An astonishment a day- 
drives your depression away...

The forgotten form of tourism

Witches traveling on broomsticks have fascinated people for ages. What is most interesting, is that women accused of witchery, would often admit to this very specific 'broomstick flying'. It's true that they often did this under 'special' persuasion from Inquisitors, but why did they not admit to other absurdities, but easily to broomstick flying? One of the possible explanations for this can be found in the chemical composition of the witch ointment, the production of which was a fiercely guarded professional secret. The main component of this balm was monkshood (Aconitum reptans - as shown in the illustration), deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and fivefinger (Potentilla reptans). All of the aforementioned plants are very poisonous and can produce hallucinations, in a word they al have narcotic properties. But what do brooms have to do with narcotics? 
Well.. It turns out that witches, before embarking on travel by broom, would smear their broom handles with the ointment as described previously. And the broomstick needed to be held between the legs, as is necessary for flying. consequently these ingredients were absorbed through the highly sensitive skin of the labia. They then entered the bloodstream causing hallucinations. This was of course in the time before the underpants era. The fact that this ointment was also meant to contain the fat of a stillborn child can be ignored. Basically fat of any sort was required. This also explains why male witches were not able to travel by broom... anatomy not suitable. Witches truly believed that they traveled, they admitted to this, as under oath they could not lie. Most important is what a person thinks that they are doing, rather than what they actually are doing. 
Perhaps with the huge expansion of different forms of tourism, this could be offered as thrills for the masses. (The set up costs are minimal, broom sticks are cheap and can be produced by any farmer, instead of producing excessive wheat, and the herbs are easy to grow (be careful as monkshood and nightshade are under protection in many countries!).




(C) (selected from publications of 
 R. Antoszewski

Titirangi, Auckland, 
New Zeland

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February  2003