Body parts

From the movie: Hexen, witchcraft through the ages

People were afraid of witches, and were horrified of the thought of witches using bodies illicitly.

Perhaps the most gruesome of a witch’s tools were the body parts she harvested for use in potions, talismans and spell-casting.

Female witches were especially feared. As the ones who gave birth and prepare death rituals, women had access to potentially many magical bodily substances: cauls, dead infants, navel-cords, afterbirth.

The fat of unbaptized infants was a key ingredient in flying potions. Pieces of hanging bodies or other executes were in high demand such as penis, toes, nails, fingers, teeth, hair, hearth, eyes, colon, skulls bones, … .

The pieces were believed to be invested with supernatural power akin to the healing potential which relics of dead saints contained.

The hand of glory is the most famous and powerful body part used in secular witchcraft.

African witch-doctors still use body parts in their rituals and potions.