In the midst of the Middle Ages of the thirteenth century , the sorcerer ’ s figure passed under the influence of the Devil , bringing forth the notion of heresy created by the Catholic Church under the impetus of various Popes .
In the repression of heresies women were quickly associated with witchcraft and accused of making a pact with Evil , which earned them the death penalty until the seventeenth century ! Women represented the most blameworthy of beings , being direct descendants of Eve , the original sinner .
The myth of the witch and the Sabbath was created and made public by the treatises of demonologists . Women healers who used “ magic ” with the help of herbal remedies , incantations and magic formulas were placed under the crosshair scope of the church and the Inquisition ( these healers included midwives !)
The publication of the Malleus Maleficarum ( 1486 ), an anti-feminine dependent work , initiated an upsurge of the “ witch-hunt ” which claimed between 60,000 and 100,000 victims . Approximately 80 % of the victims were women and those mainly were old , poor and rural .
Joan of Arc hearing voices by François Léon Benouville ( 1855 – 1859 )