Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating (Dutton) 1974 pgs
The Christians, of course, like Avis, trying harder, seeing in women the
root of all evil, limited her to breeding more sinners for the Church to
save. No wonder then that women remained faithful adherents of the older
totemic cults of Western Europe which honored female sexuality, deified
the sexual organs and reproductive capacity, and recognized woman as embodying
the regenerative power of nature. The rituals of these cults...had been
developed by women. Magic was the substance of ritual, the content of belief.
The magic of the witches was an imposing catalogue of medical skills...The
women who were faithful to the pagan cults developed the science of organic
medicine, using vegetation, before there was any notion of the profession
Paaracelsus, the most famous physician of the Middle Ages, claimed that
everything he knew he had learned from 'the good women.'
Ibid, pgs 138-140:
"Eve's legacy was a twofold curse: 'Unto the woman He said: "I
will greatly multiply thy pain and thy travail; in pain thou shalt bring
forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule
The witches used drugs like belladonna and aconite, organic amphetamines,
and hallucinogenics. They also pioneered the development of analgesics.
They performed abortions, provided all medical help for births...Since
the Church enforced the curse of Eve by refusing to permit any alleviation
of the pain of childbirth, it was left to the witches to lessen pain and
mortality as best they could. It was especially as midwives that these
learned women offended the Church...