Updated: Apr 8, 2019
Have We Learned Anything in 326 Years from Salem?
[note: this is an early draft of this research and astrological signatures of xenophobia, witch hunts and emancipation]
Connecting the Dots Report By Angela Blissbridge
September 1, 2018
For many centuries, leading into the founding of the United States (USA), religious crusades eradicated, and silenced, a near-holocaust number of individuals engaged in anything deemed ‘witchcraft’. Often the targets of said ‘witch hunts’ were migrants, folk-healers, mid-wives, ‘fortune-tellers’ and culture-class ‘outcasts.’ As the Americas discovered, flights to the New World were not ‘free’ of lethal bigotry. One of the most documented and deadliest of these were the 1692 Salem Witch Trials.[a] From February through September 22,1692, over 200 people were arrested and condemned for ‘witchcraft’; 27 died: 19 hung, 1 tortured by stone-press, and 7 perished in jail including 2 infants of jailed mothers (Table 1). Evidence against these victims rested on dubious testimonies of young girls and individuals embroiled in village feudalism. Propaganda and peer pressure ran-rampant under punitive local Puritanical governance; fears of being accused (or having been accused) lead to betrayals between even the most intimate of relationships (mother-daughter, husband-wife, siblings and friends). It was a potent destructive display of fanatical ideology mixed with judicial process. The disastrous application of Puritan-theocracy echoed into the future. On Uranus’ return 84 years later, the USA was founded declaring a separation of church and state - at least in theory The air waves carried frenzies of rhetoric misused to polarize factions and silencing the non-conventional – then and now. Did we learn our lessons from Salem? As I’ll explore over the course of this series of articles (in three parts), we NOW seem to have a cosmic opportunity to tip the karmic scales. It is a time to resurrect the voices of the healers and their alternative-ideologies to a more feminine and healthy-masculine balance. By feminine I do NOT mean the rise of women over men but the loving, receptive, healing, emotionally-balanced needs of all humans; this gives space for healthy expression of masculinity for protecting truth and asserting ourselves in rightful action. By feminine energies I am also referring to Venus’ valuing of self and resources (our bodies, our money and our relationships with Mother Earth). Tipping the scales to balance between our valuing of the Venus-principles and suppression is a needed; the balance is the Divine Feminine-Masculine harmony.
The cosmic directives we’re receiving since 2017, give us opportunities to rectify the foundations we stand on collectively (and individually) with respect to our beliefs to find acceptance of all things ‘foreign’. During the thinning of veils approaching Halloween 2018, the nodes will be in their final ticks in Leo-Aquarius (like they were in 1692 Salem), bringing the transiting North Node exactly conjunct the Salem Trial’s fear-taboo-magnet himself, Pluto. Mars and Venus are key players throughout the entire epic path of this story (often with overlapping retrogrades and eclipse activations). In this article (Part 1), I’ll examine the mark left from the final hangings on September 22, 1692 through the lens of astrology. I’ll bring in some historical context and present a few charts of individuals involved. A picture emerges of who were the Judges-Accusers,the Victims-Accused, and the Critics. I begin to open the door of where the Anniversary is leading us for reframing our history. In Part 2 –I’ll look at the years between Salem and 2017-2018 that brought the birth of the USA and Trump as well as three major wars. We will see not only the returns of the change-maker planets (Pluto, Neptune, Uranus), but repeating signatures and strong alignments with Salem’s final imprint. In Part 3 – I’ll jump in my time machine to take us back to 1400s with Joan of Arc whose birth and epic-hero death both echo the recurring signatures of this treatise. Zipping into the future, we’ll see that May 2019 brings Pluto’s return to the USA and a semi-return to Salem; on into 2020, Neptune returns to Salem (and near-semi-returns for the USA). The growing light of the waxing gibbous moon on the 2018 Fall 2018 equinox sheds light on the 326ndSalem anniversary (Fig 1) with this story. It gives us a chance to flip the script on the Air-waves. Let’s start with the history and were we are now - shall we?
