Medicine or Magic
If someone was sharing their healing skills and helping others, was the source of their knowledge something to be feared? In 16th to 18th century Scotland, this was certainly true.
Where male practitioners had formal schooling that was deemed logical and acceptable, women were generally excluded from gaining an education, with the exception of some from the upper echelons of society. Women with medicinal or healing skills were believed to have used knowledge that had satanic origins and put people’s very souls at risk. At the time, only the wealthy could afford the services of an educated physician. In poorer and rural areas, herbalists or wisewomen were sought out instead. Female practitioners were a key source of healing for their communities. However, the elite questioned where exactly these female practitioners gained their knowledge, simply because they were women and not educated, male physicians.
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