches had to be accurate in their measurements when forming mixtures or new compounds. If the witches failed to do so they would not reach the desired effect of their potion. With that being said, many people believe that the reason witches in the 1600’s were depicted being seen flying through the air on objects like broom sticks is not a result of their magical powers at all. It is said that when a witch was seen flying through the air on objects like broomsticks it was because they were being held up and projected through the air by entities like demons or the devil. In conclusion, the main reason witches are said to fly on broomsticks is because of herbal flying ointments that was applied to the witches nether regions. Another possible reason is because of satanism and entities like the devil and demons. With both the flying ointments and satanism, potions are a huge part of the picture. When making the flying ointments the witches had to use the process of trial and error when combining one or more herb to a potion. The reasoning behind that is because the witches need to know the effects that they would be given when they ingested the potion orally or through the genitals or genitalia. In chemistry we also experiment with different chemicals and substances to see what the outcome is when one or more chemical or substance is combined. When making a potion a witch must be precise in measurements, make sure they use clean pots and utensils, make sure they are using appropriate substances, and following directions. The same rules apply in chemistry. I must make sure I follow the rules, obtain the required measurements, use clean glassware, and make sure I use the correct substances. I now understand why witches are said to fly on broomsticks and the connection this topic has to science, I hope that you now understand as well.
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