Salem Massachusetts Witch ‘Hunts’ of 1692 – Cosmic Views
Hardships and Uncertainties of Foundational and Structure Set the Stage – Prior to Feb 1692
New England migrants experienced recent survival hardships (Gemini-Sagittarius with Pluto-Cancer). Many were seeking religious freedom to practice a dogmatic Puritanical ideology (Uranus and North Node-Aquarius Saturn-Sagittarius– Fig 1, Table 1). With the fractured governing structure with the English Crown’s recent but temporary ‘vacancy’[b](South Node Leo), local ministers became the law-enforcers free to apply theocratic rule and demonize all things ‘foreign’ (Uranus opposed Saturn and Mars Rx Gemini - Table 1, Fig 1). The tensions between feuding villagers over grazing rights, land holdings, and monetary issues were exacerbated by Jupiter in Taurus (Mars-Gemini, Uranus-Taurus earlier 1691, and Pluto Rx-Cancer; in a region with geodetic Taurus-CAP). They were also facing a recent influx of refugees (extended family and other migrants) from attacks by indigenous tribes and French forces in outer regions (Mars Rx Gemini and Pluto-Cancer).
Boston minister and pamphleteer, Cotton Mather stirred the fear-rhetoric and ‘rule-of-law’ backlash with his prolific writings describing possessions by witchcraft; his works included directives on expeditious execution of ‘witches’ (Fig 2 -his Pluto Rx Gemini, Aquarius stellium, Neptune-Capricorn and Saturn-Sagittarius – the Judge-Accuser signature). His works noted that “symptoms included neck and back pains, tongues being drawn from their throats, and loud random outcries; other symptoms included having no control over their bodies such as becoming limber, flapping their arms like birds, or trying to harm others as well as themselves. These symptoms would fuel the craze of 1692.”[C] The June 10, 1692 (Fig 2) opinion letter he wrote on the proceedings he witnessed that day gave the local judges unfettered license to proceed (albeit overzealous) and ignoring warnings to not use ‘spectral evidence’ - a key factor in many of the death sentences.
1692 Friends Influencing and Parent Punishment Fears Feed the Frenzy of Accusations In the midst of eclipse season February 1692 (Table 1 and Fig 1), Betty Parris (Fig 3) and her orphaned-cousin exhibited many of these symptoms ‘diagnosed’ as ‘witchcraft’ leading them to be directly involved in most of the 200 accusations and playing key-witnesses in the trials of many of those put to death. They ‘spread’ this toxin to their friends and villagers (Neptune-Aquarius from 1670 to 1684 making villagers in their teens to early 20s ‘susceptible’ to the ‘spectral’ influences and peer-pressure, especially with them also having Pluto-Cancer). Some accusers took it as an opportunity to harm enemy-families (Fig 1 – 1692 Pluto and Mars over land issues – Pluto Cancer and Jupiter-Taurus until May 1692); many of them turned accuser to avoid being accused themselves (Pluto and Ceres). By the end of May, 62 people were arrested awaiting trials. Mars-Gemini had the capacity to sharpen the edges of villager feuds and subsequent finger-pointing; Marsthrough his multiple meetings with his partner Venus in 1692 resulted in the silencing the feminine (Red-Green Stars of Mars-Venus clashes on all Figures, Table 2 and Mars conjunct Mercury on September 22, 1692). The build-up of tensions and traumas of the village exploded with Mars going direct very close to the February eclipses. Three years later, in 1695, Thomas Maule (Fig 2), wrote a poignant critique of the mismanagements of the proceedings landing him in jail for a year serving as the foundation of the USA’s adoption of the First Amendment[d](Uranus- RX-Scorpio yod to Saturn-Venus-Aries and the Salem and his own Chiron-Gemini). He was destined to challenge the propaganda of Cotton Mather’s (Uranus RX-Scorpio squaring the Mather’s Sun-Venus-Aquarius and Maule’s own nodes aligned to the eclipses). It is important to note that on Victim-Accused charts, critic points are led to their demise (see Fig 3 – Mary Eastey – blue points). Apparently, Thomas Maule was smart enough (quite likely with that Uranus-Scorpio quincunx Chiron-Gemini and Jupiter-Gemini opposed Neptune-Sagittarius) to remain remained quiet for 3 years (Mars-Cancer waits trine Uranus-Scorpio paces itself to be strategic and secure; Moon on the North Node too).
