The Witch Stone in Winter

Frosty hill leading up to the Witch Stone. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

The ground is solid, all the ruts and bumps hard and crunchy under my feet as I climb the hill. And there on the top, small from this angle, is the Witch Stone.

It’s said that witches were burned there in the past.

It’s quiet now. Cold. Peaceful.

Ladybirds are hibernating on it! I hope they survive the season.

Ladybirds hibernate on the Witch Stone. Ailish Sinclair | Writer

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Cover of Ailish Sinclair's 'The Mermaid and the Bear'
Out October 18th 2019

Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclairโ€™s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.



67 Replies to “The Witch Stone in Winter”

  1. Ever wonder how many women were horribly executed as witches, who we would now diagnose with a mental issue, or were exhibiting odd behavior as a result of a trauma …. or perhaps who totally pissed of an influential man in a male dominant culture? Pity the poor woman who was a bit of a free spirit and reveled in non-conformity! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. One important component many do not consider: many of these women were healers. They had knowledge of plants and herbs that would mitigate pain. Several made a business of this thus information was not shared in the interests of profit. It was easy for ultra-right religious factions to find reasons for persecution. Anything familiar here?

        1. It’s such a complex subject with so many reasons for accusation. Studying it has been utterly fascinating. But yes, sometimes it was set up to get rid of, or even acquire the money of, particular women.

  2. I love the way you have photographed the stone amongst the desolation of the felling. What a strange place for ladybirds to hibernate.

    Difficult women were easily removed in the days of the witch finders.

  3. Evocative post.
    Of course, a lot of the accused ‘witches’ were the medicine women herbalists and midwives of old, unfortunately. We lost a lot of medical knowledge, particularly on women’s health and pregnancy, for centuries through their persecution…

  4. That’s interesting I’ve always called them ladybirds and never gave it a thought that they could be called bugs ,which of course they are ,but I am from Australia ! .

      1. I feel this is because of the nursery rhyme around when I was a kid ,and that’s long ago ,was Ladybird Ladybird by Mother goose ,only we had the children burnt instead of gone ! .

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