Bonae Mulieres

Literally meaning “good women,” bonae mulieres was a common term by which authorities writing in Latin described various women or female creatures found in many European folk legends who flew or otherwise traveled at night and often needed to be placated with offerings of food or drink.

Aspects of the bonae mulieres are reflected in the women who were thought to ride with the pagan goddess Diana, as described in the canon Episcopi and other sources, as well as older beliefs in malevolent, female, nighttime Demons such as the strix or lamia, or the Germanic concept of the Wild Hunt.

All of these notions came to inform the developing stereotype of witchcraft in various ways, contributing most especially to the notion of the night flight of witches to a sabbath.

See Also:

Source:

Historical Dictionary of Witchcraft – Written by Michael D. Bailey

You may be also interested in :

Grimoire of a Kitchen Witch: An Essential Guide to Witchcraft – Rachel Patterson
The Hammer of Witches: A Complete Translation of the Malleus Maleficarum - Christopher S. Mackay
The Modern Guide to Witchcraft: Your Complete Guide to Witches, Covens, and Spells - Skye Alexander
Traditional Witchcraft : A Cornish Book of Ways - Gemma Gary
Satanism and Witchcraft -  Jules Michelet
Witchcraft Continued: Popular Magic in Modern Europe - Willem De Blécourt & Owen Davies
The Temple of High Witchcraft: Ceremonies, Spheres and The Witches' Qabalah - Christopher Penczak
Witches Investigating An Ancient Religion - T. C. Lethbridge
Witchcraft: A Concise Guide or Which Witch Is Which? - Isaac Bonewits
The Wiccan Mysteries: Ancient Origins & Teachings - Raven Grimassi
Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft – Sir Walter Scott
A Witch's World of Magick: Expanding Your Practice with Techniques & Traditions from Diverse Cultures - Melanie Marquis
Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches - Charles G. Leland
Familiar Spirits: A Practical Guide for Witches & Magicians – Donald Tyson
Water Witchcraft: Magic and Lore from the Celtic Tradition - Annwyn Avalon
Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America - Margot Adler
Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in Greek and Roman Worlds - Daniel Ogden
The Visions of Isobel Gowdie: Magic, Witchcraft and Dark Shamanism in Seventeenth-Century Scotland - Emma Wilby
Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks, and Covens –  Paul Huson
The Way of the Hedge Witch : Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home - Arin Murphy-Hiscock
Wiccapedia: A Modern-Day White Witch’s Guide  - Shawn Robbins, Leanna Greenaway
Power of the Witch: The Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment – Laurie Cabot, Tom Cowan
The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition Annual, Subsequent Edition - Starhawk
Witchcraft in the Middle Ages – Jeffrey Burton Russell
The Hedge Druid's Craft: An Introduction to Walking Between the Worlds of Wicca, Witchcraft and Druidry - Joanna van der Hoeven
Irish Witchcraft and Demonology - St. John D. Seymour
The Witch’s Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit – Arin Murphy-Hiscock
Witchcraft and Demonology in Hungary and Transylvania - Gábor Klaniczay (Ed.), Éva Pócs (Ed.)
HausMagick: Transform Your Home with Witchcraft - Erica Feldmann
A Practical Guide to Witchcraft and Magick Spells - Cassandra Eason