What Was Behind the ‘Possessed’ Symptoms – A Cosmic Perspective
Biological and psychological reasons to explain the ‘witchcraft infliction symptoms’ have been explored by modern historians[e]. Astrologically, it seems the transits support many of these theories. With Pluto Rx-Cancer, psychological disorders from the trauma’s many of the accusers had experienced in the prior years could have triggered PTSD paranoias and a sense of possession. The strong Mercurial (Uranus-Gemini and Chiron-Gemini) impact of the transits, especially with the retrogrades near the eclipses, convulsive medical conditions with neurological disorders are activated (exacerbated by PTSD). The assertions that LSD from rye-fungus (ergot) as causing the strange ‘possessed’ behaviors (Neptune-Pisces); we can look to Pluto Rx-Cancer as a reasonable connection to support this assertion with Jupiter transiting through Taurus the summer before. Another explanation relates to the possibility that there was an “epidemic of bird-borne encephalitis lethargica, and sleep paralysis to explain the nocturnal attacks alleged by some of the accuser” (possibly Mars-Gemini inflammation and air-borne stellium in Gemini much of year square Neptune-Pisces epidemic).
The Finale that Imprints us with Silencing the Feminine Long into the Future
The closing events at the gallows in 1692, left us with the following mark. The Victims-Accused were likely deeply intuitive (Moon-Pisces) folk-healers (Venus-Hygiea-Virgo opposing the Moon are aligned not conflicting each other) that squared against the beliefs of the Jupiter-Chiron-Uranus and Saturnon the Sagittarius-Gemini axis in a grand cross (the (Capricorn-Sagittarius-Aquarius signature). If they weren’t healers, the Victims-Accused had ‘infected’ relationships with Juno-VIR - Neptune-PISalso in grand-cross squaring Jupiter-Chiron of the Judge-Accusers. Betrayals and fear-mongering laid to waste relationships of all types with Pluto and Ceresin trine much of the period. The Yod on the Moon-PISshows they opted to put to death devils (Pluto) behind the witchcraft (Moon-PIS) with unjust. The amplified chaos (Neptune-PIS) was prosecuted by the Mars-Libra henchmen ‘AIR-ing’ (Air in reference to the Grand-Trine – a pun on erring) on the side of the ‘judicial system’ (Libra pressed by the trine to Uranus-Jupiter-Chiron in the Capricorn-Sagittarius-Aquarius signature). Mars-Libra silences Mercury-Libra. There is an air of ‘ethnic cleansing’ with Uranus-Gemini (especially opposed to Saturn-Sagittarius the entire period). Here are Victim-Accused imprints of Betrayal by their sisters-brothers (Pluto-Leo and Uranus-Gemini) that silenced ‘outcast’ expressions (Uranus-Gemini and Mars-Mercury-Libra) and sent the studies (Gemini-Sagittarius) of the mysteries (PIS) deeper into the annals of taboo (Pluto into CAP). To survive Pluto and Mars marks, the martyr Venus-Virgo turns pains and fears inward (Hygiea-Virgo inconjunct Black Moon Lilith-Aries) often eradicating these gifts, talents, wisdom. This self-defeating comes from the heavy footprint of the God Uranus who destroyed its creations with the abandonment by god (Saturn Rx-Sagittarius, Mars-Libra inconjunct Neptune-Pisces,Chiron-Jupiter). Witch Hunts In 2018 – Synastry of USA, Trump and Salem
Fall 2018 Equinox 362ndAnniversary
What do the stars offer us to heal this wound? Like 1692, Venus and Mars danced with key transits and eclipses since the 2017 eclipses cycle (see Fig 1, Table 2). They have also returned to the ‘scene of the crime’ in the progressed Sept 1692 chart (Fig 4). What can we say about this Progressed Mars at 18-Gemini that returns to his deadly trigger point of 1692? Does that mean a repeat of witch hunts (see the closing comments below)? You may be tempted to say YES! with the recurrence of transiting Mars IN AIR fresh out of retrograde (1692 same thing happened in January-February). Unlike 1692, 2018 transiting Mars has had a spectacular extra-close hero’s journey that consciously (Aquarius) reexamined 1692 haunts (Fig 1, Table 2). In his showy reversed motion, he shattered his status-quo-perceptions (Aquarius) revealing the foundation of his deepest limitations (Capricorn); in doing so he could be in rightful-action instead of the henchman for the establishment. He has been reframing his karma joined by the South Node since April 2018 (and Table 1); he has found heart with the King in August-September 2017 (conjunct the North Node-Leo), giving him courage to meet his partner (Venus 19-Virgo and 1692 Juno-Virgo) on her terms under a full moon they co-ruled (Table 1 Oct 2017). That meeting planted seeds of a balanced working relationship of the masculine-feminine with the empowered Progressed Mercury (16-Virgo) opening the lines of communication to address neglected needs of the Queen Mother (Juno-Virgo 1692 opposed Neptune-Pisces). The pent-up spite of that wounded Juno found voice (P-Mercury conjunct) to speak her grievances publicly and demand heads roll (P-Mars square!!!). And roll they did when Jupiter went into Scorpio five days later!! Together all this resurrected juicy-feminine, triggered the rash of sex scandal and other corruption exposures with the chant #nomore (P-Mercury square P-Mars again!). Mars’ Rx danced over the nodes and Pluto of Salem (and we’ll discuss in Part 2 - the USA Pluto-Capricorn and Trumps Saturn-Venus-Cancer), points to his revolutionary shift away from the Judge-Accuser that suppressed the feminine with dogmatic policies and polarized ideologizes. The progressed Mars-Gemini (conjunct Uranus-Gemini) strongly opposed the progressed Saturn-Sagittarius echoes the Mars 2018 retrograde journey with a repeated signature (Rx Mars-Capricorn echoes P-Mars opposed P-Saturn, P-Mars conjunct P-Uranus echoes Mars-Aquarius); therefore, I see this Progressed Mars as PROGRESSIVE leading the charge for revolution of the ‘air waves’ and elevating the conscious globally. There is a catch I’ll explain below – a rather challenging one at that!
