Medieval Torture Devices and the Goddess by Colette Numajiri

There is a campy dinner and tournament “castle,” Medieval Times, in our city in which you can eat and watch a fully- costumed period play complete with stunning Spanish horses in an indoor arena. Inside of this building, for a mere additional $2, there is a “torture chamber” attraction, a mini museum with a dozen or so of actual torture relics used in the Medieval Inquisition (or accurate looking replicas of them!) along with illustrations from the era.

In this collection they have what appears to be an authentic orifice-expanding “pear” and a “breast ripper” (see and read photo below) among other devices meant to inflict pain and often death to those with the misfortune to be accused.

The actual “Medieval Times” period was a horrific and bloodstained era when the NEW ORDER (the established Catholic and new Protestant churches) set out to “Christianize Europe.” They succeeded and became beyond wealthy by creating a WIDESPREAD FEAR of WOMEN, gaining power over more than half of the population and confiscating their money and land.

There is an hour long film funded by the Canadian government called: “THE BURNING TIMES” that tells the story of the people (85% women) that were brutally killed over a 300 year period in what was the WOMEN’S HOLOCAUST.

Around 1100 AD the Church of Rome set up the Inquisition that began searching everywhere for signs of heresy.

In much earlier pre-patriarchal times, GOD WAS considered FEMALE, the Mother. From the beginning of Earth’s history- ALL people were honored and respected, ALL people were nourished and protected. There was NO WAR. Women miraculously gave life and were revered. Women were the MIDWIVES, they were THE BRIDGE BETWEEN WORLDS.

The church did not like that WOMEN NATURALLY HAD THE POWER to do what they were training priests to try and do (and were charging for!).

As Starhawk wrote in her book Dreaming the Dark:

The history of patriarchal civilization could be read as a cumulative effort to break that bond [of peaceful communities and seasonal celebrations], to DRIVE A WEDGE between spirit and flesh, culture and nature, man and woman. ..when the persecutions.. shattered the peasants’ connection with the land, drove women out of the work of healing.. THAT RUPTURE underlies the entwined OPPRESSIONS of RACE, SEX, CLASS, and ecological destruction.

Over the next centuries, especially following the Reformation, witch trials created a epidemic paranoia where every woman who was considered: too pretty, too ugly, too old, too smart, too weird, too popular or too wealthy was in danger of being ACCUSED OF WITCHCRAFT. They claimed that these midwives, these “witches,” were inauspicious and inflicting disease, poisoning the crops and creating famine. The Inquistion’s court systems took advantage of the inventions of the printing presses and torture tools.

They put naked, shaved women on public display and would torture them for days until the accused admitted to conspiring with the devil (whom they also invented) and had to name 7 friends or family members that were also “guilty”.

So, in this time of extreme fear the people were freakishly as “DEVOUT” and silent as possible because slant of the eye might cost the lives of everyone they knew. Many people are still are fearful and obeying due to some distant memory (whether from a collective consciousness or PAST LIFE MEMORIES) of that terrifying time. As Starhawk  stated, this fear, this false fear created by the Christian church so long ago about women being innately evil and the separation of spirit and flesh that underlay it, is one of the foundations of the sexism, racism, and classism (and ageism!) so prevalent today.

Our Mother Prayer

Our Mother, Who is within us
We celebrate Your many names
Your Wisdom comes
Unfolding from the depths within us.
Each day You give us all that we need
You remind us of our limits,
And we let go.
For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us, and the celebration among us.
As it was in the beginning, so shall it be now.

-Miriam Therese Winter

For other Goddess Project: Made in Her Image Goddesses go to our website, or the FREE SOPHIA blog.


Colette Numajiri is a Goddess cheerleader and Creatrix of, the FREE SOPHIA blog, The Goddess Project: Made in Her Image, the Goddess Group and one of the Reverends of the New Wineskins Feminist Ritual Community in Dallas. 20 years of professional makeup artistry and design in the theatre lead her to blend worlds, creating the Goddess Project. THE GODDESS PROJECT: Made in Her Image JOURNAL JOURNEY has just been released!  Wife and mother of two young boys, she will stop at nothing until all of the World’s children are happy and free. Follow her on Instagram: @coconiji.

Categories: abuse, Ancestors, Body, Christianity, Church Doctrine, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, General, Patriarchy

Tags: , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. The number of women killed as witches was once said to be nine million, but there is no evidence for this figure. Anne Barstow, a feminist historian, estimated the number to be 100,000 or fewer. This is still a very large number and more than enough to scare the hell out of all the women who were just going about their business.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this post colette. I will definitely be watching this film. I think if we are not very careful we could be dangerously close to this happening again.What I find so disconcerting is how many modern womyn seem to be misogynists themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The Burning Times (which is the first film of a Trilogy) by Donna Read and Starhawk, had a major influence on me when it came out some 30 years ago. I still show it today as an intro to witchcraft. It is available on-line. Thanks for mentioning it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It IS available online- on YouTube, even. I too, show it to anyone that will watch it. A very important part of history was DELETED. It’s amazing that the Canadian government put out the film!


  4. In Buena Park, CA (half an hour from where I live), there is a “Medieval Times” restaurant that has always seemed awful to me, and I’ve never gone in. Diners get to see a “real” medieval joust while they eat. I’d lose my appetite!

    The Donna Read/Starhawk trilogy of films is excellent. And there are numerous books now about When God Was a Woman–the title of Merlin Stone’s book–and how it wasn’t nine million women murdered by the Inquisition. But even one woman murdered is too many. Thanks for introducing these important topics to people who may not know the facts about what the patriarchy has done to societies through the ages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, it’s “entertainment” now, people don’t know. One WAS too many but there were a LOT more. Keep doing what you’re doing to get Her out there!!


  5. There is another film, I think Canadian, about the Salem witch trials in the 1600’s. If I remember correctly, it was based in land…women who owned land that men wanted. One of the First Nations people here, in telling their history, recalled wars with neighbouring tribes. “As usual” he said, “it was a war over land possession”. I wonder how much that is true today as well…land with oil, gold, etc., that others want. Or, as our town is exploding with hatred and fear over a homeless camp on unused, gravelly, dried up land, people lashing out in fear of losing what they already possess even though it’s not even in the vicinity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • UGH..greed. Instead of nurturing and working together as a community. I’ll have to check out that film. There is also a similar sounding documentary available on Netflix. Roses to you.


  6. May I recommend a REAL visit to Salem, Mass. Get there, check into a Hotel/Motel, take the time to relax and then take a stroll around sunset time in the area where the Witch trials were said to be held. It is an awe inspiring moment when you feel the presence of the poor women accused of such and their laments and cries resounding in your ears. The spirits of them still linger there!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, Colette, for this important article! Keep doing your amazing work to get Her out there!


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