Witch hunts are deeply woven into our cultural history across time. From early theologians' promulgation of demonology through to multiple inquisitions and witch trials, the narrative is present. Popular culture threads the idea of evil corrupting people and societies through TV and movies, and the popularity of this content is on the rise. What messages are presented through this type of media and what effects do they have on society?
Coven of Sisters on Netflix March 11, 2021.
BY TERESA YANAROS, MARCH 8, 2021
A Spanish period drama "Coven of Sisters" debuts on Netflix on March 11, 2021. The movie is set in Spain in 1609 during the Basque witch trials and features a group of women who lure an inquisitor into one of their rituals.
The Basque witch trials occurred in Spain during the years of 1609 to 1611 as an attempt to extinguish witchcraft by the Spanish Inquisition, who tried over 7,000 cases during this time. The accused included men, women, children, aristocrats, and clerics.
It wasn’t so much about misogyny but about the eradication of heresy.
- Jorge Abril Sanchez, UNH, Basque Culture and Demonology
The Movie Trailer
The movie trailer, published February 12, 2021, features a man traveling to a town, inquiring as to why sorcery seems to be localized to this particular area. After showing a group of women light-heartedly playing in the forest, one of the girls claims to never have been a witch.
The tone of the trailer shifts, and then shows the women beginning to chant a song in a different language. A voice-over declares that anyone showed to have participated in Sabbath (a gathering to perform witchcraft), would be burned at the stake. Suddenly, the clip shows flashes of a ritualistic scene wherein various women of the coven are shown:
dancing upsidedown contorted in a backbend
removing clothing while harboring a sinister facial expression
smearing what appears to be blood upon her face
chained up while mocking someone
The description of the trailer reads,
Basque Country, 1609. To postpone their execution, a group of women accused of witchcraft lure their inquisitor into witnessing the witches' Sabbath.
- MVSRS, "Coven of Sisters"
Notice how the description describes luring the inquisitor into becoming a witness to their ritual. What is the significance of human witness?
Powerful Imagery in Film
When it comes to mass media, we are constantly being seeded with images and messages, whether we are aware of it or not. Visual subliminal messaging is very powerful and makes the human more susceptible to the persuasiveness of the message if it is below the threshold of perception by the conscious mind.
Most movies that cover occult topics such as witchcraft or demonology present certain themes like power, slavery, and evil. In this trailer alone, the themes presented were unnatural human movements (a bastardization of normal human capacities), licentiousness, sexual depravity, bloodlust, and rejoicing in bondage and slavery.
Darker themes are present here, to say the least. But how might our behaviors and attitudes be shaped by the media we choose to ingest?
Much research has shown that adolescents’ sexual attitudes and behaviors are influenced by media.
- Ross O'Hara, University of Missouri
Media Effects of Occult Images
Academic research has already shown that images have effects on humanity. When it comes to occult influence, what effects do these messages have upon the human spirit?
We live in a culture where the occult and overtly sexual themes are constantly seeded into the minds of humanity through TV and film. It's paramount to analyze these themes so they can be exposed and explained to the youth, to ensure that they are not becoming trapped within destructive occult narratives.
The dramatic increase in the number of possessed persons and spiritual disturbances makes me say that the malice and superstition of those who resort to them — including those who, even as a joke, practice forms of occultism, such as séances — has grown in correspondence with the generalized decline of the Faith and the spreading of a culture favoring magic.
- Fr. Gabrielle Amorth, Former Catholic Vatican Chief Exorcist
Teresa is a seasoned analyst of symbology in media. Stay tuned for the symbological break-down of the movie "Coven of Sisters" after it is released on Netflix in March 2021.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Teresa Yanaros, a degreed journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth, has dedicated her life to investigating images and messages received through media outlets. From a young age, she has researched and presented news media through print and began expanding her reach through multi-media.
After writing a book investigating the phenomenon of modern American online spiritualism, she traveled across America, giving speeches and practical workshops on how to analyze and synthesize information. From archetypal studies to advanced truth-seeking, Teresa has presented research in areas of American pop culture, conspiracism, supernatural and paranormal studies, theology, and anthropology of online sub-cultures. Due to Teresa's experience with seeing just how deep the rabbit holes of online culture go, she is devoted to understanding the media effects of online subcultures upon their communities.
Teresa is the founder of Truly Free Society.
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