Mars’ Rx and Venus’ Rx directly aspect key 1692 points as well as overlap their shadows this fall (Table 1 Fig 1). Venus goes Rx squaring the 1692 Nodes on October 5, 2018 (exactly one year after her auspicious moon-light tryst with Mars Table 1– Fig 1). The power and strength of her underworld visit in Rx will give her stamina to resurrect Hermes wings along with her voice and balanced-diplomacy (1692 Mercury-Libra- Fig 1). Before she goes direct, she’ll reconvene with P-Juno (21-Libra). She is also strongly sextile her position by progression with the Goddess Athena and opposed her ‘rejected’ self (P-Lilith-Taurus). With this potency, she meets Mars for the last two tests (Squares) for viability of the Oct 2017 seeds of equal working union. They tested the unification of their ideology-framework and their ability to stabilize and build on the ideals of their new social order founded on their unified feminine-masculine balance (Sep 8 2018 Table 1 with Venus 29-Libra square Mars Rx 29-Capricorn). New seeds will be planted by the pair August 24 2019 when they meet at the 1692 Venus Rx point of 4-Virgo (P-Venus 7-Virgo then). Not only will it be presided over by a progressed feminine by the King-Sun himself (as Venus is only 11 days from his chambers on their conjunction. It is Venus and Mars’ first intimacy since October 2017; it is if the Goddess Venus is doubled herself to be able to stand with both Gods of divine use of creativity and defense of the Truth. This 2019 seeding of their union heralds working solution for healing (Virgo) the masculine-feminine integration). The Moon and Neptune conjunct their 1692 locations on the Anniversary; with ‘flipped-script’ and key solar eclipses (Fig 2 caption). The Judge-Accuser factors in 1692 have moved out of Air and Fire into Water and Earth (Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus) grounding, healing and restructuring the once fiery dogmatic Puritans. The Progressed Air-Waves are dominated by the Feminine (Moon, Ceres, Pallas-Athena, Selena White Moon ALL in AQU and Juno-Hygiea in Libra); Progressed Mars-Uranus seems to have no other choice to bow to the potency and turn to lead the revolution of a HEALING BALANCE (Hygiea-Libra). Venus and Saturn meet again but instead of square (1692) they are sextile of Venus-Scorpio as he’s just finished his retrograde; this suggests, he’s revaluing that old damning patriarchal system with more room (sextile) for meeting the Scorpio-empowered feminine (the weak square Progressed suggested a weakened hold of the old script). Saturn is fresh off his retrograde, still mentoring the ruler of Venus’s sign, Pluto (also retrograde) to push for testing the viability of shattering the old paradigm views of ‘all things witchy’ that suppress the feminine (this is amplified with Pluto sextile Jupiter and echoing the Jupiter-Saturn signatures of the dogmatic Judge-Accuser in 1692). With Pluto’s retrograde, are we resurrecting that Judge-Accuser or putting it to rest? Let’s hope for the latter. If it is the resurrection, it could be a new swath of deadly condemning times against the feminine. But wait, globally these transits are happening (separation of oceans and times from Salem Massachusetts) while Saudi Arabia publicly beheaded by medieval-looking sword a woman for being an activist August 20, 2018 and has several more slated for the same fate. Does this herald global dark times? I’m not convinced; particularly because of the discussion above as well as the progressed