Women are superior to men in sorcery because they are more easily transported by excess of passion. The word sorcerer clearly designates victims of chance and, so to speak, the poisonous muchrooms of fatality.Greek sorcerers, but especially those of Thessaly, put horrible precepts to the proof and were given over to abominable rites. They were mostly women wasted by desires which they could no longer satisfy, antiquated courtesans, monsters of immorality and ugliness. . . . They were known as lamia, stryges, empusa; children were the objects of their envy and thus of their hared, and they sacrificed them for this reason. Some, like that Canidia who is mentioned by Horace, buried them as far as the head and left them to die of hunger, surrounded with food which they could not reach; others cut off the heads, hands and feet, boiled their fat and grease, in copper basins, to the consistence of an ointment, which they afterwards mixed with the juice of henbane, belladonna and black poppies. With this unguent they anointed the organ which was irritated unceasingly by their detestable desires; they rubbed also their temples and arm-pits, and then fell into a lethargy full of unbridled and luxurious dreams.There is need to speak plainly -- these are the origins and this is the traditional practice of Black Magic; these are the secrets which were handed down to the middle ages; and such in fine are the pretended innocent victims whom public execration, far more than the sentence of inquisitors, condemned to the flames. . . .Such is the woman who has sought to rise beyond the duties of her sex by familiarity with forbidden sciences. Men avoid her, children hide when she passes. She is devoid of reason, devoid of true love, and the stratagems of Nature in revolt against her are the ever-renewing torment of her pride.
I can't quite put my finger on it, but something about this account -- of "monsters of immorality and ugliness" who think the most gruesome child sacrifices a small price to pay for a barren simulacrum of the pleasures of the marital bed -- made me think of Current Events.