North Node is on transiting Pluto Rx square Progressed Hygiea (12-Libra). There IS a distinct empowerment in the feminine in much of the world; but will it prevail in this potent Capricorn-Plutonian pressures since 2008 (Pluto will be done with Capricorn in early 2025 – 7 more years)? This Heart-Center-Higher-Minded Mars can now reclaim fragmented aspects of himself and reframe historical perspectives of the patriarchal-male with a new revolutionary cycle that breaks away from the establishment (the transiting action in Aquarius with Lilith on the SN with Mars). This shakes awake the healers at the yod of 1692’s Venus-Rx-Hygiea-Virgo (Blue Ovals Figs 1 and 4) echoed in double strength with Hygiea-Chiron-Aries 2018 (and the P-Hygiea discussed above); these healers are nursing the battle wounds to relight (Vesta 1692) the flames of our reclaimed ‘witchy-self’ (Lilith 1692); the work required to do this is doubled (yods are ‘Virgo’ work to continuously fine-tune and heal the process; here it doubles with the apex in Virgo). Also revisiting the healers of 1692 are the Moon-Pisces just past return and Neptune-Pisces (almost returned for the 2ndtime – see Figure 6 for the 2019 return). Interestingly, in 1691 leading into the frenzy, Uranus was in Taurus (like today) and danced opposed Saturn into 1692 events. Here in 2018, they are in a strong closing trine in earth again. What does that mean? Earth shaking… foundation rattling… slow-hard processes bumping up against lightning fast shifts and ideologies. Given this Uranus has tightly squared the ‘enlightened’ revolutionary Mars, we can only surmise where this cocktail of divergent energies is going. AND…. Uranus is widely opposed #nomore Venus (making a grand cross into the past and future with this awakened the Divine Feminine-Masculine).
Can We Rebalance Divine Feminine-Masculine and Step Out of the Dark Karmic Cycle?
We can look to Selena White Moon[f]for possible clues to lead us toward the keys to open the door out of the darkness. In 1692 she was the wise-earth-mother (7-Capricorn) who fell victim to the Puritanical witch-hunt frenzy (quincunx to Pluto-Leo and Uranus Rx-Gemini). She was frail in mostly weak aspects to her sisters (Moon, Lilith, Vesta, Hygiea, Venus – it speaks to the number of older women and sisters that hung). This Fall 2018 (Fig 4) resonates with the North Node Leo (more Selena with the nodes). The Message is to step into the next vibration of soul expression by coming into our heart-center and being connected to her true mission and true passion. She’s opposed to the Enlightened Mars fresh from his magnificent hero’s journey (see above) to reclaim his rightful feminine expressions and rightful Truth Warrior. They also resonate with the Moon (Selena in that healing quincunx aspect to it). And trine a foursome of battle-scarred by surviving frontlines-healers (Chiron-Hygiea 2018 Aries and Vesta-Lilith-Aries Salem). Her transit opposing her once-fragment-rejected self (Lilith-Aquarius CJ the South Node) asks us to step out of our self-sabotaging patterns allowing us to regather our tribe in community (transiting Lilith-Aquarius conjunct the South Node Mars and P-Selena 23-Aquarius conjunct Ceres-Athena-Aquarius with 2017-2018 eclipses points). We’ll see with Part 2 and 3 that Selena continues to play a similar role with potent keys dangling within grasp. Keep in mind a rejection of the keys is a dark turn back around that karmic wheel.
Are We Done with the Millennium of Witch Hunts?
Many doors seem to be open to balance the feminine-masculine. Let’s look to the feminine factors of the cosmos to align us to reclaim our deep earth-wise-healer within (man or woman). Look to the balance of heart and mind with the example of Mars’ epic big-red adventure through the 2018 summer skies that gained his higher perspective on rightful use of his actions and strategic use of his voice and expressions; epic travel charged him with an alignment to the divine masculine (the warrior with a soft center able to receive and love yet rightfully defending Truth and justice). Venus’ dances through the events shows us how vulnerable we can be but ultimately tough enough to walk into the shadows this fall and be at the gates of hell (Scorpio) to purify her heart of the toxic victim world to emerge powerful and definitive of #nomore. These cosmic lovers can find balance and union as we redefine our foundational structures within ourselves. The drops we create in our own pond ripple outward allowing others to pick up their Selena keys too. What I’ve laid out above is the evolutionary intent and the highest expression of how this could play out. But what may we REALLY experience with 70% of the global population in consensus mentality working the middle to lower expression of this energy? Thankfully, we ARE waking up more and more people to this higher intent; yet we remain surrounded by family, friends, neighbors and, more impactfully, politicians and world-power-players who sit squarely in that 70%. Sadly, many are holding-fast to regressive views that are a deadly suppression of the feminine. Are we going to experience collectively, the transformation and healing of the Victim-Accused? Or we will be mired further into the karmic foundation of the Judge-Accuser? The evolutionary INTENT of the transits of 2017-2018 focused on Scorpionic (Venus Rx, Jupiter-Scorpio, Pluto-Capricorn), heart-centeredness (Mars’ journey above and Neptune-Pisces), and earth-shattering (loaded Capricorn) retrograde revisionism (Venus, Mars, Saturn, Pluto and Neptune!) (1 and Fig 4 and Table 2). But doesn’t this run counter to the stern, engrained and polarized political system we see today? Why does Donald Trump repeatedly claim HE and his administration are under a WITCH HUNT? The 2017-2018 transits and progressions (Fig 1 and 4) give a few clues. 2018 transiting Big-Red-Mars struts his stuff in on the putrefied Air-camp of 1692 (on North Node Aquarius 1692); if he succumbs to the Aquarian tendency of peer-pressure rife in consensus mentality, he FEEDS that MOLDY air instead of vaporizing it; his journey back into Capricorn further solidifies this stranglehold on the status quo OR even a regressive turn to antiquated policies. Further, the progressed Mars 18-Gemini square Mercury 16-Virgo shakes awake the memory of Salem’s witch hunts – maybe not actively remembering, but the AIR of ‘witch hunts’ is echoing from the past with this progression that sits on extremely activated Salem’s Mars-Venus clash points. To truly grasp that Witch Hunt mantra of Trump’s we will need to look at his Sagittarius and Jupiter – but that’s Part 2. Sorry to leaving you hanging (no pun intended – or is there)! Until next time - Here’s to the Rise of the Divine Feminine-Masculine – many it be gently but persistently worked to bring about deep, meaningful and lasting changes to our fabric of being globally.
From Me to You....
With blessings of my heart, may this be part of CONNECTING THE DOTS TO A THRIVING YOU! Angela Angela Blissbridge is an evolutionary astrologer and healing facilitator. See more about her at facebook/happierfacts www.happierfacts.com If you wish to see how your own blue-print is being affected by todays cosmic weather, START YOUR JOURNEY TODAYwith a reading. #astrology #salemwitchtrials #witches #judgment #karma #wellbeing #zodiac #horoscopes #cosmicweather #transformation #venus #pluto #mercury #jupiter #ancestralhealing #pastlife #awakening
“The sight of an autumn leaf
brings to a pilgrim the sudden
revelation of the mystery of
life and death” – Sabian 25ºLibra
Appendix – Tables 1 & 2 and other References
[a]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials[b]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials#Political_context[c]Wikipedia reference #29 - Mather, Cotton. Memorable Providence, Relating to Witchcraft and Possessions. law.umkc.edu Archived2008-12-19 at the Wayback Machine.; accessed June 5, 2010.[d]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution[e]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials “The cause of the symptoms of those who claimed affliction continues to be a subject of interest. Various medical and psychological explanations for the observed symptoms have been explored by researchers, including psychological hysteria in response to Indian attacks, convulsive ergotism caused by eating rye bread made from grain infected by the fungus Claviceps purpurea (a natural substance from which LSD is derived),[113: Secrets of the Dead: The Witches Curse, pbs.org; accessed December 24, 2014], an epidemic of bird-borne encephalitis lethargica, and sleep paralysis to explain the nocturnal attacks alleged by some of the accusers.[114: Justice at Salem, justiceatsalem.com; accessed December 24, 2014.] Some modern historians are less inclined to focus on biological explanations, preferring instead to explore motivations such as jealousy, spite, and a need for attention to explain the behavior.[115: Ana Kucić, Salem Witchcraft Trials: The Perception Of Women In History, Literature And Culture, University of Niš, Serbia, 2010, pp. 2–4][f]http://astro.angeleowyn.eu/index.php/the-moon/selena/selena-in-signs